Somaliland: SNM Widows decry neglect

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 Widows of senior SNM commanders in BuraoOnly H.E Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo can relieve our livelihood distress “SNM widows

By: Yusuf M Hasan

BURAO (Somalilandsun) – The government has been asked to alleviate the livelihoods of SNM Widows and orphans.

During a demonstration in Burao town, widows of the Somaliland National Movement said that their living conditions have reached untenable levels thus a now constant inability to meet basic needs of life.

The widows most of them of senior ranking SNM Mujahids decried the neglect effected upon them by SOYAAL- Veterans association which they termed as no longer effective in its mission.

After massing at the SOYAAL regional offices the widows accompanied by their war orphaned children marched to the Togdheer Regional governor’s office where they presented the grievances to Governor Abdoo Ayre.

According to Ms Sahra Muse Tawakal the widow of Mujahid Mohamed Ali the demonstration has been occasioned by the continued negative attitude accorded them by the veterans association whose leaders themselves SNM veterans have refused to respond to any of their requests.

Said she, “Governor we are not happy about our demonstration but we have no alternative to ensuring that our grievances are heard”

The widow of Officer Mohamed Ali, who died heroically in the initial SNM storm that liberated Burao, informed that for a long time the allocated government upkeep allowance has been withdrawn leaving them without means of livelihoods.

“We are hereby asking you, Governor, to convey our appeal for assistance to President Silanyo who apart from being president of Somaliland is also a veteran of the SNM” she said

All the widows in unanimity shouted that “only H.E Ahmed Mahmoud Silanyo can relieve our livelihood distress”

In conclusion Ms Sahra M Tawakal informed that, personally she has no recourse for livelihood since her Mujahid father was buried the same day with her husband Mujahid and Hero Mohamed Ali.

According to Ms Kinsi Yusuf Mohamed the widow of Muj.Ibrahim Jama Diif whose Nome de Guerra was Hailikin said that the only possession accorded them is honour and esteem as widows of heroic senior SNM commanders.

Said she, “apart from this recognition we neither have income nor houses, our children are growing illiterate and weak due to malnourishment”

She urged Governor Ayre to act expeditiously and convey their appeal to president Silanyo while further asking him to mince no words while briefing the president since it appears that he is kept in the dark about the SNM widows and veterans situation

An emotional Sadho Mahmoud Hariye the widow of Muj Arab Ileeye castigated their neglect especially by the government whose establishment she attributed to the death of their husbands, sons, fathers and brothers.

Said she, “For 21 years the government has turned a blind eye to our plight, we have no work, no houses, not even a small plot to erect an aqal Somali, how does the government expect us to live, enough is enough”

A very sympathetic Togdheer Regional governor Abdoo Ayre informed the widows that while he shall convey their appeal to the president, he will also explore avenues at the regional level for their succor.

Said he, “It is truly sad to see the suffering of senior SNM commanders widows and orphans whose plight seems to have been ignored completely by SOYAAL.”

While thanking the amassed widows for making him aware of their plight, Governor Abdoo informed that he shall compile a report which he shall share with all stakeholders as a prelude to availing those sustainable means of livelihoods.

The Somaliland National Movement was behind the armed uprising that saw Somalilanders defeat the mighty army of Dictator Siyad Barre that culminated in the declaration of the republic of Somaliland in 1991.

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