Twenty years ago this coming May, the elders, intellectuals and politicians of Somaliland met in Burao to declare secession. Three years later, Somaliland community started a marathon long convention in the City of Hope and Civility (Borama) laying down all the foundations of peace, stability and good governance and elected Mr. Egal, President.
Within his tenure, despite all odds, President Egal established all the basics of law and order. But in February 2001, when President Egal died, Somaliland peace and stability came under a huge test. Fortunately, wisdom prevailed and as per the constitution, vice President Rayale was handed the rein of leadership. So, Somaliland again passed another test.
Two years later, an election for the presidency was held and Rayale was elected with the slimmest margin and let it go because you chose Somaliland over personal interests. That was followed by the regional municipal elections which were carried out successfully. And finally that of Parliament was held, seemingly making Somaliland a mature democracy.
However, at times, reality on the ground would make one doubt about the peaceful and mature democracy Somaliland claimed as the omnipotent tribal monster were occasionally went loose and unbelievable hate crimes, the intent of which was to provoke others and start massive tribal civil wars, were committed.
For instance, in July 2009, in the broad day light, without any justification, tribal gangs, some of who are said to be high ranking government officials, stopped the vehicles of businessmen traveling on the road between Gabiley and Dilla and one after the other shot them dead. And shockingly, the bodies of some of them were dismembered as if to provoke their tribes to go on the rampage too. Thus start a civil war the consequences of which no one knows what fruits they would reap. Fortunately, call it, if you may, cowardly, but wisdom prevailed and relatives of the deceased to date hold back their anger and venom, but of course hope for justice! And losing patience is of course understandable but they just hope that justice prevails!
It is however, it is worth mentioning the courage the communities of South and East Hargeisa Region showed and the clear stand they took against that heinous crime and I am therefore sending them my warmest congratulations.
Traditionally, tribal leaders of the Region where such incidents took place were accountable for such crimes and often times they came out clean before even the government responded. But since the Gabiley community neither did that nor apologized, it is logical to assume that they are equally guilty. And in my view, the Rayale Government which never apprehended anyone for that heinous crime is certainly equally accountable.
To date, President Sillanyo’s administration is not guilty of that crime. But since the people in the same Region and presumably the same group recently committed another heinous crime, a crime in which a father and his son were murdered in cold blood in the middle of the night and in their own homes sleeping, gives Silanyo’s administration a big challenge unless it takes decisive actions to apprehend and hand the criminals the punishment they deserve! I am truly confident it will!
Today, my advice to Somaliland’s interior ministry therefore, is to immediately go after whoever committed both of those crimes, come to the bottom of the problem and punish the perpetrators who are responsible and close that page once and for all. And doing so, will instill peace of mind in all and self confidence!
But interestingly, rumor has that President Sillanyo has already successfully taken decisive steps and has credible leads. And strangely, it is said that, some high ranking government officials, as all along was said, are implicated in both crimes and are in fact, scrambling for survival despite being the criminals themselves.
However, in my view Mr. President, the gravity of the problem is immense and needs to be fully understood. And those whose sole objectives are to jump-start the omnipotent tribal wars for their personal gains, must be dealt with severely. The reason is because neither you nor Somaliland can afford to disintegrate into tribal fiefdoms especially at this time when it is now in your hands. Mr. President, do not tolerate criminals whose intention is to derail your plans. And why should you choose a few tribal gangs over Somaliland when you fought tooth and nail to make it one day a credible, peaceful and prosperous country.
And finally, Mr. President, please accept my warm greetings of the New Year, but know that civility has its merits ONLY for the civilized. But to the savage, it means cowardliness and weakness. We hope that some criminals do not keep testing the honor and integrity of others by provoking them and expect to get away with it each time. I am sure that every wise man knows that patience has its merits but it does also have its limits too. I am confident that you in for business as you promised in your election campaign. And I am therefore, sure that your sole intention is to take Somaliland to the promised-land and have no intention of favoring certain groups or tribes over other.