Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Wardheer News
  • Opinion
  • Slideshow

Attention to President Muse Bihi of Somaliland

By Dr Aweys O Mohamoud

This is the written form of first of a series of podcast by Aways.

A Somali saying has it, “A good advice benefits you (meaning, it leads you to a good life) but it doesn’t benefit from you –Talo adaa ku nool ee ayadu kuguma noola”. Can President Muse Bihi of Somaliland rectify two fundamental errors of misjudgment made at the SNM and supporters’ conference held in Burao in the months of April and May 1991 in which Somaliland independence and the end of unity with Somalia was declared? In my view, nothing short of a fundamental reappraisal of that fateful decision will allow President Bihi to restore peace and to maintain the integrity of his State.

President Muse Bihi of Somaliland

But before I spell out what these errors were, let me first declare an interest here that may not be popular at this moment because of the ongoing Somaliland government’s military assault on Lasanod and the resultant death, destruction and displacement of its civilian population. I’ve always thought the idea of ‘unity in diversity’ would be a great idea for Somalia because, in the end, we’re all members of one human family and one Somali nation. I therefore support Somaliland’s integrity to remain intact (that’s Somaliland being whole, unimpaired & undivided) if & when it freely chooses to return to the fold of Somalia (now the Federal Republic of Somalia). Of course, after what happened in Lasanod, Somaliland’s got to do a lot to achieve this desirable end result.

Let’s remind ourselves that the SNM at its inception had a unionist/nationalist constitution. The independence declaration arrived at the Burao conference came about under the leadership of Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur, the then leader of the SNM, who became the first President of Somaliland.

For those of us who can remember, we know that President Abdirahman Ahmed Ali Tuur took a heroic decision to renounce the separatist platform in 1994 and instead began to publicly seek and advocate reconciliation with the rest of Somalia under a power-sharing federal system of governance.

I’m going off on a tangent here but as an ordinary citizen, may I suggest that one of the institutions in the inner sanctum of Somali political power in Mogadishu is renamed after him in honour of his decision to renounce separatism & call for unity. This will be in keeping with precedent. The MoPIED_Somalia’s HQ’s in Mogadishu has been named after former Foreign Minister Hussein Elabe Fahiye who was killed in a suicide car bombing near the presidential palace @TheVillaSomalia on 22 May 2019.

Both former Somaliland President Abdirahman Tuur & former Foreign Minister Elabe were northerners of the post-colonial union generation. The northerners were great teachers and school principals, educators, civil servants, military officers, & outstanding leaders of Somalia. We need them back to right where they belong – in the heart of a united Somali political, social, economic, & cultural order.

Mr President Muse Bihi, the rash decision of secession in Burao in May 1991 (everlasting & not subject to review) motivated by explosive anger at the massive atrocities wrought by the fallen dictator & a war-mongering Hawiye leadership in Mogadishu who arrogated to itself all national power with no reference to SNM leaders and their historic struggle is no longer sustainable!

That decision had far-reaching detrimental consequences on the language and political attitudes of your people towards the rest of the people of Somalia. The anger, hatred, enmity, antipathy and clan prejudice we see among the northern peoples today have their political roots in that rash Burao decision. They’re not flowing from religious, racial & economic roots, which became enflamed by economic distress to the Daarood & anger at Isaaq success. No, the roots of the hate and discontent are political – a rejection of separatism. Your army’s massive overreaction & assault on Lasanod, shooting marchers dead & shelling by artillery with hundreds killed are war crimes against agreed international rules of war. The perpetrators of these vicious crimes must not be allowed to escape responsibility.

The doyen of separatism, Madam Edna Aden Ismail, recently appeared on video expressing her deep love for the people of Lasanod. The question must be asked: what role did Edna play in creating the hostility (as expressed in sentiments, attitudes, or actions) towards the people of the rest of Somalia as a collectivity that became rooted in the general Somaliland population following the Burao secession declaration? Core human values such as love, peace, justice & kindness all boil down to one basic principle: they’re INDIVISIBLE.

You cannot love the Dhulbahante if you do not love the people further down the territory based on a 19th century European colonial demarcation line, whose sole aim and modus operandi was establishing control over the indigenous people of the area for resource exploitation.

I started off proposing that there were two fundamental errors of misjudgement that possibly represent historical trigger points for what’s happening in Lasanod today, and they are

1) The rash decision of Somaliland independence and end of unity with Somalia in Burao in May 1991,

2) The hostility (as expressed in sentiments, attitudes, or actions) towards the people of the rest of Somalia as a collectivity that became rooted in the general Somaliland population following that rash Burao declaration.

The one and only path to resolving this conundrum & the deep-rooted animosity it has created is to accept the moral imperative of political reconciliation. Wherever there’s an extended period of repression or conflict, political reconciliation is indispensable to the repair and restoration of political relationships & peacemaking.

Mr President Muse Biihi, your army’s assault on the people of Lasanod is inflicting enormous suffering, causing intense upheaval, and will be leaving in it’s aftermath an overwhelming catalog of issues for the people in the north (your people) to address & to hopefully amicably resolve.    

That’s why, as a concerned Somali national living here in London, I’m calling on you, Mr President Muse Biihi, to exercise your presidential prerogative & reconsider that rash decision of scession taken in Burao – Togdheer, some 32 years ago.

Dr Aweys Omar Mohamoud
Email: [email protected]

We welcome the submission of all articles for possible publication on WardheerNews will only consider articles sent exclusively. Please email your article today . Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of WardheerNews.

WardheerNew’s tolerance platform is engaging with diversity of opinion, political ideology and self-expression. Tolerance is a necessary ingredient for creativity and civility.Tolerance fuels tenacity and audacity.

WardheerNews waxay tixgelin gaara siinaysaa maqaaladaha sida gaarka ah loogu soo diro ee aan lagu daabicin goobo kale. Maqaalkani wuxuu ka turjumayaa aragtida Qoraaga loomana fasiran karo tan WardheerNews.

Copyright © 2023 WardheerNews, All rights reserved

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.