“Somaliland”; an ugly face of a clannish enclave
by Mohamoud Yusuf
Aug 09, 2009

It was two decades ago when the last and infamous iron curtail between eastern and western blocks, the Parlin wall vanished. Since then, the political scene of the world has been steadily changing. Once heavily observed boundaries between great and abhorrent nations became tourist attractions and the world shrinks into one global village in 21st, century, the age of post modernity.

The Somali people who have a distinguished history and characteristics compared to the rest of African societies, as they share common language, culture, creed, tradition, inhabit certain geographical area and not to mention enjoy, having unique physical features which yet confirm that they have a common ancestor. Despite that unique homogeneity, Somalis are the most divided society in this modern world, not in political ideologies but merely along clan affinities. The agonizing and long demising course of once the Somali state is now on its most critical juncture. Once most respected and powerful nation of horn of Africa region, if not entire Africa, is currently belittled to what is known to the world as failed state, state of terror, black hole of the world, lawlessness and seemingly potential base of Al-Qaida and other religious fundamentalist groups.

Since the last functional government in Somalia collapsed in 1991, Somali people went through and still enduring the most horrendous human misery in the history of modern world, resulted by seemingly endless conflict. The country has fragmented into tiny enclaves based on clannish pseudo-boundaries.

One of these enclaves “Somaliland” which differs from the other entities on its secessionist and suicidal policy, has since then been a ticking bomb. Human rights watch stated in its recently report that the people of northern Somalia “Somaliland” are “hostages to peace”. The peace and democracy, the secessionists have been advocating for two decades is now turned to be the opposite. Human rights violation and widespread corruption are rampant.  

Shocking, as it was, the incident that happened in Awdal region, last week, where four prominent business and educated civilians from Borama were abducted and barbarically executed by armed militia loyal to secessionists is a lithmus test of where “Somaliland” stands today. We are now, unfortunately witnessing the most brutal and ugly face of Somaliland’s clan chauvinism policy and its total failure of creating peaceful co-existence among the societies under their authority.

Ironically, yet, taking advantage of statelessness in Somalia and the more chaotic south in the last two decades, the secessionists have always been claiming that they achieved a sort of peace and democracy. Fortunately or unfortunately, the south and the other parts of the country moved beyond Somaliland’s present status quo, where open conflict between clans occurs in daily bases, when the conflict in south is mainly based on religion and other political differences.

Inhabitants of Awdal, one of the most peaceful and fixed (non pastoral) non Isaq northerners, and the other non isaq clans of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn provinces  who are vehemently against secessionist policy fell in to an easy prey  to the injustice calamity of the self proclaimed republic.  

Somali people are indivisible in any aspect but if secessionists still dream on and insist on their separatist policy, they should bear in mind that they are swimming in a wrong ocean. Recognition will not come through oppression of a clan on another clan.

In conclusion, Somaliland’s demagogic “politicians” have so far failed to come up with a policy of viable governance, let alone to speak of constructive and inclusive policy to pursue an international recognition.

Now, as reality catches up, it’s time for the secessionist cheer leaders, isolating themselves even further, either to demarcate their pseudo boundary and let free the people of Awdal, Sool, Sanaag and Cayn to determine their future as these people are unionist supporters to the core. Or abandon their unwittingly suicidal policy of seceding from Somalia. The latter seems to be the only option left for the people of northern Somalia to get out of the self imposed embargo.

Mohamoud Yusuf  

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