Opinion:- It seems that the Somaliland House of Cards is finally tumbling down slowly but surely, and that the misguided ambition..
of a separate state that is based purely on clannish sentiment is finally giving way to reality and pragmatism.
A large number of Somaliland politicians who held respectable positions in the Somaliland Administration are flocking daily to Mogadishu in search of better and more sustainable future. Many seem to be running away from the reality correctly described by the outspoken Mr. Faysal Warabe, one of the most outspoken secessionists in the clan-based enclave. He once called for the ethnic cleansing of the clans that are opposed to the secession of Somaliland from the rest of Somalia. His words above portends the unraveling of the Somaliland project. No wonder that the attempts of mercenary lobbyists like Peter Pham and Iqbal Jhazbhay to secure world recognition for Somaliland have fizzled out and their futile attempts have failed to bear any fruit despite receiving millions of dollars diverted from much needed development projects in Somaliland. Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, suffers from chronic water shortages while millions were awarded to foreign lobbyists who failed to do their homework, before embarking on such a wild goose chase. They and others like them ignored the fact that the word Somaliland stands for the land of the Somali people who are scattered all over the horn of Africa.
While it is a big relief for Somali Unionists to witness a welcome change in Somaliland, the phenomenon of shifting alliances like sand dunes has given rise to a new breed of self-serving politicians who are ready to sell their souls for the sake of a political post. Even the new Minister of Foreign Affairs in the new Somali cabinet, Fosiya Haji Adan, switched sides after her party in Somaliland failed to garner the level of support deemed necessary to compete in the upcoming elections in Somaliland.. Can the Somali people trust such a person who is capable of changing her loyalty as easily as changing her wardrobe? I just hope that the President and Prime Minister know what they are doing. Yabarag has addressed this issue very well in a recent article.
The recent defection of Suleiman Issa Karr, the chairman of the Council for the Salvation and Unification of the Unionist SSC regions in North Central Somalia, to the secessionist camp is testimony to such a new trend. Just before the treacherous defection of Mr. Karr in return for a measly $100,000, delivered to him by Silanyo’s whip Hirsi the Dagger in Djibouti, and a second grade Ministry stolen from our brothers in Awdal, Mr. Karr told an audience in the United Arab Emirates that he will never contemplate selling his soul to Silanyo’s Somaliland or Farole’s Puntland , the two Administrations that colluded to marginalize the regions that chose him to lead them in their struggle for defending Somali Unity and developing their territories peacefully. Both administrations prevented international organizations from venturing into these regions which were unfairly labeled as disputed territories. Even the popular Somali writer Muktar M. Omer, inadvertently used a map labeling these regions as disputed territories in his latest article posted in WardheerNews.
In addressing the unionist audience in Abu Dhabi, Mr. Karr reiterated his commitment to a United Somalia by using the famous words of Ismail Mire, the Darwish commander who defeated and killed Richard Corfield in the battle of Dul Madoba in 1913, and who even with the collapse of the Dariwsh struggle in 1920 as a result of merciless British aerial bombardment that massacred thousands in cold blood, refused to acknowledge the rule of the British colonialists. When asked to address the British Governor as Sir, Ismail is said to have answered “Afkaan Sayid ku idhi. Sir ku odhan maayo”. Roughly translated it means that the same lips that used to address the Darwish Commander in chief, Mohamed Abdulla Hassan, as Sayid cannot address a colonialist as Sir. Now, those were the days that honor, chivalry, courage and a man’s word were valued and meant a lot. Even the British admired and respected men like Ismail and the Sayid and derided traitors like Ina Igarre who collaborated with them against their own people. Jardine alludes to this fact in the closing remarks of his book “the Mad Mullah of Somaliland”
When Mr. Karr defected, he was given a red carpet treatment in Burao and Hargeisa, and his demands for the theatrical and deceitful partial withdrawal of the Somaliland militias from Kalshale, an area that witnessed recurring battles between the Somaliland militia and the Khatumo Unionists, was met. This meaningless and temporary withdrawal gave the impression that Silanyo and his secessionist enclave were serious about peace and that Karr was their partner for peaceful co-existence in the area. It was all staged to promote Karr as a man who freed the Khatumo prisoners and negotiated the withdrawal of the Somaliland militia from Kalshale. Osman Hassan has an excellent article on WardheerNews that appropriately describes Karr as a Khatumo dropout.
But Silanyo is not serious about peace and he has embarked on a new adventure that heralds a replay of the Kalshale conflict but this time in a different area. The town of Hudun lies around 160 kilometers to the north east of Kalshale and falls within the jurisdiction of the Khatumo State of Somalia, a unionist state that is opposed to the dismemberment of the Somali State. A few days ago, the residents of the town woke up to unwelcome guests armed with more than 40 Technicals, four-wheel drive vehicles fitted with anti-aircraft weapons. These militia relocated from Kalshale and blocked all the exits from Hudun which is surrounded by a range of mountains.
The reason behind this new and flagrant aggression is not fully known or understood as yet, but it can ignite a destructive war that can go out of hand and engulf the whole area. So far, a large number of young men have assembled from all the surrounding areas to defend their territories against the invading secessionist militias. Kalshale II, in which scores of young men may lose their lives like in Kalshale I , is in the making since the Khatumo forces will not tolerate the presence of secessionist militia in their midst. While Las Anod was relinquished to Somaliland by Puntland without any credible resistance, the matter is entirely different when it comes to areas upon which the livelihood and survival of Khatumo nomads depend such as Hudun and Kalshale.
Some attribute the new aggression to Silanyo’s attempts to stir clan passion in his secessionist enclave in order to stem the constant and steady outflow of many Somaliland politicians and their families from Hargeisa to Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia where security has improved considerably and business opportunities are opening up. Others attribute it to the upcoming elections in Somaliland and the attempts of Silanyo’s party to inflate and maximize its seats in territories that cannot be monitored easily. This attempt is spearheaded by self-serving politicians like Mr. Karr above and others who are native to the area. Among these politicians is Fuad Adan Adde another self-serving politician who claims Hudun as his home. Fuad pretends to be an important Somaliland figure in Hargeisa but failed to secure any meaningful posts in Somaliland after being sacked by Dahir Rayale, the former president of the secessionist enclave. He may be trying to prove himself this time to Silanyo by participating in the invasion of his place of birth where many of his relatives were killed in cold blood during the destructive civil war that toppled the Somali government. There are also strong indications that Silanyo and his Minister of Mineral Resource signed deals with small British and South African companies to prospect for oil in Holhol, an area close to Hudun. The Holhol area has considerable oil reserves which Conoco proved before the collapse of the Somali government.. It is part of the Nugaal Valley block.
Whatever the reasons for this aggression, it is incumbent upon the new Federal Government to at least express its displeasure and call for the withdrawal of these militia before the eruption of hostilities that can claim the lives of scores innocent young Somalis on both sides of the conflict. Since the TFG, under Sheikh Sharif, already recognized Khatumo as one of the Federal States of Somalia, its residents expect nothing less than the full protection of the new Federal Government of Somalia. Hudun deserves the same attention that Kismayo is getting from the President and his new government.
Ali H. Abdulla