To every story there are two sides: the true and just, the false and fabricated. It is one of the reasons that we establish systems to separate the two. There is no place else, no other authority that is mandated to take up the gavel and hand down sentences.
To make matters worse, journalism in Somaliland is intentionally sidetracked to actively lobby for shady politicians, and shadier characters who call themselves any number of names thus forfeiting the basic ethics of reporting: impartiality, non-partisanship, accuracy, fairness, etc.
Of late, it has become something of a vogue with some so-called politicians and officials of journalism associations to challenge the law, and take the law into their hands without fear punishment or reprisal and no intention to redress wrong(s) perpetrated. These ladies and gentlemen even invoke – on occasion – a state immunity that they misread and which cannot protect them from acts of treason and/or activities leading to state insecurity, destabilization, social strife and the encouragement of regional proliferation of terror and terrorist cells. These elements so brazenly and so conveniently choose to forget that once peace and stability is put to the torch, it is difficult to douse down the fire and re-establish hope, peace, schooling, health systems, social infrastructure, judicial systems, legislative and executive systems – and all other government organs that it has taken years to establish before their treacherous intervention. These elements call for strikes. They call for release of kinsfolk no matter who they wrong in the eyes of the law, or how they did it. They are, in fact, blind to the fact that, overheated, simmering pots spill over scalding water to painfully skin and scar for life those who stoke the fires for life – sooner than later.
In the case of Somaliland, they come in many forms and guises. Some profess to be functioning as independent individuals when, in fact, they can be traced back to the same sub-cleans waging a concerted attack on other individuals that belong to another sub-clan, thus making their allegations baseless and motivated. They come in the form of previously failed politicians venting their frustration on a set of politicians that succeeded where they failed. They come in the form of individuals that have become associated with the production of newspapers by default and not through qualification, learning, expertise or social standing.
But they all have two underlying motives in common: (a) they worship the age-old idol of graft and greed. In other words the ‘What is in it for me?’ question must be materially and/or politically met in full to earn their tarnished praise and allegiance; and, if not (b) Incite the public to overturn the apple cart, vis-à-vis, the whole of Somaliland. And, since most of them, hold foreign passports, they can gleefully watch from afar drinking at liquor watering holes.
Cases in Point
Scenario 1: A certain PM, who has appointed himself the mouthpiece of one of the opposition parties in Somaliland, claimed on record, on national media outlets that one of three suspects in connection with the recent Djibouti suicidal bombings died in the hands of the Djiboutienne police investigating the case, following extensive injuries inflicted on him through torture when, in fact, none died.
The media used the gruesome picture here in connection with the PM media briefing. Suppose the PM and the party he represents is intentionally misinforming the public to this disastrous degree? Is he not culpable to any wrong doing he commits? Doesn’t the Djiboutienne have the right to sue him for the damage? Doesn’t the Somaliland government have the right to bring him to justice? Or, because of his parliamentarian immunity, is he above the law and free to do and say whatever his warped imagination leads him to? The same PM calls for the popularly elected President to step down. On what grounds?
Same is true with all similar scenarios that are becoming a daily occurrence in Somaliland these days.
Scenario2: A presidential candidate who only recently joined the political aspirants of Somaliland proves he is so out of sync with the facts on the ground. He mistakenly believes that by aligning himself to certain tabloids and their owners, their clan-laced editorials will for him carry the day. He naively sacrifices his credibility, the support base he should have built among the public, and the trust and respect of constituents for few camera flashes that momentarily satisfy his flamboyant ego as a showman. The man, who wishes to be president of this nation one day, intentionally tramples on the constitutional rights of citizens to be covered by a sensational media. For instance, in the recent Haatuf case, he never said anything about the allegations of corruption the owner and editor of the papers failed to produce in court. He never apologized for the materially motivated vendetta the blackmailing editor so relentless, so single-mindedly waged against a number of ministers and citizens he targeted. The same editor quoted false figures, called his ‘victims’ names, raved and ranted about everything but, expectedly, failed to produce a shred of evidence to support his fabrications. The media war and its motives were public knowledge.
The would-be-presidential candidate only succeeded to make us understand that he has no respect for the rule of law but would, instead, welcome citizens taking the law into their hands to avenge themselves of wrongs done in unconstitutional means including violence.
In his haste, he has so irredeemably discredited the claim to the fourth estate of a nation – media practice – for all practitioners. The more so to those they wished ‘defend’. The failed, semi-literate leaders of SOLJA stamped their slogan-waving all over with political activism, partisanship, partiality, subjectivity and intentional harm to hapless non-practitioners as they accompanied or openly supported known political figures and their campaigns. The said erstwhile journalism claimants brought the guillotine down on themselves to blemish a noble trade with an indelible mark.
The image that these people project to the world is one of lawlessness, injustice and the breakdown of statehood which is only conjured in their minds, and not true on the ground. To make their words true, some of them are suspected of fanning the revival of clan-based associations.
Note: We need not dig up all the other, very conspicuous factors that the people in the two pictures have in common.
Furthermore, disparaging, highly questionable emails are constantly sent out far and wide to bury the nation six thousand feet under, and make it a pariah it is not to the international community. See samples of email addresses, the SOLJA man has in his mailing list. Note the abundance of UN and other foreign nationals and organizations in the list that the man force-feeds lies about Somaliland on a regular basis. Note, too, that the correlation between the names and organizations on the list and the statehood and sovereignty of Somaliland is hard to see. On the contrary, it is obvious that this SOLJA man is intent on putting his dirty linen on an open line to all and sundry. This is only a tip off an iceberg among many giving us a glimpse as to why Somaliland despite all the twenty-plus-years-old efforts of its true sons and daughters has yet to realize diplomatic recognition from the international community.
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, AnthonyO@africa-union.org, KaseraL@africa-union.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Jose.CANAS@eeas.europa.eu, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
BritishEmbassy.AddisAbaba@fco.gov.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, IRC Addis Ababa PAS <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, Abdi.email@example.com, Abdirahman Raghe <firstname.lastname@example.org, Abdirahman.email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, “A.E.T.Hargeisa” <A.E.T.Hargeisa@yahoo.co.uk>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Abdallah.email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Abdigafar Mohamoud Mohamed <MOHAMEA@unhcr.org, Abdikarim.Ali@wfp.org, Abdirahman Abdulle <ABDULLE@unhcr.org>, Abdirahman Mohamed Omar <OMARAB@unhcr.org>, <MUHUMADA@unhcr.org>, FARAHAB@unhcr.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, Abdou-Djuma Habimana <HABIMAAB@unhcr.org>, Abdoulaye Barry <BARRYA@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Abdullahi Gabho <email@example.com>, Abdullahi Sheik Barrie <BARRIE@unhcr.org>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Abrar Mohamed <MOHAMEDA@unhcr.org>, abyan <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, “ADAM, Mr Khalid” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Adan Jama Osman <OSMANA@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, Afja Kifle <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <WAGANDA@unhcr.org>,
“Agrocare@hotmail.co.uk” <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, <WARSAME@unhcr.org>, Ahmedemail@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, AIbrahim@oxfam.org.uk, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Alibashir Hussein Jibril <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, ALLY@unhcr.org, Alphonso Gaskins <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Ambrose Pais <PAIS@unhcr.org>, Amina Dualeh <Amina.Dualeh@actionaid.org>, Amina Osman Haji <HAJIA@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, andp_h <email@example.com>, Andrew Harper <HARPER@unhcr.org>, Andrew.firstname.lastname@example.org, <MAINAAN@unhcr.org>, CAMPBELL@unhcr.org, Annika SANDLUND <SANDLUND@unhcr.org>, Annika Sjoberg <SJOBERG@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, Antonio Canhandula <CANHANDU@unhcr.org>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Arnauld Akodjenou <AKODJENA@unhcr.org>,
email@example.com, “ARUBE, Mr Peter” <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Asako NOZAWA <NOZAWA@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, bob kirenga <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Bob Vieth <email@example.com>, Botunga@usaid.gov,
firstname.lastname@example.org, BUCUMI@unhcr.ch, Buga.email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Caroline Aasheim <AASHEIM@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Child Aid Somalia <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Chinyeke Tembo <email@example.com>, Chris Albin-Lackey <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Christoph Saxer <SAXER@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, cigaal jama <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Cinzia Varjabedian <VARJABEC@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, Claire Bourgeois <BOURGEOI@unhcr.org>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Copa Africa <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Cosmas Chanda <CHANDA@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, “Hargeisa, Somalia SOMHA Drivers” <SOMHADRV@unhcr.org>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Headofsecretariat@pri.org.uk, email@example.com, CAUX@unhcr.org, DAUBELCO@unhcr.org, Helene Silverberg <firstname.lastname@example.org>, henry cole <email@example.com>, Hibo Abdilahi <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
hibo hussien <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, Hinda Abdi Mosa <MOSA@unhcr.org>, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Hodan Dahir Hassan <HASSANH@unhcr.org>,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Horn of Africa Youth <firstname.lastname@example.org>, HORN WATCH <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Hornpeace Ngo <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, ibrahin jama <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, <YUSUFI@unhcr.org>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, info Novib <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
Ingrid Hartmann <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Isabella Castrogiovanni <email@example.com>,
Isaie Habimana <HABIMANA@unhcr.org>, James Mborothi <MBOROTHI@unhcr.org>,
James Nduko <firstname.lastname@example.org>, James Nduko <email@example.com>,
firstname.lastname@example.org, Khadra Haji Yusuf <YUSUFK@unhcr.org>, Khadra Omer Ali <ALIKH@unhcr.org>, Khassoum Diallo <DIALLOKH@unhcr.org>, Kisut Gebre Egziabher <GEGZIABK@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, Koffi Dodzi Adossi <ADOSSI@unhcr.org>,
Lasqoreyconcern@yahoo.com, Laura Jacqueline Church <CHURCH@unhcr.org>, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, Leila Jane Nassif <NASSIF@unhcr.org>, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Lilian Maogoto <MAOGOTO@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, mohamed sidow <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Lucie GAGNE <GAGNE@unhcr.org>,
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Tara Lee <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Teena Joseph <JOSEPH@unhcr.org>, Terry Morel <MOREL@unhcr.org>, Thomas Gakire <GAKIRE@unhcr.org>,
Tina Ghelli <GHELLI@unhcr.org>, <email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, Vicky Tennant <email@example.com>,
VICTORIA JUST <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Vincent Chordi <CHORDI@unhcr.org>, email@example.com, Whycliffe Songwa <SONGWA@unhcr.org>, William Spindler <SPINDLER@unhcr.org>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Williams49@un.org, email@example.com,
Women’s Rescue Association <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
Yusra Hilal <HILAL@unhcr.org>, africa2 <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, afrique <email@example.com Ahmed Hersi <Ahmed.Hersi@undp.org, ahmed119 <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
email@example.com, UNDP Somalia <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Ali Yusuf <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, Angelo Isaacks <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com,
“firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>, ASKAR Dayib Abdirahman <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com,
Nick Birnback <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Bramwell Kamudyarirwa <email@example.com>,
“firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>, “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>,
“firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>, Carsten von Nahmen <Carsten.von-Nahmen@dw.de>,
firstname.lastname@example.org, Christel and David <email@example.com>,
“firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
Daniela.Wiesler-Schnalke@dw.de, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, “firstname.lastname@example.org” <email@example.com>, Dorothee.firstname.lastname@example.org, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
Elizabeth Eyre <email@example.com>, ElizabethM@ned.org,
Eric Robinson <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Evelyn.email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
“Evelyne.Karanja@fao.org” <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org,
feddymac <email@example.com>, Fiona Adolu <firstname.lastname@example.org Flavie Romer <email@example.com>,
Frank Nyakairu <Frank.firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
email@example.com, “Hom.Chhetri@wfp.org” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, info <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, Johan Svensson <email@example.com>, firstname.lastname@example.org, “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>, “Karell A. Camara” <email@example.com>, Karen Mohan <firstname.lastname@example.org>, Faith Kasina <email@example.com>,
I am certain that these people would have not have been able to escape with a quarter of their nefarious deeds in the United States of America, the UK or any other country in the West. A million and one loopholes would have been found to put them behind bars, where they belong.
I am, also, certain that the people in the mailing list above had no occasion to see the other side of the coin, story. The links below lead to a sample of what law-abiding citizens of Somaliland think of the blackmailers on whose behalf they jeopardize the peace and stability in Somaliland.
Scenario 3: Another set of gentlemen, among them a self-professed cleric, who all belong to the same sub sub section of Hargeisa city bribe and pamper the more disillusioned members of the media to black-smear another set of gentlemen in the government who happen to belong to, again, another sub set of a certain clan. The first set is all blind to the deeds of all the other colleagues of the targeted set – good or bad. In fact, they want us to believe that anybody who does his/her work well is bad since he/she is not of their own set.
Strangely enough, anybody outside this circle who advises them against their misdeeds immediately becomes another enemy of their set. Their cries are load, their greed is unfathomable. People in this scenario are not different from others in the two other scenarios. A common factor is one for all, all for one! Their one!
Another common factor is their disregard for law and order.
He who bows down to their kind of coercion and injustice stoops down to their lowly level. The Somaliland guardians of its sovereignty should not buckle under to so-called pressure lest they signal a ‘free-rampage-for-all state of anarchy’, endless reprisals and revenge killings to the general public. The Law suffices us all.
Sulman Abdurahim “Eagle”