Exporting southern troubles to the north will not be a solution for the war-torn population in Mogadisho and Kismayo. Being free from war businesses in Somalia, Farmajo’s presidency seems to be a glimpse of hope for those who learned his appearance in Shekh Sharif’s interim government. Because of his inexperience and untested personality, Farmajo seems to be unwise when he was tempted into Arb’s tug-of-war games.

Although Sool was politically unresolved contention, it is evident that Puntland, before Farmajo’s tenure, were unwilling to attain its territorial claims through deadly military engagements.  Last months,  It was evident that Farmajo were doing whatever he could to disturb Somaliland’s investment opportunity, in which Dubai and Ethiopia are expected to develop the infrastructure of Ber-bara port.  Farmajo was doing this to please his Qatari and Turkish patrons, disregarding the development that this investment will contribute to the region. He mobilized his Mogadisho Parliament to ridiculously outlaw the tripartite treaty, and ousted Jaware (Chairman of parliament) who appeared to be confused with the substance of that motion. Respectively, they never stopped to call the Security Council attention to terminate the investment deal, and now, enough to sink the ship; Farmajo is building up armies and weapon in the name of Darodism along the border.

Before those manipulations, Puntland as next door, it had shared common things with Somaliland.  Both administrations had demonstrated gesture of friendship and cooperated in many aspects ranging from security to Commerce, and social movements as well.  The political stability and the resilience of Somaliland provided a model of  institutionalization for Puntland—which is the only region that succeeded to build up a functioning administration in Somalia.  Its insistence to do business with UAE in defiance to the Federal policies which came after Somaliland’s handshakes with Emirate, is a good reflection.

If we put it in Somaliland’s Perspective, despite of maritime competition, the latest transaction between UAE and Garowe was seen a good direction. Mostly people argue that they have a right to develop their Bosaso infrastructure in the same way that Mogadisho improved its air and seaports with the Turkish investments. It is not right to interpret the military counteractions as antipathy towards to those who live across the border, but if asked Somalilanders will not hesitate to admit what the stability of Puntland’s polity means to them, since it provides them a buffer against the stresses of South.

What makes Sool and Sanaag to be a contentious issue was not the cross-bordering tribalism that we recently hear from Groowe.  These claims were not there before Abdillahi Yousuf. It is him, who told that including Dhulbahante and Warsengali figures in Garowe conference was not more than a political maneuver aimed to disturb Somaliland’s Effort toward recognition. On the other hand, Somaliland had no interventionist policy, seeing that it had done nothing to interrupt the arrangements of Puntland’s First Conference, whereas Mr Yousuf admitted in his Halgan and Hagardamo book  his involvement in that conspiracies before the nascency of his Garowe bureaucracy .

It is good for Puntland’s unskilled leader, and his colleague, Farmajo,  to read the memoir of their Forefather (Abdillahi Yousuf) before they answer whether Tukaraq is a worth-fighting issue or not. Las-anod was left to itself to directly choose its local council; since Garoowe had failed to get its first elected Mayor.  The basic question that one should ask himsef Is whether the Abdulhakeem Amey of Puntland  is the true advocate for Sool people, or the 25 councilors whom they supported with their votes?

If Puntland claims on Sool and Sanaag territories on the basis of its blood-relation are reasonable; it should define its attitude towards the people whom their relatives are coexisting; are they casted from another planet? It is shame for Abdiwali, to engage his peace-loving people into the uncertainty of a brand-new, ethnicity-related hostility. He was thought to be as wise as any civilized academician, but the heat of internal politics could not fail to be a tortuous test. Far from being constructive, he started to inflame worn-out inter-clan animosities, by portraying the presence of Somaliland troops as an intrusion of Isak dynasty.

Previously, Abdillahi Yousuf had failed to adopt his Nazi-like pan-darodism advocacy, when lower juba Marehans of Kismayo refused to be dictated from Graroowe, and chose non clan-related  alliance with another group (Hawiye, eyr).  Whereas Ogadens conceded to be Ethiopian Somalis and recognized the international borders. So what make Abdiwali’s approach more reasonable? Is there a well-defined social topography that demarcates Harti-clans from their neighboring clans?

Whatever their clans,  Sool and Sanaag populations are interwoven society. They are ecologically compelled to live side by side, despite of their lineage diversity. The socio-economic structure of this area is non-urbanized, sparsely populated, where lives of its communities depend on sharing pasture and water. So the dissidence of Diaspora and certain office-holders in Garowe is not serving for the interest of their pastoral communities.

Yes, there are many things that are wrong in the make-up of Somaliland’s political structure. And I believe that wrongs cannot be righted by those who hang-out in Garoowe, but by those whom the life and the development of their constituency is concerned. Although Somaliland is not a politically repressive or restricted environment, it has to do more to demonstrate its willingness to actually respond to the political grievances of Sool and Sanaag people.

There should be more openness and flexibility from the part of the government, whenever the question of what the future of Somaliland’s statehood holds for non-isaks, is on the table. Thanks to intellectuals like Ali Khalif, Ahmed Samatar and Hagle-tosiye who shared the conviction that says ‘Sool and Awdal should not treat themselves as the guests that wait to be served, but they should stand to the ‘heat of the political kitchen’.

By advocate Mohamed Ahmed Abdi Ba’alul
Tel 063 44 88011