Facebook, as the word aptly denotes, is truly a face book – meaning it is open, comments are candid, and people have no inhibitions to have their say on any and all subjects close to heart.
Some wondered why Somaliland have decided to bar the refugees fleeing the Yemeni conflict to use Berbera as a point of entry to ‘Somalia’ – neighboring Somalia.
Some derisively booed the Republic of Somaliland for forgetting their flight to Ethiopia – just across the border – when the Mogadishu, military dictator was hard on their backs, bullets and shrapnel flying every which way – mostly their way.
Another, Rooble Mohamed, did not for the life of him understand why all the venom against a truly sensible Somaliland move in order (a) to involve the world in helping the arrivals come to a decent reception and leave for respective homes with – at least – their transport fare paid for and given them; (b) to, again, involve the world to screen the new arrivals since the international community made a lot of noises on Al Qaeda prisoners breaking jails in Yemen and infiltrating bona fide refugees to find their way, possibly, to Al Shabaab militants fighting in Somalia.
Rooble sarcastically, but so rightly, asked “How many refugees died in the ship(s)?”
Mo Hussein, however, put everybody’s worries to rest by so eloquently defending the ROS decision.
Many Somalilanders have posted their disdain with Republic of Somaliland’s decision to bar Somalia’s refugees. What you need to try to understand is that it is of course a political decision, and I’d like to walk you through some points:
SFG keeps feigning involvement in the humanitarian operation and publicly stating internationally that their refugees are returning to safety in ‘Berbera, Somalia.’ where the SFG is looking after them (with funds they receive in their name).
Unfortunately, Somaliland had to obliterate this lie by reversing its decision to make SFG look bad and prove it has no authority or control in Republic of Somaliland. This wasn’t done without considering its only an extra 120 Nautical Miles to Bosasso, where they can also find safety, and the fact that Somalia’s Puntland province has access to these ‘federal’ funds.
Yes, refugees are being used as pawns by both sides in a sense, but it is Villa Somalia who started politicising and claiming our humanitarian efforts. It may be difficult to grasp from a liberal & humanitarian aspect, but such is the world. If we remain docile we will get trampled under a white star, and blue flag.
Our territorial integrity & sovereignty is under threat, and Republic of Somaliland has had to reply to this threat in the most assertive / stern way possible.
Sadly for the refugees, this action will benefit Republic of Somaliland as those allergic to the word will have to discuss it (all the way in New York & Brussels, etc). Somalia will find it difficult to claim aid in the name of our efforts and accomplishments.
Sometimes you have to weigh multiple priorities when in charge, and consider implications that your average person couldn’t grasp. Even with consequences and casualties the average Joe would have a difficult time consolidating, I thoroughly think the Gov has made the right decision.
Also, would you prefer we accept these refugees we cant afford to maintain and have them starve under our watch?