Somaliland: President is right on the National Service for Youth


Somalilandsun- Youths represent a very important portion for any society.  They are not only the outlook of Somaliland, but also a major stakeholder and a useful resource in the nation building. However, it has been recommended that a large rate of youth unemployment made many countries unstable and got into armed conflicts that finally caused the top authorities have to be ousted from power after youth society started continuous demonstrations that turned into violence.

Speaking at the graduation of the University of Hargeisa in August this year, Somaliland president Muse Bihi Abdi officially announced that the national services would be undertaken by January, 2019.  This has been welcomed by the nation particularly youth who have been unemployed for years after completing their education. However, writing this short article is aimed to thank the government for taking the issue of Nateional Service/ patriotism seriously after yesterday’s nomination of the new national service Directorate and inform the people that national service is good for our country.

Many of people ask themselves with this “Do we need our graduates to go to the National Services after finishing their secondary and University education?”   Responding to this question, Somaliland needs to send its graduates to the national services as there are many benefits.  Firstly, it increases civic engagement; helps foster an intelligence of national pride and protects social cohesion as well as the nation building. Additionally,  the society may gain benefits from the national services as  many young people will be potentially enlightened to get some lessons to change their life by noticing that leadership, responsibility and respect are the techniques and skills to be generated to build our youth confidence to protect their nationality and avoid illegal migration to the overseas countries.

We don’t mean that Somaliland is encouraging war but there are also many positive things to come out from the national service. It will bring about the attitude change through military sector on the nation building which may be necessary for Somaliland now due to high unemployment rate. The Powerful countries in the world do this, for example, French President; Emmanuel Macron has vowed to plough ahead with a campaign promise to reintroduce compulsory military service to his country nearly two decades after it was scrapped. When came to power,  he carried out the national service that gave all young people of his country “a direct experience of military life with its know-how and demands” and said restoring national service would inspire patriotism and social cohesion.  What about a small country which has a lot of enemies.  Let us congratulate to our government for introducing the national services for youth.

As for security purpose, having 75% unemployed youth may dangerous to our national security and I can say that this is the right time for Somaliland to invest youth in order to save the future of the nation.  The task forces team comprising of the concerned government institutions and the newly appointed Director of National Services must quickly come up with a valid national service strategy to bring back compulsory military service for young people as our country has currently have lots of enemies. Finally, Let me say to you Mr. president,  if you have planted a seed of guidance in someone,  you will never lose everything”  I do mean if you are committed to a practical implementation of the national services to be carried out effectively,  you will be remembered forever.

The author Muse Jeeh, is a freelance writer based in Hargeisa, Somaliland.