Sharing excerpts from a thought provoking and inspiring piece By Kiflu Hussain

September 5th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

The following excerpts are gleaned as inspiring quotes from what Mr. Mohamed Heebaan posted on under the title “Time to Reconstruct Somali Politics–.”Apart from admiring this great piece so articulately written by Mr.Heebaan, like all great pieces, it inspired me to see the travails of our region from the Horn to the Great Lakes from a new angle as well as provoking a set of questions in my mind. Putting aside my perspective and queries towards the end, let us begin from the quotable quotes now.

The quotes

“Though, the north has been peaceful for quite long time, in the last few years, there is a noticeable crack in the unity and the cohesiveness of Somaliland as we can see from the conflict in SSC and from the floated idea of the Awdal statehood.”

“After 20 years of failed reconciliation and failed rebuilding, Southern Somalia has, in the end, fallen into the grips of blood-sucking mafia of Addis Ababa and Kampala club that see the perpetuation of the Somali mayhem as the best way for them to optimize their benefits!”

“—The IGAD warlords benefit from the misery of the Somali people there is no question about it. Few weeks ago, Mr.Museveni was handed $ 45 million dollars by the U.S for keeping his mercenary forces in Mogadishu, and Zenawi have received over hundreds of millions of dollars for taking charge of Somali affairs. Neither of the IGAD-Warlords would get or would have gotten one penny of those millions that are regularly poured into their coffers should peace and real stability are restored in Southern Somalia.”

“The secession of Somaliland failed not for lack of effort, determination, or lack of resources, human or otherwise. If tenacity, commitment, and diligence would deliver a goal, Somaliland would have been recognized long ago.”

“—I highlight all of this to underline that Somaliland’s failure to win recognition is not for lack of skill, or lack of effort. But simply, this is un-winnable issue.”

“Aside for the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, which both were supported by the west, in recent decades, only four territories, East Timor,Eritrea,Kosovo and South Sudan seceded and gained world recognition. But these four territories share two important characterstic; their secession was/is wholeheartedly supported, if not actually engineered by Western and world powers. But even more importantly, aside from Kosovo, the secession of all other three territories was blessed by their mother countries; Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Sudan respectively. If a territory secedes without the acquiescence of mother country, or clear support from world powers, its ambition seldom gets off the ground.”

“Nowadays, so much effort is made by Somaliland leaders and their supporters in order to gain recognition from Ethiopia, the only country with vested interests in the dismemberment of Somalia.However, because attaining recognition at any cost has become an obsession for Somaliland leaders, little in the form of debate is engaged to ascertain what effect recognition from Ethiopia would have on the secession. Would it help or hinder the secessionist cause?”

“—Ethiopia’s recognition would sink the secession beyond any hope. Since Ethiopia is known as the historic enemy of Somalia, no country that hasn’t recognized Somaliland already/and none has/would want to look so foolish as to unnecessarily take sides on enmity between two African countries, and support a secession that is clearly pushed and supported by Ethiopia. That means, if Ethiopia doesn’t recognize the secession, no one else would. If Ethiopia recognizes the secession, no one else would. In either case, the secession is dead and helpless!”

“—if we go by the favoured comparison of equating Somaliland to the South Sudan and Eritrea, it becomes clear that Somaliland’s recognition by the world rests with Mogadishu. That is, if Mogadishu recognizes Somaliland’s secession, the rest of the world will quickly follow suit.—However, as the most ardent secessionists know, expecting Mogadishu to grant recognition to Somaliland’s secession is simply wishful thinking that goes on border of insanity.Thus,pursuing this secessionist endeavor whose roads are blocked is nothing but an exercise in futility.”

“Hargeisa as the New Capital, a way out of the abyss;”

“3.AMISOM; the mere relocation of the nation’s Capital to Hargeisa will make the African mercenaries in Mogadishu irrelevant. As government ministers and leaders move to the peaceful city of Hargeisa, the mercenaries will have no one around to claim of protecting. The cash-cow that Somalia has become for the mercenaries and for the IGAD-Warlords will immediately dry up. Uganda’s warlord Museveni will have no other choice but evacuate his forces, while crying all the way to Kampala!”

My take on Somalia and the whole saga called “secession!”

Although, I chose only the above to quote from Mr.Heebaan’s writing, the whole thesis has stirred my intellect and emotion. As I am an Ethiopian from whose motherland Eritrea seceded after waging a three decade destructive war, I occasionally speculate with hindsight that what if the military regime, while it had the upper hand, let Eritreans decide on their fate after securing Assab as it was rightfully Ethiopia’s port? On top of sparing unnecessary loss of life and destruction of property on the Ethiopian side, I believe, that move would have turned the Eritrean people itself against the secessionists who styled themselves as “liberators.” Not only the military régime, but all of us Ethiopians should take the blame for failing to think outside the box and end the quagmire to our benefit. Of course, my intellect tells me that thinking outside the box, let alone thinking it aloud is not possible in a society that’s constantly subjugated. For this reason Ethiopia lost the war to the most destabilizing secessionist force recognized as “liberator” by all and sundry and in the process became the third country in history to lose its access to the sea next to Bolivia and Serbia. What precipitated Ethiopia’s defeat, among others, in the hands of the Eritrean secessionists is the downright dictatorship of Mengistu Hailemariam’s regime that even denied the minimum freedom Ethiopian’s used to enjoy in the “feudal” system of Emperor Haileselassie.This had the effect of destroying the morale of the Ethiopian military as well as pushing Eritreans and later other people to the folds of the secessionists.Accordingly,the secessionists spread their destabilizing war to other parts of Ethiopia whereby they succeeded to install a Trojan horse in the person of Meles Zenawi who wrote a letter while being a mere president of a transitional government with no mandate from Ethiopians to then UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali so that UN sponsors the secession of Eritrea from Ethiopia. One can argue emotionally and intellectually that if the dictatorship of Mengistu Hailemariam hadn’t alienated the patriotism of Ethiopians, Ethiopia could have defeated the secessionists like Sri Lanka that defeated the Tamil Tigers after three decades of war.

Since what happened has happened between Ethiopia and Eritrea let us now turn to Somalia and raise some questions. Considering the Eritrean secessionists achievement followed by a three decade bloody war and persistent lobbying to sell their concoction of “Eritrea being colonized by Ethiopia” in the corridors of world power; and since they succeeded to have the “blessing” of their mother country, if Zenawi, the Trojan Horse planted by the very secessionists is considered “Ethiopia,” what prevents those Somalilanders set on secession to do both? That is, install their own Trojan horse in Mogadishu while at the same time selling themselves in the corridors of the “international community?” Though, I know very well that Somalis would never submit to such a Trojan horse in Mogadishu, it would nevertheless be additional fuel to the ongoing carnage. As Mr.Heebaan himself ably pointed out and also as the Ethiopian saying has it, there are no shortages of these sorts of meddlesome elements who enjoy profiteering by poking wood to other people’s wounds.

An Ethiopian Human Rights Defender exiled in Uganda


  1. Annonymous
    | #1

    As an Eritrean, let me share this short emotional feeling with readers in this forum. I supported Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia wholeheartedly simply because I could not accept the fact that we Eritreans were being asked to have YILEF WEREKET (travel permit) to move from our city Asmara to our villages where we are born as close as 5km from Asmara. Unfortunately, and yes I repeat it BIG UNFORTUNATELY what used to be called YILEF WEREKET came back and named as MENKESAKESI WEREKET (movement permit) to travel not outside of Asmara that we Eritreans disdained but this time to walk around our beautiful city of Asmara. All this being requested by our hyper suspicious and dictator government made of few Junta led by Issaias Afewerki. It is shame! It is unbelievable! and I wish Eritrea didn’t separate from Ethiopia and we lived together in peace, harmony and proper administrative systems requiring no travel documents or permits.

  2. Somalilander
    | #2

    You [Kiflu Hussain] write, “….Although, I chose only the above to quote from Mr.Heebaan’s writing, the whole thesis has stirred my intellect and emotion.”

    Well! In Heebaan’s article, this sentence – “….if Ethiopia doesn’t recognize the secession, no one else would;if Ethiopia recognizes the secession, no one else would; so in either case, the secession is dead and hopeless! ” – constitutes the core of his argument.

    Sadly, the sentence is ABSOLUTELY meaningless. To appreciate this all you need is to revisit your high school mathematics.

  3. Qaalib
    | #3

    Somaliland recognition will never fail as Kuflu Hussein said.
    I don’t understand where Kufli from is he Ethiopian or Somaliland SSC? he said Somaliland recognition fail many times before I would say who cares if it’s fails or not the people from Somaliland will never get tired or stop seeking recognition even next 1000 years.

    If Kuflu belong to Somaliland SSC he will never secceed his dream Somaliland reunits with Somalia once again, Somaliland will remain idepedent till it gets recognition.

  4. true
    | #4


    Thanks for your honesty. But I really don’t understand, when you are fighting for 30 year war for independence of your country, just whhat do you expect that you want a red carpet from Ethiopia to Eritrea? It is international law that you need a permit, you are an alien now to come to Ethiopia and vice versa for us. What did you expect anyways when you form a country and reject another country as your country? Of course you need a permit to come to Ethiopia. As to what is in Eritrea well you achieved your 30 year war for this. Still, you fouhgt this war to be indpendent economically, politially etc, away from Ethiopia so pursue that dream instead of making trouble still in Ethiopia. Of course Shaebia is disillusioned by the betrayal of TPLF because that is the reason you Eritreans put Meles in power to continue to use Ethiopia economically. Finally it has become too obvious that you even start using Ethiopia’s money, coffee as if it grows in Eritrea, etc. now that is why you support OLF and ONLF. You guys are bad news and even now you will never make peace with Ethiopia because you are not viable economically by yourself, Meles is blessing for you still. YOu did a good job of dismantling Ethiopia but what comes around goes around, so how is it that you are still not happy? Eirtrea still has the upper hand over Ethiopia even today you know that.

  5. rezene kadissaba
    | #5

    “I occasionally speculate with hindsight that what if the military regime, while it had the upper hand, let Eritreans decide on their fate after securing Assab as it was rightfully Ethiopia’s port?”

    This quote only shows how poor our oppositions understanding of democratic rights and recent history. Why do you wish Eri’s to decide their fate – while denying the same right for Eri’s living around Assab. Derg as well as current oppositions only worry about land/port; not the people.

    Why do you worry so much about port when we are paying port fee of only selling 20 MW of electricity for Djibouti.

  6. Tolles Desassa
    | #6

    Why dwell on dead issue,”Assab”belong to mighty Eritrean,there is no way we can get it back.Why spill more blood while we can do better with out ports.What Ethiopian need is guty people to remove the “Woyane”regime through daily protest.Why do we expect eritrean to do for us.

  7. Sheger
    | #7

    Speaking of other peoples wounds, can I ask you some thing? Do you think separating the Ogaden is a healthy thing for
    Ethiopia? Who are we loosing it for? Somalia? No thanks. And don’t you think that we say no to Eritirian separation is wrong? If you think separating the Somali land is wrong? And isn’t Eritiria a country today? Why not Somaliland then?
    Besides I don’t like separetionist or separating idea. Fist of all all this people and lands are Ethiopia.

    And why do you think Meles gave our land in Gonder to Sudan? At this point what makes as think there is such thing
    Like ONLF or staff like that? What if they are buchering Ethiopia and giving it all to the Arab and Musilim worlds?

    What is going on in Gambela? What is going on every were? Who is OLF, ONLF, bla bla……..?????????????
    Ethiopia is Ethiopia wether we like it or not. Or all of this is to kill us? What did we do???????
    No thanks people. All I am saying is to you Kiflu Hasan, you sound kind of wrong or like the TPLF or some thing.

    If you ask me how? You only talk on one side of things and look at things on one side. You know if all people live
    Peacefully we don’t have to be two sided any ways. But when we judge things we should always try to be fair.

    Wether Ethiopia was doing her job in Somalia or not we all wished for some peace and stability in Somalia. And by the way they wore working with the Somalia interim Government. They didn’t just went there and invaded Somalia if you will
    Excuse me. To begin with I don’t even know why are two type of Somalia, who are fighting each other. It’s kind of funny
    Or very sad. But how ever Ethiopia is and was a home of a lot of Somalians in need. If the whole Somalia comes to your country because of war what do you do? Give your country to Somalians? You should also ask this question
    To Kenya, I am sure they will have a lot to tell you.

    I don’t mean no disrespect but we have to understand some time.

  8. Dr. Bashe
    | #8

    Somaliland’s independence is the people’s choice. Its people have forgiven and will never forget the ethnic cleansing that resulted in the liberation they enjoy today. It is very unfortunate to conclude that these aspirations have come to a dead end. It is true that there will be a time of mediation by international players between Somalia and Somaliland. If this ends in a dead lock and Somalia still remains adamant of the wishes of the SL people I don’t think the world will accept. It is in the interest of Somalia to have a good neighborly relationship with Somaliland. Keep dreaming of the old Somalia. We have entered the third decade now and Somalilanders are going their way.

  9. Daniel
    | #9

    My friend you are so pathetic. The word which simply describes you is STUPID.

  10. Daniel
    | #10

    “For this reason Ethiopia lost the war to the most destabilizing secessionist force recognized as “liberator” by all and sundry and in the process became the third country in history to lose its access to the sea next to Bolivia and Serbia.”

    Mr Kiflu, no one can lose what he didn’t had. The same applies on Ethiopia. Ethiopia didn’t lose the access to the sea because it has never had an access to the sea throughout its history. A small proof for this is, the Ethiopian emperors who didn’t lose a day without waging an offense on the Eritrean territories in order to have an access to the sea.

    Why do you dream of something which doesn’t belong to you? Why don’t you think of ways in which you can benefit from our ports as our neighbors & brothers?

    Wake up my friend, there are 16 land-locked countries in Africa. Your country is one of them.

  11. Kindi kifle Egzi
    | #11

    As an Eritrean I find it offensive when Eritreans long resident in Ethiopia pine for the garsh life style they used to have in Finfine,Shashemane, Jimma among other places. Where is the national pride? No decent Ethiopian in good faith could trust what this Amich did to Ethiopians-particularly Dr. Berket Hapte selassie, Amare Tekele, Amanuel Gebera yesus, Hiruey Tedella Bairu and this harridan who is a spokes person for Issias afeworki, the dowgar Sophia Tesfa Mariam.Ogaden Somalis or Western Somalia must take a salutry lesson from the scession of Eritrea-for they are responsible for the crisis and civil war in Somalia. No Hawia nor Issac clan wants Ogaden. They are grave liablity who like to play with two aces. Thanks

  12. true
    | #12

    Well, our past enlightened kings proved that because of our geographical location, unity of the region is better to benefit from Eachother. What went wrong was the stupid, ignorant Mengistu ruined it for all of us. So, have you seen the U.S giving away land to Mexico? Let alone attempt, they wouldn’t dare talk about it. Why should Ethiopia be the same thing? Who is the empire? Wasn’t Eritrea benefitin from united Ethiopia? There is proof although 30 years ago is not the same as today we didn’t have the bette education, technology and ideas of develoment then. Remember the era of the kings, where they governed each region but completely indpendent, it didn’t have UN recognized boarder then, every one was fighting one king over the other? Where does this end? Not ony that, no one was living in peace because each kings were influenced by outsiders against the king next, so it was a brilliant idea, even at the era of ignorance, that uniting in peace was the best thing against eachother and against outside force. Although, rather than centralized it should have been decentralized government. Who knew then about decentraliztion back then, even other Westerners just realized about the benefit of decentraliztion. Besides, even though for expansion etc, this method didn’t start from Ethiopia. Rome went through with it, spain, etc. not to mention how U.S was formed. So, to those Western or other nations with wisdom, they realize today uniting is much stronger than dividing, the oppotunity of sharing resources however bringing democracy. For our kind of African thinking, divided be vulnerable to outsiders, divided remain Tigray to dry land as they want independence I guess. Divided, Eritrea is still at war with Ethiopia today for economic reason. So, tell me where it will bring peace even at divided nations that used to be at peace, harmony? Our past kings just proved it today that divided is not a good idea we are seeing it day and night the plight of our people and the threat there is between Eritrea and Ethiopia today. The kings were not educated then but they understood. Sometimes such kind of ignorance but not Shaebia or TPLF or liberation fronts yigdelegn. Rather than fighting for reform and bring democracy, division is not easy, it will bring many heart ache and killings so talking about division as it is easy as if you are cutting bread wihtout any consequences is ridiculous. Eritrea, who is trying to prove so hard today that it is economically independent while secretly working with TPLF in transfering resources from Ethiopai to Eritrea, is a lie. So where is the indpendence? Why still threat? Like any country who wants development, prosperity etc, Ethiopia does need its own Assab port.

  13. Abel
    | #13

    The Somali dilemma cannot be solved by any foreign forces. If they did they would have done it by now. Somalia should be free of interference and it’s own people with the help of Somalis in the diaspora are the only people who can bring peace. With Meles and the USA interfering peace cannot come.

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