In interview an HCTV, the question was, “Did you bombard Ethiopia during ’77 war?” The answer: “Yes, I brutally bombed Ethiopia”. This statement seems uttered by three old child, but it’s not. The ruling Kulmiye Party candidate Mr. Muse Bihi Abdi of Somaliland uttered this without exercising the minimum diplomatic code of ethics when he asked his greatest achievement in a life. New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman recently said in regard to Donald Trump, that his “intellectual laziness and towering policy ignorance are in a league of its own”. Likewise, Somaliland intellectuals, if there are any, should make sure Muse Bihi, far more mediocre than anyone can imagine, fails to win. The damage to the country in the case of his election will make Somaliland look like “tribes with flags”. Tired of recycled mottos of improving their lives, voters want real change and have begun to increasingly look to the Wadani Party leadership.
In an interview with Ethiopian Reporter in Hargaysa, Mr. Muse shockingly disclosed his inability to understand of how the world works and said “Ethiopia the main obstacle to recognition”. In fact, Addis Ababa is exactly the opposite. These insanely outrageous comments devoid of iota of truth and decency in span of several months can’t be mere coincidences but instead are a systematically deliberate pattern to signal a shift in politics on the part of Somaliland’s current leadership. They also starkly display the candidates lack of finesse and his poverty of diplomatic language reinforces the notion many had already taken of him: a soldierly demeanor and layman under the influence of clannish evildoers.
Somaliland is now getting used to a form of clannish yellow journalism under of the pretense of ‘free press’, constantly making character assassinations. Muse thinks he now has the leeway to say anything, but he must be accountable for his actions! Make no mistake, this outburst is breaking all norms and crossing all red lines but only the beginning.
The nation struggles to come to terms with his hatefully despicable statements. Muse is a controversial man, a victim of misjudgment and lack of clarity, a pushover of clannish tycoons and ill-informed warlords. They tried to make him look smart and diplomat by putting him in a suit but that didn’t help. He remains the same dhiboo (a foot soldier cadet) he was decades ago. Surrounded by his clannish henchmen, and ex-guerillas out of rehab, he brags endlessly.
Recently, Wikileaks revealed the late premier of Ethiopia was a global champion for Somaliland recognition, so we are left to ask Muse how Ethiopia can be an obstacle to recognition of Somaliland. His is an unsubstantiated allegation and diplomatic gaffe that portrays Somaliland in negative light: “Somalilanders bite the hand that feeds them”, which is false. It’s also a spectacular manifestation of ignorance of diplomatic ethical behavior codes of conduct and mutual respect.
Historians who have said that Muse is the least qualified candidate of all times has some truth behind it portraying him as a victim of his own demagoguery and self-defeating tactics. Abraham Kinfe, a prolific Ethiopian author, described in one of his books Muse’s role in leading a third of the Somaliland population into deadly conflict that lasted for four years and cost unaccountable lives. Muse has said about an ethnic group that he is “capable of killing, I don’t want reconciliation, our military might is superior in number and type”.
Muse’s domestic policy isn’t that better than his foreign policy and has become an anathema both internally and externally for his mob-leadership style. He has a grim outlook and is known to make monstrous gaffes almost every day. During the inauguration of Takuful Insurance in Somaliland, Muse said mullahs and clerics are greedy and pathological liars. Some politicized Imams can surely be ugly but this isn’t the way to go about it. His approaches are socially unacceptable because they are oversimplistic and counterproductive.
A onetime ‘Lieutenant’ of the Somali Air Force as the co-pilot of an MIG 17 Jet, Muse insanely brags of killing innocent Ethiopians. “During 1977, the Ethiopian-Somali War, I’ve bombarded Karamarda”, the town had no military targets as it was civilian residential area outskirts of Jigjiga. In 1977, Muse received a Medal of Bombardment for his bombing of the Karmarda residential areas. If he’s decent, he should apologize for his role in both massacres in the 1977 and 1994 wars between Somaliland and Ethiopia.
With Friends Like These…
The regime that one has worked with is often one’s primary fountain of ideology. Somaliland’s current President Ahmed Mahamoud “Silanyo’, also a member of the Kulmiye Party, was the Minister of Commerce during the disastrous Siyad Barre regime while the 1977 war with Ethiopia was ongoing. According to the diary of Hussein Ali Duale, known as Ambassador Awil for his time as an ambassador of the Somali Democratic Republic, Mr. Silanyo rushed to Nairobi to meet the Ambassador during the war and asked, “why don’t you join the battle to offer your military expertise to your country?” Awil is a graduate of the UK’s elite military college. “The war isn’t good for us!” replied the Ambassador.
Following his forty years as part of this military regime, Mr. Silanyo’s actions were also questionable during the formation of regional alliances at the request of Somalia’s government to prevent the Shabaab terrorist group from spreading from its epicenter in Somalia to the wider world. Surely, the Shabaab curse would have engulfed the region and beyond if Ethiopia passively watched the deadly cancer grow. President Silanyo, at the time Kulmiye’s candidate for President, regularly held in Rasuum Hotel in Somaliland’s capital Hargeisa a series of congresses called the ‘Summit One and Two’ that spewed hatred and propaganda about Ethiopia. His lectures are still replayed by some local channels to let mobs feed on anti-Ethiopian sentiment. This campaign of Silanyo’s unknowingly sabotaged an entire mission meant to cure the Shabaab cancer.
Ethiopians couldn’t decipher why someone who claimed that his country is different from Somalia and who was given asylum twice by Ethiopia still spoke like this. But this is a common tactic for the Kulmiye Party whose name roughly translates as the unifier (of Somalia) in an effort to offend Ethiopia.
Oversensitive to criticism, making fuss about triviality, and lack of impulse control to spew, Muse is an man running for an extraordinarily tough job in a pariah nation. The situation is Somaliland is beyond his talent, requiring strong diplomacy and successfully safe navigation. In the case of his hijack of the next election, he will be not only be dangerous to the regional stability but also to Somaliland itself. He offers nothing but smear campaigns and the gutter politics of tribalism.
Somaliland’s Wadani Party
On the other hand, Dr. Rt. Hon. Abdirahman M. Abdilahi “Iro”, Wadani Party presidential candidate is a well-informed, wise, pragmatist, and career diplomat who served in Moscow for two decades and is currently Speaker of Parliament. He has showed integrity and leadership that he drew to drive New Generation University in Addis Ababa rightly to award him an Honorary Doctorate for his social activism “… for his notable contribution to strengthen people to people relations in Ethiopia and Somaliland altruistic action in peace building and conflict resolution in Somaliland…’’, according to the doctorate certificate. Being of a nice temperament, diplomatic, and above all, conciliatory has made him the most likable candidate in Somaliland election history for commoners.
The Wadani Party represents the soul of Muslim libertarian society in Somaliland that works with their neighbors on common challenges. Iro’s motto is worded to neutralize Muse’s election campaign against Ethiopia: “you can choose your friend but you can’t choose your neighbor regardless how much you hate or disagree with them; they there to stay for eternity!”. A long life commitment to public service made Iro a skillfully effective leader.
Despite the Kulmiye Party’s multiple incentives including gifts and threats of cancellation of government contracts, their Party is emptying out en masse including a recent mass resignation of ministers and other public servants while a flood of grassroots supporters declared their intent to join Wadani.
Some Somalilanders often ask Iro “why don’t you resign from Parliament Speaker to primarily focus opposition camp?” He answered recently, “My (public) life is more than just chasing the presidency. I must help my country and my people whatsoever capacity I can. This isn’t about me, it’s about making lives better. Surely without much democratic devotion to public service, I could turn to other lucrative projects or stay in comfort in Finland but I want to tick some boxes before I leave the planet, shaping the country where my grandchildren will live. Why abandon my country to be torn apart by rogue and reckless personalities?”
In the next election in 2017, there is only one competent candidate with proven record that Somalilanders and the rest of the world can trust to lead Somaliland; surely, that’s Dr. Rt. Hon. Abdirahman M. Abdilahi Iro of Wadani Party. It’s a moral obligation for the world to support the overdue democratic change in Somaliland. Somalilanders want to see true change, not replacement of one man into a more corrupted one such as the case of Kulmiye Party. The Wadani Party’s leadership has the best chance to prevent the looming disaster over the region.
SOURCE: GEESKA AFRICA