Somaliland: a democracy under the one-man rule


Somalilandsun:No one can deny that Somaliland is a democracy. A democracy that is
operational in highly sensitive and war thorn region generally
characterized as unstable.

Despite being unrecognized, Somalilanders installed in hardship a
democratic form of government.

Now that is at risk, not because a coup happened, but democracy has been

The president of Somaliland, a former military commander under Siad Barre
regime and a rebel fighter, came into power in 2017 disputed presidential

His party controls both houses of the Parliament, the judiciary and the

Apart from the state apparatus, the main civil society organizations,
networks and umbrellas are under his command as well. In a political
arrangement built on a clan system, the civil society organizations are led
by individuals who belong to the clan of the president and are politically
his supporters.

When the judiciary and the civil society organizations whom their main
responsibilities are to protect the citizens are aligned with the
government in a clan-based scheme, obviously democracy and peace are in

Belonging to a clan does not mean automatic loyalty. My argument is not to
claim that every person who belongs to the clan of the president is his
devotee. That is not the case, and any argument solely based on that is
very wrong. What I mean is that these people are given positions in a
prearranged system intended to give the president a domination by
marginalizing other communities.

This is a sensitive matter in a clan-based society.

Below table shows the clan affiliation of leading government authorities
and civil society leaders of the country:

*Name *

*Position *

*Clan *


Muse Behi Abdi

President of Somaliland

Habar Awal


Adam Haji Ali Ahmed

Chief Justice

Habar Awal


Nouh Ismail Tani

The head of the military

Habar Awal


Anwar Warsame

The chairman of Somaliland Non-state Actors Forum (SONSAF)

Habar Awal


Nafisa Yousuf

Executive director of Nagaad Women Umbrella

Habar Awal


Mohamoud Abdi Jama

Chairman of Somaliland Journalists Association (SOLJA)

Habar Awal


Mohamed Mohamoud Hashi

Chairman of Somaliland Lawyers Association (SOLLA)

Habar Awal

These are a few examples showing a control of one clan in the judiciary,
the military and the civil society organizations.