Somaliland is increasingly in diplomatic isolation from its neighbours, its region and from international organisations such as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the African Union and the United Nations. The country has steadily alienated big donors and democracy promoters such as the USA, European Union and other non-EU European countries such as Norway. The European Union are closing their office in Somaliland which, opened in 1991, due to Silanyo government’s confrontational, inflexible, and non-conciliatory foreign policy and a crisis is brewing.
Somaliland is less democratic and more authoritarian today in 2015 when the former president Dahir Rayale Kahin peacefully handed power to the incumbent president, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud “Silanyo” in 2010. In his farewell speech at the inauguration ceremony of the incumbent, the former president Rayale Kahin ominously said “I’m handing power to the president elect, Silanyo a united and peaceful country and united Somaliland people, I hope my successor will keep it that way.”
Enormous national difficulties have been meted out by the Silanyo administration in all possible areas but the four most poignant challenges are the systematic destruction visited upon the once thriving democratisation process, the loss of cohesion and coexistence among diverse communities, the backward moving push for recognition and the deflated livelihoods that have come through nepotism at all levels of government. The Silanyo government’s policy is to divide the people, isolate some, punish some and enrich the inner circle of the president’s family members. Corruption has been created and nurtured in every level of the government whereby it became part of the culture.
The political and security situation in Somaliland resembles of that South Sudan before the months the full blown out war broke out. The wanton killing of uniformed armed personnel by their colleagues is on the rise – a new phenomenon in Somaliland’s military bases. One of these incidents saw the death of Corporal Aidarus Awaleh from a hail of bullets fired by Private Mustafa Slah Samatar at Gambada military base in the Sool region.
In mid September 2014, Captain Mohamed Aw-Rabah YUSUF and Lieutenant Jama Mohamud Hadith, the commanding officer of Somaliland’s 17th army battalion respectively we’re killed at their Qorilugud military post in Togdheer region by a soldier under their command. The culprit Serviceman, Farah Mohamed Ismail, is still at large more than a year after the incident.
In this year 2015, the killing of officers by soldiers under their command continues. On Saturday 13th June 2015, Major Saeed Abdi Warsame, the commander of Red Berets army battalion of Erigavo, Sanaag region, was shot dead by a soldier under his command. As for today, the shooter is still at large. On 11 August 2015, Colonel Hassan Aqli, the western division commander of Somaliland army was shot and badly wounded and Lieutenant Farah Arale was killed by a soldier under their command at their Borama Military Post. The shooter in this case has been caught and placed under custody.
The country’s direction and the political situation in Somaliland also seems to be the very reminiscent of that in Somalia in the last days of the former dictator of Somalia, Mohamed Siyad Barre. The only enemy of the government is Silanyo himself. The people who elected him have become his prime targets. In one week this August, Somaliland Police officers shot and killed three unarmed under age civilians in the capital Hargeisa with live bullets. One of them was a boy locked up in a cell in Koodbuur police station.
The North Korea and Silanyo regimes have some striking similarities when it comes to sense of humour or lack of it towards their leaders Kim Il Un and Silanyo. Cyberattacks against a filmmaking company, SONNY by North Korea was triggered by an American comedy movie called The Interview showing actors plotting to kill North Korean leader Kim Il Un. On the other hand, it was Somali Telivision Universal that angered Silanyo regime.
The company aired a satire show where by an imitator/reporter interviewed Silanyo’s look alike mimicking the president in a satirical way through song at the end of the show. The segment resulted in the banning of Universal TV from Somaliland soil for a long time, until a formal apology was secured, after the closing their Hargeisa Studios and jailing their reporters.
Silanyo’s government mandate expired on 27/07/15. Elections were not held on time (I.E on 26/06/2015). It is the prime duty of a democratic government to to hold elections. Yet Silanyo persuaded the National Election Commission to delay the polling day for a year. It was a pre-planned scheme to deny democracy and the government was heavily involved.
After Silanyo got this year of (so-called) technical delay from the NEC and the elections were postponed, the government lubricated the hands of the government’s upper house members and twisted their arms to formally extend Silanyo’s government term in office. Now the incumbent government has put its feet on the road to dictatorship and have NO intention of holding an election even in 2017.
The disunited Somaliland people will unite against injustices and malpractices of Silanyo regime and will never be defeated as they did against the oppressive regime of the former Somali dictator Mohamed Siyad Barre. The Somali National Movement, veterans of the struggle against Barre, are convening a conference soon to discuss the way the country is going.