Dear Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark,
Although Somaliland people are grateful for Denmark’s economic assistance in general and Danish International Development Agency’s (DANIDA) support, in particular, I, as a Somalilander, would like to draw your attention to an outrageous DANIDA job profile that paints a gruesome picture of Somaliland as a notorious gangland. The job profile without mincing words depicts Somaliland as a lawless nation—a terrorist haven.
The DANIDA’s job profile reads, “Potential applicants should be aware of the severe security situation in Somaliland. There is a high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping, as well as a dangerous level of criminal activity by armed militia throughout Somaliland. Dangerous situations could occur during the contract period including armed robbery, incidents of kidnapping and other terrorist actions.” Are the proofreaders of DANIDA dead? Why would any sane person take a job in ISIS-controlled country?
Evidently, the DANIDA’s report is far from the truth. Fortunately, the DANIDA’s intention is also far from smearing Somaliland’s reputation. However, the problem stems from the agency’s inability to distinguish Somaliland from Somalia. And if I may join the masses of ignoramuses, just as some Danishes assume that every oriental person in Denmark is Chinese, DANIDA is under the misapprehension that every Somali hails from Somalia and swears allegiance to terrorist organizations. In other words, according to DANIDA’s pre-conceived notions we all seem to be Chinese, a different kind of Chinese this time—friendly in one minute, “explosive” at times.
What the DANIDA’s job profile fails to mention is: Somaliland remains a democratic and peaceful nation. And because of the peace-loving Somalilanders’ constant vigilance and the government designated Special Protection Unit (SPU) to protect aid workers twenty-four hours a day, seven days week, the last attack against foreigners was reported more than a decade ago, in 2003. Similarly, the first/last terrorist attack took place in 2008. Still, Somaliland borders chaotic Somalia and the threat of terrorist attacks and abductions cannot entirely be eliminated—not only in Somaliland but also in the entire East Africa.
Despite the DANIDA’s debacle job profile, which, inadvertently, lacerates Somaliland’s hard-earned peace and stability, I commend the agency’s tireless efforts to assist Somaliland. And I am confident that DANIDA will recant its misinformation. More important, I convinced now that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark will do some damage control and educate all the Danish agencies working in Somaliland about the difference between Somaliland and Somalia.
Cc: The Royal Danish Embassy in Nairobi