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While speaking to reporters on Thursday, Faysal Ali Warabe outlined his UCID party’s position on a number of public issues. Domestically, Faysal spoke about how Somaliland should handle the current transitional period and what UCID will do if it felt prerequisites for fair and free election were not in place, in addition to the security situation in the country in the light of recent clashes over land disputes.
Externally, the UCID Chairman raised the question of warlord Abdillahi Yusuf’s violent interventions in the affairs of Somaliland as well as future relations between Somaliland and Somalia. More importantly, Faysal came up with concrete suggestions for dealing with each of the issues he had raised. In fact, some of the ideas and concerns expressed by him deserve to be given the prompt attention of both the government and the country’s political leaders.
Faysal’s demand for guarantees that the incumbent government will not use state resources in current election campaign is justified considering UDUB’s behavior in recent local election. As a solution, Faysal suggests the formation of an interim sort of government from UDUB, UCID and KULMIYE. However, this arrangement is meant to meet only an immediate concern for the election’s transparency. It won’t be ambitious enough to meet a number of crucial challenges faced by Somaliland in the long and short terms.
In the light of current regional developments, and regardless of who wins the next presidential election, Somaliland will need to mobilize its energies and resources for overcoming the aggressive policies of its opponents. Somaliland is therefore bound by necessity to be run for the foreseeable future by an all-inclusive government. And the sooner this is done the better.
Surely one of the most pressing problems that Somaliland has to address is Abdillahi Yusuf’s tribally oriented violent intervention, because any sign of retreating from meeting this challenge would encourage the warlord into an even greater violent adventures. In the late eighties the Hawiye, Dir and Rahanweyn of Somalia turned to the SNM for help against Siyad Barre’s regime. The SNM’s support played an instrumental role in enabling them to free themselves from Barre’s oppressive rule. Numerically when put together, the 3 communities would constitute at least 85% of Somalia’s whole population. There is no reason, as Faysal proposes, why independent Somaliland shouldn’t develop some kind of an understanding with them whereby they publicly concede Somaliland’s independence (the RRA has already done exactly that) in exchange for a commitment from Somaliland to assist them achieve their aspirations in their own future Somalia.
It is a healthy development that at least one politician has been able to articulate his views on the issues and has finally come out to share them with the public. Let us hope other leaders across the political spectrum will emulate him in due course.