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Calling for referendum is the best option for the Somaliland authorities

by Abdirahman Haji Abubakar 
Friday, May 11, 2007

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The stories emerging from the south are very disheartening. After killing thousands of innocent civilians, injuring many others and destroying whatever little infrastructure left from the civil war, Ethiopian troops are now in control in Mogadishu with help of the American support. What is morally reprehensible is that the officials of the TFG (Transitional Federal Government) who are predominantly the warlords from the Hawiye tribe, were saying “we are killing and chasing the terrorists” when the Ethiopian troops were shelling indiscriminately many parts of Mogadishu. How morally bankrupt these warlords from Hawiye are? Their own people, women, children and elderly were killed from left to right in the thousands and they were celebrating and saying terrorists are on the run and we defeated them. How low morally these warlords from the TFG can go? Obviously there is no limit how low they can go morally. These TFG officials want to govern all Somalia? Allah helps us. This should be a wakeup call for the people of Somaliland.


April 7, 2007, U.S. official said “I see this current time as the best opportunity to create a lasting government in Somalia”. This statement from a high U.S official strongly indicates that the American administration doesn’t care who governs Somalia as long as mullahs are excluded from the power. American administration made clear that they will support the TFG to the better end and they will make sure they govern all Somalia. This is Siad Barre regime or even worse all over again in Somalia. American administration is also determined to push the TFG down the throats of the Somali people despite the fact that the vast majority of the Somali people in Mogadishu despise the TFG officials.


The million dollar question is what the Somaliland authorities suppose to do about this TFG?  It is obvious that militarily Somaliland does not stand a chance against a well equipped Ethiopian troops backed by the American military might and its endless supply of dollars in cash. The TFG is like a category five hurricane bearing down on Somaliland and it is suppose to hit it head on. In my opinion, the Somaliland authorities should not stand silently from what is going on in the south of Somalia. The people of Somaliland and their elected officials should not think for a moment that they are immune from Abdillahi Yusuf’s immoral actions and his power grab.


What are the Ethiopian motives towards Somalia in general? Are they trying to dictate how Somalia should be govern and by who? Do they want to keep Somalia divided into north and south? Are the Ethiopian military here to stay in the south indefinitely? These are legitimate serous questions need to be answered but only time will answer these questions. The only logical and wise thing that the Somaliland authorities can do is to initiate a referendum from the people of the north so that the international community can see what the will of the Somaliland people is regarding their future in Somalia.


Somaliland authorities should do the following as soon as possible:


. They should call for referendum as soon as possible regarding the secession of Somaliland from the south. 

. They should explain of what is at stake to the people of Somaliland. 

. They should notify most of the Western and African countries when this referendum is supposedly taking place. 

. They should invite the world media to this referendum so that they witness the fairness and the legitimacy of the voting process.


If the vast majority of the people of Somaliland vote for secession overwhelmingly from the south, then international community will be aware at least what the wishes of the Somaliland people are. If the outcome of the referendum becomes pro-federalism, than so be it. This will legitimize the wishes of the Somalilanders in the eyes of international community. I have a feeling that vast majority of Somalilanders don’t want to go through what they experienced under the rule of Siad Barre regime all over again. The people of Somaliland are also fully aware that for the last forty years Somalia was a nothing but a shameful destruction and disaster under the rule and the leadership of the south. The people of Somaliland will be stupid if they say yes to those immoral warlords from the south.

Abdirahman Haji Abubakar 

Ottawa, Canada
E-mail: [email protected]

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