Somalis all over the world – from Borama to Bosaaso, Cape Town to Canberra, Las Anod to London, Galkacyo to Geneva, Minneapolis to Mogadishu, Toronto to Tuulo Buryaqab and Washington to Wanlaweyn – are celebrating the beginning of a new dawn and the re-birth of a country that was, for the best part of the last two decades, synonymous with famine, piracy in the high seas, Islamic fundamentalism, fratricidal, clan-ism, suicide bombing, rampant corruption and all the negative adjectives one might think of.
Even politicians of the secessionist enclave of “Somaliland”, including Ahmed Silanyo, believed to be a pro-Somaliweyn in some quarters, have given their thumbs up for the new president of new Somalia. Although the extremist elements within Ahmed Silanyo’s establishment, who fought tooth and nail to see Somalia disappear from the face of earth, are now kicking their heels in utter disappointment.
In a video posted on YouTube, the unionist community of Awdal has expressed their overwhelming desire and happiness at the arrival of new Somalia, some even calling for the secessionist enclave to abandon their unrealistic dreams and join their brothers in Somalia’s new political dispensation. As has always been the case, this has resulted in the incarceration of reporter Hashim Sheikh Omar Goth, who took the camera to the streets of Borama to show the world that Awdal had never taken the secession project seriously. The people of occupied Las Anod, too, have celebrated and danced in the streets in jubilation despite the presence of “Somaliland’s’ invading army in their midst.
Over the years, the secessionist enclave has cynically exploited the political vacuum and miserable conditions that plagued Central and Southern Somalia, particularly the Somali capital, to their dishonest advantage but failed so spectacularly that the international community had reiterated more than once that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia is sacred. On 19 September, the United Nations Security Council re-affirmed in no uncertain terms that the territorial integrity and unity of Somalia in resolution SC/10768. And this is what the resolution, inter alia, says: “The United Nations Security Council reaffirms its respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia and reiterates its commitment to a comprehensive and lasting settlement of the situation in Somalia”.
This binding statement from the highest body of the UN is the biggest hammer blow to hit the secessionists since 1991, and their already flagging secession project is now dead in the water. It is time, perhaps, to give a decent burial. The unionist communities in Awdal, Las Anod, Badhan and elsewhere have pledged their full support for the new president and, therefore, would expect him to reciprocate their goodwill by treading carefully when negotiating with the secessionist enclave called “Somaliland” on Somali unity. Mr. President, as you are well aware, “Somaliland” is one clan entity that has no backing whatsoever from the four unionist communities in Northern Somalia, although they [secessionists] will tell you otherwise. In your inauguration speech, you mentioned that you will continue dialogue with the secessionist entity until a lasting solution to the Somali unity is found. This is fine as far as our unity is not compromised. You also mentioned that such a dialogue will not be achieved by forceful means but through peaceful process that allows the rights of everyone while achieving the goal of United Somalia.
Again, this is a good beginning but your statement may have inadvertently emboldened the separatists as it was construed by certain die-hard groups within their camp that this is an endorsement and that they are the sole and legitimate representatives of former British Somaliland communities when we all know that this far from the truth.
Although we are pretty confident that no Somali president will give in to the excessive and illegitimate demands of the secessionist camp in Hargeisa, we have some reservations about your latest speech and demand further clarifications on what you meant that “nobody will be forced into the Somali unity”, particularly when you are fully aware that the highest authority of the UN has thrown their full weight and support behind your presidency and enshrined the unity of Somalia in UN’s statutory books. The unionist communities cannot understand why the secessionists of “Somaliland” should be given a preferential treatment that they hardly deserve. After all, a provisional federal constitution, which has all the necessary provisions to accommodate all the disgruntled Somali regional administrations, including the secessionists, was enacted and currently in place.
The unionist communities, who kept the secessionists at pay and consequently borne the brunt of their evil deeds, including constant intimidation, illegal incarceration and even death during all those years that the mother country was in the middle of civil strife, deserve more. Without their drive, determination and forceful opposition the one clan secessionist enclave of Hargeisa may have achieved its objectives, God forbid, by dismembering Somalia into clan-based entities. The new president of Somalia, overwhelmingly selected by Somali parliamentarians and supported by Somalis of all persuasions, should tread very carefully when dealing with the secessionist one-clan entity called “Somaliland”; they represent nobody but themselves. These communities have their representatives in Awdalstate, Khaatumo State of Somalia and the Makharians.
Mohamed F Yabarag