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|Protecting Mandeeq By All Means Necessary|
By Hassan Mogeh Hirsi, California, USA
Somaliland has a long and porous boundary accompanied by an incompetent police force. The central government has failed to allocate enough financial expenditure in securing its borders, and not staging strong border patrol forces. It has neglected its responsibility in securing the lives and properties of everyone in Somaliland, whether they are citizens, guests or illegal aliens. Because all law enforcement agencies are centralized under the interior ministry, the federal authority has delegated this authority to itself. However, when the government fails its duty, the Somaliland people have an obligation, as it is our tradition and culture, to protect our guests.
The Somaliland government’s policy of “dalku waa dal Somaliyeed, ummadda Somaliyeedna walaalanahay oo waa dalkoodii”, gives any Somali- speaking individual, including those with ulterior motives to destabilize the nation, a free access to the country. This open border policy is contrary to Somaliland's independence and its sovereignty. If this is the case, that any Somali can come to Somaliland, without any traveling document and without checking in through the immigration office, then why are we reclaiming our Independence? What is the use of being a separate nation, if the same people we were running from in the first place, could just walk into the country and do the same damage they have been doing to their country?
Somaliland's government failed to put in place measures for curtailing the movement of Somalis into the country, but instead talk without action. It is almost six months since the interior minister ordered the expulsion of foreigners without proper documentation from the country but no action has been taken so far. The inconsistent message from the authority destroys the purpose of watching out for individuals with hidden agenda and frustrates those citizens willing to guard the safety of the humanitarian workers. As we all know, many European nations are designating Somaliland to be a drop-off land for Somali deportees, thus increasing the country’s crime rate and jeopardizing the lives of both citizens and expatriates alike. Should that occur, it is going to be a risk we cannot afford, and something must be done to stop it?
If Somaliland's government is not willing to stop the influx of Somalis into the country, then citizens must take matters into their hands and protect the country. We need to form citizen militia army vested with the authority of policing the countryside and the power to investigate and scrutinize any and all aliens wandering in the countryside. It is the best surveillance system we can afford this time. Our tradition of making our guests feel at home while in Somaliland, our tradition of putting at ease anyone in our land, our tradition of respecting human lives as sacred, and our tradition of protecting our guests from any harm, has been hampered by the government's refusal to expel all Somalians from the country. This free-for-all-Somalis policy has failed to sort out the Somali terrorists with malicious agenda, from those with genuine and honest plans to immigrate. The only way Somaliland could protect humanitarian workers is by deporting all Somalis from the country first, then put in a place mechanism of sorting out those eligible to return from the terrorist. We should not compromise this plan and commence its implementation at once without any delay.
In less than a year and half we lost five foreigners in our country, and the government has done nothing to capture the perpetrators and it has no preventive measurements in place from future terrorist actions. Contrary to Ismail Aden, the interior minister’s recent interview with Reuter, there are no active or sleeping terrorist cells in Somaliland. These were infiltrators from Somalia. It was shocking news to hear from the Somaliland interior minister this untrue, unsupported false statement. Somalilanders are peace-loving people and abhor such people and their unholy action. Terrorist groups never existed in Somaliland because we would not tolerate such group to exist in our land. These individuals and groups came from Somalia, and were in Somaliland, where they were able to commit such heinous crimes, because the Somaliland government failed to protect its borders. The question is: how should we protect ourselves from such influx of Somalis from Somalia and Ethiopia, given the failure of our government?
Because we believe in a Somaliland that stands for freedom, we will not fail in reaching our goal. Should we allow such few evil people to hinder our success, then we may as well pack up our bags and go to Somalia to join the so-called reconciliation meeting in Kenya and share left-overs with pigs as the others are doing. Success is not achieved without paying a price, and we are not afraid of paying that price, we just have to be wise in paying that price. We are confident that we will succeed. We will face obstacles head on, and we will conquer it and achieve our target, eliminating al-Itixaad and its dogs from Somaliland.
The saying goes, when everything else fails hug your teddy! And when your government fails you, turn to your tradition and culture. If we search our history, we will find the answer: the traditional Somali “Illaalo force” or “Scout corps”. By implementing this traditional volunteer police force, we could achieve our goal with minimal financial burden to the country. This type of force will require discipline with the goal and mission of doing civil service. True discipline and consistent application would accomplish our goal, the goal of cleaning Somaliland out of terror, returning its peace and tranquility.
It is a time to establish traditional Illaalo force or Scout corps, volunteer groups of local men, with the purpose of patrolling surrounding areas of their towns and villages for any suspicious activities. They will post sentry to all roads both going in and going out of their villages. By grouping themselves into squads of three to five men, and into four hours of ground patrol shifts, the Illaalo sentry scouts system will enhance the country's security.
Currently all NGOs pay funds appropriated for the security of their personnel directly to Somaliland government. However, these funds from the NGOs must be paid to the elders who will in return compensate individual Illaalo members for their time and service. All the towns will share by dividing funds from NGOs equally, and each town will pay their Illaalo force under their own payroll method, established locally without outside influence. Illaalos are local and all their rules and regulations are local.
Each town will recruit about ten to fifteen volunteer men who will receive intensive military, tactical and intelligence-gathering techniques. This group will go through at least three months of rigorous training. Their training will include, but will not be limited to handling weapons, marksmanship, physical and mental conditioning, and land navigation techniques. These men will graduate as special forces and work in small units, equivalent to the United States naval seal units, or the army’s special delta forces. They will learn how to identify and report suspicious activities and suspects, apprehend, and transport them. They will practice and learn the theory of one-shot-one-kill applying to all kinds of target practice. These forces will be perfect in hitting any target within the range of their weapon no matter its speed. They would master different kind of weaponry and martial arts. The Somaliland Illaalo force would consist of volunteers not under the chain of command of Somaliland Armed Forces, but under local civilian traditional leaders. They are neither responsible to the police force nor to the Army, not even to the president but only to the elders of their village. In all purposes they are civilians. Illaalo forces will have no authority to arrest and search any Somalilander without proper cause; however, as everyone else, they will have the right of citizen arrest power. They will be taught the Somaliland constitution, and all its implications.
In order to increase and maximize the effectiveness of the Illaalo force, an agreement must be developed among neighboring towns, with information-sharing policy and working closely with each other. If a suspicious vehicle passes through a town and its Illalo forces could not obtain adequate information in determining its status, they will simply inform their counter parts in the next town to watch out for such vehicle and its occupants. If that vehicle does not reach that town within estimated time frame, an immediate search alert to all law enforcement agencies and other Illaalo forces must be placed in order.
If we had in place such forces, when recently the criminals stopped their vehicle pretending to having an engine trouble, the Illaalo would have approached them before the GTZ staff did, thus preventing the death of the young Kenyan and the injury sustained by the German.
To keep this force in readiness, minimize any abuse of the authority
entrusted in them, prove that the system works as it is designed to
function, and their capability of handling situations in an acceptable
manner, system-testing measures have to be put in place. If the learning
organization method is used and applied, at any given point we will be able
to check, and correct for any errors and at the same time strengthen all
weak points and enhance the strong points. An elite military personnel units
behaving as civilians will conduct covert operations to breach the Illaalo
system and test the over-all function of the forces, both their mental and
physical condition of handling crises as well their intelligence-gathering
and land- navigation skills. To avoid any public panicking another mechanism
of retrieving back any alert message because of this test operation in a
timely manner would be put in place. The outcome and result of the illaalo
performance during any testing operation would be released to the public.
This is to build public confidence and increase morale of the individual