On 20th May, I listened to a jumble of meaningless words, by a man called Hassan Issa, released on few media outlets. In the first place, the decision to publish such a drivel by some media circles is as unnecessary as it is equally unethical and irresponsible.

The present Somaliland media outlets tend to be too propagandistic to be read, viewed or listened to. The writers never try to make serious effort to collect and sift information, rejecting the spurious inaccuracies and biases and committing the corrected facts for release.

Mostly, they follow clannish, individualistic and group interest footmarks. However and unfortunately for the people in that region, there are seems no other alternatives at all when it comes to local news.

In our modern era, the media is indisputably an instrument of war. This is because winning modern political wars is as much dependent on carrying domestic and international public opinion as it is on defeating the enemy on the battlefield.

For that reason, the local media circles remain essential, regardless of the intentions and believes of those who handle them. However, their responsibility to give an impartial and balanced assessment of issues is in serious doubt. In many occasions, as in this case, we become shocked when they portray themselves as extremely ignorant, unprofessional and against all codes of broadcasting ethics and conduct.

Those information windows characterized themselves as though they are tribal cults filled with contentious reports for delirious confused members. Many of these frames, with few exceptions, don’t give the least care to the contents of the published material.

In the case of Hassan, all what he said is no more than a bag of foul air from his empty head. In many times, we come across people who are hard to forget. Well, not always because they are helpful or bequeath us with some wonderful experiences, but sometimes because they give us unforgettable awful experiences with their utterly bad behavior and selfish characteristics.

A man of principle is an individual whose life adheres to and is conditioned to human values and morals and follows such convictions to their full. According to human laws and rules for right conduct, the moral principle is a guide. Where is that? Lost for sure…

As an accepted or professed rule of conduct, a person with fake moral principles, like Hassan, is rejected in any society. Hassan tries to appease the agony of his own clan whose suffering under Silanyo rule is on its peak.

Such callous talk mean nothing, but only a renewal of the old cover up ruling gang strategies. It is a weak attempt to dissuade the eyes of people away from the facts on the ground….the fast growing Habarjeclo dynasty by beating the fake old drums….enemies, tribes, we….we…are the only. Here are only a few:

 

– Habarjeclo warlords transfer millions of dollars to overseas banks by imposing fake Somaliland shilling in the local money markets.

– Almost all private profitable financial institutions are exclusively for the Siilaanyo team, in Hargeisa, Berbera, Burao and surprisingly Tugwajale, far away.

– All international aided public (governmental) projects go under the direct supervision of the presidency, Siilaanyo and his close associates.

– Hirsi is the only man who has the power to pocket hundreds of thousands of dollars from Berbera port authorities. He distributes to further their maintain power.

– Dahabshiil’s popular role is to pay clan leaders to silence peoples’ up-rise when people feel the pain of the corruption, hunger and poverty. The pre-paid suldans like Hassan, then go to TV stations and silence their people pointing finger at unjustified enemies at the gates of Somaliland. The common voices repeat how this peace was reached (sidii nabaddna lagu keenay). Where is peace when people live as destitute in their own country? Peace means peace of mind, health, education, jobs and justice for all. See WHO report, www.who.int/mental_health/somaliland

– The average income of Somaliland administration employee is less one dollar a day and the majority of families live below the poverty line.

Hassan and many like mind impaired thinkers believe that they overthrew the defunct regime of Siyad Barre. That is not true. That system failed itself because of ill-advice from those who were in the walls of the ruling palace.

It is the same ill-advise, the bad mouth, the foul air, the distortions, the sick mind…..people like Hassan are fooling and failing the Silanyo system. The cracks in the walls are seen from everywhere outside and cover-ups, like this one will not work. It didn’t work for those who were in the iron gates of Haille Sellassie, Mengistu, Siyad Barre, Ghadaafi, Mubarak…count them…

We lost reasoning when Hassan points finger at Awdal. This civilian population was not armed when mercilessly attacked in their grazing areas, farms, homes and public roads. SNM were supposed to fight government stations, not their neighbors. We all know that Awdal were only trying to defend them-selves and were never offensive.

Hassan and his heartless team were those who massacred the innocent civilians of Awdal people. The death, the rape and the destruction of Awdal populations are long forgiven by Awdalians in the so-called peace and reconciliation conference in Borama in 1993.

 

 

Awdal are the true forgivers and here are the backing reasons.

Instead of directing their war on the government and its forces, SNM began to kill the unarmed Samaroon and other neighboring civilian populations. Awdalians were never on the offensive but on defense on legitimate reasons.

– Hassan should and his team never admitted the death and the destruction that SNM forces did to their neighbors. They wiped out whole towns, villagers and even worshippers in mosques.

– Today, they tell the international community that they were the only people who suffered under the previous regime.

– They don’t acknowledge the fact that one bad Somali government had destroyed not only Hargeisa, but all Somalia and the capital Mogadishu was heavily bombarded for months.

– They don’t try to understand that bad governance ruined many countries in the world and Somalia is not the first country. Today, they have another bad one in their hands in Hargeisa but do they want to see it?

In 1991, after the collapse of the Somali government, SNM militia backed by Ethiopian Mengistu overran the Samaroon’s main city, Borama. They killed hundreds, ransacked homes, looted all business stores and displaced the city population. On their way to Borama, they demolished the historic adjacent town of Dila completely. Samaroon was only a peaceful and helpful neighbor and not a government. Why SNM was fighting their neighbors is still unknown to most of them and a mystery to other Somalis.

After the Civil War

In 1992, SNM proclaimed ‘Somaliland” a separate state from Somalia, forcing Samaroon and other tribes to join the illegal declaration. In a short time, the different Isaaq tribes started to clash with each other for power struggle. The whole country was again awash with guns, looters, rapists and road blockers. Roads were impassable with checkpoints by various clan gang members who claimed the road passages as their territory. At broad daylight, wild gunmen overpowered the president, Abdirahman Ahmed and his guards when he walked away from his car. At that point, members from neighbouring Isaaq elders approached Samaroon leaders for help. Samaroon decided to forgive the past and to mend fences with their SNM neighbours. From there, they stepped in and began their long journey of hope to negotiate peace between Isaaq fighting groups.

Two loaded buses of elders, with white flags, left Borama. In a short time, they were successful to accomplish inter-clan peace in Hargeisa, Berbera and Burao. After that, they organised another meeting in Sheikh as a platform for a country wide conference. More than 150 delegates gathered in sheikh and decided to hold a general peace conference. At that point, the conference hosting clan became an issue of serious debate. Each clan was reluctant to be the guest to the other as there was no trust among the Isaaqs. Proposals like Hargeisa, Burao, Berbera and Gabiley were all declined by one group or the other. As a last resort, Borama, the Samaroon city, was proposed as the hosting region and all delegates unanimously accepted with applause. As a result, In 1993, a long five-month conference in Borama succeeded to draft the terms of the first functional administration for today’s Somaliland system.

In addition to the Samaroon people’s sincerity, their land was the only perfect place for peace conference. They had a 21 member council of leaders that worked as their legislative body. In all inter-clan matters and in other related issues, the council’s decision was final. Nobody could dare to violate the laws that the council approved. The people had their own policing system with each clan leader responsible for the actions of his people and that eliminated lawlessness. Furthermore, Borama was the only town with electricity power in northern Somalia and there were dozens of international aid agencies. The airport was functional at its full capacity with a fair number of passenger and cargo aircrafts each day.

How Samaroon in Somaliland got the wrong reward for doing the right thing.

In exchange for their good work, Samaroon got the wrong reward when:

– Within few months, their Borama busy airport was closed and all flights and passengers were re-routed to Hargeisa airport.

– All international aid agencies were ordered to move from Borama to Hargeisa.

– Samaroon business people were forced to use the Berbera sea port where they are mugged and sometimes killed. In Nov. 2011, the latest victim on that road was a truck driver who was shot dead by road control soldier in bribe dispute.

– Isaaq occupied 95% of the Somaliland administration, the congress, the parliament, the armed forces, the security, the judicial and financial systems.

– A 10 million dollar aid from Kuwait government was Somalilnad infrastructure investment. That money went to the extension of Hargiesa and Berbera airports. In contrast, Awdal people and Diaspora struggled to finish a four kilometer road between Dila an Borama. Borama Airport is closed and all roads are unfit for travel. One of Awdal’s renowned doctors died very recently on those extreme roads.

– A 30 million European Union and UN funded water project is improving the water systems of the ruling clan towns of Hargeysa, Erigavo, Burao and Togwajale.

– Khalifa bin Zayed Charity Foundation has completed 20 large water basins/dams west of Hargeisa and 14 water wells in the north of the city. The foundation has also drilled 9 new water wells and watershed basins in Burao.

– In July 2009, business travellers were stopped in public road. Four of them were taken to the bush, murdered in cold blood and their bodies mercilessly mutilated.

– Students came out in masses in protest against July ugly killings, raised the Somali flag and denounced the separatist authority. SNM militia, angered by the sight of the blue flag, opened fire on demonstrators when a young boy was shot dead. The young martyr died with his right hand still clinging with his national flag.

– Within the last few years, 13 people are killed in the area of Seemaal. Three of them were cut into pieces with an axe while they were sleeping. The killers were identified by the “Somaliland” Interior Minister on the TV news. Killers are still at large in their tribal enclave safe haven.

– Samaroon public and others are denied to claim their Somali identity and none can dare to keep the blue flag. From 18 to 22 May, 2012, more than 50 students are taken prisoners. Always, there are large numbers of political prisoners, simply for denying the separatist policy or for having the Somali national flag.

– On regular basis, news reporters are arrested and tortured. In March 2012, Mohamed Abdirahman Ismail was arrested in Borama, tortured repeatedly in jail and taken to Borama Hospital unconscious.

In conclusion

After so much suffering in a quarter of a century, our people were supposed to make their endeavor to a qualitative difference to society, by reawakening the spirit of solidarity and brotherhood on the basis of a common humanity. That would have brought the people together as one collective soul with life for all.

The spoilers like Hassan, Bixi, Kahin and their team could have a better life and out of the dirt but the question is, did they ever tried a way out?. That requires real sacrifices and courage. Do they have the courage to be strong, wise and out of the murky way? For sure, they have to realize this is not working and there is a better way for all. If not, they are digging the grave and preparing their downfall in their own hands

In today’s leadership, we don’t need narcissistic leaders, impaired thinkers and ill-advisors who run for their personal gains. We need leaders with vision, who can learn from the past mistakes and who can lead their people through the 21stcentury with courage and confidence.

Osman Elmi elmi1949@hotmail.ca