By Abdirahman Mohamed Diriye
Somalilandsun – Somaliland leaders do not look at themselves in the mirror to see whether are replicas of Siyad Barre or even sometimes worse. In 1994 a deadly civil war broke out in Somaliland, so Ahmed Silanyo fled to Djibouti for safety and spoke to BBC by uttering disgusting remarks unworthy of repeating because it doesn’t help the ongoing debate.
Anyway, here the title which some of you may wonder is remarks our president Silanyo burst out when the late president Egal realized how Silanyo oblivious of the clan dynamics and the dire need of working together by political forces in the country without political marginalization against (major) political forces . But the president, a minister at that time felt threat to be dislodged if people reconcile and start working together. Does he feel the same thing today despite the radical changes that occurred over the past decades? The ban of the scheduled demonstration today and the deployment of police hordes over the cities along with the massive ongoing crackdown on media emphatically illustrated the end of our democracy and freedom of assembly, of press, and expression. Trouble seems begun in one of the world’s youngest democracy and there is no light at the end of tunnel as Major oil firms are allured by the easy acquired concessions ahead no matter what they come at the expenses of the poor masses or have environmental consequences.
But to whom is to blame? The centenarian president is hardly to blame on the ongoing mess for apparent reasons: “Kitchen” politics” rightly coined by UCID’s politician Faduma Saed describing the dominant First Lady who equally dictates whatsoever she wants to not just to the ministers but to lower dignitaries as well, and janitor workforce to abuse visitors of the presidential hut, General Morgan’s residential compound of the painful reminder of sadly sagas of mass murdering and graves which deserved to be demolished or kept as ghost Memorial Museum for Martyrs. The Indian Ocean Newsletter run an article about trilateral coterie running of the state affairs for their advantage. But that is not important now because our core values are at the stakes; our differences from Somalia are disappearing in matter of days or even in hours with Hangash- fascist-looking police forces deployed in the streets in the capital as far as the eye can see awaiting every peaceful demonstrator to throw in garbage truck, then to unknown dungeons! These so called police are locally known RU, and etc and they are well-fed, highly paid, and trained like sniff dogs and founded not to combat criminals butt oppress law-abiding citizens! The aged president who used to say repeatedly vital opposition serves as “check and balance” took u-turn once reached power. Apparently double talk.
Peaceful demonstrators are always labeled by tyrants as “troublemakers” to be shot in sight by police men at the behest of totalitarian systems of the world. Look at what is happening in Cairo; Somaliland is not an exception today. But Somaliland’s immoral untrained thug police whose leadership divided over the presidency commands culminated in the murder of innocent man and injured dozen people in Burao
The recent blockage of Jamal Hussien of UCID’s presidential candidate from entering Gabilay was the height of political immorality by Silanyo-led regime, if he leads any, perhaps he follows his junior staff as his demean behavior shows, however; what binds us is the justice for all, if we don’t react for what happened for a fellow citizen in broad day light, then we are not in 21 century. Live wherever you want, be in Paris or London. I feel conscience burden for the injustice meted out to him. The upcoming National Dialogue called by the national opposition parties may encounter the same fate as symptoms of dictatorships emerged like the words ” ban” “curfew” or ” blockage” our system turned hellish oppressor but we are not admitting it for being fixated on President’s Kahin’s reign era.
The emergent analogy and the past differences of two countries whose visions fundamentally differed
During President Kahin’s reign, To Somalis living in Somalia or overseas, Somaliland was their Taiwan, where millions of Chinese glued to the TV screens listening vigorous debates and democratic discussion covering overriding issues and splashing every public figures’ faults unlike China, of course, Somaliland used to differ from mainland Somalia in number of ways: multiparty politics, the right to criticize the highest official including the president, and the right to voice one’s concerns at the any time without any intimidation from ministers or others. So thousand of Somalis from proper Somalia living as far as in Florida to South Africa watch Somaliland Channels televising serious debates on elections between opposition and the government parties, the participants in the harsh critical Talk Shows live in Hargaysa, not in the diaspora or overseas like Amin Artist or others, therefore; many diehard anti Somaliland elements including Prof. Samatar changed their mind and fell in love with it, for the fact that Somalilanders can debate openly on every topic that their hands touch. Simply put. Somaliland was a role model for free media and the discussion of sensitive matters of which many Somali-speaking masses consider life-threatening to mention openly or at the least culturally taboo. But if the status quo continues, that means re-Somalization is imposed on us, something we thought is a thing of the past and none of us wants to see it again. But can we fight back? We can.
Unlike Amin Artist, A.A Garas, Somalilander caricaturist living in Hargaysa used to draw political cartoons for several years without any physical harm or without resorting to go to Canada for safety. But is that the case today? I doubt it. Media workforce turned to fear mood as a result of harassment and massive arbitrary arrests orchestrated by the Islamists dictatorial ministers in the cabinet whose slogan is “my way or no way” .
Somalilanders never revolted against tyrant Siyad Barre for his ethnicity, never and never, but his silly dictatorship upon them. 22 years later, president of severe case of dementia finally reached power in second childhood but unfortunately turned a rubberstamp for cruel, distant kin whose main goal is to enrich his pocket before his term expires. Without his endorsement, nothing can happen. Far worse is that he is recruiting his amateurs from twisted places of worship, cafes, and other Mafrish clannish centres.
Genuine democracy tragically turning “smokescreen” and continuation of disastrous Siyad-style junta
Millions of Somalis returning to Mogadishu which emerged out of dark days era have been expecting this phenomenal achievement continuing to copy and imitate it. They used to admire the way our leaders tolerate of sharpening critique of their system and our rather unfettered freedom of ours but unfortunately that dear Somaliland’s democracy we built our bare hands is unwittingly slipping out of our hands for the vested interests of few guys who act like jackasses but intentionally destroying our collective effort.
But do we accept them to divide us Qulmiyists and Udubists or Ucidists which more or less inherently invoke certain tribes and moving the same tribal lines division with seamlessly “democratic” names? Do we passively watch Somaliland falling apart in our very eyes again while minorities are committing so? Do we let Somaliland, a country that is us; to disappear simply because several thugs want to fulfill their personal political ends at the expense of the majority? Are we dedicated to the concept of democracy or merely pay lip service to it just to fool the Western donors to secure fund aid or international recognition like Hamas? Just think about it guys and act before it is too late.