What’s going on?

HARGEISA, 19 November 2009 (Somalilandpress) – Somaliland’s democracy is almost 20 years old yet if you were to ask an average citizen within the country or in the Diaspora for the definition of democracy they would give you several versions of what they perceive it to be. Even though there is no specific, universally accepted definition of ‘democracy’, there are two principles that any definition of democracy includes equality and freedom. These principles are reflected by all citizens being equal before the law, and having equal access to power. At the end of the day this holds true.

Naturally we are a peaceful people but if something was to threaten our way of life we would defend it by any means necessary thus the creation of the S.N.M and separation of the former illegitimate union. Somaliland’s educated youth population is growing in large numbers and they have legitimate questions that must be answered. Why haven’t they received the opportunity to speak their mind? I spoke to a few young people in Hargeisa and asked them what they thought of what’s going on. They were very mindful of their words and thought clearly before replying and I was pleasantly surprised. Maintaining peace was at the top of their list and giving democracy a chance so that the will of the people may be heard.

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The opportunity for the hundreds of young university graduates to gain employment and be able to put into practice what they have worked so hard for. One young lady shared her disappointments of how the intellectuals and academics haven’t been able to act as mediators to help reconcile and map a path to effective resolutions. She sounded like a PhD candidate writing a paper on conflict resolution. Clearly being impressed was an understatement. She was able to not reiterate the problem and give her version of how things went wrong.

Somaliland’s path to recognition is in danger of being derailed and all the efforts and sacrifices of the people would have been in vain. Our political system and constitutional rights to pick a President that is capable of representing the rich and the poor, the franchised and disfranchised, the orphans and physically challenged, and those that sacrificed their lives so that their children and their children’s children live in a free and transparent society.

Peace demands the most heroic labor and the most difficult sacrifice. It demands greater heroism than war. It demands greater fidelity to the truth and a much more perfect purity of conscience”, Thomas Merton. There will come a time when those in power will have no choice but to listen to the youth. To understand the problem is to realize there is one. I pray that the solution is one which will help reinstate the good faith of the people and put us back on the path of true democracy and lasting peace.

Yaqub Warsame
Somaliland press Team

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