By: Yusuf M Hasan
BURAO (Somalilandsun) – The Continued Subjugation and Discrimination of Minority clans in Somaliland can only be reverted through education.
This was informed by a Gaboye clan elder Deeq Ismail Mire during a workshop on ‘Minority Clan Political participation and livelihood development” held in Burao town the capital of Togdeer region of Somaliland on 14th May 2014.
Appealing to his clansmen to wake up and take the bull by the horns Elder Mire said all school age going children from the clan must as a must be registered for education thus attain necessary skills for livelihoods development
The Burao workshop which was implemented by the Voice of Somaliland Minority Women Organization – VOSOMWO and funded by the US based National Endowment for Democracy-NED pooled its participants from Toghdeer regional administration, Burao municipality, learning institutions, businesses and political parties as well as members of both the minority and majority clans from the region.
The Toghdeer regional government upon committing to enhancement of Minority rights and ensuring fair treatment as per the laws of the land and of Islam that stipulate that all people are equal regardless of all said this is per the policies of the president of Somaliland Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo.
“As from today the 14th May 2014 let it be known by all and sundry that the vocabulary of Majority/minority clan does not appear in the dictionary of the Toghdeer regional administration” said the region’s deputy Governor Mohamed Mahmud Yusuf ‘Ubahle’ while pledging fair and equal treatment of all people resident of Togdeer region.
On the issue of availing minority clans decision making positions on Quota basis Governor Ubahle said that since president Silanyo has facilitated the same for women he was very hopeful that minorities will have they quota soon.
According to the chairperson of VOSOMWO Ms Nimo Eid Salaan the main objective of the NED sponsored workshop pertained to the advocacy for enactment of legal statutes that facilitate appointment of minority clan members to legislation making positions through a quota system.
On the determination of president Silanyo to see the Somaliland legislature approve a quota system for women representation in both houses of parliament and local councils, Ms Salaan said her clan though happy for Somaliland women was very demoralized by their omission.
“With all due respect to president Silanyo, we the Minority clans of Somaliland are not only surprised but demoralized by our exclusion from his plans to avail quotas for women representation in the national parliament and local councils” said the VOSOMWO chair
President Silanyo revealed his determination to enhance gender balance in all decision and legislation making levels in Somaliland during his 4th state of the nation address.
Immediately upon assuming office in mid 2010 president Silanyo submitted to the House of Representatives a draft law availing women and minority clan’s representation in parliament and local councils on quota.
The Silanyo women and minority quota law was never passed by the House of Representatives despite several amendments and debates.
On the non inclusion of the minority clans from current plans by the administration Ms Nimo Eid Salaan said the disappointment with president Silanyo emanates from her clans confidence in his, Silanyo, proven determination to advance their lot.
“Silanyo is the first Somaliland president to appoint a minority to advise him on minority issues” said Nimo
informing that the minority clans are dejected and demoralized by the women quota that excluded them, The youthful lady who has committed to the status improvement of the Gaboye’s urged president Silanyo to reconsider thence amend his draft quota law before it is submitted to the Somaliland parliament for debate and approval.
On the issue of a number of youths suffering incarceration in Borame the VOSOMWO boss urged Awdal regional authorities as well as traditional and religious leaders to do right and effect immediate and unconditional release of the minority youths.
This comment by Ms Salaan was in reference to an incident in Borame that saw a man commit suicide after his family denied him marriage to his sweetheart Gaboye girl on virtue of the girl being from an outcast clan.
The cry for blood by the deceased man’s family resulted in the prosecution of two Gaboye men on Murder charges and subsequently sentenced to death before the Awdal regional appeal court commutes the sentence to freedom.
Four years on and despite paying blood money for a crime not committed the Gaboye youths are still in prison due to threats of murder by the deceased man’s family.
Telling the Burao workshop participants that the Borame case would not have occurred if the minority clans were represented in the various levels of decision and legislation making, Ms Salaan urged full nationwide support for legislation that facilitates on quota representation.
In conclusion the VOSOMWO Chairperson said the imperatives of her clans representation on allotted quotas is exemplified by the 2012 local council elections in which the Gaboye’s failed to win a single seat in any part of the country.
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