The  political standoff in the unrecognized  de-facto republic of Somaliland, is a critical development that is worth an international close watch.

      The current political standoff if well analyzed  is not of a recent emergent, but have been gradually building up since the coming to power of the current ruling regime . It is unquestionably clear from  the way the current regime has shattered the economic  progress of this tiny entity . They simply  imposed a stifling tax policy  over  the once vibrant free market. The intentional strategy  eventually turned the once sprawling port of Berbera into a ghost port  town.

      In its relative peaceful  years  compared to the southern parts of the  former Somali republic. Somaliland  have  initially been on a positive  and fast transitional path, towards political and  socio-economic development.

      Many would ask why would an administration stifle its own economic well being . Well this can be well explained by an article written about Somaliland, by a visiting American pentagon official to Somaliland  in April 2003. (and  I’ Quote some part) “It does not threaten its neighbors, except through competitive trade and market practices. The free trade environment in tiny Somaliland has indeed caused complaint by nearby statist entities of Ethiopia, Djibouti and to a lesser extent Eritrea This was  shortly before the current regime came to power.

      The incumbent executive  head was by then a vice president .He came to power after a sudden death of the previous head of state in august, 2003. The once complaining neighboring statist state did not waste the opportunity of negotiating with this product of accident regime, embarking on a process of  undermining  Somaliland progress from within.

      executing the deal, for the past seven years the current regime have  been busy on  various well orchestrated strategies of slowly suffocating the principal Somaliland fundamental purpose , which is to attain  international recognition  as an independent sovereign state.

      In doing for the past seven years, this the regime has been investing on creating a brutal  police and intelligent forces, to forcefully silence  the voices of democracy. A structural force reminiscent to the once notorious  Somali  red berets, and the National intelligence services (NSS) in which the current president and some of his close henchmen passed as decorated officers .This is evident from the recent police  brutal force against  non provoking  peaceful demonstrators in the capital Hargeysa.

      This regime  ganged up with  the current  member of  the sitting House of Elders under a quid pro quo terms, to unconstitutionally extending each other’s terms. The House of elder took their extension in lump sum of four years in 2006, and with an  irrelevant reference and use of the constitution, the elders have extended the president’s term more than thrice. one took place in may 2008 another one  just six months ago, and   one more is being  formulated as we speak.

      This time around the standoff   has turned into such a convoluted power scramble with an injection of intricate wave of clannish undertones  in the intent of  fully deviating from the constitution basis ,and total disregard to all past agreements. The system is set to  go around in a circle and is overshadowed with conceited  tribal process .If finally things ends in such a turn, then the  eighteen years toils of democratic growth would all be nothing but a waste.

  before   coming to a conclusion ,let me pose two simple questions to  all  that are for pro-presidential term extension .

1.  What  are the possibilities of elections ever happening if the incumbent regime is always assured of farther extensions?

2. Secondly  the current regime have proven that it can easily  deploy the  law enforcement against its equal branch of  government, after it brought  to a halt  parliamentary procession for days, and farther brutally suppressed peoples sentiments . In lieu of all this, what would restrain this loose  and unchecked regime from using same tactics to disrupt  or rig the unforeseen elections? 

      It seems that the whole project  has now come to a moment of truth . To those that are genuine about Somaliland  progress and success, the situation is between a rock and a hard place.

       Genuine Somalilanders need to cautiously tread on this orchestrated trap with vigilant care. The opposition have the ability of  putting a check on this  conspiracies. Conditionally they momentarily put aside their party differences and power thirst. They need to concentrate on one common goal and  cooperate with the genuine civil society, elders and  not forgetting friends of Somaliland all over the globe.

All in all Somaliland must be  saved from tyranny and collapse, which would eventually lead to an additional perpetual chaos in the region. 


Abdirahman Farah  (Dhunjoog)

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