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Haabsade has brought a PR disaster to Hargeysa
Issue 305
Front Page

Jigjiga Officials Persecute Somalilanders

Religious Leaders From Somaliland, Somalia & East African Countries Hold Peace-Building Conference In Hargeysa

Somaliland Foreign Minister Sets The Record On Somaliland Delegation To Commonwealth Summit In Kampala, Uganda

Siyad Barre’s Security Court Prosecutor In 1981-1989 Has Been Appointed As Somalia’s New PM

When Your Only Weapon Is Shame

Badhan District In Eastern Sanag Embraces Somaliland

Canadian Oil Chief In Puntland For Exploration

Somali Opposition Dismiss Nomination Of New PM

US Concerned About Mounting Humanitarian Crisis in Somalia

Somaliland Security Forces Reach Border without Resistance

Somali president picks new prime minister

Five Nations Discuss Military Counterattack Against Somali Pirates

Dangerous Times for Africa

Regional Affairs

Haabsade warm welcome and his new political stand

Queen Praises Country for War On Aids and Somali Mission

Special Report

International News

The doves of war

Security Council Rejects UN Chief's Opposition To UN Force In Somalia

Jarch Capital’s Sudanese Gambit


The U.S. secret war in the Horn of Africa

Somaliland: Religious Leaders' Declaration On Peace-Building



The unreported destruction of Somalia

The Commonwealth and conflict
Don't dare put me in a box

Food for thought


Somaliland: Will "The Change" Really Bring A Change?

Recent Statement By Meles Zenawi

Pro-Ethiopia—TFG Group’s Cunning Strategy Of Divide And Conquer

Somaliland And Our Arab Nations Brothers

Las-Anod, A Month Later

UDUB Resorts To Import Voters From Djibouti As Rehabilitating Nationals

Haabsade has brought a PR disaster to Hargeysa

Somaliland and the press law


By Liban Ahmad

The Wednesday BBC Somali Service interview with Ahmed Abdi Haabsade, former Puntland Interior Minister who defected to Somaliland two months ago had embarrassed many Somaliland politicians of different persuasions. Asked about his meeting with Somaliland president Daahir Riyale Kahin, Haabsade said: “We have decided that Sool should remain in Somaliland as it was before and that we must reach the old colonial border.” His remarks are in sharp contrast with remarks he made in 2002 after Somaliland president was nearly assassinated by forces that Habsade instructed to evict the Riyale and his entourage while on visit in Las Anod.

Asked about All Dhulbahante traditional leaders’ meeting in Boocame, Haabsade said: “Yes, it is true the traditional leaders are there [ in Boo’ame], but they are not politicians; they are traditional leaders. The meeting is not inclusive, and the outcome will not affect people in Sool, Sanaag and Cayn. Politicians are not in the meeting nor are the Sool diaspora. The role of traditional leaders is to chair meetings but not to make decisions.”

Haabsade is well aware that both in Puntland and Somaliland traditional leaders wield influence as Guurti ( a council of wise elders) and diffuse political tensions that politicians create. In 2006 when he was sidelined by Puntland administration, a group of elders from Las Anod and Buhodle escorted Habsade to Garowe where , after a meeting with Puntland president and vice president, he was reinstated as a minister with a portfolio. If one travels back in time to understand what traditional leaders like the late Garaad Cabdiqani Garaad Jama did to defy Sool politicians’ narrow interest to remain in office in Mogadishu to the detriment of short term and long term interests of people in Sool, one realizes that Haabsade either ignored or forgot all those facts when he launched into a broadside against Sool traditional leaders yesterday. Unionists in Sool have always criticised Somaliland for appointing self-styled politicians from Sool who have no support base in the constituencies they claim to represent.

Haabsade’s outpouring may further damage Somaliland image in Sool and lay bare incoherent policy that aims to strengthen traditional institutions of pro-secession social groups but undermines traditional institutions of unionist social groups in what was known as Ex British Somaliland. It is not clear whether Sool’s self-styled representatives in Hargeysa share Haabsade’s sentiment. His arrival in Hargeisa has sent shock waves to Sool politicians who were there before him. His controversial remarks in the BBC Somali Service interview may damage Somaliland’s standing in Sool region. If this happens, Haabasade’s political honeymoon in Hargeysa will be short-lived.

Liban Ahmad



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