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Eye Witness Report From Lascanood: Dead End Road For Pro Majertenia Lascanooders

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Eye Witness Report From Lascanood: Dead End Road For Pro Majertenia Lascanooders

By Faysal Diriye, Ottawa, Canada

Shortly after Somaliland troops receded from Lascanood two years ago, scores of opportunists led by the infamous Garaad Saleebaan set about establishing a longer-term political relationship with Majertenia. For them, collaboration with Majertenai was the means by which they could blackmail Somaliland and acquire few goodies for themselves.

But things didn't work out that way for Pro Majertenia Lascanooders. Last week, Widhwidh Online (a leading past apologist of Majertenia) called openly for Majertenia withdrawal from Lascanood following the dim result of their two years presence. Widhiwidh Online is now advocating the fact that Majertenia is seeing South Sool purely in terms of her potential as a supplier of taxes and combatants and that many Lascanooders still bore a grudge against Majertenia for the punitive settlement of its murderous actions inside Garowe prison.

Widhwidh Online about face did not surprise me since I have been able to see first hand the devastation incurred by Majertenia incursion. Today in Lascanood, the military government exercises strict control over the local media, routinely censoring and suspending private newspapers in the name of state security. Through nighttime armed searches, rounding of shops owners using SL shillings or drivers displaying of SL registration, money extortions disguised as tax collection, the state of war imposed by Majertenia has victimized Lascanood society as a whole, from the elites to the village poor. Last month a youth gathering inside Lascanood City Hall was disbanded once the Majertenia appointed Mayor was confronted by intellectuals unhappy with Majertenia tight hold on Lascanood and with the proliferation of violence.

Lascanood is sadly today one of the most violent cities in Somaliland and the recent outburst of violence is leading to a proliferation of conspiracy theories that seek to explain the violence by pointing a finger at one or another known agents.

The education system in Lascanood used to be one of Somaliland’s finest. But today schools are in crisis - economic collapse and political interference are having a devastating impact.

In 2004 school year couldn't be finished because a majority of students were unable to pay the higher fees imposed by Majertenia. It is a impossible to discuss the matter today in public in Lascanood because of all the prevalent secrecy. Fortunately, teachers salary are regularly paid by Somaliland Ministry of Education, professional training is ongoing in Ainabo even thought Majertenia occupation forces make it difficult for teachers to travel to Somaliland administered zones.

By Faysal Diriye, Ottawa, Canada


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