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Somaliland Cheers and Tears
By Mohamed Khawi
Colonial era: under British rule, the Individual tribes who had had protection treaties with the British jointly or severally signed on board a naval ship, for protection purposes. The Dolb. were the only exception, as they were skeptic about the ulterior motives of the British and mistrusted the wisdom behind protection by colonizing aliens. Because of Geo-social realities of the HUWAN Society, the British rule had later been extended to canvass the Dolb. Territory as an integral part of Somaliland on defacto basis.
Independence Era: Four days Transit waiting at Mogadishu-bound Bus stop.
Union Era: From 1st July, 1960 till Siad's doomsday in 1991; we were an annexure of Somalia.
Break-away Era : The rebirth of Somaliland 1991 till present day. Housekeeping Administration, locally segmented, and globally snubbed. Given above, Somaliland is still bidding time to become a reckonable State.
The rebirth of Somaliland came too sudden. The collapse of Siad's regime came unexpectedly too soon. The Somali National Movement (SNM) had no program, but to fight under the banner of " Duriyda" (Isaak tribe) and the hatred of the "Faqash." (Siad Barre's regime) The first two national conventions in Burao and Berbera, post Siad Bare were centered on the following:
· Keeping the peace.
· Regional administration
· Renegotiating the Act of the union.
· Formation of coordinated national administration.
Suddenly, the Burao escalation came with Nazi-like terms that upset the balance:
· The imposition of unilateral secession without Somaliland tribes' consensus.
· What we say goes, no questions asked.
· An exclusive SNM administration.
· Total disarmament and total surrender.
This was followed by Somaliland version of Aideed's taming spree of other tribes to gain own tribe hegemony. Civil war ensued like a forest fire all over the Somaliland.
Fact No. 1: Somaliland is still hibernating in the limbo since its rebirth. We are still caged in a vacuum and made no credible headway. By this inaction we are losing ground nationally and internationally. Not only in the context of recognition as a sovereign state, but in the sectors of development and humanitarian aid. The house keeping administration seems to be drifting away from serving the popular mainstream. To all intents and purposes, Mogadishu style power monopoly by the few seems to be in the pipeline. In this transitional period, of difficult times Somaliland does not need little czarism, tribal or total, but needs selfless sacrifices and teamwork.
Fact No. 2: We are already a divided nation of "Dir Waqooyi" and "Harti Bari." We lost our original identity as Isaaks, Dholb, Warsangali, Esa and Gadabursi. The Huwan entity, unique in ethnic identity, cultural heritage, common traditional ties, bonded by inherent kinship and customary symbiosis, seem to have thinned out and on the verge of systematic dissipation. The Huwan brand name, per-se is a unifying factor. Any recourse to tribal loyalty, at the expense of the bigger picture of national solidarity, by design or default, is divisive polarization weakening us from within.
Fact No. 3: The SNM brainwashing cliché of Isaak solidarity and supremacy, coined to give impetus to the cause of liberation is still lingering. The SNM fighters were exclusive tribal fronts, each with own agenda. The Dhulb voluntary expedition, to beef up the struggle, headed by none other but Garad Ali Garad Jama was not welcomed. The SNM missed the message represented in the voluntary Dholb expeditionary force headed by a dignitary in the caliber of Garad Ali Garad Jama. The SNM denial of a tradition of Garadic Excellency to their advantage at a crucial time, was either sheer ignorance of serious deal making or calculated sniping of anything Dhulbahantic. It should be recalled that Garad Ali, together with M.I. Egal, Ahmed Kaysse and Haji Ibrahim Nur had been the principal negotiators of Somaliland Independence and eventual union with Somalia. He was also the number two man, in public influence second to Egal. If Egal were not able to participate, there was no better alternative than Garad Ali. His clout and leadership would have enhanced considerably, the credibility of the SNM. Other perceived and tangible values would have included, but not limited to:
· Enhanced the credibility of the common cause.
· Substantial increase in the number of followers and volunteers.
· Larger and saver theater to operate from.
· More logistical, political and moral support, nationally and internationally.
· Better environment of trust, understanding and determination in the cause of liberation.
· Substantial withdrawal of support from Siad's camp, and inevitable weakening from within.
· Inclusive multi-ethnic liberation rather than parochial secession spearheaded by a group of young rebels who sought legal status elsewhere, on the pretext that they were endangered species at home. Perhaps, this might have been the prime motive behind the ethnic exclusivity of the mission.
· More meaningful struggle with less destruction, less loss of life, less cost and shorter in durations. The mass mobilization and broad-based adherents would have forced Siad Bare to cave-in to any formula of power sharing similar to Southern Sudan .
· Peaceful transition to stable and viable Government, taking charge immediately. The day after chaos, would have been avoided. Because of hidden tribal agenda and blatant ethnic-phobia, the SNM struggle had a disappointing finale.
Fact No. 4: The non-Isaaks are always in sensitive lookout, of unwarranted heavy handed-excesses of the Isaak camp. Unless a sense of common cause equality, and mutual respect reign, inter tribal trust would be farfetched. Candidly, without inter tribal trust, there would be no national thrust to make any head way.
The dynamics of social justice, "what is in it for us" plays a decisive role in the existence of viable Somaliland State. The understanding of keeping fair balance must be the guiding factor of Somaliland leadership, in the conduct of official business. Somaliland natives, Isaaks or non-Isaaks must be blended together, on equal footing in a fashion similar to that of a boat crew combating wild storms.
Somaliland, as the name implies is home for special breed of Somalis. The Somali denomination of this breed is called "Huwan." The built-in equality, ethnically or individually, and the communality in sharing the destiny of weal and woe, is a unique traditional legacy, of modus vivendi of symbiotic existence, regulated and streamlined by the unwritten customary laws "xeer" that bind the Huwan family together. The interpretational subtlety of the Somali denomination "Huwan" is equivalent, in socio-political classification, " The Commons" in UK and the ' Melting pot" or "One Nation Under God" in USA .
Fact No.5 : Notwithstanding this background, we had never had the freedom to chart our course of life for ourselves. Somebody else, (the British and then later the Wanlaweyn-south Somalia) had been dictating our fate. We had no choice but to follow the road map as they had charted. Mere passenger status had been our predicament, all along.
Our doomsday had descended with the unconditional union with Somalia in July 1st, 1960. Arguably it was the wrong choice at the wrong time in the wrong place, for the wrong reason. It had been a lope-sided partnership, where we had abdicated all our rights, roots, responsibilities and common traditional rituals. Most importantly it had entailed the loss of the moral obligation of taking charge of own affairs and eventual destiny . As and when, the Somali flag-ship had sank, with all its contents we had been lucky enough to survive. Survive, yes! But what happened next? From day one our trusted leadership didn't GET IT!!
Revengeful and myopic as they had been, our choice of leadership had plunged us deeper into the lurch. They failed to catch up, they failed to compete, they failed to compensate, they failed to condole, they failed to construct, they failed to heal, they failed to care, they failed to share, and indeed they failed to lead. After 16 years of isolation in the wilderness, a nation polarized by interest groups and at loggerhead tribes struggles desperately to keep its head above water. The shameless exercise of manipulative division, systematic intrigue and wanton coercion, had voided our hope and shattered any sweet dreams of better life. To all intents and purposes, we the poor Landers, are victims of manipulative malice aforethought and there will be no way out, but rotting in the fix and eventual surrendering to fate. It seems that we had failed to foster a foundation of national solidarity for the super imposition of Somaliland super structure. The shameful failure of our leaders to extricate us from the labyrinth of a dead end with no light at sight, after 16 years of impatient roosting, might play into the hands of our breakaway masters.
Fact No.6 : The defensive reaction of the Dhulb and Warsangeli who had been fighting the British single-handedly for two decades; denying them the introduction of colonial rule and the spread of Christianity in Somaliland; had been the manifestation of the negativity of the malicious policy of provocative alienation and ethnic-phobia. Had it not been for the defiance, of mean spirited mismanagement and double standard ostentations, of those who were looked upon as national heroes, the Dhulb and Warsangali would not have opted for rebellion. Admittedly the Dhulb and Warsangli, had been strategically and practically, the frontline defenders of the Southern and Eastern boarders of Somaliland; interdicting their current allies, under newly coined denomination of Puntland. The current lost and found twin-ship, had been, the day after precautionary response, to deter the uncertain eventualities of ethnic-phobia drummed up by Hargeisa baby-boomers. Likewise the Gadabursi and Essa tribes had been formidable defenders of the Western boarder. Contrarily, there had often been boarder clashes along the Ethio/Somaliland boarder where the Isaaks had been vulnerably exposed. Mr Armiyah's famous verse in his horse trading errands, would remain a living episode for the record. "wadda loo maraa wed yaala, Wardheer dal wanag sanaydaa"
Beyond the death path to wardheer, there exists cherished land to adore.
Arguably the secure flanks of the heart-land had been a factor contributing to the demographic increase in Isaak ranks. The peace and stability offered might have benefited the market explosion as well. It would be the sign of the time, if the crescendo of "Isaak-mania" carry with it, a tendency of reducing the status of the non-Isaaks to mere transit passengers in the boat of Somaliland. In this worst case scenario the marginalized OTHERS, would be forced to look elsewhere for more congenial association.
Fact No. 7: The inter-tribal factionalism and wanton competition over hallucinatory issues that would represent neither perceived nor tangible values would jeopardize the pithy substance of Isaak's role as the glue of Beesha Huwan or Somaliland for that matter. In the absence of united Isaak front with goodwill and old boy patronage, Somaliland would fall apart. The rationale of dislodged center bolt in a cargo freighter would apply here. United Isaak front, ready to lead and not to deal, is an imperative requirement to prop up the integrity and national standing of Somaliland. Other ethnics would be attracted to the magnetic hub and integrate the mass. If the Isaaks get their act together, and at concert pitch totality, support the common national cause, without let or hindrance, on the basis of wheeling a deal on amicable, equitable give and take footing, the negative irrelevances of petty sensitivities would be eliminated. Only by this way, can Somaliland march forward, in step with the times and with its own goals.
Fact No. 8 : Official institutions should be crafted as useful tools serving the people. The operatives should not behave like autocrat extortionists backed by tribal clout. There should be zero tolerance to tribal bias and discrimination, in any shape or form. Zero tolerance to abusive power and the excesses of petty officialdom . The parity of dual allegiance to tribal vested interest, and the exigent requirement of state duty, would constitute a criminal conflict of interest. Public servants represent the state and would be required to perform on its behalf. The least pretence, temptation or tilt towards arbitrary privilege to any ethnic group, at the expense of other denominations, would be seen as discriminatory subordination. The ugliness of such act should be prevented beyond any reasonable practice. Their must be equally balanced treatment to all. The criminality of playing havoc with public responsibility, and the eventual seeking of immunity under the tribal card, should be dealt with a zero tolerance. Checks and Balances, Dos, Don'ts, Duties and Obligations, Objectives, Methodologies and Standard Procedures, had all been regulated by Rules and Legislature. Strictly applied the system would work.
The preservation of Somaliland as a functional entity and the home for all would depend on the totality of citizenship involvement, in directing the destiny of our people, thorough diagnostic wisdom, unfettered dialogue and frank debating at decision-making levels. The healthiest way of promoting transparent democracy, would be equal footing inclusiveness qualitatively and quantitatively.
WORKSHOP: Points to ponder
Somaliland had the pleasure to choose its future in two occasions: once vertically and the other horizontally.
The unconditional union with Somalia on 1st of July 1960 which entailed the loss of identity on the map was the vertical choice.
The Breakaway from Somalia, after its failure as a State in 1991, and the formation of a housekeeping administration with local authority was the horizontal choice.
The Vertical Choice:
The union with Somalia was a British initiative presented under the sanitizing form of: "the willingness of Her Majesty Government to encourage and transmit any desire of closer association with Somalia". The shortness of the window time of four days, before the British would depart, presented the dilemma of falling in the cracks. In avoidance of uncertain finale, the option of the Union was a noble exit. Under the prevailing conditions, at the time, the act of the union was a step in the right direction, although the partner had later proven to be a wrong pick. The problem was contained in the explicit desire of unconditional union with Somalia. Somaliland's over-zealous rush to immediate and unconditional union, without prior testing of the waters, carried with it, a valid consideration of abdicating all rights to choose.
1. The legislative, body of Somaliland at the time made the unconditional union happen. However, the general public was not referenced for ratification neither by referendum nor by any other form of consensus.
2. The Somali Constitution voted for, after the union was highly rigged. At the time Mr. Abdirazak Haji Hussein was the Minister of Interior and General Moahmed Abshir Musa, the Commandant of the Police. Under the supervision of those two leaders, bottomless fraud voting, by design , had taken place almost everywhere. The worst, with unbelievable returns, were Wanlaweyn and Adan Yabaal - two small villages in the south.
In bold denial of the unconstitutionality of the Somali state, the pejorative nickname "Wanlaweyn" marking the event and cynically labeling the South as a whole, had gained currency in Somali political jargon.
3. The union with Somalia had been well-intentioned and passionately nostalgic "lost-and-found mutuality". Notwithstanding this emotional rationale, however, the pragmatic temptation of the unique opportunity of hooking up, with a legacy of U.N. Scholarship of 10 years Trusteeship for good governance, as imparted to Somalia, was considered a blessing and heavenly rescue after 70 years of abusive British negligence.
4. The traditional faith in the excellence of U.N. Scholarship and its eventual certification of Somalia as a viable state, hard-beaten for good governance, had constituted a warranty of good standing.
5. The British bait of closer association with Somalia, had been a silver lining glossing over, the hidden agenda of getting rid-off a liability.
The hasty departure of four days and the lack of follow-up to enhance our standing in the new twin-ship were aggravating shortfalls of moral obligation. Given our nomadic background and the lack of any development, whatsoever, Her Majesty Government had knowingly encouraged the union, as a cynical reminder of the U.N. rejection of mandated British administration over all Somali speaking territories, as stipulated in Aneurin Bevin plan.
In analytical hindsight, the British plan was the best plan for peaceful and prosperous Horn of Africa. For the Somalis it would have been national vindication and recognition of justice, for the U.N. it would have been a successful case of democracy in action. Unfortunately, the Russian veto had been the spoiler, and the purpose behind it, is still a puzzle in the minds of many Somalis. The Somalis are condoled, however, by the fact that it was but one episode of Russian erratic pattern, of using maximum force to crack a nut.
For the British the union was a bail-off, at a time when the Empire was losing its charm, its shores were shrinking and was making panicky home-run for survival. In to-day's sobering times, it is worth the while of Her Majesty Government to consider a payback, similar to the Italian quota paid to Siad Barre under the denomination of Italian Aid Fund during Craxi Administration. British spear-heading of a multi lateral fundraising for reconstruction and development of Somaliland would equally be rewarding.
6. Shattering and dismaying, as it might have been, the Italians left behind a country inept of leadership, that would not be able to take charge of its own affairs, much less lead the union . The Italian legacy created a state of mind whereby the tenure of responsibility, per se, would justify and determine the acts and behavior of the incumbent. Brainwashed and groomed in this fashion of loose reins, the destructive cult of self-centered egoism, corruption, profanity, and highly charged ethnicism had been let loose to take charge. Somaliland became the unfortunate victim of multifaceted eccentricity, based on a philosophy of unpredictable proportions.
The Italian plan was to come through the back door and hand-in-glove, run Somalia in a manner similar to nursing a patient. The disease was already there, as a residual effect of the Italian Trusteeship Administration. Somalia as a nation was conspired to be Dead on Arrival, sustained alive only by Italian oxygen. The unexpectedly sudden union with Somaliland had foiled all machinations and was a catalyst in Somalia's independence.
The Horizontal Choice
The breakaway from Somalia in 1991, after its failure as a State had been consequential fait accompli. How ever, the stigma of one sided imposition of unilateral secession (IUS) makes it controversial and highly questionable.
1. At the time the successor Government headed by Omar Arteh Ghalib was in place and the (IUS) had undermined any hope of peaceful transition that his government represented. Needless to say, this was a designed stab at the back of Somaliland headed administration which would have vindicated us from the abusive treatment of Siad Bare and would have portrayed the qualitative prowess of the Lander leadership.
2. The imposed unilateral secession was not a national policy, backed by general consensus of the totality, or across the board inclusive majority of the Lander tribes. Seemingly it might had been a hidden agenda premeditated by its proponents.
3) It had no legal footing, locally or globally. Vocal whims of individuals, groups or tribes, cannot and will not, change the national integrity of Somaliland, either in the form of imposed unilateral secession, or in the form of ethnic relocation as professed by Puntland advocates.
4) It had been a cause of national polarization, Pros and Cons. The Pros rationalize their stand by ethnic, group or individual interest whereas the Cons, rationalize their stand on the premise of Constitutionality and the conduct of national solidarity.
5) Regardless the motive, the Imposed Unilateral Secession (IUS) could not sell locally, much less globally.
6) The Housekeeping Administration, representing the agenda of (IUS) for over a decade could not make any headway. By design or default, it had evolved into a liability rather than leadership. Locally segmented and globally snubbed, it had chosen to mimic the ostrich masquerade of mob fooling theatrics. Arguably the routine administrative machine had been kept rolling and national peace and stability maintained. On both counts, the credit score goes to the general public who had been admirably complacent and over-zealously conducive.
Wise Decision – making seems to have been out of the grasp of the people. It had never been an issue. Perhaps a century old under-dog status, had tamed the Somaliland natives to the state of conducive fatalism. It is time to wake up and take charge. Somaliland must be inward looking rather than outward looking for solving national problems, differences and rebuilding. It is a May Day, that immediate national rehab be effected, otherwise there would be catastrophic national failure:-
1. Broad-Based interlander convention for dialogue and understanding should be convened as an emergency measure.
2. This would be represented by who is who in Somalia and would thresh out differences and details in unfettered frank dialogue. `
3. The outcome of this Somaliland versus Somaliland dialogue would be the national base for plan "B" agenda.
4. Formation of Somaliland Natives Movement to give Somaliland a new direction and spearhead National Action Group.
5. Explore ways and means of creating United Front, solid enough to transform Somaliland into functional State that can offer its citizens, human dignity, individual freedom, equal opportunity, better life style and peaceful mutuality.
6. The new challenges and realities on the ground would demand new paradigm of wiser approach and solid involvement.
Pursuant to the proposed inter-Lander Convention, the adoption of a white paper of emergency resolutions, would be necessary. This would stipulate pressing national goals, which would be backed-up by "National Emergency" action emanating simultaneously from the concerned authorities for immediate implementation.
National Emergency Resolutions
A. Presidential and parliamentary current tenure holders would continue their mandate to outlast the concurrent term of their TFGs counterparts by one year. In other words, Somaliland Presidential and legislative elections, scheduled in the meantime, should be put on hold until one year after the expiration date of the TFGs counterparts' mandate .
B. This proviso of Nationtal Emergency would require legislation to make the necessary constitutional changes. The abstract contents of the Constitution should not be looked upon, as untouchable sanctity, above our national interest. Any constructive constitution caters for the constraints of the community. Ours cannot be untouchable Koranic version preserved eternally by the grace our founding father. C. Be it an amendment of the old or an adoption of a new constitution, fitting our special realities, environment and inspirational exigencies, canvassing the whole nation, in fair and inclusive manner, it is desirable that a road map for rights, wrongs and recourse be charted. It should also identify and define inter-ethnic balances, national checks to balance the limits and obligatory accountability. The old constitution leaves much to be desired, it has some set-up hurdles, one-sided flavor and colonial style restrictions and prerogatives. Besides, it is not nation-wide.
D. Formation of inclusive national Government, balanced in representation and professional in performance. The Government thus formed should be headed by a Prime Minister from the EAST, since both the President and the Vice-President are western block breed. The Prime Minister must be of national caliber, international standing, and a formidable challenge to Somalia. The Prime Minister shall be accountable, but not independent, from Presidential guidance and oversight along the lines of the Egyptian system.
E At this juncture of new Government in Mogadishu, despite all gloomy out-look we would need to compete vigorously to win the crucial support of world opinion. The beaten track of yester years should be put behind us. As a nation, we need to be vindicated by deploying our best offer, manpower plus in the frontline to spearhead our neglected cause anew. The success and/or the loss of our common cause would depend upon the quality and dedication of the point men assigned to press it on. A government with a backbone would afford dependable back-up in credible diplomacy, respectable image, wiser line of presentation and flexible approach. Only by harnessing heavy-weight diplomacy in action, can we expect favorable international support.
Unless we recognize ourselves, nobody will recognize us. The sitting duck tradition of habitual chewing, gratified by vile sycophants, had chewed away our resources, our health, our time, our dreams and last but not the least, the aggressive spirit of our pioneering initiative for better life style and the pursuit of happiness, had melted away in dream chasing hallucination. The sedations derived from " Somaliland Republic" and the palace autocracy with a coterie of self centered advisers will not hold water, unless Somaliland is put back on the map. Together we can make it happen!!
Renegotiating the Act of the Union
It should be noted that Somaliland opted for the union without prior conditions. The Somali nation, under the leadership of the South had failed and had gone with the wind. This fait accompli had automatically rendered any contractual commitment, null and void. By its disservice, SOMALIA becomes liable to breach of trust and to consequential redemption. However, in the interest of the socio-economic blending, for over four decades, where by kinship and symbiotic interaction of our people became intrinsically second nature; it becomes imperative to explore, identify and define new lanes of workable cooperation, based on the principle of modus vivendi of live and let others live, without foregoing the sacred goals of liberty, equality, fraternity and the rule of law.
Somalia had experienced, in practical terms, the devastation caused by the ineptitude of leadership and must have now realized, the fooling game of the Italian Mandate that failed us all, after 30 years of rudderless sailing in the blind.
The Union with its paraphernalia of associated problems had been a burden that broke the camel's back.
It would be a wiser option if "a venture of parallel development of independent nature, with Twinship Cooperation at certain negotiated levels, identified and defined inexplicit terms, be adopted." Renegotiating the Act of the Union would, therefore, be a bitter pill to heal.
1. Recognition of the discrepancies of the original Act of the Union and the need to revise and reform it.
2. Recognition of Somaliland statehood within the existing borders of the international demarcation line of 30/6/1960.
3. Recognition of one inclusive representation for Somaliland.
4. Recognition of a fresh beginning of all issues on equal footing, focusing on future relations and minimizing past lamentations.
5. .Recognition of two State Association, Somaliland and Somalia, equal in status and sharing common mutuality and reciprocity in all respects, under the denomination of :
· The Somali Commonwealth
· The United Somali States
· United Somali Republic
· Federal Somali States
· Federal Republics of the Somali people
· The Federation of Somalilands
The name Somaliland had been off the map since July, 1960. Somalia as a state, had failed and the name is disgraced. Why not consider Somaliland as the new denomination? It says it all, land and people. Somalia, only rhymes with Italia!
6) Arguably the U.N, U.K. and Italy were all part of the problem. It is essential that they be part of the solution as well. Their involvement, in the noble cause of reconciliation, reparation and resuscitation of the Somali nation would be significantly instrumental. All other African countries, Maleparti, as the saying goes, but the Somalis were misled.
7) A mixed commission chaired by the U.N., with attended participation of the contact group Egypt, Somalia and Somaliland would steer the negotiations. It would also streamline the ethnic relations, and power sharing checks and balances in Somaliland, since Somaliland statehood depends on tribal balance and even-handedness. The unwritten traditional customary law (Xeer Huwan) and tribal grazing protocols would be the base .
8) Draw up rehab and reconstruction program for Somaliland and Somalia.
9) Formation of pluralistic and inclusive system of Government with no ethnic or religious labels.
10) Explore the possibility of inter-horn symbiotic association, leading to a bigger entity of Commonwealth States of the Horn of Africa. Seeding Ethio-Somali closer association would germinate into flourishing harvest of much needed prosperity and enduring mutuality.
The Somalis were not represented in international forums affecting their plight e.g. the Partition of Africa. Because of their rejection of the outcome, they were branded the black sheep of the Horn. Any initiative of putting the Horn back together, with Somali participation, would be a step in the right direction, conducive to the exigencies of current environment.
Given the inflictions of past setbacks, Somaliland would need to undergo U.N. sponsored refresher and rehab period, equivalent in time limit, to the scholarship afforded to Somalia under Italian mandate. "Putting the heat on Great Britain, the colonizing power, in this process of " go back-to-School Somaliland" might be a worthwhile venture. Only by this venue can Somaliland recover from the residual effect of a wasted century of mismanagement and abusive negligence. By this same process, Somaliland would be availed a yield of hard-beaten professionals well-versed with the intricacies of good governance, to take charge!
Post-Mortem Notes for the Record
The Somali union was not the first to flop. However, its unique aspects would deserve featuring on record.
The shock action of uncharted union, lacking anticipatory preparation and prior acclimatization exchanges.
The empty profanity and vanity of the Southern majority leaders, based on know-who and not on know-how, had beefed up a culture of borderless nepotism in the conduct of government business and the outrageous spoil exploitation, that were immune to accountability. The Somali code name "waa cida" pronounced as "waa ida" meaning "ours", was the magic word that overruled any fair-play of equal opportunity!!
Corruption to survive and coercion to command.
Psychological shortfall in understanding the ethical intricacies of central administration, common to all, void of preferential and prejudicial treatment, with accountable checks to balance.
An individualistic tribal society could not be, psychologically and realistically transformed easily, into cohesive commons. The nomadic traditions with its tribal culture and uniquely intertwined social features, conflicts somewhat with the civilized norms, of an abstract communality as defined in statehood. This state of mind had crucially contributory to the failure of the Somali state.
A twofold society, different in background, outlook and influence exposure, would naturally have inherent repellent inertia to homogenized blending. The Somali Union, despite the face-value of many aspects of communality could not prove otherwise.
Somaliland did not have any power-sharing formula with Somalia; it had been one way trail all along. Somaliland leaders were humiliatingly marginalized and treated as political pawns. The independent minds were culled by substitution with own tribe or constituency pets. In line with inherited fascist legacy, fitness to lead was tantamount to treasonable mis-fitness in the system.
The limelight leaders of of Somaliland heavy weights e.g. Prime Minister Mohamed. I. Egal and Minister Garad Ali Garad Jama, both pioneers of Somaliland independence and the subsequent union with the South, had been almost invariably; crush objects, between the sledge hammer and the anvil of Mogadishu Machinations. Despite their unrelenting efforts to melt ethnically or otherwise into the new reality, were heavily stonewalled by rejectionist policies that deepened the fissure.
· Southern leaders were personal, prejudicial and borderless in their antagonism towards Somaliland leaders. They would go the extra mile to discredit or harm any lander leader with a backbone. The ugly set-up of Foreign Minister Ahmed Yusuf Duale and his cousin, the renowned artist and accomplished educator Ali Idd, in a manner analogous to Captain Dreyfus, the celebrated French army officer, of Jewish descent, was a classical example of the extent of reckless adventurism, that Somaliland leaders were incessantly subject to:
· The Somaliland scouts officers corps' rebellion in late 1961 was in defiance of:
a. The practice of replacing the outgoing British officers by Southern officers, illiterate in English even tolerably. These replacements were newly promoted officers, under the privilege of Independence Bonus, on tribal quota. Such privilege was denied to the Somaliland scouts.
b. Discarding the Scouts System of British military prowess, with proven record of unparalleled practicality, without having an alternative in place, much less in the horizon.
c. The prescription that the Southren Commander, with all his whims and weakness, was the law, "chi commmanda fa legge" was a fascist legacy, too bitter to swallow.
d. Refusal to employ the expertise of a Military Mission from friendly countries, with proven experience to chart a new direction for the Somali Army as a whole. These ideas were advanced by none other than the Minister of Defense Mohamed Ibrahim Egal. As a result he lost his ministry and accused of engineering the rebellion. In the handing-over ceremony of the ministry to his successor Sheikh Ali Ismail, Egal contemptuously remarked "My brother and comrade-in-arms, I'm handing over to you, with mixed feeling, a ministry that never was and probably will never be."
e. In the Hit List Spree of anti-Siad elements, codenamed "ANASIR" , the Somaliland leaders namely, Vice President Ismail Ali Abokor and Foreign Minister Omer Arteh Ghalib, were awarded Death Warrant as a Diploma upon graduation from the detention institute at Siad's pleasure, whereas their Southern accomplices, including two Merahan elements, were given bad boy tabs on the wrist
The Marathon Offensive Crusade
In their marathon offensive to fix the North, the Southern expeditions, in successive relief in the line, were headed by:-
_Governor of Hargeisa.
_The uncle of Siad Barre and hand picked by him.
_ Had burnt the Somaliland archives as colonial heritage. His main objective, by burning the archives, was to hide historical facts about Ogaden, and the conduct of their leadership at the time. In this process, a treasure of national history had been lost.
_He introduced forced labor, without compensation, and direct taxes extorted as self-help.
_He enforced detention, at the pleasure of the Government without legal recourse.
_Siad Barre's hand picked cousin
_Purposely promoted as Northern Sector Commander and the Viceroy of Somaliland.
_ He did everything in the books to provoke adverse public reaction, to justify his repressive acts.
_ Despite his emptiness, he was highly possessed by fits of arrogant vanity and megalomania.
_ He was called the Butcher of Burao and Berbera because of his excessive cruelty and wanton killing of innocent people.
_By the blessing of his direct Commander, General Mohamed Ali Samater, he depleted all coffers under the pretext of sustaining the war machine that left Somaliland in bankrupted fix.
_ He introduced summary executions in Somaliland.
_Governor of Hargeisa.
_ Another hand pick by his cousin Siad Barre.
_ A Geddo recruit, hardly literate in Somali, let alone other education. Brainwashed to believe that Merahan was Uber Alles and corrupt to the core.
_Soft Gender Maniac who forced relationships, married, engaged or virgin.
_He preached that Siad Barre was a messenger, and that any non-believer in his message was a renegade who deserved his punishment.
_ He preached that Siad Barre was the successor of Ahmed Gwrey and that the Mareban tribe were elects of God, blessed with heavenly rescue under difficult circumstances.
_Party Controller. Another hand picked cousin of Siad Barre.
_His main job was to fight Somaliland at party-level.
_He destituted Somaliland of all resources, human, economic or otherwise. He had burned all the Kat plantations in Somaliland to boost the Marehan monopolistic trafficking after a nation wide ban.
_He coffer-drained, brain-drained and confidence drained Somaliland. He closed businesses and other sources of income, belonging to those branded as anti-regime or anti-Marehan for that matter.
_He practiced mass detention to terrorize and blackmail. Being the anchorman of the Marehanization program, he groomed a fifth column of interest group to plug-in with Marehan caravan. They had the task of enforcing loyalty for the Government, boosting Siad's personality cult and most importantly clandestine operations.
_ Because of his absolute power, he was widely known as the Colonial Secretary.
The Hydra Head Hammer and his finish off mission.
Pursuant to the softening and weakening of the harsh knocks of General Gani and others, General Samater (Codenamed Hydra Head Hammer) and his death squad featuring, among others, General Gabow and General Morgan were, assigned to finish the job. Incidentally, General Samater was Siad Barre's second--in-command, and under his personal supervision the mission of finishing Somaliland was scheduled to be accomplished. General Gabyow was the uncle of Siad Barre and General Morgan his son-in-law. The rationale behind these top-brass family members, being assigned to finish the job, was to ensure that nothing would fall in the cracks and that excessive force would be availed. Indeed they did finish the job, with excessive force and maximum cruelty, to the satisfaction of Siad Barre as planed. Hargeisa was flattened into rubbles, life was extincted and those who could, fled to all directions, as Waifs and Astrays. In their frightful flight they were killed like flies from air and land with Samater's deadly arsenal of destructive devastation. This was the end of Somaliland as we knew it.
Excerpts from Notes of an Observer
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