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Editorial

Editorial: It is Not the End of Somaliland

HARGEISA, 2 September 2009 (Somalilandpress) – Whenever there is a political standoff in Somaliland all the doom mongers crawl out of their sewers and start telling the world that this latest political confrontation is the one to signal the end of the Somaliland State! But is it?

It is hard to find many places in the world with the unique arrangement and problems that Somaliland has. To millions of people, it remains an important part of the Somali Republic. To millions of others, it is a sovereign and independent nation. This is why whenever the democratization process in Somaliland hits a snag it attracts comment from supporters and opponents inside and outside Somaliland. The supporters of Somaliland are almost always domestic whilst the opponents are mostly external. In other words, the pro-unity camp resides mostly in Somalia whilst the pro-independence camp hails mostly from Somaliland.

Now Somaliland has a new crisis! It seems that the president of Somaliland has ejected an organization that was helping the country with voter registration and other issues to do with the democratization process. It is reported that the opposition parties are outraged by the actions of the president and have refused to take part in the elections that are due to take place on the 27th of September 2009! It is understood that their anger stems from the fact that the elections were postponed three times already and that one of the major reasons for these postponements concerned the need for voter registration! We’re told that the parliament (or at least its Somaliland equivalent) has disagreed with the president’s decision but that members from his party have disagreed with the parliament and were consequently suspended. We heard that the president ordered the police to surround the houses of parliament and ensure that his evicted members be forcibly reinstated and allowed to take part in debates relating to the elections. We understand that the opposition parties have mobilized their supporters and that demonstrations have taken place in various parts of Somaliland (but mainly the capital and houses of parliament).

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The events and situations related above are all true and clearly confirm the political impasse taking place in Somaliland. However, no one was killed, no buildings were burned and no property was destroyed (save a couple of chairs in the parliament chamber). The way these events have been reported however is what causes many to believe that the end is nigh for Somaliland, but is it?

It is an election year in Somaliland. All political parties are positioning themselves in the most aggressive way possible. All parties want and hope to win. Therefore, the mud is sure to by flying, the accusations dispatched and the insults overflowing. The opposition talks about the secret service history of the president whilst the government supporters retort by mentioning the greed of the eighty-year old opposition leader. The opposition badmouths the president’s wife and talk about her alleged interference in government business, whilst the ruling party sneer at the political immaturity of the opposition. Furthermore, one group accuses the president of being a Somali mole whose ultimate aim is to sneakily return Somaliland to Somalia, whilst the other accuses the opposition leader of having covert dealings with the Somali Republic! In short, both sides are waging dirty political campaigns and spreading negative rumors about the other. Yet, again, nobody died!

The above was all about the internal squabbles in Somaliland and how a rumor and counter rumor is the order of the day there. However, this internal rivalry and political horse trading is also, unwittingly (or maybe indifferently), feeding the external pro-unity hyenas! Now observers from Garowe to Mogadishu to unpronounceable places further south are all (prematurely) declaring the death of the State Of Somaliland! Where in the past they would lay into the entire idea of Somaliland and insult its people, they now, having imagined a glimmer of an opportunity, are praising Somaliland and giving it brotherly condolences for a dream that was not fulfilled! Worse still, they patronizingly offer advice on the best way forward and how Somaliland and its people shall only prosper by returning to the Somali fold!

The pro-unity minority crowd are themselves divided between the government of Somaliland and the opposition. They are unsure of which of the two has the more fertile ground. On the one hand, there is plenty of mileage in referring to the president’s history as an ex- employee of the former Somali dictator and a dictator in the making himself! They can not pass this delicious opportunity to sneer and scoff at a people who defeated one dictator only to be assaulted with another of their own! On the other hand, there is much to be said about an opposition that seems to be outmaneuvered and outgunned. The sentiment seems to be something along the lines of ‘this man is going to bring you and your country down. Come and join us in the South and we shall overcome him by virtue of sheer numbers’.

Then there is the Free Press game. Apparently, the Ogre of Hargeisa has banned Free Press and like many African dictators before him, he is keeping his poor people in the dark! But does any country really need free press in the age of the Internet and satellite TV? Could the president of Somaliland ban the BBC for instance?

The best argument the pro-unity crowd have is the one about an elite group of Somalilanders holding the country hostage to their whims and opportunistic fancies. Yet this was said of the first president of Somaliland. It was said of the second president. It is said of the current president. It is said of the leaders of the opposition. It is said about many of the Somaliland businessmen. The first and second presidents are gone but Somaliland remains. The current president will sooner or later go and Somaliland shall remain. The leaders of the opposition will, in the future, be replaced by new leaders and yet, Somaliland shall continue to be.

Somaliland resisted against all the odds. It resisted against the former dictator Siad Barre with all his power and the support of the outside world. It resisted against a deadly civil war that has devastated Somalia. It resisted against the terrorists and their sympathizers. It will continue resisting everything that is against the humanity, democracy and injustice.

There is a Somali saying “When there is a disagreement, the stupid person thinks it is fighting”.

As long as nobody dies may the hyenas laugh, the opposition wags their fingers and the president rewrite the constitution. It is all good clean fun and it adds to the maturity and progress of Somaliland.

Somalilandpress Editorial

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  • Suhail I. Madar

    What a very informative editorial article.
    Somalilandpress keep up the good job you are doing in press. You have respected ethics of the press unlike other somaliland news portals.

    Suhail

  • hassan

    I hope this article isn't from the Somalilandpress team! I stopped reading the article after this line; "But does any country really need free press in the age of the Internet and satellite TV? Could the president of Somaliland ban the BBC for instance?"

    If you don't understand why country can't do without free-press, then I would urge you to reconsider you occupation.

    • Good_Citizen

      I agree with you and I kindly suggest that you edit the section, to a more reasonable one.

    • Kayse

      You need to learn basic 101 English, read the sentence again, if you don't understand I will break it down for you.

      "Then there is the Free Press game. Apparently, the Ogre of Hargeisa has banned Free Press and like many African dictators before him, he is keeping his poor people in the dark! But does any country really need free press in the age of the Internet and satellite TV? Could the president of Somaliland ban the BBC for instance?"

      Basically what he is saying is at this digital age its hard to create media censorship as anyone with computer and internet can create a blog, story or news of their own. BBC isnt the only source any more, so if the president bans, makes no difference the information still makes to places like Somalilandpress (internet). Please learn English.

  • Ibrahim

    Is this article written by Mr Riyaale or one of his senior cronies in disguise? What a load o garbage!!! If the president and his ministers can not respect their own country's laws and can raid the elected parliament with impunity then we have no democracy. Hence, where democracy is absent my rights too are absent, and I will never choose to live in such a place. May Allah help our people.

  • banday

    I have really read the article with interest. This article is return a Somaliland Nationalist. Thanks

  • D.A

    Very well written and up to the point article, I enjoying reading hats off to Somalilandpress. Bravo.

  • abdi

    what a hateful peace of trash this article is, first the dirty clanist writer go's " , feeding the external pro-unity hyenas!" so our Somali people who are for unity among all Somali speaking people are HYENAS, and also you idiotically wrote
    "Now observers from Garowe to Mogadishu to unpronounceable places further south" so the writer cant or can not pronounce MERKA or KISMAYO? and then he go's on " all (prematurely) declaring the death of the State Of Somaliland! Where in the past they would lay into the entire idea of Somaliland and insult its people, they now, having imagined a glimmer of an opportunity" what a low self of esteem this hateful clanist writer has, people from south somaliland have allot to do and bashing issaq peole is not one them, for incense they dont have enough to eat, they have to doge bullets and morter rounds over their heads everyday, so the last thing in their head is politics, what really amasses me is THE HATE THIS WRITER HAS FOR OTHER SOMALIS

  • abdi

    and last thing isnt a net tabloid suppose to be neutral on matters like this? or you Somalilandpress Editorial dont follow the journalist protocol standards around the world, its sad you try to be professional but cant get your head out of the clanist agendas that you promote

  • amal

    abdi well said bro

    somaliland is stuck in a clan bubble.
    most somalis don`t even think about somaliland they have theor own problems
    its funny how the author considers his somaliland so important ilike ts on the mind of somalis all the time.

    why would a boy from kismayo consern himself with somaliland or a girl beledwayne why would she consume her brain with somaliland fantasies.

    most somalis don`t even know the sub groups of the majority people there.

    somaliland is iirelivent to somaliwayne its like any frontier region, its not relevent to the big picture somali politics hence their untociable quest for reconision

  • amal

    somali cities are considered more relevent than the entire somaliland
    kismayo,hamar, bossaso, Gaalkacyo, beledwayne if those cities wanted to secede than somalis would have a case to worry since their own strategic possistion would be in danger but …..hargeisa why would they care and if they care its only because of somalinimo

    miskiin somaliland still begging for attention just like the good old days
    even if you tryedto get back at somalis I bet you somalis would not even give a chance to negotiat since you cards are inconsequential

    you want credit and praise but somaliwayne is not hating when they don`t consider you not that important somaliland is like mongolia somalis know it where it is but its irrelevant to somaliwayne since mongalia has no power

    all I can say is good luck

  • Kariye

    abdi and amal, you are very sad people, please go and fix your own country, if you can, and leave Somaliland matters to the people of Somaliland.

  • hassan

    I think everyone is entitled to their opinion, including Amal's. However Kariye I think you're wrong to say "you are very sad people, please go and fix your own country" to our fellow Somalians. We're all one people and we should all wish other good things. To say go fix your country is arrogant.

  • Ibrahim

    It is one thing to defend Somaliland but it is totally a different and an unacceptable thing to talk badly of our fellow Somalis. I support Somaliland's independence not because we are different to the Somalis from other regions but because we are better off managing our own affairs. If all the Somalis can get rid of their stupid tribalism and learn to live in harmony, then I don't see why we should not reunite in an orderly, democratic, and legal manner. So please Somalilandpress, stop this nonsense.

  • Ahmed

    This article is the opinion of Somalilandpress, but it is an excellent article. It is giving us the big picture of the current political struggle, and the true essence of Somaliland people and politians – overall they are good, genuine and responsible (Whether they are from the government or from opposition). Nobody died – then it is healthy and responsible political fight = maturity. And I really liked the Somali saying “When there is a disagreement, the stupid person thinks it is fighting”. Best regards to all and long live Somaliland.

    Ahmed Omar
    Dammam, Saudi arabia

  • Somalilander

    Well Said,

    Please keep such informative articles coming regardless of what outsiders have to say in the comments sections.

  • Ali Deere

    Well balanced and down to earth editorial. Somaliland is our country, The comments here concerns Somalilanders. Arabs, Americans, Koreans and Somalis in general, can feel it and wish us luck.

    For what to do with our Country, President, the Opposition and the Parliament; leave it to us and Inshaalah, in a proper and civilized way, we will decide.

    Peace
    Ali Deere,
    Hargeisa, Somaliland.

  • Kayse

    Fantastic article, great job guys, I wholeheartedly agree with you! Those Somalis destroyed their own nation they want us to fix their homes and remarry their wives, what a sick people they need to get off our backs they are unwanted.

  • http://www.somalilandpress.com mohamed ibraahim

    asc muwaadiniinta reer somaaliland waxaan ku war gailinayaa in ay sanad kan uu yahay sanadkii xisbiga kulmiye markaa dhamaan dadkeena aqoonta lihi way waydareemi karaan dibada iyo gudaha dalkaba kulmiyeynu nahay ilahayow naga kexee kali taliskan kadaran siyaad bare digtaa toori baynu ka caban jirnaye kula kadaray oo teeda teedii uun wada

  • hamdi

    thank you for the very intestn article. i pray somaliland keeps up the good work and improves.
    viva somaliland

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