Zooming into SSC
S O M A L I L A N D
D I V I S I B L E
Laasqorey, Makhir Seaport
Colonel Jibril Ali Salad, President of Maakhir State
Puntland Vice President, Hassan Dahir Mohamud (Afqudhac)
Former Puntland Minister, Ahmed Abdi (Xaabsade)
If Somalia is Divisible Somaliland is Divisible
Abdinur Ali Farah
May 07, 2004
A country exists because its people want it to exist. That is its only moral basis for being. If part of its population actually desires to separate, they obviously have the fundamental right to do so. We must provide the constitutional means by which every person living in [Somaliland ]can decide whether to remain Somali or join a tribally defined republic.
The overthrow of Said Barre in 1991 led to a de facto division of Somalia, with the self-proclamation of the northern Republic of Somaliland on 18 May 1991. The international community and the United Nations, which upholds the territorial integrity of Somalia, have firmly rejected the partition of Somalia and so far no single country in the world has recognized Somaliland.
Somaliland is populated by various tribes: Gedabuursi and Isse in the Awdal Region, Habar Awal (Isaaq) in the South-West Region, Habar Jecllo, Habar Yonis, Isse Muse (all Isaaq) and Dhulbahante (Darood) in Togdheer Region. The Isaaq clans of Habar Yonis, Habar Jecllo and Isse Muse together with Darood clans of Dhulbahante and warsangeli are in Sanaag region. Sool Region is mostly Dhulbahante (Darood). Members of any of these tribes can also be found living in all corners of Somaliland, especially in the urban centers like Hargeisa, Berbera and Borama. Furthermore, there are other tribes from the whole spectrum of Somali population, however small, in number that lived there since time immemorial.
The non-Isaaq tribes of Somaliland, such as the Gedabuursi, Isse, Dhulbahante and Warsangeli did not participate in the armed liberation struggle for independence by the SNM against the brutal regime of Mohamed Siad Barre. In fact, most of these tribes were armed and mobilized as local militias. They waged a merciless war against the Isaaqs and their movement (SNM).
Mr. Dahir Riyale Kahin (from Gedabuursi tribe ), who is now the president of Somaliland, and his speaker of the "exclusive" men only" rubber stamp parliament, Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Aden Qaybe (from Dhulbahante tribe), were part of the violent campaign to crash and exterminate the SNM. Mr.Riyale was a senior officer in the notorious Secret Service NSS that carried out killings and torture of the civilians suspected of being supporters of the SNM guerrilla movement. Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Aden (Qaybe) aided in the war effort of the regime and successfully negotiated with Menghistu Haile Mariam, the former dictator of Ethiopia, the expulsion of SNM from their bases in Ethiopia.
Non-Isaaq tribes (and some Isaaqs) of Somaliland do not share the separations of some separatists who would like to break up Somalia. The Dhulbahante and Warsangeli will never accept to be separated from their Darood blood brothers in Puntland, Somalia. They do not want to become like the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey, a minority in Somaliland and a minority in Somalia and lose their historic hegemony in Somali politics. The Gedibuursi tribesmen in the Diaspora also have been very vocal in their opposition to the secessionists.
A country exists because its people want it to exist. That is its only moral basis for being. If part of its population actually desires to separate, they obviously have the fundamental right to do so. It remains important, however, to expose the fallacy and danger in the notion that Somalia is divisible by unconstitutional or extra-legal action. There are not a dozen people outside the special interest group in Hargeisa and Berbera who believe that if Somalia is divisible, Somaliland is not. Equality of rights in a constitutional democracy requires the full application of democracy - not a resort to unconstitutional methods. We must provide the constitutional means by which every person living in [Somaliland ] can decide whether to remain Somali or join a tribally defined Republic. The end result of any such redrawing of boundaries should be that as few persons as possible are forced to live on the "wrong" side of the new international frontier."
The remnants of Siad Barre Regime (or Faqash) are ruling Somaliland today. The potential for catastrophe in their agenda, for everyone concerned, is very high. They see the current crisis in Sool and Sanaag regions as an opportunity to use the ill- treated SNM fighters as a battering ram against the peoples of Sool and Sanaag. They are whipping up anti-Southern chauvinism and hysteria. People who monitor Radio Somaliland, the voice of the regime in Hargeisa, are reporting an alarming Rwanda-like propaganda inciting people to take arms against their fellow countrymen.
If war breaks out, and it seems inevitable, genocide of unprecedented swiftness could be conducted with the approval of the state apparatus. The killing will swiftly spread from Hargeisa to all corners of the counry. There are reports of people from the Dhulbahnte and Warsangeli tribes fleeing their homes in Hargeisa and other urban areas because of fear. People should reject the reactionary campaign by the remnants of Siad Barre regime and seek peaceful solution to the conflict.
I would like to call upon Mr. Kofi Anan, the General Secretary of the United Nations, and Mr. George W. Bush, the President of the United States, to send immediately to the region whatever it takes to prevent genocide worse than the one in Rwanda.
Addis Tribune (Ethiopia) © 2004 All rights reserved.
The Warsangeli Sultan
Mohamud Musa Hersi ‘Adde’ and Warsangeli Elders
Former President of Puntland, Mohamed Abdi Hashi