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|Aden-Adde: The Initiator Of North-South Polarization|
(Response To: - Aden-Adde: A Gentleman of Somalia)
By Ibrahim Hassan Gagale, USA
An article written by Omar Mohame and entitled "Aden-Adde: A Gentleman of Somalia", was recently posted on Hiiraan Online. There is a Somali proverb, which says, “An old woman sheltering from rain thinks that everybody else is having the same rain.” Mr. Omar failed to shy away from misinterpreting the political and social realities in former Republic of Somalia during Aden-Adde`s eight year-old presidency (1960-1967). He is either hypocrite who purposefully covers up Aden-Adde`s serious political blunders in his era, or he is a naive person who does not have any idea of the history of his polarizing presidency in the 1960s thinking that he was a great president for all. Distorting historical facts is unconscionable as any irrational, biased approach on fateful moments of history of a society that ignores the oppressed (the north) and promotes the oppressor (the south).
When Mr. Aden Abdulle Osman (A South-born, Mudulood) assumed the presidency of the former Republic of Somalia in 1960, which was created from a union of two newly independent, equal states emerging from former British Somaliland Protectorate and Italian Somalia, every one expected that the premiership belonged to the North without challenge, and that the top cabinet and armed forces posts would be shared fairly. Unfortunately, Aden-Adde immediately treated the North as an ordinary region of the South like Mudug or Benadir, denying its people of their legitimate share of the union government by awarding premiership and other top civilian and armed forces positions to the South. He failed to understand that the North became independent state before the South (North: June 26, 1960, South: July 1st, 1960), that late president of Somaliland, Mr. Mohammed Haji Ibrahim Egal, was its first prime minister, that the North initiated the union of the two new countries, and, for these reasons, the North deserved legitimate, fair share from the union government.
Majerteen was the Mareehan during Aden-Adde`s administration and, likewise, hijacked and abused the government of the people. Because it was the most arrogant and power-minded tribe in those days in the South, and because it had affinal relationship with the president, Majerteen pressured Aden-Adde to appoint Majerteen prime minister. He bowed to their demand and pressure and appointed Mr. Abdirasheed Ali Sharma`arke (A South-born, Majerteen) as the first prime minister of former Republic of Somalia from 1960-1964. He granted other top cabinet ministers and national forces commanders to the South too. He appointed Mr. Abdirizaq Haji Hussein (A South-born, Majerteen) for minister of interior, Mr. Abdullahi Issa Mohamoud (A Southborn famous politician, Habar-Gidir) for minister of foreign affairs, Mr. Osman Ahmed Roble (A South-born, Abgaal) for minister of Finance, General Da`ud Hirsi (A South-born, Abgaal) for commander of the armed forces, General Mohammed Abshir (A South-born, Majerteen) for commander of national police force, and so on. The parliament was sham too with the South taking unfair number of seats.
The betrayal and the humiliating denial, the injustices and the dereliction by the South angered furiously the Northern people, particularly politicians, traditional leaders, intellectuals, business people, and military officers. This deep resentment of the North against the South, influenced young military officers of the North, at the command of Hassan Kayd, to lead the unsuccessful coup d`etat in Hargeisa on December 10, 1961. The main objective of this coup d`etat was to withdraw from the misused union and reclaim Northern sovereignty and independence.
Instead of probing the root causes of the coup d`etat and starting national dialogue for reconciliation, president Aden Abdulle Osman made the second political blunder by transferring South-born military and teachers to the North (Known as Wallawein in those days) and bringing North-born military and teachers to the South after the failure of Hassan Kayd`s noble attempt in order to suppress Northern people politically, socially, and educationally for the coup d`etat, thus turning North into a semi-colony occupied by the South, and forcing its people to travel to Mogadishu for all necessities of life that they were supposed to have at home until the proclamation of Somaliland Republic in May 1991 after the victorious liberation of Somaliland by SNM in January 1991.
President Aden Abdulle Osman repeated the same polarizing mistakes for the third time when he appointed Mr. Abdirizaq Haji Hussein (A South-born, Majerteen) as the second prime minister from 1964-1967. For this extreme southernist vision, Aden-Adde turned his back to the North, stranding it on ground zero and treating Northern People as second-class citizens with duties but no rights. He, unfortunately, pioneered the first hostility between North and South, and inflicted the first irreversible political damage on the newly born union.
Late President Abdirasheed Ali Sharma`arke (A South-born, Majerteen,
1967-1969), who had wider vision than Aden-Adde, saw that the country was
heading in the wrong direction and appointed Mr. Mohammed Haji Ibrahim Egal
(The North-born famous politician, Habar-Awal) as the third prime minister
of former Republic of Somalia though Siyad`s military take over in October
1969 shortcut his tenure and prevented him from addressing the grievances of