By Yusuf Robleh Danguri
There has been a concerted effort, of a slanderous campaign, against the peace- loving people of Somaliland orchestrated by the undemocratically elected Somali’s leader Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, since he came to power. He succeeded finally to sabotage the long awaited Somalia-Somaliland talks in Istanbul, Turkey.
With parliament and presidential elections based on bribed tribal leaders’ choice around the corner and in the absence of one- man, one-vote system, Mohamud’s re-election much depends on his efforts to demonize Somaliland’s major clans, in order to satisfy their diehard former enemies, who are still campaigning for the destruction of the country, whose people they systematically massacred in their thousands during the genocidal campaign of 1980s.
The only card that is now left in Mohamud’s hands is to create instability and chaotic situation in Somaliland; by padding into his administration all kinds of thrown out and social outcasts at the expense of donor countries’ money, and all other means that he tried in the last four years are seemingly exhausted with no apparent tangible results. Hiding in plain sight, he paraded to the outside world,” a false-flag” of clan representation in his government mostly involving rogue elements, whom he says “are genuine Somalilanders”. Everyone knows that” false-flag” does not cut ice.
It is a public domain, that Mohamud has made his top priority to bring down the Republic of Somaliland, which he often mentions in almost every policy statement that he makes, since coming to power.
He entered a dubious secret deal with anti-Somaliland former generals, who have blood on their hands; that he would leave no stone unturned before leaving the office, without first destroying Somaliland, one way or the other. The army general who licked the president’s secret deal with former generals has paid a heavy price- he was dismissed in an un-honorable fashion. General Caanood, who briefly served as the military commander of Lower Shebelle Region in 2013, was accused of licking such sensitive secrets to his close friends.
The almost daily suicide explosions and roadside bombs perpetrated by the Al-Qaida-linked Al-shabab terrorists, that claim the lives of innocent civilians in Mogadishu and elsewhere in the adjacent regions, had never been Mohamud’s top priorities. Throughout his presidency, he was speaking with false-tongue that he would bring peace to his country and enter a peaceful dialogue with the Somaliland government in accordance with the spirit of the London Conference of 2012. But it came to pass that maneuvering behind scenes, in fact, he buried the
trust and the confidence that was briefly restored between Somalia and Somaliland by Somalia’s former President Sheriff Ahmed who, sincerely initiated peace talks with Somaliland government through the mediation of the United Arab Emirate, which eventually paved the way for the meetings the two sides held several times in the Turkey’s commercial city of Istanbul. From the beginning there was a glimmer of hope that the Somalia-Somaliland dialogue would yield some kind of rapprochement, at least to resolve some of the outstanding barriers that had held back the two sides to trust each other before tackling the main issue concerning Somaliland’s legally binding withdrawal from that ill-fated union.
Instead of winning the overall support of his own people, it seems that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has erased from his mind the real fabric of “Somalinimo”by sowing the seeds of hate. It is said hate breeds hate; and love breeds love.” Somalinimo” or “Somaliness” is something that needs to be nourished with historical blood ties that binds all Somalis, wherever they are, and regardless to which country they belong to; be Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti and Somalia. In other words, it means a sense of togetherness with visceral feelings towards one another. One should not forget that it’s “Somaliness” that brought the tiny Djibouti’s troops to serve under the African Mission (UNSOM) at the time when security situation in Somalia was at stake. Without Djiboutian, Ethiopian and other African troops, much of Somalia regions in the South would have been still under the control of Al-Qaida linked Al-Shabab terrorists, who brought all kinds of woes to innocent civilians in Somalia. President Mohamoud’s current unabated slanderous campaign against the people of Somaliland and its democratically elected government would ultimately destroy the very fabric of “Somalinimo” that fundamentally brought them to Mogadishu in1960 to establish a union that inversely resulted the destruction of all major cities of Somaliland with aerial and artillery bombardments.
President Mohamud had never shown political will to deal with every conceivable outstanding issue, except sloshing money through his family. Even his anti-Somaliland alliance questioned his sincerity whether he would live up to his word. They say all that he promised to them were bar-faced lies- that the day when he would extend his administration to Somaliland was not far. Pussyfooting and equivocating with evasive answers earned him as a man with two minds; others dubbed him as` a chameleon in human face`. A man with cherubic feature is indeed a serpent. Even it seems that the West that pinned its hopes on his administration, trust him no more as all his previous promises that he would bring peace to the country through national reconciliation and enter a genuine and meaningful dialogue with Somaliland had never been implemented fully. He has a history of confrontation with prime ministers he appointed and cabinet members. Critics say he acts like a tin pot dictator. Because of his growing possessiveness, he accumulated so much power in his hands, leaving his dysphonic prime minster to be confined at his office, dealing only with minor administrative matters. Nitpicking at each other has been often witnessed by staff members at the presidency.
Somaliland’s stand against the ensuing plots
As with regards to Somaliland’s position, the government has made its position clear to all and sundry. Somaliland is an island of stability within a turbulent region of the Horn of Africa. The history of Somaliland, before and after it legally withdrawn from that ill-fated union has become crystal clear to all international organization, including the UN, whose leading member states fully recognized its independence on June 26, 1960. Those who are trying to deny the basic tenets of Somaliland’s history are living in a primitive cave secluded from the rest of the civilized modern world.
Twenty five years on, are we better off or worse off? Would Hargeisa, which was rebuilt with rubbles of its own destruction to become one of the splendid cities in east Africa to day, once again be a ghost city as it was in 1988? Are we erasing from our minds the aerial and artery bombardment that rained on our innocent civilians by once again impulsively handing over our hard won independence for nothing? Are we dashing to the ground the overall achievements that we underscored for the last twenty five years without outside help? Would the current ongoing propaganda campaign that is being waged against us by those who destroyed our cities before, divide us or give us more fortitude and strength to prepare ourselves to defend our country with last drop of blood? Would those socially ostracized dropouts and viragoes, who have been assembled and paid by Somalia government without the consent of their own people, change the status queue?
With these and other questions, the government of Somaliland has tremendously succeeded in galvanizing its people. The blowback from the Somalia government’s continued hate campaign has been felt throughout Somaliland Republic. President Mohamud’s continues unwarranted conspiracy has galvanized public support for the democratically elected Somaliland government. It has widened the fissures between Somalia and Somaliland. The dark days, during which Somalilanders were treated as vassals and `third-class` citizens of Somalia are over. Love it or loathe it, Somaliland, with size of United Kingdom (minus Wales) and with population of about four millions will stay there as sovereign nation. It would never change horses in the middle of the race. History is a journey of discovery. Exploring back into the past, Somalilanders look for the reason why they have come to be what they are today. Against that background, what Somalilanders want is to be of their own; and own their country for themselves. The alternative is to be eternal slaves. That is hard fact on the ground. Somaliland refuses to budge an inch.
President Mohamud’s re-election campaign
In all account, Somalis are fed up with president’s sugarcoated speeches which are always punctuated with inglorious deeds. Critics say his much vaunted plan was simply based on deceit aimed at gaining political support from his erstwhile friends in the Gulf, who bankrolled him with millions of dollars to buy voters during his election in 2012. It was an election in which
thousands of dollars changed hands as some respectable candidates frequently complained to the electoral committee when the election campaign was in full swing.
Conspicuously, he is whetting his appetite for his re-election. Although the president’s approval rate is believed to be the lowest in comparison to all post-military regimes’ so-called leaders, still his chance of winning the votes of those handpicked tribal leaders is very high as he is the highest bidder. It’s said he who pays the piper calls the tune.
Without wasting time, the president has already started his re-election campaign through his young brother, Hussein Sheikh Mohamud, who got unto the gravy train that propelled him to stardom. Hussein Sheikh, the president’s younger brother was eking out his living as a day-time passenger-train cleaner in the northern German city of Kassel together with his three sons and his Ogadenian wife and eventually became naturalized German citizens. Hussein has undertaken the responsibility of being his brother’s re-election campaign manager. Hussein has already started the process of underhand cash-down bargains by establishing a network of contacts that would connect him to all influential clan leaders, who would in return, later on evaluate what he would offer them, if they have to vote for the re-election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. Hussein, who immediately jumped to his brother’s bandwagon is widely regarded as a king maker in Mogadishu. With his latest chauffeur-driven bulletproof Land Cruiser and especially trained security guards, Hussein’s presence is felt daily in Shamo Hotel. He turned one of his two suits into an office, where he receives some influential figures in Mogadishu. Shuttling between Turkey and other Middle East capitals to supervise the family’s properties, Hussein has become an influential figure who rose to his stardom as soon as his older brother was elected as Somalia’s president in 2012. The wealth that he gained during the last four years has rocketed him to fame and notoriety through his direct links to his elder brother, the president of Somalia.
In conclusion, Somalia deserves a better leader- a quality of leadership that breaks the mold. If Hassan Sheikh Mohamud is re-elected as many political commentaries predicted, then, it’s no doubt, he will lead his people to stygian blackness of the cave. Somalia is in leadership crisis. They say that the fish rotes from the head.