An Open Letter to President Ismail Omar Gelleh, By. NSUM Executive Committee Date:10 May 2012
An Open Letter to President Ismail Omar Guleed
NSUM Executive Committee
Date:10 May 2012
Subject: Djibouti and Somaliland
In the Somali culture which you value and support to the hilt, a child orphaned would always look to his or her next of kin for help while in need. In a similar sense, Somalia has been orphaned when its State collapsed after clan insurgents working with neighbouring countries brought down the government, only to bequeath Somalia what we witness today: fragmentation, clan secession, and the vicious cycles of lawlessness and famine. OnceSomaliawas down and helpless, it has become a prey for its enemies and opportunity hunters. The exception was Djibouti, the only independent sister country Somalia had and its people could lean on in their time of need, just as they too sacrificed so much for Djibouti’s independence when it needed help from its independent sister, Somalia.
Under your wise leadership, Mr President, and in your tireless endeavour to revive theSomaliState, you organised in 2000 the first all- inclusive Somali conference at Arta, inDjibouti, in which President Abdelqasim Salaad Hassan was elected. That is not all. At all international and regional conferences and meetings onSomalia, you were there as the representative not only ofDjiboutibut also the people ofSomaliaand ensured to ward off any harm or schemes its enemies might have hatched. And to crown it all, it was your wise proposal that the problem withSomaliland’s secession be settled through talks among the Somalis themselves that the recent London Conference onSomaliaadopted. There is so much the people ofSomaliaowe you and could thank you for. But then you did what was expected of a brother and that is what brothers are for.
Given your past track record for the Somali cause, and your role as quasi caretaker of the failed State, it came as disheartening to witness the warm and rewarding treatment given this week to a visiting delegation from the renegade one-clan secessionist enclave calling itself Somaliland. But more than anything else, it is the outcome of their meeting with your foreign Minster which comes as an unbelievable alarming development. His announcement that several agreements had been signed with Somaliland as if it was a separate country from Somalia and, to top it all, announce that Djibouti would sponsor Somaliland to be given an observer status with IGAD, strikes at the heart of the Somali nation and its unity. Unless Djibouti changes course, or others stop Somaliland’s application, that road will lead to an observer status with the AU. If it come to it, Somalia, with or without its other friends in the region, would doubless foil this step-by-step short-cut to recognition.
Mr President, this is a dangerous development and we would like to believe that it does not represent your position, for it contradicts everything you stood for until now including your proposal that the secession be handled through inter-Somali talks. No need to remind you, Mr President, that Somaliland is not a monolithic entity whose people are united behind the secession. As you know, four of the five clans in formerBritish Somaliland, namely the Dhulbahante, Warsangeli, Gadabuursi and your own Isse, are deadly against the secession and committed to the unity ofSomalia.
What is happening in the north west regions (former British Somaliland) is a struggle between the one secessionist clan, the Isaaq, and the four unionist clans and regions. Noting shows their opposition to the secession more than their recent establishment of various regional States of Somalia: the Khaatumo State of Somalia, Makhir State and Awdal State. The frequent armed clashes between the people of Khaatumo State of Somalia and Somaliland’s occupying militia epitomises the struggle between the unionists and the secessionist clan. No matter how long it takes, this struggle is one in which the unionist clans and regions will ultimately win, for there is no way that one clan can prevail over determined unionist clans let alone the rest of Somalia. All that the Djibouti agreements and offer can do is give the secessionists false hopes, stiffen their backs and hence prolong unnecessary suffering on all sides.
Mr.President, Djibouti has nothing to gain from this anti Somalia action and indeed everything to lose. Stabbing Somalia in the back means that you (and Djibouti) would squander the brotherly goodwill of the people of Somalia and all for nothing. Besides, each country in the Horn, including your own, has at any one time or another one or more dissident clans and hence vulnerable to secession . Supporting Somaliland’s secession in whatever form is a dangerous precedent that could open a Pandora box. It could come to haunt one day those who back Somaliland. Secession is a scurge and it is in Djibouti’s interest as much as Somalia to thwart it. Concerned Somalis, Mr President, hope you will clarify your stand on Somaliland and hopefully put their minds to rest.
Please accept, Mr President, the assurances of our highest considerations.
NSUM Executive Committee.
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