By: Dr Yusuf M Dirir
Somalilandsun – Last night I watched a highly publicized Somalia live televised talk show. The talk show celebrity host was none but Mr. Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, the selected President of Somalia. Answering to a question from one of the audience and wearing his usual swindling wide smile, Mr. Mohamoud let drop one of his secrets – hatred towards the Republic of Somaliland.
Mr. Mohamoud’s timing for the live televised talk show was inappropriate both in its content and in its unreasonableness of timing. On the content of his talk, the man was confrontational and demeaning in his speech towards the Republic of Somaliland, he disregarded the historic and new facts on the ground in the Republic of Somaliland. On the timing side, the man disregarded in bad faith the Somaliland and Somalia talks that were concluded just a day earlier in Istanbul, Turkey – where for the first time, Somalia officially acknowledged the atrocities committed against the innocent civilians in Somaliland.
Mr. Mohamoud went on to say that he supports and is working on the breaking up of the Republic of Somaliland into something akin to the mini administrations in Somalia by recognising and bringing back to life a small turncoat group that is now disbanded and does not exist, but once illegally claimed a small area in the territory of the Republic of Somaliland and called itself a member state of Somalia. Mr. Mohamoud fell to the propaganda machine of that small group, which advocated, but failed to break warring hostilities between Somaliland and Somalia.
Not only that, but Mr. Mohamoud went a step further and kept using without any sign of embarrassment the word “Somalia” instead of the former Somali Republic and in reference to the 1960 failed union, which was made up of Somaliland and Somalia.
I would have expected this superficial talk from a Mogadishu street corner teashop entertainer, but not from a self-respecting President of a country that has enormous problems and challenges to surmount. Therefore, I would advise Mr. Mohamoud to desist from his impertinent speeches towards the people and the government of the Republic of Somaliland.
Mr. Mohamoud ignored the fact that he was being watch all over the world and his speeches and actions are monitored both in the region and in the wider world. Such reckless actions by Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud will endanger future talks with the Republic of Somaliland and will put his sincerity in having a bona fide dialogue with Somaliland into question.
If Mr. Mohamoud continues to be behave this way, not only the talks with Somaliland will be endangered, but this will also irreversibly damage Somalia regime’s already dented political and moral image and will lead to Somalia losing the remaing bits of International credibility and support.
Mr. Mohamoud must end insolence against the intelligence of his people and that of the International Community. H e must learn to listen to those who want to pragmatically deal with the dangerous and complex issues facing his country and the wider Horn of Africa region.
It was more than two years ago, when in a London conference for Somalis, the International Community made up of more than fifty countries and tens of International Organisations set the foundation for talks between Somaliland and Somalia on their future relations.
Somaliland joined Somalia in diplomatic dialogue on their future relations in Istanbul, Turkey. The fifth round of talks just ended last Saturday and a day before Mr. Mohamoud’s infamous talk show.
Somaliland participated in that dialogue with Somalia in good faith and in the spirit of creating two neighbouring, independent and cooperating states out of the failed Somaliland and Somalia union – the now annulled Somali Republic.
The Horn of Africa is now tired and sick of hostilities and of territorial expansionism. People expect their governments to work towards economic development, better education and sanitation that will bring tangible improvements to their lives and not what Mr. Mohamoud is advocating.