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Is Faisal Roble Another Mouthpiece for a Somali Warlord?
Undoubtedly, like everyone else, Mr. Faisal Roble, a frequent contributor to wardheer.news.com, is entitled to his opinion. And I’m in no way shape or form trying to silence him. However, just as he is entitled to express his views so as everyone else. With that in mind, Mr. Roble, who is known to write fairly balanced articles, now writes as if he is a mouthpiece for a Somali warlord.
In his recent article entitled, “Rayale’s Visit to Washington DC: A diplomatic or a non-Event Event”, Mr. Roble made a number of claims which sounded ludicrous, to say the least. (See Mr. Roble’s article http://tinyurl.com/2av6a8 ) For one thing, he provided no credible evidence to backup his claims. For another, so far many reports that came from Washington DC gave completely a different picture than what Mr. Roble stated. For instance Mr.Roble stated, “At the airport, not more than four Somalis reportedly were waiting to receive him”. This is a far cry from how this trip was initially promoted - a visit dealing with bilateral talks on “Somaliland’s” recognition by Washington.“ And Mr. Roble added, “According to reliable sources, including the US state Department, Rayale’s visit to the United States is a personal business.” First, Mr. Roble didn’t backup his sources. Nor did he claim that he himself was there when the president of Somaliland, Mr. Dahir Riyale Kahin landed on Dulles International Airport.
Second, reports from Washington disproved Mr. Roble statements. A case in point: one report stated that “the president of Somaliland was welcomed by the Assistant Secretary of the U.S. for Africa, Mr. James Sworn and other high level U.S. authorities. And Mr. Riyale was received and welcome in the VIP section of the airport.” ( http://tinyurl.com/27nvr9 ) In addition, the U.S. provided special security agents to guard Mr. Riyale. And in fact, as you can see from the pictures in the above and following links, there are men in black suits that follow Mr. Riyale everywhere. To see the pictures of special secret service agents guarding Mr. Riyale, go to http://tinyurl.com/253d57 and then click the article entitled, “ Washington dc. weftigii uu hogaaminayey madaxweynaha jamhuuriyadda somaliland, mudane daahir rayaale kaain iyo wararkii ugu danbeyay halkan ka daawo” So then what is Mr. Roble blabbing about? For Mr. Roble, to oppose Somaliland recognition, to call Mr. Riyale a dictator or to oppose his leadership is perfectly fine and healthy, but to fabricate stories when the evidence clearly points out otherwise is like shooting yourself in the foot. In addition, it says a lot about Mr. Roble’s character as well.
On the other hand, Mr. Roble conveniently avoided mentioning that the Somaliland delegations were also welcomed and received in the British parliament, and in fact the British Prime Ministers, Mr. Gordon Brown, personally welcomed them.
Mr. Roble continued his assault on the Somaliland president. Mr. Roble revisited the history of Mr. Riyale and how he [Mr. Riyale] worked for the former Somali National Security Service NSS. This is information is irrelevant for two reasons. First, currently half of the Somaliland leaders worked either for the NSS or for Gen. Siyad Barre’s (the dictator who ruled Somalis for 23 years) regimes, so Mr. Riyale was not exception to the doctrine of Siyadism. Second, Mr. Riyale, made tireless efforts to pacify Somaliland, and he was reelected, despite election disputes which happen all over the world including the U.S.
Reading half-way through Mr. Roble’s article, however, his real motives becomes demystified. He states, “Like in 2003, on October 15, 2007, Rayale unexpectedly ordered his militia to invade Las Anod, a Dhulbahante stronghold and a city that effectively disarmed its otherwise gun hoe residents.” Contrary to Mr. Roble’s accusations, it wasn’t Mr. Riyale who attacked Sool in 2003, but it was Mr. Habsade—the former Puntland Interior Minster who recently defected to Somaliland—who sent militias from Garowe—the capital of Puntland—to Sool region in order to evict Mr. Riyale from the city. And indeed, in 2003, right after the attack, Mr. Habsade himself told the BBC that he ordered the attack against Mr. Riyale. And again, the October 2007 conflict which irrupted in Las Anod was instigated by none other than Mr. Habsade himself who simply decided to switch allegiances and joined Somaliland. So then, has Mr. Roble joined the political debate recently or he has an innate talent for fabricating reports? You’ll be the judge!
Furthermore, Mr. Roble speaks of how the people in Sool are infuriated by the alleged Somaliland invasion of their region. And he states, “Despite that the city has fallen to “ Somaliland’s” hand with ease, the invasion has galvanized the Dhulbahante and potentially could trigger a larger scale clan war which could prove difficult for Hargaysa to sustain. “ Yet a large number of Dhulbahante forces in Puntland Army defected to Somaliland. See the reports. (http://tinyurl.com/2nty66 )
Worse still, Mr. Roble’s argument that Dhulbahante tribes are infuriated by Somaliland forces could be a double-edged sword for him. Again he writes, “Reliable sources inform me that “ Somaliland” troops could not have done this without receiving an unexpected strategic hand from a group of Ali Geri militia (Dhulbahante) who had change of hearts in the middle of the war.” So then the question is: if they are up in arms because of Somaliland invasion why some tribes joined Somaliland, in the middle of a battle? This is when Mr. Roble’s logic fails all by itself.
Even worse yet, Mr. Roble predicts an impeding tribal war and he actually destroys his credibility by quoting a mysterious political “analyst”. Mr. Robles adds, “This Dhulbahante-“ Somaliland” conflict has two dimensions, says an analyst who is knowledgeable about the region. In the short term, says this analyst, it pits different sub clans (pro- and against-Somaliland) within the Dhulbahante family. In the long run, however, it would grow into an open conflict between Isaaq and Harti clans in the region, possibly involving more Darood clans outside the immediate conflict area.“But where is the source? And who is this analyst? Throughout his article, he repeatedly claims that “reliable” pundits gave him credible information. Yet although his information is so “reliable” as he claims, the original sources are nowhere to be found. But Mr. Roble himself is not a political figure. Also he is neither a pundit in African politics nor an expert in Somali affairs. Mr. Roble is a city planer in Los Angels. ( http://tinyurl.com/2uvtzl ) So then what makes his mysterious sources more reliable than the coffee shop conversations? (Surely enough, my 88 years old grandmother has lots of stories to tell too.)
Evidently, Mr. Roble who hails from the Ogaden region of Ethiopia wastes much of his energy and ink on Somaliland. That is, rather than writing about the plight of the Somali people both in Somalia and in Ogadenia, he has more articles lined up against Somaliland. And he uses wardheernews.com—a notorious anti-Somaliland website—as a launch pad for his propaganda campaign against a nation— Somaliland—that simply chose to press ahead.
Like many Somalis who cannot distinguish a friend from a foe, due to the frustration of the prolonged war in Somalia, Mr. Roble too seems bewildered and perhaps views Somaliland as a hostile nation in the region. Indeed, rather than call Somaliland: Somaliland, Mr. Roble sprinkles with his articles the so-called Somaliland or “ Somaliland”. Hypocritically, Mr. Roble advocates for the self-determination of the Somalis in Ogadenia region, yet he opposes the wishes of Somaliland people who chose to stand as a separate entity. Also, recently, some Somalis held demonstrations against the arrival of Mr. Riyale to London, rather protest against the occupation of Somalia by Ethiopia. Some of the protesters even carried signs which read: “Down with Somaliland”. How about “Down with Ethiopia”, not "Down with Somaliland"? ( http://tinyurl.com/3awsyp)
To sum up, readers are interested in facts, not fictions or opinions. And emotional writers normally lose their points because they often fail to remain objective. Additionally, because we Somalis are far more loyal to our tribes than to our countries, we often side with our tribes despite the facts on the ground. However, in all fairness to Mr. Roble, none of us are immune to this tribal dogma that even dictates our free thinking while we reside in the hearts of Europe and North America. No matter how educated we are or how long we have been away from home, we are still mentally occupied—by undying and unwavering tribal loyalty. So in essence, as a Somali poet said decades ago: “Dur dur iyo dabaal wuxuu maro doofaar abidkiis ma daahiro”. So we remain the same, trapped!
Ottawa , Canada