By Mohamed A Mire
On August 25th, 2023, a profoundly significant event unfolded, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of our nation. This momentous occurrence marked the triumphant defeat of occupying forces in Lasanod, the capital city of SSC Khatumo State. This hard-fought victory laid the cornerstone for the establishment of the Federal State of SSC Khatumo, a milestone accepted by the Federal Government of Somalia as declared by the minister of interior on October 19, 2023. This remarkable achievement not only safeguarded Somalia’s territorial integrity but also exemplified an unwavering commitment to national unity.
The scars left by the prolonged occupation of Lasanod by Somaliland run deep, with over eight months of relentless shelling resulting in heinous crimes against humanity. During this dark period, the occupying forces wreaked havoc, systematically targeting the very core of Lasanod’s residents. Hospitals, schools, and mosques bore the brunt of their brutality, reducing the capital city to ruins. The human cost was immeasurable, with countless lives lost and nearly 200,000 people internally displaced, their homes reduced to rubble.
Nonetheless, the successful liberation of Lasanod and the establishment of the Federal State of SSC Khatumo illuminate a beacon of hope, not only for those directly affected but for all Somalis. This victory of the SSC Khatumo masses signifies the resilience of our nation in the face of adversity and our commitment to rebuilding, healing, and reinforcing our unity as we move forward.
Significantly, when Somaliland forces faced defeat, a substantial portion of their troops either found themselves in captivity as prisoners or were pursued to the outskirts of their territories. At this pivotal juncture, the triumphant SSC forces received explicit directives, stemming from the collective wisdom of SSC traditional leaders and the President of SSC Khatumo State. These directives urged the SSC forces to cease their advance and refrain from crossing into enemy territory. Similarly, a heartfelt call was extended to Somaliland leaders, urging them to cease hostilities and embrace the prospect of peaceful coexistence among the communities embroiled in conflict.
Regrettably, the Somaliland leadership has chosen a path driven by vengeance, actively fomenting inter-clan conflicts. Their actions include arming and rallying clans residing in areas adjacent to SSC regions. This resurgence of hostility serves two primary objectives: firstly, President Bihi of Somaliland appears motivated by a desire for retaliation, seeking to vindicate the humiliating defeat suffered by his overconfident military forces at the hands of SSC. Secondly, it seems President Bihi’s ultimate goal is to extend his tenure in office, sidestepping the obligation of holding democratic elections in Somaliland.
What is more disheartening is the widely held belief that Somaliland’s leader, Mr. Bihi, and his cohorts may be using aid money from international donors such as the EU to procure arms for potential attacks on SSC regions. There are even reports that the leader is seeking an outstanding sum of 8 million USD from Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of the Federal Government of Somalia, with whom he recently had a telephone conversation. This money, not disbursed by the Federal Government in Mogadishu, is now requested to fund armaments for igniting new conflicts.
In light of the above, it is of paramount importance for the international community to diligently oversee the allocation of aid funds, ensuring they are channelled towards genuine development rather than being diverted for inciting conflicts between the SSC clans and other clans from neighbouring regions. Our optimism hinges on the support of aid donors to prevent the Somaliland regime from waging wars by misusing aid funds dedicated to the development of the Somali people’s livelihood.
Notably, while the capital city of SSC Khatumo State has borne immense destruction, and many lives were lost at the hands of the Somaliland regime, these scars will undoubtedly persist in our collective memory. Nevertheless, our aim is now to build a more promising and prosperous future for our people, and we are determined to work towards peaceful coexistence with all regions, including those who were misled into fighting against us.
Again, while the leadership of Somaliland may persist in pursuing a path of continued conflict, our commitment is to remain resolute in our dedication to peace and progress, standing as a bastion against the secessionist intentions aimed at dividing our country. We fervently hope that the leaders of Somaliland and its supporters will come to their senses, acknowledge the ground realities, and accept the dissolution of what was once known as Somaliland. The SSC people have already charted their own path, and Awdal state is on the verge of doing the same. Consequently, it is high time for the leaders of the remaining regions of what used to be Somaliland to recognize the inevitability of forming a federal state and reintegrating into the broader Somali nation.
We hold out hope for the emergence of enlightened statesmen from the remnants of “Somaliland” who can grasp the broader perspective, one that places the well-being of all Somalis at the forefront. Presently, it is imperative for all Somalis to acknowledge that Somalia is facing growing challenges, and this pivotal moment demands unity and collective action to protect our nation from those who aim to exploit its resources and weaken its foundations, thus leaving it vulnerable to further exploitation.
Mohamed A Mire
Email: [email protected]
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