SomalilandPress- Lately there has been a concerted campaign by people who claim to be Somalilander to spare no effort in casting doubt in the validity of Somaliland. Invariably, albeit in different guise their unmistakable counsel is, its time to surrender. This is a vacuous and disingenuous counsel that is fundamentally flawed in its basic premises. Somaliland is destined to endure – for it is the embodiment of its people.
I can’t discern whether they are Somalilander or not. I don’t mean, Allah forbid, being a Somaliland in the myopic sense of just hailing from a clan that resides there. No I mean have they ever been someone who believed in the Somaliland cause? Are they someone who understands the rationale behind the rebirth of Somaliland and the enormous sacrifice that it took? After reading and listening to their view I can unequivocally state that their answer to those two questions has to be no. Thus, are they petty impostors peddling a fraud or are they weaklings shying away from a challenge – actually from a mere shadow?
When people of Somaliland were crying out for and answering the call of unity in 1960. They might have been a bit naïve but were not completely oblivious to the treachery that might and did befall them. However the pull of what is possible was too strong not to heed. Gone are now the great unknowns and their endless possibilities – instead we have realities and disappointments. Accepting only to shoulder that which one can bear is a precious wisdom we learned the hard way. Gone are the heydays of dreamers – vanquished by the seedy and sadistic disciples of Mussolini.
Let me reiterate and impress on this message and hope they will digest and reflect on it for their own good. This salient message that Somaliland has been sending from the day of its inception that seems to be misread intentionally or otherwise by foe and freckled friends alike. Instead we have come to see this narrative in certain quarter that propagates the notion that Somaliland exists only as a bargaining vehicle or it exists due to the absence of Somalia. Thus, if only we can bribe some of them – if only Somalia can return and stand on her two feet. Or stand on the many borrowed canes, Somaliland will be no more. The hubris of the naked faqir is mindboggling and humbling at the same time. It forces us Somalilander’s to look inward and take appraisal. What has become of my brother?
Somaliland is a vision. It was and is a vision that wants to tame without breaking the proud Somali clansman. To help the noble nomad become a citizen, without turning him into a cadre only to implode. It is a vision that aspires to protect and preserve his egalitarian instinct within as long as it can. Shepherd him diligently through and from the brute demand of the modern nation state. It is a vision that understood the delicate stewardship needed to bring about the fruition of this daunting task. Neither this vision nor the need for it is unfortunately something we share with our estranged brothers. Nations are built on visions and ideals and ours are divergent at the elemental. Where coercion and deceit is the currency of our brothers’ polity – consensus is our value.
If they are a closet unionist and are pinning their hope on the big bad bear the “FGS” they will surely be disappointed. However, if they are a weakling countryman, we will tell them – rest assured because Somaliland has faced down many a threat more formidable than a propped-up NGO masquerading as a state. Sleeping giant arises – some said – only it is a figment of their imagination. I would be glad if it was to be true and our brothers in Somalia giant or otherwise would wake up from their slumber. And get on with the enormous challenges that await them. Sadly I am afraid a neither dawn nor rebirth is in their horizon however much their overlord trumpet this deceit from many an august venue.
Since they seem to have an exaggerated opinion of the value of external recognition they put very little merit and effort on the more important task of building internal cohesion and legitimacy – the unsung building blocks of a nation state. Instead they endlessly and needlessly project the very inadequacy of their savior the FGS into Somaliland by conflating rhetoric with reality. No one can build you a nation.
Somaliland’s central purpose is to build a nation that embodies the true values and aspirations of its people and is at peace with itself and with others. Hence we do recognize the need and the value to engage the wider world and obtain legality. And we will invite and implore the world toward this end with patience and resolve.
Our quest first and foremost was and will always be the attainment and preservation of our sovereignty and how well and fair we manage and administer those duties. 23 years and counting of building a nation state one brick at a time – of clearing one mine at a time, the very ugly legacy of the union some want to resurrect – of healing and tending to the wounds of our people – teaching handful, then some more and now multitudes – those are the quest and calling we were and are answering. 23 years and still happily counting – for true purpose and accomplishment is in the journey and not necessarily the destination though rest assured we will get there. If those quests and achievements are delusions we are guilty as charged. For charlatans a principled person is an abomination hence we will take any disparaging description of true somalilander by them as an honor.
Course correction is the hallmark of a mature polity hence if and when there is a need for such a measure. Somaliland will most definitely review and make appropriate change to address those needs. There was a time when Somaliland felt that internal consolidation to be much more important and needed most if not all of her effort. As a consequence soliciting for diplomatic recognition took a very second sit and little attention was made toward that end. And under the circumstance that was a sound policy. Gone are those days however.
Hereafter, Somaliland will engage the world in multifaceted track confident in herself and in the wisdom of her current leadership led by H.E. Ahmed Siilanyo. An astute statesman, that delivered tangible results for his people throughout his illustrious career. And since every challenge and circumstance that Somaliland encounter will be different. She will address them each wisely and in her own term and pace. Our priorities are of substance and their actual necessity.
Unlike our detractors we Somalilanders were and are aware of the difficult challenges our quest will face. Our cause though just is not the darling of any but us. Consequently, we set out to build and are still building a viable and a functioning nation state that can and will endure irrespective of external validation.
I remember a British national that was the head UN envoy to Somalia a decade and a half ago. And not unlike the current one bore a canning resemblance in manner and conduct to the tortured spirits of Rudyard Kipling’s White Man’s Burden poem. Where saving the wretched heathens from their unsavory fate seem to be their delusional calling. To be nuanced in their discourse and to appreciate the unique and worthiness of the native’s aspiration and accomplishment is something that they are devoid of.
Below is my narration of an incident that is far from an aberration. That portrays and shed light on the capricious and distasteful dealing of an envoy for an organization that is supposedly there to render help.
After demanding from the then Leader of Somaliland H.E. Egal – may Allah have mercy on his soul and accept him in paradise. To bring himself to a venue the UN had setup in Arta, Djibouti so they will experiment in the vain concept of nation building for the Somali hordes. No regard was given to the valiant effort it look the Somaliland people and its leadership to reconstitute the skeleton of a nation from the ashes of total destruction. And having been refused by H.E. Egal to entertain his insult, the then head UN envoy left this quote for posterity “I will bring Somaliland to its knee in six mouths”. Somaliland demise was wished by many before and after to no avail.
It looks like little has changed since then in regard to the shenanigan dealings with the Somali polity by their overlords. Regally propped-up FGS with rhetoric and rented muscle, hollowed from within – feeble is paraded to the gullible audience as the longed for redeemer. Sham is them – Shame be with them.
In the mean time, Somaliland has quietly gone from strength to strength toward a bright and promising future. If Somaliland was back then a collection of willing clansmen at the initial stage of morphing into citizens. Busy and diligently laying the foundation of the institutions that would help them transition toward a nation state. Now they have become citizens and have internalized their identity. Accepted with pride their right and duty as a Somaliland citizens. Damned are impostors and weaklings. Damned are the puppet masters.