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Another Open Letter to Sifir
By Osman Hassan

Feb 01, 2012

Mohamud Sifir
Mohamud Abdillahi Jama (Sifir)
Dear Sifir

I came across an open letter you sent to Siilaanyo which was posted in Hadhwanaagnews website (30 January, 2012). After a stint as a minister in the TFG, and subsequently a spell in the wilderness, you have once again mutated yourself into your old Isaaqist/SNM mode.  But at least, there is one part  in your letter which merits credit, namely when you state that the:

"Taleex Conference highlighted a challenge Somaliland faced through most of the last twenty years: the perception and reality of Somaliland as an Isaaq/SNM Project, and the reservation and opposition of non-Isaaq communities particularly the two subclans in Eastern part of Somaliland and some of the Diaspora from Boramo district/ Awdal region"

Since you have admitted that Somaliland is nothing more than an Isaaq/SNM entity, I will henceforth dispense in this letter with the name "Somaliland", call a spade a spade, and give the enclave its true appellation, namely "Issaqland". This refreshing frank admission on your part, together with your acknowledgement that the Khaatumo people have never subscribed to the secession is one of the rare true voices to emanate from the enclave.

Having conceded this earth-shaking facts, one would have expected you to follow them through to their logical conclusion and counsel your former mentor, Siilaanyo, to give up any claim to the SSC regions and withdraw his militia from Lascanod. As usual, you have taken one promising step forward only to retreat immediately to your conformist secessionist mode, balking at irking Siilaanyo, the rest of the enclave's political establishment and the masses who are all wedded to their delusions: that they have a God-given right to impose their treacherous secession on other non- Isaaq unionist clans; or that the mere "incorporation" of certain individual SSC  quislings in their administration serves as sufficient proof for the benefit of the international community that the SSC clan they hail from endorses the secession.

What kind of logic will argue, as the enclave does, that Xaabsade, the shameless turn-coat par excellence, and the few other SSC quislings in the clan's pay, reflect the true voice of the SSC people and not the Taleex conference representing the entirety of the SSC people of the Khaatumo State?. It is taboo to question these delusions underpinning the perceived legitimacy for the secession. Clearly, logic, justice, fair play, live and let live are all concepts and values that are alien to the secessionists mindset.

Through endless propaganda over the last 21 years, these  delusions have become so ingrained in the psyche of the clan that any oral challenge is considered a blasphemy and any opposition to the secession is portrayed as a terrorist attack on the existence of the enclave and as threat to  peace and stability in the region!.

What is incomprehensible is that someone of your background will not lay the blame for the current conflict in these regions where it belongs, namely your enclave, but instead chose to toe Siilaanyo's line and conveniently apportioned it to the SSC people of Khaatumo State. If the SSC people, as clan and regions that are part and parcel of Somalia, and recognised as such by the international community and the rest of Somalis, but who were despite all this invaded and occupied by your clan, chose to oppose your secession and occupation, and decided to establish their own regional State, in line with their fundamental human rights, how could such lawful acts be construed as an aggression on the true aggressor or as acts that endanger peace and stability?

It merits repetition to restate that your clan is responsible for the prevailing tensions and armed clashes in the SSC regions of the Khaatumo State. It is the one which in the first place invaded, occupied, and continues to occupy, parts of Khaatumo State, and which refuses to accept the inalienable right of the SSC people to free themselves from your occupation and to establish their own State. It is not Khaatumo State but your clan which has embarked on a military course to nib the nascent State in the bud. Your successive assaults on Buuhoodle and Sool Joogto over the last month and your indiscriminate massacre of peaceful demonstrators in Lascnod attest to this colonial- like gunboat mentality.

Contrary to your finger pointing, the SSC people of Khaatumo State, as victims of your invasion and occupation, are doing no more than resisting your aggression. They had never crossed into Isaaqland and committed hostile actions against your people or authority. On the contrary, they had to put up with your occupation for over four years and exhausted all avenues to solicit your peaceful withdrawal from these regions, all to no avail. They did more than that: the declaration of the Taleex conference called for peaceful coexistence among the peoples of your enclave and a free Khaatumo State.

Somaliland's contempt for these peace overtures from Taleex was to mobilise the whole Isaaq clan on a war footing, ratchet its repression in Lascanod and launch attacks on the town of Buuhoodle. The withdrawal of your militia from Khaatumo State is a prerequisite if peace is to prevail. But as long as the occupation continues, the SSC people of the Khaatumo State will resist this aggression in all ways compatible with national and international law.

It is sad that you make this intervention from your New York vintage point, aiming to assist Siilaanyo on how best to adopt a more effective and strategic approach to achieving his objectives to bring the Khaatumo State under his control. You would have served him and the clan better if you were to dispassionately spell-out the inevitable perils inherent in the blind myopic quest for recognition, and the occupation of other clans' regions that is doomed to fail.

As people who themselves had risen against what you considered as tyranny under Siyad Barre's rule, and who in the end triumphed over your adversary, you and your clan should know that the people of Khaatumo, with their just cause and their Darwiish history, will also triumph over your latter-day colonial occupation. The successive crushing inflicted on your militia at Kalshaale, Mayglaale and now Sool Joogto should be a harbinger of your eventual defeat, sooner or later. When that happens, you would have gained nothing from your misguided adventure other than material and human losses and an enduring enmity you have created among clans that in the past enjoyed peace with each other, shared water and grazing, and maintained intertwined relations.

No less important, you would have lost the support and goodwill of the international community as the true colours of your sham democracy and phoney peace have been shown for they are. For too long, you have fooled the international community about this false picture of a secession supported by all the clans of former British Somaliland and of peace reigning everywhere in contrast to southern Somalia as you had always pointed out to the world as nauseam. Now the truth is out and the world knows better about the crimes you are committing in keeping under duress the unionist clans resisting your occupation.

The bankruptcy of the secession since it was declared is that you will  have lost on all fronts, including your relations with the rest of Somalis in the Horn. What the enclave needs is not the delusion of controlling the Khaatumo and Awdal people but visionary leaders and responsible elites who would drastically bring about a change of course before you go over the abyss. What was required of you was to warn Siilaanyo of these looming disasters rather than serving him these banal options.

For someone like you, who worked for the UN, and has been a senior minister in the TFG, much was expected of you, not least to talk sense to your people as Ismail Bubaa did the other day. In my score book, I will give him full marks- and you I give the usual Sifir (Zero)!

Warm greetings buddy

O. Badawi


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