The Somaliland Times, Issue 25, July 6, 2002
Haatuf Media network
Tel: 252-828-3783 (Soltelco), 252-213-6546(S.T.C), 252-2-528015 (Telesom)
At Togdheer Street, Near Ged-deble Hotel
Editor: Yusuf Abdi
Gabobe - Asst. Editor: A. Dubad & Abdifatah M.Aidid - Sub. Editors: Hasan
Hosh -Layout and Design: Ahmed Jama
Hargeisa (SL Times): The Chief Judges at Hargeisa, Borama and Berbera regional courts have resigned. The three Judges, namely, Suleiman Ismail Hussein (Hargeisa), Abdirahman Ibrahim Alin (Borama) and Yusuf Ismail Abdi (Berbera), have reportedly resigned to express protest against the sacking last Sunday of Somaliland Supreme Court Justices by President Dahir Rayale Kahin.
Hargeisa regional court of Appeals Judge, Mr. Mohamed Saeed Hersi, Hargeisa regional court Judge, Mr. Abdi Jama, and Hargeisa district court Judge, Mr. Fouzi Sh. Younis, have also tendered their resignations, while citing similar reasons, it was reported.
In a public address to the nation on 18th of May this year, President Rayale promised to reform the country’s Judiciary system and eradicate corruption from government institutions.
During the last 5 years, corruption has engulfed the whole government functions in Somaliland. The widespread corruption has rendered the judiciary system devoid of integrity.
As a result, many citizens now take their litigation to private Customary or Sharia courts. Frequent government meddling in judiciary affairs, in addition to poor qualifications and relatively low salaries of judges, have also contributed to a systematic violation of the right of citizens to a fair trial, which is otherwise guaranteed by the constitution.
So far, Somalilanders have shown support for Mr. Rayale’s dismissal of the Supreme Court Justices. There has been no public sympathy either for the protesting judges who voluntarily resigned their jobs, or with a justice department under which many citizens suffered injustice over the years.
By Ali Guled, CPA, USA
Apparently, an article I wrote few days ago regarding the Mayor’s visit to The Sudan titled “ The Mayor’s visit borders on treason” has generated the following criminal investigation against me. This inquiry of criminal investigation confirms a threat the Mayor has made during a press conference he held on his return. As Haatuf reported, the Mayor made this threat: “Mr. Cawl, waxana uu ku hanjabay inuu sharciga horgeyn doono arrintan, ciqaabta ay mudan tahayna la marin doono”. In English, the gist of the Somali quotation, is that Mr. Cawl threatened to take this matter to the court and the courts would accordingly dispense the corresponding punishment.
The text of the inquiry from the Commander of the CID, which came via email, is cited below:
“Please confirm if you wrote this article which concerned the mayors visit borders with treason dated 6 June 2002, as soon as reply”
Daahir Muse Abraar
Division commander criminal department
I have privately confirmed to Mr. Daahir Muse Abraar, Division Commander Criminal Department (CID) that I wrote the article and that I stand behind it. But I decided to make it public so that Somalilanders could judge themselves how public servants are hiding behind the veil to escape the critical scrutiny. In relation to this article, the editors of Somaliland Times have been summoned to the Commander’s office several times. As some one who consistently states that the press is free in Somaliland, I am disappointed to find the harassment leveled at the press.
My article under inquiry was spurred by another article in Haatuf (issue 87), written by Mr. Canfari. Mr. Canfari’s article asserted the following:
1. The Mayor was invited by an NGO called AL-Dawa Al-Islamiya in Abu Dhabi. The NGO is run by former President of The Sudan, Abdirahman Mohamed Hassan (Suwarrul-dahab)
2. The invitation was extended while the Late President was in office
3. The late president over-ruled the invitation when he found out that the objective of the hosting NGO was less than desirable and in conflict with the foreign policy of Somaliland.
4. Mr. Cawl who is currently the Mayor of Hargeisa had a secret, unauthorized relationship with the Libyan Embassy in Addis during the S.N.M. struggle, which he served jail term for his collaboration with the enemy.
According to Mr. Canfari’s assertions, I have raised the possibility that unqualified “wannabe” foreign minister like the Mayor even with the best intentions could damage the foreign policy of Somaliland. Additionally, reflecting on the similar Libyan incident during the SNM struggle in which Mr. Cawl has collaborated with the enemy, I have questioned the integrity of the Mayor and pointed out the probability that the Mayors intentions were as sinister as the Libyan gate. Collaborating with the enemy at times of war as the case was on the prior incident, is treason and there is no other word for it.
I have also raised the following questions, and I am raising them again, to give the Mayor a second chance to extricate himself from this unholy Sudan-gate:
a. Who initiated this mission?
b. What is the relationship between the Mayor and the former President of the Sudan?
c. Where did the Mayor of Hargeisa meet with the Mayor of Khartoum to receive this invitation?
d. Who was the intermediary?
e. Who gave the Mayor the authority to conduct foreign policy?
According to the press conference the Mayor held on his return, the Mayor stated ‘…..Socdaal aanu ku soo guulaysanay buu ahaa in Siyaasiyan aanu wax ka soo dhaadhicino Sudan,” In translation, the mayor stated that he succeeded in convincing politically the case of (Somaliland) to The Sudan. The Mayor didn’t specify what he convinced The Sudan of, but it is understood the Mayor meant the withdrawal of Somaliland from the union and the pursuit of recognition.This statement attests that the Mayor has conducted political foreign affairs, a field in which he is neither authorized nor qualified. Contrary to what the Mayor claims, some Somalilanders fear that the true objective of the Mayor’s visit to The Sudan, a country hostile to Somaliland, was to exploit the Mayor’s office for personal gain.
The Mayor isn’t qualified to conduct foreign policy. He is functionally literate and he has served time for contacting foreign governments without authority during the SNM struggle. Contrast that with the credentials of the current foreign Minister, Mr. Mohamed Saeed Gees. Mr. Gees has a degree, graduated first in his class in the United Kingdom. He is a man of integrity, loyalty and intellect. To re-iterate what I have said before, only the foreign Minister and his delegates are authorized to handle foreign policy under the direction of the President unless Somaliland has a different policy. The question Somalilanders are asking is who gave the Mayor the authority to negotiate and to conduct foreign affairs with hostile Sudan? Was it the parliament or was it the President or was it someone else? The public has a right to know and wants to know.
What we have in here is a Mayor masquerading as a foreign Minister but what we don’t know is the extent of the damage the Mayor’s visit inflicted on Somaliland. This is what the Commander should be investigating, and the government should unequivocally enunciate only authorized officers would carry out the foreign policy. If the Mayor has nothing to hide, he should calmly answer the above questions under oath. The Mayor is a public figure and if he can’t take verbal punches, he should get out of the ring.
As to the criminal investigation, If the intention of the threat is to silence the freedom of expression, it has failed. This scare tactics are misguided, and I might add that, I don’t intend to malign anybody, but I intend to examine the issues of the day, to point out inconsistencies, to expose malfeasance, to evaluate the evidence and to draw conclusions. I consider this as part of my service to Somaliland and I would continue to do so. For your part, Mr. Commander, as a public servant you took an oath to Protect the constitution. The freedom of the press, not muffling it, is one of the pillars of the democratic principles you took an oath to defend and uphold.
Mr. Commander, I appreciate the effort you put in this “case” but I question your priorities. You have summoned the editors to your office several times, you demanded my email, which they complied, you requested Mr. Mustafe Axmed, the owner of Hargeisa Internet Café to email this message on your behalf, which he did. This effort indicates the priority you have attached to this flimsy ‘case”, and I can’t help but assume that you have nothing more important than this, and that law and order is under control in Somaliland. But, in reality, there is an upsurge of lawlessness in Somaliland, particularly Hargeisa and Burao. A case in point, the lawlessness chronicled under the title “ law & order in Hargeisa: who is in charge?” by Rakiya Omaar on Somaliland Times, issue number 24, and the allegations of corruption in Real Estate dealings and land acquisition in Hargeisa Municipality are only few of the immediate tasks that might be worth looking into, rather than wasting your energy in protecting officials.
An Evening Of Celebration To
Commemorate Somaliland 42nd Independence Day
On Saturday, June 29, 2002, evening, the California Somaliland Communities coordinated a memorable event to mark the celebration of the 42nd independence of our nation. The event was co-hosted by Southern California Somaliland Communities, and the San Jose Somaliland Community. The participants came from all over California with a great turnout. The event was opened with the reading of verses from Holy Qoran by Muse Abdi Mireh of Riverside who also gave a brief but very important historical facts of Somaliland prior, during and post unification history, followed by speakers from each California Somaliland Communities.
Among speakers were Ibrahim Ismail Jibaxo of Bay Area Communities, Abiib Jama of San Diego and for the Greater Los Angeles area Communities, Adan Hassan (Dhegay), and Saeed Maygag Samater. Each made a brief patriotic speech, encouraging the participants to remember their motherland and act as ambassadors of Somaliland people and government. The MC of the event, Omer Mohamed Haji Ali Guhad (Omer Sanyare), coordinated the program very well, and kept each speaker on schedule.
An emotional and beautiful poem "Rebirth Under the Acacia Tree" by Saeed Omer Muse of San Jose Somaliland Community who is also a Somaliland Forum member, made brought tears into everyone's eyes, while all the ladies gave their best "MASHXARAD". And Abdi Samater, Somalilander from the San Jose Communities also cited a beautiful Somali poem.
Professor Amina Aden cited two of her own very beautiful and emotional (buraanbur) commemorating the SNM. The Songs were naming places and the heroic commanders who led our troops into battle in those places. She also composed and read a song about her return to Hargeisa in 1998.
To thank the sacrifice that the SNM veterans had made for the independence of our nation, the community awarded the veterans an appreciation plaque. Since there was no known veteran among the participants, Professor Amina was honored to present the plaque to Abdisalan Kosar to accept it on behalf of SNM veterans. In addition, the County of Los Angeles' Supervisors sent a congratulatory certificate of solidarity and recognition of the event which was read to the participants.
The participants, who were also entertained by live band and cultural dances, were very satisfied, and an agreement of making events like this annually for both May 18th and June 26th was reached.
Hassan Mogeh Hirsi
Member of the event coordinators
LONDON (Reuters) - Supermodel Waris Dirie was a five-year-old child of the Somali desert when an old woman held her down and circumcised her with a rusty blade, sewing up her wounds with catgut and thorns.
Now the internationally renowned beauty whose face has graced countless magazines has turned her back on her lucrative career to campaign against the centuries-old practice of female genital mutilation, which has left her scarred for life.
``It is hard to say what would have happened to me if I had not been mutilated. It is part of who I am, I don't know anything else,'' Dirie told Reuters on a visit to London to talk about her work as a health ambassador for the United Nations.
Dressed in jeans, a funky-T-shirt and with a purple suede cap clamped on her unruly curls, Dirie is the very picture of a young, urban fashionista. But the model says the gloss is only skin deep -- her soul will always be in the deserts of Somalia.
She describes a hard but happy childhood, eking out a hand-to-mouth existence under a baking sun, in a land where camels and goats are often prized more highly than women.
But her expressive face darkens when she talks about the circumcision ritual which was carried out in the most primitive of conditions, nearly killing her. ``I felt my flesh being cut away, I heard the blade sawing back and forth through my skin. The feeling was indescribable. The rock was drenched with blood as if an animal had been slaughtered there.''
Dirie said the old gypsy woman who performed the ritual sewed her wounds so tightly that only a matchstick-sized opening was left -- ensuring her virginity for any future husband but also leading to crippling pain whenever she needed to urinate.
Dirie said she did not blame her mother for making her undergo the procedure. ``I wanted it. I didn't know what was going to happen but I was happy I was going to be a woman.''
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates about 140 million living girls and women around the world, predominantly in Africa, have undergone genital mutilation with two million girls a year, 6,000 a day, at risk from the practice.
WHO says female genital mutilation is practiced for a variety of reasons. Some cultures believe it makes a woman more feminine and attractive, others believe it makes her pure and clean and increases a man's sexual pleasure.
At the age of 13, Dirie fled 300 miles across the desert -- fending off lions and vultures -- to the capital Mogadishu to avoid being married off to an elderly man.
She ended up in London, working as a cleaner in a McDonald's restaurant where she was spotted by photographer Terence Donovan and catapulted into the highest echelons of the modeling world.
Her new life taught her about the rights women had and the choices they could make. Now, in her early 30s and after 10 years at the top of her profession, she is using her fame to help teach others about their choices.
``I can't dwell on what might have happened if I had not been circumcised, but it has led me to where I am. I would probably be some kind of small, selfish person living somewhere.
``Modeling used to be my life, but now I am doing something so much bigger and better.''
Last year Dirie, who recently moved to Wales, set up the Desert Dawn Foundation (www.desertdawn.org) to campaign against female genital mutilation and raise funds for a planned medical center in Somalia. She has also written two books about her life -- including the recently released ``Desert Dawn.''
Dirie said she teeters between hope and desperation in her campaign to change attitudes. Hope every time she convinces a young girl to seek help to avoid being circumcised. Desperation when she thinks about the scale of the problem.
``This is happening to all of them, 100 percent of Somali girls. And not just in Somalia, in this country and all around the world where African people have settled.''
She says some of the hardest people to convince are women who underwent the surgery themselves and want their daughters and granddaughters to do so as well.
``Even if they don't like it, they know they have to do it because that is the way the culture is. They are hanging on to this thing that is centuries old but has no meaning now.''
``The moral of the story is that this is something very wrong. Until the problem is recognized and absolutely dealt with, it won't go away.