For too long, the Las Anood communities waited patiently for Somaliland to bring justice to the perpetrators of over 40 unresolved assassinations against Somaliland government officials including judges and prosecutors and felt betrayed.
I understand Las Anood leaders’ frustrations over how the wheels of justice turn to slow for the victims of those assassinations and their families. And I know good people who were equally appalled by the unresolved murders.
But from outside Las Anood, it was hard to understand how the unresolved assassinations could possibly justify with the surge of violence, massive property damages, and the senseless deaths of over 20 people. Unfortunately, Somaliland law enforcement have used deadly force to quell rioters, armed with weapons such as guns and machetes, to restore order. My heart goes out to them and all others who have suffered losses.
What we saw the last few days on the streets of Las Anood was not about people protesting the outrage of injustice over unresolved assassinations. It was not peaceful demonstrations; it was the brutality of jihadists and mob violence. Somaliland should use whatever force is necessary to restore order. The madness in Las-Anood must stop, and the violence will end.
We should not confuse most people who seek to protest peacefully with the bands of al-Shabaab jihadists, anti-Somaliland anarchists, who infiltrated protest marches, and used women and children as shields, to exploit the chaos in Las Anood for their own political expediency.
The most recent unrest in Las Anood has made crystal clear to Somalilanders that we must urgently deal with these radical and violent groups. They are united against a functioning, multi-clan, peaceful, free, and democratic Somaliland thriving in the Horn of Africa.
The mission of the emboldened anti-Somaliland anarchists is bigger than civil disturbances in Las Anood. They do not believe our constitution; they hate our system of government, our flag, and our country. They will do whatever it takes to bring down our country, including burning and even destroying to the ground Las-Anood, a town that made significant progress for the last 2 decades.
Anti-Somaliland extremists’ groups are using social media as a platform to disseminate propaganda and lies, to incite hatred among Somaliland communities and violence in Las Anood. They lie about the recent unrest in Las Anood, by accusing Somaliland forces of committing a “Genocide” because do not understand the meaning of genocide. They are also saying Somaliland is behind the politically motivated assassinations.
But what are Somaliland authorities gaining from killing people who support their administration?
Some of those responsible for spreading these lies include Somaliland fake news media, Cirro, who has ambition to be the next president of Somaliland. For instance, Cirro used inflammatory language to describe the riots in Las Anood. He called the riots a “deliberate genocide” committed by Somaliland law enforcement. He is inciting violence against our police and army, and he has become a conduit for anti-Somaliland extremists’ plot to undermine our system of government and security. Cirro’s behavior for the last few days is yet another reason why he should not be the next president of Somaliland.
But I want to remind Cirro that our police keep the peace. They protect him and face danger every day. They make little money, $100-150 a month, but they care about their communities and their country. Thousands of police officers, firefighters, and soldiers are risking their lives now on the streets of Las Anod and other Somaliland cities, to keep us safe, and they deserve our support.
Las Anood communities have the right to know why the Somaliland government failed to act on those assassinations. After peace is restored in Las Anood, our law enforcements must focus like a laser solving those assassinations.
President Bihi in an address to the nation on civil unrest in Las Anood, said dozens of people were arrested for those murders and promised to move into high gear on the criminal investigation into the unsolved cases and the civilian deaths. To de-escalate the civil disturbance, the Somaliland army has withdrawn from Las Anood, and arrested two soldiers.
The president also warned those who are trying to exploit the civil disturbance in Las Anood that he took an oath to preserve, protect, and defend Somaliland, an oath that requires every JSL President to establish justice and ensure public safety.
General Cambaashe who is the commander of Somaliland military in the Sool region vowed to restore order in Las Anood. He warned outside agitators who are very determined to destroy the progress of Las Anod for the past two decades that Somaliland army will take swift action to claim the streets of Las Anood from the criminals. Kudos to Gen. Cambaashe for doing the most basic responsibility of government: maintaining public order and safety.
We must keep on working to create a climate of healing, de-escalation, trust, and tolerance, a climate that rejects tribal barbarism, and division. We must allow our kinship and lineage to bring us together, and not to divide us. We must resolve our political division by peaceful means or through ballots boxes!
Anti-Somaliland anarchists’ main goal is to drag Somaliland into the “fratricidal violence” and the lawlessness that characterizes present day the so-called Republic of Somalia. But there is no option other than a free and independent Somaliland because the people had already decided their own political future through referendum back in 2001.
Engaging anti-Somaliland extremists on the battlefield is critical to our hopes of preserving and restoring our freedom for future generations. We must not be complacent about those who are trying to harm Somaliland. We must also be vigilant and protect our freedom, because “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
Let me conclude by saying to the people disturbed by the violence and lawlessness of the past few days, and to the good people of Las Anood caught at the center of this senseless suffering, your future belongs with Somaliland. Order will be restored, the violence will end, justice will be served, and Somaliland will prevail!
May God Bless the Republic of Somaliland
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