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|A Reply to Mr. Faisal Ali Warabe|
Osman A. Egal
31st May 2003
It is most unfortunate that Mr. Faisal Ali Warabe should present himself as the sole champion and defender of Somaliland, its institutions and constitution. It s also most unfortunate that he should expect the people of Somaliland to believe him and trust that he will defend them against the very men who spent the best years of their lives in a struggle with the evil regime of Siyad Barre.
I do not need to speak for these men nor does one need to defend their record at a time when Mr. Ali Warabe was doing other things with his youth and wealth when these same men and women staked everything they had in a war they did not know they would win and for a country they wanted to liberate.
The people themselves and the history of this country will write the record of each.
I would however like to respond to Mr. Ali Warabe’s on the issue of human rights and the value of the reports of the press, media and African Rights and Rakiya Omaar in Somaliland.
He stated that these reports have and are likely to damage the country abroad and that they have confused the people of Somaliland. In both respects, therefore, in his view, the writing and/or the publication of these press and human rights reports are damaging and contrary to the interest of Somaliland.
Again, I will not speak for the media of Somaliland who are more than capable of speaking for themselves in response to Mr. Ali Warabe.
What is tragic, however, is that Mr. Ali Warabe who stood as a presidential candidate of an OPPOSITION(!) party should turn out to be so anti-press and anti-human rights before he even has any hope of being a minister let alone president. Instead of defending Somaliland’s citizens, their rights against everyone and the rule of law, he is telling us that these people should not be defended by anyone at all and/or that their beatings, imprisonment and ill-treatment at the hands of the "Government" should not be reported. Either way, these victims as they have informed the press and African Rights should be ignored.
If Mr. Ali Warabe will do this to defenceless women and children and their legitimate and CONSITUTIONAL rights at this very early stage of his political career, what might he do to the rest of us at a later stage of his career if he held real power?
Mr. Ali Warabe, the people of the US impeached President Nixon for lying on tape and for harassing 2 journalists from the Washington Post. They upheld the law. Know that Presidents come and go but the people and the law are permanent. And yet you talk of a ship and dollars lost when they talk of women, children, their rights and the constitution.
What does Somaliland stand for if not these people?
For historical background also, I respond to Mr. Ali Warabe. Rakiya Omaar, a graduate of 2 universities in history and then in law, chose to change from being a corporate lawyer in New York to work with the Lawyers Committee on Human Rights also based in New York. This was in 1982. She did so when she began working to support those imprisoned in Hargeisa, Burco and Berbera known as UFFO. And she changed her career altogether when she was given an original signed copy of the transcript of the National Security Court report of this same UFFO case.
This is the starting point of her human rights work, namely Somaliland and she has been on the case ever since. That is over 20 years ago. As you are no doubt aware also, she resigned from her post as Executive Director of Africa Watch when America went to war against the people of Somalia during Operation Restore Hope.
She did all this without seeking political office as you do and yet she speaks for the men, women and children of Somaliland. It is tragic that she should be doing what a politician like yourself should do and it is tragic that you as a politician instead of speaking for defenseless men, women and children as is your duty not only as a man but as a politician at that, should be blaming her for doing it.
Last but not least, when she was defending the rights of UFFO and the people of Somaliland in the US, Europe and the world press, some of the same arguments that you make today were the very same ones used by Siyad Barre and his former Ambassadors such Ahmed Mohamed Adan "Qaybe".