Somaliland: Mr. President, Running to East Will Not Resolve the Political Problems in the West


President Silanyo in his current visit of the Eastern Regions of Somaliland

By: Ahmed Kheyre

Somalilandsun – The Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed “Silanyo” is on a visit to the eastern regions of Somaliland.

This is an on the spur of the moment visit. It had not been scheduled before, but the vehicles were gassed up, essentials put on the land cruisers, the presidential guard ready and word sent ahead that the President was on his way.

The President received a warm welcome, inaugurated a few projects, spread a little money and conducted himself as the elder of the community. All well and good, but is the President running away from his political troubles in the west, for a little appreciation in the east?

Before embarking on this hasty visit, accompanied by his usual cronies of ministers, Hersi, Waran’Adde, Ukuse, etc, and Dhuhul leading the communications sections, the people of Las Anod and Erigavo will be greatly entertained. But, as day follows night, the President must return to capital and face the music.

It is Tuesday, July 28th, 2015, and question on everyone’s lips is, Should we regard President Silaanyo as former President Silaanyo?. After all his constitutional incumbency ended on Monday, July 27th, 2015. The accord to extend his mandate until the holding of presidential elections has not been enacted. Is this administration legitimate?

Before leaving Hargeisa for the delights of eastern Somaliland, President Silanyo fired the Supreme Court Justices who rebuffed his attempt to muzzle the opposition. In a landmark decision, which stated that the Somaliland opposition can meet and gather anywhere, that commercial and private properties cannot be ordered to discriminate by the government and only the national legislatures can hold a national conference, along with an instructions to the various elections organizations to proceed with their preparations, aside from the Chief Justice, all the other justices got their pink slips or P-45. They may be unemployed, but we are proud of them.

The people of Somaliland hoped to hear the president show some leadership and issue a decree to override the Guurti’s decision and declare the date of the presidential and parliamentary elections. But, leadership was never President Silaanyo’s strong point, not now, and not during his chairmanship of the Somali National Movement. Those who know, know.

A decent man, a gentle soul, a good friend, but no leader. Sadly, our president is just a political puppet used by those around him, who were not elected by the Somaliland people, but enjoy the fruits of the president’s political mandate.

Instead, the Somaliland people heard a president, once again reading from a prepared text; prepared by whom? Belligerent and bellicose and entirely unconvincing. There was so much hot air in the speech, one would think that the president was admonishing a child, instead of addressing a nation.

We, Somalilanders are a patient lot. We can put up with a lot, forgive a lot, and basically give the other person the benefit of the doubt, but, this kind of rhetoric coming not just from some of his “ministers”, and I use the term loosely, but now from the President himself, is beyond the pale. Lest we forget, we spent three decades in a union, in which this kind of political shenanigans were the norm, and we all know where that led.

When the president, or is it former president?, returns from the east, he has three options, use his authority to call for the election date, resort to political oppression or simply resign.

In the meantime, there is a tradition in the United States and other mature democratic nations, that when a leader’s term ends, or he or she, faces an election, all the ministers in the administration tender their resignations. It is then up to the President to accept or reject them. I know several minister in the administration, who are men and women of honour. Who are devoted to helping their nation and its people, who are not interested in material wealth. Perhaps these minister will do the honourable thing. After all, the administration in which they serve has ended.