As the United Nations, European Union and United States’ envoys to Somaliland/Somalia demand Somaliland to release recently captured members of the violent rebel group known as Khatumo and pressure Somaliland to withdraw its security forces from eastern Sool province in Somaliland, the rebels and their leader, an American warmonger, vow to wage a Jihad war, send suicide bombers, attack bridges and transportation system. No kidding!
In one of my earlier articles entitled, “Somaliland—UK, EU, & US Send Wrong Message” I write, “…pressuring Somaliland to withdraw its security forces from those regions is exactly what the armed groups, terrorists, human traffickers, pirates and clan militants want to see. This is music to their ears. And they couldn’t thank enough the UK, EU, and US envoys.” As it seems, I spoke too soon! Just few days after Somaliland forces withdraw from Taleh district, as the UK, EU and US envoys insist two of the local clans fight house to house, a clear manifestation of Somaliland’s fear of a looming clan warfare spurred by the Khatumo militias in the region.
Also, the rebels openly call for attacking specific Somaliland clans, namely Habar Jealo as one of Khatumo’s top war recruiter Garad Jama Garad Ali states, “We detest Habar Jealo; they are an inferior clan; we will massacre them; we won’t spare their oldest and youngest…”. Slaughtering elderly people and children is a chilling reminder of the savage clan violence between the Hutus and Tutsi tribes of Rwanda in 1994. Now, anyone who has the slightest understanding of the Somali clan violence knows that Khatumo rebels’ threat is a nerve-wracking one, an impending disaster if Somaliland fails to disarm the militants, peacefully or forcefully. Such clan violence will destabilize not only Somaliland but also parts of eastern Ethiopia.
More dangerously, in its ceaseless efforts to destabilize Somaliland under the pretext of resurrecting Somali unity, the Khatumo militants not only thank the envoys but also vow to send suicide bombers, attack bridges and transportation system in Somaliland. Again, Garad Jama Garad Ali reiterates, “We thank the International community for its efforts to keep Somaliland out of Sool and Sanag…however, if the International community’s demand is not met…we are ready to use suicide bombers…” And again, Khatumo’s spokes man, Mahamoud Sheikh Umar, Dr. Galaydh’s right hand man, advocates for attacking bridges and transportation system in Somaliland, to bring it to its knees. He openly states, “We must attack the bridges, highways, public transit, and wherever our supporters are, they should attack Somaliland.”
Moreover, anyone who is under the illusion that Dr. Ali Khalif Galaydh, an America warlord, is ready for peace will be disappointed. An interview with the universal TV, he echoes, “From Hawd [in the Somali region of Ethiopia] to Erigabo [in Sanag province of Somaliland], we must trigger a firestorm to wipeout Somaliland…” Yet, in another audio clip, the Khatumo rebel leader, Dr. Galaydh himself, vows to wage a Jihad war against Somaliland. He reminds his supporters, “Our Jihad tantamount to the one the prophet waged against the non-believers…”
Additionally, the Khatumo rebels routinely ambush Somaliland security forces as one of its leaders, named Yassin Ahmed Sulub admits. Mr. Sulub states, “We have attacked the Somaliland security forces killing dozens and wounding many more…”
The Khatumo rebels pose threat not only to the security forces but also to the local clans. Recently, the militants execute six members of a local Dhulbahante clan because of their refusal to join Khatumo. The clan’s chief, Garad Sulub Ali Gas says, “The Khatumo rebels and its leader Dr. Ali Khalif Galaydh are responsible for the killings of our men and we would like the International community to know the savage killings committed by the Khatumo rebels, their leis and disinformation.” Khatumo rebels mainly hail from Dr. Galaydh’s sub clan in Saahdheer village, as the majority of Dhulbahante clans oppose his violent mission.
Indisputably, the overwhelming majority of the Dhulbahante clans endorse the 1991 peace accord among the Somaliland clans, which Dr. Galaydh himself is one of the signatories, and two years later he runs for Somaliland’s vice-presidential post, in the election of 1993, in Borama, Awdal region, in Somaliland. A failed politician like Dr. Galaydh may flip flop, changing his allegiances and loyalties as many times as opportunist arise, but history doesn’t lie! And soon, he will rejoin Somaliland, denouncing none other than the UN, EU and US’s envoys attitude towards Somaliland. Nothing personal, gentlemen! This is the realpolitik! Truth is: Dr. Galaydh is one of the founders of Somaliland. And today, he is determined to uproot Somaliland, undoing the hard-earned peace and stability.
Despite the mounting evidence that support Somaliland’s fear that the Khatumo rebels will create insecurity in the region, which will eventually consume Somaliland, the UN, EU, and US envoys to Somaliland/Somalia demand Somaliland to withdraw its forces from Saahdheer village in Sool, the last powerbase for the Khatumo rebels before it falls into the hands of Somaliland in August 28, 2014. Now should Somaliland entertain foreign interventions?
Doubtlessly, one of the main reasons that Somaliland escapes the chaos that consumes Somalia (southern Somalia) for over two decades is that Somaliland keeps foreign meddling at bay. But this is now changing. As destitute Somaliland becomes more dependent on UN, EU, and US aid, running the show in Somaliland is no longer exclusive to Somalilanders. And failure to comply with the big bosses’ demands means only one thing: no aid. For Somaliland, this poses a dilemma. On one hand, withdrawing its security forces from eastern Sool and Sanag means clan wars will rage, the security vacuum will lure Al-Shaba terrorists/armed groups into the region, and above all the illicit businesses namely piracy, weapons sells, illegal fishing, human trafficking and deforestation for charcoal will flourish, unabatedly.
On the other, if Somaliland gives the cold shoulder to UN, EU, and US envoys’ orders, it could find itself struggling financially and vulnerable to Al-Shabab attacks. In any event, in Somaliland the four-letter word “aid” could do more harm than good—a paradox.
Also, what is amazing is: the UN, EU and US envoys never mention the Somali government’s constant provocations towards Somaliland. For instance, one day before Somaliland expunges the Khatumo militants from Saahdheer village, three small planes loaded with Somali MPs arrive in Buhodle town, in Togdheer province, in Somaliland. (Also, rumor has it that Gen. Said Hirsi Morgan, the butcher of Hargiesa, Somaliland capital, supposed to be in Saahdheer. Apprehending Gen. Morgan is a golden opportunity that Somaliland cannot miss.) The MPs objective is to create a mini-state within Somaliland, just like Somalia, in an effort to disintegrate Somaliland into tiny clan enclaves ready to rejoin the so-called the federal government of Somalia. Through the eyes of Somalilanders, however, such a move tantamount to declaration of war and ought to be dealt with swiftly and decisively.
On a positive note, Somaliland not only disarms the rebels and mediates the warring local clans but also reaches out to the disfranchised communities, delivering much needed aid, in the areas liberated from the Khatumo rebels.
In summary, the Khatumo rebels threaten Somaliland with suicide bomber, declare a Jihad war, vow to attack bridges, transportation system, wipeout certain clans and Somaliland itself from the face of the earth. Then the question to the UN, EU and US envoys is: despite all these threats and attacks should Somaliland sit idle and wait for these terror threats to materialize?
Of course, Somaliland either puts out the “firestorms” that Dr. Ali Khalif Galaydh promises to trigger from Saahdheer village or it will be too late, as Somaliland will be transformed into the Rwanda of 1994.
Likewise, Somaliland officials ought to develop a remarkable clairvoyant perception—prudently predicting that the risk of creating security vacuum in eastern Sool and Sanag regions outweighs the benefits of financial aid. Hence, the International community’s intervention is unwelcomed in Somaliland as it failed in Somalia. So much for failed-foreign arbitrations resulting failed-states like Somalia—a textbook case!