Farah Ali Jama,
In recent months, a number of Somaliland trucks transporting
legitimate and taxed goods to the Somali State of the Federal
Republic of Ethiopia have been terrorized, ambushed, robbed, and
burnt by the ONLF terrorists operating in the region.
As a result of this terrorism, Somaliland traders have lost hundreds
of thousands of dollars worth of property, and millions of dollars
worth of trade and taxes between the two neighboring states.
Moreover, the operation and provocation of these ONLF terrorists in
the region has undoubtedly retarded progress and development of the
Somali State, disrupted the border trade between the two countries,
and may eventually endanger the Somaliland-Ethiopia border security
arrangements if nothing is done to reverse this dangerous development
in the region.
Although the ONLF terrorists blame the government of Somaliland for
starting the enmity by unfairly deporting to Ethiopia or
incarcerating a number of its guerillas or kinsmen in Hargeysa and
try to justify their criminal acts of terrorism as acts of legitimate
revenge, it is further from the truth, that they are actually
fighting a proxy war for Djibouti and Puntland against the economic
interests of both Somaliland and Ethiopia. These terrorists also
receive support and training from other countries in the region
Nevertheless, the truck burnings strategy by the ONLF terrorists has
many facets in regards to the respective interests of the countries
involved in this terrorism and treasonous crime. However, the main
strategy of the truck burnings is to breach and inflame the peaceful
coexistence between the Isaaq and Ogaaden/Darood inhabitants of the
Somali State, ignite a civil war, and to create a situation of
general insecurity and instability in this area so as to disrupt the
Somaliland-Ethiopia border trade, to further destabilize the Berbera
port, and to eventually undermine the economic independence of
Somaliland. For this reason, we will briefly examine the
characteristics of the stated strategy and the involvement of the
different players in this colossal crime as follows:
The Djibouti’s Involvement:
It is not a secret that Djibouti collaborated with and in a
subservient manner served the fascist and tyrannical regime of
dictator Siyaad Bare against our interests during the SNM long and
bitter struggle to liberate our people and nation. It is also in
cahoots with the criminal War Lords of Somalia, has hosted the failed
Arta Conference, and is still working tirelessly to reconstitute the
crumbled state of Somalia so as to resuscitate the horrible dream of
Greater Somalia that has long died in order to undermine the
existence of Somaliland. There is no doubt that Djibouti is
Somaliland’s No. 1 enemy. Therefore it will not hesitate to use or
collaborate with the enemies of Somaliland regardless of who they
are. Djibouti’s policies, actions, and enmity against Somaliland are
not a new phenomena and not surprising anymore.
But what is unknown to most Somalilanders is Djibouti’s ongoing proxy
war waged against the economic interests of Somaliland by the ONLF
terrorists operating in the Somali State of the Federal Republic of
Ethiopia. The ONLF terrorists infiltrated the country from Djibouti
and their main mission to undermine peace and security in the
country, to halt the Somaliland-Ethiopia border trade, and to damage
the Somaliland-Ethiopia security agreements. This mission is also
intended to further destabilize the function of the Berbera port, the
only port of our country.
On the other hand, this strategy is also meant to send signal to the
international community particularly the European Union that the use
of Berbera port-Tog Wajaale route is not safe for shipments of
humanitarian relief to the famine affected areas of Ethiopia, and
that the only safest route is the Djibouti-Dire Dawa-Jig Jiga route.
The Eritrea’s Involvement:
We know that Eritrea’s support for Somalia/Greater Somalia is in
relation with the moral support in which the fascist regime of
Dictator Siyaad Bare offered to Eritrean during their independence
struggle against Ethiopia. At the period, the regime of Somalia
treated well the few Eritrean refugees who managed to arrive at
Mogadishu. Also, the regime issued Somalia passports to these foreign
refugees, and even paid the air fares for some to various Middle East
destinations particularly to Saudi Arabia.
Consequently, Somalia was using the Eritrean refugees issue in
retaliation of Ethiopia’s support of the SSDF guerillas and SNM
freedom fighters. Therefore, Eritrea’s support of the ONLF is in
relation to this strategy is confined to its enmity with Ethiopia.
Eritrea seems to be putting into practice the saying, “The enemy of
your enemy is your friend.” Above all, Eritrea maintains a secret
training camp for the ONLF terrorists. And after training these
terrorists are allowed to travel to Djibouti for further
indoctrination, and finally transported to infiltrate our country
through Somaliland-Djibouti border in order to carry acts of
terrorism against our economic interests.
The Puntland’s Involvement:
Puntland’s involvement in the Djibouti proxy war comprises of two
factors: 1.) The ONLF are the kin of the Harti tribes. That is why
the ONLF guerillas showed their solidarity with Puntland militia by
sending many of its terrorists to back “Beast-Man” War Lord Abdullahi
Yusuf when Somaliland deployed troops to the region, and 2.) For many
years, Puntland provincial administration had been scheming to divert
the Ogaaden/Darood trading route from Hargeysa-Berbera port to the
Gaal Kaayo-Bosaso port, and it seems that they have finally succeeded
in this endeavor.
In fact, a much less Ogaaden/Darood business comes to Hargeysa
nowadays. And that is why Somaliland traders desperately travel
further into the dangerous hinterland of the Somali State to places
such as Fiiq and elsewhere in such of consumers, only to be ambushed
later by the ONLF terrorists, robbed, and their trucks burnt. This is
evidence that Puntland has succeeded to divert trade from
Hargeysa-Berbera port. Also, with the help of Riyaale
administration’s ulterior motives to maintain high taxes, Puntland
managed to lure Somaliland traders to its Bosaso port and cashing in
our precious dollars needed for our country.
The strategy behind the truck burnings by the ONLF Terrorists is
actually part of a sinister plot by Djibouti to destroy the economic
independence of Somaliland. Above all, it is a clear proxy war by
Djibouti against the economic interests of both Somaliland and
Ethiopia. This strategy is a threat to our peace and security, has
already inflamed the peaceful coexistence of the Isaaq and
Ogaaden/Darood inhabitants of the Somali State of Ethiopia, and if
the culprits are not stopped; the enemy might have his wish to ignite
unnecessary civil war, undermine our general economy, and may further
destabilize the Berbera port. The ONLF Terrorists are fighting a
proxy war for Djibouti and Puntland, and this has to be stopped
sooner rather than later.
1. Reduce Berbera port taxes and maintain permanent low taxation
levels below the rates of Bosaso port in order to lure back
Somaliland traders, to benefit the country, and to generate
employment for our citizenry.
2. Appoint by merit new Port Authority team to manage the Berbera
3. Send a high level delegation to Ethiopia to deal with the
provocation and threat of the ONLF Terrorists in the Somali State of
4. Demand financial compensation from Ethiopia for the victims of
the truck burnings, looted properties, and for the loss of business
as the result of the ONLF terrorism.
5. Strengthen level of cooperation and the border security
arrangements between Somaliland and Ethiopia.
6. Lift the harsh restrictions imposed on Awdal province and
Awdalians traders with the pretext of dealing in contraband goods,
and facilitate a free border trade between Somaliland and Djibouti in
order to create jobs for our unemployed citizenry.
7. Extend the administration to Sanaag-Bari and Sool province
immediately to curb the menace of Puntland and other enemies.
8. Warn Djibouti against its interference in Somaliland internal
affairs, and temporarily halt all contacts and dealings with the