I was surprised to listen to an interview given by Awad Ahmed Ashareh – a spurious unionist and an argumentative politician – with Mohamed Abdillahi Hassan of Somali channel in Toronto on the 27th December 2014.
First, my sincere gratitude is extended to Mohamed Abdillahi Hassan for his professional and fairness aptitude in taking this interview.
The essence of the interview, among others, was based on Mr Ashareh’s perception of the meeting between Somalia and Somaliland that was hosted by President Ismail Omer Gelleh for , on the 21st December 2014.
It was apparent that the main concerns, as highlighted by Mr Awad, were the administrative process of the meeting (the presence of Hassan Sheikh and his selection of his team) and the bilateral endorsement of the six point joint communiqué by the two Presidents. Mr Awad out rightly opposed the claim of what is now called Somaliland and persevered his point to the silhouette of the Somali republic which technically imploded in 1991.
Mr Ashareh has unreasonably manifested his displeasure against what he resentfully called ‘ a political opportunity or platform that was unfairly and undiplomatically given to Somaliland as an equal state to Somalia.’ He therefore accused Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud of committing high treason for meeting and signing a communiqué with Silaayo of Somaliland.
What disturbed me in his argument was the way he rebuffed the idea of Somaliland’s departure from the federal Government of Somalia while, at the same time, showing his agreement with Puntland’s and Jubbaland’s independence from the central administration of Somalia as autonomous administrations which paved the way more others to form – a paralysis of Southern Somalia. He also encouraged Garowe to show discontent about the outcome of the meeting in Djibouti regarding the aviation point of the accord. Such mentality is the hall mark of tribal states campaigners that immersing Somalia into tribal zones or fiefdoms rather than the known and established geographical demarcation prior to 1960 which was void from tribal boundaries.
In his view Mr Awad has undermined the significance of the ongoing talks between Somalia and Somaliland that were started by members of the delegations or the technical committees of the meeting at Chevening House (UK) of June 20-21, 2012. It was a part of the ongoing process that the presidents of Somalia and Somaliland meet and endorse the continuation of the dialogue for future fruition.
Therefore, at this occasion, the discourse is not much different from the ones in Dubai (UAE), June 28, 2012, and Ankara (Turkey), April 13, 2012. It was simply the brotherly environment and intimacy of the discussions which was seen as a new development in this time round. More central issues will be discussed deeply in the next planned meeting in Istanbul on 26th -27th February 2015.
Mr Awad needlessly brought to light some minor issues surrounding the formality of the event, which both sides compromised to avoid any ill feelings towards any one side. Issues like showing up one flag (main difference) or showing up both flags at the event wouldn’t add any significance to the points discussed rather may had caused more serious comments than the one raised by Awad.
Similarly, Mr Awad denounced the protocol of the paper signed by both presidents and interpreted the Silaayo’s name on the right as recognition to Somaliland in respect of side importance (right to left) on which the two signatories would place their names accordingly. I believe the seniorities of age, political experience and the regional independence would have immediate priority in the Somali culture so; therefore, Silaayo had the right to place his signature on the right-hand side, when abiding by the rules of respect.
The president of Somalia, Mr Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, and the President Of Djibouti, Mr Ismail Omer Gelleh together with the international community have now enough experience of the underlying factors and dynamics of the Somalia problem as a whole. Through the course of the events they learned a lot and they now accept the reality prior to this meeting; the overdue solution: the two state discourse and settlement of affairs between the North (Somaliland) and the South (Somalia) no matter the final outcome which can either be a divorce or a reunion option with terms.
However, the disgruntled individuals will always exist and will neither be happy with any president in Mogadishu or in Hargeisa who engaged in this matter as they will always have their prejudiced opinions against Mogadishu or Hargeisa, even though they may seem like devoted Somali unionists. Too many parties in a discussion always adds up to the complication of the issue and that is what the wailers are aiming for but the world should know by now that only two sides are sufficient to have a tangible dialogue for this case: Somaliland vs. Somalia.
I view this double – standard vision of Somali unity held by some people as a mere clannish mentality, with Mr. Awad Ashareh being an individual that not only holds this view, but also shares it with his group (advocates of Puntland and draughtsmen of current Garowe – Somali Federal Constitution). They hold the corrupt ideology of empowering some areas of Somalia by giving political advantage over others- whatever they are not involved in is labelled as an unconstitutional while making decisions for the others to remain in the phony unity.
Mr Ashareh is clearly reinforcing the wrong side of the fence, despite the fact that he knows the injustice that the people in the North tolerated soon after the independence in 1960. The matter of Somaliland’s case is not the doutful way he sarcastically puts it; as if the frustration of Somaliland began as an economical deprivation reasons and I would say that it is far more than that and it is for development, material and human cost outcry that simply cannot be ignored or put into a mockery statement.
The case for Somaliland is gaining momentum and it has already captured the attention of leading political platforms like the European Parliament, IGAD members and other powers and institutions that were involved in the region for the past two decades. Few individuals cannot stand in the way of the people’s will, no matter how loud they whimper or exercise pressure to dislodge the dialogue process between Somalia and Somaliland.
Over the years, the phony unionists played all their cards and knocked every door to stop the cause of Somaliland in vain and the fortitude of Somaliland’s people on their case has prevailed at last.
Mohamoud Hassan Arrale