Somaliland: Clan Oriented Politics Polarize the Nation, Threaten Fragile Sovereignty and Democratization Success


Resulting With the status in Somaliland today in which any comment on the administration of President Silanyo is weighed by your clan affiliation
Despite voting overwhelming for current administration Somalilanders are nostalgic for the era of ex President Rayale Kahin

By: Yumoha Pasha
Somalilandsun- While the Political affiliations globally are usually seen to lean on some shared interests be it religion, policies or tribe as in Africa, in Somaliland where all citizens are members of the Somali tribe, it is through clans
Resulting With the status in Somaliland today in which any comment on the administration of President Silanyo is weighed by your clan affiliation I.e.
• The UAE military base in Berbera is good for the country means you are from one of the main clans in the top hierarchy of ruling Kulmiye party
• The UAE military base in Berbera is worthless and dangerous means you are from any clan perceived to be aligned to opposition Wadani party
• Both this facts are wrong, since it is only the perception imposed by the administration though most arguments are from citizens aligned to either party’s perceived supportive clan.

As per constitutional dictates there can only be three national political parties, thus stipulated with the aim of deterring clan affiliated politics in the country where everybody is from the major Somali tribe.
Though the current three parties of Kulmiye, Wadani and UCID were registered after garnering the three top positions during the 2012 Local council elections in which seven political groups vied after being whittled from the initial seventeen, the resemblance of purported national image of the three parties is completely absent.
While all clans are represented in the three parties the actual fact is, the ruling Kulmiye party is not only perceived but is actually a forum supported by the Gara’adag- Gabile alliance while Wadani is similarly seen as a Hawd plus others fronted political forum.
The Gara’adag-Gabile alliance is a reflection of the origins of president Silanyo and Kulmiye party leader Muse Behi whose clansmen are in control of the prevalent administration
While the Hawd and others Alliance is in reference to the predominance of the Wadani party leader Abdiqadir Jirde and its presidential candidate cum speaker of parliament Abdirahman Irro.
This thinking and actuality emanate from the 2010 presidential campaign that saw the now ruling then opposition Kulmiye party embark on a vote seeking strategy based on the majority Isaac clan vs Minority and supportive clans of then President Rayale Kahin and his UDUB party.
Worthy to mention that during the eight years tenure of President Rayale, all citizens were united in their support the quest for international recognition, the distancing of their country from any association with neighbouring Somalia, while clan affiliation nor clan name calling were unheard of.
The Garaadag Gabile Somaliland political alliance chiefs Mahmoud Silanyo and Muse Behi In came the current administration with a huge electoral majority and things took a dramatic change, with the first move being the legalization of then deemed national treachery , shoulder rubbing with Somalia authorities, while clan affiliation became very important and the main yardstick of securing government positions or benefits.

For the Somalilanders who voted overwhelmingly for Kulmiye and Silanyo, it is nostalgia for the Rayale/UDUB era where all were equal in a country where all accessed three meals a day, be it LOXOOH or HILIB Geel and regardless of clan affiliation, as opposed to prevalent status where those from clans perceived to be pro-Kulmiye party live affluent lives while the rest are in a daily battle to eat thrice a day.

This affiliation of politics with clan is slowly destroying the from within and unless something is done and done urgently the sustainability of our democratization process is in doubt not to mention, Allah forbid, peaceful co-existence among our diverse clans might be impinged.

To do this the nation needs to thing out of the box that dictates that only those associated with or served under former Somalia dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre are the only ones capable of leading this nation.
This can be ascertained by the fact that all past presidents and their deputies as well as the three current ones contesting the presidency are old guards of the Barre regime.

In the meantime the country has been thrown to the wolves as government negotiators with Somalia in internationally sanctioned talks hosted by Turkey continuously dwell on useless issues like control of airspace as opposed to the essence of separation.
This concentration on non relevant issues with Somalia is directly related to the end result that has ensued within the country where the administration has not only massively disposed off, to cronies, most public buildings Nationwide.
 The Hawd and others Somaliland political alliance chiefs Abdiqadir Jirde and Abdirahman Irro The covert cronies axis existing between Hargeisa and purported nemesis ruling in Mogadishu has also seen the acquisition of both Berbera port and airport at Meagerly fees by the United Arab Emirates purportedly awarded by Somaliland but actually courtesy of acquiesce and subsequent signature by Somalia officials, a precondition by the UAE in lieu of the none international recognition of Somaliland as a sovereign nation.
As is now the fate of Somaliland the former British protectorate that withdrew 25 years ago from its voluntary later turned fateful union of 1960 with former Italian colony Somalia, hangs on peril not unless an urgent non clan or Siyad Barre affiliates driven internal revolution takes place.
The author Yumoha Pasha is a Horn region political, development and policy analyst
Twitter: @olesilantoi