By Mohamed Ibrahim
Monday August 28, 2023
Having been observing Somali politics for a number of years, the defeat of the Somaliland forced in Goojcade was inevitable. This is the case because the war lacked political legitimacy, was injustice and doomed to fail all the time. The uprising in Lascaanod was born out of the conditions and violence/insecurity the local residents felt for over ten years. Historically, Somaliland was wrong was on many levels. First, they wrongly assume or (wilfully ignored) everyone in the region will embrace Somaliland’s pursuit of independent state and failing to provide a political space for people who clearly have a political of their own to join the Greater Somalia.
This was the first monumental political mistake that was made by this Somaliland government and others. For a number of years, I have warned against the political imprisonment and harassment of anyone in the region who did not subscribed to the independence of Somaliland. However, subsequent Somaliland governments ignored and intensified their threats and imprisonment where even raising small blue flag would land you a prison sentence.
This showed me the authority lacked the confidence and capacity to enact their political vision without subjugating and imprisoning the people that believed otherwise. Somaliland government wilfully ignored there are silent majority in Sool region who enjoy peace and security by do not subscribe to the Somaliland vision of independence. The Somaliland government failed to open the political space for Somali unionism and this continues be a colossal mistake. When that security was lost in the aftermath of political assassinations in the region and authorities failed to safeguard the safety of innocent people, the people rose up to protect themselves. When the pillar of security was lost, nobody in the region had no loyalty to Somaliland as an entity as they never believed in the vision of independence to start with.
Secondly, the Somaliland authority failed to read the mood and then enacted their second disastrous decision which was to use military force against the people of Lascaanood and its political entities. The challenge before Somaliland required political solution. Never a military solution. President Muse Bihi Abdi and his political associates in the SNM failed to learn from their own lessons and struggles. When the dignity and safety of others are threatened, the pursuit of justice and dignity will always outweigh and prevailed from any military intervention. This was the case in the SNM movements and this episode in our history is no different. It is in this context I warn against further escalation of violence and appeal for cool heads in Somaliland to influence proceedings in the coming weeks. Military solution was never a solution and is no longer the solution.
This issue can only be solved by overarching political road-map involving Somalia and Somaliland. The conflict is a symptom of wider political failure and lack of political reconciliation and trust deficits across Somalia/Somaliland, which has created a fragmented societies and political entities on the edge which has been a bomb waiting blow up. That bomb has gone off in Lascanood in the last eight months and only a political solution would stop further bloodshed, insecurity and miserable future ahead for all.
Mohamed Ibrahim BA/MSc, London School of Economics and Political Science, is a keen writer and social justice campaigner, London based, He can be reached via @Mi_shiine