SOMALILAND: THE ILLUSIONS OF ANOTHER SMALL BEGGING BASKET IN-WAITING
Garowe, May 25, 2019
Residents of Hargeisa, Berbera and Burco are a confedaration of loose, fantasy sub-clans politically branding themselves into belonging to one clan under the fictional clan name of Issak. The name Somaliland is interchangeably used for Issak as well, not aware that very name of Somaliland is the same name for entire Somalia. As a Somali clan, they have been suffering from identity crisis for the past three decades, often calling themselves, and/or accepting different clan affiliations of fictional nature like “IRIR”, and lately accepting the name offer of “DIR”. Fantasy tribal names of their origin are abundant among them like belonging to the tribe of Prophet Mohammed (SCWS) of Quresh. Some of them even claim to be the lost tribe of Israel, a severe identity and psychological crisis. Their dilemma is that they were unable to figure out a new original name for their attempt to secede from the rest of the country to become another annoying begging basket for the international community. Going back to the name of British Protectorate is not saleable to the people there, and to Britain alike. We wonder whether they had even spent a little time to think of a name for their illusionary dream of becoming a poor would-be independent country.
They have no resources of their own to sustain lives and lead a modicum of fedgling economy. Their small portion of the Gulf of Aden on the Red Sea is almost devoid of marine resources. They have no livestock to talk about other than what they buy from Ogaden and Central Somalia’s regions. They also buy frankincense and gum from Puntland to re-export them. They now live on hand-outs from NGOs and international organizations with some shaky, suspicious and secret budget support from certain countries bent to undermine Somali unity. Dahabshiil money transfer and remittance Co. draws its funds from customers in the rest of Somalia. Their role model country they dream of is Djibouti, a small enclave, which had received huge and unproportionable money, manpower and minds of Somalia to squeeze out itself from French colonialism for nominal independence, and the threats of being swallowed by Somalia’s competitor, Ethiopia.
As the Djibouti economy was dependent then on decadent nightclub lifestyles of French Foreign Legion stationed there, Somalia had to open development and investment banks to build houses for the Djibouti destitutes. Following the collapse of Somalia’s Central Government and vicious civil war that broke out, thousands fled to Djibouti for safety. It turned out to be one man’s trouble is another man’s opportunity. Djibouti had started trying to fit into Somalia’s shoes on the World stage. The break for Djibouti came about during Arta Conference for Somali National Reconciliation Talks in 2000. Predident Bush’s War On Terror was the 2nd Djibouti survival breakthrough, no more dependence on nightclub businesses of the French Foreign Legion only. When I visited Djibouti last time 20 years ago the entire its young female population used to dress up in the evening for the town’s nightlife. Then, there was stiff competition for the attention of young men of French Foreign Legion at Djibouti nightclubs between the locals and illegal female immigrants from Ethiopia, another country famous for that particular old trade as well.
So, Djibouti as strategic foreign military bases, has already taken away the pipedreams of delusional bunch of loosely related sub-clans in Hargeisa, Berbera and Burco, known derogatively in Somali circles as the “Three Bedrooms” of the Northwest Regions.
Political pipedreamers there had tried every act of treason to realize the impossible and tried hard to cut deals with the devil.
What they didn’t tried yet is how to come up with a name other than Somali-land, which is the same name of the country, Somalia. We are also not so sure of them seeking advice from the more experienced tiny Djibouti on how to survive on a life of one city staying afloat on foreign slodiers’ decadence and foreplays in town alone. Who needs another begging basket?
Better remain Somali.
UNKIND STORIES ON RAPE IN SOMALIA
“A justice delayed is a justice denied”
Garowe, May 17, 2019 – Strange, ugly and inhumane stories on rape, and recently, gang rape, by young men are in abundance in the country nowadays. This includes stories of miscarriage of justice involving rape cases in provable, and in fact, undeniable incidents. Bringing perpetrators of rape to justice is increasingly becoming difficult for the following main reasons:
1. Traditional clan conflict resolution ironically stands in the way both in prevention and execution of justice for victims of rape.
2. The administration of justice is unacceptably poor with no institutional capacity to perform a modicum of administration of judiciary responsibilities. It was sad and uncomfortable to listen to a man recently, who told me that the judge on his case in the City of Garowe couldn’t come to his court session on time because he had ran out of gas in his service vehicle. The lawyer of that man had to pay for the fuel of the judge’s car to enable him attend that particular court session.
One sadly hilarious story about the disregard of rendering justice for a young raped woman by the adjudication of clan elders involves a famous incident in which the victim was asked to retell what had actually happened to her during her alleged rape. When she was uncomfortably done narrating her suffering, the lead elder told her that it wasn’t good on her part in failing to satisfy her perpetrator.
Gang rape and mudering the target of sexual abuse like the tragic murder case of little Asha last month in the city of Galkayo and several other reported rape crimes elsewhere in Puntland and in other parts in Somalia is unheard of historically in the country until quite recently. It is new crime wave as a result of substance abuse by young, unemployed and hopeless men, who had been transformed into “human hyenas” to quote someone deeply dismayed by the situation. It is a new societal problem that requires holistic approach of prevention, rehabilitation, better administration of judiciary and training of special task force to tackle with the problem. It requires also to remove the resistance of clan elders who are preventing justice to be served and take its course.
Finally, it is an understament to call for public action and pressure to bring about the end of this women and human rights abuse. Men and women of Somalia should rise up against this indignation.