GAROWE ONLINE EDITORIAL
What is painfully clear to all Somalis is the international community’s deafening silence on Somaliland’s savage attacks against Buhodle.
It is the painful sight of the young children. Some boys and girls look as young as 6 or 8 years of age. They were wounded during Somaliland’s savage aggression against Buhodle district – military aggressions that began in February 2011, then again in May 2011, and now during the first month of 2012. The repeated Somaliland violent onslaught targeting Buhodle district and its inhabitants – including the mothers and their children – has forced thousands of nomadic clansmen to take up arms and courageously defend their liberty and their right to self-determination.
Indeed, those children did not commit any crime, perhaps other than to belong to a particular clan and region of Somalia that has become a target for Somaliland. In looking at the heart-breaking photographs of wounded civilians transferred to a hospital in Puntland’s city of Galkayo, one aches to comprehend the reason and cause that motivates Somaliland’s deep hatred and inherent complexities that lead to the committing of war crimes against civilian populations in Buhodle. In October 2007, when Somaliland seized Las Anod city, the situation was different: Las Anod was betrayed by her own sons, who allowed Somaliland forces to march in to the city and displace upwards of 50,000 civilians, according to UN estimates.
But in Buhodle, despite bribing local officials, Somaliland has failed to infiltrate Buhodle society in a similar fashion to events in Las Anod. Each time the bribing effort failed, Somaliland provided even more bribes hoping that the situation would magically transform into the Hargeisa regime’s favor. When all the exponentially increasing bribes did not bring results, Somaliland’s tyrannical leaders who engaged in the 1990s genocides in northern Somalia could not believe their eyes – that the people of Buhodle are willing to die to defend their liberty and their right to self-determination. No man on earth has a right to impose a political or religious idea on any person or community.
It was the people of Somaliland, who in the 1980s, led the SNM struggle to liberate the northwestern cities of Hargeisa and Burao from the iron grip of the Barre dictatorship. The SNM and its supporters claimed the right to self-determination. Today, as if that memory was irrelevant, it is Somaliland’s SNM leadership that has overlooked recent history and is now behaving in manner similar to the Barre regime. If Somaliland had warplanes, it can be argued that Somaliland would have conducted airstrikes against Buhodle.
The reason for Somaliland’s repeated attacks against Buhodle is easy for any Somali to understand. The Isaaq-dominated Somaliland regime cannot fathom – and indeed their ego cannot accept – that a single Darod sub-clan (Dhulbahante) is able to face-off against the entire might of the Isaaq-dominated Somaliland forces. In all of Somaliland’s savage attacks on Buhodle, Somaliland forces lost again and again – both manpower and equipment. We send our condolences to the young Somali men who were sent to their graves in Buhodle by power-hungry SNM politicians in Hargeisa who are still thirsty for the spilling of more blood in order to satisfy their ego damaged by inherent complexities.
In Somali minds, this reading of Somaliland’s war losses damages the morale and self-perception of being “better” than fellow Somalis – and particularly the Darod whom Somaliland falsely brands as the foot soldiers of Barre dictatorship. Still, the resentment, enmity, hostility and hatred goes back even deeper into history, dating back to the anti-colonial struggle.
What is painfully clear to all Somalis is the international community’s deafening silence on Somaliland’s savage attacks against Buhodle. What Somaliland could not accomplish with policy, they will never accomplish with a gun. Every community in Somalia is armed. Despite all efforts to look like a “nation” it is very clear to Somalis what clans the families of deceased soldiers belong to. All Somalis fully know about the funerals at Somali homes in Hargeisa and Burao. All Somalis fully know what clan resides in Hargeisa and Burao. A few hired politicians, such as the unashamed warmonger from Las Anod Mr. Ahmed Abdi Habsade, will never constitute a legitimate representative of the aspirations of Dhulbahante people. The likes of Mr. Habsade is of lesser value than how Somaliland views the Isaaq politicians who are part of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia.
The international community is recommended to immediately intervene and demand Somaliland stop its savage aggressions. The people of Buhodle have proven with their blood that they do not wish to be part of any separation from Somalia. That separation can never come at the high cost of blood and violent imposition where people’s liberty and self-determination is taken away.
Secondly, Somaliland is reminded that the people of Buhodle are part of a larger Somali community that resides all over Somalia – in neighboring Puntland, in Galgadud region of central Somalia, and the Jubbaland regions of Somalia’s deep south. What is happening in Buhodle quite clearly is a clan war – and if this clan war does not cease immediately, then this clan war might expand and ignite a bigger war that destabilizes the entire Somalia – and particularly Puntland-Somaliland regions of northern Somalia that have experienced stability for years.
Thirdly, the shameful warmongers who post online opinions and false information to mislead the world are reminded that the truth can never be hidden or silenced. Somaliland’s savagery in Buhodle is now exposed – and history will demand answers.
And finally, Somaliland’s SNM leadership has failed the people of Somaliland. International recognition as an independent country is not coming. Every time Somaliland loses politically, the Hargeisa regime changes the people’s focus to the historic “enemy” – indeed a perceived enemy – to the east. This is shameful politics in the 21st
century. There is now growing concern that battle losses, both politically and militarily, is widening internal discord in Hargeisa as Somaliland's aging leader Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo allows his ultra-powerful clan-cousin Mr. Hersi Haji Ali Hassan and allies like SNM warmonger and Kulmiye party chairman Mr. Muse Bihi to conduct a policy of extremist violence to settle old scores. Internal discords include the ongoing dispute between Somaliland President Silanyo and Vice President Abdirahman Abdullahi Saylici, a dispute attributed to Mr. Hersi and which is widely reported by Somaliland media, and even compared to the notorious TFG political disputes.
The world should pay attention.
Garowe Online Editorial
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