The Minister mentioned, perhaps unintentionally, one of the causes of the feuding when a reporter asked him about allegations that the Somalilandgovernment had armed subclans. The Minister said that the Somalilandgovernment did not arm subclans but it “nationalises them along with their guns”.
The Somali word for nationalisation ( qaramayn) joined the political vocabulary after the 1969 coup in Somalia. Since 1991 the same word has been used for a totally different process: to absorb militias into the army of a government or a regional administration.
The policy the Interior Minister defended in Lasanod shows divergent paths clans in ex-British Somaliland have taken since 1991. Subclans that traditionally supported Somali National Movement have had their militias demobilised. There never was a need to nationalise SNM militias. In Soolthere is no an army into which local militias could have been absorbed; they are funded separately to give the impression that they are part of theSomaliland Army.
The two words – qaramayn ( nationalisation ) and abaabul–ka–saarid ( demobilisation) – reflect how Somaliland government policy isdestabalising Sool. It has designated the region as jiidda hore ( thefrontline) .
Somaliland government policy places Sool and other eastern Sanaag areas in a category known as a disputed territory as the map below indicates. This status has damaged Somaliland’s quest for statehood. Eritrea and South Sudan, Africa’s two new countries, were never in a territorial dispute with countries they seceded from before a UN-observed and facilitated referendum in 1993 and 2011 respectively. The secession cases in pre-1991 Ethiopia and pre-2011 Sudan were partly based on ethnic differences whereas the international community finds it hard to make sense of two forms of Somali nationalisms.
To be able to reverse the dire security situation in Sool the Somalilandgovernment must organise a national consultation conference to (1) review the security policy responsible for parallel militias destablising Sool ( 2) to assess how development aid has been allocated to Sool relative to other regions. Widespread corruption in Somaliland helps politicians to embezzle development aid or use it as salaries for subclan militias.