War between Somaliland artists escalates as Silanyo government becomes tribal organisation
A bitter war of words has erupted between two Somaliland groups of musicians, composers and artists. Song writer Said Sheikh Abokor ‘Ilkajiir’, who wrote a song criticising the Silanyo administration is now afraid for his own life after the government promised to kill him.
Mr. Abokor received death threats by a phone call from the minister of presidency, Hirsi Ali Haji Hassan, this week after the song writer turned down bribes including monthly payments of £2000 to keep quite.
In an interview with Hadhwanaag News, Mr. Abokor revealed that he has been under close watch for days by ten mostly unidentified men often stationed outside his home.
Shortly after he released his protest song he said two seven-seater cars pulled up next to him and two artists he personally knew made verbal abuse and threats.
He told listeners that Mr. Hassan appealed to him to work with his administration since his Sa’ad Musa tribe enjoyed more support from Silanyo’s administration than the rest of the main tribes. After the recent abuses including killings, experts believe there will be major defections of some of the main tribes including Isaaq sub-clans of Arab, Garhajis and Essa Mussa and others such as Issa, Gadabursi, Dhulbahante and Warsangeli. Silanyo already has minimal support in the east amongst the Harti clans, who accuse him of human right abuses.
He made it clear for him that the current administration was serving tribal interest only for Silanyo’s Habar Jeelo and Sa’ad Mussa. This was suspected by many people and did not see this until now.
Mr. Hirsi told him that the current chairman of ruling Kulmiye party was only a card to win Sa’ad Musa support. He also revealed that he plans to replace the current minister of interior with a Sa’ad Mussa personality.
The controversy was sparked after he composed a protest song denouncing President Ahmed M. Silanyo. The writer criticized Silanyo and his administration in the way they handled the recent local elections, which left dozens dead.
Silanyo’s supporters this week composed their own fitting reply to Ilka-Jiir’s “Ooday” or “elder” song. There are reports in London that the two sides are physically threatening each others and fear going to all out war.
The latest feuds between the Somaliland artists is part of a large growing tensions between Somaliland’s various tribes, where tribal loyalty has for decades underpinned the authority and security forces. The disputed elections has resurfaced old inter-tribal feuds threatening political stability in Somaliland for the first time in decades. The artists like almost everyone else in mainstream society including the media are deeply divided over the current disputes instigated by the Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo administration.
Although eruptions of tribal disputes are not new, they have become more frequent and serious since the Nov. 28th district and council elections. Some street protests following the elections stemmed from anger at the perceived intervention of the state to back one preferred tribal candidate at the expense of others.
Listen to Ilka Jiir below: