An armed, rebellious group calling itself ‘Awale’ decided, on Thursday, to lay down arms and realign itself to mainstream Somaliland.
At an occasion Sultans, professors, business people, and the Chief Operations of the Somaliland army were present, the leaders of the Awale front declared that they have accepted mediation leading to lasting peace.
“Whatever we had in mind in the realization of our demands, and the demands of the region, Awdal, will, henceforth, transfer to the mediators. Nothing, we have been convinced, which cannot be achieved through peaceful means could be attained at the point of a gun,” one of the leaders said.
Sultam Suleiman Ali, Professor Suleiman Ahmed Guleid and Minister Mohamoud Hassan ‘Sachin’, all thanked the leaders of the insurgency and members of the group for listening to reason and opting for peace.
“That you have respected us to a point you where you rejoin the society in peace, abandoning the principle that has kept you in the bush and the mountains for three months, is to your credit,” Sultan Suleiman said.
Brigadier-General Abdirizak Saeed Bullale, the army operations officer, expressed his gladness that the matter was not decided through armed engagement.
“It was my duty to bring this to an end one way or the other. As a military officer, there was only one option in front of me. I am glad that it did not come to that,” he stated.
Professor Suleiman, the rector and founder of the oldest and leading University in Somaliland, Amoud, at Borame, emphasized that armed insurgency was never an option for Somaliland.
“Grievances can be settled. We have listened to you and we have promised you that we will take them up to the highest channels. Peace is for all,” he said.
All of the speakers at the occasion expressed their gratitude to the government, too, for not taking a swift, decisive, military action but, instead, honouring them – the mediators – to get to the bottom of the issue first to report back.
It was only a week ago that the armed group appeared on television stations vowing thunder and lightening to – as they put it – ‘drive out the SNM’ ( regime from the whole of Awdal region.
The armed group did not, however, win the hearts and the minds of supporters for its lack of meaningful, solid grievances that were specific to the region and not shared by any number of other regions.
Awdal leaders had been at the centre of the restoration of the Somaliland independence since the Grand, All-clan conference of 1991 in Burao, as they had played a leading role in reconciliations among clans since then. Awdal, to Somalilanders, was a mother to the Somaliland peace and democracy drive.
President Dahir Dair Rayale Kahin who held the Vice Pesidency position from February 1997 to May 2002, and from then on until 2010 as President hailed from the region. Abdirahman Aw Ali Farah, a leader of the SNM armed front which toppled the might Siad Barre military region and a Vice President from 1993 to 1997, is an Awdalite. The incumbent Vice President, Abdirahman Abdullahi Ismail, held this position under two presidents: Ahmed Mohamed Siilaanyo (2010-2017) and President Musa Bihi Abdi (2017 – to date).
academician and diplomat, Bashir Goth, represents the Republic of Somaliland in the United States.
the number of notable politicians, traditional leaders and academicians who have played a pivotal role in rebuilding Somaliland is far more than could be pointed out. thus, it was a bit of a surprise that a group lead by a Canadian national ‘Sultan’ Abubakr Elmi Wabar has, since 2014, resurfacing time and again, brandishing guns despite the vast development the regions has reached since the reaffirmation of the republic 29 years ago.