Salaam All, To Somalilanders worldwide;
The recent announcements made by Congressman Donald Payne regarding the issues involving Somaliland have concerned me so much so that I had to write. I have been further troubled by the current situation in our homeland. I am not a writer as per say but rather a young man with a lot of pride in his belly; pride for his country; pride for his people and proud of his history. Though my age may say that I am not wise enough to comment on these issues and ideas presented below I write this piece out of emotions and feelings I have for the betterment of my people.
Out of concern and frustration and knowing fully my people’s resilience in the toughest of times, I write this piece to outlay my absolute concern regarding the current situation that my countrymen face. Though I live in a far distant land and grown up in a society whose virtues and values highly differ from that which we all experienced back home, I still have so much love for my motherland. By paper I am citizen of Australia but in the deepest of my thoughts I am often confronted by the reality of my world, that I am a Somalilander through and through.
Before anyone misunderstands any of my concerns presented here, I am not a politician nor am I a supporter of any of the political parties in our country. I am a genuine supporter of my motherland, Somaliland. I put the virtues of nationhood before the squabbles of a few self serving characters. Believe me I have a lot of respect for our politicians, but I am often dismayed at their recklessness. I am writing this as a concerned Somalilander and a very concerned one at that. For the past years I have come to the conclusion that all chance of a better, independent Somaliland have evaporated somewhat due to the lack of love and concern for our country by our leaders and people alike. Please don’t misunderstand me and say that I am anti-Somaliland or even that I have no knowledge of our country. As a young educated somalilander it pains me to see my people go into a hole that’s hard to get out of. My analysis is not based on any foreign affairs experience but that of a young man whose entire future is tied with his homeland.
Growing up in a foreign country and always feeling the sense that you are an outcast and not welcomed in the country that you have grown up in, has driven me to search my inner belonging and find that I have a homeland, a very rich and tranquil one at that. Every article I read about my homeland (Somaliland) said something like “Africa’s best kept secret….”. My hopes and aspiration were through the roof; I’ve often argued and debated with other Somalis and Africans telling them that I am from the best land in the entire continent. I love my country more than any other. Some Somali friends call me “reer waqooyi”, I often reply with this very simple gesture that often gets under their skin, “I Prefer Somalilander”. Every new picture of Somaliland on the web fulfils my daily intake of patriotism. My family often comment on my extreme believe and sense of patriotism about my homeland. I try to the best of my ability to protect the image of Somaliland from all its adversaries wherever and whoever they may be.
Somaliland was not born out of the richness of friends but a reality where our foes outnumber our friends. This is further compounded by the belief that the politics of the 60s and 70s will be the way to a brighter day for our small simple nation. Often those who lead our nation are a very self cantered group of leaders and lack the ability to put their personal satisfaction a side and put the needs of our country first and this statement applies to both the current administration and the opposition parties.
The perplexing issue here though is the fact that it often seems that they answer to no one, not even the people who have elected them. Looking at it today Somaliland is standing on delicate ground, as we all argue the little issues our opponents are looking at the big picture and often are a step ahead. While we point the figure at each other our opponents are also pointing the figure at us. I might not have lived in this world as long as some of the leaders of our country but I often confuse the line of which of us are the wiser. Ask yourself this question if today Somalia is a peaceful country how hard will it be for us to get recognised if we can’t work hard enough to get the recognition from the international community today when we have all the reason and the realities that exist in Somalia then how hard is it going to be when Somalia is a peaceful country.
Everywhere I look, at almost everywhere in the globe where Somalilanders reside I see Somalilanders disenfranchised and disorientated by qabilism. We tell the world that tribalism no longer rules the people of Somaliland but I believe that the opposite is true. Today I even notice that in the Diaspora communities we compete with each other so as to
benefit our inner tribal groups rather than thinking of the big picture which is Somaliland.
All the news that has come out of our country in the last year or two has been one of sadness and sorrow especially the last few days. I am often compelled not to read any news from back home for it may ruin my entire day. Lately I have noticed that I read every Somaliland news website, searching for that good news that never arrives. For every failure of our politicians there is an excuse and it seems that our politicians never run out of these excuses. I am often dismayed by our government’s utter disregard for the intellectual ability of our people, but I am not surprised for they do not answer to us the electorate.
Our people have put clan affiliation before the rule of law and good governance. Today we stand at a critical point of juncture where our country has been going backwards for a long, long time. What saddens me is that many of my countrymen base their support of the current regime on their clan affiliation rather than the result of the productivity of our government. To say that the current regime is a lame duck is an understatement, for it seems that we the people expect no results and never question as to why there have been no results.
Lately we must have all felt that any sense of democracy in our homeland has somewhat disappeared and the main culprit, our government; for they have shown such disregard for the rule of law and have often transgressed the tranquillity that our people created. In the past week or two they have shown their utter disrespect for the virtues that many of the fore fathers of our land fought for and shed so much blood. The pain of knowing that the great many that fought for this freedom that we all enjoy and their efforts might be in vain because the leaders of today have no respect for the values and the effort that has gone into giving us this hard earned freedom of ours. Abusing the freedom of the ordinary man has become the common trait of the current president and his ministers. The idea of arresting people whom have done no harm to anyone other than expressing their personal point of view or the fact that they don’t like to praise the president for everything when they clearly know that for eight years he has mismanaged and abused the trust of the people that elected him. He reminds me of a dictator that I have once known.
Many of our father died to give us the freedom that we all enjoy in our country today and that didn’t come easy. While many of the ministers in the current government have placed their families outside of Somaliland and they enjoy the luxuries of life in those foreign countries they call home, they the ministers are abusing the very few rights that many of our compatriots back home have. They have locked up media organisations that have employed great many young professionals who have been the sole bread winners of many Somaliland families. The abuse and misuse of the Somaliland public media organisation (Radio Hargeisa, SLNTV) is wide spread. They have become place where the government propagates its dictatorial messages. I hope that all those employees of these organisations and other Somaliland journalists react to the happenings of the past few weeks and as solidarity stop all media publication until the government steps back from the actions that it has taken in the past few days. We the general public should stand
shoulder to shoulder with those young professional who are being prosecuted for doing their job.
Recently I witness government officials falling over themselves to welcome Marian Mursal to Hargeisa with such fanfare, all because of a song. I ask, are we that desperate? This in no uncertain terms should mean any disrespect towards Marian but it seemed that while we all shook our heads and hips with this great song we forgot many others who have done a lot more for Somaliland. When a fellow Somalilander travelled thousands of miles, across oceans and left his kids and wife for the pride in his homeland and to do something that no other Somalilander ever thought of doing for his beloved country only for us all to push him away. He travelled through many borders and boundaries so as to spread the name of Somaliland across many countries and places that our name has never reached and not even got a thank you for all his efforts, I for one apologize. I sincerely hope that my fellow Somalilanders pick up their sense of duty towards their country and follow your footsteps.
It is surprising to learn our government’s only answer as to why we have not been recognised as yet is to say that it’s coming and when you ask again they tell you it’s getting closer and closer when the reality says otherwise. The failures of our government to appoint people whose expertise is in the field of diplomacy and their understanding of international affairs is very much limited and further request of them to advocate on behalf of Somaliland is an act of treason by the highest of order for that has led to Somaliwayn supporters having bigger balance of influence on foreign diplomats then our own representatives, I ask how can war criminals, thugs, warlords, pirates and their affiliates be more influential than our own government?
Is it me or does it seem like that our foreign policy is almost nonexistent and that no other entity can regarded it worthy enough for it to be interested for the development of our country. It’s troubling to know that the voices of the many anti-Somaliland groups are growing and are often becoming more and more influential in the international community. They are influencing the UN, AU and the Arab world. They are presenting themselves at every opportunity that Somaliland is overed and are there to block it and lately they have achieved to push Somaliland into a corner. Djibouti has become the fore runner of these groups, but what amazes me is how our government puts on parties to celebrate the leader of Djibouti who is the number one financier of these anti-somaliland groups and not to mention an absolute dictator. The fact that he has said no to our day of celebration to take place on the 18th of May in Djibouti when great many other countries have had no problems with this taking place in their locality is a bitter pill to swallow, knowing that great many Somalilanders fought for and died in the effort to get a free independent country called Djibouti. The sad bit in all this is that our government is so naive as to believe that this dictator should be celebrated in our country and many UDUB leaders should be deemed unpatriotic for their support of this dictator who is the ultimate anti-somalilander. Where are all the Somalilanders in Djibouti, Do they have no pride in who they are? Why are our businessmen propping and doing trade in this country? Do we not have any sense of belonging to our motherland?
Yes I am a realist and I do understand that achieving peace in a place where peace is unknown is a great achievement but do we stop there and say that we’ve reached our desired goals and objectives and use peace as a weapon to answer when asked what have we achieved thus far as a government, only to respond peace and peace alone every time. If the current situation in Somaliland continues we will not even have the peace that we often post about. It’s clear to see that president Rayaale and his cohorts don’t understand how much we appreciate our hard earned freedom; for they have not been affected by the forgettable history of afweyne’s dictatorship. The current regime wants us to stay silent while they perpetrate the same misgivings that we experienced with afweyne. I ask what makes Rayaale so powerful as for him and his cronies to abuse the very basic right that we all had under Somaliland constitution; Why is it that we are all staying silent when our journalists are being abused “Miyaanay dad ladhalan” ; Where are all those so called Caaqils who usually jump up and down when someone mistreats their tribe; why are they ignoring the plea of our brothers; why are they so silent of this regime.; is history repeating?.
As the world focuses on other matters like Piracy, terrorism and Darfur Somaliland has been left in a precarious situation that requires urgent attention of our foreign minister. Though my expertise in the field of diplomacy is very much limited I can see the failures of our foreign policy. If we cared at all about our country getting the recognition it seeks we must take a different path to the current one which is doomed to failure. The policy of the current government in attempting to develop foreign relations with other countries has taken a very bad turn. I fear this may lead to permanent damage to the aspirations of our people. We have become the laughing stock of the Somaliwayn supporters. I fear there may be a sinister scheme to derail any hopes and aspiration that my countrymen had of seeing a free democratic Somaliland. It seems that the foreign policy of our country has no direction and requires someone with the ability to think outside the box. The current minister has no vision for the country and the path that we should take to gaining the independence that we seek. He is misguided in his attempts to make the search for independence a UDUB memorandum and not a national consensus, whereby every party and everyone are inclusive.
The only way I see the world listening to us is when we unite as one and lift the banner of Somaliland as one. I have often noticed the characters that are assigned to establish Somaliland’s presence in foreign countries are the supporters of UDUB and often speak as if they are the representatives of that party rather than the spokesmen for our cause, a cause we all believe in. This also applies to our opposition parties as they also practice these acts of stupidity where all our leaders put their political party affiliations before the general consensus that is Somaliland. In the past 7 years the only progress or update offered to the people of Somaliland by our government regarding the issue of recognition has been the simple statement that “Recognition is getting closer”, May I ask for how long will we not question this statement. As I mentioned before it really seems that we the people don’t demand results from our leaders and that may mainly be due to our clan affiliations.
In getting back to the issues that have led me to write this critical analysis of the situation in my motherland, I believe that as a young adult I strive to make a difference in Somaliland and as such I have the duty to protect and behold the cause that is Somaliland; for I am Somaliland and Somaliland is me and it’s the blood that runs through my veins and there is no way of removing it. I stand to defend my home from all its adversaries. Its seems to me while all our politicians and leaders are all cutting off each necks, our enemies are also onto us and are trying to eliminate our existence not only by name “Somaliland” but more importantly our people back home. Yes we can all dismiss this as a non issue like our current government has but that would be at our peril despite what our people have achieved thus far. We need to push back and push back hard.
I ask Allah to guide me and my people and to lift any burdens that may besiege them. Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire. Allah is Sufficient for me, none has the right to be worshipped except Him, upon Him I rely and He is Lord of the exalted throne. Our Lord! Let not our hearts deviate (from the truth) after You have guided us, and grant us mercy from You. Truly, You are the Bestower.
To Mr. Payne him I would say these few words;
We should all show our displeasure about the comments that this congressman made about our country and our people which showed that he is misinformed and misguided. I hope that we all write in to express our personal life stories and how we have been affected by the same people that are advising him today i.e. the ex generals of Somalia.
Where are the Somalilanders in his constituency; why are they silent and finally where are all the Somalilanders in the US. Action speaks lauder than words and in my opinion those Somalilanders who are located in the US should organise themselves and protest in front of his offices and that should show him that these issues and his comments have hurt our people and nation alike. He’ll respond once he sees how he has offended all of us Somalilanders.
We should also approach those other congressmen that are members of the foreign affairs committee and give them the “SOMALILAND101” Lesson.
It seems to me that your words Mr Payne about Somaliland are so misinformed and misguided that the Somali people at large are making a mockery of your comments. It seems that you think that the people that elected you deserve the right to live in a democracy and live in peace, but you cannot afford to give those same virtues to my people in Somaliland because you are misguided in overing those virtues to the terrorists, warlords, pirates and criminals in Somalia and denying it to the people of Somaliland. It amazes me that you, an elected representative of the United States cannot do a bit of googling to educate yourself about the reasons that Somaliland went it alone and decided they want peace, democracy and the rule of law instead of war, piracy, and terrorism. It saddens me to hear your support for terrorist groups in Somalia like the Islamic courts etc and the piracy of Puntland where its well documented that their leaders including the one’s you have met have directly benefited from Piracy. Somaliland said laud and clear in a referendum where 97% of our people decided to go it alone after the genocide of my people committed by the same characters that you advocate for. Our people have spoken.
Somaliwayne is a dead ideology that will never happen again for it has caused so much pain. I ask you to educate yourself about Somaliland and not rely on the words of the terrorists that America tells the world it’s fighting. It’s sad to know that you have no time to visit Hargeisa where peace, democracy and the rule of law is appreciated but you have all the time in the world to negotiate and appreciate the terrorists in Mogadishu and the pirates of Puntland but the saddest thing is the believe that your country America tells the world that its fighting terrorists when it’s clear that you and your advisors Mr. Payne are friends and advocates for these groups. The absolute disrespect that you have shown to the many Somalilanders in your constituent who have willingly voted for you have been left to wonder why the man they have voted for turned against them. Somalilanders have done no harm to anyone other than saying they want to decide their future and that they don’t want terrorists making the decisions for them. They have said no to piracy, they have been at peace for the past 18 years but you have dismissed all that with your comments and your support for some of the factions that are at war in Somalia.
You Mr. Payne have said yes to piracy and yes to terrorism. You as an African American should understand what it means to go through the hardships of being excluded by society and to presume in your comments that innocent Somalilanders should be punished for their believe in free and fair society that believes in democracy and the rule of law is reprehensible to say the least. I hope that you can someday know how hurtful your comments have been.