By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun- Efforts utilized by the government in talks with Somalia are a detriment to other important relationships.
The efforts utilized by administration in pleasing Somalia could be more fruitful if targeted on establishing relationships with African, Arab and Western Countries as well as a number of related regional blocks.
This is per Mr. Abdul-Aziz Al-Mutairi, a Kuwaiti citizen who during an interview with the horn newspaper’s Walaleye also urged the government to rethink on its policy as it pertained to the engagement of active personalities like South African Iqbal Jazby whom he termed a most effective representative and thus wondered why the current leadership relinquished him of his post.
Al-Mutairi also urged an aggressive media campaign by the authorities which he termed as lackluster to the extent that the opinions and views of adversaries are better understood and believed than that of Landers, Said he, “Most Arab governments believe that the Sl-Somalia talks are geared towards reconciliation thus re-unite because of the extensive media campaign by Former president Sheikh Sharif and his TGF authority.
The Kuwaiti is who is an advent advocate for Somaliland has continuously advocated has continuously utilized his penmanship through numerous pro-sovereignty articles that are published by various media institutions
Below are the full verbatim excerpts of the interview.
Q. How do you perceive the Somaliland government’s effectiveness in terms of their foreign relation Vis a Vis previous government?
The current regime in Hargeisa is focusing on its talks with Somalia, which could be fruitful. It is spending less time in building its relations with African countries, particularly the regional countries like Kenya, South Sudan and Ethiopia.
A. The Somaliland-Ethiopian relations must be kept strong and Somaliland must ensure strong security cooperation with Ethiopia. I believe that Ethiopia was concerned in Somaliland security compare to now. This must change and current leadership change in Ethiopia must not impact Somaliland-Ethiopian friendship.
Somaliland Administration must ensure safe relationship with Ethiopia, as Addis Ababa is very influential regionally and internationally.
Somaliland Foreign Ministry is not strongly effective in the Arab world. I do understand the wrong and blind misbelieve of the Arabs towards Somaliland, however, Foreign Ministry need to engage with Arab partners. Somaliland must have office in Egypt, as there are policy shift in Cairo.
The current regime must finance lobbies in major African countries like South Africa, Ghana, Ethiopia and other major hubs. These lobbies could have support Somaliland cause of independence always. Somaliland’s foreign department cannot cover everywhere but the lobbies could advocate for Somaliland cause.
I remember, Mr. Iqbal of South Africa, who supported Somaliland strongly, and advocated for it in many international and African venues. Somaliland administration needs to deploy qualified people in such lobbies.
Generally, Somaliland’s diplomatic missions are the front face of Somaliland and its cause. They must be well-equipped with all the resources they need in the fight for Somaliland independence.
Q. What is your relationship with Somaliland leaders or its politicians, considering your lengthily advocacy for the country?
A. I am Somaliland friend starting from 1977. I met Somaliland Late President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal in Mogadishu and discussed about British Somaliland, and how the independence was handed over to Italian Somalia without conditions due to the ignorance of the people. I started reading about Somaliland until restoration of the lost independence in 1991.
I had my first visit to Free Somaliland in 2003, and somebody could feel the smile on the faces of the people after restoring their nationhood after almost 30 years of southern domination. The trip was humanitarian aid. The democracy that Father of Modern Somaliland Late President Egal installed in Somaliland increased my trust and believes in the people of Somaliland and their capabilities, where their former countrymen – Somalians – are falling deep into trouble and endless tribalism war.
Usually, I don’t contact with Somaliland leaders because I believe the PEN, and I can convey my message and correct mistakes to keep Somaliland safe.
Q. You visited Somaliland during a fact finding mission during the SNM led struggle as fact who else accompanied you, what were your findings and if any were they published?
A. It was confidential trip to Somaliland (from Mogadishu-Gabile by land) particularly the areas dominated by the Isaac tribes, because we received reports of manslaughter and displacement of the local people. We submitted the report to the UN in Mogadishu, in addition to other western countries, and later UN and these countries criticized the operations of the Siyad Barre regime in former North-West and Togdheer Regions.
I highlighted in the report that these two regions were part of British Somaliland.
Q. What is your take as per anticipated outcome of the Somaliland and Somalia dialogue?
A. The Kulmiye led government must continue talking to ‘Somalia’, which will not bring quick outcome, but Somaliland must ensure that its independence is not negotiable. Somaliland will help ‘Somalia’ in building peace and democracy, if and only if, Mogadishu accepts Somaliland.
It is very positive to talk; however, Somaliland must establish wider media campaign illustrating that talking with ‘Somalia’ is to withdraw only. The last Sharif Ahmed government created wider media campaign than Somaliland, and both international community and Arab world believed that Somalis are talking to unite again. This is weakness and Somaliland must stop it.
Q. The current and past leadership of Somalia are propped by international community, are we right to christen it as UN government?
A. I highlighted in one of my articles titled ‘UN Trusteeship for Italian Somalia: The only solution’. ‘Somalia’ will never have independent government; it will need support from the regional governments and UN. This means that help from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda…etc and UN is not for free, and ‘Somalia’ must payback the price of the help.
Today we can see Kenya leading installation of new administration in Kismayo, and government in Mogadishu cannot protect it own offices without the soldiers from Uganda. Even Djibouti is sending troops today, which is very unfortunate for ‘Somalia’.
Somalia must payback such favor to these countries by another means, which could include land handover to Kenya. The situation in Mogadishu is very critical ever, and the current administration has no option but to receive the dictations from its masters.
The new regime is 100% dependent on outside power, including salary of the president is paid by the foreign parties, and if the situations continue like now, ‘Somalia’ will be country by name, but actually will not exist.
Q. Finally, what is your advice to Somaliland as it pertains to strategies for garnering much sought quest of international recognition?
A. Somaliland government must continue talking to ‘Somalia’ but with stronger stance, and should lead the talk because Somaliland is having stronger case than ‘Somalia’. Mogadishu is selling old name, which is controlled by foreigners as Somaliland is led by an elected politician. The international community knows this truth and respects Somaliland more than the tribe-nominated fresh leaders.
Somaliland has home-grown democracy and controls its land, while Mogadishu cannot secure its offices and salaries of its soldiers. This is very big difference between Somaliland and ‘Somalia’.
Somaliland Foreign Ministry must take the lead and explain to the outside world about the truth on the ground. I am sure Somaliland will succeed in the near future, because it came with desire of 3.5 million people.
The government must continue engaging with eastern tribes and promote the plan of President Siilanyo towards Peace. It is great seeing new member joining the cabinet of Somaliland from Buhodle town. Somaliland people and government must know that internal security is their self-steam and the world respects Somaliland because of the security it built without outside support, and the Kulmiye led government must increase efforts towards better security.
To peruse a sample few articles by Al-Mutairi posted by Somalilandsun kindly Follow these links