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Published On: Wed, Jan 11th, 2012

Aligned Forces Collude Against Somaliland Gains, By, Farid Adenese

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Since the ascent of the Kulmiye government on to power, a great number of ‘evil’ forces emerged from all the dark corners of consciousness and sub-consciousness where they have been lurking in wait. All of these forces immediately changed shape and form from benign critics to

 

malignant, killing salvos. Hitherto, good-natured opposition lunges and parries turned to razor-sharp blades which sweep away everything on its path with cutting edges that know no mercy. Elements of the Somaliland Diaspora immigrants are working hard to turn Somaliland into ill-conceived, satellite, NGO-like ‘states’ within a headless ‘state’  precariously seated in Mogadishu.  Media ‘proponents’ broke into two halves: one suppressing all and everything that was good and great in Somaliland and the other half confused and bewildered knowing not where to turn to for unbiased sources – or the truth.

The Opposition
Led by a chagrined, embittered core of die-hards that appear to have not recovered from the ravages and disappointments of the last presidential elections, members of the Somaliland opposition are increasingly moving away from constructive criticism to incensing proclamations and threats against the system, against members of the government and against the sacrosanct sovereignty of the nation. The wildly sprayed out shrapnel remarks of some of them are not only damaging to the decency of the Somaliland customs and traditions, but are downright harbingers of unsubstantiated doom and destruction. Words such as “Somaliland back-tracks on sovereignty” or “Somaliland has seen no worse day” or “Somaliland needs to call clans together for national consultation’ contribute nothing to the psyche but disgust on how Machiavellian some of us can be to attain desired goals.

If, on another scale – on another occasion, the opposition opened the eyes of the government and the public on what was wrong or being done wrong laced with no malice in a matter-of-fact, brother-to-brother terms, a lot would have been achieved. Instead, the opposition is exerting inordinate, uncalled for pressure on a fragile system that only God knows how long it can hold. I do not believe that the demise of Somaliland is to the benefit of anybody but its enemies. One does not expect to find such an enemy in own fold. That is, from within.

Somaliland has so many hecklers against its principles and achievements of over twenty-odd years as it is. These past years were not spent unrecognized for no reason. People were actively barring that fact, and the opposition is lending its full support and strength to foes that are using them against their homeland – against everything that they stood for or upheld. To add fuel to the fire from within is nothing short of treason.

How can the current bane be reversed?  It is easy. Preach tolerance in place of prejudice. Mend fences where cracks show. Follow the lead and point out the way where necessary. Find gratification in giving. Demanding is much less rewarding than participation in view to genuine, all inclusive development.

Regions split into “States”
Nearly three dozen so-called states sprung up in Somalia of the south in the last six months or so. This means, some regions split into several ‘states’, each of which claims a government on its own with a ‘president’, ‘vice president’, ‘ministers’, ‘parliament’, etc. More and more are expected to emerge. That is the way Somalis do things: smear your face with dung, and everybody follows suit. I never imagined I could – one day – be a witness to such a dismal erosion of all Somali values and norms.

The Diaspora, it is sad to say, has started this downward slide into oblivion, and they keep fueling it.  It is indeed quite incomprehensible when somebody who had been living in the west for anything between 20 and 50 years claims president-hood over people he only knows by clan kinship. The few spatters of applause in the small gathering of people who hoist him to this farcical ‘honor’ is the nearest that he/she would ever get to the needs, dreams, aspirations, pains, tears, fears and hopes of real people – and these are not among the number that matters.

Now we have ‘states’ separated by thin lines of acacia trees. In the south. We now have ‘presidents’ living on dole abroad, and presidents closely guarded by sacrificial lamps from neighboring countries whose vested interests in Somalia has not yet fully emerged into the open.

And the world is watching. It is the same world that has been watching Iraq when tens of thousands of shells were raining on hapless civilians: killing them, maiming them. The carnage is still going on in other forms and guises. It is a world that has turned a deaf ear to the plight, the pleas and the dearly earned re-independence of over three million exemplary citizens of Somaliland. A world that has been pumping money and munitions into a Somalia where such only adds on to the greed and gluttony behind the mounted guns.

Media ‘Suppresses’
The old adage stands: the media is a double-edged sword. In Somaliland, only one edge works – back track on national gains, burn down the house and make it appear you had always been this inane, blathering, self-effacing, uneducated scribbler – which they can rise above of.   It is like the media changed mode to ‘self-destruct!’ in mid-stride.

One sees headlines such as ‘Somaliland goes back on sovereignty’; ‘Siilaanyo fails’ on this or ‘government falls on its face’ on a daily basis. With some of the papers, vile language is a style adopted. With others, the more of an eye-sore a story is, the bigger the splash on the front page. Whose objectives does this serve?

Life is like a coin: heads and tails. In other words, to everything there are two sides – one sunny, one dark. Looking at things from their uglier angles is tantamount to denying nature of its shape and appearance.

Another anomaly is, nobody can correct the present-day Somaliland media. If you do so, you will stand accused of ‘media suppression’.  Practitioners of this noble trade should remember the Somali proverb which says ‘a stone falls near, a word reaches far’. Vilifying one’s name or institution by publishing it or broadcasting it makes the perpetrator culpable.  No one is above the law. Crying ‘wolf!’ will not make the ‘suppressor’ the ‘suppressed’. Like any other citizen the media practitioners and publishers are accountable for their actions and should own up to them when charged. A safe way out of such an un-dignifying, ongoing squabble is to stay on track: be objective, be responsible.

Somaliland has detractors that stop at nothing, know no bounds. It has only one radio – a radio that has a limited reach. It has only one television. The rest are either outright opponents of national interests or compromise objectivity by looking the other way, guising as ‘international’ stations. In addition to this, there is that great number of other Somali-speaking media outlets that would rather see Somaliland fall on its face than present its case to the international community.

In Somaliland, one daily wakes up to lies mounted on lies presented as facts. In today’s outlets, one has to rub own eyes to make sure that one is awake and is reading or watching a whole list of features against Somaliland, in Somaliland, written by ‘Somalilanders’. That is unacceptable in all standards. Learn from the democratic West: national interests supersede all other considerations – showing that freedom of expression is not an infallible, an ‘un-budgeable’ column of concrete but, instead, a flexible maxim that is designed to use discretion and common sense.

The panacea? True to Somaliland and Somalilanders, my friends in the media must consider this advice.  Close ranks. Stand tall. Become visible. Make yourself felt. Face your foes. Save your face. Defend your beliefs. Cultivate friends. Save nationhood!

A Word of Caution
Let us all be kindly reminded that the Almighty strongly cautioned us against spreading the false, painted word. Look at Verse 6, of Surat Hujarat “Ye who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain it lest ye harm people unwittingly, and, afterwards, deeply regret what ye have done”.  The warning is for the unwitting ‘harmer’. Imagine for yourself what is in store for the witting oppressor, offender. 

Surat Ibrahim (Abraham), Verse 6, is another very powerful reminder of what can happen to  those who tread on the wrong path consciously and in denial of the bounties and virtues God so lavishly bestowed on us. It is when we recognize what is good and working for us that we can reach out for more. The All Rich, the Lord of Majesty and Generosity, Says “If Ye are Grateful, I will add more (favors) unto You; But if Ye Show Ingratitude, Truly, My Punishment is Terrible, Indeed”. There is no better note to live you with than this Verse.

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