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Posts posted by galbeedi

  1. Reckless and ruthless.


    As I mention in my introduction Ahn, Mohamed faarah Cayddiid started early in his desire to gain power through illegal means. While President Aadan Cadde was touring the Jubba region, a group of soldiers put a check point on the road and stopped the vehicle of the president. When the president inquired what was going on, he was introduced to a junior officer by the name of Aideed who had some grievances. That was 1961. He started the " Sparo" long time ago. In 1969, before the assassination of the president C/rashiid, a group of officers were been suspected of plotting coup. Among those was Caydiid, C/laahi yusuf, Mohamed I. LiiqLIiqato, Salaad gabeyre and others. After the military take over both c/laahi yusuf and Caydiid were arrested and kept in jail. Caydiid was also reckless in his efforts to defeat his opponents, sometimes even participating battles directly. C/laahi yusuf in his book " Halgan iyo Hagardaamo" said that during their incarceration, Caydiid became mentally unstable. The fact is looking their actions both of them were psychologically damaged. They were both released before the war of 1976. While C/laahi got the opportunity to go to war and organize for his own coup, Caydiid never had that opportunity. Few years when I was talking one of Caydiid's relatives, he said Caydiid was lamenting for not going to the front and participating the war. I asked " does he want to be a hero or gain some military ranks ?. He said " no, he wanted the opportunity to go the field and recruit officers in order to launch his own coup". He was left inside the country to support the war effort from inside. The fact is, Caydiid, in the seventies did not have the connections or the political infrastructure to wage a successful coup. For him and C/laahi every job and task was an end to something sinister. While they have known each other since fifties, they never done anything meaningful together. When C/laahi launched his coup , Caydiid wasn't aware or did not participate. Also when Caydiid became the most influential man in mogadishu in the early nineties and forming his " Salbalaadh" government, C/laahi came to him and asked to be number two guy. Caydiid said " maandhow booskaas reer woqooyi baa iska leh". As you can see they may have come from the same city of Gallkacayo, but never build things together.


    When Caydiid saw an opportunity to gain the power in the late eighties he jumped on it by joining the USC. Although he was the guy who led the movement to battle the government , like C/laahi before him he wasn't those who founded the USC. He only joined when he saw the opportunity to win. Rather than to go through a coup , he saw the opportunity to take all by the barrel of gun. I have no intention to criticise Caydiid or C/laahi for trying to make a coup, since Siyaad Barre himself gained the power through the gun. He led the forces that overthrew Siyaad from the power in Mogadishu. The collapse of the state in 1991 did not help bring Caydiid to power. A coalition of insiders called Manifesto single handedly decided who should be the president. after Cali Mahdi became president and Omar Carte the Prime minister, the chances of Caydiid taking the power diminished. Although he was isolated and desperate, Caydiid some how got break from unexpected quarters. While Siyaad and his supporters vacated the Villa Somalia, a coalition of " SAHAL" troops organized an offensive to take back Mogadishu. They even came close to Afgooye. Cali Mahdi being a weak businessman who does not have the capacity to push back the coalition that is pushing to power, eventually asked Caydiid to help defend the government. Caydiid could not believe the reversal of fortunes. He chased the coalition and Siyaad barely escaped in the Kenyan border. BY defeating Siyaad and company he convinced to himself to take the power by force. The war between him Ali Mahdi became the biggest obstacle for the return of Somali state. To make the story short the man who captured between Gaalkacayo and Kismaayo a hungry militia, was shot dead by one the young militia members he used to command. With that the ambition to be a dictator which started in 1961 perished. People say Caydiid was one of the toughest and most ruthless dictators of his life time. Since he showed up in the political scene, he did not leave behind any thing useful other than death and destruction.


    Mar uun Madaxweyne I dhaha.


    Ahn, C/laahi Yuusuf like his friend from Gaalkacayo Caydiid, had an ambition to be a dictator. In his book he said he refused to participate the coup planed by Siad Barre. In one exchange , when he was asked about his plans, he said " waar kayga uun ha eegina kan Siyaad Barre wado eega". their were reports that he warned President C/rashiid about the plots from Siyaad Barre. The fact is C/laahi yusuf was a witness to the first ever Somali coup staged by Somali military officials. In 1961, young northern officers, led by Hassan Kayd and C/laahi kongo took over both The Hargeisa and Burco military barracks and declared their take over. C/laahi Yusuf as commander of the Burco battalion was detained easily by the plotters. By first hand, he saw how these guys were successful without firing a shot. That coup inspired him early. Like Caydiid he was released in 1976. Some people would say the coup of 1978 was the result of the military defeat of the Somali army by the Russians and Ethiopians in 1977. The fact is the plot were prepared long time ago. C/laahi admitted in his book that when he was appointed the manager of Fiat ( wagad), he stole more than $300,000 dollars to use for the coming coup. While the SSDF was effective and organized in the early years some say when C/laahi took over it lost it;s Somaliweyn character and became a subclan movement. The fact is clan organization was the only effective way for Somali movements to gain strength. I will leave to historians all the tribulations and success of the movement.


    C/laahi was arrested by the Mengistu government in 1985. His supporters say he was arrested because he protested Ethiopian action in Balanbale by erecting Ethiopian flag after they together captured the town. I do not bielieve that story. THe Balanbale war was 1982/83, but he was arrested in 1985. I believe their were three main reason that forced the Ethiopians to arrest somebody who was there more than six years. First in 1984, there were clandestine negotiations between Siayaad Barre and the Puntloand community to resolve the issue since a more radical and determined movement joined the campaign to topple Siyaad Barre. The SNM in later years refused to be part of SSDF or any other group, they decided to wage their war single handedly. THe Mengistu government Got very close to the SNM. Any way these negotiations organized by the Italian government came to agreement in 1985. It was agreed that the Italian government will finance major development projects in Puntald and facilitate all contacts. It was agreed that the Italian aid agency will open office in Mogadishu to manage the funds and A man by the name C/risaaq Juriile was put in charge of the " fondo auto Italiano". They agreed all those who leave the movement will be helped with finance and government jobs. In exchange they must renounce their movement and accept the clemency of the government hundreds came after amnesty was granted. This action actually wasn't the most important want that caused the arrest, but it was one of them. Second A/laahi Yusuf assassinated one of the most important idealog of socialism in the horn of Africa. C/raxman Caydiid Ahn, left Somalia in 1977 and accused Siyaad barre for being anti communist for abandoning Socialism. He did not left for tribal reasons or abusive from regime, for him Siyaad wasn't communist. He was the man who who propagated the " scientific socialism". In his book C/laahi says he did not know who killed Caydiid, but one of the man who was wounded in the attack Abdi Muxumed said so clearly in a London court many years latter, and also when it did happen. The third catalyst for his arrest was that a lot of money was coming from Libiya at the time, and he used that money to buy the Ethiopian secret agents to do dirty jobs for him including assassination. That action put a lot of fear even among Ethiopian top officials. Those actions were the main reason he was arrested.


    Although C/laahi tried to reform later years and repent to his past action both on his association with Ethiopia and tribal languages , he was known as one of those who tried to size the power and went a long road to gain it. He claimed that he was helping the cause of Puntlanders in particular and Somalis in general , but his actions brought only death, destruction, and millions of refugees. When he became president in 2004, he said he started this journey 35 years ago.Although he was called Mr.President he never achieved other than blood and tears.


    Dalaalnimada Diinta Hadii Dabool La Saaro.


    Aweys, Kitaab dhiig leh.


    Most of you are only heard Hassan Daahir Awys since the Islamic Courts apeared on the scene. The truth is he has been involved almost all the major conflicts that engulfed the country since 1991. He participated almost in five major conflicts and he lost all of them. as a man reads the Qur'aan he should now that " qof Muslim ah laba jeer meel lagama wada qaniino". Aweys is more dangerous than most of the Dicators that I mensiomed above. While others use coups or insurgency to gain the power, he used the religion which is something Somalis hold dear. Unlike others who have met their lord, he is still with us.


    In 1991, when a tribal war turned religious one Aweys went to Kismaayo to go between Caydiid and the group fighting him. Rather than bring peace that was one of the bloodiest ones he witnessed early in his career.

    Soon after in 1992, he took over Boosaaso and detained most of the leadeship of the region in a battle for . Among those he detained were C/laahi Yusuf, Mohamed Abshir Hamaan and others. After long standoff he finally released. His comrdes also fought battles around Garoowe. When this things were their war battles of survival among the Somali communities. Caydiid was fighing with Punlanders of Gaalkcayo and other tribal wars were raging in the region. The people of Puntland were so upset, by the fact that while they defending bthemselves a religoius man comes from Galgaduud and forcing them his agenda. Most of the fighters in Gaeroowe are werelocal followers of Aweys and his group, but the were all killed. That was one of the second major war instigated by Aweys. During the siege of Boosaaso he said he was waging Jihaad against the local people. Ten years after in 2002, when the war on terrorism waged by Bush after September 11, C/laahi Yussuf siad " Bush Dagaalka Argagixisada haduu billabay laakiin anigu tobam sano ka har ayaan dagaal kula jiray". In fact it was C/laahi Yusuf who defeatedhim in Boosaaso after he freed the detainees.


    Since this guy never lears his lessons, his misadventure continues. In 1997, Aweys and his group took over the Gedo region. They proclaimed the Shareeco and dominated the local mpeople. THe Gedo politicians and other pretenders were not happy an all knowing extremists pretending to be holy men are denying their right to rapresent their region in the Somali political scene. They tried to confront them, but subdued both by force and by calling them the enemies of the Shareecada. I remember in Canada a man by the name of AAden Mohamuud Ciise, who was the spokesman of Aweys and his group saying that " I just came back from Gedo, the women are all hijaab wearing, there is no Khat or cigarete, this is the land of the Shareeco". THis exactly what Al-shabaab says today that nothing is stolen all evertyone is save and so on. THe gedo politicians led by the former Minister of Defence of Somalia Cumar xaaji massala, appealed to Ethiopia to lift these extremists from their home land. It was the first time since the colapse of the Somali state an ethiopian army crossed the border and occupied a Soamli town. his men were defeated and on the process the Ethiopians destroyed luuq and Baardheere. This action was the first time Aweyses action brought the enemy to the soil.


    In 1999, a young sheekh from Gedo recounted the truce reached between his group and the SNF in order to force the Ethioipian army to leave. He said, after we agreed to expel the Aweys gruop, the Ethiopians left the border. tHen the following days they called us to sign some papers. He said. " we rode couple of pickup trucks and we left Dollow late afternoon, after a long ride , in the late evening we reached the Ethiopian camp". " a solder led us to a tent were an officer was sitting, in that tent the former defence minister of Somalia was sitting across a lieutenant of the ethiopian Battalion. After being humiliated we sign the papers and left.".


    Actually, that was the first time I heard about a group called Al-qaeda. Then I did not understand for what they stood for, but I recall that he was telling me that they were fighters who does not cat=re about collateral damage like the civilians.


    To make the story short, let us get deep to the biggest shaw down Aweys was looking for all his life. For the fourth time Aweys battled Mogadishu warlords in order to rest the city from their hands. While the Mogadishu warlords were making threatening and tribal massages to prevent the government to relocate from jawhar to Mogadishu, C/laahi Yusuf was asked about what is going to happen and the situation in Mogadishu. He said" Hogaamiye Kooxyada iyo ganacsatada koox kale oo ka xoog badan ayaa jirta". " rag waa is Yaqaanaaye" he was referring Aweys in the courts who were dispensing justice in most of the Mogadishu districts.


    When the Islamic courts took over the city it was a big news. The first time in 15 years a group of Somalis have successfully pacified the nations capital and law and order is coming back. While the courts have the man power and the logistical capacity to keep the peace, The Transitional Federal Government had the legitimacy and was recognized by the world. Those who have the interest of the Somali people thought that the best way to move forward is to bring these two together. The Islamic court's spokesman was a young charismatic moderate sheekh by the cname of Shariif Ahmed. Immediately he became the rising star of the movement. Although many of us disrespected and didn't give Shariif any credit during the turbulent years when he was the president he has shown to be a natural born leader. Unlike many , he was a self confident President. Just look his administration. HIs chief of staff was from Galdogob, his spokesman was from Sool, his army chief was Dhagabadan from Mudug, his intelligence chief was from Baidoa. Any way , through him the courts looked legitimate organization.


    As most dictators Aweys saw the power of Shariif Ahmed and immediately made his move . In order to position himself for power, he made two important moves. First, to sideline Shariif and bring the decision making under his command, he created a parliament or what he called "shuura". While the Qur'aan talkes about Shuura and conseltaion, here the intension to use the term was purely for his own advantage. Among those who he nominated in Shuura were, Sheekh Cali dheere, the current Al-shabaab spokesman, Hassan Turki from Jubba and the last but not the least our freind Ahmed Modoobe of Jubba. BY the way he became the chairman of the Shuura.


    The second move he made was in order to control the power to make war, he put his man to be in charge of the militia and fighters of the courts. He made Mohamuud Siyaad Indhacade the defence chief of the courts army. Still having regular army which Amir Shariif had a say wasn't enogh. He went furthrer and created a small radical group who were loyal to him and made his young leutenant Ahmed Hashi Cayrow to be in chaege of THe Al-shabaab wing of the army. By making bthese moves he toataly sidelinedc Amiir Shariif Ahmed. most people have found out the differnce within the courts when Indhacade declared war on Ethiopia while Sheelh Shariif was nogosiatiting with C/laahi Yusuf. The fact is there were already ideological war among them . Aweys, Cayrow and others were Saudi inspired Wahaabis, while sheekh Shariif was a shafici Alla-sheekh ( a moderate school). Few people heard, but their was a big confrontation among them in the early days of courtes. As the story goes, one night, a group of young Al-shabaa fighters among them Cayrow, Godane and Fuad Shoongale, came to Shariif and took him to undisclosed location. They put a gun in his head and told him " ama toobad keen ama Ashaahdo". They were opposed his peace offers and other consections he was trying to make in order to avoid war. When Shariif jumped ship in Asmara , a lot of people accused him of abandoning his comrades, but Shariif was helpless in the presence of Aweys.


    Finally Aweys had his way and the war came. THe Ethiopians destroyed Mogadishu and the courts exiled to Asmara, Eritrea. Shariif finally saw the light and decided to make the peace that slipped away after the death of tens of thousands. After the truce which made Shariif the President , Aweys waged his war with his Al-shbaab , but was defeated again and he went to the bush.


    Finally, the same group that he nurtured tried to eliminate him and for the sixth time he came back. This time he surrendered. This ametour government rather than make some kind of accident and remove him from the scene, they brought him home. In the science of politics , the government is something with two heads. One is benevolent for caring, curing, educating and nurturing, the other side is a beast which should make tough decisions like punishing the criminal, executing the murderer and so on. Hassan Aweys , is not finished yet. Earlier this year, when former governor Tarzan, in a meeting of Benadir district leaders said that " wadaadkii iasgoo ordaya ayuu soo daf soo yidhi" , there were jeers and boos from the sympathizers in the crowd who should know better. He may be dyeing his bear with red Hinna and enjoying himself, but he is not done.


    the fact is these religious dictator caused the death, suffering and of Somali people for long time. Sometimes people say that if the military did not take over in 1969, things may have been better. It could be true, as the same time looking these characters , a coup of some kind would have been inevitable.



  2. Which one is Siilaanyo>


    The president of Somaliland Ahmed Siilaanyo, is a man of different league, who both represent the future of Somaliland in the short term, and maybe even have a big hand on the future of Somalia. Siilaanyo is not Rayaale, C/raxman Tuur or Even Hassan Sheekh. He had big visible traces on what went wrong in Somalia. He has been in the political scene since 1969. History will judge him harshly if he becomes indifferent for the problems and the suffering of the Somali people in the horn. We all know the president of the United Somalia will be different than all these overseers that we have witnessed for the last 20 years. He will lead the aspirations pf the 2o million Somalis who reside the horn of Africa. it will not be business as usual, the leader of the united Somalia will be carrying a big stick and people will pay attention. I cringe when I see this dad's boy Uhura( my dad is Kenyatta) who happen to be president because his father was president. He incited violence in the election of 2008 to win sectarian votes. He was weak, but now he is cutting his teeth through the so called war on Al-shabaab. Soon he could be convicted for crimes against humanity in his role for inciting violence.


    Any way to figure out Ahmed Siilaanyo, I have to go back many decades. We have to analyze his contemporary political rivals and companions. What have the men of his era accomplished ?, or what kind of impact did they had for the average Somalis for the last 54 years. While there are a lot of men with extensive impacts on Somalia, both negative and positive, I will focus the few influential ones. I would like to divide in three categories. The first group, I call them Democrats or legal builders. THe second group is Despots or dicatators, and finally the last group will be the Opportunists.


    The law abiding democrats.


    1- C/laahi Ciise Mohamud

    2- Aadan cabdulle osman

    3- C/rashiid ali Sharmaarke

    4- C/risaaq Xaaji Husein

    5- Mohamed Xaaji. I. Cigaal


    The depots ( dictators).


    General Mohamed Siyaad Barre

    General Mohamed Faarah Caydiid

    Colonel C/laahi yuusuf Ahmed.

    Colonel Hassan Dahir aweys.


    The opportunists


    C/qaasim Salaad Hassan

    Cali Khaliif Galaydh

    Ahmed Mohamed Siilaanyo

    Hassan Sheekh Mohamuud.


    Some of you are already wondering what can of criteria was the list based or some other questions, but since I am writing this thing, I have my own reasons for each one of these men. I believe these men had a profound impacts about the conditions the Somali people are in today. Some contributed for the building of the great society, while others destroyed. Some were the catalyst for change while others were bystanders.


    We start with the law abiding democrats. This group came to the power through the constitutional way and through the legal system established by the law of the land. They were pioneers of Somali independence and the formation of the nation state. They have been chosen by the people to lead the Republic. in fact each one of them was directly elected by the people.


    C/laahi Ciise Mohamuud: Ahn, He was the first prime minister of the provisional government under the Italian trusteeship fro 1956-1960. I am not going to indulge any history here, other than to state their main achievements. As a very young age he participated in the SYL and became one of the leaders. He went to Paris, New York and other foreign capitals for the cause of Somali independence. He was a man who cared more about his people and country than power and privilege. Almost everybody who headed a provisional government or led the movement before independence became president. Look every where, Kenya, South africa, Aljeria, Ganna. Unfortunately C/laahi Ciise prefered the independence of the nation, rather than position himself in a position of the leader. Easily he could have been the the future President. Some say that by aligning himself with Mohamed X. Ciagaal to form the perfect union cost him his allies and lost the presidency. Regardless, he was loyal to the leaders of that government. also by allowing smooth transition, he paved the way for the new team to lead the country. . In the history he goes as one of those who positively contributed for the Republic. He was on of the founding fathers of the republic of Somalia.


    Aadan Cabdulle Cismaan: Ahn, Aadan cadde, was a symbol of unity and good leadership and responsible government. Somalis everywhere are well aware of his decency and honesty, He was the personification of what people expected their leaders. He was the First in africa to peacefully transfer power without blood. In 1967, he lost by one vote and walked away. Unlike today's leaders he did not bought a house from London or Dubai, but retired in his farm. He represents what people call " beri samaatkii". He was one of the founders.


    C/rashiid ali Sharmaarke" ahn, Sharmaarke was a decent and honorable man. There were a lot of talk about corruption and other issues during his term when Cigaal was prime minister, but it was the political maneuvering of that political era. In democracies, progress usually is slow but incremental. In dictatorship, there is big hype and let down " Xumbo kor u Kacda oo Hadana Degta'. Unlike today's presidents he was hands off president. In that era Ciagaal was the prime minister running the show. His famous speech in 1964, which he proclaimed " gacana waan ku dagaalamaynaa, midna waan ku Footaynaynaa" refering the war of 1964. Their second government in 1969, when brought before the parliament for vote of confidence, they got 97% of the vote.

    They could have dominated the Somali political landscape if the assassins bullet didn't taken away from the Somali people. C/rashiid was a God fearing leader and one of the founders of the nation.


    Mohamed Xaaji I Cigaal. Ahn, Cigaal was the only real consummate politician the Somaliland region ever produced. Others are pretenders. After the Union of July 1960, he was out maneuvered by the southern politicians whom were practising politics since 1956. As the head of the Somaliland delegation, he did not get the appropriate allocation of the power. Yet that didn't stop him from achieving his goals. When he realized that he couldn't defeat the political machine of SYL he joined them. He was also one the most generous Somalis in political office. He famously said " waar siyaasada guri lagama dhistee guryahaagaa la geliyaa". Some may not know, but before Cigaal, there were warlords in every corner of Somaliland. Not only he pacified , but he reformed the system and introduced the party system at the right time. His plan was to spread the peace across the Somali people before his death. In fact , it could be said , Cigaal was one of the last Somalis of his generations who were the founding fathers of the Somali republic.



    A/risaaq Xaaji Husein: Ahn, c.riassq was one one of the most hard working politicians of his era. His time known as " karti iyo hufnaan" . He even fired his own brother during the government lay off. During his term he reformed the system and introduced big reforms. Although he made a lot of noise after he lost out with his SYL friend, he remains one of the great prime ministers of his era. Throughout the years he remained a a staunch supporter of free independent Somalia and he passed away just few months ago as the last somali statesman standin. A/risaaq was both respected and admired by Somalis until his last days.


    These men may have stumbled or made some mistakes in their political life but they left a legacy of nation building and harmony. In their era no Somali blood was spilled and there were harmony among the people.


    They say no news is good news, so we will leave behind the history of these men. Now let us move to the Dictators.


    The Somali dictators have something in common.


    1- Most of them, if not all of them came from the central regions of Somalia where life is tough and harsh. Siyaad Barre may have come from Gedo, but his original home is Galgaduud.

    2- They all joined the army as a young age to gain employment. They may claim to have spent time in Italy or Russia, or some other places, but most of them did not go through the legal channels to get an education, like going middle school, high school and then gain the necessary qualifications to be an elite officer.

    3- They all had an ambition to be a dictator as earlier than many people think.

    4- They all spilled the blood of tens of thousands of Somalia to gain the power.

    5- They never achieved their ultimate goal to be a great dictator, and the ones who achieved , left behind a trail of destruction.

    6- They had no desire to go through the legal channels.


    The dictator, always tries to be bigger than the life it self. When Qadaafi was challenging Ronald Reagan in the nineteen eighties, he had a population of around four million people. Almost half of that were migrant workers from Africa and the arab world, yet he wanted to leave mark around the globe. South korea, have $250 billion dollars in trust fund, it is probably the 12th economy in the world, yet they are normal people, same with Norway or others who are rich and prosperous. Indonesia, the most populous Muslim nation is doing fine, but you don't hear them pump their chest. Now , look some of these petrodollar arab states, who may have some reserve from the oil, they want boast around and make noise while they are insignificant in the eyes of the world. These Somali dictators from central Somalia are typical of Chauvinistic arab we see every day.


    Just few years before the military dictatorship took over the country, the late Somali playwright and composer Hassan Sheekh Muumin, produced the play called Leopard among women ( shabeel Naagood). By prophesying what may come he said:


    Dalaalnimada diintiyo, Dastuurka iyo xeerka

    hadii dabool la Saaro, Dawo Bukootay weeye.


    He says if you cover up or deny the rule of law, constitution and the religion and faith, the medicine who suppose to cure will be sick by it self. In a sense the social order will collapse. Well, the dictators came and nothing have been normal since then.


    Mohamamed syaad barre: ahn, Siayaad barre like most dictators left a legacy of destruction and mayhem behind him. He did have contributed a lot of things in early years of the revolution to advance the cause of nation building. Under his leadership, the Somali language was written, THe military became one of biggest in Africa and he transformed the art and culture of the country. The problem with the dictators is that, the destruction they leave behind overshadows any achievement they have accomplished in their life time. Like I mentioned, Siyaad started his intention to size power early.


    In 1962, a junior officer by the name of Husein Cali Ducaale, narrated in one of his books when he met Syaad baree in his office. At that time Cawil and other junior officers from Somaliland were on trial for orchestrating the first ever coup staged in Somalia in 1961. These northern officers were not happy the way the military ranking and other powers within the military were divided between the south and north. Cawil, like most of his fellow officers from the north was a graduate of Sandhurst military college in England. This is one of the most prestigious military colleges in the world. it is were Prince William of Britain graduated few years ago. when he came back in 1960 he was a lieutenant. All of them finished school and joined the elite Somaliland corps and then sent to appropriate military schools. These men, after the union, joined the Somali National army. They couldn't believe that most of these southern officers were colonels, captains and majors, while not having any correspondent education. So when you see today 200 generals in Mogadishu, half of them nominated for the last few years do not be surprised . It is a tradition.


    Any way, those junior officers were arrested and taken to court. Since the Somalia of 1962 was civilized, they accessed the legal process and finally convicted. Rather than treat harshly these disgruntled officers, the Somali government, dishonorably Discharged them from the army. Then, the Somalia of Aadan Cadde and Sharmaarke, was a confident one. It wasn't worried about losing power, nor looking weak by letting these young officers free. Compare that to the Somalia of 1982, just twenty years after that incident. In 1982, in Hargeisa a group of young men who were mostly doctors, nurses and Hospital workers organized a civic organization to improve service. They called it UFO. They were arrested and accused of anti government activity and undermining of public order. One bureaucrat, that served in Hargeisa in that time told me that every effort has been taken by the Sultans, business people and others to reduce tension and let go these young men. He said " the governor, who was an Cadmaawi from Sool community, did request every government minister who comes in Hargeisa to resolve the issue. As most dictators are paranoid and only listen to those who want to make things worse, things went from bad to disaster. They took them to Mogadishi and sentenced them to death. Few years After they commuted the sentence to life imprison. As you can see that is the actions of a depot who is paranoid.


    as Cawil was complaining to Siyaad barre about his dismissal from the army, Siyaad said " did you see the guy sitting in that room? , Cawil Said yes. That is the man who has my grade and rank, Siyaad said. He was referring to general dauud C/dule hirsi. He want on and added " Ninka raggi ma calaacalee wuu aargoostaa". This conversation definitely shows Siyaad had resented the Commander in chief of the army. When the military coup came in October 21, 1969, Siyaad was the highest ranking officer and the Commander of the army. If there is an army takeover of the country, he should know that he will be always the top man by military rule. Yet as most dictators, he was paranoid and immediately moved against his colleagues. He arrested Major general Said M. Qorshel , the head of the police and a year later executed the most prominent men of the Somali army and police. By eliminating Mohamed Caynaanshe, Abdulqadir Dheel and Salaad gabyre, he removed any high ranking officer to stop him or reason with him. He could have put them in jail or exile them, but he decided to go for the blood.


    Then in 1975, rather than punish them by putting them in jail or warning them, he arrested and publicly executed 10 religious imams who challenged the merits of the state socialism on family issues. Most observers will tell you that was the beginning of the decline of both the moral foundation and the leadership of the military. I am not going to spent that much ink about other calamities and the destructions left behind by Siad Barre, or the things his government accomplished. this are footnotes on The purpose of my this writing. Like most dictators whatever they build is overshadowed by their crimes.


    Meel baan u socdaaye , just stick around.



  3. Abu-Salman, you raised a good question. In Borama mostly I saw the agents of the big business, not the actual owners or the big corporate owners. Those you mostly do not interfere openly on the local politicians, although they try to please when the top leaders are in town. I will discuss further the all those you raised. as far as I know the Telecom do not pay any bandwidth spectrum like most countries. In Canada, the government auctions the spectrum every few years and charges Billions with "B". I had some encounters with the importers too. May be we should discuss further about trade and taxes.

  4. Buraha, what took you so long?, any way I was expecting you to come from the woodwork. we all have an agenda, but do not at least misrepresent this particular sentence. What I was referring was that, unlike the SNM guys, the opposition could be discussed on the issue of Somalia. I did not say the opposition is more reasonable than Siilaanyo. Let us make that.

  5. Hargeisa, the land of the free, unless you write news papers.


    In Hargeisa, whether you resident, visitor or happen be to a Somali, in Hargeisa you will feel the freedom. There were no Al-shabaab threat of terrorism and bombing, there were no fear of the state security interfering your life, unless you involve in the media, and finally there were no threat of being kidnapped by ethiopian agents. Unlike what the internet extremists project, this place is as Somali as they come. This is the land of the Somalis. By nature freedom of expression is cherished very much. One of the biggest complaint people have is the state trying to muzzle the media. Talk and talk is part of the culture, and the government do not understand that simple formula." waar afka hana qaban, waxaasi waa waxaan ka soo dagaalanee" is one statements you hear. Almost every month some paper editor is arrested or his equipment confiscated. The ruling class is paranoid. The city has grown a lot. much bigger than what it was before the war. In fact " Naasahablood" mountain which was literally out of Hargeisa is now becoming a suburban of the city. One of my sisters live probably a kilometer or more from the mountain. Each district has it's own market. Business is good. Traffic jam is growing and thousand of cars fill the streets of Hargeisa. I will talk about life, liberty, trade and other aspects of Hargeisa, but first let us meet the political class ( from Awdal) in Hargeisa.


    The political class.


    First we had an audience with the vice president of Somaliland C/raxman C/laahi Zaylici. We had few exchanges about politics , economy and the general outlook of Somaliland. In my group we were people of different political stripes. Some were Somaliweyn adherents, others were Somaliland believers, while some were open minded about the whole issues. We asked him about the development issues, and he said " we do not want to promise things like the former regime , but if we say will do some thing we will do it" . He then went on to talk about the issue of Somaliland and the Awdal Diaspora. He said " if you ask the Mogadishu community(Hag), about Somalia, the first thing they will say is " caasimada Somalia waa Muqdisho, dawladuna halkaa waa in ay tagtaa, regardless of the safety situation; If you ask the "D" community about Somalia they will say " midnimada Soomaaliyeed waa Muqadas"; and finally if you talk to the " Duriyada" , they will say Somaliland waa Muqadas". Finally he looked at us and said " haddad tihiin Qurba Joogii reer Awdal waa in aad leedihiin meel biyo kama dhacaana." he was probably insinuating that we should make our our mind on the issues, but, the fact was, he was urging us to join the bandwagon of Somaliland and stick with it. as one of the Somali weyn guys present , I did not debate but listen. I had to be an honorable guest who should listen and learn. He knew some of the guys, and after the early serious talk, they started exchanging normal conversation.


    As we talked and the atmosphere seem relaxed, I decided to ask that nagging question which was in my mind. Both in Hargeisa and Borama there were rumors about the health of the President Ahmed Siilaanyo. I said to him, " how is the health of the president?, is he have serious issue? and God forbid if things get worse, are you prepared to lead?". He felt uncomfortable by my inquiry , but firmly Said " Subxaana Allah, Ilaahay naguma keno, AlxamduLilaah, the president is doing very well and healthy. Some of you will say " waar kuwani ma geerida ayey sugayaan" , but it was a fair question. He encouraged us to come back and invest what ever resource or knowledge we have. I did not had the opportunity to meet President Siilaanyo, but one of my friends did . He said, his face didn't had any expressions and seem tired. The fact is, unless a certified medical doctor declares him healthy, this question will remain always. Also, the actions of his aides indicate there something missing. " waxba is qaban la"


    Then we met some of the members of the Parliament from Awdal. They were as hard as anyone you can meet when it comes to the issue of Somaliland. For these guys, there is nothing other than Somaliland. They immediately started to criticize us by not contributing enough to the economic growth and investment in our region. One of them said " waar dhulka waxa min Burco ilaa Boorama Dhisanaya waa dadka ee maxaad hayado iyo waxuun u keeni laadihiin" another one said " G' reer awdal way Guuraane ma dhoofaan" . he said very few of us came back home after spending time in the diaspora. Another member, who is probably one of the youngest member of the Somaliland parliament, by the name Ahmed Yasiin Sheek Cali, boosted that " We are integral part of Somaliland, and kept talking about the usual " Somaliland anagaa Dhalay " and added, "we will decide who becomes the president , we can affect change and in the next election, we may even elect one or two guys in the Hargeisa city council". Finally, Some suggested that less than five percent of us comes back permanently. In contrast among the Duriyada, large number of the diaspora have completely settled back in Hargeisa and other places. Any way in terms of Somaliland, these guys were even talking about recognition and total separation. When I tried to raise with one of them about the youth unemployment, and the lack of government contribution in the region, he jumped and said " Adeer meeshan yar Hadii la aqoonsado, Abudabay baynu Noqon oo waynu dhargi , inagaa shaqo la inoo soo doonan". Well, I have to pass the Iqaamada uu bixin doono" . I assumed it was a Typical politician talking.


    While these members of parliament from Awdal were hard liners on the issue of Somaliland, they will not be the major obstacle for Somaliland to unite with Somalia. First, the power of Somaliland is now concentrated in the hands of very few well connected people, second Ahmed Siilaanyo being astute politician and the last high profile politician both in Somaliland and Somalia, if he decides to embark the The UNITY issue, he knows that he will not be confronted by the Awdal members of parliament, but a vocal group who happen to be former SNM veterans. Do not worry about the sultans or tribal chiefs, they could be brought in a room, then, the government will explain the reasons it decided to make the move.


    The SNM veterans are well respected in Somaliland especially among the " beesha dhexe" . In a recent encounter with Ahmed Samatar , Siilaanyo said " Taking a gun and waging war is much easier than running a government". Well, the SNM folks had bad experience running a government in Somaliland. Soon after the liberation, a quarrel which later became a civil war started immediately. There were accounts that even the first president (Ahn) C/raxman Tuur was stopped at gunpoint and forced to walk from his car. Having said that , Sheekh C/laahi told me that one of the biggest and most successful thing the movement did was by giving back the power and the decision to choose another government after their mandate of two years were finished. That was the opportunity to elect President Cigaal (Ahn) in Borama. Which probably made them different than the other movement like the USC.

    yet they are still not ready to lead. If you watch the news in Hargeisa, you will not miss their rant by threatening people in the media. Even Cigaal fought a bloody war against them. Before Cigaal cleverly stabilized Somaliland, tribal militia were holding the airport until mid nineties. even Faisal Waraabe said, without Cigaal we would have warlords ruming the land. We all realize that Siilaanyo didn't spent all these years in the wilderness just to debate with SNM and rule between Hargeisa, Borama and Burco, while he could be The Somali tiger in the horn with big the stick. We will discuss Silaanyo in the next segment.,,,,


    Siilaanyo knows in order to have any chance of peaceful integration of Somalia and Somaliland, he must eliminate the influence of the former members of the movement. Ahn, former president Cigaal eliminated almost the SNM from the power in the nineties. While they were part of his administration in his first term, he decided to neutralize them in order to move forward. To do this, he started from the top. Just before the Second Somaliland Conference, which elected Cigaal as a president for the second term, he called a couple Awdal elders and said, " Adeer ninkaan maad i dhaafisaan Lama Shaqayn Karayee, ood Nin kale Maad ii Keentaan". Cigaal was referring to his vice president, C/raxman Aw cali Faarah, one of the few SNM commanders who hails from Awdal. C/raxman Tolwaa, as he is called, gave Cigaal hard time by making decisions without the president while aligning himself with movement. Few weeks before the conference, the Borama elders came back and the President asked " Adeer yaad ii Wadaan ", they said " Mudane Madaxweyne, Caano madaadshe aan afka juuq ka odhan ayaan kuu Wadnaa". By that, they introduced the former Somali Intelligence service, Colonel Daahir Rayaale Kaahin. The rest is history. after that coup, Cigaal proceeded to enact his reforms and agendas after . Tough guy " jabhads", are always hard to deal. When Ahn, C/laahi Yusuf became president in 2004, he appointed prime Minister Cali Mohamed Geedi. Some of my Hag friends, kept complaining About about C/laahi Yusuf and how he was trying to take revenge from them and so on. I said, didn't one of your guy is the head of the government as a prime minister, why are you pretending like you guys are outsiders from the power?. He said " Xageed Ku Aragtay Nin Jabhad Ah iyo Nin Qalin Wata oo La isku daray? waar ninku qolka markay galeenba wuu bireeyey". They said " we need another Jabhad like him to deal with ."


    Siilaanyo like Cigaal already sidelined most of them from positions of influence. They are less than 5% of the cabinet , but they are still load by forming pressure group and other councils. They have every right to pressure Siilaanyo in the management of the state but on the issue of Somali Unity they will not be reasonable. One of them Mohamed Hashi Cilmi, objected in 2005, when the world bank offered some development money while incorporating through Somalia or under Somalia name. He said people paid high price to be associated with that name. Also, civic elections expose how much power one is holding or pretending to command. Many of these guys couldn't win direct elections among the public. Faisal and the opposition are reasonable people. Faysal Waraabe want honest discussion on the issue of Somalia and he will be reasonable. The move is already started. A third of the cabinet is now from the former old guard of the UDUB party. They may be corrupt but they are pragmatic and can get along with the leader.

    among those sidelined are :


    !- Mohamed Hashi

    2-C/raxman aw cali

    3- Dhagaweyne

    4-Hassan Ciise Jamac

    5-hassan guure

    6-Cali guray

    7-Mohamed Gaboose

    8-Boobe yusuf Duale

    9-C/raxman C/qadir

    10-Mr. Dixood

    12-general Tanni

    and other law level directors.

    At the same time there are few who do not hold offices , but are party members.


    1- Muuse Biixi

    2-Mohamed Kahin

    3-Jaamac Shabeel


    These are nominally leaders of Kulmiye party. They will be eliminated in due course, after Siilaanyo wins the next election. If the opposition do not come together and form one single front , he could win it easily. To understand the future, you must learn the past. On that note, we have to talk about the the big elephant in the room, Mr. Ahmed Siilaanyo.


    Ahmed Siilaanyo, next...... since most of you voted to continue both the past and present we will do just that..



  6. There was a Somali jurist by the name Ina Sanweyne. The next story, I am about to tell may not diminish his stature as a great Somali " Garyaqaan", but it shows how did he got there first. In his time, a young Somali groom slapped in the face his mother in law. Since this incident is unheard of in the Somali culture of that ere to harm one's mother in law, it was a great scandal. Ina Sanweyne who never arbitrated an=y disagreement or a case before, decided to be the one who will judge the case. Before he proceeded, he requested that the case must be postponed and during the spring when all migrants and others congregate at this famous well where people and beat meets.


    His intention was to wait for a big audience and to publicize the case as much as possible. When the spring came, the whole community gathered around the well. Already a huge publicity proceeded. Everyone wanted to be present and hear the case that involved the man who slapped his mother in law.

    Ina Sanweyne proceeded, by talking how it is outrageous in our culture for mother in law to be even seen in the presence of the groom. He said" in our tradition, for the mother in law to see even the glimpse of the groom, they should hide behind a tree let alone come face to face with him". He then instructed them, " waar bal gacantiina fidiya", they did, "Bal hadaba islaanta kuu soo gaadhay intaa, xaalkeedu waamaxay". he concluded that the Mother broke the law by getting so close. By the way the accident happen while the guy was beating the bride and the mother in law tried to intervene.


    Finally, he judged for the groom and absolved of him of any " xaal" or damages. The father of the groom who was present told Ina Sanweyne " waar ma hal baan ku Siiyaa, mise hal baan kuu idhaahdaa". Which means , do you want me to give you a she camel or would you like for me to say for you one Ward. Ina sanweyne said " hal Iidheh". Whenever there is a case or dispute, this man will rise and say " waar garta Ina Sanweyne ha loo geeyo", getting him free publicity. As you can see, not only Ina Sanweyne judged against the victim, who was slapped, in this case the mother in law, but also got big publicity by doing this injustice. Here in the west we call that double whammy. The moral of the story is, some of you in this forum, like Tallabo, will like in " looyidhaahdo" mida ay rabaan, Being loud doesn't mean you are correct. You may like some of the narratives, others will infuriate you, while some may amuse you. Otherwise, it won't be interesting.

  7. Awdal State is in the diaspora, people back home are Somaliland.


    When it comes to Somaliland project and the view of the local people it is totally different of what we perceive in the diaspora. The professional class: doctors, NGO operators, government directors , and the civil servants, both in Borama and Hargeisa they fully support the Somaliland project. for them there is no other alternative. When chatting with them, what you hear " Hadaanu nahay reer Soomaliland, Somaliland this, Somaliland that", they could barely say Somalia or similar things. Among these groups, there were those who never had any experience in Somalia or spent their whole life in Somaliland. Among them is the vice President C/raxman Zaylici. When he finished high school, he attended a technical school in Hargeisa and joined his family's business as an engineer building houses. He never seen beyond Burco. The second group is the older ones who had bad experience in Somali bureaucracy in the late eighties, and are not willing to take a second chance. These older guys have settled and are not trying a new adventure. For these guys the Somaliland issue is settled. Also the news from the south is not encouraging.


    The elders are also part of the Somaliland project. While they care about the well being and stability of Somalia, they see a distant thing that can only be discussed when the South of Somalia becomes stable. One of the exchanges I had one of the elders was astonishing. He said " adeer AAden Cadde Ma garan?, I said , " do you mean the former President of Somalia? he said, yes and proceeded with his story. Actually, these story was told more than once by other elders in Awdal. I do not know, if it is an urban legend or authentic story, but I will take on their word. He said that in 1962, the (Ahn) AAdan Cadde was touring the North West, and he stopped a small town called Boon (Famous for it's baked ribs, where young girls run beside the lorries going to Djibouti and say Loudly " solayga solayga), which lies between Borama and Zaylac. While discussing their conditions, the elders asked the president that they need water wells for them and for their livestock. As the story goes Addan Cadde said " do you guys know a town called Jawhar?', they said no we don't, "well, the president siad " it is just 90 km from Mogadishu and I have to dig the well their first, and then Hiiraan and so on, then we will dig one for you." then he told me son, " adeer Hargeisi intaas ay Jowhar u jirto ayey ii jirtaa". There were no debate here. Then I met the Sheekhul Beled of Borama, Sheekh C/laahi Sheekh Cali Jowhar. He gave me a big lesson about the history of Somaliland and how far they came, about the effort to pacify from Sheekh to Burco , to Hargeisa and Shirkii boorama. Finally, he said they are praying Allah to lift the suffering from the Somalia and its people, but your duties are to help Somaliland and it's progress. He concluded that the people are building their town and cities while the government is keeping the peace. Again there were debate , other than " sheekh waad Mahadsan tahay".


    Another important factor is the Somaliland system is the glue that is holding everybody together. Educated people will tell you if the Somaliland system is removed, there will be disintegration. They say it may fragment in to four different regions. One In Awdal and selel, another from gabiley to Berbera, Togdheer and the east may form another one. They say this will be a recipe for disaster..


    Among those who are hopeful of Somali unity in their lifetime , there was one major trend that I felt both in Hargeisa and Borama people were expecting some kind of change both from Somalia and president Siilanyo government who were elected just a year earlier. Unlike Rayaale, Siilaanyo authorized the engagement of Somalia both in the diplomatic arena and bilateral meetings. They were expecting these meetings may produce some kind of blueprint for the future. Those who had hopes of Somali unity were also skeptical about in improvement from the south. Some even told me that " adeer Koonfurtu kuna Dili mayso, kuna Noolayn mayso" . They said that in Somaliland people did their best during the last 20 years to keep the peace and hoped for Somalia to move forward for the next step.Unlike what you see in the diaspora and the internet People in Hargeisa and Borama are reasonable. When you talk to them in private or logical manner they will tell you that " Adeer midho Guntigaaga ku jira loma daadiyo kuwa geed Saaran, Waxay noqon lahaydba, Marka hore ha la helo Dal nabad ah iyo dad lala hadlo|. For those a peaceful south was the key for Somaliland-Somalia unity. So if you are somebody interested for the future unity of Somalia, you must concentrate, the security issue of the south. WE must not let pickering or incompetent people to drail this task. Again, the people are easy to talk and are open for a dialogue, Do not judge by the tough talk of the Diaspora. Since Qoslaaye came, the perception is changing and people are becoming hopeless. Rather than looking up to that big Somalia, they see small Somali states mushrooming all over the country with no regard for unity. Many are even sticking to Somaliland in the face of more disintegration of Somalia. Those who believe principally the idea of united Somali Republic are disillusioned and are not having any help from any quarters.


    While every mature and people of authority seem to suggest that the issue of Somaliland was settled, the youth were totally different. The youth who represent the future are edgy and unhappy. Many are graduating from these universities and they aren't getting any prospect of jobs. Public sector jobs are rare and closed mostly for the next kin of the directors or the government ministers families. It is common that every ministry is dominated by certain subclan. major ministries like, the Interior, finance and foreign are closed for particular group of people. hundred of these youth are every where. Some are heading to Mogadishu for the scholarships that foreign governments provide, others are heading to shark invested seas. AS i was talking some of the youth to discourage about " Tahriib" , one of them said " adeer, every day we see guys who were mediocre in terms of education and other life achievements, coming back home, building the big house and marrying the best girl in the neighborhood" , " we can't sit here idly while are people taking risks to improve life". Among those Somaliland is a cage and a dream that may not fulfilled.. For them the idea of Somalia is an open opportunity, they believe there could be some good chances. Few go to hargeisa for job openings and come back empty. Now they want to try either in the sea or in other places regardless of the risk. When I came to Hargeisa I was talking to one of the senior bureaucrats , and when I raised the issue of youth unemployment , he said " unless we get some kind of mineral resources like oil or heavy investment from abroad , this issue will persist, and the leaders are well aware so there will be some movements toward engaging Somalia issue.


    The business community is open for everything. They are loyal Somalilanders, but they do not object the idea of expanding their business opportunities. Dahabshiil Company is one of the most organized and highly successful business in Somaliland. Their office branches are visible everywhere. their employees are from the local communities where they operate. They are also involved almost all the local projects spearheaded by the communities they serve. While the business community is very active , they do not openly associate with politicians. If peace comes from the south, the business community will quickly trade and expand. They will be probably the ones who will bring communities together.


    Usually public opinion follows the trend of the what is happening and now in 2014, people in general do not have high hopes for the current government in Somalia. The constant increase of foreign armies, especially from the neighboring countries gave people certain scepticism to be part of Unisom led Somalia.


    Next Hargeisa and the political elite.


  8. Hawdian, saaxiib ha degdegina. I was writing in 1981. Yes, there were underlying issues or under the current problems, but in 1980 and 1981, the inside problems did not explode yet. I think Tallabo is probably wasn't even born then. The Somali Airline flight to Hargeisa was always full. When I came back to Hargeisa in 1982, that was when the big flares " dhagax tuurkii" and other things started. Any way I wish you could wait. Yes there were issues of settlements and refugees in Hargeisa were people felt dispossessed and others. But the fact was Hargeisa was booming in 1981.


    Tallbo, we all know the bombing of the city, the destruction of Hargeisa, the refugees who settled in Ethiopia and all the calamities that flowed.

  9. It is upside down, or the beginning of the upheaval.


    Before I talk about the the current situation, some thirty years ago as a teenage boy of 14 old , I witnessed one of darkest political events of my early age, right here in this town. It did happen long time ago, but , I remember like it happened yesterday.


    It was the school year 1979/80, I was attending Sheekh Ali Jowhar high, I was in junior high or what we you used to call Form 1. About around nine in the morning, first, there were commotions, and next, the people of the city were running around frightened. WE all gathered around the police station. Like some kind of civil defence, some of locals brought their pickup trucks and guns. I remember an old man ( Ahn), by the name of Hussein Hadi riding his landrover and encourage people to assemble and get ready for the defence of the city. While we were all asleep four in the morning, one of the military bases in Goroyocawl, five miles north of Borama was taken over. Not by the ethiopian army, but by our own brothers . A group of rebels, belonging to the SSDF movement took over the base at down.


    Geograph, may decide your destiny.


    Most of the residents, including me, never heard of the rebels. Yes, some people were familiar about the unsuccessful coup in Mogadishu, which resulted not only the execution of the instigators, but also targeted large number of innocent people, who happen to be members of the clan who were leading the coup. The city is only thirty kilometers from the border. When you travel to the villages just outside the city limit, you may even hear the rumbling of the Ethiopian tank at night, which makes the people edgy. THe people who live in the border area, throughout Somaliland paid a high price during the war , both on life and material help. also in the school year of 1977/78, the Amoud boarding high school was closed to make way for for a makeshift hospital to nurse the wounded soldiers coming from the war zone. As you can imagine, the people's attention is what may come from that border. No one ever thought that the army was guarding the border from another Somali.


    By eleven in the morning, enough forces was assembled in the city, and a contingent of national army came from a base west of the region called Halimaale. The counter offensive started immediately. By two in the afternoon the rebels were pushed back and the army took the base again. Around four thirty, in the afternoon, the bodies of the dead soldiers and rebels were brought to the cemetery in the west side of the city. If I could remember correctly, the total dead -may Allah have mercy on them - were 29. The national army soldiers were buried one by one in their own graves, and the rebels were buried in groups. When the burial was over, one of the local Sheikhs made duca. After the conclusion of the "salaatul Jinaasa' the prayers for the dead, the sheikh said " Today we lost about thirty men, both of them our own sons, he continues, " today Mengistu will be saying how many Somalis did I kill, for him what counts is the total". "they are both enemies for him, didn't we had just fought a battle of the ages against him two years ago?. " Waar hadda ma waxaad Na Leedihiin Cadawgii Dadka Soomaaliyeed Xamar buu joogo, Adeer taasi waa duni maqluubka loo rogay" indeed for many it was an upside down. With profound sadness, we all left the cemetery without saying a word. That experience shaped deeply, the antipathy I have for inter Somali clan wars.


    At that same day, when the battle was raging around two in the afternoon, they brought a prisoner of the war. We all raised to the police station to see the Ethiopian prisoner that was captured. To the surprise of all, he was a young Somali fighter from the rebel group. In fact in the nineteen eighties, I met him in a small coffee shop in the intersection of Cassa poopalare, owned by a family member. He was released after clemency was offered among the members of SSDF in 1984. He was training as intermediate school teacher when he left and joined the rebels. Just before he set his shop in Ethiopia, (ahn) c/laahi yusuf was asked, " how can you join forces with Mengistu while the wounded of the last war were still bleeding" ?, he said " Siyaad Barre Shaydaana Waan Uso Kaxaysan" . I think we were collecting the grape fruit of the Shaydaan for a long time. To be fair, when C/laahi Yusuf was asked in 2004, while he was running for president , about his long battle as a rebel, he said " Hadaan Ogahay in soomali ay sidan oo Kale u qariban tahay, Qori iyo will gaadhi masaareen , duurkana ma galeen.


    This events, remind me that those who want to rule this country must have a profound understanding that the nation is bigger than Mogadishu or the desire of those quarrelling for power. At the same time those who want to rule should have great insights about Hargeisa, Jigjiiga and beyond. Also we must never push our brothers to the hand of the enemy for comfort.


    Another, journey just before this one.


    Since I am looking back for the past in this latest thread, let me go back another two years after that one in 1981. I went for vacation in Djibouti at the summer of 1981. after spending there two months, I did get a call from one of my uncles who was in Mogadishu. He was member of "Gudiga Nabadgalyada Gobolka Benadir". he was a Police captain. I was excited for the journey to go to the nation's capital. In Djibouti, where the buses and trucks stand to wait for freight and people, it was busy. At the border crossing in Lawyacado, there were huge lineup of trucks, most of them were headed in Hargeisa. After staying few days in Borama, I proceeded with my travel. When I entered Hargeisa, it was different. At that year a boom of a lifetime was happening in the city. Money was pouring from the gulf to hargeisa, export and import businesses were everywhere. While Somalia itself was under "xisbiga Hantiwadaaga" and free enterprise was restricted, it seemed the people of Woqooyi Galbeed were given amble opportunity for free trade and enterprise. The city was growing as a enormous rate. Japanese and other import cars dominated the street, the somali shilling was losing power as inflation was so high. In the Hargeisa market you could barely find any thing less than one shilling. the lower denomination of the shilling were disappearing. Unlike the rest of the country, this was a capitalist and trade heaven. Just like Lowyacado, hundreds of trucks were ready to travel to Berbera, Burco and Mogadishu. I did stop in burco for a while.


    Burco, like Hargeisa was booming. it was a gateway to the livestock export to Berbera. Even in the outskirt of the city, trucks have been loaded with goats and sheep. You could see trucks hauling livestock from as far as Dhuusamareeb and Hiiraan. After Burco, I left for final travel to Mogadishu. As soon as you reach Groowe, there was a fear among the traveling public. The insurgency was growing and the life of the people were becoming difficult. The cities were dead. THere were no any business activity in that part of the country. Not only the government purged, and arrested almost all of the civil servants, army officers and others in any position of influence , by claiming them to be " Mahbar", but it also targeted the rural population. Water wells were bombed and the nomads disappeared. In 1981, central Somalia towns were deserted and looked like ghost towns.


    The tale of two cities.


    Finally we reached Mogadishu. Mogadishu of 1981 was cheap and good. Inflation was law. not only shillings but pennies were still in circulation. most of the business was government connected. There were few privately owned Hotels. major hotels were run by government. Unlike Hargeisa, open trade was restricted. In the north, a system called Fraco fluto was in place. Everyone can go to Dubai and pick a car or truck and bring to Berbera. Rather than few government sanctioned people, every one had the opportunity to import goods. You do not need a licence or permit to do so. In mogadishu, it was different . The government instituted an LC system. on this system only those who have these permits were able to import thinks. THe mogadishu LC creates very few rich people to control the market. While Hargeisa was booming with Asian import cars Mogadishu was riding with old style Fiat. In Hargeisa the Taxis were mostly latest models of toyota Cressida, in the capital it was old 124 fiat. While in 1981, a lot of political moves that will eventually affected the future of the country was happening, mogadishu and south were normal. The more you travel south to Afgooye, marka, and Kismaayo, the better the life was. In the deep south of the inter river, life was cheap, and there were no inflation. Most of the food consumed were locally produced. Personally I thought Mogadishu as a government town, possibilities were measured, and limited, while Hargeisa was the land where everything was possible. literally, in those days, you could have come to Hargeisa and joined the melting pot of business.


    In 1981, " kacaanku waxuu ku dhawaaqay Laba kaclayn". Siad Barre arrested some of the most influential friends of the revolution, both from the north and south. Some elders from Gedo visited Siad Barre soon after the " Laba Kaclayn" and told him " mar hadaad ragii kacaankan kula soo waday aad xabsi ku tuurtay, filo in aadan ka dambayn" . Soon after, the SNM was created in October/1981. Remember until that year THe Reer Woqooyi ( somalilanders) were the most powerful members of the October revolution. Among 23 Somali revolutionary counsel, nine of them were reer woqooyi. Unlike public perception, In the seventies, the most powerful men ,of the government were , Axmed Saleebaan Dafle, Cumar Carte Qaalib, Siilaanyo, Muuse Rabiile, Axmed xasan Muuse, Ismaaciil A. abokor and many more.


    I hope some of the landers in the forum will clarify this or may even introduce contrary arguments, especially Xaaji Xujuf, but, when SNM was created in the Diaspora, in 1981, Hargeisa was the richest city in the Somali speaking world. Even the Somaliland elder statesman Xaaji Cabdi Waraabe said, "If were left alone, Hargeisa could have been London ", By traveling from Lawyacao to Mogadishu I just felt that same feeling. I saw economic growth and prosperity, while the central part was empty and mogadishu was socialist in it's approach of the business.


    Well, lets fast forward to the 21st century, next the elite and the public opinion,,,,,,,,,,


  10. MMA said it best. Can you imagine how far the so called this international guys go. Well, let us tell them that the pirates that u capture at sea are feeling sick so they may build us a hospital. Just the same guys who are paying Unisom solders $1500 a month are building these jails. Now we know where their proprieties. Nice looking though.

  11. The good, the bad and the ugly.



    The ugly: We all have extended families. Some are doing very well economically, others are average and some are poor. You do your best to help as much as you can. Some research done by Amoud University found that up 71% of the local households in Borama receive money from their families in the diaspora. That shows the Somali diaspora has more contribution than anyone else. contribution. Some families need more than other, and some men do take care for the well being of their dependent Families, but others, do not care other than their daily khat. They will not ask you a gallon of oil or a kilo of rice for their families. all they ask you is " qaadka Noo qaad". I went to one of the food stores ( Bakhaarka), and gave the shopkeeper the list of the families that I would like to help. I told him, give these twenty families each, a bag of rice, sugar and a can of canola oil. It does cost about $80 dollars each. It was the best sadaqa one can do. When the khat chewing guy comes, " waar qaadkayga maad na siisid" , I tell him a gave the khat to your wife. The ugly men of khat are selfish. At the same time you must give as much khat as possible for the first few days. While giving some khat is okay both as gift and some economic uplifting for the lady selling the thing, it was also self interest on my part. Since generosity is a great aspect of Somaliland culture, I don't want to be labeled as "Gacantii Go'day ".


    The Good ( nololi waa haween)


    Although they care the extended family , and neglected by the " qaad cun", The Somali women, the gatekeepers of Somali society will not dare to ask you for help. They treat you with honor when you visit the home, with the original tea " sanjibil iyo hayl lagu daray" and expect you to do the right thing. Even in the Diaspora, it is the somali women who bends the families together. Imagine, a country whose middle class, business class and everyone who had any form of education become refugees in a total collapse. In 1990, " shantii Soomaaliyeed" Mogadishu ayey iskugu yimaadeen. Hargeisa was in ruins in 1990, and after one year, somalis were scattered around the globe. Despite these calamities, the Somali family unit is intact. Most of these are attributed by the tenacity and patience of the Somali women. Imagine carrying an average of five to six kids in The Diaspora were the average family is one or two kids. They are good of Somali society.


    While the majority of those who are involved in the government are incompetent, the private sector is totally different. Money transfer companies like, Dahabshiil, Amal and others are not only professionals but contribute a lot to the local economy. Unlike Djibouti were electric, water and telephone are controlled by a government monopoly, here it is really free enterprise. my family pays about $20 dollars for twenty four hour electricity a month, water is Ten dollars a month and telephone is ten dollars/month. The business community is leading the changes, not the government. Tree enterprise is is thriving. Even if you travel to the coastal area or any other region, the cell phone tower antenna is everywhere. It is one of the cheapest in the world. I did put in $20 dollar worth of airtime and I even called Canada and around the world why I was in small towns. Even People in Djibouti go to the outskirt of the city to access the Telesome Network antenna in Lowyacado. THe business class do not chew khat expect " Jimcaha". They are even open in the evenings. I say they are the Good of the society. All major transactions are done with American dollars. Since the Somaliland Shilling is created out of thin air, it is inflationary and unstable. While the Land gained some ground against the dollar last year it is basically a currensy for small transactions. If you want to exchange 200 dollars for the Land shilling, you must carry a grocery bag to carry it. Even for one hundred, you will get five bundles which can't be put in any pocket. When you see $1000 dollar worth of money carried in " kaariyoone" you feel this Somaliland project " waa arrin dani ku baday oo ku meel Gaadh ah".


    Although Some paranoid members of the regime arrest journalists in Hargeisa and other places, there is a sense of freedom. Unlike Djibouti and Ethiopia, no one worries about the long arm of the state. I believe , if you remove the threat of Al-shabaab, Somalis everywhere will not accept any system which denies them freedom of speech and other democratic rights. In that sense Somaliland is not different. People here in general do not like aggressive authority either from police or any other entity.


    In this picture the bad is the government. The only people among the government who are working hard are the district judges and the police. The judges are mostly religious scholars who both work for their communities and for hereafter. The Governor arrests people for petty reasons like, the insulted him or somebody said something bad in the media. Finally Siilaanyo came to his senses and fired him. Since then there were two more good governors, but the current one from Burco is different. While those who originated from Awdal were arresting people to keep Hirsi and the Palace happy, this guy did the opposite. I actually I was one of those who criticised these idea of swabbing governors which flies in the face of self rule.Under this governor, People can hold press conferences and denounce Siilaanyo or his government or any thing they dislike and he lets them bark as much as they like. in fact it is the freedom speech at it's best. Last year, there was a guy who was one of the leaders of Awdal state, well known in the media, who visited Borama and nothing happened to him. After he came back there were rumors that he was probably made some deal. We live in the same city and when he came back as I asked him jokingly " Waar bal ii waran, Waxaan maqlay in aad Madaxtooyada ku soo qayishay Xirsina ku soo Amababixiyee" He said " walaahi" I wanted to be arrested, but the governor did not want to raise any publicity or create the impression he is prosecuting people. He said that the governor sent me a an interlocutor who informed me that as long as you don't cause any instability, this is your home. HE also said, while I was having a tea at Rays hotel, he said hello and Joked and we exchanged few words. When I heard the story I said, well, the foxy community of Burco are finally learning the art of politics.


    Education is thriving. It is mostly private. The freshmen in Amoud were around 900 students. 55% of those came from outside Awdal region. Over three thousand students who are attending Amoud, 1800 of them came from outside Awdal. the Faculty of education produses teachers both in Awdal and around all Somali territories. In fact they told us that there are Awdal teachers in puntland, Sool, Jawhar and as far as beled Xawwo. There are families who are relocated from other parts of Somalia to stay here and watch their children finish school. Another thing about Borama is no one will ask you which clan you belong or any uncivilized questions. I am not exaggerating but you will feel home. I remember during THe Carta government, I was an arch supported of the that government and I was involved with a lot of debate some of detractors. THere were three guys , one from Duriyada, From SSDf and USC. When things heat up , the Somaliland guy would say " Waar nimankaan iskaga dhex bax, Meeshan balaayadu ka socoto oo Soomaaliland taada ka hadal". When I challenge the other two for their failures and the price the Somalis were paying , they got mad and tell me " waar idinku Awalba Macalimiin Baad ahaydeen , Tamaashiirtiina waan idiin dhiibi doonaaye buuqa Yaree" . It looks in Tamaashiirtii naloo Dhiibay". That year the first Five students graduated from the medical school which covers the badly needed doctors. As I was walking in the downtown around 10:00pm at night I saw five dozen of people walking with books. When I enquired, they told me that Amoud university has a campus in downtown where business people, shopkeepers and other adults who work during the day take some courses. While Eelo University is a technical school, which is producing students for many field like electrician and auto mechanics, Technical know how is almost not existent.


    The state within the state.


    The Non Governmental Organization or NGO's as they are known, really are their own governments. They have their own rules, pay their employees ten times the government, and everyone from the government minister to the local health administration, are trying to land one of their projects. In hargeisa alone there are 121 NGO's who operate and have offices. One day I saw people in a guest house hall being distributes five dollar each. Since no crowd will participate these so called awareness issues of the NGO, they must sweeten the pot. While most of those who finance these projects are western, now the local directors are either Kenyan, or Ugandan. A government ministry that doesn't have direct financing from NGO's for their pet projects are officially dead. No one goes there including the minister. While traveling in Zaylac I saw about a dozen land cruisers in the villages and between. THey said these are the health NGO vaccinating people . It really seems there is no business activity or life without them. 65% of Somaliland budget is spent on security, so somebody have to cover all these projects. I could could be wrong , but I believe without them the State institutions may not survive. Other than the business community, every thing is financed by them. All these educational institutions and other functions projects are only possible through them. I can confirm this State called NGO is bigger than Somaliland itself, and without them, there will not be stability.


    Next the issue of session . The public opinion and the political class. Please bear with me i have a lot more to tell.




  12. When I saw the headline, I thought he was announcing a withdrawal date. Unless they specify exact date or at least a time table to work on it could work. As of now it is a open ended operation. Why don't say by June 2015, they will go or January/2016. We need fixed dates. I believe Qoslaaye, to ease some of the pressure, may give the shop away and extend another 10 years. That will be the end of the Republic as we know it.

  13. Alpha , I could be out of the touch, but how long do we have to make excuses for people who can't do any simple reforms to make life better for the citizens. What does it take to keep streets open or develop new land for people to settle.

  14. It is really big hope. I heard there were a study many years ago, which said only 7% of immigrants go back home. I know friends who live in northern canada, over there the sun goes down 3pm and rises 10:00am in the winter. We work 10 to 14 hours a day. it is totally a new idea to go back.


    Thanks for the uplifting hope.

  15. Just after half an hour in the air we landed Hargeisa. While Djibouti is a land inhabited by Somalis and others, it couldn't reflect the original Somali culture. Because of the french influence and the presence of Caffar, Arabs , Ethiopians and other cultures, some how wasn't authentic. If you really want to see the real Somali culture, you must go to the heartland. Two places where you may find is Gaalkacayo , in central Somalia and Hargeisa. While the old Somali traits of " Gabay Iyo Geesinimo" is fading in the modern times, you will not miss the other ones like : loud, pushy, arrogant, yet proud and generous. By touching down Hargeisa I felt coming home for a real. A government minister and other dignitaries welcomed us at the airport. In fact we proceeded to the VIP lounge of the airport. They took our passports and we paid the entrance visa fee. I wanted to go to the line myself, but they insisted to do it for us. It was a nice gesture , but I never liked it. I wanted to be with people. At the front gate, where our car parked, I saw the minister of aviation Mohamed Hashi. It was Friday and he was wearing " go', shaala iyo macaws" . He probably came to check what was going on.


    In Hargeisa , after long absence in the diaspora, the first thing you notice is the crude Somali culture. Load, pushy, arrogant , yet proud and generous. It is also very easy to converse and chat with people. We reached one of the hotels in west side of the city. Since there were not any jet lag we started intermingling with people. For me, it was very nostalgic, and home coming, especially when you have family and friend in both corners of the city. Regardless of what the political situation or the the allocations of power may cause some Awdalites to complain, I had the sense of feeling that we are integral part of the Somaliland project. I wasn't able to see any family members that day, other than converse with telephone. We called the night off and went to bed. THe Muadin , in the mosque next door , started the Fajar Edaan around three in the morning. I thought the first Daakiraad ( call for wake up) used to start around four, then the final call before the prayer. This one seemed too early and non stop from three to Fajar prayer. I thought the Muadin was probably sleeping all day and he doesn't mind keeping others awake. It has been long time since I heard Fajar EEdaan, so I may be mistaken about early call . We woke up early and prepared to leave. Hargeisa , like Addis is up early and on the move. The transit buses are already filling the roads. Small tea houses are everywhere and people are gathering around it.


    I came back for Hargeisa after spending ten days in Awdal region, but first, we left for Borama first thing in the morning. We did stop about an hour in Gabiley and had some refreshments. In my eyes Gabiley seemed to be shrank little bit from the days of eighties. Any way, we reached Borama by noon. If you were a former resident of the city before the collapse of the Somali state, there is one thing that you will immediately notice. if you walk around , You will notice that the last time there was a government in this city was in 1991. In Ay Dawladi Meeshaan Ugu dambaysay 1991 Ayaad Ogaanaysa. Within the original boundaries of the city, one or two more cities are built. Every park, field or playground are made way for houses. Major streets crossing throughout the city are literally blocked. I am not talking about people making the streets narrow by setting up houses. I am talking about people setting their shops, homes and businesses in the middle of the street. Bal ka waran gurigaaga hortiisa oo wadadii maraysay qof suuq ka samaysto. Every stands were transit trucks or buses to Djibouti and Hargeisa used to wait for passengers are occupied. Except one or two, every major road in the city is totally blocked. Park ranger areas, Beerta xoriyada were kids use to play are occupied. When I asked people how could this happen?, they said every mayor that came sold these public places and parks , and never even bathered to clear the streets from squateres. I Remember Allah ha u naxariistee, C/laahi yusuf's during his reign in Puntland he bulldozed squatters with armored carriers to clear streets. THe mayor does nothing other than just sell public land. The issue of mayors selling public land and the disputes it creates are familiar vevey where in Somaliland. Another major issue is, when you go in the outskirt of the city , just like the old time, the so called " cashuur qaade" is waiting the poor lady who brought A gallon or two milk to market. these are among the poorest of rural people who should be left alone. The shop owner or the restaurant may pay some money by end of the year, but these people are targeted.


    A day or so after we met the mayor. We booked for 9:00am. we kept waiting and finally he showed up around 10:30am. A two dozen people are waiting for grievances about land disputes and other issues. He told us to sit, watch and learn. Wax baanu naqaanaa baad tidhahdiin sow ma ahan, daawada sida aan wax u kala dabarno" We said go ahead by all means. Hopeless people cried for waiting a judgment for long time about their "jago' and other residential boundary issues. He dismissed all either by false promise, or instructing a uniformed police to look the issue , and by noon he was out. There are no, city manager, road maintenance, garbage collection department or any thing that works without the mayor. All they do is sell the land whether it is a street or park and pocket the proceeds. Welcome to the 21st century mayors of Somaliland.


    After seeing the incompetent and corrupt mayor ( by the way he wasn't the only mayor who is responsible for this mess), the next day , we met the Governor. The Governor was a former felon who was accused of a murder. Annalena Tonelli was an Italian activist and lawyer who set up hospitals in east Africa foe over thirty years. In the nineties, she established a hospital for Tuberculosis, Aids and other diseases in Borama. Her family and friends in Italy helped her finance the hospital by contributing $20.000 a month. She was one of the most beloved volunteer to work in the region. In October 2003 she was assassinated inside the hospital. Four men were arrested for her murder. The Governor was among those accused of the crime. he was arrested, and He spent many years in Madhera jail, but was finally released after some of the witnesses could not come forward. After Siilaanyo become president he appointed him the Governor of Awdal. In fact soon after Siilaanyo took over as a president he appointed to public office for every one that had any beef with Rayaale. He appointed Mohamed Hashi and Gaboose , to guys arrested by Rayaale for creating illegal forth party, minister of finance and interior respectively. He appointed minister former unemployed guy, by the name of Ina Geeljire, who owned Mijilis in Ottawa, Canada and wrote " afaray" every week to insult rayaale. Any way, finally he fired all of those who attacked rayaale and replaced with them with Rayaale loyalists. The biggest surprise among these government representatives in Awdal were either corrupt, incompetent, or out right criminals. some times it seems the worst among the people are joining or becoming part of the government. The most competent hard working and men of honor were either in the private sector, involved in the NGO's or unemployed.


    A system that attracts the worst among society will not survive too long or will ebede growth. will leave there, next...........



  16. Look I never put down the businessman who made his money. Whether he is Dahabshiil or Telesome or any other Djibouti businessman, I have no beef with them. What bugs me is a guy who becomes filthy rich by being in the government. What I meant is by pursuing legitimate means and honest living, I resent them. You remember the saying that " hebel meel fiican oo dhacdhac leh ayuu joogaa oo guri fiican buu dhistay" that statement is praising the crook.


    gooni, maxaad tiri duuliyaha ha fiirin ee meesha daran ee uu u socdo eeg. Saaxiibadaa makugu raacsan yihiin in meel daran uu u socdo.