Opinion:- The fact that the rebel-regional authority of Hargeisa aka “Somaliland” is waging an undeclared war against the civilians in the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn..
while the rest of the world in particular the transitional government is silent about it is a tragic moment in the history of the Somali people.
The conflict between the rebel-regional authority of Hargeisa led by the Leaders of the Somali National Movement (SNM) and the people of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn that come under the civilian regional authority of Khaatuma State has never been declared as a war by the rebel movement in Hargeisa. The clannish intoxicated members of the Somali National Movement believe the out-dated mentality of colonialism. They are using it as a tool to enable their ideology of being different in many ways than the rest of the ethnic Somali speaking people in the Horn of Africa in particular the people of Somalia and make it marketable and acceptable to the world for recognition. I will come back to this term of colonialism later in the text.
But since the rebel movement of Somali National Movement declared in May 1991 their separation from the rest of the Somali nation, they have opted a military victory over political compromise as their strategic goal. Their objective is to use force against the non-Isaq clans in the northern part of Somalia to bring them under their domination, using the argument of being colonised by the Imperialist Colonial state of Great Britain, which is a historical fact. Furthermore basing their argument of waging this war on an ideology, which was from the outset an inhuman and illegal act, is clear violation of all existing international acts of human rights.
For those who are not yet aware of what colonialism stands for or are not yet clear of what it is, I want to simply tell them of what I learnt during my primary school in history. I remember my history teacher underlining that Colonialism involves the rule or taking of territory of one people by another without their consent. Also later during my higher education I acquired the knowledge of understanding the effects of the process of colonialism. Therefore due to that background I belong to those who believe that the worst effect of colonialism is the fact that the colonialist state or a country, believes that it is their right to do so, while mistreating the natives at the same time. I know that many others might have other opinion about whether that is the worst effect of colonialism or not.
But what I want to say is that the ideology behind colonialism has affected the people of Somalia and it affects them to date. It has affected in two different ways; 1) Imposing this system enabled a large number of Somali clans unite and stand against this inhuman act, which divided the Somali territory under five different administrations. A good example of this unification can be found in the history of the Somali nation, in particular during the Darwish Movement led by the Somali Nationalist of Sayid Mohamed Abdullah Hassan as well as the anti colonial movement led by the Somali Youth League (SYL). 2) On the other side in the same period both these movements had rivals among the Somali clans in particular the clan of Isaq, who opposed the Darwish movement, which was in the forefront of Somali nationalism. The Isaq clan stood shoulder on shoulder on the side of the colonial master, who was using the method of divide and rule. Even now after over 100 years it is not yet clear, the factors that convinced the Isaq clan to be the only Somali Clan in the northern part of the country against any unified Somali Nation-State.
Whatever rational or irrational factors, behind their opposition to a Somali nation, one thing is clear, and that is the politicization of the clan identity as an ideology. Some months back a colleague of mine from Hargeisa, told me a very sad but interesting story. He said one of his relative has decided to take his children away from Hargeisa to be educated in Kuwait, because of the bankrupt non-functional educational service provided by the authority in the region. So the father went to the ministry of education in the kingdom of Kuwait to register his children in one of the schools in Kuwait city. He was told to bring an official letter from the embassy of the Somali Republic to enable him start the process of the registration.
Having no other option, he went with his children aged from 14 to 16 years to the Somali Embassy. As they entered the embassy the children noticed the Somali flag (blue with the white star in the middle). To their shock, the kids asked their father,” Why did you bring us to this office? Isn’t this the office of the former colonial state that ruled our country of Somaliland?.
The father got ashamed and embarrassed and has no response to the genuine question asked by his own children. He knew that he and his own community have been indoctrinating their children that their country, which they call Somaliland, has been colonised by the rest of the Somali people under the state of Somalia rather than the European colonial powers such the United Kingdom, France and Italy. It is a tragedy to distort the history of a nation. This is one side of the coin in this part of the country.
On the other side of the coin lie the regions inhabited by the people, who believe the unity of the one country called Somalia with one nation, which had a history based on facts and not on ideology based on fictional clan identity. That is why in this part of the country the clan matters. The separation and the declaration of independence is an idea of the few, who shy away from the competition of the same slice of a pie. They believe they could have a bigger slice of a separate pie, which they ceremoniously declare Somaliland. That is exactly where the Western nations and their researchers fail to see the real picture and the totality of the complex political situation in this part of the country.
The news did not surprise me recently when the Kenyan immigration authorities caught at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi the son-in-law of the present leader of the rebel authority in Hargeisa Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Siilaanyo, who was carrying a suitcase full of dollars estimated to be 2 million. He flew from Berbera to Nairobi. The Kenyan authorities questioned him about two days and after the traveller could not give them a satisfactory explanation why he was carrying such a large amount of money in cash, they decided to send him back to Berbera. I wonder how this young man, who is associated with the office of Mr. Ahmed Siilaanyo and at the same time related to him, could get grip on $2 million cash and travel without any interference by the airport authorities in Berbera?
Having said that now if I think of the father, who brought his children out of the country for no other reason than just give them education, has to ask himself, why is there no proper education system in the north-west region, which in his distorted illusionary thinking is a functioning state of its own called “Somaliland”?
The reality is that the mode of governance in this region (North-West) has no other reason to claim its existence except the option to enable the very few, who led the revolts in the first place against the Somali state be the fishers as the African saying states that there is always one that stays in the rain, while the other fishes from the river. Furthermore in order to make the claim of being a separate state look like real for the majority of the Isaq clan, the authority has to keep the undeclared war against the other clans in the region keep going no matter the cost of lives and the atrocities committed against the non-Isaq clans.
There is no secret that a large number of non-Isaq political prisoners are vegetating in the most notorious prison in the country. The West in particular the United Kingdom and Norway governments
are supporting an authority with their tax payers money improve the existence of such prison, which has no other intention rather than enrich themselves by all means, while using a well orchestrated show of good governance to the outside world. It is time these governments go beyond the well decorated theatre, where the SNM-show or SNM-Dhaanto is taking place, and see behind the curtain, where the real world exists in the northern part of the country.