Somaliland:Somaliland can achieve recognition through multi-clan equality


By: Mohammed Ahmed Ali

Somaliland achieved independence from Somalia through the struggle against the rein of the late dictator, Siyad Barre that has ruled the county for more than 20 years after SNM forces from Somaliland deposed his socialist government.

Although some of the people that are in the current Somaliland geographical state have not contributed much to the struggle towards the independence of Somaliland, the succession conference in May 18, 1991, adopted that all people in Somaliland are equal.

This was a landslide victory for the people of the former British protectorate of Somaliland, gaining independence after the plunder into the 1st July 1960 doomed union with Somalia.

Having exercised and enjoyed two presidential and one parliamentary elections, the country has since then been split into regions and into clan enclaves by its own successive governments.

The people from Somaliland are suffering now because of the following two phenomenons’ that are on the rise in the country.

A) Tribalism (The behavior and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe) and

B) Nepotism- (favoritism granted to relatives regardless of merit). Look into all Somaliland political parties and then search for their supporters. The result: The majority come from the inner circle of the kin of the party leader.

The same goes for the appointment of ministerial positions as well as awarding major contracts to private entities. The late controversial cable contract in SLD is a good example. The ex-minister of Posts and Telecommunications that has presided over this venture has been removed shortly after the contract was awarded to a certain company, but then suddenly formed his own cab company in the capital possibly financed through the monies received as result of a kick-back that he has received from the cable contract.

Growing clan divisions can easily be seen in Facebook, i.e. – young people using names of their tribes /clans in their profile names instead of the names of their regions of origin. Other indications are the continuous clan based conferences in all Somaliland regions, the latest being Daalo conference by my clan to be held soon close to my place of birth – Medeshi of Erigavo district .

As I see, Erigavo conference is doomed to fail. The main reason is that the agenda is for a clan that is dispersed throughout Somaliland and as far Gashamo of Ethiopia Somali region. For these people to come together and unite as one is almost impossible because of the geographical distance as well the basic mutual interests ( Oodi ab ka dhow ) as it is said in the Somali proverb.

I would , therefore , suggest that other stake holders in Sanaag region, including Naalaye Ahmed , Warsangeli, Musa Abokor and others be included in the conference to produce effective conclusions that could merit the development, sustainable security and the prosperity of the region. I also urge the young, the elites and the intellectual community of Somaliland to abstain from promoting clan issues in the web and in public and avoid clan politicization.

Somaliland can only achieve recognition by showing equality among its people, equal distribution of wealth among its regions and exercising of respect of both freedom of press and human rights within its own territory.

Back ground:

Since 1991, no central government has controlled Somalia, despite several attempts to establish a unified central government. The self-governing region of Puntland covers the northeast of the country. It declares itself to be autonomous, but not independent from Somalia. The Islamist Al-Shabaab controls a large part of the south of the country. Without a central government, Somalia’s inhabitants subsequently reverted to local forms of conflict resolution, either civil, Islamic, or customary law. The internationally recognized Transitional Federal Government controls only parts of the capital and some territory in the centre of the nation, but has re-established national institutions such as the Military of Somalia, and is working towards eventual national elections in August , 2012, when the interim government’s mandate expires.

After the collapse of the central government in Somalia in 1991, Somaliland (Former British Protectorate), led by the Somali National Movement (SNM), declared independence from the rest of Somalia on May 18, 1991. Since then, Somaliland has held two presidential elections with smooth transition of power and one parliamentary election.

Mohammed Ahmed Ali is who is from Erigavo, is currently the director of a charity company in Surrey, England and the editor and owner of