Written by 6:59 pm Opinions/Analysis • One Comment

A resurgence of unionism in Northern Somalia

Collaborated with The Sool Press Herald.

Majority of Somalis have long been misinformed about the political situation in Northern Somalia. However, that dynamic is shifting rapidly thanks to the resurgence of unionism that’s been felt in majority of the regions in Northern Somalia. Northern Somalia consists of 5 regions; Sool, Sanaag, Awdal, Togdheer and Waqooyi Galbeed. Communities in Sool, Sanaag, Awdal and the larger Buuhoodle district in Togdheer, vigorously oppose the idea of Northern Somalia seceding from the rest of the country. This idea of Northern Somalia seceding is entertained by a single clan with tribal agendas, using a clan enclave system that gives them the upper hand. The international community have for such a long time bought into the propaganda that, the secessionist administration is the most democratic in Somalia.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. The secessionist administration has held parliamentary elections for the first time since 2005. No “democratic” administration in the world goes 16 years without electing new lawmakers. The international community has also dismissed, undermined and totally disregarded the voices of communities of Sool, Sanaag, Buuhoodle and Awdal regions who’ve always opposed the disintegration of Somalia along tribal lines. Somalia is a country faced with challenges as a result of the civil war which left thousands of Somalis dead and or displaced. Any attempts to further break Somalia apart will derail the rebuilding efforts made by Somalis within the last two decades.

Development funds allocated by international agencies to unionist regions of Sool, Sanaag and Awdal are oftentimes held in Hargeysa and even at times released under the conditions that these regions support secessionist agenda, of breaking away from Somalia. The secessionist administration bribes few individuals from these communities by appointing them to a cabinet position. These individuals do not have a mandate from the people they’re claiming to represent. In an interview with journalist Abdisalam Hereri of Universal Tv, the new speaker of Somaliland parliament Abdirizak Khalif Ahmed who is from Sool region said “my people of Sool, Sanaag and Buuhoodle don’t want anything to do with Somaliland, our Garaads, religious scholars, youth, businessmen, elders all disagree with Somaliland. I can’t say I represent the people of Sool in Somaliland parliament when majority of them do not want anything to do with this”

His statement reflects the reality on the ground that no amount of money or bribe will change the views of Northern Unionist. The FGS has also legitimized the secessionist administration’s quest to secede from Somalia by ignoring the voices of the majority in Northern Somalia, who sacrificed their lives and resources to keep Somalia together. Furthermore, these regions rejected to take part in the sham elections overseen by the secessionist regime. The voter turnout in Sool, Sanaag, Buuhoodle and Awdal according to Somaliland’s very own electoral commission, was the lowest it has ever been.

Any chances of Northern Somalia seceding from the rest of the country lies in the hands of Sool, Sanaag, Buuhoodle and Awdal. It’s time the FGS and all other stakeholders accept this reality and validate the concerns of these communities that have always been overlooked. Somalia has come from far and we can go far if we hold hands together and leave nobody behind. Unity is strength when there’s teamwork and collaboration, wonderful things can be achieved ~ Mattie Stepanek.

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