Since declaring their unilateral break-up from Somalia, the one clan separatist enclave calling itself Somaliland (north west Somalia) had been confronted with the sobering reality that recognition of any secession by the international community is remote at all times but more so if it is pursued by a single clan that does not have the support of the four unionist clans in the territory (former British Somaliland) as in their case. And since it is unthinkable that the unionist clans will ever consent to secession (a contradiction in terms), the door to recognition through that route is permanently foreclosed.
Faced with this stark reckoning, and for want of legitimate options, the secessionists could only resort to carrot and stick approach if they were ever to address the exigencies of their secession. Thus, on the carrot track, they had to lure potential collaborators from the clans they occupied with initially royal treatment and lavish financial rewards in order to encourage others to follow their footsteps. The hope was that mastering a critical mass of collaborators would enable them to window-dress their administration as an all-inclusive one encompassing all the clans of the territory, with an eye on the international community and the expectation that this sham show will earn their satisfaction - a wishful thinking only they entertained. And on the stick track, they took leaf from the book of their former colonial master and simply occupied the recalcitrant unionist clans, in the misguided belief that control over these regions achieved through occupation and coercion would be accepted as meeting the necessary conditions normally required for recognition.
Of all the unionist regions, it is in the SSC regions (now the Khaatumo State) where the dual track of using the carrot and the stick had been more rigorously applied and where the destiny of the secession will ultimately be determined. If the Khaatumo State, the bridge with the rest of Somalia, slips from their hands, Somaliland's edifice will fall apart like a house of cards. Presently, Somaliland occupies the capital, Lascanod but otherwise the rest of the SSC regions are under the control of Khaatumo State of Somalia. It is only a matter of time before Lacanod too is liberated and the occupiers sent back to whence they came from, if they have not left by then on their own accord.
It is a mark of Somaliland's desperation that the only success they can point out to, if one can call it as such, is in winning a clutch of SSC collaborators and Quislings to their side. The question one has to ask at the end of the day is what value do these collaborators add to the enclave's recognition prospects to compensate for all the financial sacrifices invested in them?. How often have we seen Xaabsade, the turn-coat par excellence and the secessionists over-used trump card, presented at international forums, but humiliatingly ignored for what he is: a pathetic worthless puppet of his masters and not a representative of the SSC people as his keepers will laughably have the world believe.
Somaliland's dual track, of carrot and stick approach, is a failure every where in the unionist regions and more so in the SSC/Khaatumo State of Somalia. On the ground, the capital of Khaatumo is in their hands, but the days of their hold on the city are numbered. And at international level, the United Nations and its member States have on so many occasions upheld the unity and territorial integrity of Somalia, as they are obliged under the United Nations' Charter - a stand they took at the Istanbul conference on Somalia that clearly rejects the secession and by implication recognises the right of the SSC people to self determination and to be part of Somalia.
Far from rewarding occupiers with recognition, the international community is more likely to sanction successive Somaliland leaders for trampling over the inalienable rights of the occupied SSC people, and, if warranted, bring all those that are culpable before the International Criminal Court ( ICC) in The Hague for possible war crimes and crimes against humanity. The pictures now appearing in the media showing the dead bodies of SSC prisoners captured in the recent clashes in Sool Joogto, who were clearly cold-bloodedly murdered while in captivity, is only the latest incontestable case of war crimes committed by Somaliland. This will only add more weight to demand for the indictment of those who had a role in these unspeakable heinous crimes. The indictment of some African leaders in Liberia, Sudan, Kenya, Congo Democratic Republic, among others, at the ICC have ended the era of impunity in Africa. Somaliland should be no exception.
Facing looming defeat in the SSC regions at home, and with support for Somalia's unity and territorial integrity now the dominant resurgent voice of the international community at international forums, this would have been the time when common sense and realism should have prevailed and trumped illusions and wishful thinking. Unfortunately, the secessionists remain prisoners of their own make-belief and blinded to the reality. Instead, they have now resorted to using their last card of destabilising Khaatumo State of Somalia through the use of local mercenaries it armed, while courting all Khaatumo drifters with increasing bounties. The hope is that where occupation has failed to win them results, destabilisation will do the trick by gnawing at the fabric of Khaatumo and ultimately bring it down. This is like a drowning man clutching at a straw and the outcome is predictable
As bad news take their toll on the enclave, at home, abroad and at international conferences on Somalia, they get uplifted each time they get another SSC dropout in their net and trumpeted as a harbinger of the end of the SSC/Khaatumo's opposition to the secession. We are now going through one of those times, following the purported defection of Mr Suleiman Isse Ahmed (Xagla Toosiye) to Somaliland. One has to ask what this man, for sometime a spent force and adrift, can bring Somaliland that others before him could not do? What has been the returns on Somaliland's other bigger catchs such as Qaybe, Xaabsade, Aden Fuad Cadde and the other miserable lot now marooned in Hargeisa - all bleeding their hosts' meagre resources?.
Xagle Toosiye's defection will not have any dent on Khaatumo. His sell-out to the secessionists can only evoke pity and sorrow for a once promising young man who now sadly brings his final downfall on himself - a man who was once admired for his business acumen and success and above all his generosity to his community. The question of course will still be asked why he did it? Was it for financial gain now that his business has busted?: possible but unlikely. He may be politically misguided but he is not venal and in his own a way a proud man. Was it then a collective revenge on his Khaatumo people for denying him, as he sees it, the crown he deserved at Taleex and blaming them for his demise? Very possible. Or is it that he still sees himself as the reigning SSC Hogaan (leader) who is merely meeting his counterpart, Siilaanyo?: Possible but disingenuous and ridiculous. It could be any of these possibilities but that is a moot point now. Whatever the true reason, he may not be the last person to take that beaten track to Hargeisa. As long as the secessionist enclave exists and eager to reward collaborators, Somaliland will continue to be a dumping ground for Khaatumo's drop outs, drifters and dead woods. The bottom line is that these drifters are no gain for Somaliland and no loss for Khaatumo. When will they learn that?
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