By: Yusuf M Hasan
GABILE (Somalilandsun) – The Boundaries of the Republic of Somaliland shall for ever retain their 1960 Status as demarcated by Britain.
This was termed by Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Bok popular known as Mujahid Hisood in his home town of Gabile where he also informed that despite the lack of recognition by various government’s that have ruled Somaliland since 1991 veterans of the Somaliland National Movement-SNM that defeated Siad Barre forces in 1991 are ready to return to barracks as a prelude to protecting and ensuring that boundaries of the Country are not tampered in reference to said politicians from East Somaliland with secession tendencies thus form a state dubbed Khatumo.
The 65 years old Mujahid Hisood who is among the powerhouses of his Gabile town home also revealed that first armed unit of SNM was conceived from the 4th battalion of the now dissolved Western Somalia Liberation Front and predecessor of the Ogaden Liberation Front-ONLF currently engaged in activities to purportedly create a Somalia state from areas in the jurisdiction of Ethiopia.
On the issue of Somaliland talking to the Somalia Federal Government as a prelude to getting blessings for its Sovereignty Muj Hisood brushed the contacts aside saying that the only authority to give recognition is Allah thence the SFG and international community are in a dreamland for presuming that they are the ultimate authority on Somaliland’s recognition.
During the candid interview touching on various aspects at his Gabile town Marfrash (below produced verbatim) Mujahid Hisood who had to interrupt our interview in order to solve one issue or another was flanked by other SNM veterans and including regional Sooyal chairperson Mujahid Mohamed Ahmed Hasan who also decried lackluster support of veterans and orphans of the 1980′ war of liberation.
Q. Muj Hisood when did you join the SNM?
I took up arms a long time before the SNM was conceived as a member of the Western Somalia Liberation Front-WSLF in Ethiopia where we received training.
A short while later one of our commanders the late Mohamed Ali whom I initially took to be a Darood clansman urged non Darood members in the WSLF which was then made up of the 1st,2nd,3rd and 5th Battalions to join together and form 4th battalion in preparation for anticipated full scale war on Siad Barre forces then rough-shoding citizens of now Somaliland then the Wagoyi Galbeed region of the Republic of Somalia.
Q. Which is your most memorable engagement with the Fagash? (Fagash was the derogatory name given to loyalists of Siad Barre)
Don’t say most memorable because there were many but the most outstanding of all which was the 1987 attack dubbed “Burao Durre” where I was among less than 60 SNM fighters who stormed a fully equipped battalion of the Somalia national army and slaughtered hundreds of them and captured their then high tech armory with the loss of Seven brave comrades.
Q. Was SNM a compact group or were there cracks emanating from clan divisions?
During our entire campaign and up to 1993 the SNM which was not and All Isaaq clan movement but one encompassing all Somali speaking clans was tightly knitted as one. We fought as a unit though the political wing was in continuous differences with commanders mostly colonels who up to date are credited with all problems engulfing SNM Veterans.
Q. How were you demobilized?
Personally I and a large cadre of comrades were absorbed into the then fledgling branches of the armed forces that were established after the Burao declaration of Independence in 1991 others just returned to their former lives.
Most of those demobilized through a GTZ program were few and were pulled voluntarily from their respective branches be it Army, Police or Prisons service.
Am still a member of the Amy that pays my salary but did not reward me during the recent awarding of ranks moistly likely because I was never an officer in the Siad Barre army which was one of the main criteria for ranking.
Q. Did you take part in the Somaliland civil war of 1994, if so why?
Yes I took part in the civil war that pitted brother against brother in Hargeisa due to my membership of the army which was drafted by the government to bring back normalcy to the country that was then spiraling out of control.
Q. Are you active in SOYAAL the SNM veterans association ?
While a member of SOYAAL am not active because it is not beneficial having failed to perform as envisaged during formation a fact I can state clearly and without fear despite having its current Gabile Region chairman Mujahid Mohamed Ahmed Hasan present and hopefully he can ascertain my claims.
(Read interview with SOYAAL Gabile chair tomorrow)
Q. How can you rate the 4 presidents of Somaliland in relation to SNM Veterans?
This is the easiest of all because
1. Only the first president Abdirahman Tuur who tried to do anything positive but his tenure of only two years, 1991-1993, was short-lived thence his plans never came to fruitation.
2. Ibrahim Egal who Tuur’s successor was so busy trying to build a cohesive nation from formerly warring clans that SNM veterans forgotten
3. Dahir Rayale who succeeded Egal was the worst because his regime only benefitted veteran Colonels who were and still are the backbone of our difficulties.
4. As per the current president Ahmed Silanyo and despite our wholehearted support to his quest for presidency in the hopes he will be the savior in lieu of his having been our comrade at war where he slept and shared meals with us, nothing has been forthcoming so far.
Q. What is your view on the campaign by some politicians from Sool region and supported by Puntland and more recently by president Hasan of Somalia to create a state called Khatumo which is to be heaved off some parts of Eastern regions of Somaliland?
The realization of the purported Khatumo state is not only a never tenable dream but one that will bring a bloodbath unprecedented anywhere in the horn of Africa because the Territorial integrity of Somaliland is sacrosanct and though tired of fighting we SNM VETERANS are prepared to rearm our selves thence ensure the borders remain intact as inherited from the British in 1960.
Q. What is your opinion of ongoing internationally sanctioned talks between Somaliland and Somalia?
I believe nothing good will come out of talking with Fagash and more painful is what I hear about us seeking recognition from them more so because we Somalilanders have recognized our sovereignty and the only authority to give recognition is Allah thence the SFG and international community are in a dreamland for presuming that they are the ultimate authority on Somaliland’s recognition.
Thank you very much Mr. Mohamed Ahmed Bok aka Mujahid Hisood for your time and views.