.....(Hal-ku-dhigyo Dhaxal-gal Noqday) = ..... President, C/raxmaan A. Cali: ''Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland dib ayay ula soo Noqotay Qaran-nimadeedii sidaa awgeed, waa dal xor ah oo gooni u taagan maanta (18/05/1991) laga bilaabo''...>>>>> President, Maxamad I.Cigaal:''Jiritaanka Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland'' Waa mid waafaqsan xeerasha u-degsan Caalamka! Sidaa darteed, waa Qaran xaq u leh in Aduunku aqoonsado''...>>>>> President, Daahir R. Kaahin: ''Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland waa dal diimuqraadi ah oo caalamka ka sugaya Ictiraafkiisa''...>>>>> President, Axmed M. Siilaanyo: ''Jamhuuriyadda Somaliland, Boqol sano haday ku qaadanayso helista Ictiraafkeedu way Sugaysaa! Mar dambena la midoobi mayso Somalia-Italia''.....[***** Ha Jirto J.Somaliland Oo Ha Joogto Waligeed *****].....

Friday, November 9, 2012

Somaliland People: The Engine for the Nation

“I buried my gun under my house when my country was liberated from the dictator, Mohammed Said Bare, as a symbol and with the hope that I will not need to use it again but I will not hesitate to dig it up for the defence of my country”(Jama Ali).

“There are still Social and economic barriers that force people to fall back on what they know best occasionally but you have people who want to be independent, self-reliable and more importantly democratic” (Asha Ahmed).

“We do not have anything against Somalia. We just want to live in this region peacefully with all our neighbours as an independent nation” (Omar Osman).

Since Somaliland declared its independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991, Somaliland people have played an indispensable role in its reconstruction and development.
This resilience and determination to succeed has not only been noticed at home but abroad as well. In essence, they have become the investor, the guardian and the flag of Somaliland itself. I set out to find out the remarkable people who are the heart and the blood of Somaliland. These are the people whose loyalty to Somaliland is unshakable. How do they see their country and their government? How do they view Somaliland’s democracy and its institutions? What do they think the government should do? How do they see their relations with the rest of Somalia? What do they think about the lack of recognition? These are some of the elements that will be presented in here.

It has been a long process in which over 215 people were interviewed in Somaliland and in the diaspora, this is a summary.

Somaliland, its government and recognition

Somaliland withdrew from the union of Somalia in 1991 after a lengthy consultation with all its communities who gathered in Buroa, the second capital of Somaliland which like other major cities in the country suffered a destruction of property and loss of human life when the former dictator and his regime used all its fire power to systematically subjugate the population for repelling against his rule. Today’s Somaliland has different worries to the past. It is seeking recognition, consolidation of its democracy, good governance and improvement in the social and economic spheres. Although Somalia still hangs over their heads not because of nostalgia but a desire to have a clean break from their old sister (which they see it as an entity that is obstructing their aspirations and progress to a better future), they consider themselves to be independent and have control over their destiny.
“Every important step that the Somali people took; fighting for freedom during the protectorate, the unification of Somalia and Somaliland in 1960 and the joining of the Arab League were all made possible by the people of Somaliland. Perhaps that is why Somalians are hesitant to let us go but we will not be turning the clock back” (Hussain Ahmed).

With all the bad publicity sometimes directed at the government including nepotism and corruption, the majority of the interviewees were positive about the government’s record and the direction the country is taking.

“All the governments that presided power in the country had their own challenges, the main priorities for the previous governments were security, reconciliation and the deepening of democracy. These governments did not have the capacity to implement social and economic change due to the lack of proper funding but also the corruption that people are complaining about was much worse. There may be a low level corruption but certainly there is no systematic corruption happening at the top. I think the government is taking the issue very seriously” (Mustafe Hirsi).

Although people seem to approve of the economic and reconstruction activities that the government has so far implemented, they were less satisfied with the government’s effort on social harmony and inclusion.

“In the short period this government has been in power, it has done lots of good things in terms of education, capacity building for government institutions, building roads and airports but there appears to be a disconnection between the people’s aspirations and the government’s encouragement on the realisation of these aspirations. Two successful presidential elections have given the people a lift to view the social structure of this nation and how they relate to each other differently. For example, the sentiments of the people, particularly those under 50, are on justice, equality and social cohesion. The government should be exploiting these sentiments by working with the youth in the country so that it puts the future of the nation on a proper footing that is not based on old sentiments of community orientation” Khadra Hassan & Muse Farah).
Despite some of the problems people see in the government, the majority of the interviewees attributed most of the problems to the status of the country as a product of non-recognition. They found it difficult to understand why the international community persistently refuse to acknowledge their statehood.

“You have a country which has been independent for over 21 years, which is democratic and wants to become a useful member of the international community but we are not being given what is rightfully ours. This is a problem for us. It makes us solely dependent on international Aid, it emboldens our enemies to create disharmony and conflict within our people and it prevents us moving forward with our aspirations and ambitions…..I just hope the talks initiated by the international community between us and Somalia brings our cherished dream – the dream of our statehood” (Samira Ismail).

Conclusion remarks

When the composition of a society is predominantly young there is an opportunity to break from the negative aspects of cultural influences which may keep it in a perpetual circle of the status quo. Somaliland has the best of that opportunity to set her future generation free from the dogmas of social decay. Although all sections of society can play a role, the Somaliland government can set the agenda. It has young population ready for a social change. A young generation wants to remember the past through the lenses of their elders but also wants to move forward as one nation. These young people want a government wise enough to prevent fragmentation but bold enough to take the lead to shape this country’s future through representation, good governance and the absence of corruption.

The current government has done more than all the previous governments combined. Roads and airports are being built, the capacities of the institutions have been developed and the security apparatus have been trained and improved. However, the government should offer strong leadership in formulating clear policies for social harmony. The people of Somaliland including the diaspora have a significant part to play in entrenching the unity of Somaliland for the betterment for all Somalilanders. When neither extremes of tribalism and self-interest dominate, a society at ease within itself emerges.

The beauty of Sanaag and the unused beaches of the red sea for tourism, the production of livestock and fishing, its mineral deposits and with the prospect of oil, Somaliland is on the road to a better future which we can all part-take. 
Source: Somaliword  

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