Seven more months of Agony for Somalilanders to bear

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Efrah, a 20 years old mother of 4, walks two times a day to the water source near Simbirale's internally displaced people's camp. In one of the two wells in the dry riverbed, she draws a non-drinkable water, that she will use to cook and drink. “I know the water is not good, but we have no other option. We get sick, but at least we are not dehydrated” she says. She lives in Shimbirale since more than a year, having lost almost all her livestock in the first year of the drought. There, she gave birth to her two younger children, the youngest being 8 months old. So far, she has received no humanitarian help. When they arrived in Shimbirale, the Norwegian Refugee Council saw no other humanitarian organization working, and huge needs. Three people had just died on the day they registered the displaced pastors, and many were very sick. They gave twice Unconditional Money Transfers of 150$ to 100 households, and provided water in this camp of 300 households (approximately 1800 people).

By: Ali Ege , Toronto

May 18, 2017

 

Whoever is at the helm of Somaliland politics, for I am sure it is not Silanyo, have managed to destroy our country in the worst way they could. The following is the list of litany of destruction to the Somaliland state that they could claim to have achieved:

Domestic front:

  1. They destroyed the cohesion and nationalist euphoria that bonded the Somaliland people together and managed to dismember it into fiefdoms and clan based centers in ways unparalleled in Somaliland’s short history. Government sponsored assassinations carried out within the security forces, the military particularly, to saw discord among Somaliland citizens and aimed to propagate distrust and motives inimical to one another.
  2. The Judiciary, whose integrity and impartiality is required by law, has been turned into an instrument of coercion and oppression. The imprisonment of dissenters has become common place occurrence and the media, whose reporting has a lot to be desired, has been corrupted to the extent that only those things biased in their favor would see the light of day. Simple civilian cases have conveniently been averted to criminal cases to stifle proper judicial procedures and many innocent are languishing in jails for crimes for which they have been accused and not proven. A case in point is the group of youngsters captured in Sahil Region who languish in jail, not for the alleged murder for which there should be one murderer to convict, but alternatively for a red-herring tactic to sidetrack and fulfill other motives in the interim. There had been a deliberate attempt to thwart the investigation and failure to find the culprit including who ordered, who executed and who tampered with the evidence. Those who partook have not all been captured and the murder weapon had not been identified, in order to confuse the direction of proper criminal investigation. Collective blame for a murder case is what has been sought right from the start. It is the Presidential Palace and those who run it that are behind the miscarriage of justice, the delay tactic to undermine a peaceful settlement between the clans involved and instigations to mobilize elders to fan the fire of hatred and animosity. This bespeaks of malicious intentions.
  3. Government property and land has been misappropriated and transferred to private hands in an unprecedented manner. No auctions have been conducted in the manner required by law and no comparable or equivalent value has been obtained. Besides prime government property such as houses, land plots and factories, the misappropriation of the Electricity Generators and grid line in Hargeisa, the electricity generators and grid line of Berbera, the Oil tank farm of Berbera, the Port of Berbera and the Airport of Berbera are just some of the numerous examples of what constitutes highway robbery carried out by the Presidency in the past few years of lamentable extensions and Mohamoud Hashi’s reign of terror. Hargeisa airport has been leased out to numerous private enterprises for the benefit of the minister- during his tenure as minister of civil aviation – under various guises camouflaged as independent private establishments.

Foreign Policy Front:

  1. The Foreign policy of Somaliland has been a mere calamity and hodgepodge of confusion ever since Silanyo came to power. It began with the cold shoulder given to Ethiopia, the most important neighbor to the south with which a lot of far-reaching economic, political and social inter-dependence exists. The said attitude had been adopted by a group of mavericks whose ideological Islamic fundamentalist outlook got intertwined with their ascent to the reign of power in Somaliland. Their antagonistic behavior to Ethiopia lasted the whole first five year tenure of Silanyo. Gaboose faltered as minister of Interior and so did Hersi, as minister of presidency, who, together and separately, were the architects of the anti-Ethiopia stance. In the waning hours of his presidency, Silanyo have lost track of where we are in relation to Ethiopia, Kenya or Jibouti which constitute a fundamentally important cluster not to ignore as it relates to the interests of our beleaguered country at this juncture.
  2. There has not been any overture from the Arab world which has remained biased against the Somaliland cause led by the Saudis up until this new initiative regarding the Berbera Port acquisition. The new minister Saad demonstrated his amateurish diplomatic experience by hustling between Cairo and Addis and then Dubai by attempting to mix irreconcilable interests in the maze of Somaliland confused foreign policy calculus.
  3. Most nations make their external political stance cognizant of their economic goals, apparent or perceived, and such has not been apparent in the Somaliland external political conundrum. The oil companies that might hold and pursue economic interests in the Somaliland territory see the instability, the lack of consistent outlook and incoherence to overtures presented to it at forums and dealings with stakeholders. The Somaliland people are egalitarian and inherently democratic. Those individuals, from within the regime, that entertain the idea that Somaliland could all of a sudden change into an autocratic despotic state are ignorant of the people’s history and social fabric. A despotic enterprise might suit the interests of a mean-spirited oil company, tentacles of an Arab or European monster, but would never be practical in the Somaliland territories.
  4. The ill-fated London Conference on Somalia where President Silanyo participated as a result of persistent cajoling by the then Prime Minister of Britain, ended up as a bysmal failure and misguided endeavor for Somaliland. Our participation had been lured by the promise of funds for which the Silanyo government has an insatiable appetite. The failure commenced with the President’s acceptance to participate as a member of the factions coming from different regions of Somalia per se and was treated in the protocol as such. In his speech, President Silanyo repeatedly referred to Somalila as ‘de Jure’ (several times) negating the existence of Somaliland with all the participating countries to witness. From our perspective the emphasis should lie with our interests and not what others think of Somalila. The next blunder occurred when we accepted mediation at Ankara, Turkey, without preconditions and modus operandi set for our talks. Prior agreement on range of issues, mediation mechanism, including time frame, and juridical implications had been ignored by our party.

 

Government Institutions Destroyed:

  1. The government of Silanyo has gone into the History books for its merciless annihilation of the most fundamental institutions of governance. The first that comes to mind are the Houses of Parliament which has become a tool used by the government for purposes other than what it has been established for.
  2. The promulgation of laws is a primary and single responsibility for which the House of Representatives is formulated. The House has been turned into a mob-house engaged in furthering individual interests for themselves and for members of government who hold the purse strings. No laws are formed and the constitution is still replete with clauses mandating the House to enact laws to issues of fundamental nature to the advancement of the rule of law in the country. Perhaps two laws have been enacted in the past 6 years- a flagrant failure of responsibility.
  3. Astonishingly, the House raised its own salary, allows itself six months holiday per annum and closes up when it pleases for reasons incomprehensible. It has remained in power for twelve years, and the extensions of the period of its mandate have no legal basis. ‘’ Whenever the Guurti extends and so does our Mandate”, they often sarcastically retort. This is incomprehensible and outrageous.

According to our financial law, no tax or duty increases can take place without being sanctioned and presented by the ministry of finance and then presented to the House for approval. It becomes incumbent on the ministry of finance to ascertain a) affordability( whether the public can afford, considering the rate in living standard) and b) applicability( whether it is necessary and impacts it may have). In this administration, it has been observed that ministers/mayors would make themselves a tariff and present such tariff to the House for approval. The House passed the said tariff, which in certain cases does not constitute part of the government revenue but a direct fund for the benefit of the said minister or mayor. Amazing as it may seem, this practice has only occurred in the Silanyo administration and continues to reap money for the benefit individual minister/mayor. Mayors have now by-passed even the House and can impose willy-nilly whenever and whatever they deem necessary in their interest.

  1. The Guurti for its part is the laughing stock of any democratic country with ideals that respect human dignity, juridical norms and simple rationale. Although previous governments of Egal and Riyaale used the body for purposes that were essentially patriotic, this regime has used it for measures that are illegal (in the case of the Berbera Airport) and self aggrandizement (extensions of the government’s stay in power). The Guurt’s flagrant extensions of the government for which there had been no legal basis is essentially unconstitutional: extensions being done by an institution which has no juridical basis- Guurti vehemently obstructs reform and enactment of laws pertaining to becoming an elected body.

The article pertaining to ‘extenuating circumstances’ has been abused:

  • The delay regarding the onset of rains is a factor to consider but why extend government tenure to 8 months when extension could be done for the month or two up until the beginning of the rains and a possible few weeks of recovery. This false pretence to extend has been illegal and unwarranted.
  • The delay for reasons of conflict (implying Awdal incursions by the Wabar) had not been a legal justification either. The Wabar scenario, according to some onlookers, has been instigated by the Presidency itself in order to find a pretext for the extension. Soon after, it was the government and the locals who settled the issue, which could have done in the first place, without undue disruption to the electoral process. This too revealed itself as a self serving pretext to extend the stay of the government in for a longer period- a treasonable act
  1. The President has recently spoken of curbing the widespread corruption and the public were astonished to hear his concerns: as if he had been comatose while all this had occurred. Neither the offices of the Auditor General nor the General Accountant have been active in Silanyo’s government since coming to office. Millions of Dollars of public money have been swindled during the regime’s existence. The said offices have deliberately been intimidated into non-action throughout the regime’s existence. The Auditor has the power to investigate and prosecute fraudulent practices at every office in government. The Accountant is there to control financial expenses according to the Budget and in accordance with financial procedures. How the Minister got the power to use public money in whatever way she can is beyond me! The lady goes shamelessly around without accountability giving out contracts to the close of kin in Berbera and elsewhere in outright nepotism garnering funds for personal gain and for her family members. Defrauding public money has become the common play in Silanyo’s Somaliland.  If the President is sincere about curbing corruption, the best place to start would be at the Presidency itself and the Ministry of Finance where most of the blatant public finances swindling has been taking place. The first lady, of a sitting president, has been constructing buildings all over the country including Berbera and Hargeisa. Her acquisitions in Nairobi, London and Dubai falls flat on the President’s face showing his true character as a mere hokum.

 

 

 

 

 

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