These small oligarchs in Hargeisa must be stooped for the common good By Mohamed Farah (saqiiro).

A small but influential group of traders who originate mostly in Hargeisa or west
of the Capital of Somaliland are creating a lot of news lately. A huge public

demonstration in Borama city just concluded last week with a great loss of

lives. One teenage boy died and half a dozen youth also sustained pullet

wounds, while the Hargeisa government delegation led by vice president

Zaylici accidently killed a girl on the road in their hasty retreat.

Another contentious saga in Zaylac also concluded with the swearing of the

rightly elected mayor Hussein Iidle after one month of arm wrestling by the

the highest level of Somaliland and Jibouti governments. A simple municipal

election which could have been the foundation of local self government was

transformed in to high stakes political maneuvering by a special interest group

which does not recognize boundaries. Their where a lot news in the media

about the mischievous meeting between President Geele and Ahmed

Siilaanyo regarding the manipulation and undermining of the mayoral result

of the Zaylac district. I have no intention of rehashing that agreement, but

I believe most of the political and business disagreements that arose from

Somaliland for the last 20 years was authored by these Oligarchs.

The Gebilay community whether they are Baha Samaroon or their

neighbor the Gibril Abokor suffered significantly in terms of economy due

to the rise of Hargeisa. Regardless of their big political noise, the Gabiley

community is diminished economically. This region was the main hub for

the traders of life-stoke import to the gulf. Unemployment and poverty

are among the highest in the country except the Sool region. I believe

the Gabilay community must reject the political plans of the Hargeisa elite

to destabilize their region and create mistrust among brotherly community.

The youth and former SNM members are used by the Hargeisa oligarchs

as a political pawns. An informed friend told me that while these guys

never fought any war physically for the last 22 years , most of the

conflict suffered by the people of Somaliland is originated from them.

These Sacad muuse who reside Hargeisa could transform the city

and this country like another Mogadhisho. During president Rayaale`s

term they were 70% of Somaliland civil servant directors, managers and

heads of independent government agencies. If people of Somaliland

want to avoid the mogadhisation of Hargeisa by this insidious group

they must reject the interference of the Oligarchs in their democracy.

If you look carefully the latest conflict or fictional one in Zaylac you can

easily trace to these oligarchs. A delegation from the djibouti palace

reached Hargeisa in the middle of December and demanded from

president Siilaanyo to annul or override the will of the people in Zaylac

and appoint his place a mayor from the community who lost the election.

A brief meeting with vice president Zaylici to resolve the issue on the

behalf of delegation was unsuccessful. Siilaanyo told the delegation

that he can not reverse the vote, they asked him to alleviate the

status of the city as class A and appoint four more councilors in

order to make the Ciise community the majority. Siilaanyo again

explained that to change the status of cities the constitution must

be amended which can only be done through the parliament.

The Djibouti delegation could not swallow this realty and decided

to pass the constitutional hurdle by employing the Hargeisa

oligarchy. The oligarchy informed Siilaanyo that they would

try to resolve the impasse by their own and started the campaign.

Led by the uncle of Djibouti’s first lady and Muuse Biixi, they

assembled about twenty business and community elders and

six government ministers and The vice President of the country.

Even the vice president could not resist this huge pressure.

When Zaylici pointed out that the consensus among the Awdal

community which is overwhelmingly against these maneuvering,

the Oligarchy convinced him to accompany them to Borama

and be an Honorable observer. `Tolkaa ayaan codsi ka rabnaaye

magaalada noo raac`. They already knew the writing on the

wall but to protect it`s business interest in Djibouti as well as in

Hargeisa the Oligarchy insisted to push and force the issue.

One of the Awdal elders said “we thought Somaliland was a

government of the people not a front company for small traders

of Hargeisa “. If you check the webster dictionary, Oligarchy

means: a government by small group of well connected people.“

Many observers could not believe a government will shamelessly

go against it`s own constitution to further the interest of a

foreign government at the expense of it`s own citizens. What

most people don`t realize is the government itself is hostage to

these Oligarchs. Reliable sources confirm that the ruling party

Kulmiye is losing support among those who voted for the party

during the last election by undermining and working against it`s

own interest, Siilaanyo does not have the power or the base in

Hargeisa to confront the Oligarchy, he already seen their

actions in Seemaal and Gabiley to create chaos among the

neighbors in order to destabilize his government. He even

reappointed the disgraced governor of Hargeisa to appease

this group.

The reach of these group have no boundaries. They control

the hard currency business and the foreign trade activity

in Djibouti, They already invested more than hundred of

millions of Djibouti’s central bank money in Hargeisa and

have access to the foreign aid money donated by the

international community to lift Djibouti out of poverty.

Some Djibouti observers think the Oligarchs will rule this

part of the horn as long as Geele remains in power, while

in Somaliland they are the undisputed rulers behind the throne.

They control under ground cable and communications companies,

foreign currency exchanges, airlines and major hotels. Almost

all government contracts are awarded to these front companies,

in other words they are state within state.

While it is impossible to defeat this entrenched Oligarchs at the

moment, it is imperative for the people of Somaliland to be informed

of their plans and the negative impact that could arise from their actions.

Mohamed Farah (saqiiro).

Edmonton, Alberta

Comments are closed