Engineer Faisal Ali Waraabe, the Chairman of UCID, one of the two Somaliland opposition political parties, fully supported the government on granting the United Arab Emirates (UAE) a military base in Berbera in a BBC Somali Service call-in interview.
The Chairman, who is, also, the party’s candidate for the presidency, in the upcoming presidential elections, wondered why more than half a dozen foreign military bases in neighbouring Djibouti, that of Turkey in Mogadishu and the huge military occupation of the whole of Somalia was not a hot debate for discussion and a single concession to the Emirates in Berbera was.
Engineer Waraabe said his party fully supported any initiative that aimed to contribute to the country’s development program.
“Somaliland is in full control of its security as it is of its governance,” he said.
“A young man who is elected in Mogadishu has neither the right to meddle of Somaliland affairs nor do we countenance it in any way”, he added.
On the other hand, his counterpart, the leader of the other opposition party – Waddani, Abdurahman Mohamed Abdullahi “Irro”, who happens to be the incumbent Speaker of the House of Representatives, declared that he and his supporters fully sanctioned an ineffectual movement his party started in collaboration with Somaliland’s arch enemy – Mogadishu – which opposes the base.
Speaking to the press on the eve of a demonstration Somalia and Somaliland members united in opposition to the UAE base called in London, the United Kingdom, Mr. Irro said his party condoned the action.
“People have a right to speak their mind and demonstrate against a base whose establishment we wholeheartedly oppose,” he said.
The London demonstration on March 2 turned out to be a dud with many Somaliland posing as Somalilanders, others waving the blue flag going down in history as the first time a Somaliland political party joined forces with the motherland’s long-standing detractor – Somalia – to stop a national initiative coming to bloom.
By saying so, again, Mr. Irro technically declared that neither the democratic voting system which put him in Parliament nor the country’s respect for rule of law held any meaning for him or his party.
Mr. Irro, effectively, turns his back on the overwhelming approval of the UAE base of a joint session of the bicameral parliament thus going militant where he should have trusted the power and efficacy of the one-man, one-vote system.
Taking his cue freom his Chairman, Waddani campaign Manager, Hamze Khaire, vocalised his party’s intentions by saying “Waddani will not respect any of the deals on which they sold the country if it comes to power’ leaving one to wonder what the party’s Plan B was in case it did not emerge a winner.
Fatima Saeed, another of the more militant, rash officers of Waddani, called the UCID leader ‘a man in the hire of Bashe (Somaliland Ambassador to the UAE)’.
Taken together, Waddani is fast emerging not as a party that trusts and is confident of democratic practices which permit them to practice as political, opposition parties but as a militant movement that has other plans if things do not go as it wishes.
Angered by the blatant attempt on the part of Waddani and Somalia to sneak ‘unity’ into Somaliland in the form of a jointly organized demonstration against a Republic of Somaliland initiative, true Somalilanders were quick to condemn the move as one.
Late last December, Kalsan TV aired an interview with Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who has now been hoisted by the international community to the top post in Somalia. In that session, the then candidate for the Presidency of Somalia admitted that he and the Chairman of Waddani party, Mr. Abdurahman Irro, surreptitiously met in Nairobi and talked of a number of issues that included reunification of which they ‘shared common views’.
The yloung reporter he conducted the interview was later expelled of the station on the behest of Waddani brass.