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The Hijacking of a Daallo Airline and its political and security implications for Las Qorey city

By Mohamed A. Elmi
Monday, November 16, 2009

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The hijacking news of Daallo Airline comes at a time of high hopes and value expectancies for the economic transformation of the city of Las Qoray because of its planned port reconstruction phases I & II, by Horn Relief and Development. Las Qoray a once  industrial town dominated the economic spotlight in the Northeastern regions of Somalia for decades.

The author of "The Emergence of Sky Pirates," published at hiiraan.com, who unfortunately finds himself in a hostage situation gives us a vivid and haunting description of this seemingly extraordinary event. And we thank him for his weal of generosity to share with us this diary along with a twist of his policy recommendation for the chronic poverty and unemployment that perpetuate such recurring incidents of ransom kidnappings and Piracy in Puntland.  The author, once the editor of the privately owned news portal GaroweOnline and speechwriter for Faroole's electoral campaign in Puntland  is quite unjust in his remarks, which taunt the city as a small remote coastal town that is a major hub for sea and "sky pirates".

Following the coverage of this event, to which some appropriated it to their own political advantage, the incident availed itself like assembled materials necessary for presentation to the court by a hired solicitor for his barrister. It initimates clues as to how the whole incident was premeditated and plotted to yield a maximum effect. Or in actual context, the merchantibility of such extraordinary event to the world appears to ready itself for those with sinister ulterior motives, thusly aborting any genuine humanitarian assistance and altraustic local efforts that are either promised or afforded to the Las Qorey/Sanag community. How pernicious is that the hijackers were successful to conceal their weapons from the Puntland Immigration Department (PID), an agency under the Department of Interior  Mr. Yusuf looks to its laurels as to how his foreign passport was scanned by an "automated system" connected to INTERPOL, an international police organization.

Ever since the Las Qorey Port project was initiated to gain a  local and Diasport support, the role for greedy, power-seeking elites has intensified to a center stage and both Puntland and Somaliland, in fact, played an active, behind-the-scene role to kill that Sanag communal spirit and strive to rectify the unfair situation of deprivation their regions' population have endured after a long absence of public and economic infrastructure.  it is one of the sad phenomenon of Somalia's ethnic wars that an elite group, under the impression that such humanitarian projects might diminish their political and economic influence, would be instrumental in doing everything they can to ensure that such lofty humanitarian effort fails or is not actualized, regardless of the hundreds of thousands of people whose source of livelihoods for the better depend on Las Qoray Port.

Six months prior to the launch of the Construction and Program, after which the sponsoring agency released transparent public information on the positve results of environemental, technical and economic feasibility studies, major criminal networks of high-seas piracy with deep links to authorities in Puntland have emerged to inflict a final blow to the security in the region. A sophisticated criminal network with foreign agents in the UAI has completely reversed the good reputation the region had in "fragmented Somalia". Had it not for the rise of Punland Piracy,  the relative political stability of  the regions of Sanag and Bari that had been formed by the locals would have enabled the region to achieve a rapid accumulation of direct investment and social development projects. According to a recent interview Fatima Jibrell gave to Laasqoray.org, the project manager of Las Qoray port, both Puntland and Somaliland had created a "huge obstacle" as their authorization was saught. Fatima, however, applauds both entities (in political correctness terms) for their final authorization. The Relief agency is registered in both regions to avoid further obstacles for the social services it provides to thousands of families in Sanaag, Sool, Bari regions. Nevertheless, it marks fierce economic competition between the elites (warlords in reality) with ties to non-state actors over the exploitation of Somalia's land and marine resources. How else to explain, then, that it took only "security" as a sufficient condition for the realization of this project. In other words, Puntland's high-seas robbery not only painted a bleak prospect for the swift actualization of this seminal work but it contributed to its termination, much less for the lies and clannish deciet that Puntland had been built on.

All in all, I shall leave my commment to this historic statement of Dr. Ali A. Fatah in his open letter to th 'Makhiris marooned in Hargeisa' with regards to the dire sitatuation the regions of Sanag and western Bari are currently in.

"The take away point is this: our forefathers chose dignity over expediency.  But it is our recent generations that have become awfully weak at the knees, when it comes to questions of honor and "waajib" concerning the community. Today we can safely identify the culprits that brought about the current malaise in which the community lacks basic technology and capital to make efficient use of available resources independently they are none other than our generation—the elites of the community, with our inability to outline much less effect a framework informed by the imperative for unity of purpose.  That the resultant socio-economic and political underdevelopment would be further exacerbated by the lack of  functional infrastructure facilities was known to all for a long time."


Mohamed A. Elmi
San Diego, CA
E-mail: [email protected]