By: Yusuf Dirir Ali, MD
Somalilandsun – Turkey is the only country on earth that recognizes the Turkish Cypriot Republic. I personally support Turkish stand on Cyprus for a single reason, because I firmly believe in self determination for all nations and I deem all the Peoples to have the right to be treated justly and fairly. I am not trying to be politically correct here and believe me, I am not a 60s hippie, who is idealistically listening to Bob Marley songs in a beach somewhere in the Caribbean Islands and smoking a joint. Far from that I am a Muslim, who prays five times a day and believes in all heavenly religious teachings of justice and peace.
Apart from my religiosity, which you might technically say, my religion is between me and my creator, I am also someone who believes in the international law and pragmatically supports the international conventions, such as the UNO charters, the Montevideo convention and the AU charters. At the same time, I am against breaking all those rules and agreements and I think when it comes to Somaliland and Somalia, all the religious rules and international conventions are immorally bridged not only by Somalia, but also by the International Community.
Somaliland and Somalia were independent entities before July 1st, 1960 and from May 18th, 1991 onwards. The two countries were united for 30 years and in all those thirty years Somaliland was in the receiving end of political and economic oppression by the Somalia dominated Mogadishu governments.
Hundreds of Somaliland civilians were pitilessly murdered in cold blood and buried in shallow mass graves that surface each raining season to the open, countless women were raped, the Somaliland cities, towns and villages were leveled to the ground and as I repeatedly say not by feuding clans as it happens in Somalia, but systematically by the Somali National Army.
I know a little girl that was only 3 years-old in 1988, when Somaliland cities were being bombarded with heavy artillery and jet bombers. That little girl was hit by an artillery shrapnel from the Somalia commanded Somali National Army. As a result, that little girl lost her left hemipelvis and after 62 surgical operations in the Netherlands, UK and Germany that little girl is now a grown up young lady and is scheduled again to be operated one more time, next week in Germany. Mariam (not her real name), is not the only person who was scared physically and psychologically as consequence of Somaliland and Somalia union. There are millions in Somaliland that became widows, orphans, mentally and physically disabled. How can anyone have the decency and kindness of heart to tell these Somaliland victims to form a reunion with Somalia culprits?
The appointed government in Somalia, threatens continuously Somaliland with violence, they asked immunity for General Ali Samater, the butcher of Somaliland. The Prime Minister of Somalia as recent as a week ago, visited the grave of Siad Barre, who killed close to half a million Somaliland civilians. Mr. Shardoon, Somalia’s current prime Minister praised both Siad Barre and Ali Samatar for what he called ” a great service to the Somali people.” Both men attempted to eradicate the Somaliland citizens from the face of the earth. General Mohamed Ali Samater was found guilty for his role in the Somaliland genocide of the 1980s.
Despite all the Somalia hatred and cruelty towards the people of Somaliland and after defeating the Somalia regime in 1988, Somalilanders did not take revenge against the Somali National Army, but gave them a free passage to Somalia.
Unlike those in Somalia, the people of Somaliland did not wait for the international community to hold endless reconciliation conferences for them, Somalilanders did not wait for the international community to rebuild their country, and contrast to Somalia’s long and precarious processes, Somalilanders did not form an undemocratic government that was appointed by warlords and fake clan elders.
Somaliland people did not lose the control of their territories to Al Shabaab and other Al Qaida affiliated terrorist groups. Somaliland did not create Italian style Mafia administrations that thrived on Sea piracy and human trafficking. Somaliland did not claim a single inch of Somalia’s post colonial borders. But all those discreditable facts make part of Somalia’s shameful history.
Soon after Somaliland defeated the Siad Barre dictatorship, they called for a reconciliation conference in Burao for all Somaliland clans to attend. After the reconciliation was achieved the thirty years-old failed Union with Somalia was nullified. Later on, a referendum was held in Somaliland to cement the decision to render the Somaliland and Somalia failed union null and void. 97% of Somalilanders affirmatively voted “YES” for that decision.
The reconstruction of Somaliland began from day one, after the defeat of Siad Barre dictatorship. National institutions were created from scratch. Since 1991, Somaliland had multiple internationally monitored free and fair elections. The country is booming economically than any time in its entire history. Somaliland is cooperating with the international community in the war against terrorism, sea piracy and human trafficking.
Somaliland currently shelters hundreds of thousands of Somalia refugees, who escaped for their own safety from Somalia. Dissimilar to Somalia, all those Somaliland successes were made with Somaliland efforts and initiatives and with little or no help from the international community. Somalilanders do not rely on others to assist them secure and build their country and to feed their people.
On the other hands, despite all the decades of International Community’s efforts and handout to Somalia, the undemocratic government tells falsehood to the world, the security situation in Somalia has gone from bad to worst since this appointed government took power. Somalia is still a waste basket waiting for the international community to feed its population and it depends on African forces for its security. The appointed president and all Somalia government officers travel from one point in Mogadishu to another in AMISON escorted armed vehicles and tanks. All International dignitaries including the Turkish dignitaries will attest to this fact. In sum, there is no hope for Somalia insight.
I think I must stop here talking about the deceptive Somalia regime and its action, because it makes me and the readers sick to our stomachs. However, I would like our brothers in Turkey to have a pragmatic look at the situation in Somalia and Somaliland and to courageously call a spade a spade. There is no point of recreating a Somaliland and Somalia union that failed after thirty years and was originally illegal and controversial. All Somaliland and Somalia predicaments are secondary to the unfair 1960 union.
Somalia can not manage its own country; hence they do not rationally need to add more weight to their political and security burdens. If Somaliland’s aspirations are not accepted the whole Horn of Africa region will go in flames and no one will benefit from that disastrous scenario, including Turkey, the Arabian Peninsula countries and obviously the International community at large.
Turkey must give the green light to the Muslim countries to recognize Somaliland sovereignty and I am sure other Muslim countries will not only follow suit but will have the courage to stand up for justice, international law and the well being of all humanity in Somaliland and other places in the world. Somaliland has indeed millions of legal and moral reasons to seek its sovereignty, while Somalia has a single illegal and immoral slogan to oppose it – “the Somali unity is sacred”, which I call the holly cow of Somalia, because nobody knows what that means and what new benefit that will give to Somalilanders.
Strangely enough the five pointed star in the blue Somalia flag represents the five Somali territories in the horn of Africa – Somalia obsessively only talks about Somaliland and Somalia unity but forgets to mention Djibouti, the 5th State of Ethiopia and North-Eastern region of Kenya which make up the remaining other three points of that star or the other three Somali inhabited territories.
Turkey must not befriend Somalia at the expense of Somaliland. Turkey must help Somaliland to get its share of the co-owned Somaliland and Somalia assets and also the failed union’s international memberships. That is morally, legally and honourably the right direction to lead the Somaliland and Somalia talks in Turkey.
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