by Ali H. Abdulla
Halkii dheef laga filaayey miyaan dharababa ka waynay?
Ma juun baan dhaga bar jowney?
Ma luulyaan dhaxal ka weynay?
Dhibaha nahayaaa jarwaynaa!
- Saado Cali Warsame
26 June is the day that the Northern half of our country regained its independence from the British Raj. The day was never celebrated properly in Somalia’s turbulent history since it was overshadowed by 1st July, the day the two newly independent halves of Somalia united voluntarily.
Both days were later overshadowed by 21st October, the day that the military dictatorship came to power and sadly squashed the nascent democratic system enjoyed by Somalia for 9 years.
After the collapse of the military dictatorship, one would have expected the reinstatement of 26th June and 1st July as days for celebration and joy in our country. Sadly, the North replaced 26th June with 18th May, the infamous day that SNM thugs forced tribal elders in the North to declare an illegal separation from its sickly sibling in the South.
I recall a sad incident in Hargeisa that involved the visit of a fact-finding Parliamentary delegation from Britain. I happened to stay in the same hotel that accommodated them during their short stay. The Rayale regime mobilized women and children to welcome the delegation with placards bearing the picture of Queen Elizabeth carrying the caption, our mother the queen. The manger of the Hotel dug up an old British Protectorate Flag and erected it at the front door of the hotel prompting an elder to protest and ask the manager to hide the flag behind the door. I still remember my shock, embarrassment and sadness at the glorification of an abhorrent colonial past.
Corrupt politicians and greedy businessmen will stop at nothing to tarnish Somali pride and independence, while the ignorant masses are oblivious to the crimes committed in their names against their souls and country. These hapless masses were lead to believe that recognition was imminent if Queen Elizabeth was declared as the Queen Mother of Somaliland.
These groups have lost their integrity and balance and have brainwashed their constituents into believing that it was wrong to gain independence from Britain and right to elope from their brothers in the South. For them, it is palatable to boycott all Somali meetings and threaten any elder who even contemplates participating in these meetings. For them, other Somalis are monsters who are jealous of their achievements and are plotting to dominate them again. Even a fact-finding delegation sent by SOPRI, a California-based organization that lobbies for Somaliland recognition, to Somaliland concluded that boycotting Somali conferences is counterproductive for the people of Somaliland.
Sometimes I wonder whether these inept politicians fear the fact that they would loose their vicious grip on the captive population in the North if they allow their people to stray away from the invisible borders they have erected around them. These leaders are probably afraid that if they allow their people to eat Southern bananas, papaya and grapefruit, they would break their shackles and rebel against the confined environment they have been put in. Mohammed Abdi Hashi, a bona-fide Northerner from Sool compared Somaliland to a studio flat, “Qol iyo Barsad”. While normal people strive to live in spacious villas, Somaliland Politicians want to incarcerate their people in tiny flats.
While visiting East Africa University in Bosasso, I came across a professor who told me that the bustling port city would turn into a ghost town in the event that Mogadishu became stable again. To me this was a disturbing prediction since the ills of Somalia started with pouring everything into Mogadishu. Its collapse contributed to the mass exodus from Somalia and the subsequent brain drain. People who love Somaliland should be worried by the fact that their over-reliance on corrupt politicians, who are ready to sell their souls for a few dollars and posts, can drag them back unprepared to the same situation they are trying to avoid. Ex NSS colonels and former civil servants have no permanent loyalties.
Somaliland stands to loose a lot from its self-imposed isolation. Instead of relying on corrupt politicians, foreign lobbyist and mercenary scholars, they need to seek a Somali solution to this difficult problem. Their elders, civil society members, religious people, journalists and sincere professionals, need to start a serious dialogue: first among themselves as to the practicality and worthiness of secession; secondly with their counterparts in Sool and Sanaag. If they fail to convince these two pivotal regions, they must listen to reason and find another alternative short of the call to genocide voiced by the Nazi Hyena.
Our sister tiny state, Djibouti, celebrated its independence from France on the 27th of June, one day after Northern Somalia. At the celebration, a 14 years old boy recited a poem that brought tears to my eyes. On the one side I was saddened by the fact that our 14 year olds tot assault rifles instead of celebrating their national days. On the other side, I was saddened by the fact that the airplanes that bombed our country illegally and massacred innocent herdsmen flew from our sister state that was supposed at one time to fly the bluugley. The innocent young chap boasted in his poem how his country booted out the imperialists unaware of the fact that his national day was desecrated by French Legionnaires and US marines who marched in his parade after returning from their deadly sorties against his people in the South of Somalia.
I take this opportunity to congratulate all Somalis on the occasions of 26th June and 1st July. Let us all pray and hope that we can all celebrate both days next year under the same roof: free from dictators, traitors and invaders.
Ali H. Abdulla