Is Somaliland Ready for Professor Samatar discrete charm?

By Mohamed Ahmed

Professor Samatar is drifting into Somaliland orbit lately. Giving his importance of joining Somali politics, and the originality of his scholarly views on Somali conflict,Professor Samatar interest in Somaliland affairs deserves a look. The good professor made a visit to his motherland six month ago, and just made his second trip at the end of last month. It’s remarkable that Somaliland people applauded his splendid short term tour of the country with a hero welcome.

 Boxed in by South Somalia immobility of opening doors to the Northerners, the good professor took a radical step in changing his political game by aligning with Somaliland aspirations. One has to admire the professor straight-talking attitude, but one also has to wonder how long is it before the professor lose patience and start playing a double game of a politician and a scholar? After all this is a man who has such a good reputation for being impatient. Worst of all this is the same man who few years ago expressed a frank and deep aspiration to be the president of Somalia!


 The whole affair of welcoming those who previously opposed Somaliland merit some thoughts. It is up to Somaliland people to keep their gates. If you closely listen to the good professor lectures in Somaliland, he seems to expresses an ideology (subtly) that will not most probably get degree of adherence on the part of a majority of the population.   I find no ground to expect Professor Samatar to breathe light into Somaliland politics or economy. Somaliland survived the last twenty years without his help! The good profesor has a way with Somali words. He can captivate Somali audience and make them feel like a deer stuck in their Sorrow headlight. Sure Somaliland has a serious domestic crisis that deserves a mention, but is Somaliland ready for Professor Samatar tantrums and fanatical denunciations of those he disagrees with?  It goes without saying that professor Samatar is a very impatient man. You just have to view his recent YouTube video in Somaliland University.


Professor Samatar has every right as a Somali Scholar to expose the lies and the truth of Somaliland governments. He has every right to analyze actions of Somaliland authority according to their causes and motives. What I’m a bit skeptical about is the readiness of the public for a hysterical critic that will maybe dismiss their aspirations as a vain hope and false dreams! It is the role of a scholar to create and analyze ideologies, though expressions of professor Samatar critical views of Somali affairs can come across as self-serving politician.


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