The Republic of Somaliland, Tuesday, reminded Somalia yet again that it was not part of the territory over which it claimed authority and that its continued interferences were not only futile and baseless but a gross miscalculation of its scope of governance.
The Somaliland Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, responding to a barrage of allegations and statements inciting Somalilanders, particularly in the Sool region, to rebel against the authorities, called off the Somalia bluff, telling it that the area it governed needed more attention than stable Somaliland’s.
“Somaliland has been a safe haven for refugees fleeing from neighbouring Somalia for the past three decades. As consistent with Somaliland’s humanitarian obligations under international law and in relation to domestic constitutional and citizenship laws, the Somaliland government has overseen the protection and livelihood for all those who live within its borders,” a statement the MFA released today reminded Mogadishu.
The subject of the fresh exchange of words between Hargeisa and Mogadishu was the deportation of a number of Somalians from Las Anod in order to eliminate hiding space for murderers and assassins in the city who had been carrying out selected culling of citizens.
The regional security committee, in a bid to narrow down the field, decided to repatriate Somalians among whose ranks were suspected Daesh and al-Shabaab operatives from the regional capital, Las Anod a few days earlier.
“It is important to emphasize that the decision to deport a selected number of individuals from Somaliland’s territory was motivated by issues pertaining to security, including appeals from the local communities and authorities in Las Anod district. Intelligence reports and consultations provided a clear indication that these individuals were putting the safety of the local population at risk,” the MFA statement clarifies.
The Somaliland government, contradicting exaggerated accounts of human rights against the deportees aimed to garner international condemnation of the move from international partners, stated that the repatriation was carried in strict adherence to international covenants and instruments.
“… the Somaliland government was compelled to take action, but only in a manner fully respecting the human rights of such parties—including those to food, water, temporary shelter—and without damage or loss to property or personhood,” the statement said.
The government reminded Mogadishu that, besides the number deported, Somaliland was home to a host of other refugees from other parts of the region, including Somalia itself, and that these people enjoyed a wide spectrum of freedoms that their homes of origin denied them.
“Somaliland has been a safe haven for refugees fleeing from neighbouring Somalia for the past three decades. As consistent with Somaliland’s humanitarian obligations under international law and in relation to domestic constitutional and citizenship laws, the Somaliland government has overseen the protection and livelihood for all those who live within its borders,” it said.
Following Somaliland’s repatriation of Somalia nationals earlier in the week from Las Anod, Sool, escorting to the nearest point of the border with Somalia near Garowe of the Federal Somalia State of Puntland, Mohamed Hussein Roble, the Somalia PM of the caretaker government in Mogadishu, called local residents to rise up against the government of Somaliland.
Roble, typically, repeated unfounded, unsupportable claims of Somalia jurisdiction over the Republic of Somaliland, accusing authorities of deporting Somalilans from their ‘Somalia’ homes, making it appear that Las Abod was within the Somalia he governed which cannot be further from the truth.
“I call on the good patriots of Las Anod to rise up from the unjust deportation of Somalis from their homeland. I call them to stand up against the authorities and show their unity with the rest of Somalia,” he exhorted.
Roble was referring to the deportation of citizens of Somalia who had taken over almost all trade in and around Las Anod and many other Somaliland towns. They mostly hailed from the Southwest Federal State of Somalia.
“The Prime Minister of Somalia chose to convey unfounded information and share baseless accusations on the issue of the Somaliland government’s legal and necessary decision to deport selected individuals, who had unlawfully settled in the district of Las Anod, provincial capital of Sool Region, Somaliland,” the MFA statement recalled.
Somaliland further reminded Roble that if not for the untenable circumstances and prevailing insecurity in the Somalia he presided over, the people he was shedding ‘crocodile tears’ for would have not ventured that further northern and eastern areas from homes of origin.
“The underlying responsibility for cultivating these circumstances lies with a government in Mogadishu unable to protect its citizens and create a condition for political stability despite being provided with exorbitant amounts of international aid to develop such capabilities,” the statement called attention to.
Chastising Roble on the wild, televised statements he made against Somaliland and the security situation it addressed in Las Anod, pointed out that his statements were not only irresponsible and off-the-cuff but unbecoming and bereft of diplomatic decorum.
“It is thus beyond the bounds of diplomatic decorum for the neighbouring government of Somalia to interfere in the Somaliland Government’s exercising of sovereign remit, with regards to a security threat on its territory. Such provocations on matters of Somaliland’s internal affairs are not to be taken lightly, and serve as further evidence that the government in Mogadishu is not to be viewed as a trusted international partner when it comes to peace, security and stability throughout the Horn of Africa and Red Sea regions,” the statement emphasized.
In response to the PM’s unguarded harangue and incitement to rebel, Las Anod traditional leaders and women residents, who felt the bereavement left behind by targeted killings most, fired back at Roble.
In a press conference most of the more prominent traditional and societal leaders of the region attended, the elders fully put their weight behind the government measures.
“The government is responsible for the security of its people. We support whatever measure it deems appropriate to safeguard it,” one of the said.
“Wherever and at whoever the thread of investigation implicates is a threat to us all. We – as elders – urge the government to stop at nothing in order to eliminate the scare that has put a pall of fear in the town and the region – at large,” another said.
“Deport, sentence, execute…all these steps can become lifesavers in the face of the spate of killings that have taken away the lives of so many of our people. We fully stand behind the regional and state officials who have started steps to reverse the situation,” another of the elders stated.
“Those who had been saying otherwise were here and were not able to do anything about the killings that have become a daily occurrence in Las Anod. We ask them to shut up and let those taking action perform their performances, the measures the detractors failed to come up with,” yet another of the elders pointed out.
On their part, women residents reminded Roble that the deportation was to their benefit and that it was a security measure they fully and steadfastly supported.
“This is called Somaliland. We fully support our government and our authorities. We sincerely laud the repatriation of Somalians from the town in order to attend to a security shortfall that cost us heavily,” they said.
The particular sect of people that the Las Anod repatriation affected were often accused by Somalia itself of making up the bulk of Shabaab and Daesh militant forces in Somalia, and particularly in the neighbouring Puntland of Somalia.
On 28 June this year, Puntland authorities killed 21 in Galkayu and Garowe. Almost all of them hailed from the same southern SW regions of Bay and Bakool. Somalia federal leaders and the international community aired not a whisper of suspicion or condemnation against the selection of the executed or why none of the locals was included or implicated.
Somaliland and a great majority of the Sool population believe that targeted assassinations that had muffed the lived of over 50 prominent citizens, religious scholars, traditional leaders, businessmen and academicians during the past few years were engineered or implemented by Somalian hired assassins and hit squads. With a large Somalian community in the city, it was hard to apprehend the culprits more often than not. Only revenge killings that claimed as many lives could be traced back to the motive.
Among those who have fallen under the hail of killer bullets, and whose killers were never apprehended or identified, were:
- Osman Abdi Farah, prominent citizen, 16 January 2010
- Chief Hussein Dalqaf, Traditional leader, 26 June 2010
- Suleiman Dheere, educationist, 18 July 2010
- Mohamed Ahmed Hersi, prominent citizen, 7 March 2011
- Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim Samater, religious scholar, 17 May 2011
- Ibrahim Ahmed Shire, traditional leader, 6 October 2011
- Ahmed Mohamoud Haji Ali, prominent citizen, 24 June 2012
- Abdi Awil Hassan, prominent citizen, 3 August 2012
- Ahmed Sakin Farah, journalist, 23 October 2012
- Abdirahman Ismail Suleimen, prominent citizen, 8 December 2012
- Abdullahi Ahmed Arrabey, prominent citizen, 13 April 2016
- Mohamed Hersi, businessman, 3 September 2016
- Hassan Mohamoud, prominent citizen, 2 March 2020
- Abdiqani Guhad, Regional Intelligence Commander, 15 March 2020
- Abdullahi Mohamed Shire, Head of Regional Electoral Commission, 13 July 2021
- Abdirizak Ahmed Elmi, City Councillor, 11 September 2021
Somaliland, gaining independence on 26 June 1960 from Great Britain which governed the former protectorate for over 73 years, rushed to unite with Italian Somalia, gaining independence on 1 July 1960, armed with its version of an envisaged union act. Once the Somaliland assembly and government moved to Mogadishu not only the act was thrown out of the window but unmoderated domination and targeted alienation were started by Somalians. Somaliland-born officers stampeded trying to take back the homeland that was being relegated to a second class colony. They failed and were sentenced to execution – later retracted in part.
Somalia started what was to become a 30-year persecution, extra-judicial killings, genocide, curfews, widespread looting, indiscriminate planting of minefields, destruction and/or poison of wells and deep-bore holes, by registering the 1960 republic as Somalia completing ignoring the already internationally recognized republic that ‘united’ with it.
Legally, since there never was an instrument that was fully ratified and/or signed by representatives of the two sides, and, since, the UN Security Council and, subsequently, the General Assembly, only registered a country that has ‘proclaimed independence on 1 July 1960’, the so-called union never happened.
As a result, Somaliland withdrew from the ill-fated partnership with Somalia in 1991. A grand all-clan conference proclaimed on 18 May that year the decision and one of the most democratic, most stable nation in Africa was born.
Since then, the Republic of Somaliland conducted 8 1person-1vote elections and exercises which ratified its constitution and elected 3 presidents, 3 local councils and 2 parliaments. The last of these was a double election for local councillors and House of Representatives MPs. It was successfully conducted and concluded 0n 31 May 2021.
Somalia has yet to conduct a single one. Instead, it still selects MPs behind barricaded doors, guarded by foreign troops in a bizarre manner new to the world. A handful of ridiculously masked people cast ‘votes’ upon which merit MPs are selected on less than 50 votes wherein in Somaliland some MPs have won their seats with over 26 000 votes.