Somaliland sun- In Open Letter to President Silanyo the Voice of Somaliland Minority Women Organization (VOSOMYO) wants the Rights of Minority Groups (Gabooye) to be observed as enshrined in constitution
At the same time VOSOMWO argues that the best route to achieve this is to put in place mechanisms that ensure equitable Representation in Parliament for all clans resident in Somaliland.
Read below the verbatim excerpts of the VOSOMWO open letter letter to president Silanyo translated from the original Somali language by Mahmoud Qodah
Open Letter to President Silanyo on Rights of Minority Groups (Gabooye) for Having Fairer Representation in Parliament Seats
• By: Voice of Somaliland Minority Women Organization (VOSOMYO)
In this open letter to you, your excell nce President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, ourrights activist association wish to show the Gabooye’s community’s unhappiness on the current political representation in both Houses of Parliament (House of Representatives and Elders) and Executive body as well.
Given the slow speed by which the number of Minority Groups and Women in politics is growing, Gabooye communitiesthroughout Somaliland are calling for more efficient methods to increase their representation.
This grievance came in a time when President Ahmed Silanyo, in his last major reshuffle – where he restructured almost 47 posts of his government (10 key posts changed) – has overlooked to address the long time existing grouch by the Minority Groups (Gabooye community), as they deemed themselves to be the ‘forgotten group’. Currently there is only one representative from Gabooye community in the House of Elders.
‘Back to April 27, 1991, which is almost 25 years, Somalilanders in a national conference held at Burao and have been attended by all Somaliland communities – from east to west –, Landers decided to reinsert their lost independence after breaking the 1960 failed merger with the rest of Somalia. During that conference Gabooye community attended it as having observer- status. Similarly Minority Groups had attended the next national community conference which was held at Borama in 1993 by having the same previous status – observers. The latter conference has been the largest one, as all Somaliland community representatives have agreed to sign their first National Charter – composed of 31 provisions and 2 years termed. Though Gabooye had no official representatives during the two previous conferences, but we can say some steps has been taken forward and a new era started for the community’s political representation, when their first ever political representatives were allowed for them during the last and the third Somaliland community conference in 1997 which was held in Hargeisa. 2 members from Gabooye community allowed for the Bi-cameral House of Parliament (Representatives and Elders) – one for each House.”
VOSOMWO highlighted that 1997 conference was their biggest and historic political achievement ever since the inception of Somaliland. They noted that the community for their first time, a Deputy Minister has been appointed by the former president Dahir Rayale Kahin. “This has been another step taken forward and Gabooye Community has highly endorsed the appointment of their first ever executive appointment by a Somaliland president,”
“Mr. President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, on behalf of Gabooye community in Somaliland, first and foremost, we like to thank you that you have highly raised by highlighting the rights of Minority Groups and Women in participating decision-making and country’s politics during your last 2 national addresses – 18 May, and your annual address to a joint session of both house of parliament. We similarly keep in mind that you have already nominated a national level committee for providing advices on more efficient methods to increase the political representation of women and minority groups.Subsequently Mr. President you likewise submitted the ‘Quota act’ which entails that women and minority groups must constitute a certain number or percentage of the members of the House of Representatives in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. But unfortunately the current outgoing parliament rebutted for its approval.”
In their open letter to the President of the Republic of Somaliland, VOSOMWO highlighted that the community has currently no single representative in the Houses of Parliament and the Local Governments.
Presently, setting quota system aims at ensuring that women and minority groupsconstitute at least a reserved seats or per cent. Setting Quotas may be applied as a temporary measure, that is to say, until the barriers for Minority Groups and Womenentry into politics are removed.
“Mr. President, the aim of this open letter is concerned on ‘the proportional representation of allocating parliamentary seats’ as this is an issue for you the president is to ponder and think more carefully in order to decide. Previously the three national political parties (KULMIYE, UCID and WADANI) which were receiving the technical support of civil societies SONSOF and APD, after their seat allocation impasse, they had decided to return it back to the president in order to take a decision.
“Mr. President we want to remind you that we have no representatives which can advocate for our rights – both social and political –as such we missed a lot, as such we became disadvantaged as we had been marginalized. Hence you are the Head of State and all Somaliland community are expecting from you to decide on this issue fairly and impartially. So Mr. President similarly we are requesting from you to not overlook our (Gabooye) rights as we want this time to have fairer share of representation in the Parliament seats. It is unfair and unacceptable that Gabooye community have yet lacked their fair share of representation in government and Parliament.
Voice of Somaliland Minority Women Organization (VOSOMWO) is a local and non-governmental and development based organization, which is also a legally registered one. Its Head Quarters is in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland. This organization has been founded by citizens (women) who are from ethnic minority groups in the year 2014. Those girls voluntarily organized themselves and stood foradvocatingthe rights and the development of the ethnic minorities in Somaliland. It had already served and provided a lot of for its target communities, as the organization achieved something tangible since its foundation. It has also a vast experience and made research on the challenges, obstacles, harassment and the human-right abuses which are faced by theethnic minority groups and we are well-informed when it comes to the socio-economic and psycho-social status of those communities in every region and district they live in from Somaliland.
VOSOMWO’s Head Office, located 1st Floor Dalwanaaje Building, Hargeisa Somaliland
VOSOMWO the major non governmental organization campaigning for the rights of minority clans I. Somaliland is partner to the U.S based National Endowment for Democracy that has over the years availed funding towards various VOSOMWO activities more so the Promotion of Minority Clans Political Participation in Somaliland.
As per the agitation for representation in the decision making process at all levels in the country it is worthy mention that the highest ranked member from the Gaboye clan in the Somaliland administration is state minister (largely powerless) for water Development Mahdi Isman Buuri.
As for parlament or local councils, forget for in Somaliland the minority clans compete for last place
Read original in somali language