Somaliland: Behind the scenes and veils- Is it Celebrating Somaliland Peace Festival or “Somali Peace Festival”?


Somalilandsun – An African adage portrays the rat as a cunning little brat which “blows on bodies they bite” such that they wouldn’t arouse the victims’ stimuli through pain or associated physical harassment!

Having said that, we have strong reservations and qualms at the use of the word “Somali” in an advertisement slated to be held in Somaliland with the courtesy of IREX and KOW productions.

For starters, m any Somalilanders may not know that IREX’s international map which charts its sphere of commitments have that of SL as a sovereign country.

Whereupon expectations should have the patriots hail IREX as being sympathetic to their cause, course and aspirations, second thoughts dictate otherwise.

Like the proverbial African rat, IREX’s undertakings however have other causes than that of Somalilanders at heart, given the pointers.

One might wonder what is in a name, but as Somalilanders may counter, everything is in it when our cause of aspirations and its real course is put to test, or ridiculed for that matter.

Noting that when the “Somali Peace Festival” was supposedly held in this city this time last year, it may have passed without much ado in spite of given political impact of the name (and in the inappropriate name)!

This time round, though, we register our qualms candidly but strongly for that matter. A major bone of contention is largely lent credence by the un-canny coincidence by the timings of the inauguration of Abdirahman’s Aynte’s HIPS in January last year and his recent tour in Hargeisa vis-à-vis both the HIPS’s and festival’s objectives which confounds when juxtaposed adjacently to our hopeful wishes. To clarify our reservations, sample this scenario.

Aynte’s HIPS’s (heritage institute for policy studies) has its main agenda the re-unification of Somalia at all costs by influencing policy through policy-makers and major public media propaganda hence design responses for their aims!.

Whether by accident, or more justifiably, by intent, his ideas and “projects” have made ways to claw inroads that basically influenced SFG’s arguments at SL/Somalia talks.

Similarly, journals on HIPS and its activities depict their emphasis on using the “arts” vessel to channel its influences less than three months after its well hyped and high profiled attendance mega inauguration with a huge bang, the “Somali Peace Festival” was held in Hargeisa.

Again, now, barely three months after his fateful sojourn here, it’s again announced to be held this summer- (as if the east African climate has autumns and winters and springs and summer weathers!).

The “festival” aims to show that “peace and reconciliation can be achieved” in the Horn of Africa. Nowhere does the advertisement appease Somaliland given that Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are sovereigns with their own stability in the HoA. The only other HoA country is Eritrea which has no ethnic “Somali” population.

The remaining HoAs are only Somalia and Somaliland.

Somalia has NOT achieved its peaceful stability with even the present support of almost 30 thousand foreign peacekeepers from half a dozen countries, so we don’t know what festivities they have to hold by celebrating “achieved peaceful stability” that has been “possible” in their HoA country; with the issue still eluding!

Contrarily, SL has achieved it against all odds; so why the “Somali Peace Festival”?

Why not the celebration of “Somaliland Peace Festival”?

As we say, we register our reservations in the strongest terms given the fact that given our case, ALL OF EVERYTHING IS IN THE NAME.

On the other hand, given the IREX support for media support or other avenues they explore (as in collaborations technology, conflict resolution, education, gender and youth issues), whatever they completed for Somalia, their presumed bulk area of operation, is ironically chronicled under Somaliland!

What an irony with its map having differentiated us from them (SL/ Somalia)! On what IREX Europe, IREX and KMC (KOW Media Corporation) are excited to hold, again ironically going by their own words, what SL can in the remotest sense achieve is to only have “local spectators” as audience fiddles!

Moreover, they are expected to be ululates for Somali poets, artists, actors, musicians etc.

Note that NOT Somalilander artistes but “Somali” ones!

As for HIPS and its aspirations, we have played into their hands squarely; for we shall be singing their “tolerance and peace” tunes in songs for Somali not SL.

At the THT, we wonder who is indeed fooling who, for here smells a rotten rat that emits too pungent a smell.

Ours is to have the whole issue delved into, with first having at all costs the name SOMALI PEACE FESTIVAL (must) being shelved and replaced by “SOMALILAND PEACE FESTIVAL” that celebrates, hails, acknowledges and sells the SL home-grown pacification initiatives that has had palpable, tangible and articulated results; in the form of , as for the name, Somaliland.

Read the IREX advert