SOMALILAND FORUM www.somalilandforum.com
Farah Addo’s Misrepresentation And Abuse Of Aid
During his reign of terror, Somalia’s late dictator, Mohamed Siyad Barre, had grown so fond of Farah Waheliye Addo that he picked him to become the chairman of the country’s National Olympic Committee and its ambassador-at-large for world sports. The Somali sports community was, of course, forced to rubber stamp both designations with their approval as any voice of objection would have, under those circumstances, incurred being arrested, tortured or even killed. But long after his former protector was disgracefully chased out of power and Somalia disintegrated into large battlegrounds for warring militia groups, Mr. Addo, believe it or not, has had no problem to convince world sports officials that he is still indispensable.
To cover his vulnerability resulting from the sudden departure of Barre in early 1991, Addo was quick enough to find a new godfather in the person of Essa Hayatou, President of the Confederation of African Football. The Cameroonian Hayatou not only turned a blind eye to the legally questionable status of Addo, but had reportedly used his influence as CAF’s boss that this issue is not pursued by sports authorities elsewhere. And it did seem that the two men needed each other’s skills so much that Hayatou had had to choose Addo as his vice in the CAF. This relationship has provided the right cover for Addo to go on a campaign for soliciting aid, both cash and in kind, from every possible donor that he could reach, ostensibly for the development of sports in a country where ordinary people felt insecure unless they were armed. As a result, millions of dollars in aid given for improving Somalia’s sports, allegedly ended up in Addo’s personal bank accounts.
Sadly enough, a significant portion of the aid money was reportedly even used for financing the war activities of Addo’s own tribal militiamen in Mogadishu. It is a pity that international sport bodies such as CAF and FIFA would have allowed this fraud to happen.
We however believe that this aid abuse operation merits to be fully and immediately investigated. The International Olympic Committee, CAF and FIFA, which are suspected of complicity with Addo in this affair, must take the lead in the initiation of a call for an independent investigation of this large-scale abuse of aid intended for Somalia’s sports. All donors who had contributed resources through Mr. Addo are also needed to come forward with an expressed call for an investigation.
Sportsmen and women in neighboring Somalia will have to decide for themselves as to whether to pursue this case or not. But since Addo has been claiming that he also represented the Republic of Somaliland, the sports authorities here must make sure that their grievances, complaints and demand for seeing this man held accountable for his alleged wrongdoings, must be conveyed to concerned regional and international confederations and committees. Addo must be stopped.
Mogadishu (SL Times): Mr. Farah Wehiliye Addo, the current Vice-President of the Confederation of African Football, is the main financial backer of the armed militia men led by Mr. Omer Finish in Mogadishu, Somalia, the Somaliland Times has learned. Mr. Addo is from the same sub-tribe of Omer Finish who has been logged for the last one year in a fierce fighting against another faction leader, Sudi Yalahow, for the control of the southwestern Madin section of Mogadishu. Omer Finish is the former chief of staff of Sudi Yalahow. Both men as well as Addo belong to the Abgal sub-clan of the Hawiye clan. Mr. Finish had, on the instigation of Mr. Addo, revolted against Yallahow early last year and instead allied himself with the so-called transitional national government of Somalia, better known as the Arta faction.
Sudi Yallahow and most of other faction leaders in Somalia are opposed to the Arta faction. Farah Addo supports this group on the understanding that it doesn’t interfere with his capacity to retain his controversial title as Chairman of the Somali National Olympic Committee.
The TNG had in fact accredited Addo’s re-election for this position in a bogus congress of the National Olympic Committee purportedly held in Mogadishu last year. Long before his fall in Jan 1991, Somalia’s former dictator Siyad Barre had given Addo the title of “Exemplary Sportsman of Scientific Socialism.”
From an ordinary football referee in the seventies, Addo or Sendiko, as he is widely known by Somalis, rose up swiftly through the sports hierarchy of his country to become Chairman of the Olympic Committee.
Because of Barre’s protection and support, Addo actually exercised complete control over all the country’s sports activities be it internally or externally.
After Siyad Barre’s fall in Jan. 1991, Somalia became a battleground for rival clan militia groups vying for power and the state that used to be called the Somali Democratic Republic disintegrated into oblivion. As a result, Somalia’s diplomatic missions abroad and its envoys to regional, continental and international bodies saw their representation credentials invalidated by host governments or organizations. In the arena of world sports however, Somali officials were somehow able to get a kind of a business-as-usual treatment from their former international counterparts.
During the last 10 years, Addo has reportedly embezzled millions of dollars in aid money that has been donated for the development of sports in a country where people found it unsafe to pray in Mosques let alone practice sports. Addo is known to have been claiming during his fund-raising campaigns abroad that he also represents Somaliland, which broke away from Somalia in early 1991 after 10-year long war of independence against Barre’s regime. Despite being the only place where peace has been fully restored and people practice sports activities, Somaliland has however been denied to receive even a small portion of the one million US dollar granted by the FIFA in the year 2000 for improving sports infrastructures and coaching for the former Somalia.
Mine Explosion Kills Two In Buroa
Buroa (SL Times): A mine explosion in Buroa, yesterday noon, killed tow boys. The explosion occurred at Sheikh Osman Nur School (formerly 15th May). The two boys were identified as Abdikarim Saeed Hassan (8yrs old) and Mubarak Saleban Hassan (12 yrs old).
The two boys who were cousins died on the spot, according to Buroa’s police commissioner, Mr. Saleban Muse Hassan.
Mr. Hassan said the site of the explosion has been known to be a minefield area. He added the authorities have asked mine-action groups working in Buroa to begin a sweeping mine-clearance operation in that particular area.
A number of other people were killed and injured in the same location before.
President Egal Admitted In South African Hospital
Pretoria (SL Times) The Somaliland President Mohamed I. Egal has arrived in Pretoria capital of South Africa on Wednesday evening.
He was immediately admitted to a military Hospital for medical check up and urgent medical treatment.
President Egal left Somaliland’s capital, Hargeisa, last Wednesday noon, for a 10-day visit. He is being accompanied by First Lady Kaltun Haji Dahir, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamed Saeed Gees, the Information Minister Abdillahi Mohamed Du’aleh, the Governor of the Bank of Somaliland Abdirahman Du’aleh, Security Officer col. Abokor Sulub and his personal physician Dr. Ali Ghadi.
“H. E. President Egal’s plane safely arrived last night in South Africa at 18:25 (South Africa local time),” said a statement issued by the Somaliland’s ministry of information on Thursday.
According to the statement, the President and his delegation were received by an official from the South African ministry of foreign affairs and senior personnel from the South African Army Force, including General Sedepe.
On arrival at Lanseria Airport close to Pretoria, President Egal was immediately transported to a military hospital for urgently needed medical treatment, the statement added.
It is believed that Egal has been trying to go for a medical check-up for at least two years, but was unable to do so because of the political situation in Somaliland. But as revealed by his spokesman Mr. Abdi Idiris, President Egal’s health condition has been deteriorating during the last three months.
“Since Arab countries have a low estimation of us the President (Egal) refused to go there for medical treatment,” the President’s spokesman said in a statement. “Consequently the President requested the South African Government – where the Republic of Somaliland has a diplomatic representative – to accept him which it did.” After his treatment, Egal would follow up on political issues his spokesman Abdi Idiris added.
This was Egal’s second trip abroad in three months. In February he visited to Ethiopia.
Egal, who is known to have contacts with the South African authorities, will use his trip to brief South African officials on the current situation in the region.
By Ali Gulaid, San Jose, California
Despite the historical claim to sovereignty, a decade of stability and a referendum of self-determination, Somaliland is perishing for lack of recognition. The international community has acknowledged the political progress Somaliland has made but it has withheld the coveted recognition. Somaliland is a de jure State and the claim that the unity of former Somalia (Somalia) is sacred is farcical. Somaliland was an independent constitutional state for five days (June 26, 1960 to June 30, 1960). She has enjoyed an international personality before she relinquished her sovereignty for the realization of greater Somalia. At that time, Somaliland had received an informal recognition form the United States and concluded four treaties with Great Britain and Ireland.
The former Somali Republic was a union of two states (British Somaliland and Italian Somalia) and contrary to the myth, Somaliland was never part of Somalia before the illegitimate union in 1960. The Ottoman Turks and the Egyptians colonized Somaliland before she became a British Protectorate in 1887, while Italy and others colonized Somalia. Moreover, the “Act of Union” was never signed and according to the Vienna convention on the law of treaties it fell short as a valid treaty recognizable under the international law. The people of Somaliland have genealogical lineage that they don’t share with the people of Somalia. The common language and religion have failed to overcome the clan loyalty and the culture imbued by the disparate colonial systems. The disparity in political power sharing exacerbated the irreconcilable differences.
As a result, Somaliland became disenchanted with the illegitimate “union” early on. On June 20, 1961, major parties in Somaliland boycotted the ratification of the unifying constitution. On December 9, 1961 all of the twenty-two (22) military officers, Sandhurst graduates, the cream of Somaliland, without a single defection staged a coup to secede from the Union. On October 1962, the only two Somaliland cabinet ministers resigned from the government - the current President being one of the two - and a few days later, all the Somaliland deputies walked out of the parliament.
But it was the ethnic cleansing exacted on the people of Somaliland that compelled them to re-claim their sovereignty: once bitten, twice shy. According to Africa Watch, the Siyad Barre government killed more than fifty thousand people from Somaliland, destroyed the major cities, resulting in the flight of a million Somalilanders to Ethiopia. One U.N. expert who excavated some of the mass graveyards said, “people were chained together, women and children included…”. Even though Siyad Barre died unceremoniously in exile, his agents who committed most of these heinous acts are today cabinet members and parliamentarians of the self-styled Transitional National Government (TNG), more commonly known as Arta group. It would be insensitive and callous to expect from Somaliland to embrace greater Somalia once again.
Today, Somaliland feels more akin to Ethiopia than Somalia. The treatment Ethiopia extended to the half a million refugees who left their homes when the Somali government was bombarding its own people, poisoning the water wells and destroying the major cities of Somaliland have deeply touched the people of Somaliland. Furthermore, the cultural, historical and the commercial relationships that existed between Ethiopia and Somaliland have been renewed and are flourishing.
Somalia ceased to exist as a political entity when the Siyad government collapsed in January 1991. Today, Somalia is a battleground between bandits, factions and Islamic fundamentalists, engaged in a tug of war to dethrone, destabilize and demolish each other in order to gain the upper hand. One of the determining attributes of statehood is maintaining law and order, and the Arta Group doesn’t control as much territory as Shatigadud or Yalaxaw does, and hence, has no more legitimacy than the rest of the factions. This hybrid of Islamic fundamentalists and the re-hash of Siyad cronies represent no constituency. Indeed many of the Arta group is accused of war crimes by the international community. Under these circumstances, who could sincerely fault Somaliland to re-establish her sovereignty?
Due to these atrocities, inequities and anarchy, Somaliland reclaimed her relinquished sovereignty in May 18, 1991. Today, Somaliland has a defined territory (ex-British Somaliland), permanent population and an effective independent government. According to the U.N. charter, Somaliland has fulfilled the legal requirements of statehood. Furthermore, the re-birth of Somaliland conforms to the OAU charter regarding the preservation of the colonial borders. Unlike the nominal Arta group, Somaliland has substance: a constitution, currency, flag, National anthem, passport, a legislative body, functioning judiciary and an elected government.
Additionally, recognizing Somaliland has tangible benefits for the region. The fact that Somaliland has reclaimed her sovereignty has diminished the prospects of resurrecting greater Somalia. It was just a month ago that Hussien Aideed has rekindled the aspirations of Greater Somalia including “Kilil 5”. This is a commonly held sentiment among the warlords in Somalia. The Horn should take note that recognizing Somaliland is the only insurance against the re-launching of the irredentist policy of Somalia. Recognition of Somaliland by the international community will not prejudice the economic prosperity of Somalia. By all accounts, Somaliland is territorially smaller, economically weaker, more devastated and less fortunate in natural resources than Somalia.
Granted that the cabinet positions are limited, the absence of Somaliland would make the distribution and the sharing of the political power fairer among the major clans in Somalia. Assigning political positions for an uninterested party-Somaliland- would only take away from a genuine and a deserving participant. More importantly, as a recognized state, Somaliland could play a greater role in the reconciliation process of Somalia. Why discriminate against Somaliland?
Ethiopia has met the brunt of the brutality carried out in the name of Greater Somalia. The 1963 and 1977/78 savage wars should serve as a reminder of what greater Somalia entails, and if in doubt, Ethiopia should reflect upon the widely held sentiment expressed by Aideed. The menace of “Greater Somalia” didn’t spare Kenya either. The constant military attacks under the pretext of “shifta” have traumatized Kenya. The constitution of Ethiopia allows cessation on the basis of self-determination and thanks to the Ethiopian Constitution and leaders, Eritrea is an independent state today. Somalis have already acknowledged the withdrawal of Somaliland: the only legitimate leader from the former Somalia, Mr. Hasan Shatigodud, of the new administration of Southwestern Somalia has recognized the withdrawal of Somaliland. It is high time that Ethiopia and Kenya realized the facts on the ground.
The aspiration of greater Somalia is euphemism for expansionism and the sacredness of the unity of Somalia is a delusion. It is worth mentioning that Somalis aren’t the only ethnic group, dispersed over the Horn, which shares common language and religion. The Afar is another nation that is scattered over three different states (Djibouti, Eritrea and Ethiopia). The unity of Somalia is no more sacred than that of the Afar Nation. The earlier the five-cornered star insignia of the Somali Republic banner is reconfigured, the safer the Horn will be.
In effect, the non-recognition has blocked access to bilateral and multi-lateral financial loans and grants for development. Due to this illegal sanction, Somaliland is succumbing to infant mortality, malnutrition, tuberculosis and other poverty related social-ills. This international sanction is mobilized by the Arab League namely Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Djibouti. Egyptians would like an unified, militarily strong Somali Republic in the Horn of Africa, in case Ethiopia attempts to deflect or deny the Nile water to Egypt. Saudi Arabia has designated Somalia as a satellite for her Wahabi sect, and Djibouti eyes Berbera port and the longest airfield in sub-Sahara Africa as formidable competition and a threat to her only source of income - the port of Djibouti.
Before the end of this year, Somaliland will be holding statewide multi-party elections for a new government. This coming multi-party election would end ten years of by and large peaceful traditional elections, and would usher into an era of universally accepted elections. What makes this coming election a milestone is that Somaliland has achieved all of this by herself, without the help of the international community. Recently, Somaliland held a referendum for a constitution underpinned by the withdrawal from the union and the people of Somaliland have overwhelmingly voted (97%) to withdraw from the union: certified by Initiative and Referendum Institute in Washington, D.C, independent international poll monitors. Somaliland has fulfilled the requirements of statehood once again, and the international Community has an obligation to respect the historical rights and the self-determination of the people of Somaliland. This prolonged non-recognition will not change the mind of the people of Somaliland, but it will only cause more hardship.
Somaliland is aware that the 14th Somali reconciliation conference is going to be held late April, tentatively, in Nairobi. Somaliland doesn’t envy the attention her sister-Somalia has received from the international community and wishes her good luck. Somaliland, however, has crossed the Rubicon, and says Adieu to former Somalia.