Somalilandsun – These two pictures are of President Muse Bihi Abdi of Somaliland and the head of the federal entity in Mogadishu, Mr. Farmajo. Both men are in vehicles. President Muse Bihi is in a normal car driving through the streets of Somaliland, meanwhile, Farmajo is in an armored military vehicle. President Muse Bihi is standing clear for all to see, whilst Farmajo is covered head to toe in armored uniform. President Muse Bihi is being guarded by Somaliland officials, on the other hand, Farmajo’s bodyguards are entirely AU forces. Therefore, the question is, which one of these men was elected directly by his voters? Which one is the democratically elected leader? And which one is hiding behind outside forces?
These two pictures clearly display the distance between Somaliland and Somalia. It is not a gap that can be easily bridged. Somaliland is built on dialogue, discussion and consensus. The people of Somaliland are united in their determination for sovereignty and fully support the reclamation of independence. Although, Somaliland still has some way to go in terms of fully mature democracy, it is nevertheless in a better position than many places in the Horn of Africe, the rest of Africa and even the Middle East. Somaliland enjoys de-facto status with regard to its relationship with the international community and in the fullness of time will attain de-jure recognition.
Somaliland is a strong believer in the old proverb “learn to walk, before you can run”. We do not complain to sovereign nations or international bodies about “who got what in the region” or “who did what”. With great maturity, we debate the issue. What has occurred? What are reasons behind this matter? What can do or say about the matter? And so on. It is this kind of free and frank debate, that has made Somaliland, Africa’s Best Kept Secret. But, not secret for long.
The international community has finally realized that after billions of dollars spent, and all manner of assistance; politically, Somalia is a lost cause. No doubt the ordinary people of Somalia are grateful for and worthy of all the assistance offered to them by the UN, EU, AU and other international organisations and nations, but it’s political leadership is both morally and intellectually bankrupt. This has dawned on the international community after the fiasco of the United Nations representative, Nicholas Haysom’s, undignified and diplomatically incorrect expulsion, along with the events in Baidoa, that nothing will ever change in Somalia. It is the same old same, with just new faces.
The bereft of leadership in Somalia is encapsulated by the meeting held in Villa Somalia, Mogadishu, to discuss the response by the visit of UK Defence Secretary, Gavin Williamson’s historic visit to Somaliland. The Somalia PM, a neophyte in terms of politics and international diplomacy advocated the severing of ties with the UK and the UN. The very same UK and UN that keep the weak federal entity in place in Mogadishu!.
Ergo, if Farmajo makes this fool his PM, then surely, he deserves to be driven around in an armored military vehicle.