By Abdirahman Mohamed Diriye
Somalilandsun – Somaliland born June 26, 1969 and tragically died following the poor vision of those who bloodlessly met the independence “easy comes easy goes” but reborn at the high price in May 18, 1991.
Many present generations, however; are confused of what kind of flag, Somaliland political amateurs at the time of independence had hoisted in Hargeisa in National Liberation Garden? If the blue banner, the Somalia’s current flag, why they did so? Haji Ibrahim who led a bunch of sycophants, mainly, drivers and other ignorant, to Mogadishu startlingly admitted when asked what went wrong with them during the unification of the two colonial-left-behind administrations, why he did not write legal note that guide exit if political crisis arises between the two. His answer to foreign journalist interview is this “there was so much stupidity from our side”.
But whether we learnt anything of that “stupidity” or if today’s Somaliland incumbent politicians are smarter or more foolish than their ancestors or a simply a chip off the old block remains to be seen? or whether Somaliland leadership would stick to the same political approach ” people chose unity in the sixty and then we, the political class, naively rushed to Mogadishu, but now people chose, based on the past atrocities, to stay out of Somalia, then, we followed them and accepted their dictation” but what about if Somaliland people choose to join to Yemen, a nation off radar, will they accept it? Definitely yes because is all about the people’s wishes, but the leadership seems has nothing to offer except to follow the poor masses’ “sentiments” to every direction they go unlike other nations whose leadership exercise their authority and take their roles and offer up-to-date solutions which exceeds the expectation of the people rather sticking rigid familiar positions whose results caused the flux of youth and stagnation? Djibouti, next door to us, people wanted to unite with Somalia as they are ethnic Somalis, but the elites and statesmen studied the matter from all corners: political, economic, , strategic, perspective and lastly turned down the wishful thinking of the people and opted for secession. I will, however, try to answer some of these concerns briefly.
Obviously, Somaliland’s recognition remains a distant as ever despite the recent “bilateral” talks, and “democratic” elections over and over again in the past decade. But what went wrong? We did the same thing and played a victim, a trite game many have watched, we need people of high caliber to do the matters totally different way, unless we change our rules of game, the things will remain the same and will be brutalized by powerful forces.
But the recent symbolic reshuffle had brought no good. Somaliland politicians who poorly trained and tribally appointed to insincerely please the clan are incapable of taking advantage of the vacuum Somalia has left behind and dealing with their counterparts of Somalia at the moment.
South Sudan has backed off the growing ties with Somaliland when Dr Omar, the foreign affairs paid lip service to Somaliland itself! Will the recent foreign affairs appointee, UN retiree ever take Somaliland to new direction to an extent the corruption and red tape are minimized to attract foreign investment and reverse the damages done by his predecessor.
Somaliland people have shown Somalis and the world of their creativity and entrepreneurship, they created business empires but when it comes to politics, so far so bad. Since colonial era, Somaliland produced mediocre politicians of clerical mentality, British recruited good clerics, similarly, Siad Barre government did so, Sheikh Hassan, president of Somalia may did the same thing. Tell me one good example of leadership, not a cleric appointed or recruited by someone else.
Somaliland is technically independent for two decades, but the state of the affairs had deteriorated; the infrastructure inherited from Ex-Somalia is in terrible state never mind improvements. The healthcare system and free schooling of the Soviet community subsidy-style have ceased, instead, there are private schools of business-oriented and with little integrity. The Quran teaching, totally free in the past in the communist regime era, has been commercialized like the sport initially designed for entertainment, not professional trade. The road constructions which saw in local TVs under way are constructions of different meaning: tribes heap some rocks on somewhere and ask the government to add tarmac on it! It is funny. “where government is corrupted, the honest people suffer, where people are corrupted, government suffer” here I think both are corrupted and hypocrites.
Somaliland’s obsession with mere recognition has distracted the people from the overriding issues: to ask the government of efficient management of public funds and the foreign aid which might improve the ever deteriorating situation.
Being a separate state does hold some good for the future generations. The secession can create prosperity for one of the least populated countries on earth, that is Somaliland, without recognition if the public servants feel their obligation towards the immigrating youth and change their passive behavior, things may change for better. However, over the past two decades, the socioeconomic hardship and life misery sent thousands of youth to seas to take desperate step risking their lives and left the country to escape the hell created by the same people who drove Siad Barre regime out of power of similar allegations.
Briefly, for the narrow-mindedness of the green guys in the presidency and the aged president who battles dementia and ” Simple Stroke”, Somaliland has declined and still in freefall; those drowned in the seas and oceans are rival to those died of war and its aftermath, and it is a time to revaluate Somaliland in deciding whether Hargeisa can be economically viable country in the future?
In the past, we were free in running our businesses, no Morgan or other Faqashes whatsoever, but Somaliland topped in voyage deaths than failed Somalia where war and suicide bombing are a part of everyday life. If the trend remains so for another two years—in my underestimation—the working age in Somaliland will dry up by flooding either to foreign destinations to better their lives or to Mogadishu to rebuild and once the reconstruction over they will pass to other countries, that means only aged women, children, and some returnees from the Western would be left behind to mark the Sheikh Isaac Day. But how long the old faces run the nation? It is a crucial matter to examine and diagnose why millions of Somaliland are on the move? Is it a matter of economics or a simple love for travelling? The latter many in the government believe.
you can hide your attentions about Somaliland by running to Talks for the sake of talks but you cannot keep people satisfied with mere empty slogans like ” keep the peace” or ” recognition is at the hand” Hirsi’s government often does that. The longer the talks last, the more Hirsi and his ilk could entertain people with their beautiful mottos “democracy in diversity and in Islamist tribalism as well”; But how long the “belly dance” politics in Hargeisa keep youth from running to Mogadishu before the new dawn that reemerged in Mogadishu come to light.
Abdirahman is a Senior Editor at the Democracy Chronicles. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org