It would have been nice (wacnaan lahaydaa) to end the year with a positive note and to wish us all a good start and a Happy New Year. At least that is the customary way to end the passing year and welcome the new one with all its unknowns. However, reality in Somalia dictates otherwise; most of the news headlines were dominated by death, destruction and hunger.
News worthy is what happens daily in the lives of the average Somali citizen and what those who rule them do in the public domain. In the North, everyone was shell shocked by the rape and torture of Zamzam Duale, a teenage Somali girl who had traveled to Hargeysa to visit her relatives and the unnecessary loss of life in the clashes at Adhi Adeeye. In Mogadishu, the multiple kidnappings of innocent religious figures, the ceaseless conflict and the ever-deteriorating conditions of the now rubble-reduced spy-ring city, was omnipresent. In Puntland, the incessant and obsessive hang up on the question of media
This year, 2005, finally came to a close with two embarrassing incidents for all Somalis: one was the comment made by the Vice President of Somaliland, Ahmed Yusuf Yassin, as a result of a conflict in Hargeysa, on December, 24, 2005, where two people were killed and seven were wounded. The second news worthy event happened as a result of what Mohamed Dheere of Jawhar said about the people in the North.
There is not much dispute that the rulers of Somalia’s multiple enclaves are united only in one thing -- their fearless ignorance in their rule.
First thing first: In a report to the council of ministers of the Somaliland administration, the Vice President, Ahmed Yusuf Yasiin, explained the conflict in Hargeysa as one that involved government forces and the family or clan of an individual who was murdered over a land dispute and blamed it all on what he called foreign legions. Somaliland.Org, a Somali-language website in Hargeysa reported the vice President’s reaction to the incident:
He said: “the conflict was instigated by foreigners who are against Somaliland.” One wonders who these foreign rioters are? We know, though, the conflict started over a land dispute between two individuals from two Sa’ad Muse sub clans (reer-Samatar of the Hussien Abokor versus reer Yonis of the Jibriil Abokor.), as reported by several websites. Under what technicality did these sub clans become foreign legions? We don’t know except to suspect that the Vice President’s outburst is based on xenophobic ideology of blaming everything bad on “foreigners.” Ironically the president of his administration Mr. Dahir Rayale Kahin was born in Gogti, a small vilage in the Somali Region of Ethiopia.
It is common knowledge that members of these sub clans inhabit both in Somalia and Ethiopia. If so, it appears as if the Vice President was alluding to the notion that these sub clans are foreigners. This is not the first time the Hargeysa administration labeled indigenous clans as foreigners. In the past, Somalia nationals who only by clan association are affiliated with the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia were labeled as foreigners and were subjected to unnecessary harassments and arbitrary imprisonments. Also, Jama Mohammed Qaalib, a former Minister and a seasoned politician, was deprived of his citizenship due to his political beliefs.
All these were done because of an extreme and hate ideology. And, hate, as an ideology, does have only a starting point but has no limit. This latest incident against people who have earlier positively contributed to the development of the region, not to mention that they belong to the dominant clan in the area, have became the newest victims of the hate ideology that has lately been the mantra of Hargeysa’s rulers.
The Vice President's farcical explanation of what had happened in Hargeysa reminds us of what Rakiya Omar had said in a recent interview with a Netherlands Radio reporter. She said that whenever the government in Somaliland wants to stifle debate on the misuse of public funds, or manipulate other political issues, it tends to label those who differ with it as anti Somaliland, or say, they will embarrass Somaliland and we won’t get recognized. Lately, blaming “foreigners” for all Somaliland’s ills plus those who want to destroy it has emerged as a leading strategy to deflect the public attention.
The Vice President’s language, as offensive as it may, shows the degree of his ignorance and his myopic behavior.
The same can be said of another similar offensive language used by none other than Mohamed Dheere, the self appointed ruler of Jawhar and host to the TFG. In his recent radio interview with Radio Golis, based in Toronto, Canada, Mohamed Dheere was asked about his stand on the question of Somalialnd’s secession. This is a political question by all means and needs to be addressed accordingly. His answer was unfortunately the following:
He said: “to begin with, Somaliland was a parasitic dependent on us, the south. If they want to secede and take with them their parasitic dependency, let them go.”
The words of the self-appointed Governor of the Middle Shabelle Region, Mohamed Dheere, sounded like he was saying that the North is poor, starving and has been subsidized by his region, the South. It was a replay of the deep-seated bias, which some Southerners had harbored for the North. Again, this is not what one should expect from an informed citizen, especially at a time when the rest of Somalis are still reeling from the marginalization and most recent massacre, which the North registers as its grievance against the South.
Nobody has shown any tangible evidence whether the North depended on the South, or whether the South subsidized the North. Of course, Somalia’s rivers and agriculture resources are all located in the South. But the North is also blessed with innovative and entrepreneur community and a better human resources as well as more cohesive communities. If and when Somalia’s intractable governance issues are settled one way or another, the North could be as dynamic as their brethren in the South.
Somalis must be aware of these reckless ignoramus leaders and the damage that they can inflict on the society.
In Jawhar, President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and his Transitional Federal Government must watch out for the danger that the host, Mohamed Dheere, may have in store, or his damaging, free-for-all comments. A case in point is his inflammatory and derogatory language against Abdalla Derow Isaaq and the entire Somali minority clans and others. The words used by this fearless fascistic ruler of Middle Shablelle are too sensitive for our readers to print them here. This must be, however, viewed as an early warning sign.
Mohamed Dheere reportedly incarcerates members of the international NGOs based in Jawhar and officers of the TFG at will. The scenario of Mahamed Dhere arresting or threatening President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed or Prime Minster Ali Mohamed Geedi to leave Jawhar is not unthinkable, and would make an ugly scene.
Somalia has become a land where the ignorant, fanatic and fascistic warlords rule, thus the masses unfortunately suffer. Therefore, both Hargeysa’s administration and the TFG have a lot to grind with. The reality of living under the authorities of these fascist characters is unsettling for all and the consequences of their actions in the coming years are as unpredictable as they are irreparable.
Although it would have been nice to be upbeat about the unfolding New Year’s promises, and celebrate it with a collective rhyming of Mohammed Sulayman’s “Each Year has it blessings ...,” (Sannad Waliba Hoodo iyo wuxuu hadimo leeyahay ...), the reality in Somalia sings otherwise. Nonetheless, we can’t loose hope. We shall still wish everyone, including our own Ignoramus rulers, a better and peaceful year, or as the Somali adage goes “Nabad iyo Caano.”
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