SOMALILAND: The Chains of Betrayal

By Ibrahim M. Mead

Somaliland is a country betrayed repetitively by its leaders. Every time we change one president to another who promised a change, he proves even worse then his predecessor!! Siilanyo is one good example. The people say the bad one was better than the worse one and the worse one was better than the worst!
Look at the “Trio” the Guurti, the House of Representatives and the executive.
Two institutions over stayed the expiration of their terms and still collect their salaries and allowances. The executive is on the way to join the club. They dumped the constitution. They work out side the constitution. They use their institutions as their cash-cow. They over stayed no matter what and still collect thousands of dollars. They are accountable to their own interests.
They gave them selves a generous raise every now and then in a country where the medium income is a dollar or two a day! There is no conscience in our so-called leaders who lead our institutions. Under such situation and under such ‘what-is-in- for me’ leaders the future of Somaliland is dim. They betrayed their people and they de-railed the development of democracy and good governance. Now they are working to undermine the elections. They are the problem and no more the solution. That is what they are!

Definition of betrayal is synonyms with treason. “Betrayal and treason are violations of trust and loyalty.” Betrayal and treason come under unifying analytical framework in Ben yahudas 2001 work.
“’Betrayal is a complete break from previously decided or presumed norms by one party from the other (Siilanyo and his original party. Siilanyo and the people of Somaliland) some one who betrays is called a traitor”. (From Wikipedia)
The traitor’s crime is of such enormity that it will deprive them of divine mercy and the Prophet’s intercession.  The Prophet (scws) said:
“God said: There are three whom I will oppose on the Day of Resurrection: a man who gave his word and then betrayed it; a man who sold a free man into slavery and kept the money; and a man who hired someone, benefited from his labor, then did not pay his wages.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari)
“Every traitor will have a banner on the Day of Resurrection and it will be said: This is the betrayer of so-and-so.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari) The Prophet said that the one, who does not possess honesty, does not possess faith,
and the one who does not keep his pledge, is not a Muslim

Marcus Tullius Cicero’s words more than 2,000 years ago, ring true. He said:
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the restless, go-getting elements of her. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.” Are we there? Is Somaliland there? Well, that depends who you are, how you see it and how pessimistic or optimistic one is. Time will tell, but with out question Somaliland was betrayed by its leaders, the “trio”
(Marcus Tullius Cicero was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, and Roman constitutionalist)

Betrayers are void of “Taqwa”
A Leader, whose goal is the quest for power, and self enrichment, or the fame that comes with these, is immoral, self-centered and narcissistic. They start to believe their own little world. They eventually believe that they are the institution and the institution is them! They destroy institutions of government to avoid checks and balance. That means that they diminish, demean and destroy democracy. Those leaders start out seeking only money and power. Along the way this fuels increasing desires for more. This creates a deep desire to keep it going and to do that they fight to stay and over stay even when it is illegal and illegitimate to be there. This lust becomes so strong that such leader breaches his ethical standard which is unethical to the people he rules. Those leaders are lost but they believe they are not. Eventually they lose their ground. These so called leaders reject the honest critic who speaks truth, Instead they surround themselves with sycophants (Guulwadayal-Wajikumacaash wajigoodgubay) who tell them what they want to hear. At the end of the day, they found themselves unable to engage in honest dialogue with their people; they learn not to confront with reality. This is what Somalilanders are experiencing with their leaders to day!? Leadership that is void of ‘Taqwa” is in the end doomed and takes the country with them.

Some leaders get to the top by force imposing their will on others, others reach there by deceit and deception. Both cases destroy any body standing in their way, each one, in his way and his own methods. When they reach the top, they become paranoid that others are trying to knock them off. They are incapable of acknowledging their failures. They develop deep insecurities that they may be exposed then they become violent destroying every thing and any body differing their (wrong) way. We see this phenomenon happening in Somaliland right now.
Such leaders convince themselves and try to persuade others that these problems are neither their fault nor their responsibility. Or they look for scapegoat to blame for their problems. Using their power and communications means through hired ‘Guulwadayaal’ and sycophants. They force people to accept these distortions, for they lost touch with the real people and with reality. When they reach this stage such leaders are vulnerable to making big mistakes, such as violating the law of the land or putting the people and country at risk. Their distortions convince them that they are doing nothing wrong, or they rationalize that their deviations are acceptable to the people. They often deny their failures and they become incapable of facing reality. They lose in touch with their surroundings and with reality. Eventually, they lose their capacity to think logically about fundamental issues! Their end nears then they die in a miserable death. They leave a divided people and a disintegrated country.

Betrayal after trust
Some people talk about what Siilanyo did for Somaliland. Well, we know one thing that Siilanyo did for Somaliland and the biggest thing Siilanyo’s Government has given Somaliland is betrayal after trust. He said “trust me and I will take you to the promised place” we trusted him but be betrayed the people and the country. No sustainable peace, no unity, no dignity, forget prosperity – he betrayed the pledge he made for the people.
Siilanyo Government by its nature used irrational group ideas and characteristically abandoned the profound, honest and workable ideas postulated by (abandoned) thinkers and the founders of the Republic. He followed the clan and the cash. He followed the deceptive demons. He followed the irrational group ideas thus failed Somaliland.
Our government has also betrayed its people by creating a system that is a travesty. They abandoned the use of pro-survival ideas and creativity in favor of corruption and cabalism. It seems that Siilanyo administration’s capacity for meanness has exceeded only by their lust for money and power by any means with no shame and shy!

Where is the Opposition:

The traditional role of the opposition can be classified under three broad headings:

1- The voice of the voiceless

2- Alternative to the ruling government

3- Partner in nation building.

As the voice of the voiceless, the opposition expresses the view of a significant section of the electorate and helps to ensure that concerns of the various groups and other interests not represented in government are not forgotten or squashed upon.

4- It also serves as a vent for those whose grievances and voices that would otherwise go unheard. This role builds the confidence of the people and reassures them that their concerns and interests are ably expressed and protected.


As properly functioning democratic systems are about Choice, there must therefore be a constant reminder to the electorate that there is a viable alternative to the incumbent government.

a- One that has a real potential to improve the quality of life of the people

b- The opposition presents itself as a viable alternative to the ruling government.

c- By presenting an alternative ideological platform or simply show that it has a greater competence to govern than the ruling regime.

d- The opposition must show that it could have done things better by offering convincing reasons for its criticism of the ruling government or by presenting policy alternatives.
The lack of a serious outcry from the Somaliland opposition tells its own story. They are failing in their most basic duty, which is to hold the government to account. It’s a weak point of Somaliland’s democracy. Look at our political parties: they don’t have policies, courage and what it takes to make differences. There are no substantive differences between the ruling party and the opposition. Political parties are not ideological movements; they are a front for going there, taking over power and do what their predecessors did! Petty!

The Guurti:
The real power lies in the Guurti, .which is illegitimate body! They were created to be a short-term solution; however they out lived their usefulness and they do not want to go away any time soon. The institution is their cash-cow and they want to stay forever! For now, though, Somaliland is stuck with the Guurti, which has morphed into a hindrance than help. The Guurti became corrupt and no longer fit for purpose. They became politicians. They are driven by greed, not manners and tradition. Clan leaders have multiplied. They are astronomical now. You can see the (mainly) red scarf “Cumaamad” as far as eye can see. Clan leadership now lives in cities mainly the national capital Hargeisa, not in the nomadic or rural areas with their clan. Not any more!
The corruption of traditional leadership and the corruption of the government have interacted in a way that is difficult to control. It morphed in to “scratch-my-back-I will-scratch yours. Resisting holding national elections by the government and the Guurti reflects this disgraceful and shameful reality.
Other layer the “fifth circle” Complicating things even further is that there is, another source of authority – one that sits outside the state and has very different agenda, ambitions and is very powerful.

There is one thing that differentiates man from the animals: man sees far beyond his own surroundings. Only we can look far and wonder “What’s out there?” and “Where is my place in it?” thinking man asks. This is how and why thinking people project themselves into the future. It is a reason to live beyond mere survival of the species. There is no such thing in Siilanyo administration. They can’t see beyond their nose, they can’t see beyond their lust for money and power, so are the Guurti and the House of Representatives!
They have betrayed Somaliland by government-sanctioned lawlessness, by deceit and deception.
Let’s listen to the voices of reason onec before its too late. Let us fear from Allah. Let us not destroy our country by our idiotic actions and reactions. And let the two oldest men in town and who hold the two hignest offices in the land come to their sense and spare Somaliland from disintegration.They have enough to satisfy their lust of money and power.

Peace and prayers
Ibrahim M Mead
political analyst