Published On: Tue, Jul 3rd, 2012

The Miracle Journey: Mohamed Maktal travelled through eighteen countries with his Somaliland flag draped Mazda and Now in North America

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My First Interview with Mohamad Musa Yususf also known as Mohamed “Ictiraf” word Recognition: Mr. Recognition’s First and Second Phase Recognition Quest Took Him through Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America.

I got the opportunity to meet Mohamed Musa Yusuf Maktal called
Mohamed “Ictiraaff.” Or ‘recognition is a Somaliland citizen who travelled through eighteen countries with his Somaliland flag draped Mazda. The unquenchable drive, dedication, unlimited sacrifice, the courage to venture into so many  unchartered territories, riddled with danger and the unknown is limitless and bondless. His quest for the recognition of his beloved country, Somaliland, a democratic country that did not received full recognition from the international community, is nothing but a personal effort. The recognition trip spans almost through the four continents of Europe, Asia, Africa, and North Africa. He is a Somaliland citizen who is full of energy. This man was is a one man Somaliland recognition machine who decided to take things into his hands when his Democratic country was blocked by the so-called African Union. His recognition seeking campaign started in Sheffield British. Mr. Recognition and his one man recognition mission has attracted many
around the world.

images/stories/amakhtl1.jpg Background Information Formerly the British Somaliland Protectorate, shortly after gaining independence on June 26, 1960, British Somaliland merged with Italian Somaliland on July 1 of that year to form the Somali Republic, that ended in 1991 when the victorious SNM forces has taken over all Somaliland. The prime minister of British Somaliland, Muhammed Ibrahim Egal, became a minister in the new republic of Somalia.

He became Prime Minister in 1967 but was deposed in a coup in 1969. The coup elevated General Muhammed Siad Barre to power. Siad Barre instituted a Marxist regime, and became a close ally of the Soviet Union.
Although initially enthusiastic about forming a union with Italian Somaliland, the euphoria quickly changed to disenchantment as the people of Somaliland felt increasingly marginalized in government and other sectors of the society.

While the authoritarian government of Siad Barre was becoming
increasingly unpopular with Somalis, nowhere was the regime more resented than in Somaliland.
Following an unsuccessful attempt by the former Somali Republic to capture the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia in 1977, Somalis from Somaliland living in the United Kingdom formed the Somali National Movement in 1981. The SNM was one of a growing number of groups which aimed to topple Siad Barre.

As the 1980s unfolded, the Siad Barre regime became increasingly unsteady, and the SNM expanded its control in the north-west region. Mogadishu responded by instituting draconian measures in the north-west to suppress the SNM. When these failed, the government indiscriminately used raids and bombing campaigns to assert control. Nonetheless, by the end of the 1980s, the SNM controlled virtually all of the north-west, including the major towns of Hargeisa and Burao.

The Siad Barre regime was on the verge of collapse.
Independence, Democracy, and Non-recognition (1991-Present)
In 1991, after the collapse of the government in Somalia, the territory asserted its independence as the Republic of Somaliland, at a meeting of clan elders in the town of Burao. Abdirahman “Tuur” Ali was appointed the first President of the newly re-established Republic of Somaliland.
Instability plagued the young country, and after two ineffective years in office, clan elders sought to replace Ali. In 1993, they gathered in Borama to elect Muhammed Ibrahim Egal, former prime minister of Somalia, as president.

ex President Egal the quickly moved to establish the institutions of a state in Somaliland. A highly practical and uncanny politician, Egal reconciled grievances among disparate groups, disarmed militias, and gradually oversaw the state take control of infrastructure such as airports and ports from militia groups.  A new currency, the Somaliland shilling, was introduced in 1994. Realizing the limited power of the state, Egal’s economic policies promoted the market economy, allowing Somaliland to more easily recover from decades of conflict.

During this time, Somalia continued to be riven by conflict. Various peace efforts failed, until the thirteenth attempt, in 2000, at Arta, Djibouti. The Arta conference establishedthe Transitional  National Government (TNG), led by Abdikassim Salat Hassan. However, the TNG failed to establish control beyond a few neighborhoods in Mogadishu. Egal refused to have anything to do with Somalia’s reconciliation efforts. Instead, in 2001, he proposed a referendum on Somaliland’s independence, in which 97% of the nearly 1 million Somalilanders who voted endorsed independence. While the international community took note of the referendum, it did not move forward to recognize Somaliland’s independence. Egal’s moderate governance, along with the counsel of the clan elders, probably saved Somaliland from following the route taken by its southern neighbor. Re-elected by clan elders in 1998, after some criticism, he initiated the process by which Somaliland would have democratically elected leaders at all levels of government. However, he died on May 3, 2002, while undergoing treatment in South Africa. In a swift transfer of power that was widely praised, the Vice President, Dahir Riyale Kahin, was sworn in as Somaliland’s third President.

former President Kahin established a timetable for elections at the local, legislative, and Presidential levels. In December 2002, local elections resulted in the birth of multiparty democracy in Somaliland. Three parties – President Kahin’s UDUB Party, the Kulmiye Party, led by SNM veteran leader Ahmed Mohammed Silanyo, and the UCID Party, led by engineer Faisal Ali Warabe, received the highest number of votes. These three men contended for the Presidency in elections held on April 14, 2003 – the first such election held in Somaliland in more than four decades.
The 2003 Presidential election saw Kahin squeak by his rival, Silanyo, by a mere 80 votes, in an election that was deemed free and fair. The National Election Commission declared that UDUB received 205,595 votes to Kulmiye’s 205,515 votes. UCID, the third party, recieved far fewer votes. Silanyo protested the results and petitioned the Supreme Court without success. In a move mirroring Al Gore’s decision to concede the US presidential election despite concerns about the vote count, Silanyo, in the interest of national unity, conceded
the Presidency to Riyale.

In April 2005, the government announced that legislative elections would be held on September 15, 2005, completing Somaliland’s transition to democracy. In 2010 the largest opposition party, Kulmiye led by Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Siiranyo, an economist and a former president of the SNM.
For the last two month’s Mr. Recognition’s quest for Somaliland recognition brought him to North America where he started in Toronto, Canada where he drove through all Canada. During Somaliland Republic Independence day ceremonies, he was invited a quest of Honor and speaker in the aforementioned Somaliland Independence ceremonies. Wherever, he goes he is heckled by strangers who are so enthusiastic to see and meet this modern day adventurer and explorer. After being driven through the vast territory of Canada, Mr. Recognition crossed the Canadian border, and started Somaliland Republic recognition where he traveled through all the vast territory of the United States. Being as unpredictable as he is, no one can predict where Mr. Recognition next Somaliland recognition. No one can stop the self-determination of Somaliland for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The changing world politics and the financial meltdown set the world for restructuring and reconfiguration. This emerging political reality prevailing throughout the world will definitely help the Somaliland Republic.

By, Editor: Suleiman Egeh: Freelance writer and senior science instructor

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