OPINION:- Unless the International Communities takes immediate action to put an end to this culture of warlord’s impunity,
human rights violations will continue to take place in Somalia on a widespread scale
Today, when I heard HadhwanaagNews an interview given by the warlord Siilaanyo the president of secessionist tribal State of Somaliland, the last warlord remaining in Somalia, I almost barfed out of anger and disgust.
In the interview, warlord Siilaanyo gave the opinion that the people of the Khatumo State of Somalia become obstacle to ensure the success of his meeting with Somalia Federal Government at Ankara next week. He added “owing to the fears they had that events unfolding in their State would not guarantee peace for them”. Had I not known what an arrogant, modest man Siilaanyo was, I could have sworn that the words came out of the mouth of an unreasonable, illiterate ignoramus?
When Secessionist Northern Tribal State of Somaliland’ politician like Siilaanyo and Ali Waraabe mistakes, “diarrhea of the mouth” for a real ailment, their actions travel from the realm of recklessness to almost criminality. By uttering those words, warlord Siilaanyo has exposed himself as a face for the sycophants we hear about, who utter words that would sound pleasing to the warlordissm of the day even though it is not in the best interest of the region…
In a State like Khatumo State of Somalia that prides itself as the unifying presence in Somalia, for a State whose white star on the flag represents the desire for peace and unity, this kind of eruption by men such as warlord Siilaanyo stands as a stark contradiction. As a supposedly unified group of people, the concept of being a Dervish (Khatumo State Citizen) is meant to be superior for Somali unity to any given ethnic, regional or tribal concern. As one nation, we are supposed to place the interest of Somalia above and beyond any sectarian and parochial interest. But, again and again, attitudes like this ignore the fact that our future could invariably be navigating towards an even more dangerous trend than it is now on.
The warlord Siilaanyo’s thought on whom or which tribe or region has more right to be a member State in the new Federal Republic of Somalia is really ridiculous. It is astonishing that we can talk about the prosperity of one tribe (Isaaqs) and equal opportunity on the one hand and turn around to demand for the zoning of political positions in the same breath. How on earth can Somalia achieve political stability when some tribal region (Somaliland ) wrangle for political power and are using regional and tribal sentiment as a tool to acquire it? How do we expect the unity of this nation to be certified if there remains in our psyche an irrational element that can be exploited and influenced in a manner that does not benefit us as a nation? I really do honestly believe that this “my tribe, your tribe” zoning issue exemplifies perfectly the source of the Somali’s crisis. To continue bickering on political entitlements of regions in this country is, without a doubt, a manifestation of all that is wrong with Somalia. For heaven’s sake, at what point do we as countrymen and women become blind to the thought of our regions and tribes, when we know that we are supposed to be Somalis first? Nobody is saying that we should not take pride in where we come from, our identities or who we are, but at some point in our existence as a nation, we have to think – really think – about what is in the best interest of this poor nation.
It is amazing that, at this stage of our political evolution, men of the so called caliber, pedigree and prestige of Secessionist Tribal State Warlord (Siilaanyo) overtly debate the issue of tribal zonal domination, tribal secessionism and regional politics with all conviction without seeming to give a toss that the consequence of their declarations is one that is fast sowing the seed of discontent and further polarizing and balkanizing the nation.
I do believe that every objective and fair-minded person in this country, no matter their tribe, would relish a setting where they could select for their political leaders based on whether those potential leaders honestly have the intent and ability to rectify the pandemonium in our power sector, create peace and jobs for us, rebuild the trust between the regions and tribes, grow our economy, flush out corruption, resurrect our education sector and make Somalia a better place than it is now; not because of where they come from.
If those that have the clout and opportunity to speak on our behalf continue to allow the sort of regional and tribal entitlement calls they have been bellowing out to continue and deepen, without considering the consequence for the nation as a whole, they would be doing this country greater damage than has already been done.
We only need to look at the accounts of countries like Sudan in order to fully understand the damage tribalism, secessionism, and regionalism can cause and the importance of social cohesion and triviality of tribal and regional identity in relation to national identity.
We must stop tempting fate in the irresponsible way that we have been doing in the last 50 years. We must stop nurturing the growth of this tribal secessionism and regional dichotomy that has the potential of fragmenting our existence.
We cannot afford to let Tribal warlords or so called politicians like warlord Siilaanyo use our tribal diversity as a tool against our social cohesion in the guise of regional politics. We just cannot afford to do that.
Somalia has been through enough already. Those who are responsible citizens amongst us must embrace unity in the interest of the nation’s advancement, stability and wellbeing. Our forefathers (Dervishes, SYL and SNL) did a lot of positive things for this country, but they did us a disservice by allowing differences in tribe and region. The present crop of leaders and the elite must not continue with tribalism mayhem trend, because by advancing the cause of regional separatisms/secessionism politics they are really doing nothing more than sowing the seed of discontent for Somalia.
(1)Ahmed Mahmoud (Siilaanyo): Born 1936 (Buro Somalia). He is one the two last standing Somali warlords. He is the current warlord of SNM Militiamen at northern Somalia (Somaliland). He was also the national Minister of Planning and Coordination (1969–1973), the Minister of Commerce (1973–1978 and 1980–1982), and the Chairman of the National Economic Board (1978–1980). From 1982 to 1990, Siilaanyo was the Warlord of the SNM Militiamen (Isaaqs tribe), serving as that group’s horrible butcher and torturer leader. In between 2011-2012, Mohamed Ahmed Siilaanyo and his lieutenants had committed rape, murder and sexual violence to the peaceful people of SSC Regions of Somalia