By: Ali Ege
Whoever is at the helm of Somaliland politics, for I am sure it is not Silanyo, have managed to destroy our country in the worst way they could. The following is the list of litany of destruction to the Somaliland state that they could claim to have achieved:
They destroyed the cohesion and nationalist euphoria that bonded the Somaliland people together and managed to dismember it into fiefdoms and clan based centers in ways unparalleled in Somaliland’s short history. Government sponsored assassinations carried out within the security forces, the military particularly, to saw discord among Somaliland citizens and aimed to propagate distrust and motives inimical to one another.
The Judiciary, whose integrity and impartiality is required by law, has been turned into an instrument of coercion and oppression. The imprisonment of dissenters has become common place occurrence and the media, whose reporting has a lot to be desired, has been corrupted to the extent that only those things biased in their favor would see the light of day. Simple civilian cases have conveniently been averted to criminal cases to stifle proper judicial procedures and many innocent are languishing in jails for crimes for which they have been accused and not proven. A case in point is the group of youngsters captured in Sahil Region who remain in jail, not of the alleged murder for which there should be one murderer to convict, but because of a deliberate attempt to thwart the investigation and failure to find the culprit of who ordered, who executed and who tampered with the evidence. Those who partook have not all been captured and the murder weapon has not been identified, in order to confuse the direction of proper criminal investigation. Collective blame for a murder case is what has been sought right from the start.
Government property and land has been misappropriated and transferred to private hands in an unprecedented manner. No auctions have been conducted in the manner required by law and no comparable or equivalent value has been obtained. Besides prime government property such as houses, land plots and factories, the misappropriation of the Electricity Generators and grid line in Hargeisa, the electricity generators and grid line of Berbera, the Oil tank farm of Berbera, the Port of Berbera and the Airport of Berbera are just some of the numerous examples of what constitutes highway robbery carried out by the Presidency in the past few years of lamentable extensions and Mohamoud Hashi’s reign of terror. Hargeisa airport has been leased out to numerous private enterprises for the benefit of the minister- during his tenure as minister of civil aviation – under various guises camouflaged as independent private establishments.
Foreign Policy Front:
The Foreign policy of Somaliland has been a mere calamity and hodgepodge of confusion ever since Silanyo came to power. It began with the cold shoulder given to Ethiopia, the most important neighbor to the south with which a lot of far-reaching economic, political and social inter-dependence exists. The said attitude had been adopted by a group of mavericks whose ideological Islamic fundamentalist outlook got intertwined with their ascent to the reign of power in Somaliland. Their antagonistic behavior to Ethiopia lasted the whole first five year tenure of Silanyo. Gaboose faltered as minister of Interior and so did Hersi, as minister of presidency, who, together and separately, were the architects of the anti-Ethiopia stance. In the waning hours of his presidency, Silanyo have lost track of where we are in relation to Ethiopia, Kenya or Jibouti which constitute a fundamentally important cluster not to ignore as it relates to the interests of our beleaguered country at this juncture.
There has not been any overture from the Arab world which has remained biased against the Somaliland cause led by the Saudis up until this new initiative regarding the Berbera Port acquisition. The new minister Saad demonstrated his amateurish diplomatic experience by hustling between Cairo and Addis and then Dubai by attempting to mix irreconcilable interests in the maze of Somaliland confused foreign policy calculus.
Most nations make their external political stance cognizant of their economic goals, apparent or perceived, and such has not been apparent in the Somaliland external political conundrum. The oil companies that might hold and pursue economic interests in the Somaliland territory see the instability, the lack of consistent outlook and incoherence to overtures presented to it at forums and dealings with stakeholders. The Somaliland people are egalitarian and inherently democratic. Those individuals, from within the regime, that entertain the idea that Somaliland could all of a sudden change into an autocratic despotic state are ignorant of the people’s history and social fabric. A despotic enterprise might suit the interests of a mean-spirited oil company, tentacles of an Arab or European monster, but would never be practical in the Somaliland territories.
Government Institutions Destroyed:
The government of Silanyo has gone into the History books for its merciless annihilation of the most fundamental institutions of governance. The first that comes to mind are the Houses of Parliament which has become a tool used by the government for purposes other than what it has been established for.
The promulgation of laws is a primary and single responsibility for which the House of Representatives is formulated. The House has been turned into a mob-house engaged in furthering individual interests for themselves and for members of government who hold the purse strings. No laws are formed and the constitution is still replete with clauses mandating the House to enact laws to issues of fundamental nature to the advancement of the rule of law in the country. Perhaps two laws have been enacted in the past 6 years- a flagrant failure of responsibility.
Astonishingly, the House raised its own salary, allows itself six months holiday per annum and closes up when it pleases for reasons incomprehensible. It has remained in power for twelve years, and the extensions of the period of its mandate have no legal basis. ‘’ Whenever the Guurti extends and so does our Mandate”, they often sarcastically retort. This is incomprehensible and outrageous.
The Guurti for its part is the laughing stock of any democratic country with ideals that respect human dignity, juridical norms and simple rationale. Although previous governments of Egal and Riyaale used the body for purposes that were essentially patriotic, this regime has used it for measures that are illegal (in the case of the Berbera Airport) and self aggrandizement (extensions of the government’s stay in power).
The President has recently spoken of curbing the widespread corruption and the public were astonished to hear his concerns: as if he had been comatose while all this had occurred. Neither the offices of theAuditor General nor the General Accountant have been active in Silanyo’s government since coming to office. Millions of Dollars of public money has been swindled during the regime’s existence. The said offices have deliberately intimidated into non-action throughout the regime’s existence. How the Minister got the power to use public money in whatever way she can is beyond me.
The author Ali Ege is Canadian citizen of Somaliland Origin currently based in adpted hometown of Toronto