Somaliland:The Red Crescent Society in Sanaag Region
Dr. Saed Mohamed Warsame
Neutrality is very vital for the invaluable tasks and dedications of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. According to the movement neutrality means “the Movement may not take sides in hostilities or engage at any time in controversies of a political, racial, religious or ideological nature.” The remark that the Movement shall not participate in political controversies provide it confidence of those who are involved in politics of any country. That is why its staff and members are needed to be neutral in local politics where political parties compete.
The Red Crescent Society in Somaliland is “an independent, non-political humanitarian organization…,” as stated in its website.
It is such neutrality and non-political nature that has made the Red Crescent and the Red Cross respected and trusted institution. Unfortunately, such neutrality is questionable in SRCS Erigavo branch. The branch secretary, Ahmed Mohamed Hashi, is known of his active and express involvement in politics. He is a great campaigner of Waddani opposition political party.
It is beyond doubt that his political involvement is a harm not only to Erigavo branch, but also to ICRC in general which its core principles include neutrality and independence. I wonder whether the Red Crescent Society is aware of his position or not. I recommend the Society to investigate the matter fully. I am supporter of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement. I admire its values and practices. As a scholar, I have studied how such values and principles play very important role in conflict areas.
In last months I paid visit to Erigavo. I have received some videos, documents and other evidence showing his association in politics. It is not a matter of secrecy in Erigavo. His vehement, uncompromising and strong campaign for Waddani political party was shock and disarray to me.
When I have learned that he is also a clan leader, namely chief, I became surprised of how the fundamental principles of the Society are infringed. I am sure that the Movement or the Society have not sanctioned his political exposures. That is why I decided to share my opinion. I emphasize that neutrality is the treasure of Red Crescent Red Cross. That treasure need to be protected. I am planning to publicise some of the videos when I finalize English subtitles.