As opposition parties and politicians decry their presence in the country and call for their immediate dispatch back to Somalia while Guurti elder alleges they are on an UNSOM sponsored mission to destruct the Somaliland Somalia two nation talks.
By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – As they continue traversing the country this time Borame region the presence of Elders from Mogadishu Somalia continue to elicit varied opinions.
The over 70 elders who include traditional leaders and businessmen from the Hawiye clan of Somalia arrived from Mogadishu via Egal international airport becoming the first such delegation from Somalia to visit Somaliland since 1991.
Although the Hawiye elders have explicitly informed that their visit is non political thence a cordial one and the government through the information minister Abdilahi U’kuse chipping in to state officially that they are here on a nation building mission, a number of stakeholders differ.
Before their departure to Awdal region in the west of the country where they are currently being feted by traditional leader and government officials the Mogadishu elders partook to a sumptuous dinner one of the many since their arrival this time from the Somaliland Non State Actors Forum-SONSAF
At the SONSAF dinner the Hawiye elders reiterated on their non political essence of their mission said that they are interested in ascertaining the determination of Somalilanders towards their country’s sovereignty since withdrawing from Union with Somalia 23 years ago.
While addressing the SONSAF dinner participants the chairman of the Somaliland Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mohamed Shukri said that “Upon completion of their visit and return back home, the Hawiye elders from Mogadishu shall be in a better position of informing citizens of Somalia about the irrevocability of Somaliland’s sovereignty.
According to the head of the Mogadishu delegation and senior chief of the Hawiye clan Mohamed Hasan Haad who sp0ke on behalf of the elders the purpose of their visit is to re-establish contact with traditional leaders and citizens of the two neigbouring countries of Somaliland and Somalia which were curtailed in 1991.
Said he “Our main objective is to re-establish contacts between citizens of our two brotherly and neighbouring countries which is very important”
Stressing on the importance they attach to their visit Chief Haad said that citizens of both Somaliland and Somalia have a right to share in multi-faceted and modern developments thus here to spearhead such interactions and shat]ring.
Adding his comments to the SONSAF dinner the spokesperson of the Mogadishu delegation Chief Hussein Ji’ilow urged dialogue between people especially as pertains to official separation between Somaliland and Somali.
“We shall remain brothers whether we are formally separated from union between Somaliland and Somalia which is only possible through dialogue” said Chief Ji’ilow adding that the delegation’s visit is pursuant to the objective of a Somalia people to Somaliland people dialogue.
Urging Somalilanders to stop fearing the Hawiye Elders presence in their Country, Chief Ji’ilow said that they are on a brotherly mission intent on establishing contacts with locals while learning on successful nation and peace building mechanism perfected by Somalilanders.
Prior to their meeting with SONSAF the Hawiye elders had parleyed the Somaliland opposition party UCID which released an after meeting press statement urging the government to give a concise statement as per the official reason behind the Hawiye elders visit to Somaliland.
while informing that they have ascertained that contrary to what, they elders and government say about the delegation being solely composed of Hawiye traditional leaders the UCID statement signed by the party’s deputy secretary general Abdinasir Yusuf Osman ‘Qodah’ said the group is made up of politicians , business men, Somali government officials, intellectuals, and sprinkling of traditional leaders.
“We as UCID political party are convinced that the visit of the Mogadishu delegation is detrimental to the Sovereignty of Somaliland as it is in pursuit of implementing plans by the Turkish government to re-establish the defunct union between Somaliland and Somalia” read the statement.
As it divulged its observation and opinion if the unprecedented visit UCID made a number of recommendations to the government of Somaliland among them:
1. The government of Somaliland should clear cobwebs and reveal the actual objective of the visit by Somali elder’s team.
2. The Somaliland administration should desist from creating uncertainties among somalilanders and thus distance itself from programs that are detrimental to the sovereignty of the country which is not only non-negotiable but irrevocable.
3. See to it that regardless of whatever pressure the talks between Somaliland and Somalia remain government to government and not changed to one fronted by traditional leaders. and
4. The UCID party which is opposed to the presence of the Hawiye elders in Somaliland urges the government to immediately stop facilitating the groups meeting with other stakeholders in the country.
Similar sentiments about doubts on the real objective behind the presence of the Mogadishu delegation in the Country were earlier on issued by the Wadani opposition party which informed that it had written to the Somaliland president Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo requesting clarification, so far nit availed, as per the Hawiye elders visit.
In a press briefing released on 9th may the Wadani party deputy Chairperson Ahmed Muumin Saeed who revealed having submitted a letter to president Silanyo requesting an official statement pertaining to the visiting elder’s mission said the republic of Somaliland is now beyond mediation by traditional leaders.
“Somaliland’s status as a country has passed beyond the stage of other countries dispatching their traditional leaders for any mediation” stressing that though unrecognized Somaliland is a full country thus only can accommodate government to government discussions.
A day later the Wadani party cultural affairs Officer Senior Chief Abdi Guleid Gabobe asked the government to deport the visiting Hawiye elders back to their country with immediate effect.
Attributing his party’s demand to the cobwebs surrounding the mission of the Mogadishu elders, Snr Chief Gabobe told the government that everybody both in Somaliland and Somalia are aware that the Hawiye delegation is in the country on behest of the Turkish government whose objective is to reunite Somaliland and Somalia at all costs.
At the same time the unregistered National Rectification and Consultation Forum –NR&CF made up of prominent personalities is of the opinion that the Hawiye elders visit objective pertains to establishing dialogue for the reunion of Somaliland and Somalia.
Revisiting the genocide perpetrated against Somalilanders by the Somalia dictator Mohamed Siad Barre exemplified by the already ascertained 233 mass graves in Somaliland former finance minister Mohamed Elmi Hashi said the NR&CF , being very opposed to hosting the Hawiye elders asks the government to immediately deport them to their Mogadishu base in Somalia.
“Can you imagine holding talks with people who have refused to acknowledge ills against our people not to mention that we are hosting sumptuous dinners to people from Italia-Somalia while we continue to collect bones of the over 800 brothers and sisters buried at Marko Durdur mass grave” said Hashi
Another member of the forum and freedom fighter Hasan Guure Jama who said the Hawiye elders have been sponsored by the Ankara government to pursue reunion between the two countries urged their immediate removal from Somaliland.
On the other hand a member of Guurti the Upper chamber of the two tier Somaliland parliament say that the hand of Amb Nicholas Kay of UNSOM is behind the Hawiye elders visit.
According to Elder Mohamed Haji Abdirahman the visit by the Mogadishu elders is the first move by the UNSOM chief Amb Kay to dismantle the two nations talks between Somaliland and Somali thus eliminate current perspectives which discern Somaliland as a sovereign though a yet to be recognized state.
Watch this site for the full press briefing by Guurti Elder Mohamed Haji Abdirahman in which he informs that Amb Kay sponsored the Hawiye elders in order to destroy the international creditability Somaliland has painstakingly garnered while at the same time strengthening the Turkish intent of reuniting Somaliland and Somalia at all costs
Meanwhile as yet to be verified reports indicate that 11 members of the controversial Hawiye elder’s delegation have returned to Mogadishu leaving the rest to continue their Awdal region visits.
The return of the 11 elders to Mogadishu is reportedly in relation to the ongoing moves to dispose President Hasan by members of the Somalia parliament, a move supported by most Somalilanders considering the hostilities of the beleguared President to the being of Somaliland