Pres release: SRSG Kay’s Failed Visit to Hargeisa , by Khaatumo President
The Khaatumo State of Somalia
Subject: SRSG Kay’s Failed Visit to Hargeisa
Date:14 June 2013
The Khatumo State of Somalia would like to convey its warm compliments to Ambassador Nicholas Kay, the new Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) of the United Nations to head the recently established United Nations Technical Assistance Mission for Somalia (UNSOM). The Khatumo State of Somalia, and no less the rest of Somalia, other than the one-clan secessionist enclave calling themselves Somaliland, were happy to see the back of his predecessor, Ambassador Augustine Mahiga, for his blatant abuse of his office and differential treatment of Somalia’s regions. For this reason more than others, they were eagerly looking forward to see credibility of the Office of the SRSG restored.
The tasks that awaits Ambassador Kay as embodied in his mandate, such as human rights , the rule of law and security among others, are a tall order and no more so than when it comes to dealing with the intransigent secessionists that have become accustomed to receive carrots but rarely sticks from the international community. Pampering and cajoling them have been the standard approach but this has only encouraged their uncompromising stand on the one-clan supported secession.
Barely a week since he took his office, Ambassador Kay is to be commended to waste no time and to go Hargeisa in order to square up to the secessionists. His approach was both to please his audience but also to be firm when it comes to the mandate of UNSOM and its view of “Somaliland” as a region which is an integral part of Somalia. On the pleasanteries, and perhaps pandering to the secessionists’ partiality for praise, Mr Kay simply gave them full accolade, saying that:
“Somaliland has remained an island of relative peace and stability in an insecure region and we believe that there are lessons that can be learned here about stabilizing the whole region. We are therefore here to learn and to support initiatives that will lead to sustainable peace, stability and prosperity in Somalia and beyond.”
The only problem with this statement is that it has no bearing with the realities, at least from our perspectives as unionist regions and clans in northern Somalia. As it is, the one-clan secessionist enclave has occupied other regions and clans in the north (former British Somaliland) in order to force them on their secession and in the process committed, and continues to do so to the present day, widespread human rights violations. All this has been reported by International human rights defenders and also by the United Nations itself. Ambassador Kay could not have failed to apprise himself of this information as part of his preparation for taking up his post.
We in the Khatumo State can only conclude that he chose to whitewash Somaliland’s “dark” side as a worthwhile price to pay in order to win the hearts and minds of his hosts to accept the fact that they are part and parcel of Somalia. Given his clear-cut stand on the unity and indivisibility of Somalia, which is what ultimately matters, it behoves us in the Khatumo State to see the SRSG “praise” for the secessionists, much as it hurts, in its right context and to overlook it in the interest of the wider mission of the SRSG to which we are equally committed to.
As for the failed Mission to Hargeisa, Ambassador Kay got no where with his main purpose as the secessionists rejected out of hand any status less than being treated as a separate sovereign country. Ambassador Kay is paying for the legacy of his predecessor, Ambassador Augustine Mahiga, who went to the extent of audaciously supporting their “right to self-determination” and “recognition”. Having been imbibed such treatment for so long, it would take more than one visit from the new SRSG to wean them off their entrenched delusions.
We hope that Ambassador Kay will draw the necessary lessons from this failed mission to Hargeisa that UNSOM and the rest of Somalia would not be held hostage to the secessionists unrealistic and unattainable demands. The approach the SRSG has taken is the right one and sooner rather than later most secessionists are bound to come to terms with the inevitable reality. In the meantime, we would strongly urge Ambassador Kay to bear in mind the following facts which should shape in one way or another his approach to northern Somalia in general and to the secession in particular:
- That there was no country or nation prior to the British conquest of the clans in its colony;
- That the clans are more related to their fellow clans across colonial boundaries;
- That the clans sought independence from Great Britain for the sole purpose of uniting with Italian Somaliland;
- That British Somaliland ceased to exist after union with Italian Somaliland when its regions became regions of Somalia and no longer part of a non-existent Somaliland;
- That the secession was declared by one northern clan while the other four are unionists notwithstanding their being occupied by the secessionists;
- That Khatumo State, based on the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn (SSC) is recognized as a State member of federal Somalia; other northern clans have formed similar regional administrations such as Makhir State and Awdal State. All this is a testament to the opposition to the secession and attachment to Somalia and its unity.
Given the above facts, we expect our State, like other State members of federal Somalia, be treated in its own right as part of Somalia and never to be lumped with any other entity, least of all a renegade one which does not want to be part of Somalia as the SRSG’s visit to Hargeisa abundantly made it clear. Khatumo State is ready to co-operate with the SRSG to the full and hope this cooperation will be reciprocated.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of our highest considerations.
President of Khaatumo State of Somalia
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