Recently, according to well-placed various news sources including Hadhwanaagnews dated on 30th Jan 2013. It was reported that the menacing Arab hunters and their entourage from the Gulf countries had, upon visiting Somaliland, prompted political uproar over what critics changed them to be symbol of evil for illegally siphoning off somaliland’s wild life reserves. Sparked by failure of the government to act.
A spate of organized intellectual views was staged across several cities and towns to heighten awareness. Forever changing the ecosystem for all inhabited creatures, there is mounting evidence which indicate the alleged exploits not only affect the abundance and natural diversity of the wildlife population but is also endangering certain species dwindles close to extinction.
Furthermore, rude disturbance of the wildlife sanctuaries and sudden disruptions of the natural breading habitat add weight to aggravating the situation to a crisis level. Even of more lethal consequence is the serious allegation that concessions include a clandestine sting of oil exploration expedition with the tacit or otherwise explicit approval of the present administration.
First, in his customary way of abusing vested powers, the president of Somaliland, Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo, balking all other options, has opted not to disclose to the public the nature of the Arab’s mission or what he has been given permission for and why? All leads and inquired dried up at his doorstep. Until now, the deal and its terms were sealed and kept under close guarded secrecy of which very few people has access to any of its substance or specific details. Secondly, both the scope of his mysterious operation and the the size of its unusually large crew obviously point toward more complex of a project than what the general public were led to believe through a false-flag misinformation.
As a result, the Arab’s obviously transgression and government conduct in its failure to act appropriate is seen by the public as a source of shame and dishonour forced upon them by circumstances beyond their control.
The evolution of the crisis
It is believed that absence of an effective central government made it all the more difficult to defend somaliland’s territorial jurisdiction and protect both it’s endowed human and natural resources from intrusion of preying enemies. It pitifully contributes to the debacle. The lax security situation encouraged wealthy tycoons and powerful Arabs to freely indulge acting on dream fantasies of having private zoos at the backyards of their surnptuous places or mansions. For these trend-setting dream cheers, realizing lifestyle upgrades of superb amenities of quality comfort and luxury accessible within the confines of their own privacy essentially acquires one much personal respect and recognition sought within the privileged elite circles.
Affording the financial means to avail it corrupt public officials entrusted upon safeguarding such precious natural resources, it is nothing more than an exhilarating game these lunatics. It is all for the search of a sensational “rush” of an intoxicating excitement. Savouring the chance and challenge to embark on such personal pet project and achieving its set goals is considered as the hallmark of reaching heavenly heights in an obsession of no logical goal or reasonable satisfaction.
The recent violent outbursts against the Arab’s exploits has successfully rallied public frustrations and opinions toward fomenting a rebellion against their Excellency’s lust and love-affair’s wildlife reserves, depleting certain species from an endemic level to an extinction. The public’s show of concern through an ever increasing demand for an explanation often fell on deaf ears. But indignant reactions and backslash were fast and unambiguous. Further fanning the flames of a lingering suspicion and lasting alienation. For years, the public resentment built up to precipitate the current soaring tension and saga. It generated a genuine public revolt against a rude exploit out of bound in its desire to take advantage of somali’s international political polarizes and polarization.
Raiding and roaring around between the Golos mountains and grazing grass plains in Sool,snag & Togdheer. The eccentric Arabs seem like a man on a serious hunting mission of his own design and pace. Determine to attain their goals in the most efficient way sustainable, he often employed devices of high-tech with devastating results. From high-flying preying birds to ostriches, zebras, gazelles, antelopes, leopards, and many other rare species, it is certain that their cruel techniques indiscriminately reduced the stock of any particular herd. Registering it to be soon recognized as one of the endangered species. Worse even, reversing such trend afterwards or removing any species from the endangered list is an expensive route that could probably require decades bringing its population back to its original level.
Long beleaguered by political instability, Somaliland has suffered a dramatic identity crisis and still is stuck at the bottom of its hellhole. Little surprises a country like Somaliland that has seen it all. Yet the story of the lucky “Robin Hood price” who keep coming back for the rest of the “loot” has baffled many and caught few politicians off-guard. Unlike before though, the Arabs get way with it this time. Though it repulsed many in the public. Their activities turned to be the most agitating one as covert ambitions of their operation were revealed and their intension exposed. The case became a feeding fodder for news stories where it get passed around in coffee shops for gossiping consumption. Meanwhile, any hard lessons or experiences we need to learn from such tragic event is left for the public to chew on.
Whatever the nature of the Arab shiekh’s mission or purpose is and whatever their ulterior motive or otherwise innocent intentions is, more often it stirred up public sentiment. It ranges from insetting suspicions to a searing raged based on a widely shared feelings of being taken advantage of at a vulnerable time where most somalilanders are still consumed with armed conflicts and factional fighting.
As complaints were lodged and and as exerted pressures on the government bore no immediate fruits, most communities were left with no other choice but to prepare contingency plans to act on their own if need be. Bitterly disappointed with the administration’s lack of action or perhaps incensed with a possible collaboration or collusion thereof, citizens have seriously taken the matter into their own hands. They devised ways to protect, at minimum, the natural resources and wealth located within the proximity of their respective communities.
In their turn to respond to the “call of conscience” the activists who mobilized the public to stand up for what is right in challenging those bent to disrupt the delicate balance of our natural resources in a mission to quench their sumptuous lifestyle and fulfil childhood fantasises deserve to be hailed as national heroes. The less fortunate and week nations who are incapable of defending their territorial turf away from the unscrupulous raiders are usually the targeted victims of such nasty schemes.
Escorted and guarded by a army arranged and backed by the government, the Arab has invincible dared to venture out deep into the rural areas. However, as citizens if we chased them off with vengeance from one district, they only move miles away to the neighbouring area. Such annoying and contemptible practice has only increased the chances for bloodsheds.
Despite all the paid-for clout they could wield, still the Arab were shocked at how indignant communities felt toward their operation. Ever more, the Arab hunters look like the visiting guest who overstayed their welcome, further abusing common privileges and benefits traditionally extended to a guest by any host country in good faith. All these reveal the incompetence of Siilanyo’s government. the ultimate failure is his and his alone.
The impact and implications of this case has yet to be fully chronicled to make Siilanyo accountable sooner or later. Prior the crisis mushroomed into uncontrollable proportion, it should have been given the attention it deserved
Eng. Abdirahman M. Duale