By Abdirahman Mohamed Dirye
On May18, 1991, to change the course of the world history and redraw political map of Somali peninsula, a visionary team of Hassan Ise jama, former First Deputy President of Somaliland, of Ibrahim Maygag Samatar, late Chief Economist and Senior Official( ex-finance minister, ambassador of Somalia among other titles) , and others led by the late president Abdirahman Ahmed Ali “Tuur” declared Somaliland as an independent entity completely different from Somalia when Mogadishu plunged into dead-end conflict while the incumbent president of Somaliland was among their audience with little say in the decision except to accompany them a big applause. But he is luckier than all his predecessors: now he is making business out of it and negotiating with Hawiya over Somaliland to return to former status quo, a part of Somalia, if his personal and occasionally his clannish cronies needs are met without seeking any acceptance from Guurti or others. How time brings its change! From mere listener to sole decision maker! Few sycophant MPs are out there awaiting their palms to be lubricated. Mr. President let’s make that happen quicker and see the dramatic outcome like never before.
Today, the political crisis to which Somaliland swims in is, in fact, more precarious than any other preceding years; neither in 1991 nor in 1994 was seen Hawiye elders and ministers with their unity dogmas openly trampling over Hargaysa Mass Graves whom killed en mass by Somalia national army as well as mercenary soldiers from overseas! this national treason in full view of everyone coincides only four days left to mourn worldwide for tens of thousands who’ve fell dead or severely maimed in defense of liberty and freedom for the next generation, elders from Somalia clandestinely arrived at the Egal Airport International with little anticipation, heavily guarded and escorted to Morgan’s Villa to preach unabashedly the pros of the unity to the victims of the ill-fated union of Somaliland and Somalia. Hawiya’s elders, to be blunt, are oppressive unionist wolves far worse than Sayid Bare’s but in sheep’s clothing, beware of their contagious virus.
“Neither the president nor the VP attended the reburial of about thousands of dear relatives perished in the liberation war” said by Consultation Forum in Hargaysa. So what diluted his faith in his people and his country? Turkish bucks perhaps. Finance is more powerful than bullets, those refused to give up at the gunpoint, money trapped them.
Somaliland people in power seem non-committal about people’s future political choice and rethought on the secession. This is not mere assertion but the evidence is clear unless you are politically manipulated and tribally raped: Silanyo’ s coteries participated in London Conference after they fed Guurti properly and in Investment forum in Nairobi about Somalia to be given some monies. Facts, but again when you look at the refusal decision of UN Office in Hargaysa, their abandonment of the previous position is quite blurred. I want to be a fair to them.
However they changed their mind for the false allurement: power or wealth in Somalia or division of foreign aid, Somaliland issue is societal consensus and irreversible.
Age or dementia or “minor stroke” is said to render Silanyo an ineffective ruler or a puppet to “religious” brutal thugs to further their regional detrimental agenda. But the president becoming ghoul of his Comrades-In-War Grave and Mass Graves of innocent masses was beyond expectation.
As quixotic as a restoration of Somalia’s catastrophic unity, Hawiye elders equipped with proper ammunition for Somaliland so called “kitchen cabinet”: Turkish cash with rare magnanimity, are dispatched to Somaliland political livestock “market” to logroll. But veracious people swore God that unity belongs to the past, and Somaliland belongs to the present and to the future. It is a done deal.
Incorruptible people of Somaliland were the moving engine of SNM armed struggle. They chose this political path, UDI, fully aware of its dire consequences. One’s to heed their decision and never waste effort on irreversible thing.
Prior to the nineties, Somalilanders suffered martyrdom, wipeout of major cities. And later faced global isolation but remained resilient for their just cause, but no one expected elders from Mogadishu and remnants of the brutal regime who prayed God the destruction of Somaliland for decades would dare to travel to Hargaysa in order to desecrate the Martyrs Cemetery with blessing of the president compromising Somaliland’s national sovereignty internationally.
The fifth column might mislead Somalia claiming the public are severely polarized on clan lines or sham party vs. fake party, and they are tired of recognition. It is not true; most of the people prefer living in isolated, stagnant Somaliland to living with rather wealthy troublesome partner without any faith in God who betrayed their tribe, country, and religion. Nothing good came out of Mogadishu as I far as I know, therefore; Somaliland disassociated itself from Somalia without any remorse , and it is a time to change the prefix of Somaliland to shun pejorative sense being associated with Somalia, not to rejoin them.
If sanity is their guiding principle which I think it’s not, the elders from Somalia realized Somaliland public reached a point of no return and needless revolutionary anthems to play, and hopefully won’t release nonsensical report of x tribe is less faithful in Somaliland or y tribe is hijacked or Somaliland is imposed upon z clan at the gunpoint when they get back to their precinct to get paid for their conspiracy mission.
Though we disagree with each other almost on everything but agree on Somaliland to stay an independent country forever by every means possible. The decision to go to Mogadishu simply to co-devour Turkish aid with Hawiye’s ex brutal warlords and nuclear dump contractors and then accepts reunion is out of the way, you Somalis don’t be simplistic. Moreover, that decision to abandon sovereignty is neither in the hand of the ageless president nor in the hand of the fifth column who always tries to undermine our strategic goal.
We’ll never ever abandon our dearly earned freedom for abstract idea of outdated dogmas of unity and love of Greater Somalia or for the sake of Afghani trained Sheikh’s Hadith or Saudi’s Fatwa or the world’s complete denial of our right to self-determination. We’ll never ever give our land to Somalia or to Sheikh Hasan or to Turkey’s Muslim ongoing negotiation in Ankara or to Puntland, we made mistake in the sixty and we’ll never do it again … no way. We’ll never jeopardize our 20 something year old friendly relations with Ethiopia to please our phantom enemies. We can’t be more unequivocal than that. But I know you still keep coming back thinking we are sitting on the fence on sovereignty.
You Mogadishu people, pathological liars, can send elder delegates with Turkish money bags to all over the place to shake the bedrock of Somaliland as many times as you wish or shower us with flatteries: “you love Somalinimo or Somali brotherhood” to fool us again but it is a waste of time and money as we are sick to death of flatteries.
Our memory indelible, as vivid as yesterday and your brutality always haunts us, your Nazi blue flag frightens our children, men and women alike whenever we see it and need to be replaced immediately.
So apologies for atrocities are not enough, only God can unmake the bitter past and undo what is done to us. Neither we nor President Silanyo can undo. So even if our recognition ruins Somalia, sorry, but we still adamantly want it.
The writer is a Somaliland activist and senior editor at The Democracy Chronicles, African news edition. firstname.lastname@example.org