OPINION | MAY 27, 2012

DALMAR KAHIN

Dear Faisal A. Roble,

I read your opinion entitled:” Talks between TFG and Somaliland – Dead on Arrival (DOA)”.

Your article has underlined some of the reasons that forced the talks to collapse but unfortunately omitted to shed some light on the facts on the ground and the realpolitik of some power-hungry Diasporas.

First, the Somali PM’s views towards Somaliland are as meaningless as Puntland’s ramblings towards Somaliland. Sorry to break it down to you!

The PM, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali hardly controls Mogadishu, so in fact, his views towards Mogadishu have little significance, never mind Somaliland.

Secondly, the London conference invited Somalia (TFG) and Somaliland to either agree or disagree on the issue of Somali unity.

No one has ever mentioned the countless fly-by-night “administrations” like Khatumo, Awdal, Makhir and so on that the likes of you sprinkle on their articles. Truth is: these “administrations” come and go faster than the scents of cheap clones evaporate.

In your previous articles, you have repeatedly written about the doomed SSC violent faction. And today, Khatumo is what drives your motivations.

You portray yourself as an educated person, and perhaps you are, yet you remain oblivious to the reality on the ground.

For instance, the so-called Khatumo (or the Dr. Galaydh faction) has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Diasporas and instead of investing that money back into Sool region, they are spending the hard-earned money in big hotels in Mogadishu, hoping that they will get seats from the TFG.

More sadly, the Garaads (the clan chiefs from Sool) who supposed to remain in their villages to mediate the local clans are now embroiled in participating in the Somali conference held in Europe, namely in Turkey. That is, they are embroiled in politics and abandoned their traditional roles, just like their southern counterparts remain spokes persons for their clan’s respective warlords.

I am in no way, shape or form downplaying their (Khatumo group) efforts to stand up for their rights. And I know Somaliland takes part of the blame that alienated these citizens, but what I disagree with them is: trekking hundreds of kilo meters to Mogadishu to seek funding and weapons instead of simply going to Hargeisa, Somaliland’s capital, and demanding the Somaliland government to change its course of action towards Sool region. Do they think the current President of Somalia (or more precisely: the Mayor of Mogadishu) Sheikh Sharif who could not get rid of Al-Shaydaan (or Al-Shabab) would have the ability to dislodge Somaliland forces from Sool.

Dr. Ali Khalif Galaydh knows that he doesn’t have the support of Puntland or the support of the entire Dhulbahante clans, so the chance of his faction surviving is next to nil.

So, why is he beating around the bushes? Truth is: he is preparing himself for a high post either in Somaliland’s or in Somalia’s government. And that is what the fuss is all about; indeed, he is convinced the more heaps of corpses pile up in Sool region, as the result of his violent campaign against Somaliland, the closer he gets to his dream.

History doesn’t lie. Nor could it be rewritten. In 1991, he was one of the signatories of Somaliland’s independence. In 1993, he ran for vice president’s post in Somaliland. Today, he either denies or recants everything. A true chameleon!

He argues that in 1991 he signed the Burrao accord (Somaliland’s independence) to avert massive bloodshed in the region. He claims the former Somali National Movement (SNM) would have slaughtered the population in parts of Sool if he hadn’t signed the agreement. But in 1993 he campaigned for vice president’s post in Somaliland. So, one wonders, did the SNM also held a gun against his temple and forced him to run for vice president? Dr. Galaydh’s argument is illogical—full of contradictions.

He also keeps forgetting three important things. The International community is sick and tired of:

  • Terror groups in Somalia (which are now shifted to mountainous regions in Somaliland)
  • Pirates
  • And countless Diaspora created tiny, ineffective, clan enclaves

Because of the above reasons, the International community told the Dr. Galaydh faction to negotiate with Somaliland. In his last meeting with the aid agencies in Kenya, they unambiguously told him that they won’t allow tiny states in Somaliland, so it would be better if he sorts out his problems with Somaliland.

The Khatumo faction, an offshoot of the violent, doomed SSC group, controls only few villages, namely Talex and Buhodle. That is about it. It too will run its course, just like its predecessor: the violent SSC.

So, did Dr. Galaydh miscalculate? Of course not! To the contrary, his calculation is precise to the point. He launched a violent campaign against Somaliland for two reasons: for one thing, he wanted to show his supporters their inability to dislodge Somaliland security forces from Sool region. He wanted them to see it for themselves. For another, just like southern Somalia’s warlords he wanted to use this opportunity (or his violent campaign against Somaliland) as a bargaining chip to negotiate with Somaliland to seek a high post in the government. You must take a tiny peek at the Dr. Galaydh’s psychic.

The bottom line is: Somaliland needs to address the grievances of the population in parts of Sool region; otherwise, power-hungry, opportunists like Dr. Galaydh would take advantage of the poor nomads in Sool, as he is doing right now.

By the way, I am disappointed with how you have omitted throwing the blame on Puntland because it is the root cause of Somalia-Somaliland meeting’s collapse.

Somaliland had every right to refuse to sit down with Puntland officials because they would not bring anything meaningful discussion to the table.

Instead of discussing the reunification or the separation of Somaliland and Somalia, Puntland leaders want to reshuffle their deck of clan cards—playing their ace card (the clan card)—something Somaliland won’t let it happen.

Just listen to this audio clip (at the bottom of the page in the link) and find out for yourself how one of the Puntland leaders who supposed to participate in the meeting speaks. Much of his ramblings are predictable: clan x this, clan y this.

Amazingly, one wonders why Puntland would send an uneducated clown to an important meeting, or perhaps he is their ace card—the cream of the crop in Puland’s administrations, and this is as good as it gets!

Thank you,

Dalmar Kaahin
dalmar_k@yahoo.com