Somaliland: Minority Clans Demand Political Leadership Quotas


As Vosomwo agitates for Advancement of the civic and political participation of minority in Somaliland”

By: Yusuf M Hasan

Somaliland sun – The Continued Subjugation and Discrimination of Minority clans in Somaliland can only be reverted through political representation at all levels.

This was unanimously concurred during a one day workshop advocating for legally secured quota seats for minority clans representation at various political leadership positions in the country held in Hargeisa.

The workshop which was implemented by the Voice of Somaliland Minority Women Organization-VOSOMWO was made possible courtesy of an ongoing project titled Promotion of Minority participation in Somaliland funded by the National Endowment for Development-NED.

Invited dignitaries at the well attended function included UCID and Wadani party leaders, Legislators, State minister for Water and numerous traditional leaders with the UCID party presidential candidate Jamal Ali Hussein as chief guest.

VOSOMWO chair Faisa AbdilahiIn her briefing the VOSOMWO chairperson Faisa Abdilahi said that the 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.

“Not only are we in quest for our peoples share in political leadership at all levels in Somaliland but in Education, health and employment among others” said Ms Faisa

Stating that the entire essence of VOSOMWO is the ultimate realization of parity of minorities with other clans, the youthful rights campaigner urged members of the Gabooye minority clan to register as voters en-masse as this was the first avenue of choosing political representatives.

Spurring the Gabooye clan to awaken Ms Faisa Abdilahi said “Let us all register as voters thus stake our claim on the political process of the country”

Concluding her briefing the VOSOMWO boss said that the rejection by parliament of a bill submitted by president Silanyo geared towards availing a political representation Quota for Minority and women was a major issue that needs urgent action thence revert existing marginalization of her clansmen.

“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.

VOSOMWO workshop participants

Echoing each other traditional leaders from the Gabooye clan Sultan Ibrahim Abdi Hussein and Sultan Nassir said that it was the onerous task of legislators from the House of Representatives, Somaliland’s lower chamber of parliament, to act immediately on the long overdue approval of the Quota law now stagnant at the August house.

Both the Sultans who thanked VOSOMWO for relentless championing of minority clans rights issues pledged their support to the women led organization while urging their constituents to register as voters nationwide.

Informing that the Gabooye clan must strive hard for access to their rightful share of the national cake and that policies of the opposition Wadani political party the term minority clan does not exist, a senior official Hasan Hussein Mohamed ‘Codayare’ said that Wadani shall if elected in 2017 ensure not only the quota bill is approved but see to it that clan members are cushioned in the administrative process.

Adding their urgings for the Gabooye to register as voters thence full participation in electing political leaders of their choice Elder Libaho from the Sultan Nassir the main Gabooye clan traditional leader

Guurti, upper chamber of parliament, and house of representatives MP Ahmed Yassin Sheikh Ali Ayanle also stressed the need of the minority clans children being availed full access to education since it is Key to all other avenues in life.

“Even if you are availed three members of parliament via Quota while your standards of education remain low as is now nothing will change as per stigmatization and denial of rights” said MP Ahmed Yassin

According to the state minister for Water Development Mahdi Osman Buuri who is the highest ranked official in the government of Somaliland from the Gabooye clan, “desired improvements shall not be attained with hard work, determination and resilience

The UCID presidential candidate Jamal Ali who was the chief guest said the Kulmiye party has failed the minority clans that were in the fore front of support during the 2010 presidential elections urged the ruling party to refer to its campaign pledges book in order to see what lies or truths were told citizens in the clamor for occupying the presidency and what has been delivered since then

“We hope that the minority clans will secure their rightful place in the decision making at all levels soon” said Jamal
In all the country’s local councils and both chambers of parliament in Somaliland the minority clans who are considered as outcasts are not represented.

UCID party presidential candidate Jamal Ali 3rd among other political leaders at the VOSOMWO meeting in Hargeisa

VOSOMWO which is a regular beneficiary of NED grants received $35,790 towards Promoting Political Participation for Minorities in Somaliland out of the total of $269,166 Disbursed by the Washington DC based body to various Local Rights Oriented Projects in 2015.

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