- On 6 December, inter-communal violence broke out in different parts of Ceelberdale region, creating the worst humanitarian crisis since the civil war in 1988. In the affected areas, over 15, 000 Jibril Aboker have been internally displaced by ethnic cleansing in ten days. Reporting reaching us indicates that armed militias from Borama and Baki districts burned villages, destroyed farms and killed livestock in Buqdhada, Boodhka, Edegan, Hamarta, Isha Gudban and Seemaal.
This mayhem created Somaliland’s newest internally displaced persons (IDPs), who are in a desperate state. Who’s to blame?
Undoubtedly, sensible observers should blame President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud “Siinlayo” for ordering the redeployment of the army to Gabiley, leaving innocent civilians at the mercy of marauding militia of armed men in the conflict-torn areas. Clearly, the president’s intention was first to subdue the region’s potential uprising against the government, explaining his gross overreaction and “Budh” brandishing politics, which ought to spark a national debate about his ability to manage inter-communal troubles in Somaliland.
The president’s “Budh” shock therapy may work in East Burco, but not in the more civilized and sophisticated west.
For most Somalilanders, the president’s unruly behavior and unguarded utterance have only added fuel to an already convoluted situation in Ceelbardale townships. Also, the unsurprising but ill-timed sacking of General Nuh Tani over trifles is indicative of the alarming level of panic and incompetence in the Presidency.
General Tani’s dismissal from his post as the head of the armed forces will surely impair gravely the credibility of the army as a professional and impartial institution. Colonel Mohamed Kahin, the government’s troubleshooter and the real defense minister, was reportedly behind General Tani’s controversial discharge.
Important national and security matters have been delegated to narrow-minded, arrogant and inexperienced ministers from the UK. Mohamed Abdilahi Omar and Nur Arale Dur have conducted themselves in a most unseemly manner in this ongoing Seemaal crisis, where the leadership’s attitude towards Jibril Aboker has been contemptuous and totally unyielding.
The old man is showing unmistakable signs of senility. The looming question is then who is running the country. Although the constitution clearly states that the Vice-President should take over when the President is incapacitated, East Burco’s apparatchiks from Dahabshill office prefers to suspend constitutional rule.
Seemaal crisis shows that there is no clear national conflict resolution policy, no vision of leadership, no sense that in the long term problems solved at Jibril Aboker expense today will probably come back to plague the country’s stability and security in the future. As the old age adage goes, what’s bred in the bone often comes out in the flesh.
One thing for sure, Gabiley citizens have naturally no confidence that Siinlayo’s administration, surrounded by incompetence, will restore peace, stability and respect of the rule of law in Ceelberdale.
By Ayaan Hassan (email@example.com)