Sharing excerpts from a thought provoking and inspiring piece By Kiflu Hussain
The following excerpts are gleaned as inspiring quotes from what Mr. Mohamed Heebaan posted on www.wardheerNews.com 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.
“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