Somaliland: Between Hope and Despair, Recognition Is Now or Never!


By: Abdirahman Mohamed Dirye

Somalilandsun – Better late than never, it is the kind of national failure that Somalilanders fear most.

Absence of recognition which many believe prevents Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from coming remains elusive. The government constantly changes foreign ministers alone while retaining outdated directionless foreign policies. The Minister Adna Adan unlike anyone else I know took the country’s diplomatic image into high level but unfortunately resigned for interference by her colleague of another ministry. Ankra Talks between Somaliland and Somalia not just become inconclusive but backfired once Somaliland official delegates signed the Shared Airspace Coordination Office under the name of Somalia, not Somaliland, to be established in Hargaysa. the UN aviation agency declared that the Mogadishu’s center will be solely dealt with in relation of revenues and airlines’ fees because according to the Ankara Accord for sharing airspace, Somaliland and Somaliland are one and the same: Hargaysa branch office; Mogadishu headquarters, business as usual.

Somaliland could not be sold for variety of reasons; most of the so called leaders, past and present, are not just selfish but clannish-centered nepotism, the incumbent administration is uglier; they mass-feed an extended families of 3000 people minimum and hamper collective efforts towards the rebuilding of the destroyed country rather than unifying it! It’s a sad story. If Somaliland fails, it fails not enormous challenges Somaliland has met but narrow-mindedness of her leaders who usually pick up the ignorant and the less patriotic Islamists whose platform is the presidential house.

Relatively Somaliland has been better than its main land Somalia for the last decades, but that is not longer true. The purportedly proponents of Somaliland are failing it to cling the power indefinitely. Systematic demoralization and abuse of multiparty policy had widely begun. For instance, Jamal of UCID’s presidential candidate was barred from entry into Egal’s Airport and Gabilay town twice in span of week or so. This horrific act met nation-wide condemnation

Bipartisan inconclusive head-to-head collision has hampered any meaningful progress; the empty promises in the election have also disappointed electorates. Predecessor administration has appeased growing frustrations over the nominal upgrading of districts into provinces likewise the current leadership known as the “stone placement” government referring to the usual inauguration of unrealistic projects by the Silanyo-led Administration. Whereas Hargaysa dwellers are suffering water shortages and drug counterfeits, the president and his coteries travelled to Buroa town have to inaugurate hanging bridges and hundreds kilometers long Burcoa-Erigavo Road serving to foreign tourists visiting Daalo Mount, ex-resort. Construction of Madrasas for learning old Arabic poetries from earlier Coptic Egypt to Yemen destitute singers are sprawling! In fact, Somaliland’s, gradually turning totalitarian democracy, leaderless ministers are putting the cart before the horse.

Mogadishu improving in terms of security and expecting dwindling terrorists to relocate to original habitats alerted Hargaysa residents once seen the Bosaaso suicide bombing of Jihadists’ work of desperate measure which the president Faroole “cursed to be damned in Hell”. Like Sheikh Hassan government of New Blood or Damul Jaded, Hamas’style administration blended with few women to make it look better externally, Silanyo formed Islamists dominant cabinet to delay suicide bombing until his term over. What an effective policy of combating radicalism! Leaders appease militants with ministerial positions to hibernate. Puntland’s next elections will be battleground and manifestation of Islamists backed by Somaliland and Somalia’s administrations and honest guys but lonely.

The latest crackdown on media personnel has reached unpredictable level of arbitrary imprisonment for allegations of laughing at minister’s grandchildren much like Siyad Barre’s brutal regime who used to imprison Somaliland nationals of laughing at stumbled captain in old days. To prolong lifetime, HCTV, once used to be and independent voice for the voiceless masses, begun replicating the government controlled Channel TV’s programs despite huge injection of capital from Jamal Ali Hussien, UCID’s presidential candidate as business partner. The TV turned to fear mood for the ongoing intimidation against the mass media.

Dr Omar Abdilahi, minister of International Trade in interview with radio based in Mogadishu called the Somali government to release detained journalists while his government massively arresting reporters and bloggers and independent press men and women to subjugate them to bill before the parliament curbing the freedom of press the country has enjoyed for so long, but many observers rightly described him pot calling kettle black. Everyone recognizes that media and freedom of speech is the breath of life for this country which wants to be independent.

Now three ministers are flirting with General Energy CEO in London to persuade him or her to return to Somaliland territory and restart its suspended “murky” operations. Will they ever accept them? I doubt it.

The combination of all above factors discredited Somaliland’s image globally, but the selfish guys in the steering won’t pay any attention to as long as their vested interests are okay. The grimmer the domestic picture looks like, the more distant the recognition is. Like it or not, this where we are now. But none of us know how we descended to this level. The work of all of us or someone else pushed us out of track. But the scapegoat game we good at for irrelevant factor is always there. Anyway, if there is will, there is way.