Latest Assault on Media
Ethiopian Technical Team Visits Berbera
Borama Radio Closed
Bipolar Power Dawns in Somaliland
Regrettable Absence of The UN
Psychology of A Nomadic Society
Counting of Ballots Underway
Somaliland's Historic Elections
Will the UN take Professor Herbst’s advice?
UDUB's Hate Speeches
We Are United Against Terrorism
Elusive Terrorist Finally in Custody
Another Significant Step
Awil’s Rendezvous With Geedi
Dim Prospects For The 7 Women Candidates
Candidates Lack Agenda
How To Decide Who To Vote For
Three Ministers Fighting over a House
Letter to Dr. Ghanim Alnajjar
Parliamentary Campaigning Launched
Graduation at University
Arrest of a Norwegian Who Swindled African Leaders
Let’s Play It By The Book
Accountability, Not Denials
Somaliland Government to Sue Haatuf
Human Rights Expert Secures Funds For New Prison
Government Denied Warrant To Search Haatuf Offices
Consolidating Somaliland-South Africa Relations
The First Lady’s Illegal Activities
Somaliland Gov’t Paid
$380,000 Extra for TV
Film On Somaliland To Be Shown On BBC World Today
Ethiopian Airlines to Expand Its Somaliland Operations
Lady, it does matter
Somaliland Editors Adopt New Code
Parliamentary Election Postponed
Egypt To Send Observers To Somaliland
Winning The Hearts And Minds Of British Muslims
Eyro Emerges As Islamic Courts’ New Leader
Britain, Europe And The US Should Not Be Safe Havens For
Awil’s Secret Meeting With Geedi
Rayale’s Credibility Gap
Ex-Aviation Minister Accuses Rayale Of Poor
Somaliland Civil Society Visit to
Rayale’s Double Dealing
Confusion Over Selection And Screening Of
Col. Abdillahi Yusuf Receives Another Blow
Mr Ahmad Silanyo visits Seattle
WE STAND WITH BRITAIN
President Rayale Condemns London Blasts
Somalilanders Hold A Successful Convention In LA
Eng. Faysal Faysal Cali Waraabe and Dr. Mohammed-Rashid
Somaliland, Countdown To The July Summit Of The AU
Who is worse Col. Abdillahi Yusuf or his supporters?
Total’s Action Is An All-Out War Against Somaliland’s
The disgraceful end of the Somali conference in Kenya
A Norwegian National Supports Somaliland’s Struggle To
Rebuild its Country
The Somaliland Convention in Los Angeles
Briton's Widow Seeks Arrest Of Somali President
Somaliland’s self-inflicted wounds
African Union Discusses Somaliland’s Independence
Somaliland’s Diplomatic Progress and the
Col. Abdillahi Yusuf Asks US To
Terminate The Trial Of Ali Samater
And Others Accused of Crimes Against Humanity
|The Latest Assault on the
Somaliland Times, Issue 196, Oct.22, 2005
Wednesday’s closure by the security forces of Borama’s independent radio
station which started broadcasting only a few days earlier, is yet another
clear indication of the extent to which President Rayale’s government is
ready to go to make sure that no private broadcasting services are
introduced in this country. By throwing the station’s technician, Deeq
Mohamed, into prison and confiscating the broadcasting equipment, the
government has shown how indifferent it is to the tremendously positive
changes brought by recent parliamentary elections to the country’s
domestic political landscape and international standing.
According to Mr. Rayale and his Minister of Information, Abdillahi Dualle,
if independent radio stations were allowed to operate here, it is most
likely that they would incite people into communal violence. They often
cite the case of the notorious Rwandese Radio station, libre des Mille
Collines, whose 1994 programs had deliberately encouraged Hutus to
massacre Tutsis, as an example of the terrible things that private
broadcasting can do. This argument is of course wrong and baseless simply
because the Rwandese radio in question was actually owned by the incumbent
Rwandese government at the time and not by someone from the private
The attribution of neighboring Somalia’s lack of peace and reconciliation
to Mogadishu’s 7 different private radio stations is also another excuse
that Mr. Rayale and Mr. Dualle usually employ as justification for the
government’s ban of the establishment of independent radio broadcasting
services. However, as almost all independent observers would agree,
Mogadishu’s thriving radio stations have been more of a stabilizing factor
than a destabilizing one.
Moreover, the fact that Somaliland has its own vibrant private newspapers
and at least one independent television station, which have won praise for
their coverage of the country’s political situation in the last 14 years,
has been in itself a powerful public reminder that there is no
justification, at all, for the government’s policy banning private radios.
The actual reason for the government’s behavior lies some where else.
Given the fact that Somaliland is primarily an oral society with a high
illiteracy rate, President Rayale’s government knows that radio is the
most effective medium of information communication. The government is
simply scared that if it allows private radio stations in the country,
they would capture the lion’s share of the audience. But regardless of the
government's motivations for banning private radios, it is in breach of
the constitution which guarantees citizens the right to own private radio
The newly democratically elected parliament must bring the government’s
habitual violation of the constitution to an immediate stop. The
legislators should also introduce, after consultation with the independent
media representatives, a law governing broadcasting operations.
The policy of banning private radios has not only deprived citizens of
enjoying freedom of the press, but has also stigmatized Somaliland’s
democracy internationally. The next House of Representatives should ensure
that his harmful government policy ceases to exist.
|Ethiopian Technical Team Visits
The Somaliland Times, Issue 196, Oct.22, 2005
Berbera, Somaliland, October 22, 2005 (SL Times) – A 9-man Ethiopian
technical team visited Berbera port on Wednesday to hold talks with port
officials in prelude to the expected arrival of Ethiopian cargo through
Berbera in 2 weeks time.
An agreement reached by Somaliland and Ethiopia in May allows the latter
to use the Red Sea Berbera port for import and export.
The Ethiopian delegation was expected to discuss with their Somaliland
counterparts issues related to port clearance and forwarding and
Meanwhile, manager of the port of Berbera Ali Xor-xor has disclosed that
his department will open an office in Addis Ababa for coordination
According to Ethiopian press reports, the Saudi born business tycoon,
Sheikh Mohamed Al-Amoudi has now shown interest in investing in the
development of Berbera port.
Al-Amoudi has substantial investments in Ethiopia and is reportedly keen
to revamp the Berbera port facility in the wake of Ethiopian plans to
divert some of their import – export operations through the Somaliland
|Security Forces Close Down
Borama’s Private Radio Station
Borama, Somaliland, October 22, 2005 (SL Times) –
Somaliland security forces closed down a private radio station in Borama
on Wednesday only a few days after it started broadcasting Somali songs.
Police raided a workshop for repairing radio and television sets late
Wednesday afternoon arresting a technician called Deeq Mohamed Dualle and
confiscating devices suspected of being used as transmission and
The station broadcast on shortwave (SW1) from 19:00 to 02:00 and was
easily heard throughout Borama town. The transmission was first detected
last Sunday. Broadcasting hasn’t resumed since Wednesday.
This is the second time in less than 3 years that a private radio station
has been shut in Borama by the police.
The Somaliland government banned the establishment of private radio
stations in the country. The Minister of Information Abdillahi Mohamed
Dualle has justified the move by saying that the country has not yet
adopted broadcasting regulations. He also claimed that private radio
stations, if allowed to operate in Somaliland, would destabilize the
Dualle in a similar incident in which a private radio station established
in Hargeysa was closed down, demanded that all broadcasting equipment
already in the country be surrendered to the government. He warned that
delinquent prospective broadcasters would be prosecuted.
Somaliland has six private newspapers and one independent television
station. Most Somalilanders depend on the independent media for
information on the situation in the country. The government-owned media, 3
newspapers and a radio/TV station, suffers from a credibility problem
stemming from public perception that the official media is a propaganda
arm for those in power.
|Era of Bipolar Power Structure
Dawns in Somaliland
Somaliland Times, Issue 195, Oct.15, 2005
Adan H Iman, Los Angeles
The political vacuum left behind by the implosion of the Somali State,
which entailed disarming armed militia, by force where necessary, and
establishing law and order gave the late President Mohamed I. Egal an
opportunity to assume extraordinary powers. The current President Dahir R.
Kahin inherited and perpetuated this imperial presidency. The office of
the presidency dominated all aspects of political life of the people
during this formative period of the Republic. The people tolerated the
monarchical powers because establishing law and order and creating the
institutions of the state was worth the problems of the imperial
We have had Presidents during this period that behaved like kings. But
when the new elected members of Somaliland’s First Parliament assume their
responsibilities, the era of imperial presidency must have sailed into the
sun-set of history. In political terms, it is as if at a fault line on the
grounds of the presidential quarters in Hargeisa, the equivalent of
tectonic shift of the land have occurred. Half of the powers enjoyed by
that office have migrated to Parliament as a result of the elections.
The constitution diffuses power into the branches of the government. Its
beauty is the elaborate checks and balances: The President is responsible
for the operations of the government but parliament has oversight and
investigatory responsibility; the President presides over the development
of the budget but Parliament has the authority to hold hearings and amend,
if they have the votes, before final adoption; the President, as the head
of the State, has jurisdiction over foreign policy and dealing with
foreign leaders but Parliament has the responsibility of ratifying any
agreements reached with a foreign power. The Judiciary, which currently
lacks capacity and independence, is supposed to be the arbiter based on
the constitution and the laws.
The late US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis wrote that the objective
of the checks and balance in the constitution is not to promote efficiency
of the government but to preclude the usurpation of power. If Parliament
performs its constitutional duties as voters expect, freedom and liberty
will ring throughout the country, as it has never been. Hopefully, there
will be more transparency and accountability in managing the resources of
the country; more protections of civil liberties and administration of
justice as citizens will not be thrown to rot in jails without having
their days in courts; journalists to have less to fear and more courage to
search for the truth; more alternative sources of information like
privately owned Radios Stations; more meaningful decentralization that
gives decision-making authority to municipal councils and an increase of
their budgetary allocations and less power to interior ministry officials
over local matters.
Some parliamentary candidates used political parties merely as vehicles to
appear on ballots not because they identify ideologically with their
party. The bet is that between the one woman and eighty-one men who were
elected to the Lower House, a majority of them (42 or more) will emerge to
play the role of opposition and put a break to the runaway powers of the
Much as one can describe their governance styles in terms that are
critical, the incumbent president and his predecessor, on the other side
of the ledger, have made important contributions in planting the seeds of
democracy to take roots in Somaliland. The late President Egal created
peace and harmony and established the institutions of government in
Somaliland while neighboring Somalia sank further and further into
lawlessness and violence. Equally important, he painstakingly presided
over the writing of the constitution, its lynchpin of which is multiparty
representative democracy. Unfortunately, he did not live to see the
realization of the dream in his constitution. It befell on his successor,
President Rayale, who successfully presided over the holding of three
elections, all of which met the standard to be free and fair.
The people of Somaliland elected municipal councils, a president and most
recently members of parliament. The excitement and competitive spirits
during the last election indicated the degree to which they are enjoying
their new democratic values. But these political beliefs will be fragile
unless people experience their liberty and freedom will also help
gradually improve their economic lives.
The international community did not waste any time to hail the
parliamentary election as an important step. But the rich western
democracies, which made the spread of freedom and liberty in the Muslim
world as a lynchpin of their foreign policy, should back up their effusive
praise with concrete financial and economic assistance and end
Somaliland’s isolation. Somaliland will be a worthy ally in world peace,
in the fight against terrorism ( as it proved last month by apprehending
heavily armed terrorists) and a model country where one can be good
democrat and a good Muslim at the same time.
|The Regrettable Absence of The
The Somaliland Times, Issue 194, Oct.8, 2005
The United Nations has deliberately chosen to ignore Somaliland’s
democratization process. As voters in Somaliland, a 100% Muslim country in
the volatile Horn of Africa went to the polls on September 29, 2005 to
elect their representatives to the country’s lower house of parliament for
the first time in 37 years, UN officials in the region behaved as though
this historic event wasn’t worthy of their attention at all. Without so
much as a word of appreciation, the UN has rather mischievously warned its
field staff of security threats in connection with the Somaliland
election. While international observers from 4 different continents and
from places as far as New Zealand, Finland, Canada and South Africa
converged on Somaliland in the last week prior to the 29 September
parliamentary elections, the UN was nowhere to be seen.
Although Somalilanders noticed with bitterness the UN's absence, it did
not stop them from going on with their peaceful and reasonably fair
elections. The UN has so far given no official explanation for its bizarre
behavior, but it must have had something to do with Somaliland’s status as
an unrecognized state. But the lack of international recognition cannot
serve as a valid justification for th UN's implicit censure of a process
under which people have been simply trying to exercise their basic
While the people of Somaliland were voting in the 3rd multi-party
elections to be held in their country in a period of less than 3 years,
the UN was ironically engaged in the dispensation of international
community resources for the appeasement of its host in Jowhar, warlord
The Somaliland parliamentary elections provided a window of opportunity
for Kofi Anan’s UN to be associated, at least for once, with the only
successful home-grown-and-driven democratization process in Africa today.
By missing this chance, the UN has unwittingly put itself in the same camp
as the terrorists whose plot to undermine the elections was foiled by
Somaliland security forces only a week before the voting.
The UN should rectify its mistakes and start cooperating with the Somalilanders’ efforts to develop and sustain their self-made peace and
democracy, which could become a model for conflict resolution and good
governance for countries in this region, and beyond. There are potential
benefits for both sides to gain from such a type of partnership. The
ball’s now in the UN's court.
|A Study of The Psychology of A
And Its Implications For Somaliland
By Dr. Abdishakur Jowhar MD, FRCP(C), DABPN
The Somaliland Times, Issue 193, Oct.1, 2005
Part IV: Somaliland: Rebirth At The Edge of Chaos
“In Somaliland a ray of hope is flickering. I say flickering because it is
under the onslaught of the same forces of evolutionary stress: tribe,
toxic waste and visa exempt bugs of all kinds. But there sure is something
interesting developing there, a singular experience, and something
different altogether. There is peace around the water wells, in the
grazing areas, in the villages and in the towns. There are plenty of guns.
Plenty technicals. Plenty Klashnikovs. But no one is firing them. The
tribes are not massacring each other. Instead a primordial state and its
primordial institutions are gradually appearing. We need to know what is
happening in Somaliland? Is this what evolutionary adaptation looks like?
Is survival feasible after all? Should we not study this natural
experiment with a magnifying glass, I mean instead of being scared by it
or vilifying it or pulling magic numbers (like 4.5) out of tainted
Diaspora hats? Stay tuned for Part 4 where I will be exploring this topic,
its evolutionary ramification and the promise it may hold for all
Somalis.” From Part III “The Extinction of Tribal Society.
This is part IV. A promise made and a promise kept (eventually!).
One caveat before I commence:
There is a multiparty
parliamentary election underway in Somaliland as I write. The campaigning
for the election has been heated, at times bellicose, and so far free,
fair and much more importantly peaceful! Allow me to whisper to you a
hidden secret about this election, to spill the beans Somalilanders don’t
want you to know. The political competition is only superficially between
the three contesting national parties. The real competition, the one that
will decide success or failure is the hidden competition in this election
between modernity and statehood on the one hand and tribalism and
extinction on the other. It is a struggle for the soul of the Somali. In
this part I will write about the theoretical and ideological basis of this
singular development in Somaliland in relations to its wider regional
context. And I will write about how the two entities of Somalia and
Somaliland can interact with symbiosis rather the customary mutual
suspicion and tribally based alliances that are ephemeral, shifting and
What I write here is commentary. Political action is a local function.
What happens in Somalia or in its progeny states will be decided on the
ground in the cities, villages, farms and nomadic communities inside the
country. Somalia’s salvation will not happen in professorial ivory towers
or in sterilized suburbia, as some of my colleagues in Diaspora seem to
believe. I am not therefore proposing a plan of action. The purpose of my
writing is to provoke debate at a time when dialogue among Somalis is
nothing more than a disconnected series of monologues, to explore other
options at a time when positions has fossilized and imagination died and
finally to illuminate the road ahead when possible.
The reader must know my bias. I am committed to the concept of the
political independence of Somaliland. Bias, by definition, has the
capacity of distorting observation. My Somali identity, however
hyphenated, balances this bias to some degree. I remain acutely aware of
the unique pain of uncertainty that is associated with my existence and
that has caged my people at the periphery of mankind and the edge of
extinction. My intimate awareness of the impending human catastrophe will
hopefully take me beyond the petty bickering of who among Somalis is more
dead than the rest for I know, all that is dead is equally dead.
In Between Stories (Or The Truth About A Failed State)
This is the story of a nation-state that ceased to exist. It is the story
of a nation that refuses to be born again. It is an old story that is
finished, completed and told, leaving behind a blank space where there is
no new story. Somalis are thus stuck in a mysteriously frightening era
that was once pregnant with hope and possibilities and that is delivering
only horrors, an era in between stories. To untangle this mess let us
start with what we know: the old story of the near past. We lived through
it and so we know it. Now we must mine it for the cause of our imminent
demise and clues for our salvation.
There was of course the union of two countries, the British Protectorate
of Somaliland and the Italian Colony of Somalia that formed the Republic
of Somalia in July 1, 1960. The union of the two countries was to serve as
the launching pad for the ambitious dream of bringing about a grand state
for all the Somali Speaking Moslems of the horn of Africa. It was a time
of big plans and bigger dreams. It was a time of innocence. Everything was
possible, every objective obtainable. Men elsewhere where planning to go
to the moon. Somalis were planning the unity of all those who looked,
talked and worshiped like them into one nation, united under god free at
last of all colonial oppression in both its black and white permutations.
It was the good sixties-Somali Version. The flag, blue as a cloudless sky
in a sunny day, was carried with much love and dignity. The five-pointed
star that adorned its center was the physical symbol of the purpose of the
nation and the reason for its existence. The star waited for all the parts
to fall in place. These are facts and they need to be retold because they
are the pink elephant in the room that the collective psyche of Somalis
insists on forgetting. They need to be retold because the pink elephant is
the key to the new story.
Sadly there are dreams that morph into nightmares and this was one of
them. Before the decade was out The Somali State was in either covert or
open warfare with Ethiopia, French Somali Coast (currently Djibouti) and
Kenya for the Somali people that were to be freed from colonial yoke and
reunited into a new nation lived in these three neighboring countries.
These were the liberation wars of Somalia. The first war started in 1964.
I was in elementary school then. I remember running through the mountains
fleeing with my family the bombardment of Ethiopian airplanes of my
village. I remember being hungry, tired and wailing. And I remember my
mother soothing, telling me that it will be all right soon, our government
will open that magic mirror. The mirror will suck in all these airplanes
and take them inside it for destruction. I liked the story it helped me
fall asleep that night.
The last of the wars started in 1976 again with Ethiopia. Cubans, Soviets
and American were all participants in it. The Cubans and the Soviets
participated physically with armed forces on the ground. The American were
behind the scenes but nevertheless present. The big powers were
ferociously engaged in the cold war. For them the Ethiopian Somali
conflict was only one peripheral and inconsequential theatre. But for the
region it was a big war, the mother of all wars. It had had profound
consequences for Somalis everywhere. For at the end of this war the
ideology of Great Somalia lay defeated and dead. Anyway I never heard of
it again. Honest. I never saw anyone advocating, justifying or
proselytizing Great Somalia ever since. Before that war all Somali music,
all poetry, all dance and all celebration were related to it in one
fashion or the other. No poems, no songs and no plays were written about
it since. The idea of Great Somalia simply vanished. It was there one day
and it was out of the collective psyche of the nation the next day. Maybe
some one opened the magic mirror facing the wrong direction?
The defeat also robbed the union of its reason for existence. The blue
flag became stained with blood of Somalis who turned on each other finding
refuge only in the savagery of tribalism as salvage of last resort and as
an ancestral burying ground. The union (by then the Democratic Republic of
Somalia) started to decay. It fell apart and died as well in 1990. It was
over, from dust to dust, from ashes to ashes. Despite many attempts no one
was able to bring union back to life. The metamorphosis of a dream to a
nightmare was complete.
Some believe that Siyad Barre the last dictator of Somalia killed the
nation. Others blame the armed liberation movements that resulted in the
defeat of Siyad Barre (USC, SNM, SSDF, etc). They maintain these armed
groups did carry the name Somali in all of their acronyms but in the final
analysis they represented nothing more than a tribal fracture of the
national body politic. Some maintain that the tribal strive followed the
inability of these organizations to build a national consensus.
But this is merely a description of the sequence of events in Somalia. The
underlying cause of the disintegration, the reason only tribal armed
organization could prosper, the reason only tribal political alliances
could be formed since the Fall, the reason one man could kill a nation,
the reason a nation was unable to produce a national consensus, the real
reason for all of these is that Somalis had nothing left to unite them,
nothing to give them a national purpose. The dream was dead. No Great
Somalia, no union, and no nation. Entropy took hold. Entropy caused the
rise and triumph of the tribal political organizations. Entropy rules
today. Its other name is statelessness.
The old story ends here. Whatever comes after it is a new story, with new
plots and new characters. It is a story not yet written, not yet fully
imagined, and not yet told. So we are caught here in the middle, in the
time that is “in between stories”. Yet there are glimpses of what is to be
in the horizon, not yet fully formed but primordial and still subject to
evolutionary influence. The quandary starts here.
A Diabolical Experiment
Ever since the chaos began in 1990 Somalis have been repeatedly
experimenting with a new formula as the foundation of a new story. The
experiment has been repeated some 14 times so far. It fails every time.
With each failure tens of thousands of Somalis lose their life. And the
same experiment with the same parameters is repeated all over again. It is
a killer experiment. The mad scientists who run the experiment are clearly
not among those who are killed by it.
I don’t know who authored the formula. I know not the shadowy and
persistent experimenters. I know for sure that once every few years I come
by merchants of death flocking to Somali reconciliation conference sites
to get a piece of the pie. I come by them hugging “get rich quick”
schemes, and dreams of positions and booty. I see them secretly conspiring
with the forces of tribal darkness, scheming to skim any fat of the
Somalis that will soon die in the experiment. I see them fly and circle,
like vulture, the carcass of a nation. Once every few years I see them.
The formula is maddeningly simple. It is has one central pillar and 4
supporting structures. Each of the five pillars carries within it the
seeds for self-destruction and collapses as soon as construction is
· The central pillar is the tribal distribution of power.
This has been operationalized in fine details and enshrined in made up
number (4.5 tribal power sharing units) that do not correspond to the
reality of the nation and that totally negates the concepts of the
individual and citizen. There is only one simple problem with this
tribally based power structure. Tribalism has never built a state in human
history. It just is not in the nature of the beast. Tribalism is the one
factor that has prevented the rebirth of a Somali state. It is what will
cause the extinction of Somali society as a whole. Please see part III of
this series for the details.
4.5 is the symbol of the shame and failure of the Somalia’s educated
elite, who habitually fall back into the intellectually lazy position of
tribal “solutions” nonsense because “There is nothing else to work with”.
I mean give me a break, you don’t build your house with liquid water
“because there is nothing else” unless you are a fish, you don’t build
your house of hot air and live in it “because there is nothing else” and
surely you don’t build your house of fire unless you believe in
· A peace conference in a safe place.
This removes the reconciliation process from its legitimate environment
and throws it into the highly artificial environment of posh hotels,
running water, electricity and absence of gunfire. It represents
acceptance of failure right from the start, for it speaks of political
forces that failed to develop even the minimal trust necessary to meet
somewhere in their own country (just to meet and say hi). It solves the
mistrust by asking them to reach a comprehensive solution (from A-Z) to
their crisis in some foreign soil and go back and start fighting because
no one really trusted anyone at all any which ways. The failure is
ingrained in the assumption; it unfolds when “a comprehensive paper
agreement” is brought back to the home of mistrust.
· Dangerous Aid:
International monetary assistance for the Somali reconciliation
conferences has been one of the more destabilizing aspects of
international aid to Somalis. People are actually paid to attend these
meetings. The payments are meager but the economic environment is such
that peanuts do count. The hotel expenses and food of the potentially
reconcilable are covered by financial donations from the rest of the
world. Aid comes with an inherently corrupting power. The money distorts
both the course and the outcome of the conferences. Purse holders with the
capacity to decide who should get what and when come into existence and
prosper and play a disproportionate role. Local powers actually manipulate
their donations to engineer an outcome favorable to them. More distant
powers engage in similar practices in a more sophisticated manner. The
marathon conferences take up two years at a time and become a bona fide
business in their own right. The more money the more corruption, the more
and merrier the unsavory characters and the merchants of death it
· The Assumption that Armed Gangs (Called Warlords) will voluntarily
What is a warlord? A warlord is to a nation what a criminal thug is to an
individual. Warlords are men who have private armies recruited exclusively
from the Warlord’s tribe but who has allegiance only to Warlord and to no
one else (not to tribal elders, tribal chief or other prominent members of
the same tribe).
A thug drives his power from his capacity to intimidate one or few persons
at most. A warlord drives his power from his capacity to intimidate the
civilian populations of whole villages, towns and cities. It is no
exaggeration that every Warlord in Somalia has been responsible for the
death of at least hundreds of Somalis. You don’t become a warlord by
praying in a mosque. This is a status you reach only by spilling blood,
preferably but not necessarily, the blood of other tribe members. You may
become “respectable” afterwards, but first you have to plant the seeds of
The Arta Conference held in Djibouti created the Abdi Qaasim paper
government by imagining the Warlords away. The latest Somali
reconciliation conference in Kenya took a different route but one that is
equally preposterous. In the last reconciliation conference held in the
pig farm of Mpagathi, Kenya, the experimenters decided to limit the
reconciliation process primarily to the warlords and to make the biggest
of them the president of the nation. That is how Abdillahi Yusuf became
the new paper president.
Now imagine asking Al Capone a) to give up his weapons voluntarily b) to
hand the weapons over to the Gambini crime family c) and to help the
Gambinis become the law and order agency of the land. This might indeed
look ridiculous but asking the murderous Somali gangs called warlords to
give up their weapon is every bit as ridiculous. Yet it is a central
premise of the experiment.
When the warlords continue on maiming and murdering people, and when they
fight out turf battles among themselves marked by the enormity of the
collateral damage to the civilian population, the learned experimenters
shake their heads in dismay and feign surprise. For those who like to live
in dreams we should wake them up and tell them otherwise. Behold ye who
sleep; Warlords will not disarm voluntarily. Not now. Not tomorrow. And
not the day after tomorrow.
· The establishment of a paper government.
The announcement of government that controls only few villages or few
streets of the capital and presenting them to the world and to the Somalis
as actual national Somali State perpetuates the whole fakery and plays a
cruel joke on the Somali public. The paper government is recognized by
other governments in paper. And every one abandons it once it is all
written up in a paper and the paper ends up in landfills.
The uniqueness of the experiment lies in its strangeness as well. It
always begins with prayers, celebrations, and song and dance. And it
always ends in moaning and mourning with thousands of Somalis dead,
suffocated, strangulated, stabbed, shot, infected, infested, starved and
drowned. I mean this literally. And woe betides those who survive the
experiment are seized by a collective amnesia that guarantees its future
Conspiracy theorists may see The Experiment as a secret weapon designed to
free the land of Somalis and replace them with others. Unfortunately the
essential theorists of the experiment are Diaspora based Somali
intellectuals, themselves caught in the tribal net, their own alienation
in foreign lands and their own disconnection from the spirit and soul of
the nation. When the theory fails every time, the scholars blame the
experimenters, the warlords, the victims, and the rest of the world.
Indeed failure has “other” fathers.
There is here an obvious conclusion that can be reached with ease and
certainty. The diabolic formula is the problem not the solution. It is not
a new story. It is a perpetual repetition of the end of the old story. The
decade that followed the defeat of the Great Somalia ideology in 1976 saw
the ascendancy of tribal conflict, the commencement of ferocious tribal
wars and the gradual decay and eventual disappearance of the Somali state
in 1990. The decade and half that followed the collapse of the Somali
State saw only the institutionalization of tribal ideology in the form of
4.5 and the cyclical escalation of the debauchery, bloodletting and tribal
sacrifices of gore and blood. The Diabolic Formula drives these cycles and
repeats the ending of the same old story, like an echo, like the after
shocks of an earthquake, like the last shivers of dying man.
To be continued…..
|The Sustainable Development Of
The Somaliland Times, Issue 193, Oct.1, 2005
For the third time since declaring their withdrawal from the 1960-union
with Somalia, some 14 years ago, Somalilanders were able last Thursday to
choose their representatives to government in a democratically conducted
national election. The overwhelming majority of Somalilanders have already
expressed full satisfaction with the way the 29 September parliamentary
elections were conducted. After all, this has been their own process;
devised, nurtured and implemented by them.
To this basically egalitarian society, the right to choose one’s leaders
freely and hold them accountable hasn’t been something new. When the
British tried to deprive Somalilanders of this right, they responded with
In the post-colonial period when dictator Siyad Barre tried to subjugate
Somaliland, people resorted to armed resistance and in the ensuing war
Somalia’s repressive and alien state was destroyed. In its place
Somalilanders tried to build new state structures that people in this
country can understand and identify with. Thus the birth of the Beel or
clan-based political system that took major decisions by consensus and
selected government leaders through an electoral college consisting of
traditional leaders representing clans. This system succeeded in
reinstating peace through grass-root level initiatives for reconciliation
Since 1997, the challenge has been how to develop the clan-based system to
such a degree that it would be compatible with the demands of modernity.
The successful multi-party elections held in 2002 and 2003 and the one
that just happened, have disproved those who were imbued with the idea that
tradition, Islam and modernity were irreconcilable in the Somaliland
context. But for the new system to take root, it will be crucial in the
next stage to improve the polity in place and ensure the sustainable
development of Somaliland’s democracy.
It is at this juncture that international cooperation will be most needed.
Both the EU and South Africa have already shown positive interest in
Somaliland’s democratization process. Perhaps it is time for the United
Nations to pay serious attention to this country’s experimentation in the
creation of an appropriate, effective and sustainable system of
Somaliland has already taken significant moves toward real democracy and
its latest successful multi-party elections have already drawn admiration
from people in the Horn of Africa region, particularly the citizens of
Somaliland can become a model for this region, and beyond, in terms of
peace-making reconciliation, disarmament and constitutional democratic
rule. The United Nations and the rest of the international community
should realize that by lending their support to Somaliland's
democratization and national consolidation process, they would be serving
the cause of democracy in the wider-region as well.
|Counting of Ballot Papers Of
Somaliland Parliamentary Elections
KULMIYE Leading In Both Hargeysa And
UDUB Expected To Win Borama
New Gains For UCID In Almost All Regions
Hargeysa, Somaliland, October 1, 2005 (SL Times) – Counting of ballot
papers cast by voters in Somaliland’s Thursday parliamentary elections was
still underway on late Friday night at the headquarters of the six
regional electoral commissions.
In the Hargeysa district only 105 ballot boxes were counted with the main
opposition party KULMIYE capturing roughly 40.71%, while UDUB and UCID won
30.15% and 29.14% each respectively.
In the Buroa district, 118 boxes were counted by midnight with KULMIYE
winning 24,664 votes, UDUB 16, 354 votes and UCID 18, 184 votes.
The race was neck and neck when 19 polling stations were counted in
Berbera district with UDUB scoring 4,968 votes against KULMIYE’s 4, 777
votes and UCID’s 4, 690 votes.
In the Gar-adag district of Sanaag region, the preliminary results gave
KULMIYE 6, 650 votes, UDUB 3, 650 and UCID 1, 400 votes.
Meanwhile President Rayale’s UDUB party was poised to comfortably win the
majority of votes cast in the Awdal region as a whole while UCID showed a
significant jump in its capture of the national vote compared to the
results of last presidential elections.
In Erigavo district, preliminary results so far indicated that KULMIYE won
22, 230 votes against 21, 981 for UCID. UDUB was third capturing only 13,
The voting started at 6 o’clock in the morning and closed at 6pm at most
of the country’s polling stations. In some places such as Togdheer’s
Odweyne district where arrival of ballot boxes was delayed by rains,
polling stations remained opened after the 6pm deadline.
In Hargeysa and Buroa there were still people in the queues when polling
stations closed. Scores of people were arrested by the police for trying
to double vote.
Voter turn-out in this election was at least 40% bigger in comparison with
the 2003 presidential elections with one million people expected to vote
this time around.
The 3 political parties fielded 246 candidates for the 82-seat House of
Though the weeks before the election witnessed a lot of mud slinging in
the battle for votes, however the most overwhelming majority of
Somalilanders on the streets or in rural villages felt not only satisfied
with the fairness of the elections but also felt proud that exercise was
held in an orderly and peaceful manner.
A contingent of 100 foreign observers monitored the Somaliland’s Thursday
According to the head of the group, Steve Kibble, no major problems were
reported during the election.
The South African team consisted of 12 men and women. There was a
parliamentarian from Finland. The International Cooperation for
Development (ICD) provided coordination and logistical support.
Other countries from which observers were drawn included Britain, Norway,
Denmark, New Zealand, USA, Zimbabwe and Sweden.
Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 29, 2005 (Haatuf/SL Times)
Somaliland voters went to the polls early this morning to elect
their representatives to the lower house of parliament.
There are nearly 246 candidates contesting this election for the
82-seat House of Representatives.
Voting started at 6 O'clock in the morning at most of the 985
polling stations. The candidates for this first democratically
elected parliament in over 35 years represent Somaliland's 3
political parties: UDUB, KULMIYE and UCID.
The polling represents Somaliland's third experiment with
multi-party elections in less than 4 years.
In December 2002, the country witnessed its first local council
elections and in April 2003 presidential elections were held.
International observers had certified both elections as free and
Two years and nine months after the country's last presidential
elections, officials of the National Electoral Commission and leaders
of the political parties expressed optimism that this parliamentary
polling will also be successful.
|Will the UN take Professor
Somaliland Times, Issue 192, Sep.24, 2005
With charges of corruption in Iraq’s oil for food program hanging over its
secretary general, sexual crimes committed by its peacekeepers in the
Congo and Bosnia, its inability to stop the genocide in Rwanda, and
President Bush’s visceral disdain for it, the United Nation’s reputation
and clout has undergone steady and serious erosion. Powerful countries
such as the United States may have less reason to worry about this as they
could use their political and economic muscle to protect their interests
within the UN, or, if necessary, without the UN. But for most countries,
especially the poorer ones that make up the majority of the UN’s
membership, the weakening of the UN would have much more serious
consequences because it would rob them of a legal framework with which to
protect themselves. The poorer, less developed countries will have to
blame themselves for this, since instead of fixing the myriad of problems
facing them, they allowed their societies to deteriorate and have been
using the UN system to prop up their failed sovereignties.
Most African countries and many Arab countries belong to these failing
states that are hiding behind the UN’s principle of respect for state
sovereignty. In other words, the UN system that was originally designed to
help independent states by validating and to some extent, protecting their
sovereignty, has become the protector of failed states. Due to the large
number of failed states, especially in Africa, the UN system is stretched
to the limit and it is getting more and more difficult to maintain the
fiction of state sovereignty for failed or non-existent states. Somalia,
which has not had a government for the last fourteen years is an example
of such a non-existent state. There has been fourteen internationally or
regionally sponsored conferences to revive Somalia. None of them bore
fruit. In addition, the United Nation’s major campaign to save Somalia,
Operation Restore Hope, was an unmitigated disaster.
Professor Jeffrey Herbst of Princeton has drawn attention to the severity
of the problem of failed states in Africa and the need for a new approach
to tackle it. His solution is that the world community should drop its
misguided effort to resuscitate African failed states, and instead help
those states, like Somaliland, that have actually proved that they are
states. Professor Jeffrey Herbst has given excellent advice to the
international community, but will they listen?
|Press Release: 24th September
2005 - Immediate
Somaliland Parliamentary Election 29th September 2005: The
last task of the process of regaining the rejected freedom in 1960, 45
With just days to go the countdown has began for the Somaliland
Parliamentary Elections due to be held on the 29th of September. There are
three freely competing national parties each convinced that they hold the
answers and solutions to Somaliland’s challenges.
Against all odds Somaliland has successfully managed to overcome the
destruction carried out by the military dictatorship. Now Somaliland is a
country of peace, freedom, equality and enterprise. In August 2000 The
Financial Times reported, “It (Somaliland) could serve as a model for
Africa: peaceful, stable, little crime, no debt, a liberal economic regime
as of this month, a multi-part electoral system”.
Since then a new constitution establishing a multi-part electoral system
was approved in 31st May 2001, Local Government elections followed in
December 2002 and peacefully contested presidential election was held in
April 2003. With only parliamentary election scheduled for 29th September
2005 remaining, Somaliland’s multi-party democratisation process is
Many renowned and distinguished politicians, academicians, researchers and
commentators across the world are calling the International Community to
be realistic about the permanent and drastic shift and change of the
paradigm that the so called Pan-Somalism was based. They strongly and with
conviction argue that no longer Somaliland and Somalia could form one
government even if Somalia manages to reach peace and stability, as the
case is now in Somaliland, as they are completely two different entities
with different systems, institutions, ethos and aspirations.
The high profile Sir Bob Geldof recent series on Africa (BBC – Africa
Lives – Geldof in Africa) and other programmes commended Somaliland
achievements as a shining example of a home grown African democracy -
blending the traditional and cultural values with modern democratic
processes. The report of the Commission for Africa (June 2005) showcased
Somaliland as a role model of a successful bottom approach democracy in
“Civil war plunged Somalia into a condition of such chaos that the state,
as an organism of government, could be said no longer to exist. Provinces
became anarchic and autarchic, with warlords ruling whatever territory
their forces could command. To the north of the country, however, the area
known as Somaliland has shown signs of calm, and modest but ordered
prosperity…it is one with its mix of African and other systems of
governance, which clearly works.”
In their press release of 6th September 2005 the International
Co-operation for Development (ICD) says:
“For many observers the democratisation of Somaliland is seen as an
interesting experiment that deserves greater study and support in its
incorporation of democratic values within a traditional social structure.”
The success story of Somaliland and its unparalleled achievements were
vigorously debated in British Parliament on 4th February 2004. In this
debate the Rt. Hon. Hilary Benn MP, Secretary of State for International
“I concur completely with what we have heard today about governance and
the progress that Somaliland has made. Indeed, it provides some important
lessons, and in some respects acts as a beacon to other parts of Africa
because of the relative stability that it has enjoyed for 10 years. It has
held democratic elections - municipal and presidential - and aims to hold
parliamentary elections in, we all hope, the not too distant future. It
has a traditional bicameral Parliament...It has a police force, a defence
force, its own currency and a relatively free and lively press.
Undoubtedly, in contrast to the rest of Somalia, it has achieved an
enormous amount for its people.”
Contrary to the unfortunate and sad loss of lives in many African and
developing countries not a single person was killed, harmed or arrested in
Somaliland during all these elections and no doubt the case will be the
same for the coming Parliament election to take place on 29th September.
This is not by accident but Somaliland people have a deep-rooted tradition
of tolerance, fairness, equality and freedom. Even during the colonial
period the Somaliland people were highly respected by “their masters - the
British.” A report (1952) by the British Colonial Administration in
Somaliland to Her Majesty Government states:
“… they have ethnological and political claims to racial individualism
that would seem to be at least as good as our own, while there is no
reason to suppose that their love of independence and liberty is any less
than that of the Americans or ours”.
In 1959 one year before the independence of Somaliland (1960) The
Secretary of State for Colonies, Mr Lennox-Boyd MP, made a political
statement in Hargeisa the capital of Somaliland stating: “Whatever the
eventual destiny of the protectorate Her Majesty’s Government will
continue to take interest in the welfare of its inhabitants.”
On 19th May 2003 Mr Bill Rammell MP, UK Foreign Minister, made this
statement at Westminster when Ms Linda Perham MP asked him about the UK
Policy on Somaliland:
“UK policy on Somalia and Somaliland has two objectives:
a) To see peace and stability established throughout Somalia. We have
encouraged the National Reconciliation Process initiated by the regional
organisation the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and we
welcomed the Declaration on cessation of hostilities signed on 27 October
b) For Somaliland, which is not taking part in the Conference, to reach a
political settlement with the rest of the country. This can only happen at
a later stage in the reconciliation process. It will be for the people of
Somaliland to decide for themselves if they are ready to engage in talks
with the rest of Somalia.”
After 46 years of Mr Lennox-Boyd MP, The Secretary of State for Colonies,
visit and statement on Somaliland, The Rt Hon Chris Mullen, Foreign
Minister for Africa, visited Somaliland in last October. He addressed both
Houses of Somaliland Parliament and made this powerful statement:
“In a region torn by war and chaos Somaliland stands out as beacon of
stability and progress…In the long term, however, sustainable development
and prosperity in Somaliland will only be possible if there is peace and
stability throughout the region…Let me assure you, however, that the
British government will never be party to an agreement that pushes you –
against your will – into a forced marriage with the South.”
The Somaliland Communities in Europe and elsewhere are loudly and
explicitly saying to the International Community:
“We are an Islamic country in the developing world, and we have shown the
international community that we know how to run a stable government and
fair elections. Take notice of us, and use us as an example of what can be
done, instead of pushing us into the corner as if we had done something
disgraceful. What we have done is reject war-lord anarchy and opted for a
well adapted administration and home grown bottom up democratic
parliamentary process. What more do you want? Recognise us and our
achievement, and help others to follow our good example!'
The Somaliland people hope that the International Community will honour
and respect the self determination, the choice and deep feeling of
Somaliland people in regaining their independence through democratic
process. Also they hope that Great Britain who has long historic
connections with Somaliland; and currently holds the chair of the G8
countries and the presidency of the European Commission to spearhead the
long over due recognition and badly needed economic development aid for
Somaliland. How long the Somaliland people await the dividend for peace,
reconciliation and democratic governance?
It is imperative that The British Government shows the needed world
leadership to resolve Somaliland predicament. These ministerial policy
statements say it all and Somaliland people awaited action for a long
time. It is about time that the rhetoric should be stopped and the reward
that Somaliland people deserve, in achieving so much, to be delivered and
their freedom and liberty as a nation and state to be respected and
To say the least it is double standard, injustice and discriminatory that
Somaliland people to be a kept hostage by the International Community for
Somalia - whether ungovernable as the situation has been for the last
fourteen years or if at all governable in the future! Under the
international law Somaliland people decided for their future and regained
their freedom they rejected forty fiv years ago and they have all the
right to do so.
On Thursday 29th September Somaliland people are fulfilling the last phase
of the process of an innovative, workable and equitable model of democracy
of their own making based on their cultural values and the process of
modern democracy. As they fully met the criteria for an independent,
peaceful, stable, democratic and viable country the Somaliland people hope
they will not be ignored anymore and let down by the International
This is the year for Africa and The British Government at the forefront of
the International Community has the golden opportunity to honour its
pledges to the Somaliland people and lead the International Community to
give the Smaliland people what they deserve and entitled. The case of
Somaliland people should remind Great Britain and other freedom loving
countries to appreciate and value the democracy and equality that they
strive for and have striven for over decades. Peaceful and freedom loving
Somaliland people deserve no less.
For further information please contact the following SSE members across
Eid Ali Ahmed - Tel: 029 2043 2972 Mobile: 07971531761
Abdulkadir Maacalesh - Tel: 01204535093 Mobile: 07984142942
Mohmed Bashe - Tel: 02077906611
Khader Hassan - Mobile: 07961131014
Mohamed Aburahman Hussein ‘Jacket’- Tel: +32 32721095 Mobile: +32
Abdirahman Omer Farah‘Ciro’ - Mobile: +32 484639812
Mohamed - Amin Siyad - Mobile: +45 26239485
Dr Mohamud Mohamed Abdillahi – Tel: +35 8 34 671 4929 or +35 8 9310 62673
Halimo Yusuf – Mobile: +33 6 24577093
Mohamed Hassan – Tel: + 33 478800575 Mobile: + 33 6 99669169
Abdurahman Yassin – Tel: + 33 5 59828841 Mobile: + 33 6 89831266
Mohamed Saad – Tel: + 49 2 235929245 Mobile: + 49 1 6092356044
Dr Hussein Abdillahi – Tel: +31 302613448 Mobile: +31 624169852
Dr Jama Muse Jama – Mobile: +39 3389679505
Saeed Farah – Mobile: + 47 98838582
Jama Ali - + 47 67415793 Mobile: +47 95232157
Hussein Wadadyare – Tel: + 46 34684523
Ali Sugaal – Tel: + 46 34680167
Notes for Editors
Former British Somaliland became independent on 26th June 1960. However,
it gave up its freedom after only four days as reported by the Daily
Herald Newspaper of London on 29th June 1960:
“The Rejected Freedom - Three days ago, it gained its independence; on
Friday, it gives it up again:
Somaliland, a British colony for nearly 80 years, became independent last
Sunday. And on Friday, after four days of freedom, this British outpost
will surrender its sovereignty and merge with its sister, Somalia. It has
decided not to remain in the Commonwealth. Somaliland, eastern gateway to
Dark Africa, was hardly worth a sniff in the world's press until three
days ago. Now it has become an area of historical significance. And the
reason is that its merger with Somalia is unique, as Somalia itself is not
yet free. Somalia.”
The Somaliland people and their leadership were naïve enough to give away
their freedom in June 1960. In February 1960 a British Conservative MP,
Major Patrick Wall, visited British Somaliland and strongly warned about
the injustice in the coming union. In April 1960 he made this statement in
the British Parliament (African Affairs June 1960):
“There are, I think, considerable dangers to our British Somalis as in
this union, because the Italian Somalis are more developed…and they have a
higher degree of political institutions and it may well be that they
absorb the Protectorate, indeed, it has already been decided that the
Protectorate of British Somaliland is to become but two of the eight
provinces within the new union. I think this would be a great pity…One
hopes that the discussions which will start next week in London between
her majesty’s Government and the representatives of British Somaliland,
this point will be borne in mind; we should also see that our own
ex-colonials – if I can put it that way – get a fair break in the new
v On 28th July 2003 the highly credible lobby group, International Crisis
Group, based in Brussels issued a comprehensive report on Somaliland:
Democratisation and its Discontents. The report says:
“Somaliland’s democratisation renders the prospects for reunification with
the rest of Somalia increasingly improbable, not only because the aspiring
state’s political institutions have little in common with the kinds of
interim, factional arrangements likely to emerge in the south, but also
because its leadership is becoming more accountable to its electorate –
the majority of whom no longer desire any form of association with
This report is highly recommended to all interested parties to understand
the history and present situation of Somaliland. For the full report
please refer to the Group’s website: www.intl-crisis-group.org.
v BBC News – World Edition (http://news.bbc.co.uk) on 21st October 2004
reports Dr Iqbal Jhaszbhay comments on the Commission for Africa:
“Tony Blair’s Africa Commission has a profound historic opportunity, to
firstly, facilitate development in Africa and, secondly, to focus on
promoting peace and stability …Tony Blair’s Africa Commission will be
fondly remembered if it succeed in highlighting the key development
concern of fair trade and market access and, moving towards resolving the
situation of the two neglected peoples of Western Sahara and Somaliland…
Our humanity remains compromised as long as the people of Africa, Western
Sahara and Somaliland, remain shackled by redundant policies, which do not
see the urgency for creative action.”
Dr Iqbal Jhazbahay is a senior lecturer at the University of South Africa
& memebr of the ANC’s Commission for Religious Affairs.
v In a speech he delivered on 17th March 2004 at a banquet and reception
held by Somaliland Diaspora for the honour of Somaliland President Dahir
Riyal Kahin and his delegation and British MPs who visited Somaliland
Professor Ioan Lewis of London School of Economics brilliantly explained
the situation of Somaliland:
“With the liberation struggle over in Somaliland, energies turned to the
gradual restoration of the country. Peace-making and social reconstruction
has followed a bottom-up path, starting at the grass roots with small
local clan groups, and building up gradually in ever widening circles.
This slow and often irregular process which, not without setbacks, has
taken several years is reflected in Somaliland's contemporary two-tier
parliament: A house of elected party representatives, and an upper house
of nominated clan elders…These locally evolved Somaliland political
institutions have delivered a degree of political stability and democratic
government so far unattained in any other part of the defunct state of
Somalia. Today Somaliland is an effective functioning state, based on good
governance, to an extent that is sadly now rare in Africa. The restoration
of civil society is well underway, schools and hospitals are under
construction with help from diaspora Somalis and some friendly NGOs. Much
has been achieved in demobilising former militias and retraining those who
cannot fruitfully be absorbed into the local police or army.
Although there have undeniably been serious ups and downs in the process
summarised above, the overall achievement so far is truly remarkable, and
all the more so in that it has been accomplished by the people of
Somaliland themselves with very little external help or intervention. The
contrast with fate of southern Somalia hardly needs to be underlined.
Far from seeking to applaud or encourage these developments in spontaneous
Somali democracy, the outside world has taken little interest and remained
largely indifferent. This, of course, contrasts strikingly with the
frequent pronouncements by Western leaders of their concern to promote
good government and democracy in Africa. As the chairman of the politics
department at Princeton University has recently put it: 'One would think
that the natural response of the outside world to the extraordinary
achievement of the Somalilanders would be respect and recognition'
-especially in contrast with Somalia'.
If as I hope Somaliland soon receives the international recognition to
which it has long been entitled, I hope equally that this action will
provide a new impetus to social reconstruction in Somalia. It is obvious
that a new approach is needed, and one that is better informed about
Somali political realities and less biased by extraneous external
interests. These biases on the part of the principal external actors are
v The Washington Times (www.washingtontimes.com) reported on 6th January
2005 an article titled “Curious Case of Somaliland” by Richard Rahn who
“The Somalilanders ask why they must remain part of a dysfunctional state.
Before the colonial period, there was no Somalia state, and Somaliland was
under British rule for 80 years. They argue their situation is not really
all that different from the Baltic States or the now independent countries
that made up the former Yugoslavia…The danger for the U.S., Britain and
the other Western countries is their failure to recognize Somaliland will
gain influence and power for radical Muslim elements there. Somaliland
might be pulled back into the morass of Somalia, a terrorist breeding
American diplomats by nature tend to be cautious and are reluctant to
appear to be rewarding breakaway states in Africa. However, it is the
judgment of some of the diplomatic "Africa hands," who know the situation
best, that the benefits of recognizing Somaliland far outweigh the
potential costs of continued non-recognition. The Bush and Blair
administrations should come together and immediately recognize Somaliland
to reward them for pursuing a constructive path toward free market
democracy. If we do so, I would bet that, within a year, most other
nations will have followed our lead.”
Richard W. Rahn is a senior fellow of the Discovery Institute and an
adjunct scholar of the Cato Institute.
v The Washington Post (www.washingtonpost.com) reported on 2nd January
2004 an article titled “In Africa, What Does it Take to Be A Country”
written by Professor Jeffery Herbst of Princeton University who argues:
“The Somalilanders made their own peace without the benefit of
international mediators and conflict resolution experts…recognizing
Somaliland would be a strong signal to the rest of Africa that performance
matters and that sovereignty granted in the 1960s will not be an excuse to
fail forever. Few regions of any African country actually want to secede;
thus the world could recognize the achievements and legal idiosyncrasies
of Somaliland without experiencing massive disruptions of Africa's map.
The Somalilanders, almost unanimously, ask what more they can do when the
international community continues to recognize Liberia, Sierra Leone,
Democratic Republic of the Congo and other anarchic, violent places as
sovereign units. It is time to give them an answer.”
v Sub-Sahara Informer reported on 29th July 2005 a revealing article
titled “Faking a Government for Somalia – International diplomacy supports
fictitious peace process” by Ulf Terlinden and Tobias Hagmann:
“For more than a decade the feasibility of successful reconciliation in
Somalia has been proven in Somaliland. It accomplished peace and
reconstruction largely by its own means and its government emerged from
what observers have described as free elections. Yet Somaliland Republic
is denied recognition, due to the international Community’s insistence on
the principle of a united Somalia. As an ironic consequences, donors and
international organisations support what could be captured as a
‘letter-box government’, which upholds a fiction of sovereignty, even over
The case of Somaliland also points to an issue that reaches beyond the gap
between appearance and reality of Somali peace process and interim
governments. The internationally sponsored peace conferences were all
based on the assumption that sustainable peace requires the existence of a
central state authority for Somalia. This stance overlooks the actual
pacification and emergence of governance in Somaliland.”
Ulf Terlinden and Tobias Hagmann are peace researchers at the Centre for
Development Research in Bonn, Germany and Swisspeace, Bern, Switzerland
respectively. Both are political scientist and long time observers of the
Somali inhibited Horn of Africa.
Somaliland Societies in Europe (SSE):
Somaliland Societies in Europe (SSE) is primarily a network for Somaliland
communities and organisations in Europe. SSE is a non-political but
charitable organisation. It is in its formative years and its vision is
“to bring together and utilise the skills and resources of its members,
Somaliland organisations and communities in Europe for the benefit of
Somalilanders in Europe and back home - Somaliland”.
SSE’s Main Strategic Objectives include:
Ø To promote the development and empowerment of Somaliland communities in
Europe and Somaliland
Ø To link and liaise with indigenous and International and Somaliland NGOs
Ø To promote, publicise and market the achievement of Somaliland, its
people and institutions in the International Community
Ø To lobby for more resources and development grants for Somaliland
Communities in Europe and those in Somaliland
Ø To be vigilant about the on going Somaliland democratisation process and
democratically challenge any undemocratic obstruction and hindrance
instigated by individual (s) and/or groups in this democratisation
Eid Ali Ahmed, Chair
Tel: + 44 (0)29 2043 2972 or + 44 (0) 29 2038 3317
Mobile: +44 (0) 7971531761
Abdulkadir Maacalesh, Secretary
Tel: + 44 (0) 12 0453 5093 Mobile: +44 (0) 7984142942
Somaliland Times, Issue 191. Sep.17, 2005
Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 17, 2005 (SL Times) – The UDUB party of
Somaliland President Dahir Rayale has reduced its election campaign to a
series of hate speeches as senior government officials took turns earlier
this week to incite the public against the opposition parties,
At two consecutive rallies held by UDUB in Arabsiyo and Gabiley last
Tuesday, Interior minister, Ismail Adan, unleashed a barrage of insults
against the KULMIYE opposition party leaders and prominent veterans of the
armed struggle waged by the SNM against Siyad Barre’s dictatorship in the
1980s. He accused former high-ranking SNM officers of spying for the enemy
during the liberation war.
KULMIYE’s current leader, Ahmed Silanyo, is a former SNM chairman and a
significant number of key posts in the party’s upper hierarchy are held by
SNM veterans. By contrast, Somaliland’s current minister of Interior
worked as a draughtsman for Hargeysa municipality during Siyad Barre’s
rule. His relations with military government officials at the time was the
subject of various types of rumors and is often described by KULMIYE
supporters as a former collaborator with the Faqash (the SNM’s code name
for Somalia’s former military government that ruled Somaliland).
While addressing Tuesday’s UDUB rally in Gabiley, Interior Minister,
Ismail Adan, tried to demonize KULMIYE by saying that the party was
against Somaliland’s recognition.
The minister seemed very concerned about how UDUB would perform in the
upcoming parliamentary elections. UDUB lost Gabiley to KULMIYE in the last
presidential poll and according to most observers, the ruling party is
expected to fare even worse in this election.
Adan tried to woo voters by saying that they would serve themselves a
favor if they voted for UDUB instead of the opposition.
“A political party that is not in government and not led by an incumbent
president, vice-president and ministers can’t do anything for you”, said
the Interior minister, adding that it won't be a big deal if the
opposition emerged with majority seats. “Remember it is us who will still
be paying their salaries,” he asserted.
The political atmosphere was further poisoned by the stinging attacks
launched against KULMIYE by Somaliland’s Information Minister, Abdillahi
Mohamed Duale, who was still campaigning with vice-President Ahmed Yassin
in the eastern regions for the third week.
In an apparent bid to chip away at Kulmiye's identification with the SNM,
both Duale and Adan resorted to personal attacks against Ahmed Silanyo,
the longest-serving chairman of the former guerilla organization.
The incitement speeches against the opposition were first started by
Vice-President Ahmed Yassin while he was campaigning in Berbera early this
Speaking to a crowd of supporters in the center of the town, he said that
the government was about to fulfill its old pledge to supply Berbera with
2 power generators. “Those of you who feel jealous about the 2 generators
should better be dead,” added the vice-President in an apparent reference
to the opposition.
The onslaught on the opposition was shown unedited on the government’s
newly acquired television station. The 2 opposition parties were unable to
respond through the new local TV channel as they were denied access. The
ministry of information is supposed to run the station. But in reality it
is directed by the office of the president. The TV’s manager, Ali Fuad,
has recently clashed with Radio Hargeysa staff over programme selection.
Ali Fuad who was transferred to the information ministry on secondment
from the ministry of planning, insists that the TV is a parasatal
organization that doesn’t come administratively under the ministry of
information. It is not unusual to notice Fuad taking orders from his
former boss, Ahmed H. Dahir, with regard to the type of programmes that
need not be shown for the day.
The Election Monitoring Board said it has noticed, with regret, the
irresponsible behavior of some UDUB officials last Tuesday. The monitoring
board called upon all political parties to refrain from public incitement.
It also urged the government to provide equal and balanced access to the
|We Are United Against Terrorism
Somaliland Times, Issue 192, Sep.24, 2005
Somaliland has foiled yet another major terrorist
attack. Obviously the operation was intended to create a situation of
utmost havoc and despair in the lead up to two events both scheduled to
take place in the last week of this month: the Sept 25 sentencing by
Hargeysa regional court of 10 people suspected of killing aid workers
between 2002 and 2004 as well as the Sept 29 parliamentary elections.
The terrorists’ dual target was, of course, to disrupt the country’s first
legislative elections in over 35 years and blackmail the Somaliland
government into freeing their comrades who could face the death penalty.
Considering the lethal nature of the large amount of weapons seized from
them following Thursday’s raid by the Somaliland security forces on their
hide-outs in Hargeysa, there is no doubt that the terrorists sought to
stage their biggest attack in Somaliland so far. That they failed this
time around however doesn’t mean they will not try again in the
future, as long as rich Wahabists from the Arabian Peninsula continue to
pour money into the pockets of thugs like Hassan Aweys and Adan F. Eiro
and Somaliland remains an unrecognized country.
But the truth is that Somaliland’s march toward a fully-fledged democratic
system of governance of its own cannot be slackened, let alone stopped, by
a bunch of terrorists calling themselves Mujahideen.
In fact the only Mujahideen that this country has known are the SNM
veterans who led the armed resistance against the Faqash government (Siyad
Barre’s regime). Today’s terrorists are yesterday’s Faqash. That is why
they hate free and independent Somaliland. That is also why these Faqash
turned terrorists will never have sympathy among Somalilanders and are
doomed to fail.
Terrorist Abdirahman Indho-Ade Finally In Police Custody
Somaliland Times, Issue 192, Sep.24, 2005
Elusive Terrorist Abdirahman Indho-Ade Finally In Police Custody
At least 4 More Suspects Arrested After Thursday’s Gunbattle
With Somaliland Security Forces
Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 24, 2005 (SL Times) – Abdirahman Indho-Ade,
one of the most wanted terrorists in the Horn of Africa was arrested
yesterday by the Somaliland security forces. Indho-Ade was wounded in his
right hand following a night raid by armed security police on a suspected
terrorist hide-out in the most easterly part of Hargeysa city.
According to Somaliland police authorities, 4 more terrorist suspects were
also arrested in this incident. Three police officers were wounded during
the firefighting while an assortment of lethal weapons such as plastic
anti-tank and anti-personnel landmines and remote-controlled exploding
devices were seized. Included in the cache were also communication
equipment, telephone mobiles, walkie talkis and video cassettes. However
four terrorist suspects fled the scene of the raid which began around
Sources close to police investigators have confirmed to the Somaliland
Times that the 5 suspects belonged to a Mogadisho-based terrorist group
headed by Hassan Dahir Aweys, Aden Hashi Farah known as Eiro and Ahmed
Abdi Godane. It is the same group that has been accused of planning and
carrying out the 2003 assassination of Italian aid worker Annalena Tonelli
and British teachers Dick and Enid Eyeington in Somaliland.
5 members of this group were arrested in March 19, 2003 for the killing of
a Kenyan woman who worked as a consultant for the German aid agency, GTZ.
The leader of this team called Jama Kuutiye had confessed to investigators
that he went to Sheikh High School at Sheikh on reconnaissance missions
several times before the killing of the Eyeingtons, but wasn’t part of the
actual assassination squad. The information obtained led investigators to
the arrest of 3 more main suspects in the case of the Eyeingtons murder.
Three other suspects who were arrested in October 2003 following a day
time robbery of money at Wajaale village were indicted for taking part in
various terrorist related activities. One of these 3 was particularly
accused of being an accomplice in the murder of Annalena Tonelli in
October 5, 2003. Abdirahman Indho-Ade was the main suspect wanted for
Tonelli’s murder. But he escaped arrest and remained at large until his
capture on Friday.
According to investigators he was involved in the killings of the
Eyeingtons, Annalena Tonelli and the Kenyan woman. From time to time
Indho-Ade would come to Somaliland’s main cities and then slip back into
Mogadisho, eluding his pursuers. He fled the house where he was hiding
with other members of his team following the raid. He was caught on Friday
some 135km to the east of Hargeysa. When Somaliland police chief Mohamed
Ege said to him, “So you came back”, Indho-Ade replied, “Oh yes.” Neither
of them seemed to be interested in saying anything further.
|“Parliamentary Elections Are
Another Significant Step Forward For
Somaliland And The Region”
Bob Deware, UK Ambassador to Ethiopia
Somaliland Times, Issue 191. Sep.17, 2005
Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 17, 2005 (SL Times) – The British
Ambassador to Ethiopia, Bob Deware left Hargeysa on Thursday after a 24
hour visit to the country.
Mr. Deware praised Somaliland’s preparations for the parliamentary
elections slated for September 29. While urging leaders of all the
political parties to demonstrate responsible leadership, mutual respect
and tolerance, he reiterated the UK’s readiness to continue to help
Somaliland’s democratization process.
“It is in the interests of all to have a calm, peaceful election, to
respect the process and have confidence in the eventual outcome,” the
On this visit, Ambassador Deware was accompanied by Daniel Drake, second
political secretary and David Charters, military attaché.
Here is the full text of the Ambassador’s statement before his departure:
I have been very grateful for the warm friendship and hospitality.
I have had the opportunity to meet political parties and the NEC and learn
how the process is proceeding leading up to polling day on the 29th
September. This is an important time for Somaliland and its people- and
indeed the diaspora. These Parliamentary elections are another significant
step forward for Somaliland and for the region. All parties and
institutions should do their best to ensure that they are genuine
elections which are free and fair.
Your elections are breaking new ground in many ways including the fact
that you are likely to elect some women to Parliament, which is an
important step forward.
In my discussions, including with the authorities, I have emphasized the
need to ensure a level playing field for all parties. For example this
means balanced media access; not using official resources for party
purposes; codes of ethics and conduct should be respected; the strict
independence and effective action by the NEC. It is important for all
political leaders to be behave maturely and responsibly, avoiding
dangerous or over-personalized rhetoric or incitement of violence or
hatred. Now is the time for mutual respect, tolerance and responsible
leadership. The great Somali tradition is one of peaceful dialogue to
resolve any differences. If there are complaints these should be put to
the Electoral Monitoring Board, which is the body set up to look into such
issues. It is in the interests of all to have a calm, peaceful election,
to respect the process and have confidence in the eventual outcome.
But these elections, however important, are only part of your on-going
democratization process. You have already shown the region what is
possible through your local and Presidential elections. The task after
these elections will be to move forward yet further to make the new
Parliament as vibrant and dynamic as possible, so that it can play its
proper role. The UK stands ready to continue to help.
Of course there will be winners and losers. The overall winner must be the
people. Their voice must be heard. Whatever the outcome, all parties
should work together in the future in a spirit of cooperation, rather than
confrontation. Making your democracy work for the people, with mutual
respect between the House of Representatives, the Gurti and the
authorities, will be important.
I wish all Somalilanders a successful election.”
Somaliland Times, Issue 191. Sep.17, 2005
With all the problems facing the country, one would think that a political
campaign would be the right time for Somaliland’s political parties to
present their ideas about how to solve at least some of those problems.
Unfortunately, that has not happened yet. Instead, Somalilanders are
getting a lot of empty and unconvincing rhetoric, which really shows that
Somaliland’s ruling party, as well as the ones who want to replace it,
have not given serious thought to the thorny issues facing the country.
Since they have not thought about the issues, and therefore have no
solutions for the basic problems of daily life in Somaliland, politicians
have concentrated on tearing each other apart and often making absurd
statements. One such statement was the one made by UDUB’s high official,
Mr Bullale in which he accused UCID party of being composed of diaspora
people who do not know the traditions and real conditions of this country.
In addition to being absurd, Mr Bullale’s statement is contradictory, for
if Somalilanders in the diaspora do not know what is going on in the
country, why would they get involved in the first place by supporting UCID
or any other party?
Another example of an unconvincing statement was the one made by one of
Kulmiye’s leaders, Abdirahman Aw Ali in his recent visit to Berbera. In a
speech over there, Abdirahman Aw Ali said that Berbera and Awdal regions
are the two most neglected regions, and that the present government has
done nothing for them. While it is debatable if those are the two most
neglected regions in the country, it is true that the government has done
nothing or very little for them. But that is not where the problem with
Abdirahman Aw Ali’s rhetoric lies. Simply put, the problem is with his
confession in that speech that the current administration is not the only
one that has neglected the two regions, and that the previous
administration, in which he was a vice-president, had also done nothing
for those two regions. It was of course laudable that Mr Aw Ali admitted
the part he played in the existing terrible conditions in those two
regions, but it seems that he never asked himself if he were given a
chance to do something about this problem and did not do anything about
it, why should he be given another chance?
The last of these absurd statements that we would like to draw attention
to was made by Somaliland’s Minister of Interior, Mr Ismail Aden Osman,
while campaigning in Gabiley. The minister’s statement had two parts. In
the first part, the minister claimed that opposition leader, Mr Silanyo is
unhappy with the international recognition that Somaliland’s government is
going to secure for the country. This statement is relatively easy to
dispose of because the recognition that he is talking about has not yet
In the second part of his statement, he claimed that if the opposition
wins a majority in the parliament, it would bring no benefits for the
citizenry because the presidency and the ministries would still be in
UDUB’s hands, and the only change would be that his government would give
salaries to the new opposition in parliament. There are so many things
wrong with the minister’s statement it would require more than a brief
editorial. Suffice it to say that if the opposition wins a majority in the
parliamentary elections, it would mean among other things a vote of no
confidence in his government with all the attendant consequences that
could flow from that. If the minister won’t admit that or can’t see it, he
is either not leveling with the electorate or he is completely out of
touch. That is why his statement is not only absurd but also dangerous.
|Awil’s Early August Rendezvous
With Geedi In Djibouti
Djibouti, September 17, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland’s
Finance Minister Hussein Ali Dualle (a.k.a Awil), has met again with Ali
Mohamed Geedi, the Premier of the Abdillahi Yusuf-led faction in the
Transitional Federal Government of Somalia.
The secret meeting between the two took place this time in Djibouti during
Awil’s trip to the neighboring country in early August 2005, reliable
sources have disclosed to the Somaliland Times.
It was also reported by this newspaper (August 6 edition) that Awil met
secretly with Mr. Geedi in Addis Ababa’s Sheraton Hotel on July 20, 2005.
Awil had denied the report, describing it as baseless.
On August 2, 2005, Mr. Awil left Hargeysa for Djibouti ostensibly to take
part in a meeting between a US Congress delegation visiting Djibouti at
the time, and Somaliland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Edna Adan Ismail. Ms
Edna Ismail had to fly from Cairo, Egypt, to meet with the group of
American legislators. She arrived in Djibouti on August 4 and on the next
day flew to Hargeysa. However, Awil overstayed in Djibouti for 3 days
during which he was believed to have met Geedi.
There is growing suspicion in Hargeysa that Awil might have conducted many
more clandestine meetings with TFG officials than the two mentioned above.
Mr. Awil was often criticized in the past for spending more time on
suspicious trips to east African capitals, particularly Addis Ababa,
Nairobi and Djibouti than on his work at the ministry of finance.
It has been the policy of successive Somaliland governments, including the
incumbent Administration, not to meet with officials of any Somalia
government that claims jurisdiction over Somaliland, such as the current
one headed by Abdillahi Yusuf and Geedi.
It is not yet clear whether the present Somaliland government headed by
President Dahir Rayale Kahin has decided to reconsider the policy of no
talks with Somalia’s governments that claim sovereignty over Somaliland.
|Examination Results For Grade
8 and 12 Announced
Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 10, 2005 (SL Times) –
Somaliland’s School Examination Board announced Friday the results of the
examinations held for grade 8 and grade 12.
A total of 3,723 students took part in the grade 8 exam while 1,547 sat
for the secondary leaving certificate examination.
At the G8 level 3,083 students (83%) were reported passed, 479 failed
(13%) and 161 (4%) didn’t appear for the examination.
The results of the secondary leaving examination were reported as 1,050
passed, 373 failed and 104 absent.
The names of the ten top students of the G8 were 1) Khaalid Haaruun
Cabdillaahi Kaahin, Qudhac Dheer School, Hargeysa 659 marks; 2)
Cabdiraxmaan Xuseen Ibraahim Wacays, Qudhac Dheer School, Hargeysa, 655
marks; 3) Isaaq Axmed Cabdi Ismaaciil, Axmed Dhagax School, 655 marks; 4)
Cabdiraxmaan Cismaan Faahiye Ducaale, Aloog School, Awdal, 654 marks; 5)
Sakariye Axmed Caynaanshe Odowaa, Arabsiyo School, Hargeysa, 650 marks; 6)
Cabdiraxmaan Yuusuf Cismaan Magan, Qudhac Dheer School, Hargeysa, 641
marks; 7) Cabdinaasir Axmed Jaamac Xasan, Gurya-samo School, Hargeysa, 638
marks; 8) Cabdicasiis Maxamed Cilmi Xasan, Sheekh Madar School, Hargeysa,
635 marks; 9) Axmed Abiib Jibriil Kaahin, Axmed Dhagax School, Hargeysa,
632 marks; 10) Khadar Xaamud Jaamac Kibaar, Aadan Isaaq School, Awdal, 623
Top secondary school form IV students were as follows:
1) Mahmoud Abdi Gas Gutaale, 26th June School, marks 723;
2) Mustafe Moh’oud Hassan Iman, 26th June School, marks 716
3) Ayanle Moh’d Omar Osman, Sh. A. Jowhar School, marks 715
4) Moh’d Yussuf Warsame Farah, Ilays School, marks 711
5) Mustafe Awil Jama Moh’d, Ilays School, marks 701
6) Ahmed Abdi Jama Ahmed, Timo-Ade School, marks 693
7) A/Rasak Ab/hi Ibrahim Rage, Bin Ka’ab School, marks 691
8) A/kadir Moh’d Ahmed Muhumed, 26th June School, marks 689
9) Jimale Ali Nur Farah, Farah Omar School, marks 687
10) Sa’ad Ab/hi Yussuf Warsame, Timo-Ade School, marks 687
|Prospects For The 7 Women
Candidates Said To Be Dim
Somaliland Times, Issue 190, Sep.10, 2005
Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 10, 2005 (SL Times) – Prospects for the
election of the only 7 women candidates running for Somaliland’s House of
Representatives are dim, a panel of human rights, civil society, and
political activists have concluded.
During a debate organized by East Africa Human Rights Watch at Haraf
restaurant in Hargeysa on Thursday, the penalists said that the 7 women
candidates contesting the parliamentary elections on 3 different party
tickets are faced with tremendous challenges in campaigning for votes. The
report blamed the clan system for discriminating against women’s
participation in the political process.
Somaliland elections are contested along clan lines which are basically
patriarchal in nature. Candidates running for election depend on tribal
allegiance for wooing support. All the 3 political parties are extensively
utilizing the traditional clan system in deciding who should be nominated
as candidate for the legislative election. No clan selected a woman
candidate and women were expected to vote not for their own clans, but for
the clans of their husbands. The 7 women candidates were nominated by
leaders of the political parties.
At last Thursday’s Haraf meeting, politicians, human rights activists,
traditional leaders, women representatives and officials from the ministry
of justice, have all agreed that getting the 7 women candidates elected
should be promoted as a patriotic cause that deserves support.
“Unless we do something before it is too late, we will end up with a 100%
male House of Representatives,” said Hassan Mohamed Jambir one of
Hargeysa’s traditional leaders.
The penalists pointed out that the women running for office need immediate
financial support in order to improve the impact of their campaign
strategies quantatively and qualitatively. They also recommended that 2
specific days in the election campaign schedule be exclusively assigned to
the 7 women candidates for the purpose of propping up voter support and
highlighting the grave socio-political consequences of the electorate’s
failure to vote women into parliament.
Women participants also called upon women voters to cross clan lines and
rally to their sister candidates.
|Candidates Lack Campaign Agenda
Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 10, 2005 (SL Times) – The
Parliamentary elections campaign has entered the second week but most
candidates have yet to come forward to explain their agenda to the
So far, all party candidates have focused on wooing voters belonging to
their sub-tribal constituencies. But appealing to tribal allegiance is no
longer a safe bet for securing voter support as almost ever parliamentary
seat is being contested by at least 2 or 3 different party candidates who
share a common lineage. Setting a competitive agenda for one’s campaign
and then trying to sell it to the tribal community could have made a
difference in terms of which direction the majority of votes should go.
But the campaigns have until now been dominated by the rhetoric of
political parties’ leaders and senior government officials.
Last week UCID party chief Faysal Ali Warabe and KULMIYE Chairman, Ahmed Sillanyo, were both criss-crossing the country to shore up support for
their party candidates. In the last 10 days, Somaliland’s Vice-President
and UDUB’s deputy chairman, Ahmed Yusuf Yassin, was campaigning on behalf
of his party candidates in Berbera, Sanag region, Einabo, and Togdheer,
while Information minister, Abdillahi Dualle, has been urging voters in
eastern parts of the country not to vote for KULMIYE.
While the top political brass was required from time to time to lend
support to the politicking, many candidates, particularly those from UDUB,
have remained reluctant to start a campaign trail to urge people to vote
for them. Some of the candidates of the incumbent party were still unknown
by the public as they were completely over-shadowed as a result of
aggressive campaigning on their behalf by ministers.
It is noteworthy though that there have been no major violations of the
election campaign regulations.
At the start of the campaign on August 30, the state-owned media has tried
to be impartial in its covering of the exercise. In the last few days,
however, the opposition’s criticism of the government has been subjected
to censorship. Both the minister of information and interior were
frequently spotted using their government-owned vehicles in campaigning
Two pick ups donated to the government by the international community were
given private plate numbers and put under the disposal of UDUB party.
On Thursday KULMIYE’s candidate, Mohamed Mahmud Omer Hashi, returned from
abroad to a heroic welcome at Hargeysa airport by thousands of his
supporters who flocked to the streets chanting campaign slogans. As this
ran against the NEC-approved schedule regulating political parties’
election campaign events, the boss of KULMIYE Hargeysa branch apologized
yesterday about the action which he described as unintentional.
Meanwhile, the Center for Innovative Ideas headed by Dr. Hussein Bulhan,
is expected to hold political debates between candidates from the 3
political parties. The programme will start tonight at 7:30pm with 2
candidates from each party. It will be held twice weekly.
Among the topics for discussion tonight will be:
- What distinctions exist between the 3 political parties and why they
deserve to be voted for.
- The candidates’ qualifications, vision, capabilities and agenda.
- The candidates’ views on tribal vs. public interests, how to
differentiate between them and find a balanced and acceptable mix of the
Somaliland Times, Issue 190, Sep.10, 2005
Five factors will probably decide the outcome of the parliamentary
elections: economics, clan, personality, party affiliation and stand on
issues, not necessarily in that order. From talking to some UDUB bigwigs,
it seems that they think voting is going to be actually decided by two of
the five factors we mentioned, namely economics and clan. Furthermore,
they believe that they represent the largest coalition of clans, and have
the biggest economic resources, and therefore their candidates will do
well in the elections. With this kind of attitude, it should not come as a
surprise that they don’t give much attention to issues, and when they do,
it is at the level of generalities and promises that they will take care
of this or that problem soon. Besides, UDUB has never claimed to have much
interest in rigorous analysis or thinking outside the box. It is happy
with what it is: a conglomeration of clans and clan interests that operate
under a skeletal party structure. Kulmiye on the other hand, projects
itself as a modern party that only accepts clanism as a necessary
concession to the realities of Somaliland, and ultimately aims to
transcend the constraints of clannism. One indication of its modernist
orientation, is that it has made considerable efforts towards recruiting
educated Somalilanders, especially from the diaspora, which brings us to
From this type of party, i.e. Kulmiye, one would expect a more rigorous
analysis and creative ideas on how to handle some of the challenges facing
Somaliland. Unfortunately, in two key issues, that has not happened. The
first one is that of Majeertenya’s occupation of Las Anod. If one goes by
the many statements made by Kulmiye’s leaders, including its Chairman, Mr
Silanyo, their position rests on two main elements: (1) the issue should
be solved peacefully, (2) a blistering condemnation of the government for
taking a weak position toward Majertenya. As the saying goes, it does not
take a rocket scientist to figure that the two main elements of Kulmiye’s
position are contradictory. In other words, it is logically inconsistent
to tell the government to pursue a peaceful approach, and at the same
time, castigate it for being weak. If the two elements could be
reconciled, then they should have explained how, something they have not
The second issue in which Kulmiye fell short is that of
Djibouti-Somaliland relations. For quite some time, Kulmiye’s leaders,
including its Chairman, Mr Silanyo, have been critical of Somaliland’s
current government for being too friendly with Djibouti. More recently
though there have been very conciliatory statements towards Djibouti by
Kulmiye’s shadow Foreign Minister, Dr. Ahmed Hussein Isse. An example, of
such statements is the one Dr. Isse made in South Africa: “Djibouti Waxay
Maanta Ka Jeceshahay In Ay Ina Ictiraafto Ma Jirto Ee Dawlad Xumo Ayaa
Somaliland Ka Jirta”. Clearly, the shadow Foreign Minister’s recent
statements and Kulmiye’s old position vis-à-vis Djibouti do not match.
Something is amiss. Either Kulmiye’s position on Djibouti has changed, or
if it hasn’t, they need to explain how the two positions don’t cancel each
other. Moreover, as in the case of the problem of Las Anod, it is
illogical to criticize the government for being soft on Djibouti and then
turn around and say things that are even more conciliatory than the
The upshot of all this is that Somalilanders are used to muddled thinking,
or even no thinking, by their government. As the largest opposition party
that wants to replace the government, Kulmiye has to offer something
better. Intellectual coherence will be a good place to start.
|How To Decide Who To Vote For
Somaliland Times, Issue 189, Sep.3, 2005
How To Decide Who To Vote For
With the date of the parliamentary elections getting closer and closer,
Somalilanders will soon have an opportunity to reshape the political
landscape for the better or the worse. It will all depend on one decision:
who they vote for. This is not only an important decision, but a difficult
one. So we thought of a way that may help people decide. We will call it
voting by categorization and elimination using a set of criteria.
The first category is the easiest one. It is those who held public office
before. The voter knows, or should know, the record of these candidates,
then decide whether to vote for them or not based on that record. It does
not matter whether they were parliamentarians, ministers or held some
other public office. What is important is how well they did their job.
The second category is those who have not held public office. Although it
is difficult to predict future behavior of political candidates, there are
some relevant pointers. For example, the voter could ask himself how did
this candidate get on the party list. Was he approved by his community
elders? Was he a party activist? Or did he pay a bribe or use some other
crooked way to get on that party's list. If the answer is that the
candidate got on the list through some irregular means, then chances are
that he will commit bigger irregularities once in office, therefore, the
voter should avoid voting for such a candidate.
In addition, the voter could ask himself the following questions:
- Has the candidate displayed a sense of civic duty in the last few years?
For example, did he initiate or participate in projects that help the
- Has the candidate shown entrepreneurship and initiative?
- Is the candidate employed, self-employed or is he an idler who probably
looks at being in the parliament as an opportunity to make easy living?
- Is the candidate disciplined and goal-oriented in his personal life?
- Is the candidate addicted to qat or any other drugs?
|Three Ministers Fighting over a
Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 3, 2005 (SL Times) – Three
ministers in President Rayale’s cabinet have been quarreling over which
government official was going to move into a house located in Hargeysa and
owned by the state.
The 3 ministers are the Minister of Public Works, Saeed Sulub, the
Minister of Finance, Hussein A. Dualle (Awil) and the Minister of
Commerce, Nuh Sheikh.
The house was one of 3 buildings rehabilitated by the EU four years ago.
The EU then rented the house from the government and has been using it as
an office for $1000 per month. The EU’s rent contract expires on September
President Dahir Rayale Kahin initially granted the speaker of Somaliland’s
House of Representatives, Mr. Qaybe, permission to move into the house.
But later he issued two more separate orders allowing the minister of
Commerce and minister of Finance to live in the house.
This was the situation until few days ago when the Finance Minister Dualle
(Awil), stealthily and without notifying anyone moved some of his
belongings into the house in question. He also posted some armed guards at
the house. When the minister of commerce found out about it he was so
irate, he went to the house threatening the armed guards that if they
didn’t leave he would bring a larger number of armed men to kick them out.
The minister of Public Works was unable to sort out which of the 2
ministers should be allowed to move into the house. Early this year he had
himself moved into one of the 2 other houses rehabilitated by the EU after
the tenant, an international NGO, was told to evacuate it. The minister of
Family Affairs, Fadumo Sudi, has recently established her office in the
second building which was also evacuated by another international NGO.
The latest reports say that the two ministers took their dispute to
President Rayale who in his characteristic fashion still has not decided
who, if any, should move into the house. Each of the three ministers that
are fighting over the government’s house already owns a house in Hargeisa.
The Finance Minister, Mr. Awil rented his house to AGRO-TECH, a German aid
organization. The only one among those promised the house who does not own
a house in Hargeisa, is the Speaker of the House, Mr. Qaybe, who has
lived, since 1997, in a rented house located behind the presidency.
Why did the European agency that was renting the house move out, if the
contract does not expire until 15 Sep, 2005? The answer is: they had to
move because of pressure from some of the ministers who wanted the house.
The European Agency, which is the largest donor to Somaliland, moved into
a rental house belonging to a private individual.
According to a political analyst, this sordid story shows two things. One,
how President Rayale's indecision and cavalier manner encourages the greed
and irresponsibility of his ministers; two, the focus and single
mindedness that Somaliland's ministers exhibit when pursuing personal gain
and the utter lack of energy or commitment when it comes to doing their
|Letter to Dr.
Dr. Ghanim Alnajjar
Independent Human Rights Commissions
C/o Sandra Macharia, Information Officer
UN Resident & Humanitarian Coordinator’s Office for Somalia
Re: Human Rights issues in Somalia
Dear Dr. Ghanim Alnajjar
We are glad to hear you visiting Somalia again to assess human rights
issues. We would like to take this opportunity to highlight some issues
which we are concerned about. Human rights issues have not been better
since your last visit of the country.
We believe that human rights abuses were one of the main reasons for the
collapse of the former Somali Democratic Republic. Similarly, taking no
account on human rights issues and humanitarian law in the Somali peace
negotiations are some of the main reasons for the failures of setting a
working government in Somalia for the last fourteen years.
Our concerns is shared by the majority of Somalis as they feel that those
believed responsible for the worst human rights atrocities in Somalis have
been rewarded with high office government office. One of this is President
Abdullahi Yusuf who on 23 March 2005 lost damage case to the widow and
children of the late Sultan Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud (known as Sultan Hurre)
in the UK Court. The respected Sultan was killed on the 17th of August
2002 at Kala-bayrka, in Puntland state of Somalia, by the personal
bodyguards of Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf.
The real intention of the killing of Sultan Hurre was intended to threaten
and curb the grassroots development from taking root in Somalia. This
trend has not ceased as they are still in many part of Somali regions.
It is unfortunate that after two years of Somali reconciliation in Kenya,
Somalia is embracing a renewal of violence as there is a build up of
tension and political hostility within the new Somali institutions. Since
the formation of the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2004,
two main problems seem to have stalled its activities. These are: (i) The
deployment of foreign peacekeeping troops in Somalia, and (ii) The
temporary relocation of the capital until it is cleared of militia and
freelance gangs. These matters have divided the government, the parliament
and the presidency into two or more groups.
The real losers are the Somali people while the warlords, turned to
‘statesmen’, are employing media rhetoric tension to shore up their
position. SHHRF believes that a warlord is a warlord and he should be held
responsible for his deeds.
Sultan Hurre Human Rights Focus
|Campaigning for Somaliland’s
2005 Parliamentary Elections Launched
Hargeysa, Somaliland, Sept 3, 2005 (SL Times) – The
campaign for Somaliland’s 2005 Parliamentary elections has been officially
launched. The campaign was kicked off on Tuesday by the opposition’s
Justice and Welfare party known by its Somali acronym UCID.
The largest opposition party KULMIYE (solidarity) and the ruling party
UDUB (pillar) followed suit on Wednesday and Thursday respectively.
In the capital Hargeysa, the 3 parties have so far conducted their
campaigns in the same style. Each party announced the launching of its
campaign by vehicles mounted with loudspeakers that went through the
streets as early as 7 o’clock in the morning. A long procession of
vehicles carrying supporters of various party candidates for parliament,
then filled the streets en-route to the Liberty Garden where rallies were
held later. Pictures of candidates were sticked onto buses and cars that
had been specially hired for the occasion or provided freely by
supporters. Few political banners were visible and most candidates seemed
as though they were not at ease with public campaigning. The majority of
contenders still preferred campaigning through the Mafrish (Qat chewing
place), as rival candidates from the same tribal constituency competed
against each other to win as much support as possible from members of the
Since no marches were held, it was difficult to guess the strength of the
supporter turn-out for each candidate or party. However pressure is
already mounting for the contenders in this parliamentary campaign to
announce their policies with regard to some pressing issues such the
country’s high unemployment rates, poor public services (education,
health, judiciary, roads, land) and corruption within government.
The September 29 elections for the lower house of parliament (House of
Representatives) will constitute Somaliland’s third experimentation with
multi-party elections in less than 3 years, following the local council
elections and presidential elections held in 2002 and 2003 respectively.
246 candidates will compete for the 82-seat House in all the regions of
Somaliland including Sool and eastern Sanag. There are only 7 women
candidates or less than 3% of the total test of candidates.
The upcoming elections are expected to witness a higher level of voter
participation, compared to the previous two elections, given the greater
number of candidates and polling stations available for this polling.
However preparations for the conduction of these elections have already
posed gigantic challenges for both the National Electoral Commission and
the contesting political parties’ candidates.
The struggling NEC does not have enough money even to cover basic
logistical, administrative and technical needs, while neither the
political parties nor their candidates have funds for fielding their own
monitors at polling stations. Although a donor delegation that visited the
country few days ago was said to have pledged support, however the
international community has largely remained indifferent to Somaliland’s
democratic electoral process.
The next few days are expected to witness thousands of political
activities going into action, campaigning for the candidates of their
political parties by holding rallies and making speeches in towns and
villages. Despite facing tremendous odds, Somalilanders however seem to be
determined to seize this opportunity in order to elect their true
representatives in parliament.
University of Hargeisa
Hargeysa, September 3, 2005 (SL Times) – A New batch of
students graduated from University of Hargeysa. Degrees were conferred on
52 graduates. A grand ceremony was held on Tuesday within the UOH campus
and was attended by President Rayale, KULMIYE party leader Ahmed Sillanyo
and UCID chairman Faysal Ali Warabe, as well as by many other dignitaries.
|Arrest of a Norwegian Who
Swindled African Leaders
Hargeysa, Somaliland, September 3, 2005 (SL Times) – A
Norwegian national by the name of Magne Andreas Meier was arrested by
police authorities in Oslo and taken to court on August 26 for involvement
in financial fraud.
According to the Norwegian business journal Dagen Naeringsliv, Mr. Meier
was accused of creating bogus business entities including a fake firm by
the name Inverse International, purporting to be involved in oil
By claiming to be in the oil business, Meier was reportedly able to trick
a number of African leaders including Somaliland’s President Dahir Rayale
and Somalia’s factional Premier, Ali Gedi.
Meier visited Somaliland in December 2002. He was accompanied by another
accomplice, Rakesh Rajan, a Briton of Indian decent. The two signed a deal
on oil exploration in Somaliland with the then Minister of Water and
Mineral Resources, Mohamed Abdi Farah (Malow). Meier and Rajan then met
with President Rayale.
Dagens Naeringsliv ran a long story on Magne Andreas Meier’s fraudulent
oil businesses in its August 27 edition. It referred to a front page
article published by the Somaliland Times on December 28, 2002 under the
banner “Fake Company Strikes Deal with Minerals Ministry”. The Norwegian
publication said despite the Somaliland Times’ revelations, the Somaliland
Minister of Water and Minerals at the time M. A. Farah [Malow] defended
the deal by insisting that “Inverse International” was a genuine company.
(see below the full text of the Times’ Dec 28, 2002 article).
More recently Meier was quick to establish ties with Somalia’s latest
factional Premier Ali Mohamed Gedi.
Gedi became so impressed by Meier’s credentials that he appointed the
Norwegian as his special advisor and Somalia’s Consular General in Norway.
The 2 men were introduced by Abdirahman Libaan, one of Gedi’s supporters
living in Norway.
Mr. Gedi announced last Sunday that his government was ready to start
granting oil concessions soon. He also warned international oil companies
against dealing with anyone other than his faction in the so-called Transitional Federal
Government of Somalia.
Gedi cited an agreement under which an Australian oil company offered cash
money to the authorities in Somalia’s Puntland region for oil exploration.
Puntland reacted angrily to Gedi’s statement, saying that it wasn’t his
business to interfere with the deal.
It isn’t yet clear what prompted Gedi to talk about oil concessions at
this particular stage, or whether his relations with Meier had influenced
Below is the Dec 2002 article in which the Somaliland Times first
blew the whistle on Meier:
“Fake Company Strikes Deal With Minerals Ministry
Inverse International Doesn’t Exist As A Real Company
The Somaliland Times, Issue 49 December 28, 2002
London (SL Times): A company by the name of Inverse International which
had concluded an oil exploration deal with Somaliland Ministry of Minerals
and Water earlier this month, has turned out to be fake.
"Inverse International" address has been traced to an apartment in Essex,
England, dwelled by an Indian family. The company listed its executive
officers as Magne Andreas Meier and Rakesh Rajan. It was registered in
earlier this month as being located at 9 Clarendon Gardens, Ilford, Essex,
Two persons purporting to represent Inverse International came to Hargeisa
two weeks ago. They were welcomed by Somaliland’s Minister of Mineral
Resources, M. A. Farah. The Minister then announced that an oil deal has
been concluded. Later, he was lavish in his praise of the "company" as one
with the necessary financial and technical capabilities to do the job -
oil exploration and drilling - "The people who used to come here were
mostly brokers and not real companies. This is a real company with
extensive experience in Sudan, Saudi Arabia and Europe."
It is not the first time that the Minister has been cheated by people
pretending to represent an oil company. Out of 4 agreements he had signed
since assuming office, none has been implemented.
However, following revelations that Rakesh Rajan has connections with
Italian Mafia group engaged in toxic waste disposal, the faltering of Mr.
Farah’s last deal could be a blessing from the sky.
Rakesh Rajan and a Somali holding an Italian passport by the name of Omer
Osman are also listed among the directors of Bushido Security Services
Ltd. The Somali lives in Italy but his address in Britain is 40 Montague
Road Leytonstone, London E11 3EN. Bushido is registered as a toxic waste
There were reports in the recent past that Somalis recruited by the
Italian Mafia have been involved in international operations for dumping
nuclear waste along the coast of Somalia. Mr. Osman had reportedly
introduced "Inverse" to Somaliland’s Minister of Minerals. It is not clear
yet whether Osman is the same man charged with taking part in nuclear
waste dumping operations.”
|Fellow Journalists, Let’s Play
It By The Book This Time
Somaliland Times, Issue 188, Aug.27, 2005
By Yassin Ismail, Kent, UK
As a Somalilander living in Diaspora Internet is naturally the most
convenient way of keeping closely abreast of the events taking place back
home. I was reading Haatuf online the other day as I saw this compelling
editorial piece under the heading of First Lady's Illegal Activities and
having read it on a reported face value, the nature of the alleged illegal
wrong-doings I felt gobsmacked and deeply disgusted that the wife of the
very man that we allotted for our leadership is now being implicated of
having a 'thief' wife. This is so sad and if proven true it illustrates
the disturbing realities of moral decadence that we 'as a nation' are
going through. The revelations also cast dim shadow of deception,
dishonesty and pure pilfering of public resources.
On the other hand I felt proud of the valor and bravery of the local press
in keeping a vigilant eye of the public interest and bringing such a story
into light. Well done guys but let's prove it.
I also call upon the nation as a whole, urging them to play an impartial
role in overseeing the progression of such a unique pursuit to bring our
rulers accountable to the laws. Let’s see if they are worthy of our trust.
Personally I will follow up this matter with special interest, being a
former journalist working for the local press and should the Government
bring into play their high handed ways of dealing with free press, I will
offer my services for free to apprehend any further abuse of local
journalists and press houses from the Government by inviting other
International Freedom of press groups to keep up as the situations unfolds
its dramatic dimensions.
To my fellow journalists I say let's play it by the book this time.
Accountability, Not Denials
Somaliland Times, Issue 188, Aug.27, 2005
In the last few weeks, this journal and other
Somaliland privately-owned media revealed a series of illegal activities
by ministers of the Somaliland government, children of ministers,
President Rayale, and the first lady. What was the government’s reaction?
The minister of finance denied that he met with the so-called prime
minister of Somalia. The minister of Fisheries denied that the first lady
was illegally paid by Egyptians for fishing in Somaliland’s waters. The
minister of information denied that the president’s brother-in-law
overcharged the country $380, 000. Based on these and numerous previous
denials one could conclude that Somaliland government’s policy towards any
wrongdoing, regardless of how heinous, by high officials in the
government, their spouses or children, is first to deny that it ever took
place and hope that the public would forget about it.
If public interest in a story doesn’t die quickly or keeps growing, then
the government takes the next step, which is to attack the newspaper or
the person who made the information public. The government took this
second step when it realized that the public’s interest in its violations
of the law and fraudulent activities by government ministers, the
president and the first lady are not going away, so they have decided to
attack the Somaliland Times and Haatuf for revealing these unlawful
activities. The point man in this campaign against the Haatuf and
Somaliland Times is Somaliland’s Minister of Information, Mr. Abdillahi
Dualeh who did not stop at the usual automatic denial of wrongdoing by the
president or his wife and went on to accuse the journal of having been
paid, by a third party, to smear the presidential couple’s reputation.
When that did not seem to work, the government took the third step, which
was to bring legal proceedings against Haatuf and its sister journal the
It is clear to us that the President of Somaliland and most members of his
government think that they are above the law, and that the law is just an
instrument that they could use against whoever does not do their bidding
or dares to challenge them. Furthermore, they think they could cherry pick
whatever laws they want, even if it is the much hated Siyad Barre’s
dictatorial laws, and disregard the law of the land regarding the press
that was passed by parliament and signed by the president. But just as
they want to re-impose Siyad Barre’s laws, we reiterate that the only laws
that we acknowledge regarding the press are those that were passed by the
The series of illicit activities by President Rayale and his ministers
have shown not only how deep is the corruption and lawlessness in his
administration, but also how alien the notion of accountability is to his
government. The worst offender in this regard is the president himself,
who until now, has made no effort to honestly address the serious charges
against him, his family and ministers. The president seems to think that
the three-step tactics that had worked for him in the past would work for
him this time, but he is mistaken. The illegal activities by him and
people around him are too many, the looting of the public purse is too
massive, and the number of people who are disgusted with what the
president and those around him have done are too many and growing, the old
tactics just won’t work. Denials won’t work. Blaming the press won’t work.
Time for accountability.
Government to Sue Haatuf Newspaper
in Connection With Article on Corruption Allegation
Hargeysa, Somaliland, August 27, 2005 (SL Times) – The
Somaliland government has decided to take the Somali daily newspaper
“Haatuf” to court for “publishing false information” in connection with
the government’s procurement of equipment for a public television station
recently established by the government.
Haatuf reported in its August 19, 2005 edition that the government paid
“$380, 000 over the actual price” for the TV procurement project.
According to Haatuf’s story, the contract for the provision and
installation of the new TV station was awarded without bid to Mr. Mahmud
Abdi Nasser who is married to the sister of Huda Barkhad, Somaliland’s
first lady, allegedly for an amount of $450,000. However the government
has, through its spokesman Abdillahi Mohamed Duale, Somaliland’s
Information Minister, described the newspaper’s report as “false and a
malicious attempt aimed at discrediting the government’s successful
introduction of public television services as well as harming the
reputation of the President’s family members through mudslinging."
Minister Duale disclosed last Saturday that " the government has taken
legal action against Haatuf to challenge the validity of its report in a
court of law.” Mr. Duale said he “has already requested the Attorney
General to take the necessary legal steps towards bringing the newspaper
in front of the law.”
Referring to previous press allegations that Mrs Huda Barkhad had bought a
house in Cairo during her recent visit there, the Haatuf report also
linked the first lady’s Egyptian trip to a shadowy business deal allowing
a fleet of Egyptian fishing ships to operate off Somaliland’s Red Sea
coast. According to Haatuf’s article, over 20 vessels operated non-stop
day and night off the coast of Zaila to Lughaya without the slightest
compliance with international rules and regulations for the protection of
the environment and marine ecological system.
The article also quoted Somaliland and Djiboutian fishermen complaining
that the Egyptians were using internationally forbidden fishing gear and
methods. As a result coral reef formations in the sea water have already
sustained considerable damage.
When the Haatuf story resurfaced in the Somaliland Times (August 20, 2005
edition), it drew a reaction from the minister of Fisheries, Mahmud Oday.
At a press conference held on Monday, August 22, 2005, Mr. Oday described
the Somaliland Times report on the Egyptian vessels’ fishing activities
off the Somaliland coast as baseless. He also denied that the country’s
first lady, Huda Barkhad, had anything to do with any fishing agreement.
Despite their lengthy statements of denial, however neither Mr. Duale nor
Mr. Oday presented any concrete information to discredit the allegations
carried in both Haatuf and Somaliland Times. For instance, the minister of
information failed to come up with figures pointing out how much the new
TV station cost the government or who purchased it for the state and from
The Somaliland Times can now confirm that Information Minister Duale was
in contact with potential bidders for the supply of the TV equipment when
he became aware that the procurement contract had already been granted.
The procurement was funded from allocations in the budget of the
information ministry without the knowledge of minister Duale. The
budgetary allocation was originally earmarked for the purchase of a more
powerful transmitter than the existing one at the government-run Radio
The idea to buy a TV station instead of expanding the transmission
capacity of Radio Hargeysa came from Huda Barkhad. The President then
asked his Finance Minister, Hussein Ali Duale, to find the money, which he
did. Upon learning about what had happened, the Information Minister,
Abdillahi Dualle, was so upset, he didn’t report to office for nearly 2
The Minister of Fisheries’ response to the Somaliland Times’ report was
even less convincing. He avoided talking about the nature of relations
between his ministry and the Egyptian fishing companies fishing in
Somaliland waters. Nor did he mention the background and credentials of
Mr. Oday also failed to make a specific denial on press reports that the
first lady bought a house in Cairo, allegedly from resources obtained as a
result of the fishing concession awarded to the Egyptians.
Meanwhile, a Borama-based group calling itself “Almis Fishing Company”
said on Thursday that they were going to sue the Somaliland Times for
publishing false information about their fishing business. The group
claimed that they were actually the ones fishing off the Somaliland coast
in an area stretching from Lughaya to Zaila. However, the Somaliland Times
has learned that the group serves as a local agent for the Egyptian
trawlers. Members of the group have also links to Huda Barkhad.
Haatuf publisher “Haatuf Media Network” has issued a statement saying that
the legal basis for any legal action brought against them should be the
Somaliland press law which was passed by the Parliament and signed by the
president. The statement warned that the HMN will not accept any attempt
by the government to resort to laws dating back to the colonial era or the
post-colonial rule of Siyad Barre. "The government should understand that
this [the government's case against Haatuf] is a civil case and not a
criminal one,” the statement added.
The HMN also said it was regrettable that the government decided to go to
court even after Haatuf had published their denials. "The government
should stick to the provisions of the press law,” HMN stressed.
|Human Rights Expert Secures
Funds For New Prison
Hargeysa, Somaliland, August 27, 2005 (SL Times) – The
United Nations Independent Expert on human rights for Somaliland and
Somalia has disclosed that there are funds now available for the
construction of a new prison in Hargeysa.
Ghanim Al Najjar who has been in the country since Wednesday, said that
the Somaliland government has already promised to make the necessary plot
of land available for the construction of Hargeysa’s new central prison.
The new prison facility is to replace the existing one which has been
over-congested and without basic utilities and services over the years. Al
Najjar described the state of the prison as on the border of a real
Ghanim Al Najjar who was appointed by Kofi Anan in 2001, has taken upon
himself to secure funds for the establishment of a new Hargeysa prison.
“Green light will be given for the project once a site has been assigned”
The international expert on human rights for Somaliland and Somalia
arrived in Hargeysa on Wednesday on a 4-day visit. His mission is to look
into a variety of issues ranging from human rights, including the rights
of women and children, to the administration of justice as well as the
situation of minorities. He will be expected to meet government officials,
human rights activists and political as well as civic leaders.
On Thursday Dr. Ghanim Al Najjar met with leaders of the Somaliland
Society for Independent Journalists & Writers (SSJW) and the Somaliland
Journalists Association (SOLJA) to discuss issues related to freedom of
The UN expert is also expected to follow up an earlier offer to mediate
exchange of prisoners of war between Somaliland and Puntland.
|Government Denied Warrant To
Search Haatuf Offices
Hargeysa, Somaliland, August 27, 2005 (SL Times) – The
Hargeysa Regional Court Thursday declined a government request for
issuance of a warrant to search the offices of Haatuf Media Network in
The HMN publishes 3 newspapers: the Somali language daily “Haatuf”; the
Arabic weekly Al-Haatef and this newspaper.
The Somaliland government announced earlier this week that it was going to
sue Haatuf for false information. The announcement came after the
newspaper published allegations of corruption and nepotism in connection
with the procurement of television equipment.
There was no information as to why the government wanted to search HMN
offices. It was also unclear whether the government would appeal the
regional court’s decision denying the search warrant.
Meanwhile, the government-owned media continued its attacks on Haatuf and
the Somaliland Times through most of the week. But the government campaign
has so far been counterproductive, instead of triggering sympathy for the
government, it resulted in tremendous public support for the two sister
Somaliland Times, Issue 187 (Aug.20, 2005)
9-14 August 2005
1. The Director of the Institute for Practical Training and Research in
the Republic of Somaliland, Dr. Ahmed Esa, visited the Republic of South
Africa from 9 to 14 August 2005, as part of the larger bi-lateral momentum
to consolidate educational, political and economic ties between the two
Dr. Esa responded positively to a call made by the University of South
Africa to Somaliland educational institutions, to attend the 1st African
Council for Distance Education (ACDE) conference, which was hosted in the
City of Tshwane (Pretoria).
At the inaugural ACDE Conference, which was attended by leading university
Vice Chancellors from the continent, African education ministers and the
Deputy President of South Africa, Dr. Esa contributed to the discussions
on mobilizing African leadership, economic growth, capacity building,
health and the organic link with education.
During the ACDE Conference, Dr. Esa shared ideas on Somaliland’s growth
and growing challengers with a range of delegates, such as the Vice
Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Professor Nuhu Yaqub, and the
British High Commissioner, the Rt. Hon Paul Boateng.
2. Particular focus was given to discussions with the University of South
Africa’s Head of Religious Studies and Arabic, Professor Yousuf Dadoo, on
ways to initiate joint Islamic studies workshops, as part of the on-going
efforts by Somalilanders to deepen Somaliland’s democracy, traditional
structures and good governance.
3. The up-coming Somaliland parliamentary elections on 29th September
2005, attracted particular attention. In this respect, Dr. Ahmed Esa
responded to invitations to appear on South Africa’s SABC Africa TV, and
Channel Africa Radio programme Tam Tam Express.
This opportunity was also utilized to explore ways to initiate the
exchange of radio programmes between South African radio stations and
4. During his visit, Dr. Esa visited the headquarters of the South African
Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and held discussions with its
Director, Ms Elizabeth Sidiripoulis. Dr. Esa expressed his appreciation of
the events and good research work of SAIIA on Somaliland, such as the
South African Yearbook of International Affairs 2003/04, and the The
Security Intersection, which explores Somaliland’s political and economic
trajectory. Discussions also focused on ways to deepen Somaliland’s
parliamentary elections by possible joint capacity-building programmes
between the South African Institute of International Affairs and
Somaliland’s Institute for Practical Training and Research.
Dr. Esa was briefed on the programmes of the Academy of Self-Knowledge and
also addressed members of the South African Muslim Community at the
Rasooli Centre mosque in Centurion.
5. On his concluding day, Dr. Esa addressed members of the Somaliland
community at the Suleiman Nana Memorial Hall in Johannesburg and up-dated
the community on developments in Somaliland.
6. Finally, Dr. Esa made a courtesy call to Dr. Jandayi E. Frazer, the
Ambassador of the United States of America to South Africa and newly
appointed US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs.
Furthermore, a valuable meeting was held with the visiting Nigerian
Minister of Education, Her Excellency Mrs. Chinwe Obaji, on developing
educational links and exchanges between Nigeria and Somaliland.
7. On his departure, Dr. Ahmed Esa expressed his appreciation to the
Somaliland Liaison Office, in Tshwane (Pretoria), “for all the support
extended to him, that made this visit valuable and possible”.
Issued by: Somaliland Liaison Office, Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa
14 August 2005
Enquires: Telephone: + 27 82 880 8603
Further information on Somaliland, see :
|The First Lady’s Illegal
Somaliland Times, Issue 187, Aug.20, 2005
First a confession: in order to write this editorial, we had to overcome a
lot of our own self-imposed resistance. One source of the resistance was
that the person we are writing about does not hold public office. Another
source was that she is Somaliland’s first lady, Huda Barkhad, and we
believe we should not rush into putting her on the spot without enough
evidence. But we finally overcame our resistance when it became clear that
we are not dealing with a mistake here and an allegation there, but rather
with a persistent and deep-seated problem. We also realized that if we do
not write about the first lady’s felonious and harmful activities, we
maybe indirectly encouraging her to continue in her reprehensible path.
What is the first lady’s persistent problem? Answer: she has engaged in
unethical and illegal financial as well as political activities. First,
her political irregularities:
1- The first lady constantly meddles in very sensitive political issues.
In a previous editorial we had briefly touched on how she was responsible
for removing some parliamentary candidates from UDUB’s Hargeisa list, and
how she replaced them with others as a favor to some of her friends.
2- The first lady is known to have her own favorite clique of ministers
who execute her wishes, and who in turn rely on her to champion their
cause with the president.
Now the financial ones:
- The first lady has insisted on posting some of her close relatives to
the customs collections posts.
– During her recent visit to Egypt, she went to follow up a controversial
agreement signed with Egyptian fishing companies to fish in Somaliland’s
territorial waters. Needless to say, the first lady pocketed the fees that
the Egyptians paid for their illegal fishing activities. There are also
reports that she bought a house in Egypt while she was there.
We must say this about the first lady: she is no ordinary embezzler. To
give some idea of how well-versed in the art of looting she is, one has to
look back on how she decided to throw some crumbs from her loot to worthy
and charitable causes such as the Gabiley hospital. By giving away a tiny
fraction of what she claimed was her own private money, she figured she
could hit two birds with one stone: on the one-hand, it would be good
public relations, and on the other hand, it would trump the few hundred
dollars that were donated to the same hospital by the rival UCID party
shortly before she did. The first lady’s move was so clever, it made the
UCID party Chairman’s question of where she got the money, look
irrelevant, even foolish.
What do the first lady’s illegal activities say about President Rayale?
The short answer to this is that given the extent and frequency of these
activities, it is very unlikely that they are taking place without his
knowledge, which means he is part of the racket; and even if he does not
know about them, he is culpable for negligence. After all, how could
Somalilanders trust someone who does not know what is going in his own
household, to run their affairs?
The other important question is what Somalilanders are going to do about
these blatant and endless violations of the law by the president’s wife?
We suggest that Somaliland’s citizens and civic organizations should
petition the courts to look into the first lady’s illegal activities. The
coming parliament should also hold hearings on this matter as soon as it
is sworn in.
President Rayale and Somalilanders in general, often, and rightly so,
blame Egypt for not treating Somaliland right. But when Somaliland’s first
lady engages in shady activities in Egypt, clearly, the blame belongs more
to Somaliland than Egypt. Aside from its legal implications, blaming
someone assumes that they still have a sense of shame, something in short
supply at the presidential household. An Egyptian saying captures this
lack of sense of shame “Illi yikhtashu matu (those who had a sense of
shame died)”, the implication being, if you want to get ahead, do whatever
it takes, which is exactly the presidential couple’s motto.
|Somaliland Gov’t Paid $380,000
Above Actual Price for Procurement of TV Station
Hargeysa, August 20, 2005 (SL Times) – The Somaliland
government paid $450,000 for the procurement of its newly installed local
television station. However the procurement actually cost around $65,000.
The contract for the purchase, provision and installation of the TV
station was awarded without a bid to a a man called Mahmud Abdi Nasser who
happens to be the husband of Ilhan Barkhad Adan, the sister of
Somaliland’s first lady, Huda Barkhad.
The TV station has now been established at the Radio Hargeysa compound.
Transmission will only cover Hargeysa city and its surrounding areas.
Though broadcasting started earlier this month, most of the material shown
consists of pre-recorded video songs and old Somali plays. The contractor
simply didn’t bring along the studio facilities needed for programme
production and news broadcasting. Only a transmitter and an old antenna
have been provided.
According to reliable sources, the procurement contract for the TV station
was awarded as a result of pressure put by the first lady on the president
who in turn pressured the finance ministry into compliance with the wishes
of his spouse.
The first lady was also reported to have been involved in an agreement
allowing Egyptian Fishing companies to fish in Somaliland waters. As a
result, an Egyptian fleet of over 20 ships has been engaged in intensive
fishing in the Somaliland coast, particularly off Zaila, Lughaya and Eil-Sheikh.
Ms. Huda Barkhad recently returned from a visit to Cairo and according to
press reports she bought a house while in the Egyptian capital.
|Film On Somaliland To Be Shown
On BBC World Today
Hargeysa, August 20, 2005 (SL Times) – Simon Reeve’s
series “Places That Don’t Exist” starts this Saturday, August 20, 2005 on
The first programme of this BBC produced documentaries will be on
Somaliland. The first episode will be shown at 17:30 and 00:30 today and
12:30 in the morning on Sunday (all Hargeysa times).
The second episode is on 17:30 and 00:30 on Saturday 27th, and 12:30 on
Sunday, 28th, with the other 3 episodes on the following 3 weekends at the
|Ethiopian Airlines to Expand
Its Somaliland Operations
Hargeysa, Somaliland, August 20, 2005 (SL Times) – An
Ethiopian Airlines delegation left Hargeysa on Thursday after concluding a
short visit to Berbera’s airport and harbor facilities.
According to a Somaliland government statement issued on this occasion,
Ethiopian Airline is expected to expand its operations in Somaliland in
the near future. “The purpose of the visit by this high-level delegation
was among other things to assess the condition of Berbera’s airport which
is being considered for use by Ethiopia” the statement added.
Ethiopian Airlines currently operates regular daily flights between Addis
Ababa and Hargeysa. The route was introduced 4 years ago.
Essentially designed to meet the traveling needs of thousands of diaspora
Somalilanders who annually spend their holidays here, the route has since
turned into a highly lucrative business.
As the runways of Hargeysa airport were technically unfit to receive jet
planes, only small and medium size aircrafts were utilized for the Addis
Ababa – Hargeysa route. However Berbera airport could easily handle large
In August 2003, Ethiopia had reached an agreement with Somaliland over the
use of Berbera port. The agreement has been formalized recently and will
enable Ethiopia to import goods and fuel through the Somaliland port.
Meanwhile a youngman carrying 2 knives was stopped from boarding Ethiopian
Airlines Thursday afternoon flight. The Airlines security staff discovered
the 2 knives while being hidden under the shoe socks worn by the youngman,
who was identified as Ali Hussein Ali. Later it was revealed that he was
actually the son of Somaliland’s Finance Minister, Hussein Ali Duale. The
flight was delayed for about 45 minutes as passengers and their luggage
went through another security checking before the plane was finally given
green light for take off.
Somaliland Times, Issue 186, Aug.13, 2005
Three things are noteworthy about Somaliland foreign minister’s most
recent press conference. First, it came after visiting Egypt, a country
that, like the Middle East in general, has not received the right amount
of attention from Somaliland’s foreign ministry. It was therefore, an
important and welcome step to see Somaliland’s foreign minister
diplomatically engaging that country, and we hope more steps will follow,
not only toward Egypt, but other Middle Eastern countries as well.
The second issue that drew our attention was the foreign minister’s answer
to a question about reports in the press regarding a meeting between
Somaliland’s Finance Minister, Mr Hussein Ali Duale (Awil) and the Prime
Minister of the so-called government of Somalia, that took place in Addis
Ababa. Somaliland’s Foreign Minister, Edna Adan, said she was not in Addis
Ababa at the time, and does not know about such a meeting. A diplomatic
answer one might say. But in the context of existing reports about the
meeting, it only raised more questions than it answered.
But the most disappointing part of the foreign minister’s press conference
was her answer as to how she sees the constant interference of the finance
minister in foreign affairs. The foreign minister totally trivialized the
issue. She recounted how she often talks about finance, health, livestock,
forestry and many other subjects; the implication being that since she
regularly talks about these subjects even though she is not in charge of
those ministries, then Mr Awil could also “talk” about Somaliland’s
foreign policy. Needless to say, the foreign minister is mixing apples and
oranges here. The question is not whether the finance minister or any
other minister can “talk” about topics that do not fall within the
immediate purview of his ministry, but rather, whether it is proper or in
the country’s interests, for the finance minister to conduct foreign
In addition to trivializing the issue of who is in charge of Somaliland’s
foreign policy, the foreign minister also showed one of the major
weaknesses of her approach to foreign policy, in that she utterly
personalized the issue. She talked about her self-confidence, how she does
not see the finance minister as a threat, and how she and her fellow
ministers are members of a team. The inescapable conclusion from her
explanation is that, not only does she think it is all right for one
minister to share in, or do the work of another, but that she also sees
herself as a minister but not as the head of a ministry. For one thing, if
she saw herself as not just a minister or a member of an exclusive club
but the head of a ministry, she would have thought of officials in her
ministry as the logical candidates to share in the work-load, to take a
visible part in formulating and executing policies, and to fill in for her
when she is away, instead of justifying the finance minister’s intrusion
into her work.
As if to emphasize how she is not bothered by the finance minister’s
involvement in foreign policy, the foreign minister used the phrase “it
doesn’t matter”. That phrase summed up the weaknesses in Lady Edna’s
approach to foreign policy. Somaliland must move from this thin, anemic,
personal approach to a more substantive approach that emphasizes
institution building. Whether Somaliland follows its current personality
oriented foreign policy or adopts an institutions-oriented framework will
have serious consequences. That is why we disagree with the foreign
minister when she said, “it does not matter.” We say, “Lady, it does
|Somaliland Editors Adopt New
Code of Conduct For Elections
Somaliland Times, Issue 186, Aug.13, 2005
Hargeysa, Aug 08, 2005 (International Journalist's Network) – Print and
broadcast editors in Somaliland, recently drafted a new code of conduct to
guide their coverage of upcoming elections. They worked on the code as
part of a workshop organized by press freedom group Article 19.
The workshop took place in early July. The aim was to help ensure fair and
balanced monitoring of the upcoming elections in Somaliland, which has
declared independence from Somalia but is not recognized internationally.
The new code calls for news media to "avoid excessive and privileged
coverage of incumbent politicians from both the ruling and opposition
parties" during the electoral campaign. It also calls for the use of
"neutral words for impartial, dispassionate election reporting."
Since declaring its independence in 1991, Somaliland has been more
politically stable than the rest of Somalia. However, authorities still
prohibit private radio stations and sometimes harass independent
journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
The full text of the code is as follows:
Media Code of Conduct for the 2005 Somaliland Elections
The media plays an important role in monitoring the electoral process. By
covering the election events and the political campaign, the media insures
that the public is aware of what is happening.
Good media coverage of the electoral process can increase public knowledge
and information on the elections, the candidates and the issues. The
coverage of elections in the media, and its analysis of candidate
platforms and election issues, provides voters with the information they
need to make an informed choice on voting day. It can also provide factual
information needed by voters to participate, such as the day, hours and
locations of polling stations.
In order to fulfill this role several conditions must be met:
· All media must have access to the electoral process and its
· Reporters must have access to electoral managers, electoral sites,
candidates and voters.
· It is essential that the media have access to public information.
· The media must be able to investigate and report in a safe environment,
without fear of intimidation or retribution.
· The media should be free to cover and report on election events without
restrictions or censorship.
· The media needs to be able to circulate freely throughout the country so
that it can follow national campaigns or candidates and see how the
election administration is working in outlying areas.
· All media should be treated equally, whether it is the government media
or private. This applies to access to political parties, candidates, the
electorate, electoral sites and information.
· Public authorities and other concerned parties should refrain from
interfering with the activities of journalists and other media personnel
with a view to influencing the elections.
· In order to combat the Danger of speculation the election results must
be released in a timely manner
The foreign broadcast media, particularly the BBC Somali Service, have
significant geographic coverage, listenership and potential influence on
voters. For this reason, these services should be encouraged to report on
the Somaliland election campaign in a considered and in depth manner
giving due regard to their own codes for election coverage and the code
adopted by the Somaliland media below.
The NEC is encouraged to monitor the election coverage of foreign
broadcast media and establish a liaison mechanism for dealing with
In return and with due respect for editorial freedom, the Somaliland media
has adopted the following code of conduct for the election period.
· To cover the electoral campaign in a fair, balanced and impartial
· To ensure accurate, balanced and impartial coverage of the news and
current affairs and in the content of interviews and debates that may have
an influence on the attitude of voters.
· To avoid excessive and privileged coverage of an incumbent politicians
from the both the ruling and opposition parties..
· Not to disseminate any partisan electoral messages on the day preceding
voting, to allow voters to take a decision without pressures.
· As far as possible, to report the views of candidates and political
parties directly and in their own words, rather than as others describe
· To guarantee a rapid right of reply to a candidate or political party,
if so required, in order that this right can be exercised during the
· To ensure that news content is factually accurate, complete, relevant
and in context.
· To use neutral words for impartial, dispassionate election reporting and
take care with technical terms and statistics and ensure headlines reflect
the facts of the story.
· To avoid inflaming emotions over controversial issues through
impassioned handling of these issues.
· To label opinions and personal interpretations as such, and limit
opinions and editorials to the editorial and opinion pages/programmes.
· To label advertising clearly so it is not confused with the news and to
ensure that advertising coverage complies with the code of conduct for
political parties adopted between by the NEC.
· Journalists are obliged to introduce themselves as such and to be honest
and fair in the way news is gathered, reported and presented.
· To honour pledges of confidentiality to a news source, otherwise
identify sources of information.
· Not to plagiarise and to give due credit to secondary sources of
· Not to alter photographs or graphics to mislead the public.
· Not to accept any inducement from a politician or candidate
· Not to give favourable advertising rates to one political party and not
· Not to give money for sources of stories
The National Elections Commission should consult with the media select two
representatives from the media to serve on the Election Board of Monitors.
In return the media will respect the Board’s right to monitor and
adjudicate on the media’s compliance with this code of conduct.
Adopted by members of the Somaliland media –Hargeisa, 6 July 2005.
Postponed To Sept 29
Somaliland Times, Issue 186, Aug.13, 2005
Hargeysa, August 13, 2005 (SL Times) – President Rayale issued a decree on
Wednesday postponing the Somaliland parliamentary elections from September
15 to September 29, 2005.
The postponement was requested by Somaliland’s National Electoral
Commission. The NEC said it was unable for technical reasons to meet the
original Sept 15 deadline.
A dispute over the number of seats to be allocated to some parts of Sanag
and Sool regions and the selection of the official sign to appear opposite
the portrait photo of each candidate had also been cited as one of the
causes of the delay.
Political parties were also blamed for taking too long to replace the
candidates who failed to meet the NEC criteria.
|Egypt To Send Observers To
Somaliland Times, Issue 186, Aug.13, 2005
Hargeysa, August 13, 2005 (SL Times) – The Egyptian government will send
observers to Somaliland to monitor the parliamentary elections scheduled
to be held here on September 29, 2005, Somaliland Foreign minister Edna
Adan Ismail told local reporters last Saturday.
Ms. Edna, who returned from a recent trip to the Egyptian capital Cairo,
also disclosed that Egypt agreed to send a fact-finding team and a trade
delegation to Somaliland.
The minister said she had talks with Arab League Secretary General Amr
Musa and discussed with him various issues including education, Somaliland
livestock exports and Somaliland’s independence.
Edna was received by the Egyptian Foreign minister in charge of African
Affairs. She said it was the first time the two had talks at ministerial
level. The minister said the talks dealt among other things with the
security of the Red Sea.
She also said she had met with the Foreign minister of South Africa and
several diplomats in Addis Ababa.
|Winning The Hearts And Minds Of
Somaliland Times, Issue 186, August 13, 2005
In one of his first statements to the press following the July 7 blasts in
London, British Premier, Tony Blair, had referred to the importance of
winning the hearts and minds of British Muslims as part of an over-all
long-term strategy for defeating terrorism. To prove that they were
genuinely interested in mobilizing their Muslim citizens against
terrorism, Mr. Blair and his senior ministers hosted a series of meetings
with so-called leaders of Muslim communities in Britain. But these
meetings produced nothing as to prevent young Muslim terrorists from
striking back again on July 21. This doesn’t mean that the British
government’s policy, seeking a broader Muslim engagement and support in
the fight against domestic terrorism, has been theoretically wrong.
However for this policy to become fruitful, the UK government must ensure
that it actually deals with the right representatives of various British
Muslim communities. The present self-styled Muslim leaders have willingly
or unwillingly failed to do something about the spread of the philosophy
of the newly-coined extremist versions of Islam among a significant number
of Muslim youth in Britain.
Obviously, extremists disguised as moderates, have succeeded in
establishing themselves as respectable Muslim community leaders. In fact
some of the Muslim communities in the UK, such as the sizable Somaliland
one, have been deprived of even a nominal representation on Britain’s
Islamic Council. The pan-Islamists on the council consider Somaliland’s
withdrawal from its 1960 union with Somalia as weakening the “Islamic
cause”. It is not a coincidence that Al-Itihad, an extremist Somali Group
linked to Al-Qaeda, also cites the same reason for its opposition to
Somaliland’s de facto independence.
Mr. Blair’s government should create the necessary environment for British
Muslim communities including the marginalized Somaliland one, to elect
their own truly representative leaders. Only leaders who enjoy the support
of the moderate mainstream Muslims could be relied on to successfully
challenge the homicidal cult culture advanced by terrorists.
|Eyro Emerges As Islamic Courts’
Mogadishu, August 6, 2005 (SL Times) – Adan Hashi Farah,
better known as “Eyro” was nominated as the new boss of Islamic Courts’
armed militia in southern Mogadishu last Wednesday.
Eyro succeeds Hersi Abdi (Lugey) who was slain by gunmen earlier last
A ceremony held to mark Eyro’s appointment as the new chief of the Eyr
subclan’s Islamic Courts militia was held in the presence of Sheikh Hassan
Awais, who is widely held as Al-Qaida’s top leader in Somalia, and Sheikh
Until recently, Eyro headed a small terror group that targeted foreigners
and Somalis who worked with them. According to the International Crisis Group, Eyro’s group has been implicated in the assassination of a number of aid
workers in Somaliland during 2003 and 2004.
When Abdulkader Yahya, a prominent peace mediator, was assassinated at his
home in Mogadishu on July 18, 2005, Eyro was suspected of carrying out the
killing. Eyro’s predecessor, Lugey, was gunned down a day later. Jama
Kutiye the leader of the group currently on trial in Somaliland for the
murder of Kenyan GTZ consultant Ms Florence Cheriout on March 19, 2005 as
well as for participation in the plotting and execution of other
assassination attempts against foreign aid workers, had confessed to
interrogators that Eyro was their commander.
During last Wednesday’s ceremonies in Mogadishu, the names of Eyro’s
assistants in the Islamic Courts hierarchy were also read and acknowledged
by the attendants.
|Britain, Europe And The US
Should Not Be Safe Havens For ONLF Terrorists
Somaliland Times, Issue 185, Aug.6, 2005
Since the July 17 failed attack in London, when it was revealed that the
terrorists involved were originally from the Horn of Africa, there has
been increasing media attention on the Horn of Africa as an exporter of
terrorism to Europe. This view of terrorism as a one-way traffic is
simplistic. For many years, both Ethiopia and Somaliland were subjected to
terrorist attacks by the so-called Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF),
most of whose leaders reside in Britain and other western countries. These
leaders of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), many of whom were
former officers, soldiers and plain mercenaries in Somalia’s now defunct
army, have taken advantage of the West’s liberal asylum laws and openness
and used them as bases from which they directed and financed their deadly
The ONLF claims that it is a national liberation movement, but its tactics
and actions show that it is a terrorist organization whose main targets
are innocent civilians. Just like the terrorists who attacked London’s
subways and buses, the ONLF often attacks public transportation. According
to the latest count, it has, so far, set on fire 38 trucks that were owned
by civilians from Somaliland. ONLF head, Mohammed Omar Osman even boasted
on BBC Somali Radio Service that they did carry out those attacks and
warned that they will set more trucks ablaze unless their demands were
met. Their chief demand from Somaliland is that it allow its territory to
become a playground for ONLF terrorists, something Somaliland refuses to
Although the ONLF’s terrorist activities were previously directed at
Somaliland and Ethiopia, lately, it has expanded its targets to include
other Somali communities such as the Sheekhal and the Harti of Ethiopia.
In the past, Britain and western countries had looked at the ONLF as a
Horn of Africa problem. But bitter experience has shown that terrorists
from remote countries may at some point decide to target their host
countries. That is why Britain and western countries must now move against
the ONLF and dismantle it before it becomes deadlier and more intractable.
But this is only part of the solution. Another part of the solution is to
help in finding a political settlement that addresses the legitimate
grievances of Somalis in Ethiopia. The ONLF’s alienation of so many Somali
clans, its unwinable fight against Ethiopia, and the death and destruction
it brought on one of the poorest regions of the world, has finally
convinced some Ogadeni elders to take the initiative and open peace talks
with the Ethiopian government. It is in Britain and the west’s interests
to encourage those peace talks between the Ethiopian government and
Ogadeni elders, and at the same time, deny the ONLF a safe haven in
Britain and the west in general. The third part of the solution is that
Britain and the west must engage with Somaliland Republic at a level that
reflects its importance to the global fight against terrorism and the
stabilization of a dangerous part of the world. It just doesn’t make
practical or ethical sense to expect Somaliland to continue being a
positive force in the region while at the same time keeping it
unrecognized and diplomatically isolated.
|Awil’s Secret Meeting With
Somaliland Times, Issue 185, August 6, 2005
The Full Story
Addis Ababa, August 6, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland’s Finance Minister Mr.
Hussein Ali Duale, widely known as Awil, had reportedly held a secret
meeting in Addis Ababa last month with Mr. Ali Geedi, premier of the
Abdillahi Yusuf-led faction in the Transitional Federal Government of
News that the secret meeting took place was first reported by our sister
newspaper “Haatuf” in its July 26, 2005 edition. Mr. Awil denied that the
meeting took place. In a written response to Haatuf, (see the full text in
Haatuf’s July 27, 2005 edition), Mr. Awil described the news about his
purported meeting with Geedi as baseless. Accusing Haatuf of following a
pattern of habitual fabrication of lies about national leaders, Mr. Awil
also instructed his staff to cancel the finance ministry’s subscription to
the country’s leading independent daily with immediate effect. However,
the Somaliland Times can now confirm that Mr. Awil actually met with Geedi
in Addis Ababa’s Sheraton Hotel shortly after the arrival of the latter in
the Ethiopian capital on July 20, 2005.
Officially, there is no information yet on the nature of the topics that
the two men had actually discussed during their meeting. But one of
Somalia’s news websites quoted Mr. Geedi last week as saying that he was
highly satisfied with the outcome of his talks with Awil.
An investigation conducted by the Somaliland Times revealed that Awil
arrived in Addis Ababa a few days before Mr. Geedi got there. (Geedi’s visit
to Addis Ababa was reported in a news dispatch datelined July 21 by the
official Ethiopian News Agency). The Somaliland finance minister concealed
his arrival in Addis Ababa as well as his intention to meet Geedi from
officials of the Somaliland mission in the Ethiopian capital.
Word about Awil’s pre-arranged meeting with Geedi first surfaced when 2
TFG supporters living in Addis Ababa started looking for the Somaliland
finance minister’s whereabouts. For this purpose, the 2 men contacted a
number of the members of the Somaliland community in Addis Ababa. When
asked why they were so interested in finding Awil, the 2 TFG agents
disclosed that they were supposed to inform minister Awil that Mr. Geedi
was in town and ready to receive him at the Sheraton Hotel. How Awil was
finally located remains unclear. But according to highly reliable
sources, he eventually managed to meet with Geedi, in the latter’s
residence, at Addis Ababa Sheraton Hotel on Wednesday July 20, 2005.
Officials of the Somaliland mission in Addis Ababa contacted by the
Somaliland Times on July 24, stayed non-committal on the whole affair. But
after being pressed the next day by the Somaliland Times for a
response, at least one of those officials conceded that the meeting
between Awil and Geedi did happen. He however quickly pointed out that no
one from the mission had prior knowledge about the meeting between the duo
or had taken part in it. Credible independent sources confirmed to the
Somaliland Times that the head of the Somaliland Liaison Office, Mr. Yusuf
Jama Burralle, was actually unaware about the meeting. Since becoming
finance minister in June 6, 2003, Mr. Awil was often criticized for
spending more time on suspicious trips to East African capitals,
particularly Addis Ababa and Nairobi, than on his work at the ministry in
Omar Haji Mahmoud, a former chief of Somaliland mission in Addis Ababa
recalled by saying, “It wasn’t unusual for Awil to appear unannounced in
Addis, and then be seen conducting meetings with the strangest kinds of
peoples.” When recently the US consulate in Addis Ababa declined to issue
him a US visa, Awil insisted to friends that his application was still
Despite Awil’s poor performance, whether as finance
minister or as a special diplomatic emissary, he continued to
enjoy blind support from President Rayale. Instead of distancing himself from Awil’s latest blunder
in meeting Geedi, Mr. Rayale not only remained silent about the issue but
bizarrely enough commissioned his controversial finance minister to fly to
Djibouti last Tuesday to meet with a visiting US Congressional delegation.
A lot of people now believe that Awil wouldn’t have met with Geedi had he
not received a green light from Mr. Rayale. The President’s passive
response to the whole affair of the meeting between Awil and Geedi has
already led many people to question for the first time his true stand on
the issue of Somaliland’s independence. While the Somaliland government
returned Osman Atto from Hargeysa airport on July 11 on the pretext that
he was a member of the Mbagathi government, the Awil-Geedi meeting is seen
as though Mr. Rayale is up to something fishy.
It has been the policy of successive Somaliland governments, including the
present one, headed by President Dahir Rayale Kahin, not to meet with the
officials of any government of Somalia that claims jurisdiction over
Somaliland. Since its liberation from Somalia and declaration of
independence in 1991, Somaliland has never participated in the series of
internationally and regionally sponsored attempts to resolve the conflict
in Somalia. The country’s position has been that independent and peaceful
Somaliland should not allow itself to melt into the externally-led efforts
to form a central government for Somalia. Somaliland held that any such
attempts to form a government for Somalia, should deal with the former
Italian colony of Somalia only. According to this policy, Somaliland and
Somalia can talk about their future relations as two equal and sovereign
countries, a position that Premier Geedi’s government has not yet
As predicted by most political analysts, Mr. Awil’s clandestine meeting
with a senior official of a government officially claiming to have legal
jurisdiction over Somaliland territories is likely to spark further public
backlash against President Rayale’s government, which is already faced
with widespread popular discontent.
|President Rayale’s Credibility
Somaliland Times, Issue 184, July 30, 2005
Somalilanders who voted for President Rayale knew that he was not the
candidate with the most experience or the best education, but they were
hoping that, through hard work, discipline and a sense of fair play, he
would make up for what was lacking in his resume. Lately, through a series
of decisions, actions and inaction, Rayale has been intent on proving that
his supporters were wrong and his worst critics were right. The most
recent example is the UDUB candidate selection fiasco in which Rayale gave
his word to community elders, and his own ministers, about the list of
candidates from Hargeisa, only to violate the agreement later, which
resulted in the resignation of the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Abiib Diiriye
Nuur, in disgust over what the president did. This was not the first time
that Rayale had broken his word either. Another instance of such
underhanded behavior by President Rayale was his giving a green light to
one of Somaliland’s highly respected elders, Haji Abdi Warabe, to run for
the position of the head of the Gurti after Sheikh Ibrahim passed away,
only to pull the rug from under Haji Abdi Warabe once he had publicly
expressed his interest in the position. Well-informed sources also
attribute the recent conflict between the President and the Speaker of the
Parliament, Mr. Qaybe, to Rayale’s failure to uphold certain
understandings between them. There are other examples too.
In addition to this pattern of duplicity and broken promises, there is
another thread that runs through Rayale’s performance as president: an
inability to work with the various branches of government. His conflict
with the speaker of the House, Mr. Qaybe, was already mentioned. There was
also the conflict with the parliament that almost resulted in impeachment
proceedings against him, despite the fact that the majority of the
parliamentarians belonged to his own party, which made plain either his
lack of political skills or lack of accurate information about what is
going around him (his inability to work effectively with a parliamentary
majority from his own party should give many a pause about what is going
to happen when the new parliament, a substantial percentage of which is
expected to belong to the opposition parties, takes office). It is also no
secret that his relations with the Head of the Gurti, Mr. Sulayman Gaal is
often strained. President Rayale has even failed to manage relations with
his vice-president in a satisfactory manner, and embarrassing disputes
between them has become public knowledge.
President Rayale’s habitual deception and repeated breaking of his word
has created a serious credibility gap for him, and less and less people
are willing to believe him. When one adds to this his inability to deal
effectively with the various branches of government, the picture of his
presidency that is emerging is disturbingly grim. Rayale has already done
enough damage to Somaliland’s body politic, the question now is: does he
want to continue in the same destructive path or is he going to change
direction before it is too late?
Minister Accuses Rayale of Poor Leadership
Somaliland Times, Issue 184, July 30, 2005
Hargeysa, Somaliland, July 30, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland's minister of
aviation, Abib Diriye Nur, issued a press statement in Hargeysa last
Sunday 24/7/2005 to announce his resignation.
Abib Diriye Nur said he had sent his resignation letter to President Dahir
The minister expressed his unhappiness with the president's leadership,
adding he feared this could undermine his health. The minister complained
about the manner in which Dahir Rayale Kahin chose members of the House of
Representatives [candidates to contest forthcoming parliamentary polls].
He said the hope of the UDUB [ruling party] to continue ruling was waning.
The aviation minister who has resigned was regarded as one of the closest
ministers to President Rayale, although signs have been emerging recently
of a growing rift between the two men.
According to a statement issued Monday by the presidential spokesman, Abdi
Idris Du'ale, President Rayale has accepted the resignation of Abib Diriye
Nuh, minister for aviation and air transport. In his acceptance of the
resignation statement, the Somaliland president said: I inform you that I
have accepted your resignation which you announced through the media,
although it would have been better if you presented your resignation
letter to the office [of the president], and as a result, I am now
relieving you from the ministerial post that you held for the state, and
you should quickly hand it over to the assistant minister of aviation and
Civil Society Visit to South Africa 20-26 July 2005
Somaliland Times, Issue 184, July 30, 2005
Tshwane, SA, July 26, 2005 (Press Release by Somaliland Liaison Office) –
The Republic of Somaliland’s Committee for Concerned Somalis, appointed
Mrs. Amran Ali Haji Mahmoud to attend the preparatory consultation on the
UN Secretary Generals’ Study on Violence against Children. This UN
Conference was hosted by the South African Presidency’s Office of the
Rights of the Child and UNICEF, which was held in Johannesburg and, was
attended by governments, NGOs, the African Union, and Pan-African
On this occasion, Mrs. Amran Ali Haji Mahmoud met with South Africa’s
Deputy Minister for Social Development, Dr. Jean Benjamin and exchanged
ideas and experiences.
Mrs. Amran Ali Haji Mahmoud also had the opportunity to attend a welcome
cocktail in honor of the visiting South Sudan delegation from the SPLM/A,
which was hosted by the South African Deputy Foreign Minister, Her
Excellency Ms. Sue van De Merwe in the South African capital Tshwane
Mrs. Mahmoud in her capacity as head of human resources at Hargeisa
University also visited the University of South Africa’s Centre for
African Renaissance Studies to explore ways to further co-operation
between the two universities in the field of international law and
capacity building. The head of the University of South Africa’s Centre for
African Renaissance Studies, Prof. Shadrack Gutto, welcomed ways to
initiate new avenues of co-operation between the two universities.
Mrs. Mahmoud visited the offices of the Academy of Self-Knowledge to
up-date herself on the development initiatives of the world acclaimed
Islamic scholar, Shaykh Fadhalla Haeri.
On her concluding day, Mrs. Mahmoud attended the national day of Egypt,
where she had an opportunity to exchange ideas on Somaliland with South
Africa’s Minister of Public Administration, Her Excellency Ms. Geraldine
Fraser-Moleketi. Productive exchanges were also made with Britain’s new
High Commissioner to South Africa, the Rt. Hon. Paul Boateng, African
ambassadors and the Director of the Africa Institute of South Africa, Dr.
Briefings were given to members of the Somaliland community in South
Africa on recent developments in Somaliland, and on ways for the
Somaliland Diaspora to play an active role in advocacy issues in Southern
Africa and the up-coming September 15 parliamentary elections in
Issued by: Somaliland Liaison Office, Tshwane (Pretoria), South Africa
Enquires: Telephone: + 27 82 880 8603
|President Rayale’s Double Dealing
Somaliland Times, Issue 183, July 23, 2005
The conventional view among educated Somalis is that the uneducated
clan-oriented people are the cause of many of Somaliland’s problems. This
may be true in many cases, but there are many other cases, where
Somaliland’s ruling elite that is supposed to mitigate potential clan
problems are the source that is actively stirring up conflict among clans,
subclans, and lineages as well as between clans and the government. A case
in point is the current selection of parliamentary candidates. We all know
Somaliland is supposed to be moving away from representation according to
clans to representation by parties. We also know that in the transition
period, clan considerations will have to be taken into account while
moving from the old clan system to the new party system. That is why the
three parties devised an informal system whereby parties ensure that a
candidate has the support of his lineage before he is selected as a
candidate. As a matter of fact, UDUB, has even gone a step further and
asked different clans and lineages to submit lists of their candidates. In
some instances this arrangement worked, but there have been disturbing
cases where this system was flagrantly abused by the very people who
devised it. For example, in Hargeisa, a subclan that was asked to submit a
list, did so, only to find out that some members were removed from the
list, at the last minute, and were replaced with new people chosen by
President Rayale (some say it was actually his wife who did the removing
and replacing as personal favors). This is what we meant by Somaliland’s
ruling elite abusing the very system they devised. The president, as the
head of UDUB, has the right to have a say in who should be a candidate and
who should not. But neither he, nor his wife, has the right to solicit
lists from clans and promise them that their wishes will be honored, then
turn around, and impose on them different candidates.
Selection And Screening Of Candidates
Somaliland Times, Issue 183, July 23, 2005
Hargeysa, July 23, 2005 (SL Times) – There is still confusion as to the
identity of party candidates to stand in the upcoming elections (Sept 15)
for Somaliland’s House of Representatives. Though each of the country’s 3
political parties submitted its list of candidates to the National
Electoral Commission, however, both the parties and the NEC have so far
refrained from officially disclosing the names of the finalized
The 3 parties had reportedly submitted their lists just minutes before the
deadline was about to expire at 6pm on July 17.
According to electoral commissioner Abdillahi Jawan, the lists were still
being screened by the NEC to ascertain that party nominees met the
qualification criteria for candidates running for legislative elections.
NEC officials refused to comment further on the issue. However after most
of the names of candidates were published by local daily newspapers
earlier this week, none of the parties came forward to confirm or deny
whether the press revelations were true.
Meanwhile, the 3 political parties signed a code of conduct for the
election period on Monday. Similarly a media code of conduct for election
coverage was also signed on Monday by representatives of the two
Journalist associations, the Somaliland Society for Independent
Journalists and Writers (SSJW) and the Somaliland Journalists Association
The media code of conduct was formulated with the assistance of Article
19’s John Barker.
|Col. Abdillahi Yusuf Receives
Somaliland Times, Issue 182, July 16, 2005
Even when one takes into account the inherent difficulties of governments
that are formed in exile, the performance of Col. Abdillahi Yusuf and his
Prime Minister, Mr Gedi has been so pitiful it is really a misnomer to
call theirs a government. This is after all a government that has split
into at least two main factions, one based in Mogadishu and the other
floating between Nairobi, Jowhar and Garowe. It is also a government that
is not interested in governing as such, but in forcing a military solution
on Somalia. Most Somalis, of course, reject this military approach, and
the international community knows it. Many Somalis also thought that this
issue was put to rest months ago when the front line states were excluded
from sending troops to Somalia, and when the United States made it plain
that it is opposed to lifting the arms embargo against Somalia.
The fact that Abdillahi Yusuf insisted on bringing the issue of the arms
embargo in front of the Security Council in such an unfavorable
international environment is just another indication of his diplomatic
illiteracy. As expected, his request was turned down, just as his previous
request for troops from the front line states was turned down. This is the
second blow that Abdillahi Yusuf received within a few months, and both
blows were a direct result of his own miscalculations. The colonel seems
to have mistaken the international community’s willingness to subsidize
his pretend-presidency for a commitment to back him militarily. The
international community was willing to indulge his pretensions, but once
he forced the issue, they made it clear that they consider him just one of
the Somali factions, and that another round of Somali bloodletting is, to
use their own words, “unacceptable”. The result is that Abdillahi Yusuf is
in a much weaker position than he started with, because whereas the
international community was previously only reluctant to provide him with
troops, the situation now is that the international community would
neither provide him with troops nor allow him to engage in any military
|Mr Ahmad Silanyo visits Seattle
By Jamal Gabobe
On July 4th 2005, the Chairman of Kulmiye Party, Ahmad
Silanyo, met with Somalilanders in Seattle. The meeting took place at NW
Somaliland Society’s community center. People came from all over the
Pacific North West to attend this event. The Program for the evening
was as follows:
1- Verses from the Quran recited by Mohammed Bade
2- Briefing on the activities of NW Somaliland Society by Abdirahim
3- Welcome remarks by the President of NW Somaliland Society, Jamal Gabobe
4- Announcement by the Somaliland Student Union
5- Speech by Ahmad Silanyo
In his speech, Mr. Silanyo touched on many topics, such as Somaliland’s
search for recognition, peace and security, foreign policy, and the coming
parliamentary elections. Mr. Silanyo highlighted the need for:
- Greater efforts by Somaliland’s government to win support among Arab and
- An independent board to run Radio Hargeisa
- Abolition of emergency laws
- Establishment of private banks
Mr Silanyo stressed the two ideas of struggle (halgan)
and reconciliation (isasaamax) as some of his guiding principles.
Somaliland Times, Issue 181, July 9, 2005
Somalilanders were shocked and disgusted by the news of Thursday’s
terrorist strike against the people of London. Killing innocent people is
so abhorrent and unjustifiable, most Somalilanders here felt as though
they had been violated by the blasts as well. After all, the cowardly act
had targeted the lives of innocent people who were commuting to
their places of work, in a city that is home to a half of the estimated
300,000 Somaliland-born population currently living in Britain. These were
mostly people who, during the eighties, had been forced to flee their
homes to escape persecution and genocide in the hands of General Siyad
Barre, Somalia’s former dictator.
Since liberation from Somalia and its declaration of independence as a
sovereign state in 1991, unrecognized Somaliland has crucially depended
for its reconstruction on the half a billion dollars that its diaporra in
the West, particularly in Britain, send annually back home.
With Saudi Arabia’s decision to ban import of Somaliland livestock (this
country’s only hard-currency earning export) entering the seventh year in
a row, at least 1/3 of Somaliland’s households rely on the income support
money they regularly receive from relatives living in the West,
particularly Britain. For the above reasons and others, it wasn’t a surprise
at all to notice how the impact of the explosions in London was widely
felt by Somalilanders here. There is no doubt that the terrorists who
were behind the carnage wanted to disrupt the G8 summit in Scotland where
Tony Blair is trying to persuade the leaders of the richest nations in the
world to commit substantial resources for the eradication of poverty in
Africa! The terror strike also came in the aftermath of the Live 8
concerts that Bob Geldof and his friends had recently organized in order
to make the citizens and leaders of rich countries aware about the extent
of human suffering taking place in Africa. It is not yet clear whether the
blasts were also designed to sabotage London’s bid for holding the 2012
Olympic Games. But why anyone should be so inhuman as to want to undermine
an international gathering such as the one held in Gleneagles whose prime
purpose is to help Africa salvage itself from the misery of poverty and
under development? Neither is there any sense in depriving London of the
opportunity not only to host the 2012 Olympic Games but also to earmark
close to $2 billion for developing some of the predominantly Muslim
run-down boroughs in east London, the site where most of the games were
planned to be staged.
We consider the explosions that ripped through London during rush hour on
Thursday morning an attack on all human beings irrespective of their
color, race and religion. It would be foolish to see it otherwise. While
our sympathy goes to the families, relatives and friends of the victims,
we express our solidarity with the people and government of Britain. It is
to be hoped that people in the UK will emerge from Thursday’s terror
attacks as more united and resolved in not allowing the terrorists to change
British values of tolerance, democracy and compassion.
Rayale Condemns London Blasts
President Rayale Condemns London Blasts
Hargeysa, July 9, 2005 (SL Times) – Somaliland President, Dahir Rayale
Kahin, yesterday sent a message of condolences to British Prime Minister
Tony Blair, the British government and people, following Thursday’s blasts
Mr. Rayale also expressed sympathy for the families of those who were
either killed or injured in the terrorist incident.
Mr. Rayale said, “the government and people of Somaliland were deeply
shocked by the terrorist acts that occurred in London.”
President Rayale stressed Somaliland’s sympathy and solidarity with
Britain in the wake of the explosions that rocked London on Thursday
The president pointed out that there is a clause in Somaliland's
constitution that commits Somaliland to the fight against terrorism..
The message was sent through the British Embassy in Addis Ababa.
|Somalilanders Hold A Successful
Convention In LA
Somaliland Times, Issue 180, July 2, 2005
Reports reaching us say the Somaliland Convention that took place in Los
Angeles June 24-26, 2005 was a success. About 500 Somalilanders and
foreigners from around the world gathered and discussed for three days
subjects ranging from business and politics to health, education, and
Somaliland’s goal of international recognition. Although there was
initially some concern that the conference might be marred by political
disputes, those fears proved to be false. Of course, there were heated
discussions and tempers occasionally flared but the exchanges were mostly
conducted in a serious but civil manner. This is what was expected of the
Somalilanders at the conference, and they did not disappoint their people.
Another noteworthy aspect of the conference was that in addition to the
foreign and Somali academics, the conference had credible representation
from both the American government and the Canadian parliament.
One way to gauge the success of events held by Somalilanders is to look at
what Somaliland’s adversaries are saying. Judging by what Somaliland’s
opponents have been scribbling in the internet, it is clear that this
convention was a bitter pill for them. Worse yet (for them that is) there
is nothing they can do about it. So, in their impotent rage and envy they
alternate between trying to guilt-trip Somalilanders with a non-existent
fake nationalism, castigating Somalilanders for getting together without
consulting them first, and predicting failure for Somalilanders,
undeterred by the fact that their predictions are often false. We say to
them: get used to it. Somalilanders don’t need anybody’s permission to
meet. We decide when and where we want to meet, and the days of using
Somaliweyn nationalism as a trick to deceive people are over.
We salute the Somaliland Policy and Reconstruction Institute (SOPRI) for
organizing a successful conference. We hope it is the beginning of greater
efforts on the part of Somalilanders in the United States to help their
country, especially in its quest for international recognition.
|Eng. Faysal Cali Waraabe and
Dr. Mohammed-Rashid visit Seattle
By Jamal Gabobe
Saturday evening, July 2, 2005, The Chairman of UCID Party, Eng. Faysal
Cali Waraabe and Dr. Mohammed-Rashid Sh. Hasan met with the Somaliland
community in Seattle. The meeting took place at the headquarters of the NW
Somaliland Society. The Program for the evening was:
1- Verses from the Holy Quran recited by Mohammed Bade
2- Remarks by the President of NW Somaliland Society, Jamal Gabobe, in
which he welcomed and introduced the distinguished leaders
3- Briefing by the Secretary of NW Somaliland Society, Mowlid Magarre, on
the various educational and community programs that the NW Somaliland
Society has undertaken
4- Outline by Abdirahim Koofiyad dheere of the future direction of NW
Somaliland Society and the need for the community’s involvement
5- Announcement by Said Mursal about the Somaliland Student Union
6- Speech by Dr. Mohammed-Rashid Sh. Hasan
7- Speech by Eng. Faysal Cali Waraabe
8- Questions and answers
The speeches by Faysal Cali Waraabe and Mohammed-Rashid had several themes
in common. For instance both stressed the need for unity, the importance
of the role of the diaspora, the contradictions between clan and
citizenship, and Somaliland’s search for international recognition. Faysal
Cali Waraabe focused mostly on political issues. He was especially proud
of the fact that his party is fielding several women and oppressed
minorities as candidates in the coming parliamentary elections. Mohammed-Rashid
highlighted the importance of citizenship, nation-building and the
activities of the African Renaissance Center for Social Science Research,
Media and Development (ARECSMED) which he founded and directs. Both Faysal
and Mohammed-Rashid commended the NW Somaliland Society for the good work
it is doing in the field of education and for establishing a center in
which Somalilanders can gather and discuss issues.
|Somaliland, Countdown To The
July Summit Of The AU
The fact-finding mission undertaken by the Deputy Chairperson
of the African Union Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka
An exclusive Interview – The Sub-Saharan Informer
In the beginning of May the African Union had undertaken a
fact-finding mission headed by the Deputy Chairperson Mr. Patrick
Mizimhaka to Somaliland. The purpose of the mission was to assess the
state of affairs of the country specifically with its quest for
international recognition as independent country and draw a report, which
will be presented to the chairperson and so to the heads of state for
their consideration and deliberations. The team visited different regions
of Somaliland where thousands of crowds flocked out to the open to express
their feelings. The Deputy Chairperson and his team met with all
government bodies, civil society and law making bodies of both houses.
They had the opportunity to talk to all sections of the community. They
also had the opportunity to gauge the state of security and stability of
The Sub-Saharan Informer had accompanied the AU mission in most of their
visits and had the chance to touch base with the head of the delegation
and Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka in an
exclusive interview to talk; about what his impressions were.
SSI: Why did it take this long for the AU to send this delegation because
we have learnt that you were supposed to undertake this mission sometime
last year? What is the reason that it took so long? Was it a logistic
problem or other commitments?
Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka: You know that this problem lasted for very many
years and the wars that went on around here were not very simple.
Therefore the continent had an opinion. During the Cold War Somalia become
client of Soviet Union and of United States of America. So the cold war
kind of muddled the waters for African countries. The OAU was stuck with a
policy of preservation of member states and now the African union came
into scene in 2002 and in 2003 we were able to, as the interim lasted for
about four years from 1999 all the way to 2003, when the present
commission was put in place and so the commission that is implementing
what was set out in the constitute act, which is different form the
charter. Complementing the charter but with the new mandate. So the
government of Somaliland engaged in discussions with the African union
during that transition period started about four years ago. When we
came-in in September 2003, we started engaging with the government of
Somaliland, so that we developed an approach of-course the commission only
serves the member countries therefore it takes time to get to a level
where you get this kind of mission authorized. So there were no problems
of logistics but I would say it was just a problem of processes. We agreed
that the mission to take place sometime in around December 2004 but we
have been late for four months because of other commitment, we had a
summit in January in 2005 to meet and so on. Otherwise, we have been
preparing to undertake this mission ever since the decision was reached.
So even if it said that we have taken so long, I would say still it isn't
that long, Of-course for the people who are suffering we cannot claim that
we came to their rescue fast enough. Generally those are the causes of the
SSI: What are your perceptions before you landed here? What did you think
of Somaliland and what did you find out that is astonishing or surprising
Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka: I think what was really amazing is that for
somebody who doesn't visit or live here will be amazed to find out the way
these people have been able to recover from the still very visible
devastation of their villages, cities and facilities. But they have been
able to keep the country running in normal fashion. Not only that, but in
the institutions of government, particularly in the area of governance, if
you look at the scenario in the other parts of Somalia, people understood
War-Lordism as an ideology and one finds it difficult how this has been
handled. Here, these have settled and new institutions, based on different
approaches have established. Somalilanders have been able to stabilize the
country that way; they have been able to enter democratization process and
that is very robust. This is very obvious from the houses of
representatives and the parliament, its obvious from the local councils,
and its very obvious from the community organization. So we found that are
very astonishing, there is advancement in those directions and also
recovery and rehabilitation from the devastations. Something you cannot be
able to see when you go to the other parts.
SSI: Why has there been so much silence from the African countries or the
west on the issue of Somaliland and its achievement in maintaining peace
and stability without any external assistance? Some intellectuals argue
that in Europe when things did not workout, specially in the former
eastern block, the international community had to reconsider the borders
of the countries whose unity did not work, and let each one of them go
their own directions and he asked why that could not be the case with
Somaliland/Somalia affairs. What do you have to say about this?
Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka: I think when you say Europe; we are talking about
Western Europe. Western Europe had an interest in the collapse of Soviet
Union and other communist countries like Yugoslavia. Africa has no
interest in the collapse of any of its member states; we come from
different points of view, it would be unfair to compare the two. Africa is
actively and ideologically working for the stabilization of each of its
members, in the end to facilitate a union of the people of Africa. But to
be able to unite the people, you must be under a situation that works
towards that objective and therefore stable countries are very important.
That is where Africans are coming from, where Europe was very interested
in dismantling the soviet empire.
SSI: It is obvious that the fate of the country is going to lie on your
hands - your assessment and recommendations would definitely influence the
AU head of states decision. Although you and your team may have made
sincere and professional assessment of their situation and achievements
and table the report in the July summit, the decision of the summit may
somehow delay the recognition of Somaliland as an independent country
putting some requirements and modalities. How would you feel if this
happens? And what do you think the logical conclusion of the summit should
Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka: As you may know the commission is a secretariat and
its staff are not decision makers on such issues. What we are doing here
is to assess and compile a report to the AU commission chairperson and it
is the Chairperson who would present the case as one of the agenda during
the summit. There are processes that are involved in looking at the issue
and they should be fulfilled at the secretariat level. The report my team
and I would be compiling will without any prejudice include all that has
been investigated and assessed. I think the head of states will make their
deliberations responsibly and make the needed recommendations. As for the
logical conclusion, it would be premature to comment and as you know, I am
a civil servant of the Commission, so it would be appropriate to leave it
to those who will deliberate on it to come up with conclusion.
SSI: Will the AU be assisting Somaliland in social and economic
Mr. Patrick Mizimhaka: The AU has clear mandate of assisting its member
states and communities in economic and social development so as to
alleviate poverty. Within such framework, it will definitely assist
Somaliland and this mission is just the beginning of such activity. So I
am sure the AU will extend its assistance in whatever aspect it may be
|Who is worse Col. Abdillahi
Yusuf or his supporters?
Somaliland Times, Issue 178, June 18, 2005
To get a sense of the parlous situation Col. Abdillahi Yusuf is in, one
has to just take a glimpse of the headlines. The British Times wrote:
“President is told to pack bags after outstaying his welcome.” After his
much awaited re-location to Somalia turned out to be a hoax, Reuters
wrote: “President fails to arrive in Somalia, plane diverted.” These
headlines only confirm what many Somalis already knew, that Abdillahi
Yusuf’s presidency, like those of Ali Mahdi, Aidid Sr, Aidid Jr, and
Abdiqasim Salad Hasan , was in name only, and that the facts on the ground
tell another story. Abdillahi Yusuf repeatedly announced that he was going
to change those facts on the ground by conquering the south, especially
Banadir region, with foreign troops. Instead of showing him the folly of
his plan, his supporters saw it as their long overdue chance to conquer
Mogadishu and to exact revenge on its people for past crimes. Finally,
they had a man with a plan, and they egged him to march on to Mogadishu.
They began writing about how Somalia needs a strong leader, and how the
colonel was exactly such a man. The clock kept ticking, and they kept
writing about how decisive, how strong-willed he is. Days, months went by,
and they kept writing about how determined he is, how he has a plan. Then
came the hour of decision, and it turned out to be not his decision but a
Kenyan decision. The Kenyans were tired of him and the rest of the
Somalis, so they kicked them all out. As if that were not bad enough,
instead of going to Somalia as he had said he would do, Abdillahi Yusuf
landed in Djibouti. The hero in shining armor whose supporters expected
him to conquer Mogadishu for them, turned out to be a tired old warlord
with no political skills who would rather be a guest, even an un-wanted
guest, in one foreign country or another than deal with the problems of a
This bleak picture has led to big disappointment among his supporters.
Whereas they used to write some pretentious and long-winded letters paving
the way for the iron-fisted rule that Colonel Abdillahi Yusuf was going to
impose on Somalia, they now write rambling notes about how Somalis don’t
want a government, about the death of Somali nationalism and how Kipling
may have been right about Africans. The fact is, when they thought they
could pull it off, they had shown no qualms about using foreign troops to
spill Somali blood. Now that their designs have fallen apart, and their
hero is homeless, they are playing a different tune to cover up what they
stood for earlier, but it won’t work because today’s maudlin musings are
being drowned by yesterday’s war cries.
|Total’s Action Is An All-Out
War Against Somaliland’s Economy
Somaliland Times, Issue 176, June 4, 2005
Total’s Action Is An All-Out War Against Somaliland’s Economy
Berbera, Somaliland, June 4, 2005 (SL Times) – TOTAL, the oil company that
provides oil to Somaliland, suddenly stopped selling oil to its customers
on June 2nd 2005. Gas stations in Berbera and around the country and
individual customers complained about TOTAL’s behavior, and the absence of
any information to explain their sudden decision to stop selling oil to
A source close to the oil company, who wanted to be anonymous explained,
how the company was busy lately to root out any competition from other
companies. For instance, he mentioned how TOTAL demanded from RED SEA
Company; a small privately owned oil company will be allowed to use the
fuel tanks only, if they paid $500,000 or deposited oil of equal amount in
the fuel tanks.
At the beginning of March this year, RED SEA Company decided to bring a
tanker to the Port, in order to use the fuel tanks, following TOTAL’s
initial demands. TOTAL refused to allow the tanker to use the fuel tanks.
According to our source, the Port Manager, Mr. Ali Xoor-xoor intervened
and gave permission to the tanker, after two days.
Another bizarre act by TOTAL was to dismantle five sophisticated,
state-of-the-art oil pipes, built by the Soviet Union during the late
seventies in Berbera for refueling purposes and later rebuilt by the
United States military to refuel, during the 1980s, when they used Berbera
as a military base. The pipes were built to provide quick supply of fuel
to tankers, vehicles and aircraft all at the same time.
According to some political analysts, the EU advised TOTAL and its
government sponsors about the high cost of repair and maintenance of oil
pipes. In addition the EU estimated that Somaliland uses only 2000 tons of
oil each month and that small amount of oil can be used by only one pipe,
TOTAL decided to dismantle the sophisticated system, in order to use an
old system, built by the British Shell company in the 1950s.
Other analysts, call the dismantling of the 5 pipes high noon robbery.
They accuse TOTAL of selling the five sophisticated oil pipes to the Arab
Financiers of the Port in Djibouti for the amount of 90 million dollars.
How else can you justify the elimination of such incredible oil pipes and
replace it for an old pipe that has to be maintained once every five
years, they say.
Many intellectuals call TOTAL’s action an economic war, geared towards
hurting the Ethiopia – Somaliland agreement on May 28. According to these
groups, TOTAL, which is based in Djibouti has an economic stake in the
area. They argue that TOTAL was the only oil company serving Ethiopia’s
oil needs from Djibouti, during the past decade, and that Ethiopia will be
free to deal with other oil companies, if it uses Berbera as her main port
of entry. Therefore, when Ethiopia decided last week to use Berbera
port, TOTAL began to sabotage the agreement between the two countries, by
destroying the main oil pipes and, essentially forcing Somaliland's
government to use its oil fuel tanks for local consumption purposes only.
Furthermore, Somaliland’s inability to handle Ethiopia’s economic needs,
will force her to use Djibouti facilities. This will in turn, force
Ethiopia to use TOTAL as its main source of oil, they maintain.
TOTAL will not only dominate Ethiopia’s oil needs but the company’s aim is
to control Somaliland’s economy by becoming the only company that owns
both the wholesale and retail of the oil in the country, the intellectuals
According to reliable sources, TOTAL rented several gas stations around
the country already. They are also in the process of eliminating the
competition entirely through their refusal to use the fuel tanks. If they
succeed in doing that, they will become the only source of oil, which
makes them a monopoly. In a free market economy, monopoly is not allowed,
because it cripples the economy which leads to stagnation and political
instability. The economic ties between Ethiopia and Somaliland will come
to a standstill, if TOTAL gets away with its sinister moves, many analysts
argue. It also reminds many people of the economic and political hurdles
that Somaliland went through during her recent past, including the
international ban of Somaliland livestock, and the role EU played. It was
the EU’s research claims about Somaliland’s livestock trade, which was
published on March 1997 that led to the livestock ban on November 1997.
Many people are wondering if TOTAL’s war on our economy is a result of
EU’s advice to limit Berbera Port for local consumption only.
|The disgraceful end of the Somali
conference in Kenya
Wednesday at 10 a.m, members of the Somali
government-in-exile were finally kicked out of the Nairobi hotels where
they have been staying for the last three years. The Kenyan government’s
action may seem a bit harsh and humiliating but then again, it is highly
unlikely that Somalis would have vacated the hotels on their own.
Moreover, the Somali politicians in Kenya have shown again and again that
they have no sense of shame. This is a crowd that is used to assassination
attempts on their head honcho and bloody fights among its
parliamentarians, so being forced out of a hotel should be a minor thing
by their standards. Initial reports confirm that is exactly how a lot of
them look at it, and that many of them have reacted by simply taking their
luggage to the Isli slum to join the Somalis who live there. This is a
fitting end for a reconciliation meeting that had lost its way long ago.
Even those who don’t like this miserable ending cannot honestly claim it
came as a surprise, for the writing was on the wall for a long time.
Now that the party is over, we can safely say this about the conference:
1- It was a great waste of time, money and energy
2- The selection of Col. Abdillahi Yusuf as president contributed a lot to
the failure of the outcome. Abdillahi Yusuf’s strategy was to get foreign
troops to conquer the south for him. Barring a last minute change of
heart, that strategy looks like it has failed because he could not get any
foreign troops to do the dirty work for him. The fact that his
calculations about getting foreign troops turned out so wrong, is an
indication of his shallowness as a strategist.
3- With the end of the Nairobi saga and future action shifting to Somalia,
the politics of southern Somalia is going to be mostly focused on
Mogadishu, where Abdillahi Yusuf has no base, which will result in even
more marginalization for him and his supporting cast.
|A Norwegian National Supports Somaliland’s
Struggle To Rebuild its Country
Issue 176, June 4, 2005
I have just visited Hargeisa again, and it’s always a pleasure to come
back. Since my first visit in 1991, when everything was destroyed, and
Yusuf Gaboobe was my guide, much has been achieved and I see great
improvements each time I return.
This time we were a group, people working with Somalis in Norway, from
local authority refugee offices and different organizations. Apart from
Hargeisa we visited Las Geel, Berbera, Sheikh and Burco. After the rains
the countryside was beautiful and green, and for those who were first time
visitors to Somaliland it was wonderful and surprising!
The purpose of the trip was to get an impression of the country, and to
create a better understanding and knowledge of the background of the
people who are now our fellow countrymen. We have 15 000 Somalis in
Norway, a large proportion from Somaliland.
After spending some time in the country, and having been welcomed so
generously everywhere, our group has already developed a keen interest in
the people, the history and the developments here, an interest which will
have an effect on further contact between our two nations.
There were plenty of warnings about security and so on, but we never felt
uncomfortable or threatened in any way, on the contrary, we were met with
kindness and hospitality wherever we went.
One evening I realized I had lost a wallet containing nearly $ 500 and my
return ticket to Norway. I tried to think where I might have lost it,
feeling quite sure it hadn’t been stolen. If I had accidentally left or
dropped it somewhere, I wouldn’t have blamed a person in need if he or she
had been tempted and kept the money. As the days went by, I was beginning
to think that had happened. Then I got a message from Bile Restaurant that
it had been found by an employee there, and that they had taken time
finding me. I went to pick it up, and everything was there! Imagine my
relief and gratitude! I doubt if the same would have happened in Oslo,
where I have had my bag stolen on several occasions!
It was a pleasure to introduce my Norwegian group to this city and
country, which I have grown so fond of during several visits in the last
14 years, and from my work and friendship with Somalis in Norway, and to
see what a positive impression they got, thanks to the brave and
About a hundred people who are now Norwegian citizens, but have returned
to their original homeland, celebrated the Norwegian national day, May 17.
in the NRC compound, along with us. It was a wonderful, emotional
I hope the good relations between our two nations will continue and
develop further, that we can support you in your struggle to rebuild your
The word has already spread about our successful stay, and I hope to bring
many more Norwegians to Somaliland in the future, the fan club is growing!
Until next time, thank you!
|The Somaliland Convention in
The Somaliland Convention in Los Angeles
According to the latest information we have received, preparations for the
upcoming Somaliland Convention scheduled to take place in June 24-26th at
the Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, are going smoothly, and the list of
would-be participants is getting longer. The participants include some of
the most distinguished personalities in Somaliland as well as an
impressive number of foreign academics, politicians and experts.
Three aims of this conference stand out:
1- To promote dialogue between Somalilanders
2- To discuss ways of improving Somaliland’s education and economy
3- To contribute to the efforts toward Somaliland’s recognition
The fact that this conference is taking place in the United States is of
great significance, for although Somalilanders in the United States played
a crucial part in the anti-Siyad Barre struggle, lately, they have not
been as active as they used to be and are lagging behind Somalilander
communities in Europe. We hope this conference is the beginning of the
kind of involvement that Somalilanders in the United States had shown
during the height of the anti-Siyad Barre struggle. If they were able to
do it then, surely they can do it now.
Seeks Arrest Of Somali President
Guardian, London, UK — 27 May, 2005
Friday May 27, 2005
The widow of a man allegedly killed by members of the militia of Somalia's
president is attempting to have him arrested for murder during his visit
to London for medical treatment. Zahra Abdullah has won a civil action for
damages from President Abdullahi Yusuf for her husband's death in the high
court and she is urging Britain to detain him as it did the former
president of Chile, Augusto Pinochet.
Mr Yusuf, 70, a warlord, is recognised by Britain as the head of the
transitional government of Somalia in exile. He is in Britain for medical
treatment following a liver transplant. The president has been accused in
connection with the murder of Sultan Ahmed Mohamud Mohamed, a British
citizen, who was killed in the village of Kalabeyr in Somalia in August
2002. He was a political leader who had returned from exile in London and
was hoping to resettle in his country, his widow told the Guardian. He had
been critical of Mr Yusuf.
According to evidence given earlier this year in a high court civil
action, the murdered man had driven past a convoy led by Mr Yusuf and had
been spotted. Two vehicles peeled off from Mr Yusuf's convoy, and their
armed occupants tracked down Sultan Ahmed and shot him dead. Such deaths
are not uncommon in Somalia and would not normally be investigated, but
because Mr Yusuf was a frequent visitor to Britain, Sultan Ahmed's widow
decided to pursue the case here.
Ms Abdullah lives with her four children in west London, where she works
as an interpreter. She married her husband in 1986 in Nairobi. Both were
granted refugee status in Britain and later citizenship. He studied
accountancy and business in London but was unable to obtain regular
For this reason, she said, he returned to Somalia, which has been in
political turmoil for the past 14 years. With the support of some people
in the Somali community in London she brought a civil action against the
president, accusing him of being responsible for the death of her husband
and seeking damages.
Mr Yusuf, through his British lawyers, entered a written defence to the
action. In it he denied direct or indirect involvement in the killing. He
said the action was "politically motivated", the murder would be
investigated in Somalia and "blood money" would be paid.
But the court did not accept that there was any redress possible in
Somalia in its current state. The court referred to evidence that Mr Yusuf
had met challenges to his presidential claims "with lethal force" and
noted that "his supporters are reported to have carried out retaliations,
including executions, against his opponents".
Last month judgment was given against Mr Yusuf on the grounds that he had
failed to comply with a court order to produce documentation for his
defence, and so there was no full trial. He was ordered to pay £10,000
"bereavement damages" to Ms Abdullah.
The judgment found "the evidence does not show that the defendant was
personally responsible for the killing of the deceased but it appears that
the killing was carried out by those acting under his authority and under
Mr Yusuf has paid £30,000 in damages and costs. Now Zahra Abdullah wants
him to face criminal charges and her lawyer, Michael Hanley, has sent a
dossier on the case to Scotland Yard.
"All I want is some justice for my husband," she said at her home in White
City. "The men who killed my husband were Abdullahi Yusuf's troops, under
his command. My husband was unarmed and had no bodyguards - he was a
"It is three years since he was killed and there has been nothing. I think
that he thought that by paying the money in the court case that would be
an end of it but we want to see him detained so that he cannot go back to
She said that she believed the case of General Pinochet, who was detained
in Britain pending extradition proceedings because of crimes committed in
Chile, set a precedent for the UK to act.
"Britain has a wonderful opportunity to help the peace process in a
constructive way by prosecuting warlords," Mr Hanley said yesterday.
There was no response from Mr Yusuf to messages left for him at the
contact numbers given on his behalf to the Guardian or via his legal
representatives. The Cromwell hospital, in west London, where he was
described as having treatment, said no one of that name was registered
The Met's serious crime group has examined the case. The detective
superintendent handling the inquiry told Mr Hanley that there were immense
difficulties in any case in a war zone where there were problems finding
|Somaliland’s self-inflicted wounds
If one looks at the latest parliamentary mess in isolation, one would be
baffled by what is happening. But if one sees it in the context of what
has been going on for the last few years, one will notice that it is part
of a pattern of manufactured, unnecessary and avoidable crises which
appear in Somaliland suddenly and out of nowhere every few months and
inflict great damage on the young republic. First there was the dispute
about the impact (or “saamaynta” to use a much abused Somali word) that
the Embagathi conference was going to have on Somaliland. Then there was
the maneuverings by some parliamentarians to sack the speaker simply
because they were unhappy with him which precipitated his resignation. Now
some members of parliament are at it again. This time they want to impeach
the president for alleged corruption and losing control of Sool region.
On the face of it, these are serious charges. But they have several
problems. The most obvious one is why they didn’t present their case
against the president all these years and waited until now? Secondly, the
reasons they gave for their drive to impeach the president are not the
real ones. The real reasons, which are widely known, have to do with the
coming parliamentary elections. Some of them are angry with the president
for insisting on elections because they see little chance of being
elected. Some are upset with him because his party, UDUB, would not back
their candidacy. While others have some other misgivings about the
elections or the president.
One of the unfortunate consequences of the impeachment drive was the
disagreement that surfaced between the honorable speaker of the Parliament
and his first and second deputies. These three gentlemen are some of the
pillars of the country and we trust what happened was just a passing a
cloud. Mr Qaybe is one of the elder statesmen of Somaliland and should
always be accorded the respect and honor he deserves. We condemn any signs
of disrespect, threats or intimidation toward him or any Somaliland
To the parliamentarians involved in the latest crisis, we say: the
elections are going to take place soon. No amount of diversion and
stumbling blocks are going to stop it. They are going to take place not
just because the president wants it but because the people want it, the
international community wants it and Somaliland’s democratic process
requires it. So be good citizens and get ready for elections instead of
doing further damage to your credibility.
There is an American saying: if it talks like a duck, walks like a duck,
and feels like a duck, then it’s a duck. Somaliland today talks, walks and
feels like a sovereign state. The latest symbol of this was the spectacle
of one of modern Africa’s founding fathers, a former head of state, Dr
Kenneth Kaunda disembarking from the Airlines of another sovereign state,
Ethiopia, at Egal international airport.
Somaliland has come a long way, but it still has a long, hard road ahead
of it. Somaliland’s people expect their political elite to focus on
consolidating what has been achieved, and to make plans for the tasks
ahead. One way Somaliland’s political elite can help the country is by
breaking the habit of manufacturing one crisis after another.
|African Union Discusses
Addis Ababa, May 14, 2005 (SL Times) –
Somaliland’s Independence was brought to the table after a fact-finding
mission came recently to Somaliland on an official trip that lasted one
week. It has been reported that the fact-finding mission’s report was
given to the AU’s Chairman, Mr. Alpha Omar Konare.
This is the first time that the Somaliland issue, including the question
of its identity and self-determination, was brought to the forefront of
The AU’s fact-finding mission’s report was handed to the AU’s chairman,
Mr. Alpha Omar Konare. But the contents of the report is not yet known. It
has been reported, however, by African diplomats in Addis Ababa, that some
African regional powers are pushing for Somaliland’s independence. Whether
all 52 member states of the AU will vote for Somaliland’s independence
remains to be seen.
Diplomatic Progress and the President’s Speech
Somaliland’s patient and persistent diplomatic efforts seem to be finally
paying off. One only has to look at the steady stream of high-level
diplomats and statesmen that have been visiting Somaliland in the last few
months. There was the vice-chairman of the African Union, the British
delegation, and now one of the founding fathers of modern Africa, H.E Dr.
Kenneth Kaunda is in Hargeisa. There was also President Dahir Rayale
Kahin’s superb interview in al-Jazira where millions of Arabic-speaking
people watched him explain Somaliland’s achievements. Right now while
Somaliland is receiving statesmen, Somaliland’s foreign minister is in the
United States discussing bilateral issues with the US government.
Somaliland is definitely a country on the move. Even the BBC Somali
Service had to admit the momentum toward recognizing Somaliland that is
building up in the African Union.
President Dahir Rayale Kahin came to the May 18th celebration knowing full
well that the diplomatic winds are now in Somaliland’s favor, which put
him in a strong position from which to address a host of questions. His
performance was robust and engaging. He worked his audience and they
responded. The only sour note was some of the harsh language the President
used against the opposition. As the President of Somaliland, he should
have been more restrained. Parliament should also know that it’s not just
the president, but many Somalilanders are fed up with their antics.
Members of parliament should be busy preparing for elections instead of
trying to blackmail the president with the threat of impeachment.
Yusuf Asks US To Terminate The Trial Of Ali Samater
And Others Accused of Crimes Against Humanity
Hargeisa, Somaliland, May 14, 2005 (SL
Times) – In a letter to the U.S Foreign Secretary, Col. Abdillahi Yusuf’s
homeless government-in-exile requested from the United States government
the termination of the legal proceedings against Ali Samater and others
accused of war crimes against humanity.
Ali Samater was the former prime minister and secretary of defense during
Siyad Barre’s dictatorial regime. He is now facing charges in the US of
having committed crimes against humanity during the brutal war against the
civilian populations in what was then called North Somalia and now is the
Africa Watch estimated that 50,000 people were killed during the
bombardment of the civilian population, and 300,000 had fled across the
border to Ethiopia.