Somaliland: My Blessings for the New Year and a Call to the Younger Generations

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Myself and Prof. Richard Ford of Clark UniversityBy: Mohamed Ali

LONDON (Somalilandsun)- Another new year is on the horizon as usual with little change as to how my people live and the progress made in the overall development and the infra structure in the country . I may have done little but have tried my best for the last 36 years to contribute towards this cause.

The development in the private sector in Somaliland seems to be moving fast-forward compared to the government achievements , although the country has little resources to exploit worsened by the lack of foreign investment due to lack of international recognition .

The recent local elections have indeed, tainted the name of Somaliland and have opened old tribal wounds. Both poor election planning and the non-voter registration have tempted many Somalilanders to double vote for the parties that they support. Most of the seven political parties running for the local elections depended on their supporters who mainly came from the clans of their party leaders . I believe that proven resilience of Somaliland people will overcome the animosity stirred by the local elections and I am also, sure that no other election will take place in the country without voter/citizen registration. Indeed the government has already announced to carry out voter/citizen registrations before the next Somaliland elections. This is a good step forward to exercise voting transparency and to avoid future election violence.

However, the people of Somaliland should know that tribalism is destructive and is not in the favour of the long term development of our country as well as its security and the livelihood of its people.

It seems that religious extremism can be contained but the clan mentality (tribalism) is more difficult to deal with in Somaliland. So I think that the only hope to counter tribalism is to start educating the youth and making them aware of the evils of tribalism and nepotism on the population. Schools could be the perfect place to start teaching the kids about the negative effects of tribalism on the whole society.

The older clannish population will eventually be depleted by age factor and other related natural redemption methods which will hopefully lead to a healthier clan-less and genuinely united Somaliland.

Time is now ripe for the younger generations of Somaliland to get very much involved in the hard work that is needed to make this country a success. We need new blood to lead the country towards a prosperous future, so here is my yearly call to the younger Somaliland generations to shape them become the future leaders:

• Start from discarding tribalism and think of the country as if it was your family.

• Be punctual to school, university or to work and fulfil your duties honestly.

• Pursue a career and don’t fluctuate. Keep trying to achieve it again and again until you get it.

• Be kind to your friends, family members and treat people equally.

• Exercise patience and restrain in all situations.

• Avoid violence as it destroys.

• Avoid arrogance as it leads to demise.

• Minimize or avoid chewing Khat as it consumes time and the soul.

• Embrace public ownership and know that all public utilities are yours and therefore , need protection and development.

• Support your government to achieve its goals set by your seniors. After all you have elected them.

• Obey the law and always remember that nobody is above the law.

Happy New Year in advance and I wish many prosperous years in future for the Somaliland people and for our neighbours in Somalia .

Happy new year – 2013 …

The writer Mohamed Ali is a British Somalilander and editor of Medeshivaley.com

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