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Safi Abdi

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Analysis: Somalia-Somaliland Talks i Turkey
By Safi Abdi   
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Last edited: Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Posted: Wednesday, April 17, 2013

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With all due respect to Turkey and the International Community for trying to patch up the battered body of the Somali nation.

The recent Somalia Somaliland dialogue in Turkey between Somalia's elected President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Somaliland's Ahmed Silanyo, who happens to represent only one segment out of the many local administrators that come under President Hassan's domain as leader of the Federal Government of Somalia, does not seem to bode well for the well being of the Somali nation as a whole.

It is said that the Turkish government agreed to host the talks at the request of the two parties and that Turkey is simply hosting it and the outcome is up to the two parties themselves.

However, there is a great deal of suspicion as the said dialogue is viewed one-sided, and many Somalis are doubtful about the meaningfulness or credibility of the dialogue since the talks are specifically directed at one segment of Somali society, and are therefore not inclusive in nature.

The dialogue is said to be a continuation of the UK and UAE talks of last year and only a few, if any, know exactly what transpired in those talks.

Moreover, what many are asking themselves is that, after all the goodwill and the brotherly affections between Turkey and Somalia, and since Turkey has already pledged to keep Somalia's oneness and integrity intact, why would Turkey agree to a situation that is less than aboveboard?

There is also the question of why Turkey is allowing itself to be associated with a known criminal whose only aim is to dismember Somalia, even if it means imprisoning, killing or displacing other Somali communities? A position that is at the outset a stark departure from Turkey's own objectives for Somalia.

The Turkish government maybe in the dark about Silanyo's criminal activities in Northern Somalia. However, Somalia's President is very much aware of what's happening in that part of the country.

But since neither Silanyo nor our President are willing to tell the world the truth about the thorny issue of what the Somaliland is all about, perhaps the time has come for the Turkish government to get to the bottom of the issue from more reliable sources.

Silanyo is not only responsible for the death and displacement of Muslim communities in Khatumo state, he is illegally and forcibly occupying lands and homes of fellow Muslim Somalis where his militia daily terrorize villagers, helpless women and poor nomads; while he himself poses as mouthpiece and sole charge of a Somali region that is home to five different ethnic groups that are independent of each other.

It would be ludicrous to blast Turkey for not knowing the Somali clan system, nor can they be blamed for miscalculating the extent of how weird and dishonesty Somali politics can get, and we do know Turkey means well.

But, if we take the term Somaliand to mean that portion of Somalia that was administered by the British during the colonial period, then we are talking about five distinctive clans, which even the British dealt with separately. And not just one cohesive unit whose political or economic interests can be solely represented and managed by a single entity.

Hence, before any viable dialogue between Somalis can take place, such a dialogue must include all parties that have stake in such a dialogue.

What's more suspect and unforgivable to many Somalis is the Somali President's role in all of this and the rationale of his meeting with Silanyo as though he were his counterpart. This is a real slap in the face for Somali unity and creates an identity crisis not only for imposter Silanyo, but also for our own elected President. President Hassan is bound by the Word of God he swore on to safeguard the interests of each and every Somali, and he was not elected merely for the sake of protecting the interests of a criminal who should have been in jail for crimes against humanity.

The way our President conducted the so called Somalia-Somaliland talks creates more questions than answers, and the people who voted for this President to office have a right to clear, unequivocal answers:

Firstly, in what capacity did our President talk to Silanyo? Did he talk to him as he would to one of the many local administrators of the country, or is he talking to him like an an independent leader of an independent country whose boundaries are clearly marked and agreed upon? And if so, where does this country's borders start, and where do they end?

Secondly, isn't our President leader for the whole of Somalia including Khatumo State, Maakir State, Awdal State, etc, or is he just a Governor of Mogadishu?

And lastly, if our President is the real leader of Somalia's Federal Government who is sworn to defend the land and the people's integrity, why is he turning a blind eye to the aggressions that are taking place before his eyes? Aren't the people of Khatumo just as worthy of protection and honor as everyone else in Somalia? Doesn't the President know that had it not been for Khatumo's unwavering loyalty to the Somali nation there would've been no Somalia at all the way we know it?

Needless to say, the Ankara Communique that came out Saturday, 13, April, 2013, is terribly deficient as it reduces the Somali President's role, on the one hand, to that of a passive facilitator for Silanyo's Somaliland, while on the other hand, he is treated or treats himself more like some sort of a buffer zone and a guardian for other nation's interests, and not the interests of the people he should be protecting.

The real issues, the injustices, the occupations, the lack of accountability on the part of Somali leaders, Silanyo etc., the very evils that should have have been addressed are not mentioned.

There is also talk of curbing marital crime and serious crime, but nowhere does the Communique talk about Silanyo's own transgressions on the ground or as to how to resolve this naked hostility if Somalis are ever to reconcile.

On the contrary, the agreement talks about nursing the breakaway entity via Mogadishu and our President doesn't seem to mind what Silanyo will do with the said aid, nor do we know for sure if our President is concerned whether this aid will translate into more aggressions and death for the peace loving people of the North as has been the case with previous international aid that found its way to Somaliland coffers.

The grievances other tribes that reside in that region, such as Khatumo State of Somalia, have against Silanyo's aggressions, incursions, and injustices are real and neither Somalia's President nor Silanyo can sweep them away under the carpet.

And unless the international community is dying to find on their hands yet another Somali tragedy, they will do well to test the waters before they plunge themselves headlong into Somalia's troubled waters.

Regardless, I applaud Turkey's noble effort and humanitarian approach. I just felt it would be wise as a Somali living in turkey, a country I do love, to shed some light on the intricacies of Somali politics. It is only through a thorough understanding of the many dimensions of this issue that will help pave the road to a successful way forward.


.Safi Abdi








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