An Elephant In The Room
OPINION | April 10, 2012
By: Ismail Ahmed
The man, who was widely held in a high esteem throughout Somaliland Republic as Somaliland’s most successful businessman, has turned out to be a destructive elephant in the room. Abdulrashid Duale, the current Dhabshiil Company’s CEO, has revealed his true picture as a businessman who stands firmly for Somalia’s strong unity, by equating Somaliland with Puntland, as regions of Somalia. In an article, dubbed as “ a guest columns”, which he wrote in New African’s April edition, on page 60, under the title of `Somalia: The path to prosperity,` Abdulrashid Duale, unequivocally projected Somaliland as one of Somalia’s regions, and in his own words, to be directly quoted: “ Puntland and Somaliland, Somalia’s stable areas.”
Defending the role played by the Somalis in the Diaspora in boosting Somalia’s businesses, he figured out the annual $2bn remittance sent to Somalia, thus, incorporating Somaliland’s remittance-share with Somalia instead of breaking down the annual remittances between Somalia and Somaliland. It is no brain, that he projected to his readers that Somaliland is part and parcel of Somalia. In more than four times, he repeatedly incorporated Somaliland as one of Somalia’s relatively stable regions where small businesses were flourishing, with particular emphasis on his own company that he said started small business from the scratches in unfavourable environment of civil war, at the time when the situation was at stake, following the collapse of General Barre’s fascist rule.
The timing of such a controversial article has raised also serious questions about Abdulrashid Duale’s sincerity as a loyal Somaliland businessman. Those who read the article have developed a new notion by casting a serious suspicion on his trustworthiness as a Somaliland’s true businessman. Some said Abdulrashid Duale is a businessman, who is still weighing the situation, as which way the wind of Somalia is blowing, thus, straddling his legs on both sides of the border. Mr.Duale must make known his position to all and sundry. After all, nothing is wrong in establishing businesses in Somalia and vice versa. But what is wrong, and even utterly disgraceful is, calling Somaliland as a region a country that has its national code of arms, including its national constitution, its national army, its own flag and a vast territory which is the size of Great Britain, minus Wales, and with recognized borders that it inherited from the British colonial rule. And worse than that, Somaliland is being called as a region by one of its sons, whose businesses flourished on its soil.
Abdulrashid Duale’s article came on the heel of February’s London Conference on Somalia, in which representatives of 53 countries approved a final communiqué which, above everything else’s, authorized both Somalia and Somaliland to engage in a dialogue on equal footing not as a region and a government of Somalia.
It is a high time that the current highly respected Somaliland’s President, HE Ahmed Mohamed Siilaanyo should instruct his subordinate officers to rein in people like Abdullah Duale, who do not see behind their noses, without giving in to family pressure. President Siilaanyo is a hero and a statesman, who loomed large among foreign statesmen at the recent London Conference, during which he delivered a sensational speech that captured the attention of both friends and foes. HE Ahmed Mohammed Siilaanyo took part in the London’s Conference as a head of state representing Somaliland Republic and not as a governor representing a region. The establishment of a Ministerial Committee by President Ahmed M.Siilaanyo recently to represent Somaliland at the forthcoming Somaliland-Somalia talks in London is another fact that Somaliland is not a region of Somalia, indeed, in the true sense of the word.
By Ismail Ahmed