October 3, 2019

I was driving west on my way to a joint inauguration of new traditional leader, Ali Said Samater and Chief Elder, Adirizak Haji Awil Isse, of Omar Muse, sub-clan of Dir clan, in Puntland State of Somalia.

Before reaching my destination at Hiddo-Raac resort, about 20 Kms off to the west of Garowe, the State Capital of Puntland, I had to stop in the way. To dress up for the event, I had to put on my suit tie, which was in the gloves compartment of my vehicle. I came to halt at a free space between the compound of UNPOS Garowe and Amal Bank. Unaware that this spot was the most dangerous in town. I was putting on my suit tie, when a uniformed man approached my vehicle cautiously to make sure that I wasn’t exploding in a suicide bomb-blast.

In a saddened voice, and perhaps, silently thanking Allah for my safety, he asked me “what are you doing here”, after I pulled down my side window? I said nothing other than “what is wrong here”? He asked me, “don’t you see you are on the cross-hairs of a gun”? “What”? I looked up at my left. Exactly, there was a guard on the top of UNPOS compound, aiming at me, ready to shoot to kill. I quickly drove away, not daring to signal left, moving improperly onto the road. Momentarily, I glanced at guard still aiming at me. I was extremely lucky. Allah meant me to live on. Paradoxically, the New Sultan is a local employee of the UN.

There were a number of times that I had noticed UN security personnel were over-reacting and engaged in unproportional security precautions that make Garowe look like Mogadishu. I understand that there were a few security incidents in as many years during the entire existence of Puntland, but not to that extent that the UN Garowe is show- casing now in a peaceful city. Garowe is much safer than the Nairobi they are fond of. I fully understand, however, UN presence in Garowe, as in any other town in Somalia, justifies their employment and careers in a way a Nairobi security incident couldn’t impact them, but, they are too over-protective, triger-happy and security paranoid to endanger innocent lives by accident.

Glad to inform you that the inauguration of Sultan Cali Said Samater and Elder Abdirisaaq Xaaji Cawil, went exceedingly well with the attendance of large group of Puntland prominent traditional leaders, elders and large crowd of popular supporters. Congratulations to the traditional leaders of Cumar Muuse, Dir, Puntland!



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