In remembrance to the late Egal who passed away exactly the same day as today twelve years ago in South Africa, I hereby share with fellow Somalilanders’ ‘a food for thought’, a wisdom from President Egal’s unique mind. Egal was the founding father and the architect who engineered the modern day democratic Somaliland. He served two terms between 1993 to 2001 as a president of post conflict Somaliland when his died a hospital in South Africa.
Among the key achievements Somaliland attained during his tenure and under his thoughtful and visionary leadership included, but not limited to, the drafting, approving and referendum of the constitution, demobilization of militia, disarmament, foundation of political parties, printing of the Somaliland Shilling, institutionalization of government ministries, and and unprecedented effort towards shaping Somaliland’s contemporary relationship with neighboring countries and International Community. His contribution is admired not only by Somalilander but outsiders as well. Matt Bryden of the ICG referred Egal “ as an institution not a mere politician”. In here recently published book, Getting Somali Wrong, BBC’s Mary Harper admits that president Egal’s personality was crucial to Somaliland’s rise from the ashes.
These quotes and excerpts come from letters and documents written by the late president himself during 1993/2001 period to different actors in the region and the outside world in order to present the cause of Somaliland. It a reflection and a special insight to the courage, determination, mindfulness, and hard work done by this legendary leaders. The issues covered in these documents and the quotes presented here cover a wide range of international issues affecting Somaliland sovereign in one way or another. Key issues include, terrorism, international aid, regional secuirity, recongnition of Somaliland, expulsion of UN envoys, world lordism, peace making/keeping, failed “Greater Somalia” notion, international relations and many other interesting topics. We’ll try hard to compile 50 quotes by publishing 7 to 10 quotes during the next the 4 weeks.
The ultimate reason behind this minute task is to reflect the ups and downs of Somaliland recent history and highlight the price that we’ve paid to be where we are today. Another key objective is to celebrate not only Egal’s leadership but his pride, confidence and decisiveness in the face of many opposing forces and in the context of fragile and weak Somaliland. Last but not least, we try to give our readers an information that will help them compare and contrast Somaliland current policy posture with its recent foreign policy engagements.
On the impact of dictatorship on Somalilanders
1. “In the awful years of the brutal dictatorship of Siyad Barre, not only the physical structure of the country but the moral fabric of our society was undermined and subverted” (Egal, 1995)
On Nuclear and Weapons of Mass Destruction
2. “What the international community desires is a nuclear weapons-free world. Until that is achieved, the only other alternative is a balanced nuclear deterrent. There can be no halfway house where the world would become hostage to or two nuclear powers” (Egal, Letter, 1995)
On African Peace, Stability and Regional Countries (Africom)
3. “It is the purpose of this letter to assure that the majority of African leaders are pained by what is happening in Zaire, and alarmed by the altitude of the Goverments in Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda…. Lastly, we, in the republic of Somaliland, would be prepared to contribute 500 (five hundrend) soldiers and their officers fully expreinced in the handling of chaotic situations like those that are now happening in Nothern Zaire to United State’s lead peace force. (Egal, A letter to US Sectretary of State, 1996)
On Egypt, Somalia and Somaliland Sovereignty
4. “…During my visit with you in Cairo, I though I had explained fully our gut feelings towards Egypt and our true affinities with the Arab World. I also thought, I have truthfully and withouth hypocrisy explained our irrevocable decision to the leave the union with Somalia and chart our own course for a separate sovereign existence. Should Egypt decide to abandon us, to ignore our sentiments and affections, then your Excellency, you should do so with the knowledge that this stand of ours and the formation of the republic of Somaliland are for the present irreversible. We have to rethink our future relations with our neighbors, our brothers and all the members of the international community according to their responses to these aspirations of ours.” (Egal, Letter to Egypt’s Foreign Minister, 1997)
5. “..As I did Cairo, I once again appeal to you and through you to President Husni Mubarak to re-evaluate your policy on Somalia and to relate that policy not to a theoretical preference, but to the practical realities in Somalia and Somaliland” (Egal, A letter to US Sectretary of State, 1996)
On Aid, UN and International Agencies
6. “..the UN Agencies at their inception were far different from the conglomerates into which they since developed. UNICEF and SCF were exclusive patrons of children whom they have exhibited as deprived lovable human beings but NOT the distressed circumstances of starvation which now fills the screens and the public relations media. FAO who was conceived to pioneer green revolution in the third world is now limited to the peripheries of the agro-animal husbandry crusade…. OXFARM is no longer the altruistic fighter against the famine. All, however, film famous actors appealing for donations and legislators are funded with tours abroad in exchange for glowing testomonials.” (Egal, Somaliland Council Minister’s Policy Statetement, 1995)
Hamse A. Khaire (firstname.lastname@example.org)