Somaliland: Government warned over WSSP Meeting

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The following letter was submitted by a reader who requested anonymity

salaam Calaykum,

This is my letter that I would like published on your website. It is very important for all Somalilanders to be aware of the nature of Worldwide Somali Students and Professionals. Additionally, as I am not the person who wrote this letter but was given this by sources. I ask you kindly to please keep my identity a secret.

The following is the letter:

It is with great regret to inform you about a conference which will have detrimental effects on the status of the Republic and the current administration alike, if it goes ahead. After much contemplation and deliberation, it would be in the interest of the Somaliland government and its citizens about the exact nature of Worldwide Somali Students & Professionals

Worldwide Somali Students & Professionals (WSSP) is an organisation based in London and is partly funded by the Somali Society of UCL (University College London). It is run by students from the university; however they have a wider audience stretching to far places which include the likes of Ohio in the United States. Operation Restore Home is the main initiative of the organisation focusing on agriculture, education and health. Launched on 19th December 2012, WSSP is aiming to roll out their projects on the 1st July 2012. It is important to also mention that there are a number of individuals, who hail from Somaliland and who are part of this organisation along with other Somalis from Somalia.

One cannot emphasise on the utmost importance of assessing Worldwide Somali Students & Professional’s position on the Rep. of Somaliland. Preferably, before the conference, scheduled on 10th to 11th July at Mansour Hotel in Hargeisa, commences some steps need to be taken to protect the citizens, particularly, the youth from WSSP’ influences, which are deemed not genuine. Worldwide Somali Student & Professional, claims to be an apolitical movement, this is far from the truth. Quite often Somalia is referred to in the mission statement as well as their aims and objectives. The organisation aims to reach out to all Somalis, who live in countries around the World, and do so to interlink them under the ethnicity and identity of one Somalia. This organisation, misleadingly, concludes that all Somalis are from Somalia, and reinforce the failed union of the former Somali Republic. They, purposefully, includes the Republic of Somaliland in this falsehood state of Somalia.

The interest of WSSP towards this educational conference is clear. Firstly, it serves as a platform in line with the main initiative, Operation Restore Home. Secondly, it is to use this conference as an achievement that tran-crosses national differences between Somalilanders and people from Somalia in the Diaspora by creating a common purpose, which is resurrecting and to reunify the former Somali Republic. This is, particularly troubling, as WSSP efforts to reinforce the failed union is intended gain the hearts and minds of Somaliland youth in the diaspora and now in Somaliland. It is a clear offence by WSSP on Somaliland’s younger generation, who they see could influence the Somaliland’s quest to gaining international support and, finally, a diplomatic recognition. This organisation seeks nothing less than revolutionalise Somaliland’s self determination by mobilising Somaliland’s own youth in reinforcing the medieval ideology of ‘Somaliweyn’.

Worldwide Somali Students & Professionals has not declared, publicly, its objectives in sponsoring the 10th to 11th July Conference in Hargeisa. The organisation claims to get support from UCL and the Somali Society there. It uses funds from fundraising, undoubtedly it will be of a small amount which will not be enough to cover all costs. Having mentioned its ties to UCL Somali Society, arguably it would be logical to suggest that this maybe whom this organisation is accountable to. However, who exactly funds the societies remains unclear at this point in time. This brings me to an understanding that may be a successful conference may strengthen funding for the organisation in the future.

As far as our sources have informed us, the conference will involve a number of workshops, one being IT based. Along with presentations on research conducted on the state of education and employment in Somaliland. As the core of the conference will be conducted by Centre for Education and Employment Research (CEER), an independent organisation formed by Somaliland professionals in UK, the content is not the central concern

In brief, apprehensions lie with Worldwide Somali Students & Professionals (WSSP) involvement in Somaliland. The organisation has not openly communicated with civil society organisations in the UK or the world at large. Not even the government of Somaliland. It appears as though WSSP want to propagate its vision in Somaliland, and disregard Somaliland’s self-determination by, purposefully, promoting Somaliweyn. Furthermore, it seems that WSSP are using Centre for Education and Employment Research to do the ground work in Somaliland. An attempt to gain more support for its agenda in the Republic of Somaliland.

In light of our concerns and anxieties here are number of recommendations:

• Before the conference commences, bring in CEER and WSSP members taking part or organising the conference in Somaliland for an official hearing.

• Investigate the exact nature of WSSP towards the independence of the Republic of Somaliland.

• In the event where an organisation wants to carry out projects, make it a legal requirement to all, even Somaliland Advocate groups in the Diaspora to have a hearing with Somaliland legislators.

Finally, we urge that neither this conference nor others alike should be taken lightly. There are many organisations similar in nature to the one mentioned above. It is the responsibility of all Somalilanders, whether in Somaliland or abroad, to protect our country from all enemies, who are, relentlessly, attempting to destroy our stability and way of life.

Regards

Somaliland Patriot & Advocate

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