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How Did We Get Here And What Must Be Done*‎‎

ISSUE 231
Front Page
Index

This Week's Somaliland News

This Week's News coverage for Somaliland and Somalia

Headlines

Somaliland Foreign Minister Meets with Jendayi Frazer

UK Parliament Group For Somaliland To Be Launched‎   

US Seeks Islamic Courts’ Help To Catch Somali Extremists‎ ‎‎‎‎

Could Mogadishu Islamic Courts Be Eligible For The Nobel Peace Prize?‎‎‎

‘Peace-Keeping’ In Somalia After The Fighting Has Stopped! How Typical!‎

Somalia: A New Actor On The Stage‎‎‎‎‎

Somaliland And Africa Union

To Donors: Admit Defeat, And Re-Engage‎‎‎‎

Regional Affairs

Reports: Yemen Arming Somalia Again‎‎‎‎ ‎

‎Somaliland-MIDROC’s Berbera Port Deal Falls Through‎‎

Somalia's Gov't, Militia OK Recognition‎

TV Cameraman Killed In Somalia

Somali Delegations Have Direct Talks In Sudan

Somalia's Civil War May Become Regional Conflict, UN Envoy Says

SOMALIA: Radio Station Closed, Journalists Harassed

Islamic Group Under Scrutiny In Somalia‎‎

Editorial
Special Report

International News

Chicago Tower On Attack List‎‎

Somalia: Who Supports Who?

Blair Airs New Ideas In Crucial Battle To Beat Crime‎‎‎‎‎

Press Conference By Secretary-General's Special Representative For Somalia‎

Somali Situation Is A Challenge To The AU

ISLAMIC COURTS UNION: Bush Strategy Stirs Tempest In Somalia

‎''The Islamic Courts Union Opens A New Chapter In Somalia's Political History''‎‎‎‎‎‎

FEATURES & COMMENTARY

The New Taliban‎

Flags Have Us All A-Flutter

An Ugly Marriage‎

Somalia Can Succeed If We'd Leave It Alone

‎Why the International Contact Group Should Support the Islamic Courts Union‎‎‎

Food for thought

Opinions

Over The Spoils Of The Haunted Somali State

Pro Puntland Laascanooders Political Demise - June 18, 2006 - 11:04‎‎‎‎‎‎

JAMAL THE CAMEL

Rebuttal Of: An Appeal To The Secretary-General Of ‎The African Union In Response To The ICG Report

“Mr. Judge Why Do You Want To Bring My ‎Country Into A Dilemma?!!”‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎

Somali Muslims Join Radicals To Fight Common ‎Enemy, The US

Somalia’s New Islamic Leadership‎

Fun Time Is Over In Mogadishu‎‎

Childhood: Trials And Tribulations In The ‎Adulthood Track‎‎


By Jamal Gabobe

Seattle, Washington, June 24, 2006 – No doubt most Somalilanders were shocked and angered by the forced entry into the House of Parliament by armed members of the unit for the protection of foreign personnel. It was to say the least, a criminal and seditious act. But if we reflect upon what has been happening lately in Somaliland it should not have come as a complete surprise, for already a precedent was set when Somaliland’s government sent the police force to disperse the parliament’s meeting.

Another incident that foretold of things to come was the exchange between the Minister of Finance, Mr. Hussein Ali Dualeh and the owner of Ambassador Hotel, Mr. Khadar. When the Minister of Finance was asked by Khadar what would the government do if parliament refused to pass the budget, the minister curtly replied, “if the budget is not passed we will let the police and government employees go and eat at expensive hotels.” The message was clear: not passing the budget would mean that the government would not be able to pay its employees, which could lead to serious breakdown in law and order. The minister’s reply showed that he knew he held an ace to which parliament would have no alternative but to submit. As it happened parliament acquiesced, as any right thinking Somalilander would have done, the budget was passed and Somaliland was spared the minister’s scary scenario.

Both these instances show that the government, or specific ministers in the government, have no qualms about using the security forces to break law and order for political gain or personal interests.

Based on their rhetoric which encouraged people to take the law into their own hands prior to the rebellious element’s criminal act, and their approving reaction after the act, the opposition also bears some responsibility for this ugly turn of events. The only bright spot was the adroit and skillful way in which the head of Parliament, Mr. Abdirahman M. Abdillahi (Cirro), handled the mutinous elements. Mr. Cirro listened carefully to their complaint, calmed their fears but also insisted that they must go through the proper channels. It was indeed a statesmanly performance by the Speaker.

Given this state of affairs, where do we go from here? I suggest the following:

1. Since the mutinous elements broke the law, endangered the lives of civilians and damaged Somaliland’s reputation as a law-abiding nation, they should be paid the amount that the government owes them (if they are owed any money that is) and then fired. By their indiscipline, lack of respect for the chain of command and willingness to air their irresponsible views in the media (one of them had the audacity to compare their armed and illegal entry into parliament to the SNM’s entry into Hargeysa during the war of liberation; another one threatened to kill someone if he were not paid) they have proved that they cannot be trusted with the security of Somalilanders or foreigners. Further, the commanders of this unit must be investigated and dealt with accordingly.

2. The President’s acknowledgment that he had been aware for sometime about the problem between the minister of interior and the commander of police and that he tried and failed to resolve it, does not speak well for his managerial style. It is of course commendable not to be rash (sometime no one can accuse the president of), but to allow problems to fester, and to take action only after they blow up is not the proper way to manage the affairs of a nation.

3. The President’s firing of the minister of interior and the commander of police in one stroke has laid to rest the claim that the president is too weak or beholden to some ministers. Now that he has dispelled this misperception, he should seize the initiative and reinvigorate his administration by sacking inept ministers, hiring capable ones, attending to other festering problems, bringing some coherence to his policies and instituting some badly needed reforms.

4. Both the government and the opposition must understand that endangering the security of the nation and destabilizing the country in their quest for scoring narrow political gains is unacceptable to the vast majority of Somalilanders. The government and the opposition should take into account that Somalilanders have paid too dearly for their security and stability, and that anyone who endangers that stability will be seen as someone who is playing with the lives of Somalilanders. Political competition is fine, but stability is a red line that must not be crossed by the government, opposition or anyone else.

*This note was written before the latest incident of students disrupting the proceedings of parliament in order to complain about not being paid.


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