Somaliland off The Secession: Will The People Do The Right Thing?
Somalilanders have voted for independence and still do the same if required. No one wants Somalia to see in their backyard. They abandoned once for all. That was the major assumption. Nevertheless, Once again, nerves are jangling, as Wikileaks “the Saudi Cables” revealed otherwise: Somaliland leader Silanyo signed federal unity with Mogadishu. It’s the first Somaliland head who sworn changed his mind while in office and made reversal change—it upset everyone, but the Friendly Nurse Minister who ingratiated so effectively with the president tried to rebut the backstory, rather, he hit. But will he get away with the treason? President Silanyo has to face the music.
Somalilanders as they’re known gained their restored independence in 1991 after it lost into ill-fated union with Somali Italian of Mogadishu following deadly liberation war that lasted close to decade. Abdirahman Ahmed Ali the founding father of Somaliland set up the first government in early 1990s. He managed to make it happen against all odds and in defiance of warlords in Mogadishu who waged Jihad against another and started looting food aid when the world left the country to rot.
Somaliland is founded for completely new policy track: to stay out of Arab and Israel land dispute like Turkey and solely pursuing its strategic interests wherever they are, not a short term or personal gains to find solace.
Several Give-Me Trips to Gulf Oil mini-states and the huge wealth idly stays there diluted Silanyo’s “dogmatic” faith on sovereignty; attributed to the change of his mind, but are Somalilanders likely to change their mind after decades of isolation and suffering partially responsible by the Arab League? Of course not, they sanely left the business of Somalistan behind when functioning, less notorious, and more likable in the world. Any reversal would be only unpleasant reminder of the sixties when naïve bunch gave up Somaliland allowing to end up in the wrong hands.
What levers Arabs have in Somaliland power politics? Almost none, however the backdoor deal startled how Arab “monetized” diplomacy can change the hardened hearts that refuse to succumb to bullet warfare. Wadani Party major political force to reckon called it “a national treason” and asked for further investigation. That doesn’t necessarily mean the president is off the hook. They summarized the government’s trips to Arab countries merely “money-driven travels and of reunification”, harming country’s future statehood.
The recent refusal of Silanyo’ Emra visa By Saudi Kingdom, another desperate trip to beg Zakat once arrived, was a heavy blow to coteries that surround the aged president and entertain him of knowing how to dance to Arab’s tune. It turned scandalous. Mr. Kuwaiti, a distant cousin of the president, and sleeper trainee in Muqbil Mosques in Yemen who does dirty tasks for the president, persuaded the president to take his passport to the Embassy of Saudi Kingdom in Djibouti. But it returned with rejection stamp! Saudis are not happy with Silanyo’s leadership over his flip-flop of falling to the lap of either the West or the Arabia. One last attempt left to go to Tel Aviv. Everyone wants money. They moaned. It would, of course, be foolish to assume one-man signature though reigns signifies important policy shift.
Somaliland suffered livestock ban imposed by the Saudi Kingdom to force change back to unity, but former leaders declared they would prefer death in their houses to joining failed terror plagued Somalia, a major of epicenter of Jihad crisis that affected Nigeria and many parts of Africa, for the sake of carrots.
Wikileaks awakened folks whose country was on sale by a man who used to be the Arafat to them and who claim to break away is the only way for prosperity and brighter future when there was no much money to steal or embezzle. Turning back is not an option. He yelled. But all of a sudden, a single sightseeing of the idle wealth in the Arab Banks made him go crazy. “How I do get some tiny of all these” he asked “simply change your political faith and accept our dictation as simple as that”. Money is the biggest weapon one can use against people without principles without firing single gunshot and change the mindset of the people of moneyed faiths. Somaliland past leaders insisted on and on their stand, but ultimately Silanyo seem giving up in the face of Arabs’ wealthy temptation: they want to see Somalia united as to keep it a buffer zone and always-good recipient of Gulf alms. The first Zakat of 10 million dollars donated by Kuwait to the airstrip’s repair but the First Family of extended son-laws, and grandsons went shopping in London trying chocolates. Somalilanders tolerated thinking they would be satisfied immediately. But having seen wholesale looting. Would you Mr. President be satisfied after selling mosques? People asked. After all, he and his Imams began addiction to looting. Theft addicted ministers are more hellish.
Would this sell-off the county serve as a wakeup call to hostile clans? The president doesn’t like Somalia per se, but his decision to become a diehard unionist belatedly is simply sell-out. Seen your famish neighbor eating Turkish and Gulf delicious food while in one is in “Ramadan” throughout the year is also problematic. Berber seaport city isn’t sufficient to the president household, his nurse tells me. But I don’t know what’s enough? The entire saga reminded of Mahatma Gandhi’s aphorism “There’s enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed”.
If the Wikileaks was a real man, Somaliland ruling thugs would bribe, they worried him spilling beans over something new. They prayed this be the last one and the only one. I wish too. Amen, because the shocking remarks if did declassify can trigger deadly civil war. Somalilanders’ hearts are throbbing.
But the nomination of a son-in-law to UAE as Zakat or alms recipient for the First Family heralds end of Somaliland democratization. Clanship, cronyism, and sell-out of ex-Somalia state assets became widespread.
Abdirahman Abdilahi Irro of Wadani party forewarned that if damaging deals won’t stop, the stability will be hurt then the forces that looking a place to set a foot to go to “paradise”, will sneak in. “the regime seems consumed by the chase of money that blinded them from every other overriding issues of the nation. Bipartisan agreements on elections have taken backseat, and it’s time the world has to intervene”. He concluded.
Notwithstanding very plebiscite held in the region opted to break away. Secession is taken off the negotiation table at the least in leadership level in return to securing Arab “easy” money. Does Somaliland back to square one or it’s just a fantasy of monies-seeker, buffoon delegates in the Gulf States? Only time will tell.
Abdirahman Mohamed Dirye, Somaliland Activist, Political Commentator, and Senior Editor and Author At Democracy Chronicles his works appear in Jerusalem Post, African Review, Big News Network, Toronto Telegraph, New York Statesman, Austin Global, and Sudan tribune, Middle East Online. firstname.lastname@example.org