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Somaliland’s New Security Concerns
The influx of arms into Somalia from countries in the region has escalated following the rapid advances made by ICU fighters across most of the former Italian Somalia with Yemen openly supplying new consignments of heavy weaponry to the TFG in Baidoa only last week.
These arms constitute a dangerous threat to Somaliland’s security in two ways. In the short term some of these weapons might be used for terrorist attacks in Somaliland. In the long term the TFG’s Abdillahi Yusuf might use these weapons to intimidate, undermine or attack Somaliland.
And with the international community still unable to figure out how to deal with the Islamists who took control in Mogadishu except by desperately seeking to prop up the internally exiled TFG militarily, the dangers to Somaliland are likely to become even much graver in the next future.
Somalilanders concerns over their security are rendered even more potentially justifiable considering the fact that both the TFG and the ICU have in their ranks well known figures who have been accused of committing war crimes here during the 1980s. Moreover Somaliland-born elements who were shunned by their compatriots for trying to practice warlordism or fundamentalism in Somaliland in the early 1990s are now sheltered either in Baidoa or Mogadishu.
The security situation in Somaliland and elsewhere in the region would further be seriously jeopardized if the UN Security Council approved deployment of “peacekeeping” foreign troops in Somalia.
The Somaliland government of president Rayale has not so far taken adequate responses to the threats posed to the country’s security by recent developments in Somalia. Mr. Rayale must understand that his government is obliged to shield this country from the real dangers it faces. Somalilanders will not accept inaction on the part of the government, especially with regard to the safeguarding of this country’s borders with Somalia.
President Rayale should give orders to his troops to move to the border. Such a step will be a legitimate exercise in self-defense. The clan militia of Abdillahi Yusuf, Somalia’s warlord turned president, in Las-Anod, should be given the ultimatum to voluntarily withdraw or face the consequences of being evicted by force. It would be unwise for president Rayale to sacrifice Somaliland’s national security interests and survival for the sake of winning some meaningless expressions of appreciation from an international community that has been shamelessly competing in the last couple of weeks for winning favors of a government that has been internally displaced by its own people and a group of Mullahs who defeated rival warlords in Mogadishu.
The deployment of Somaliland troops along the eastern borders though a top priority, however it is not the only step that should be taken to curb threats. There is a need for a substantial improvement in the country’s intelligence capabilities in order to thwart any conceivable threats.
Somaliland should also actively seek promoting its security interests at least regionally.
For instance, it would be necessary for governments in the region to be informed that they shouldn’t expect security cooperation to be a one way street.
It is however important not to interpret the call for facing up to the rising security challenges as an invitation for Somaliland to assume the attributes of a police state.
On the contrary, Somaliland has to keep alive its tradition of openness as well as the peace culture that has taken root in this society during the post-war period. It is however equally important that Somaliland takes measures deemed necessary for its security survival.
Source: Somaliland Times