The breakaway and self-declared Republic of Somaliland, was formed on 18th of May 1991, by the elites of the major Somali clans in the Northern Regions of Somalia: Isak, Samaron, Dulbahante and Warsangali, but the separation theorists were and still are the political leaders, of the Isak clan, the largest clan in Somaliland, as this clan bore the brunt of the Bare-led Somali military aggression in late eighties, which resulted from the armed rebellion spearheaded by the Somali National Movement, which overran and dislodged the Somali battalions based in the Northern regions, after bloody and large-scale military engagements in the combat zones; where thousands of combatants from the both sides lost their lives in the offensives and counter-offensives that raged between them.
Somaliland has been enjoying sustainable peace and development since it declared itself as an independent state and seceded from the decades-troubled Republic of Somalia, which has been front line for international terrorists and counter-terrorists since the fall of the dictator, General M. S. Bare in 1991.
Though Somaliland is not recognised as a full state by the International Community, but there is a ‘realistic and relevant democracy.’ It has multi-party system of government and free and fair elections happen in all over the regions of this tiny developing nation, while Mogadishu became grisly potential hub for international spies, in contrast, Hargeisa has shown the outside world that it can host international literati in a reliable, peaceful and stable ambience, as the capital of the unrecognised state annually hosts the ‘Hargeisa International Book Fair’ to boost its image of creativity. HIBF (2014). www.hargeysabookfair.com.
After breaking away from Somalia on 18 May 1991, and therefore loosening themselves from outside interference, the people of Somaliland looked deep into their own traditions, building a system which was initially based on clan politics and respect for elders but over time incorporated in more modern political institutions and processes. A series of inter-clan conferences held, where representatives of all parts of society discussed, debated and argued about what kind of political system they should have and how power should be apportioned. Unlike the numerous foreign-sponsored ‘peace conferences’ organized for Somalia since 1991, these grassroots meetings organized by Somalis for Somalis came up with a system that was realistic and relevant, and has actually worked in practice. The political meetings culminated in the Boroma conference of 1993, which lasted for four months, and ended with the appointment of Somaliland’s second and longest-serving president, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal… A hybrid system of government was designed, whereby Western-style institutions were fused with more traditional forms of social and political organization. Somaliland’s legislature reflects the mix of traditional with the modern; the senate consists of traditional clan elders while the House of Representatives is made up of elected representatives. Harper (2012, pp. 133 – 134).
The relatively peaceful separatist Somaliland and the war-torn unionist mother state, Somalia, are now in talks and re-configuring their political vision and strategies. On 28th of June, 2012, they met in Dubai under the auspices of the United Arab Emirates. That preliminary bilateral talk paved the way for their second meeting in Ankara on 13th of April, 2012, which was hosted by the Turkish government as part of its goodwill programmes in post conflict rebuilding of Somalia. On December the 21st 2014, the president of Somalia, His Excellency Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and the president of Somaliland, His Excellency, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud, met in the Republic of Djibouti, under the chairmanship of Djibouti president, His Excellency Ismail Omar Gelleh. The two parts are scheduled to meet in Istanbul, Turkey, on February the 27th 2015 under the auspices of the Turkish government. Arrale (2014). www.somalilandpress.com.
Coming to the conclusion of this short article, it is my moral duty to share my personal advice with my readers from Somaliland, just for the purpose of positive achievements in such a volatile political situation of the troubled Horn of Africa.
I have several Somalilanders, academic friends, including optimists and pessimists, when it comes the issues of separation and union. There is one think that I found out: the existence of ogo-phobia – clannish phobia against the Ogaden clan. This negative phenomenon is widespread among my friends from the Isak clan; and I see it disturbing factor that can impact on the relationship between the two neighbouring Somali clans whose common interests are more permanent than the bygone tribal skirmishes in the yesteryear which resulted from the now stopped and ended camel-rustling, the crime of camel theft. Every Ogaden is not against the Isak Somalilanders. There are thousands of Ogaden fellows who are proud of the progress of Somaliland and its leadership from the Isak clan. I don’t see the point of loathing my Somali sibling just for his ethnic line.
I would like to see my Somaliland friends, from the Isak clan, to bury the past and initiate lasting and durable relationship with the Ogaden clan, both close and distant neighbours, for the sake of bilateral social solidarity based on long-tern sustainable peace and development. I understand that conflict is part of human nature but locating, mapping and identifying the negative factors are of crucial importance for all kinds of conflict resolutions and community developments. The same message is to my Ogaden friends as well; as the interest of Somali people in general is all-time interconnected. Politicisation of tribalism is a destructive factor at all levels therefore, let us be proud of each of us’ peace and progress inclusively regardless of his or her ethnic affiliation (tribal race) and geographical location.
Let us all be productive than destructive and work together for the sake of sustainable development and durable stability of the Horn of Africa, and as well fell being global citizens that can contribute to the global peace and progress.
By: Mohamed Abdikadir (Stanza).
Stanza is a Somali published poet, novelist and peace activist based in Khartoum, where his printed books: The Beaming Blood, Single Kiss and Haldoor are sold at the shelves of the major bookshops in Khartoum. He holds Master’s Degree in Diplomatic Peace and Development and specialized in Conflict Resolution. He is also the author of: Gateway to Somali Anthropology, Plight and Progress, Mettle of the Mind, and Impact of Irredentism on Somalia (1960 – 2014).
The writer can be reached at: email@example.com.
Arrale, H. M. (1/1/2015). Somaliland: Was the SL-SFG Djibouti Meeting Beneficial? www.somalilandpress.com.