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Is The ICU Posing A Serious Threat To Somaliland?
“The chain reaction of evil-wars producing more wars-must be broken-or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation " Dr. Martin L. King.
History have been a witness to terrible tyrants, genocidal dictators, warlords and others embarked on hegemony and domination of other nations, who have all failed. Those who tried to subjugate other people or even their people, and denied them the inalienable rights of freedom, justice and democracy have all failed. Systemic national projects, once sanctioned by nations for domination and exploitation have all end up in failure. we have seen once powerful empires crumble into pieces or total oblivion.
Why? They were not standing on the pillars of social justice, equality and respect of human and civil rights. Once mighty empires such Persia, Byzantium, Roman, Ottoman, British, the French, Portuguese, Austro-Hungary, the Akxum, and many others have became footnotes of history. Most of those empires have fallen due to injustice, tyranny, lack of transparency and cruelty against their subjects. We must be learning from those invaluable lessons, that social injustice, tyranny and denial of human and civil rights to people will not work. Military conquests and hegemony on others can not stand.
“The governing should have the consent of the governed " Thomas Jefferson.
Mighty nations failed to sustain their hegemony and military conquest on others. For the American and coalition forces in Iraq, and the American-led NATO forces in Afghanistan are unable to contain the insurgencies in both of those countries. Where mighty empires with huge well-equipped militaries failed, do you think ragtag tribal militias, disguising under the cover of Islamic symbols can succeed, annex and sustain territories where the natives are against their annexation?
The answer is a resounding no. Hegemony and annexation disguised under false religious cosmetics or some other type of gimmicks can not and will not work. tyrants under the guise of religious paraphernalia and slogans will not go that far. People can easily figure it out, as the saying goes, " if it walks like a duck, talks like a duck, quakes like duck, it is a duck". However, aspiring tyrants can change their colors, they are real tyrants and they can't hide.
Murderous warlords were lobbing long range missiles, howitzers, tank fire and all kinds of the left over weapons from the Mujaheddin-Soviet-war. Mafia-like battle-hardened warlords with funny names, such as Qilabadiin Hikmatyar, Barhanuddin Ra bani, General Dustin, and commander Ahmed Shah Massoud refused to agree upon anything. They defeated the mighty Red army, but they destroyed whatever is left of Afghanistan after a long war, and tens of thousands of innocent civilians have perished in the mindless rampage.
All of a sudden young fighters called themselves the Taliban from the infamous Pakistani Madras-as (Community religious Schools) bursted into Afghanistan from no where. Their military success was phenomenon. The UN, the US and most of the rest of the world have recognized the weak government of Burhanuddin Rabanni, while only three countries, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the UAE (United Arab Emirates) recognized the Taliban.
Islamists in general seem to be fixated on acquiring power by any means necessary. They won't often seek power because of great vision or exemplary leadership qualities, political savvy or what have you. They usually seek power out of belief that they are morally superior to others which is a false pretense. Mogadishu Islamists controlled Somalia is slowly emerging to look like Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
The military conquest of Mogadishu and other parts of Somalia appears to look like the swift Taliban sweep through Afghanistan. The powerless Baidawa-based Embagatti government resembles in some ways, the then weak government of Barhanuddin Rabani in pre-Taliban Afghanistan. Only time will tell, but Mogadishu Islamists also bear a number of similarities to the Taliban.
The once muscular warlords have been defeated very quickly. Their advances through most of Afghanistan was swift, they have overtaken even the most hard-headed warlords by a lighting speed. Their success in mostly Pashtun land was very easy. Pashtuns make between 50-60% of Afghanistan's population. They are also dominate the south, south east, they also enjoy a good presence in the north and west.
By the time they went out of the Pashtun land, their rapid advance has been stalled a bit and for the next several years, they were engaged in pitch battles with the Northern Alliance, a mostly Uzbek and Tajik militias from Northern Afghanistan. These militias, though not gaining a lot of ground against the Taliban, fought with them to a stand still. Taliban's blitzkrieg was due to one thing and only one thing, the people of Afghanistan were at the time war-weary and ready for any kind of change, they may never have thought of what kind of a change they would like to have.
That is why the Taliban have been welcomed with open arms at the beginning. But within a very short period of time, into the reign of the Taliban, people became disillusioned with them, and start protesting and resisting against them.
They also started destabilizing the peaceful regions such as the Republic of Somaliland. Those perceived attempted of interference into Somaliland's internal affairs have prompted president Dahir Rayaale on Saturday October 1st , 2006, to sent a stern warning to the Mogadishu Islamists. Ethiopia and Kenya with sizable Mulim populations are also alarmed by the ICU's rapid conquest of territory and vitriolic rhetoric.
Since June, 2006, people were debating the sudden ascendancy of the ICU into positions of power, and their quick success to eject the cowardly warlords from Mogadishu. They have been heaped with praises from different circles and especially from the long suffering people of Mogadishu. But different perspectives on the ICU are coming out lately as they increased the territory under their jurisdiction.
With their conquest of Kismayo on Sunday, 24 of September, 06, the intensity of the debate increased. Kismayo as you know was under the jurisdiction of several warlords for over seven years. According to reliable sources, none of the reigning warlords of the area was from the area.
Kismayo a heavily contested place during the long civil war years, is a little different that most of the areas under the tutelage of the ICU. Kismayo is a very diverse city, and its population comprises of an amalgam of natives, long time immigrants and post civil war immigrants, some of which came when the Juba Valley Alliance (JVC), a cocktail of non-indigenous warlords captured the strategic port city some seven years ago.
Brief History of the spread of Islam in this region-Somaliland
On the other hand, we are in the 21st century, and all people are vigilant of their rights. You can not get away by hijacking some body's inalienable rights for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, in the name of Islam. All of us are Muslims, and if you go further (no boasting) than that, Somaliland happen to be in the window, where Islam came through on its way to the Horn of Africa and beyond, in its early days. I am talking about the period immediately after the emergency of the great religion of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula.
This is an area with a deep history of religion and a high volume of religious scholars and teachers, who have left an indelible mark on the community due to the noble endeavor, of spreading Islamic teachings through out the Horn of Africa for about a thousand years. A number of ancient Muslim centers such as the Mud-in-Al-Masa-Jid the twin cities of "Zayla", "Harrer" are here. You can see memorial tombs in homage for those early Muslim scholars in the ancient cities of Sayla, Harrer, Abarso, Darbiyada, Awbarre, Awbube and old Amoud.
My point here is to put into perspective the fact that, no one has the integrity, the authority and the knowledge to preach Islam to the people of this area. The natives of this area are early orthodox adherents to the faith-Islam. Radicals spewing a new strict interpretation of the Koranic script, laced with far-reaching political agendas and objectives can not find traction in this area. They must also think twice before they venture into this area.
The problem between Somaliland and Somalia also can only be resolved by a direct talks between an elected government of Somalia and Somaliland. In that fashion an amicable separation of the two countries may be one day finalized. Sabotage, military solution, intimidation, hostility and other subversive activities will not work. Those kinds of tactics will be ineffective, and will further harden the resolve of the Somalilanders, while further widening the gulf between the two brotherly people. The ICU and others, need to refrain from the afore-mentioned activities. These kinds of activities are nothing but an exercise in futility.
The ICU needs to put into consideration the fact that their people, are war-weary and want to live their lives in peace and tranquility. Unless the above-named principles are understood and adhered to, the morass and mayhem will continue to infinity and the suffering of the ordinary masses will go on. Venturing into other peoples' territory under the guise of Islam will not work. The problem of this area is about governance, political, social justice, tribal, ethnic, regional rivalry, nation state versus tribal state and poor leadership. But it is not about religion. Let me make the record straight, the issues must not be eschewed and distorted.
I would like to sign out with the following war quote. " Violence can only be concealed by a lie, and the lie can be maintained by violence " Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
Soleiman Egeh: email@example.com
MS. Molecular Biology MA.
Science Education–Freelance writer