The Somaliland government stated it was not only surprised but is so dismayed by an unfounded, grave accusation which the President of Eastern Ethiopia’s Somali State directed against Somaliland earlier in the week.
Mohamed Kahin, Somaliland Minister for Interior, following up the response the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yassin Mohamoud Farton, made of the subject a day earlier, voiced how Mr. Cagjar’s off-the-cuff reference surprised and appalled Somaliland and its public.
“When, recently, law and order collapse in the Somali State and chaos, looting robberies ruled the day, it was only Somaliland that had returned a great number of vehicles and other property – intact and safe – to the State authorities when things settled down somewhat. Fuel trucks still brimming full of the oil they carried were among the vehicles returned. Some were chased and stopped before they crossed our borders. Cagjar cannot add another government that had done the same. And, still, this is how he repays Somaliland.” Mr. Kahin said.
“President Cagjar must recall his wild allegations. We demand that he immediately correct his words,” Minister Kahin said.
President Mustafa Mohamed Omar ‘Cagjar’, trying to impress upon his security forces how critical keeping law and order was to the future of the state, swept Somaliland, Puntland and Jubbaland into his brief directly accusing them of hosting fugitive, ex-elements of the deposed State administration.
Mr. Cagjar referred to Somaliland as a place where deposed ex-Somali State leaders were hatching bombing and terrorist plots to destabilize Ethiopia and the Somali State. He reportedly made the wild allegations in the presence of the United States Ambassador to Ethiopia, Michael Raynor, who was on an official visit to the State at the time.
That such intentionally black-washing words came from President Cagjar did not, however, faze many in Somaliland at all. Since he came to power, the man, same as the ONLF he belongs to, did not bother to conceal his desire to unite with Somalia. Following his cue, major towns of the Somali State have daubed the Somalia flag on their homes, business places. Dresses, shawls, shirts, and trousers sporting the Somalia colors proliferated markets with vendors picking up a brisk business. Jigjiga, the seat of the Somali State government has, consequently, become more of a ‘Somalia’ town than Mogadishu itself.
Perhaps, this explains why the ONLF leaders arriving in Addis Ababa, Saturday, had Somalia labels pinned on their jackets rather than Ethiopia or Somali State colors, telling the federal government of Abiy Ahmed that their hearts and plans were at Villa Somalia, Mogadishu.
Furthermore, revelers in Addis Ababa, itself, and Jigjiga openly wore scarves and headgear embroidered with ‘ I Love Ogadenia’ calling the Somali State its old name as part of the Greater Somalia dream.
Abiy has plans. Somalia has plans. Cagjar, a novice in politics and regional diplomacy, has plans. ONLF has grand plans which do not, certainly, with any of them, has plans. So many divergent plans, none can deny, augur ill for regional stability if not checked in time.