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Rayale’s other war: the war against civil society

Issue 301
Front Page

Government Led “Coup D'état” against Shuro Net

President Rayale Holds Talks With Visiting French Embassy Officials

Planning & Coordination Minister Refutes UNDP Deportation

Somaliland cabinet meets to discuss the needs of Sool

Somaliland Attempting To Silence Human Rights Network

Somali Government Harassing Media

Zenawi Says Favorable To Keep Ethiopian Troops In Somalia

Opposition Political Party Formed In Somalia Parliament

France Looking For Way Out Of ‘Walled Meadow’ In Africa

Radio shut in Somalia amid escalating attacks on media

Two soldiers killed as gov't official survives assassination in Somalia

Regional Affairs

UN Hopes to Resume Food Aid in Somalia

Somalia: Situation Report - 26 Oct 2007

Special Report

International News

Joaquim Chissano Wins The Largest Prize In The World

Biggest Discrimination In The World: Attacks On Somali Community In Bristol

Two Somalian Immigrants Honored For Service To Local Refugees


Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah - Coast to Coast Candidate

Letter From Djibouti

US Horn of Africa Policy at odds with the Declaration of Independence

The Somali Land Birthed?

Work starts on Axum obelisk

Food for thought


Premier Gedi of Somalia cracks under political pressure

Somaliland Government: Hands-Off Human Rights Defenders

Somaliland vs. Puntland: More Terror Accusations, More Crying Wolf

Somaliland Doesn’t Need Advice From Mr. Gedi

Without A Doubt KULMIYE Party Is The Only Hope For Our Country And Its People

Somaliland: Wrong policy on the Ogaden

Rayale’s Hostages In Mandera

Proper Hiring And Justified Firing Of Employees


From the first day when the war with Majeerteenya (Puntland) started, Somalilanders from all walks of life, including civil society and the opposition, have strongly backed not only their troops but also their government and president. The purpose behind the support was of course to strengthen the government’s position in time of war. Common sense suggests that with his strengthened position and the unity shown as a result of the war, President Rayale should have shown his citizens real leadership by taking some conciliatory step, such as releasing Qaran leaders, as a goodwill gesture toward maintaining the newly found unity in the country. No such gesture took place. On the contrary, President Rayale picked exactly this moment, when the country is at war in Las Anod, to intensify his other war: the war against Somaliland’s civil society.

The latest assault in Rayale’s war on civil society happened Thursday, October 24 th in Ambassador Hotel, where Somaliland’s government masterminded an extraordinary meeting to replace the legitimate leaders of Shuro Net (Somaliland’s most effective civil society organization) with individuals selected by the government. What happened at Ambassador Hotel on Oct.24 th was a scene that harkened back to the worst abuses of Siyad Barre’s dictatorship. It was an attempt at a hostile takeover by government officials through proxies.

There are two things that are noteworthy about the government’s scheme to take over Shuro net. One, the government is very open about what it is doing and does not even try to hide it. In addition to the ministers who orchestrated this whole nasty affair from behind the scene, government ministers and other government representatives dominated the meeting itself. Second, the organization that the government is trying to take over is a civil society organization which means it is supposed to be independent of government influence, and yet the head of the committee that the government is trying to impose on Shuro Net is a known government employee.

By making a bid to takeover Shuro Net in broad daylight, President Rayale has shown that he does not care about keeping the country united at a time of war. But given what he had done to Haatuf reporters, his jailing of Qaran leaders and his reneging on his agreement with the mediation committee, Rayale’s latest move should come as no surprise to anyone. It only confirms that he will continue to use the most foulest means to reach his goals.

The international community is aware of the good work that Shuro Net has done in Somaliland. They know that Somaliland’s government has targeted Shuro Net because Shuro Net stood up and did what it was supposed to do: defend the basic rights of the citizens. They also know its legitimate leaders.

Many in the international community, especially Somaliland’s supporters are disappointed with President Rayale for his increasingly autocratic ways and deafness to good advice. Inside Somaliland, too, there is a lot of frustration with Rayale’s leadership. More importantly, there is a growing realization that Rayale and the narrow circle around him have gone too far. We share that sentiment. The government has gone too far, and Shuro Net should be defended from the government. Rayale’s war against civil society must be stopped.

Source: Somaliland Times


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