Investigative Reports

Somaliland Office in Taiwan Rejects Sexual Misconduct Allegations

The Republic of Somaliland Representative Office in Taiwan has...

Ministry of Information Spends 600,000 US Dollars to Fix a Decade Old Radio Station

According to a contract signed by the Minister of Information, Culture...

How Somalia is trying to Stifle Somaliland – US ties with an Online Troll and a pseudo-Charitable Organization

In February, June, and  August 2022, Mr. Okeke-Von Batten filed Lobby Disclosure Act...
Home Blog

National Election Commission Announced Nine-Month Delay of Presidential Elections


In their first press statement since sworn in, the new National Election Commission has announced that the constitutionally mandated presidential elections scheduled for November 13th will be delayed. The Commission stated that elections will be held in nine months starting on October 1st, and cited time, technical and financial constraints as the reason for the delaying.

The selections, confirmation by parliament, and swearing-in of the new National Election Commissioners have dragged on for months and were completed on September 7th, 2022. The previous Election Commission, led by Mr. Abdirashid Riyoraac, dissolved following a dispute among the commissioners and an accusation of corruption that prompted an investigation by the Auditor General’s Office. 

The opposition has accused President Bihi of orchestrating the disbandment of the election commission to ensure elections are not held on time. President Bihi has countered the opposition’s accusation that the delay was caused by opposition members of parliament who failed to confirm replacement commissioners

The opposition parties of Waddani and UCID have welcomed the statement from the Election Commission, although they have in the past opposed presidential term extension and staged protests where at least six civilians were killed and scores injured. It is unclear if the argument of which election, presidential or national political parties, comes first is settled between the President and the leaders of the opposition parties.

President Bihi has argued that the new parties currently amid registration are the only ones eligible to take part in Presidential Elections, whereas the opposition parties have argued that the President is trying to eliminate the current opposition parties and that the presidential elections come first.

Earlier this week, Members of Parliament approved a motion to amend the election laws Number 91/2022 and Number 14. The amendment ratified the combination of presidential and political party elections where the presidential elections will be participated by Waddani, UCID, and the ruling party of Kulmiye and the other parallel election will decide which of the new or existing parties will qualify as a national political party. Somaliland law stipulates that only three political parties can exist for a term of ten years. It is unclear if the Senate and President will approve the proposed amendment to codify it into law.

The National Election Commission’s statement that it cannot hold the presidential elections on November 13th, 2022 paves the way for the Somaliland Senate, which has the constitutional power to extend the presidential term to start deliberation and approve term extension for President Muse Bihi Abdi. In the past, the Senate has ignored the extension period recommended by the Election Commission and has given past Presidents two-year term extensions. This will be the sixth time presidential elections are delayed in Somaliland.

Despite the normalization of election delays and pitched political disputes in election season, Somaliland has earned high praises for its ability to hold one-person, one-vote elections and peaceful transfers of power. It is unclear if the latest delays in presidential elections and continued political jostling will effect in its quest for international recognition.

Dishonest Broker – Why Turkey Will Not Run Somaliland – Somalia Talks


On December 28, 2018, Turkey named its former Ambassador to Somalia Dr. Olgan Bekar as a Special Envoy for Somalia and Somaliland Talks. Thought the former Ambassador to Somalia has had limited contact with the Government of Somaliland especially President Bihi’s current administration, he known to be very comfortable in navigating the political scene in Mogadishu.

In this report, we are examining Turkey’s history in Somaliland and Somalia and their role as mediators in the past talks.

Dr. Olgan Bekar, Turkey’s Special Envoy for Somaliland – Somalia with President Muse Bihi Abdi

Turkey is not the only country interested to have Somaliland and Somalia get back to the negotiating table and reach some sort of a settlement.

The topic has come up during President Muse Bihi Abdi’s meeting with the Ethiopian Prime Minister in Addis Ababa this week though it is unclear the extent to which they discussed the subject or if any concrete steps to get the two sides talking were agreed upon.

Somaliland and Ethiopian leaders meeting in Addis Ababa

It is important to understand that various stake holders have different expected outcomes of such talks and Somaliland might be the odd man out as it seeks to gain an amicable completion of its divorce from Somalia.

According to statement from Somaliland Presidency following President Bihi’s meeting with the new envoy Dr. Bekar on February 9, The President informed Dr. Bekar and the Turkish delegation that since past talks has not yielded any results all future dialogue between Somaliland and Somalia must include the international community.

Sources from Somaliland’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation present in the meeting with the President and the Turkish delegation stated that President Bihi also informed the Turkish envoy that bringing a level of balance in how Turkey invests in Somalia and Somaliland is a good way to show Somaliland that Turkey is impartial and a friend to Somaliland.

To understand if Turkey can be an impartial and an honest broker on Somaliland and Somalia talks and its general standing in the world community, we have spoken to Mr. Michael Rubin who is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, where he researches Arab politics, the Gulf Cooperation Council, Iran, Iraq, the Kurds, terrorism, and Turkey.

President Bihi with Michael Rubin and Presidential Economic Advisor Dr. Osman Sh Ahmed

Somaliland Chronicle: Do you think it is wise for Somaliland to accept Turkey as a mediator in Somalia talks given the Turkish Gov support and massive investment in Somalia?

Mr. Rubin: Turkey does not have a track-record as an honest broker, and President Erdoğan has an ideological agenda which does not value Somaliland’s democracy and security. It is crucial to broaden any such mediation beyond a single country.

Somaliland Chronicle: In your latest article you wrote about Turkish support for terrorism and specifically for Al-Shabaab. What is Turkey’s reasoning for supporting Al-Shabaab?

Mr. Rubin: There is no single international definition of terrorism, and so Turkey often says it is combating terrorism, but denies groups like Al-Shabaab in Somalia or Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb in Mali are terrorists. Erdoğan’s goal is a more Islamist order. His fault, though, is confusing some Islamist movements with Islam itself.

Somaliland Chronicle: President Bihi recently met with a Turkish Envoy in charge of the Somaliland/Somalia talks, do you see any value in having Turkey to mediate or be part of those talks?

Mr. Rubin: Certainly, there is value in consultation with Turkey, as Turkey retains a diplomatic presence in both Somalia and Somaliland. President Bihi is correct, however, to seek a broader mediation rather than reliance on a single country.

As President Bihi informed the Turkish delegation, there is an imbalance in how Turkey provides and and invests in Somaliland and Somalia. Let’s break down what Turkey so far done in is to Somalia:

Turkey in Somalia

Security Influence

Turkey is Somalia’s true patron state, one of its most expensive efforts is to rebuild the Somali National Army from scratch and in its own image.

The largest military force in Somalia is of course AMISOM but Turkey’s military presence dwarfs that of any individual country in the AMISOM troops stationed in Somalia. In fact, Turkey’s largest military installation outside of Turkey is in Mogadishu.

Dr. Olgan Bekar with Somalia’s Prime Minister Hassan Khaire.

The 1.5 square mile Turkish military training installation is capable of churning out 1,500 fully trained and equipped soldiers at a time. This is according to Turkish and Somali sources familiar with the facility.

Below is a tweet from Turkish Embassy in Somalia showing images of Somali military personnel being trained in Turkey.

While Turkey rates as the 18th largest military in expenditure globally, it has a fledgling arms industry and rebuilding the Somali National Army represents a lucrative opportunity to supply it with the equipment it is manufacturing.

According to a recent VOA report, in what seems to be a clear violation of the United Nations Security Council’s weapons embargo on Somalia, Turkey has been supplying armament to units of the Somali National Army it has been training.

Economic Influence

Since September 21, 2014 Albayrak Group has been operating the Mogadishu Port on a 20 year concession where the company takes 45% of all revenues from the port.

Public records show that Albayrak Group does not have a track record in managing world class ports, besides Mogadishu Port, it also manages and the Trabzon Port in the Black Sea on Turkey’s Northern border with Georgia.

Compared to Albayrak Group and the 2 ports it manages, DP World manages about 77 marine and inland terminals including Somaliland’s Berbera Port.

Other Turkish conglomerates such Enez-İnşaat and Kozuva Group are also active in Mogadishu.

Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle Airport has been managed by a Kozuva subsidiery, Favori Airports LLC,since September 2013.

Mogadishu’s Aden Abdulle Airport

Here is the Somali Prime Minister Mr. Hassan Khaire thanking Qatar for funding road networks between Mogadishu, Afgoye and Jawhar and also thanking the Turkish Government, presumably Enez-İnşaat who according to him have “won” the contract to build said roads.

Turkey bills itself as Somalia’s rescuer and multiple visits by Erdoğan to Somalia especially in what is considered a relatively difficult time for the Somali people were designed to convey that exact message but economically, Turkey stands to gain more from Somalia and Mogadishu than it lets on.

Image result for erdogan visits mogadishu
Erdoğan and his wife in Mogadishu.

According to some estimates, the most profitable route in Turkish Airlines is the Mogadishu – Ankara route. And aside from the large visible projects, there are tens of thousands of Turkish citizens living and working in Mogadishu.

Despite the obvious economic gains Turkey is making in Somalia, it is gearing up to do even more business in that war-torn country.

Getting involved in one of the least stable country in the world, Turkey is employing the concept of first mover advantage. This means less competition from the Chinese and other actors vying for influence in Africa.

Turkey heavy bet on Somalia and specifically Mogadishu is yielding economic results for Turkey beyond what Erdoğan has expected. In fact, Turkey’s largest embassy in the world is not where you would expect, like Washington DC, Brussels or Berlin, it is in Mogadishu, Somalia.

One of the most attractive features of Turkey’s patronage of Somalia is it is non-interference posture in Somalia’s domestic politics. It is worth nothing that Somalia ranked lowest in global corruption index and any country that is willing to look the other way is a welcome reprieve from the usual admonishment for President Farmajo’s weak administration.

Turkey in Somaliland

The most visible contribution of Turkey to Somaliland is a recent 216 medical machines donated by TIKA, the Turkish aid agency to Hargeisa Group Hospital.

Although this particular instance has been widely publicized by TIKA, Somaliland Chronicle has been unable to locate anything of note done in Somaliland either by Turkish Government or it is aid agency TIKA.

There are, however, multiple unfulfilled pledges by the Turkish Government in the past to help build roads in Somaliland according to multiple former and current Somaliland Government officials. None of these pledges have materialized.

One thing of note is that Turkey has been particularly adept in dangling a carrot of aid and development or simply inviting them to Istanbul on a whirlwind of meetings and tours to get them to buy into the importance of Somaliland and Somalia talks.

No other country has put so much effort to try to mediate Somaliland and Somalia as much as Turkey. In fact, this might be the only thing Turkey has done in Somaliland. There were many rounds of talks that hosted by the Turks in the past and personally supervised by President Erdoğan himself, unfortunately, these talks have been a disaster for Somaliland.

Turkey’s obsession with Somaliland is rooted in the simple fact that the rift between Gulf states of UAE and Saudi Arabia on one side and Qatar, Turkey and Iran on one side has been playing out in Somaliland and Somalia.

Image result for somaliland dpworld signing
President of Somaliland HE Muse Bihi Abdi and DP World CEO Mr. Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem

The United Arab Emirates base in Berbera and DP World managing the Port gives the UAE and its ally Saudi Arabia an advantage and a foothold in the strategic 850 kilometers of Red Sea coastline with a direct access to Bab Al-mandab.

Turkey and Qatar has been spending heavily in trying to unseat the Emirates from both the military base and the Berbera Port by mobilizing the Somali government to oppose these deals. Additionally, Turkey has been advancing particular talking points that have been seeping into public discourse in Somaliland such as the importance of Somaliland – Somalia talks, the ramifications of hosting a foreign army in Somaliland via the UAE base and the deterioration of service at the Berbera Port. These same exact talking points are parroted by many civil organizations and opposition parties in Somaliland.

Somaliland has repeatedly signaled it’s willingness to talk to Somalia but its demand for the international community including the United States, United Kingdom and the European Union to get involved and President Bihi’s impossible task for the Turks to raise their level of support for Somaliland to something comparable to Somalia’s almost guarantees that Turkey’s role will be a lot smaller in future dialogue between the two countries.

Why President Museveni Should Rethink His Approach Towards Somaliland: He Must Not Promote the Idea of Greater Somalia


President Museveni of Uganda recently waded into the contentious topic of relations between Somaliland and its infamous neighbour, Somalia. In a press release emailed to news agencies President Museveni announced he had received a visit from a special envoy of Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi. The Ugandan President disclosed that, amongst other things, he had offered to mediate between Somalia and the Republic of Somaliland.

This news immediately generated headlines across the world, including in most East African countries, and received significant backlash on social media from Somalilanders across the world. In addition, many Kenyan, Ugandan, Ethiopian and British commentators similarly indicated that President Museveni’s intervention was unhelpful. In what has turned out to be quite a diplomatic blunder for Uganda, the Government of Somaliland released a statement that the “Somaliland Government affirms that any dialogue that transpires between #Somaliland and Somalia will not discuss unification, but rather how the two previously united countries can move forward separately”.

This article explains why the President’s approach towards Somaliland requires a rethink. It will start by recounting the correct history of Somaliland in the regional context. It will then set out the immensely negative unintended regional consequences for East Africa, if Somaliland was forced into another ill-advised union with failed state Somalia.

The Republic of Somaliland: Not a Secessionist Movement

Firstly, it is important to retell the correct history. Somaliland is not a secessionist movement, nor is it a ‘breakaway region’ of neighbouring Somalia. The correct history – supported by ample evidence, facts and legal documents – is that Somaliland is a country and not merely a region. The State of Somaliland gained independence on the 26 of June 1960 from Great Britain. This in fact makes the Republic of Somaliland older than both Uganda and Somalia. To suggest Somaliland is merely a small secessionist region of Somalia is therefore factually, historically and legally incorrect, misleading and untrue.

Somalia has long sought to label Somaliland as a secessionist or breakaway region. However if one independently investigates and verifies Somaliland’s history, it quickly becomes clear that nothing could be further from the truth. How could Somaliland be a region of Somalia, when the State of Somaliland gained independence entirely separately (from the UK) on 26 June 1960? While on this day Somaliland became a sovereign, independent and internationally recognised country, Somalia was at this time was still a UN Trusteeship, under Italian administration. How can a sovereign independent country which gained independence completely separately, be a secessionist region of a neighbouring United Nations Trust Territory? The suggestion Somaliland is a secessionist region of Somalia reveals either a fundamental lack of understanding of Somaliland’s history, or a deliberate perversion and distortion of history for personal self interest. President Museveni has been poorly advised; his team should revisit and familiarise themselves with Somaliland’s history.

Somaliland’s Long History as a Sovereign Independent Country

Modern day Somaliland is the successor the famous Adal Kingdom. This country had existed in the approximate boundaries of present day Somaliland for centuries, from around the 8th century AD to the 1600s. After the decline of the Adal Sultanate, in the early 17th century, it was succeeded by local sultanates which emerged in the same present-day borders of Somaliland that had also been the Adal Kingdom.

Over the centuries, these local Sultanates were independent and self-contained. Somalilanders maintain extensive sea and land trade relations. Principally with neighbouring peoples including other East Africans, the Swahili coast, and Ethiopians – then known as Abyssinians. But Somalilanders have also maintained trade links also further afield with with Arabian Peninsula on the other side of the Gulf of Berbera (the Gulf of Aden), the East African hinterland through inland trading networks and even India and Persia.

As in much of East Africa, by the 19th century the British Empire had arrived on the shores of Somaliland, knocking on the proverbial doors. In 1884, through a series of Treaties of Protection signed between the U.K and Somalilanders. It was in this way that the country of Somaliland that we know today come into being.

It should be noted that Somalians on the other hand became a colony of Italy. Specific tribes such as the minority cross-border Dhulbahante community, and the small Majeerteen subclan, had willingly signed treaties of protection with Italy, in which they agreed to become subjects of Italy. This included the Ilig Treaty of 1905 signed between Italy and the local ruler known as ‘the Mad Mullah’. Concurrently Italy had separately purchased the remainder of Southern Somalia from the Sultan of Zanzibar, as it was part of the Swahili coast. By the 1930s Italy had introduced fascism as the predominant political philosophy in Somalia, as well as the Madamato system of Somalia Italiana, plantation slavery of Somalians and raft of other policies that were deeply destructive to Somalia’s social fabric and traditional structures. This unique history of neighbouring Somalia as East Africa’s only fascist indoctrinated country, largely contributes to Somalia’s present day issues. Till today Somalia’s political philosophy is ‘might is right’, autocratic dictatorship and abuse of minorities such as its large Somali Bantu population (the secret Somali Bantu Genocide). 

Turning back to Somaliland’s history, it clearly and demonstrably has a long, illustrious and incontrovertibly rich history as a sovereign, independent country. The territory that is present day Somaliland with a recorded history of over of 2000 years. For at least 1,200 years the country that is modern-day Somaliland had a distinct identity, territory and indigenous citizens. Somaliland has had various successive forms of government (usually in the form of sultanates and kingdoms). It has also maintained relations with nearby countries, kingdoms and peoples.

If one looks at the Montevideo convention, which provides the modern definition of States, it is self evident that Somaliland has been an independent sovereign state for a long time. Over the past 1,400 years, there were perhaps only two a brief exception of two brief periods when the territory of modern-day Somaliland was not an independent, sovereign, self-governing country. Firstly, the 76 years Somaliland spent as British Somaliland and secondly the 31 years, between 1960 and 1991, when Somaliland attempted a failed union with neighbouring Somalia to create a new country called ‘The Somali Republic’.

Somaliland is not Somalia: Different Histories and Incompatible Cultural Values

For most of its 1,200 year history, Somaliland has had very little to do with the neighbouring territory of Somalia. This might seem unlikely, but is in fact true, and is an accident of geography due to the simple distance between Somaliland and Somalia. To put this into perspective consider this: Somaliland’s capital and main population centre Hargeisa is 2,300KM by road from the southernmost regions that are Somalia’s population centres. While Uganda’s capital is a mere 1,500KM from that same point in Somalia. Somalia was also part of the Swahili coast, various forms of Swahili are spoken in Somalia. Lastly Somalia also shares much culture with Uganda including posho (which Somalians call soor), Niiko dancing and Somali Bantu populations.

Beyond trade, Somalilanders historically had no connection with the neighbouring territory to their South, that would later become neighbouring Somalia. Post 1991 Somaliland has reverted to its old relationship with neighbouring Somalia: trade, but nothing more. Not only because of the geographic distance, but cultural and political incompatibility.

It is worth noting that when modern day Somaliland was created in 1884, neighbouring Somalia was, at that time, a possession of the Sultan of Zanzibar. Somalia was later acquired by Italy. Mussolini became its head of State. The territory inaugurated the Fascisti Party of Somalia as the first political party of Somalia. The Fasciti Party headquarters in Mogadishu would become Somalia’s parliament building. Fascism was taug in ht in schools throughout Somalia (not including Somaliland). Somalia was aligned with the Axis powers during world war 2, and even sent a delegation to the conference of Nazi allied countries in Rome, Italy. Somalian leaders are pictures with Hitler and Mussolini, sporting swastikas and carrying out fascist salutes.

Until the present day the values of fascism (might is right), machiavellianism, britality and autocracy are the national values of Somalia. This is displayed by Somalia’s government and citizens actions including the Isaaq Genocide, the Somali Bantu Genocide, terrorism, piracy and general anarchy that has become commonplace in Somalia.

Somalilanders on the other hand had a very different experience, much closer to Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania in experience. 

Somalilanders also have values very different from Somalia, based on egalitarianism, pastoral community and democracy. This is why the rule of law prevails in Somaliland, whilst Somalia has been in anarchy for 32 years.

Somaliland and Somalia are culturally incompatible, just as Somalia and Uganda are culturally inconpatible. To seek to forcibly absorb Somaliland into Somalia, would be to wish for the destruction of the values, livelihoods and country that 6 million Somalilanders have so diligently built over decades. It is unthinkable.

The Idea of a Union between Somaliland and Somalia has Been Tried, Tested and Failed

The 31 year period during which Somaliland was under illegal occupation and attempted annexation by neighbouring Somalia, was one of the most destructive periods in its history. Somalia under the fascist genocidal dictator Siad Barre, who was an expansionist ethno-fascist, destroyed Somaliland and levelled it to the ground. Somalia then carried out the brutal Isaaq Genocide, in which it killed hundreds of thousands of Somalilanders, and bombed, burned and destroyed most of Somaliland’s cities, towns and villages. Somalilanders have not forgotten this genocide, nor forgiven Somalia.

Somalilanders are also cognisant that neighbouring Somalia is still the worlds most comprehensively failed state. We note that neighbouring Somalia continues to be famous for piracy, terrorism, mass murders, anarchy and daily bombings. Who in their right mind would want to unite with Somalia, especially when the rest of the world actively shuts the doors to Somalia to protect their own citizens from its chaos. It is for this very reason why both Kenya and Ethiopia have established buffer zones inside Somalia: to keep it at bay. Kenya has even gone as far as building a border wall with failed state Somalia. Therefore clearly any attempt to unite with Somalia will bring Somaliland nothing but death, destruction and destitution. We say, no thank you.

Museveni a Proponent of Greater Somalia? A Destructive Path for East Africa

Under Somalia’s leadership the Somali Republic, emboldened by its annexation of Somaliland, also invaded and attempted to annex Northern Kenya and Eastern Ethiopia. The Somali Republic also had designs to incorporate other countries including the Republic of Djibouti into his fantastical new country called ‘Greater Somalia’. Is more war, destruction and conflict in East Africa the wish of President Museveni? I pray it is not so. As Africans we must learn from our mistakes of the past, lest we be doomed to repeat them, ad infinitum. 

The idea of Greater Somalia is one of an ethnically pure, supposedly superior country, for so-called ‘ethnic Somalis’. Greater Somalia’s claimed land area being twice the size of Western Europe,    would incorporate Somalia, Somaliland, Eastern Ethiopia, Northern Kenya and the entirety of Djibouti. Its capital would be Mogadishu, Somalia. This is all very ironic and some might say delusional, given Somalia can’t even govern itself… yet Somalia has grand designs on neighbouring countries including Somaliland. In any case Greater Somalia which would be kick-started by Somalia attempting to annex Somaliland, would be a sure way to envelop East Africa in a great regional conflagration.

Greater Somalia ideologically very similar to Hitler’s Greater Germanic Reich – based on ideology of supposed ethnic purity, forced homogeneity, genocide & ethnic cleansing, and autocratic forms of government.

Somalia’s expansionist and ethno-fascist ideology of ‘Greater Somalia’ begins with invading, annexing and incorporating Somaliland into Somalia. The second step would be annexing Djibouti. Followed by Eastern Ethiopia (the Somali region of Ethiopia) and Northern Kenya (the Northern Frontier District of Kenya).

Somalia’s current constitutional including provisions claiming extra-territorial jurisdiction over Eastern Ethiopia, Somaliland, Northern Kenya and Djibouti. Somalia’s did this by including in its constitution provisions which state that anyone who is an ethnic Somali, even if they their ancestors have always lived in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somaliland and Djibouti and never even so much as set foot in Somalia, are citizens of Somalia simply by virtue of their Somali ethnicity.

This idea of Somalia as an ‘ethnic state’ is the basis that Somalia uses to claims extra-territorial sovereignty over neighbouring countries. In this way Somalia claims Somali Ethiopians  (Somali Region of Ethiopia), Northern Kenya (NFD Province), Somalilanders (The Republic of Somaliland), and Djiboutians (Djibouti) are sovereign subordinates of Somalia. President Museveni is inadvertently and unwittingly lending support to and giving credibility to Somalia’s extraterritorial claims on neighbouring countries, including its illegal and baseless claims over Somaliland. 

Regional Consequences of Greater Somalia’s Annexation of Somaliland, as Promoted by Museveni

President Museveni should be careful to not promote an ideology – of Greater Somalia – that he neither understands, nor can control. To do so would unleash a terrible and protracted new conflict and border wars between Somalia and all its neighbours, including Somaliland. President Museveni should respect Somaliland, Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti’s sovereignty, independence and  territorial integrity. He is supporting and unleashing forces of Somali ethno-nationalism and ethno-fascism that few outside the Horn of Africa understand or appreciate. 

To support Somalia’s claims over Somaliland and neighbouring countries would unleash in the Horn of Africa, and East Africa more widely, immense instability, uncertainty. This would be bad for business, government and citizens alike in East Africa. It would adversely affect investor sentiment, international trade and political and economic stability. President Museveni should be careful to not be pulled into the orbit of Somalia’s chaos and anarcho-capitalism. After all, it has not worked out so well for Somalia. 

Somaliland is the only bulwark that stands against the Greater Somalia ideology. Removing Somaliland from the region would be sure to pull Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya into a regional conflagration and war the like of which the region has not seen since Somalia’s illegal 1977 invasion of Ethiopia. President Museveni would do well to remember that Ethiopia and Somalia went to war in 1977 because of this ideology. Somalia and Kenya went to war in 1963 because of this ideology. The Isaaq Genocide was committed because of this ruinous ideology.

The Legal & Moral Argument Against a Forced Union Between Failed State Somalia and Democratic Somaliland

The State of Somaliland then gained its independence on the 26th of June 1960 as part of the African decolonisation movement, similar to most other African countries.  Somaliland therefore has its own borders based on internationally recognised and legally binding Treaties between the local people and the UK, between the UK and Ethiopia (demarcating the Somaliland-Ethiopia border), between the UK and France (demarcating the Somaliland-Djibouti border), and between the UK and Italy (demarcating the Somaliland-Somalia border).

By advocating a forced illegal union between Somaliland and Somalia, President Museveni is invalidating and opening up a Pandora’s Box of colonial African borders. He is giving credence to and providing credibility to Somalia’s illegal claims on not only Somaliland (based on supposed shared ethnicity). And also Somalia’s claims on Eastern Ethiopia, Djibouti and Northern Kenya. This goes against the AU charter which “SOLEMNLY DECLARES that all Member States pledge themselves to respect the borders existing on their achievement of national independence”. This includes Somaliland’s sovereign borders with which it duly and legally gained independence on the 26 June 1960. Surely this cannot be his intention?

President Museveni should be careful to not wish to go back in history and seek to nullify Somaliland’s independence, unless he wishes to do the same for Uganda. After all, the age old saying teaches us that ‘what is good for the goose is good for the gander’. In other words, if President Museveni wishes people to respect Uganda’s independence from the UK on the 9 October 1962, why does he deny the same to Somalilanders? It is illogical, it is rash, it is unjustifiable. 

President Museveni, as an elder statesman of East Africa, should be proposing solutions such as formalising recognition of Somaliland (which is effectively a 32 year old foregone conclusion – a reality on the ground that is not going away), and not contributing more problems and conflicts to the region such as proposing an unworkable, unfeasible, unthinkable forced union between Somaliland and Somalia.

Why is President Museveni advocating something for Somaliland that he would not accept for Uganda?

President Museveni has no right to dismiss the will of Somalilanders. Somalilanders have the same right to self determination as Ugandans – and any other African country. To suggest a reunification between Somaliland and Somalia is to reveal a lack of understanding and knowledge on the issues between them. Under no conceivable circumstances will Somalilanders accept being reunited with the country that waged a brutal genocide on them: Somalia.

To suggest a reunification between Somaliland and Somalia would be like forcing relatives of mass murder victims to live with the same mass murderer who killed their relatives. It would be immoral. It would be inhumane. It would be unthinkable.  It would force onto Somalilanders a level of indignity, humilitation and inhumanity that they would never and will never accept. No sane person would accept it. Most of the 6 million or so Somalilanders will likely fight to the death and sacrifice their lives before their country is annexed by and forcibly given to neighbouring failed state Somalia (which cannot even govern itself). 


In summary, President Museveni’s interjection is unhelpful, counterproductive and will aggravate the situation rather than help it. He must not inadvertently promote Greater Somalia. He must respect the history, identity and wishes of Somaliland’s 6 million people. He must not advocate for Somaliland a tried, tested and failed union with Somalia that historically only brought death, destruction and destitution. He must not tell Somalilanders to do something he would not accept for Uganda: giving up their independence, sovereignty and country, to join with the worlds most comprehensively failed state that is famous for terrorism, piracy and anarchy: Somalia. Somalilanders have considered his proposal and have resoundingly rejected it. Any attempt to forcibly reunite Somaliland with Somalia is unthinkable, unworkable and unacceptable.

About the Author

Dr Adali Warsame is a political commentator and public policy professional, who is a long time observer of Somaliland politics. He writing focuses on standing up for the dignity of Somaliland’s citizens, who appear to be forgotten in the melee that is everyday Somaliland and Horn of Africa politics.

Adali is an unapologetic Somalilander. He is passionate about achieving justice for the forgotten Isaaq Genocide victims, stopping the doomed Somaliland-Somalia talks and international recognition of the Republic of Somaliland.

FDI in Somaliland: A Vehicle for Prosperity or a Source of Social Inequality?


The Republic of Somaliland, has not yet acquired a de jure recognition from the outside world since May 18, 1991 when Somaliland decided to withdraw from the 1960 union with Somalia. Since then, Somaliland has been stable compared to the other parts of the region and its contribution to the security and stability in the region is also amicable.

However, the world has been reluctant to provide Somaliland with the assistance it deserves and this tells us much about the faults of the international politics and hypocrite nature of the international system.

Lack of recognition and qualification for foreign direct investment made the post-conflict state institutions fragile and prevented the economy from flourishing. Although Somaliland has managed to build its institutions without international engagement and involvement, on the other hand, the ineffectiveness of the political and social institutions is an outcome of the absence of effective policies and a strong economy necessary to help state institutions thrive.

Apparently, the foreign direct investments coming to the less developed countries have multiple purposes. However, it has a positive impact on the economic and social infrastructures necessary for the development of any country. Somaliland is in a dire strait to get foreign investments to overcome the challenges it facing since 1991.

These investments can take the opportunity by bringing economic opportunities to Somaliland so as to create jobs for the unemployed youth in the country. Indeed, reducing the high rate of unemployment in Somaliland and creating job opportunities for unemployed youth is necessary. Also, social infrastructures such as health and education facilities which inadequately resourced should be improved.

Despite lacking international recognition, Somaliland has dealt with international companies and foreign governments for economic and political purposes. But, getting recognition will not solve and answer the social and economic problems faced by Somaliland.

However, this needs rethinking and reformulating the state policies and strategies, for example, create legal and political framework necessary to qualify for foreign direct investments and design forms of cooperation with the international actors. Not only the international actors, but also creating positive public posture within the state citizens and distribution of the state resources among the citizens can strengthen the social contract and cohesion.

Also, inclusive political institutions are necessary for states to develop. Such institutions provide confidence for people (both within the state and without) to invest in themselves and in businesses. Such investments hire people and create the tax revenues necessary to build state infrastructure.

Therefore, making Somaliland effective, inclusive and transparent state, and developing clear and coherent investment policies and strategies might place Somaliland more prominently in the frontline to qualify for investment, and may attract more attention from foreign investors who interested to come and invest this country.

Therefore, there are a number of issues that need particular attention from the Government and expected to have been worked on to make this journey fruitful:

  • The Government of Somaliland should work on making state institutions more effective, efficient, transparent and reliable.
  • The Government of Somaliland should open the market space to all citizens, and also advocate the issue of fair and free market economy, where the rights of poor weak and minorities are respected.
  • Creating legal frameworks and effective institutions to govern businesses both local and international and accept a high number of FDI without threatening the fragile peace and the existing balance of the country is necessary.
  • Developing or implementing inclusive policies that could seem important and necessary for the development of the state are also important. Those policies will make the state inclusive transparent, stable, and representative of the citizens’ interests.

Economic growth is important for every country, but it is especially crucial for post-conflict countries needing peacebuilding, recovery, and reconstruction. Since the declaration of resuming own independence in 1991 from Somalia, the Republic of Somaliland has been peaceful and has undergone a significant political and economic transformation.

In 2002, Somaliland transitioned from a clan-based system to multi-party democracy after a referendum. Still, the country kept some of its traditions by formalizing the Guurti as an Upper House of Elders, which ensures the support of traditional clan-based power structures. Thus, the country secured a stable peace and democratic system of politics by merging modern and traditional elements.

According to Freedom House’s political rights and civil liberty rankings, Somaliland has a score of 44/100 and is the only one ranked as “partly free” in the Horn of Africa.

Despite not having international recognition, Somaliland is making notable progress in promoting peace and democracy compared to its neighboring countries. However, the country is still facing challenges, and peace remains fragile. One challenge is that the country has no major economic development with serious unemployment rates and education issues.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is defined as international investment by an entity residing a foreign economy. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is an international movement of capital carried out by foreign investors in a country to create or develop a subsidiary in another country. FDI also allows foreign investors to acquire a local company

Continue Reading Full Article

Guest article first published on SII

Wanton Violence Against Somaliland Military POWs in Lasanod, Somaliland Government remains Quiet.


Following the catastrophic military retreat by Somaliland armed forces from their bases in Lasanod, a gruesome picture of treatment has emerged from Lasanod against captured Somaliland military prisoners of war. Images shared on social media show jubilant crowds dancing and mistreating dead soldiers. Other images show a barbaric level of violance being perpetrated by Lasanod militias against Somaliland military POWS.

Although Somaliland government and particularly President Bihi, who is said to have ordered the hasty and poorly planned retreat, has promised a full transparent investigation to understand how things came apart but so far has not addressed the reports coming out of Lasanod on the treatment of Somaliland’s military POWs in the hands of the militia and Al-Shabaab terrorist groups.

Unconfirmed reports coming out of Lasanod state that over 60 prisoners of war have been handed over to various militia groups, some to Al-Shabaab affiliated groups in Lasanod and have been executed. Somaliland Chronicle is unable to independently verify these reports.

Garad Jama Garad Ali, one of the instigators of the crisis who spoke at an event, seems to endorse the purported killing and torture of Somaliland’s captured military personnel and calls upon his follows to attack before Somaliland recovers and finish off the captives to cheering crowds.

It is unclear what the next steps are for Somaliland and if there are plans to retake Lasanod militarily, but confidential sources have confirmed large military build up. It is also unclear how long the investigation President Bihi has promised will take or if there will be changes to the military’s top brass.

International Community has released a statement condemning the escalation of violance but did not address the treatment of prisoners of war. Somaliland has been under constant pressure to end hostilities despite being under constant attack from militias in Lasanod.

President Bihi and his government have advocated for defensive posture ever since the start of hostilities in Lasanod, and have ordered its military to confine itself to its barracks despite the military being under sustained attacks from an amalgam of militias, including Al-shabaab as well as Puntland forces.

Sool Situation Compels Quick Military Strategy Execution


This past week, we witnessed the worst battle loss the Somaliland army ever suffered in our history. We saw disturbing photos of the mistreatment of the commander Feisal Bootaan. Torture, killing of the POWs  , and the desecration of the bodies of our soldiers in the hands of armed thugs in Las Anood. We are demanding the leaders of the clan militias to treat Gen. Botan and other prisoners with respect and not use them as propaganda for their failing misadventure.

Somalilanders are asking what went wrong?

For almost a year, the Somaliland National Defense Forces (SLNDF) gallantly defended their posts and territory in Las Anod, despite our politicians tying up their hands.  Our political leaders made serious tactical mistakes in the initial phase of the Las-Anood battle, for allowing clan militias into a peaceful town. We should have listened to the advice of the military commanders who refused to let armed militias into Las-Anood proper. For instance, this past January, Gen. Botan denied one of the Sool inhabited Clan elders from entering Las Anod at Tukaraq checkpoint because armed men were escorting them. The Interior Minister Kaahin overruled his order not to upset the radical clan elders who were advocating violence.

The army has been in a precarious situation because of the bad decisions of  our leaders. We foolishly lost our soldiers and officers because elected politicians placed cumbersome restrictions on the army in their fight against Anti-Somaliland militias in East Sool.

After we grieve, we will unite, we will reinforce our troops, we will take on Las Anod Clan militias, and we will not be cowered by the Anti-Somaliland zealots. But, first, we need a military strategy, plan and execution to take on Anti-Somaliland terrorists. The tip of the spear of the insurgent clan militias and the terrorist is at the gates of the Oog Township, some 90km west of Las-Anood.

Last week’s military loss demands a total shakeup at the top brass in the military. and security agencies after a thorough investigations what went wrong.

The Anti-Somaliland zealots are led by the extreme clan-elders, terrorists, and anarchists. Their goal is to bring down our young nation and destroy the aspirations of 6 million Somalilanders to become a free and democratic Republic, and to be a member of the world of nations. They are well financed, backed by Communist China, the radical Ictisaam merchants, clan-enclave minded political panhandlers, and the ‘hate media factory “.

I have no doubt that our enemy will hear from us soon.

We should address our political grievances through peaceful means. Presidential nominee Cirro should call on the armed bandits in Gacan Libaax mountains to stand down and face justice.

We should not believe  social media postings blaming a rogue officer responsible for the military communications for last week’s debacle. This is part of our enemy’s campaign to sow division among the military and our communities. All Somaliland constituencies and communities of all clans – men and women – are fighting and dying along with our troops, to defeat the Anti-Somaliland clan militias in Las-Anod. Opposition bases’ commitment to defend and protect our nation is bedrock solid.

We should not let the controversy of the election delays, or the outcome of 2017 election to undermine our resolve. Partisan rancor, divisive rhetoric on social media, and deep clan divisions would only provide aid and comfort to our enemies. It’s time our political leaders put country before party or clan.

It is the time when all Somalilanders from every walk of life unite in our resolve to defend the nation. Somaliland has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time.

It is hard to forget what took place in Las Anod last Friday. Yet, we must move forward to defend our freedom. Defending our country against its enemies is the main responsibility of our government. Our government must do everything it can to keep us safe. The territorial integrity of the Republic of Somaliland is not-negotiable, and we will defend and fight for every inch of our country.

We need to unite at home and abroad. It is something our nation needed at a time of catastrophic military loss. It is time to stand up and fight for Somaliland. Waving the white flag of surrender is not an option, patriots. A risky scenario is that we could lose our hard-fought freedom.

May Allah Bless Somaliland!

Ali-Guban Mohamed, email:; Founder/Editor –

Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not
necessarily reflect the views of Somaliland Chronicle. Somaliland Chronicle is
an online news outlet that seeks to publish well-argued and policy-oriented
articles on Somaliland nation's priorities in foreign affairs, education,
healthcare, economy, energy, and infrastructure

Unite for Peace in the World and Taiwan’s Inclusion in the UN


Jaushieh Joseph Wu
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of China (Taiwan)

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is a reminder of how autocracies care little about causing death and destruction. The war is a gross violation of human rights and the principle of peaceful settlement of international disputes as codified in the United Nations Charter, which has helped maintain the rules-based international order and kept the world in relative peace since the end of the Cold War.

The war’s humanitarian and economic fallout has also shown that in a globalized world crises cannot be contained within national borders. It is therefore imperative to deter similar threats to global security from happening elsewhere. Taiwan—a democracy that is home to over 23 million people and that I proudly represent—continues to confront enormous challenges posed by China.

Since the mid-20th century, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has vowed to take control of Taiwan and refused to renounce the use of force, despite never having ruled Taiwan. For decades, the people of Taiwan have remained calm in safeguarding the status quo of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait. However, as China’s economic and military might has grown stronger, it becomes increasingly aggressive in flexing its military muscle to intimidate Taiwan, thereby threatening our democratic way of life. This includes sending warplanes and ships across the median line of the Taiwan Strait and encroaching into our air defense identification zones. It has also intensified gray-zone tactics, such as disinformation and economic coercion, in an attempt to wear down our will to fight.

The PRC’s expansionism does not stop at Taiwan. China’s use of gray-zone activities in the East and South China Seas are designed to expand its power and substantiate its hawkish territorial claims. In addition to signing a security agreement with Solomon Islands in the South Pacific, the PRC has been securing ports for future military use in the Indian Ocean. All of these maneuvers are causing grave concerns that peace is becoming more difficult to maintain.

Ensuring peace and stability in the Taiwan Strait is in everyone’s best interest. Half of the world’s commercial container traffic passes through the Taiwan Strait each day. Taiwan produces the majority of the world’s semiconductors and plays a key role in global supply chains. Any conflict in the area would have disastrous consequences for the global economy.

In recent years, bilateral and multilateral forums have repeatedly emphasized that the peace and stability over the Taiwan Strait is indispensable to global security. While we can all agree that the war must be avoided, how to best do so requires inclusion, dialogue, and, most of all, unity.

The United Nations remains the best platform for global discourse. UN officials speak often of joint solutions, solidarity, and inclusion in tackling the pressing issues of our time. Taiwan is more than willing and able to take part in these efforts.

However, Taiwan continues to be excluded from the UN due to China’s distortion of UN General Assembly Resolution 2758. This resolution neither states that Taiwan is a part of the PRC nor gives the PRC the right to represent the people of Taiwan in the UN and its specialized agencies. In fact, the resolution only determines who represents the member state China, a fact that the international community and China itself recognized following the relevant vote in 1971. The subsequent misrepresentation of Resolution 2758 contradicts the basic principles upheld by the UN Charter and must be rectified.

The 78th session of the UN General Assembly, which will center on the theme “rebuilding trust and reigniting global solidarity,” is timely in light of a number of broad global challenges. For example, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were designed as a shared blueprint for peace and prosperity. Yet the most recent SDG progress report showed that just 12 percent of SDG targets were on track, while progress on 50 percent has remained insufficient. And on more than 30 percent, we have stalled or even regressed.

While there are no easy answers, the first step is dialogue. As a truly global institution, the UN can serve as a champion of progress. We call on the UN to uphold its principle of leaving no one behind by allowing Taiwan to participate in the UN system, rather than excluding it from discussions on issues requiring global cooperation. A good first step would be to allow Taiwanese individuals and journalists to attend or cover relevant meetings, as well as ensure Taiwan’s meaningful participation in meetings and mechanisms regarding the SDGs.

Ukraine’s incredible bravery and resilience have inspired countries around the globe. The war there has forged a new sense of togetherness in the world. Unity is crucial to pushing back against Russia’s aggression and to preserving universal values, such as human rights and global peace, more broadly.

It is vital to make China and other authoritarian governments aware that they will be held accountable and to urge them to settle differences through peaceful means. Allowing Taiwan to meaningfully participate in the UN system would benefit the world’s efforts to address pressing global issues. This would also demonstrate the UN’s determination to unite for global peace at a critical juncture when the future of the world is at stake.

We are stronger together. Now is the time to act on this fundamental principle by including Taiwan.

Trafigura Investing $50 Million on Berbera Fuel Storage


Muse Bihi Abdi, the Somaliland president, today formally set the foundation stone for the construction of new fuel storage tanks in Berbera invested by the Trafigura Company.

The president and his entourage are in Berbera, the Sahel region’s capital, on an official visit for just such task that would significantly improve the nation and its neighbors’ access to avoidable gasoline.

First, Ahmed Ibrahim Abdi, the manager of the Fuel Storage Facility, spoke at the event and discussed the significance of this project for the country. He also touted it as a significant foreign investment that can draw other international companies.

The mayor of the Berbera Municipality – Abdishakur Mohamud Hassan (Ciddin) – and the governor of the Sahil region – Ali Abdi Abdilahi (Ali-case) – both discussed the expansion of the fuel reservoir’s capacity and how this kind of project strengthens the economic value of Berber city to the country.

Hadi Hallouche, who was acting on behave of “Trafigura” the company that puts investment into the new fuel tanks, adulated Somaliland for its collaboration and investment friendly climate, and further underlined that his company is committed to carrying out the task all the way to the finish line.

The Ministers for Finance and Trade Developments, Dr. Sa’ad Ali Shire and Mr. Mohamud Hassan Sa’ad (Saajin), respectively, also praised the Trafigura company’s decision to invest in petroleum storage tanks in Berbera and said that Somaliland will benefit much from this initiative.

Finally, Somaliland president, H.E. Muse Bihi Abdi, said a few remarks at the event by praising the project to increase fuel storage capacity and emphasized that the government will be fully responsible for the security of the company, its personnel, property, and investments

One of the biggest trading and logistics corporations in the world is Trafigura with a revenue over $300 billion

Guest piece first published on SII

Justice for Fallen Somaliland Police Officers is Must


Last year, the Wadani party leaders including presidential nominee Cirro attended a reception that took place at a local hotel in the Dumbuluq ward of Hargeysa.

The Keynote speaker of the reception was the ‘despicable’ Oof-wareen — the ringleader of the armed thugs hiding in the Gacan Libaax mountains. At that gathering, in a fiery speech, he called for inciting communal violence. He called for his clan kinsmen to take up arms and start shooting members of the Bihi administration belonging to his clan if the election is not held on time. The party leaders, including Cirro, and the whole room applauded his vile, hateful rhetoric.

Just four weeks ago we saw the result of that fiery speech. Armed thugs, belonging to the security detail of Cirro took positions at Gacan Libaax National Park. On August 11, they ambushed JSL police officers, killed 15 policemen and wounded dozens——the deadliest police attack in our history.

Among the dead was Captain Ahmed Abdillahi who recently finished police training in Britain. He was one of the few officers from the marginalized Gabooye community, in the Somaliland police.  The armed thugs posted online a gruesome video showing the desecration of the corpse of the officer who was shot in the head. Islam forbids desecration of the dead. In fact, in the 7th century, Abu Bakr, father-in-law of the prophet Muhammad and Islam’s first caliph, issued 10 rules to his people for their guidance on the battlefield. Among them: ‘You must not mutilate dead bodies.’

What we’re dealing with is lawlessness. Oof-wareen is a brutal thug who committed heinous crimes for the past three decades. He must be brought to justice. Somaliland should use whatever force is necessary to defeat these savages!

Here are some of the catalogue of offenses Oof-wareen committed for the past three decades: He allegedly murdered several women and was also involved in the violent murder of the former Hargeisa mayor’s father, for a hundred dollars. He carried out sexual assaults on teenage girls, burgled vulnerable people’s homes and businesses, and violently robbed people crossing the bridge into Dumbuluq ward.

On August 10, around 8 am local time, Oof-wareen’s armed thugs attacked the border village of Daba-Gorayaale. According to the mayor of the village, the bandits took away three guns from three police officers who were sleeping while they were on duty at the police station. They also took away a further gun from a police officer at a customs checkpoint, without a fight. They looted two vehicles belonging to Halo, an International NGO working on Demining.  They also attacked Odweine township before moving into the border village.

The Interior Minister and the police chief must do their job. They have been AWOL and silent about the violence of the armed thugs who have been terrorizing our communities, and looting the NGOs that are helping our people.

Colonel Kahin is giving more priority to his presidential campaign and the Kulmiye party than running the day-to-day operations of the Ministry of Interior responsible for public safety despite the security challenges Somaliland is facing. That is a mistake, he is losing the confidence and the trust of Somaliland’s people. Every day the Bihi administration fails to bring justice to the perpetrators of the massacre, deepening   the sense of chaos and confusion.

For the good of the country, Oof-wareen must be killed or captured. Law and order must prevail in Somaliland Republic! We should let the Somaliland National Defense Force (SLNDF)take over this operation. This is not a law-enforcement matter. This is a very serious National security matter, and there is no room for error.

These brazen attacks are part of a well-coordinated insurrection to bring down our republic. Their plan is to cause chaos and confusion to our people, and to subvert our nation.

What we saw also the last few weeks in Gacan-Libaax, was not about people protesting election delays, bad governance, or injustice, but it is anti-Somaliland anarchists with ties to Las-Anood clan militias who are using violence to bring down our government and to undermine our peace and security. Their mission is to make Somaliland Republic the sixth federal member state of the struggling Somali Federal Republic, but they will never succeed.

We should address our political grievances through peaceful means and not through “blood and violence” as some Wadani leaders are advocating. If they are not part of the mayhem, they should condemn Oof-wareen and his armed thugs. Cirro should also call them to stand down and face justice or the wrath of SLNDF!

More importantly, the corrupt clan elders who are calling for the withdrawal of our law enforcement from Gacan Libaax are ignorant about religion, national security, and public safety.

We should not equate our law enforcement with armed gangs. This is a reckless idea. Instead, we must send more reinforcements, including SLNDF.

The loss of the fallen police officers leaves an indelible mark on their loved ones, colleagues, and the community they served.

Wadani and UCID party leaders are complicit in the violence and banditry of the armed thugs. They are plotting behind the scenes. In fact, they’re aiding the anarchists because they are not interested in taking part in elections for all political groups.

Our republic is under attack. We’re running out of time Mr. President, stop dithering and take swift action to stop the madness and lawlessness prevailing in some pockets of Somaliland Republic. Deploy the special police RRU and SLNDF in order to defeat the anti-Somaliland anarchists and restore order.

Peace and order will be restored, Somaliland Republic will prevail!

Ali-Guban Mohamed


Disclaimer: Views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Somaliland Chronicle. Somaliland Chronicle is an online news outlet that seeks to publish well-argued and policy-oriented articles on Somaliland nation’s priorities in foreign affairs, education, healthcare, economy, energy, and infrastructure

The Two Colonels & their Cronies Failed Somaliland


Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, an Italian diplomat, author, philosopher and historian who lived during the Renaissance, wrote in his best-known book, the prince, “A prudent man should always follow in the footsteps of great men and imitate those who have been outstanding. If a man’s prowess fails to be compatible to that of great men, at least it must have an air of greatness. Man, if he is prudent, should behave like those archers who, if they are skillful, when the target seems too distant, know the capabilities of their bow and aim a good deal higher than their objective, not in order to shoot so high but so that by aiming high they can reach the target.”

In sum, good leadership consists of three fundamental aspirations and availabilities: creating vision, embracing commitment to that vision and managing progress toward the realization of the

One way of monitoring if government’s high ranking officials, they be presidents, parliamentarians, or ministers, are maturing and developing as good leaders, is to check whether or not they have the instincts to understand that they should be more mindful of pacing themselves to take the time to self-evaluate and learm from their mistakes.

When leaders self-evaluate themselves, they come to find out in where they are weak and where they are strong. Self-evaluation enables leaders to admit their mistakes, which in turn enables them to learn new experiences that show something they didn’t do it right, reveal somethings they haven’t done, discover the true level of their skill, and make them know what matters most to the public and what doesn’t. That is, knowing where one is right or wrong, sounds to be the most important experiences that any leader can acquire and accumulate in leadership role.

Oddly enough, Somaliland leaders don’t have a learning behavior of that sort, whether they are the mujahids the two Colonels, the ministers, the parliament members, the Guurti, or the judicial authorities, the three most powerful branches of S/land government. They neither follow in the footsteps of great men, nor they are able to demonstrate that their leadership skills have even an air of worthiness to lead.

In view of this weakness in Somaliland current government institutions, riding on today’s incumbent leadership character is like trying to make something out of nothing.

The common vice of today’s Somaliland leadership is the disregard for the difference between who builds up Somaliland and who destroys it; who divides its people and who unites them; who stirs up conflicts in the communities and who has the concern to calm and cure conflicts before they turn into clashes and confrontations; who leads S/land with naive outlook and attitude that might put the nation in irresistible troubles and who has clearly identified vision and the plan to achieve the vision that can get S/land to where it has never been; who always has the agenda that devices wicked plans and who has the heart that sows harmony among S/land societies; who has the feet that are quick to shed blood of innocent people and who has the spirit for healing the wounds people suffer from, without distinction and discrimination.

Having an open mind that can seek other people’s opinions is one way of knowing if an individual can be a leader. Having problem-solving skills like the late great elder Haji Abdi Warabe is also a sign of being a leader. Showing positive attitude is still another trait that displays the eligibility of being a leader. Referring back to one’s background, as to who one is personally, and how are his skills towards changes and challenges, his approach to handle conflicts, and his behavior with regard to social and political role and responsibility is providing the best way to figure out if a person could be a responsible leader.

It is unlikely that a person who lacks those leadership qualities can become a leader at any rate, for any nation, where people refer to a person’s level of knowledgeability when choosing a leader.

Somaliland is not a country where a person’s knowledgeability is respected or reckoned with. The person who is respected and whose manliness is reckoned with is the one who doesn’t get lazy at being not only prominent figure, but a predator of every kind and shape.

The disregard for leadership qualities mostly comes up when communities fail to check and make sure the true character of the person who can be a leader and who can’t. Of course, failure by Somaliland communities to give attention to elect the right person into the position of public trust has put our nation into leadership and political crisis.

In fact, leadership and political crisis that Somaliland people suffer constantly include poor judgement, poor leadership preparation, incapacity to predict the future, resistance to listen to public voice, lack of learning behavior, inability to manage differences that arise when two sides disagree on certain issues

The two Colonels in power are not really above those weaknesses in today’s Somaliland leadership role. They are below those crises, without doubt.

Contrary to how some people think, Somaliland leadership crisis is not only when those who are in control show the tendency to run and rule the country according to their own outlook, but it is also when those in power become unfit for the job they have for the people and become unable to lead the country in the right and required way. More importantly, Somaliland poor leadership turned out to be a disaster as the two Colonels took decisions that threaten S/land’s peace and stability

Most people say that the two Colonels and their cronies have failed in leading this nation aright; a thought that simply shows the fact that leaders cannot be prefect. In that people may have a point, but there are points that most people fail to notice. The points which need to be clear to everybody are such that the two Colonels and those that always rally behind them have already made up their little minds and determined to stay in power at any cost, even if the consequences of their staying in power might ultimately result in an irreversible catastrophe that will, in turn, cause S/land’s sudden crumble and collapse.

The two Colonels and their cronies have succeeded in formulating a chain of conspiracies that enabled them to stay in power as long as they want, without public consent.

The two Colonels believe that Somaliland people can be governed by force and that use of power is only what really works well, when it comes to ruling this nation. They think that governance is being scoped always by brutality. They don’t know that persuasion is better than use of force. Punishing and brutalizing people instead of treating them fairly and paying attention to what they need or say is totally what the Colonels have grown to accustom.

The two Colonels and their father of tribalism, Saleebaan Gaal, never shy away to keep Somaliland people in crisis and conflicts; they never shy away to create what pulls Somaliland people apart; they never shy away to divide Somaliland people into foes and friends; they never shy to do what even women shy away to do.

Mr. president and his colleagues in his administration never shy to arrest citizens who speak In their minds like Bushaare Baanday, the freelance journalist, who had been caught by S/land security forces in Wajaale, and every other body who tries to tell something about the Colonels’ conspiracy theories to prolong their pennaceous ruling behavior.

The two Colonels never shy away to detain any citizen who uses to criticis their foolish actions for a considerable time, without taking into account the fundamental principle of our system of justice that every person accused of a crime is presumed to be innocent unless and until his or her guilt is established beyond a reasonable doubt.

How did the Colonels set out their strategy, the roadmap to prolong their rule?

The Colonels’ first conspiracy began with the initiative to open new political associations even though Somaliland election system doesn’t accommodate a process in which new political parties’ election can be held separately from local council elections.

But president Muse Bihi did not see that the lack of consolidated election laws for presidential and newly registered political parties will create a conflict over holding the election without a law. Mr. president and his hotchpotch administration decided to be out of legality and proceeded to form the committee for registration of new political organizations and approval of political parties.

Of course the president had three main goals in opening new political parties. The first goal was to make Waddani’s growing popularity to gain more fans and votes from Eastern Somaliland constituencies less powerful and less effective. The second goal was to eliminate Ucid party out of the political scene. And the third aim was to replace both parties, Waddani and Ucid, with the new parties, an option still standing to be utilized by the ruling junta, should things go as planned.

Parallel to this unconstitutional move, the president secretly intervened in the former National Electoral Commission Members headed by Riyo Raac and influenced them to resign individually in return of undisclosed reward, bribery to put it in its proper context. The NEC resignation prompted the need to form new NEC that required a considerable time to learn election formalities and acquire the skills for holding elections and voter registration process.

In fact, president’s initiative to open new parties and pressure the already existed NEC to quit was a conspiracy to undermine the timeline in which presidential election that was supposed to be held on 15 Nov 2022.

After that mission was successfully fulfilled, the parliament’s upper house, the Guurti, proceeded to extend Bihi’s mandate by two years without prior agreement between opposition parties and ruling party. The extension was absolutely undemocratic, not authorized or approved by Somaliland’s supreme laws. The extension can be also interpreted probably as a collusion between Muse Bihi and Saleebaan Gaal, that only meant that no more presidential election will take place in S/land in the years to come.

The argument over the constitutionality of opening new parties between president Bihi and opposition parties escalated peaceful demonstrations in which Somaliland police forces killed armless protesters in Erigavo, Burao and Hargeisa; a well-organized assault at opposition supporters which would have been escalated to civil war if the leaders of parties didn’t show up to cool down the peoples’ anger and agony.

On the other hand, the war in Lasanod is believed to be a project that meant to manipulate Muse Bihi’s chances to stay in office. The warring strategy which keeps Somaliland forces to be stationed in and around Goojacade and controls their strength to recapture Lasanod city while they are under constant attack by the local armed militias and their allies just proves that Lasanod war is a conspiracy to prolong Muse Bihi’s term.

If those who are in power, at their own discretion, disregard the elements of what basically structures shared values, the building blocks that protect and preserve the nation’s constitution; if those who are in power abandon and ignore the nation’s supreme laws whenever they want and no other legal institution has the power to return them to the nation’s social contract, what else can set out how all the elements of government are organized and how power is carved up among different political units?

Somaliland truly suffers painful effects of lawlessness. The laws that are made and meant to regulate how democracy deals with political conflicts are no longer in use. The reason for this to happen is that the head of the incumbent administration is tempted to take the law into his own hands, since other institutions that are supposed to protect national law are not doing their jobs.

All above versions show that Somaliland people see two different attitudes in the ruling party leadership and opposition parties’ leadership: Belligerent attitude and pacifist attitude.

All of us know that Muse Bihi always takes belligerent attitude towards political conflicts and refuses to negotiate with opposition parties over the form of any joint decision which they might take to manage and resolve the dispute between them.

The questions are: Who is a threat to Somaliland’s hard-earned peace and stability? Who wants to lead this nation into war? Who wants to go by his own little mindset and be out of legality? Who wants to lead this nation with lies? Who want to lead this nation according to his foolish outlook? Muse Bihi or Abdirahman Cirro or Faisal Ali? Who cares? That is what the lack of public outcry means.

Failure to stop the wrongdoers, the useless Guurti that always endorses whatever the arrogant and ignorant Colonels suggest, from taking further actions that will surely put Somaliland’s hard-earned peace and stability into risk, will mean the end of S/land state.


a paperback that is in the pipeline for publishing
By: Jama Abdillahi Ismail (Falaag)
Somaliland, Hargeisa

Guest article first appeared on SII

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints of Somaliland Chronicle, and its staff.

US East Africa’s Policy: Dismissing Somaliland’s Democracy, Sudan’s Failure, & Eritrea’s Threat


China and Russia have recently increased their engagement with Eritrea, a small but strategically located country in East Africa. Meanwhile, American influence in the region is amid a yearslong slide. Despite the obvious risks, the United States has failed to muster a committed response and has even taken some counterproductive measures that demonstrate a lack of strategic thinking. If these trends continue, a vital region may fall under the conclusive influence of Washington’s primary geopolitical competitors

A Long and Deepening Friendship

Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki recently made a four-day state visit to China, where he was feted with a red carpet and a 21-gun salute. This warm reception reflects his long relationship with Beijing, which predates Eritrea’s independence from Ethiopia. In 1967, Afewerki and others from what was then northern Ethiopia traveled to China for military training. Almost 30 years later, the same group would lead the insurgency that won Eritrean independence. Afewerki is reportedly a devotee of Mao Zedong and admires the Chinese Communist Party. He has visited Beijing five times since 1994, and shares China’s goal of reorienting the global order away from the US and the West.

The Eritrean government’s China policy reflects Afewerki’s sympathies. The ruling People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) started participating in exchanges with the CCP years ago, and Eritrean dignitaries regularly visit Beijing. Three senior officials—Foreign Minister Osman Saleh, Head of the PFDJ’s Economic Affairs Hagos Gebrehiwet, and Presidential Adviser Yemane Gebreab—account for at least 15 total visits to China since 2010. The Sino-Eritrean relationship even survived the revelation that China sold weapons to both sides of Eritrea and Ethiopia’s vicious border war from 1998 to 2000.

Beijing reciprocates Asmara’s enthusiasm. Since Eritrea’s independence, four of five Chinese foreign ministers (excluding the newly emplaced current minister) have visited the country during their tenure. Since 1997, 16 Chinese medical teams have worked in Eritrea. China is Eritrea’s largest investor, contractor, and trade partner, and Chinese companies built some of the country’s most important infrastructure. This work includes an upgrade to the primary port of Massawa and a road that links Massawa and Assab, the site of another port

Russia’s Recent Engagements

Shortly after his visit to Beijing, Afewerki jetted off to Moscow for discussions with President Vladimir Putin. Russia’s ties with Eritrea are much less extensive than China’s, in part because the Soviet Union’s 1991 collapse severely curtailed Russia’s Africa outreach. But like Afewerki’s visit to China, this trip to Russia is part of a broader campaign to deepen ties. Four months before Afewerki’s Moscow trip, Sergei Lavrov made the first-ever visit to Eritrea by a Russian foreign minister. Both Lavrov and Putin have urged Afewerki to attend the July Russia-Africa Summit in St. Petersburg, though it is unclear if he will do so. Eritrea was also the only African country to vote against two United Nations resolutions condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. And Eritrea, along with China, Russia, and a rogues’ gallery of other states, founded the anti-Western Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations in 2021.

Eritrea is only about the size of Virginia, with a population of around six million people. But Asmara punches above its weight in geopolitical significance because of where it sits. It has nearly 1,400 miles of Red Sea coastline and shares a maritime border with Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It holds a commanding position on the Bab al Mandeb Strait, a global shipping chokepoint, and its islands pepper the Red Sea approach to the strait. Assab is closer than any other port to the heart of the Bab, and much of Eritrea may be mineral rich.

The Implications for the US

Alarm bells should be ringing in the Pentagon and State Department. If China develops a base—or possibly even dual-use infrastructure—in Assab or Massawa to complement its base in neighboring Djibouti, it would be able to blockade the Bab al Mandeb Strait. If a confrontation with China were to occur, such a closure would force America’s Sixth Fleet to waste precious days steaming from the Mediterranean Sea around the southern tip of Africa to get to the Indian or Pacific Oceans. Beijing could also cut off access to the Port of Djibouti, which is critical for the operations of the nearby US military base, and which is used by five of the Department of Defense’s eleven combatant commands.

Eritrea has recently begun to grant basing rights to foreign powers. The United Arab Emirates—another country rapidly deepening ties with China and Russia—operated a military base at Assab for years as part of its Yemen operations, and made improvements to the airstrip there. Several years ago, the UAE began dismantling parts of the base. However, it is unclear whether it fully withdrew or still maintains a presence there, particularly as the original lease was for 30 years.

Russia also wants a base in the region to bolster its ability to project power into the Red Sea with the potential to cause problems for the US. In 2018, Moscow signed an agreement with Asmara to establish a logistics base, but nothing appears to have come of it. However, Lavrov may have revisited the topic in his January visit to Asmara, and there are rumors that the Wagner Group already has an undefined presence in Eritrea. (Notwithstanding the recent Moscow-Wagner split, Wagner’s Africa operations are of such value to Moscow that they are likely to continue in some form.) Moscow also tried to secure its own base in Djibouti but was rebuffed, and has long pressed the Sudanese government for basing rights in Port Sudan on the Red Sea

Eritrea’s increased closeness with two of Washington’s primary competitors comes amid years of decline in American influence in the Horn of Africa. Eritrea’s eastern neighbor is Djibouti, which hosts an American military base. As of 2017, Djibouti also hosts China’s first overseas military base, a hardened encampment with a pier large enough to support a Chinese aircraft carrier and nuclear submarines. Chinese companies have built or begun managing two of the Djibouti seaport’s four commercial terminals and have constructed much of the country’s recent infrastructure, which contributes to Djibouti’s heavy Chinese debt load.

To Djibouti’s east sits Somalia, which is wracked by conflict and corruption despite the billions of dollars that the US and others have showered on Mogadishu for a decade. Its foreign minister, Abshir Omar Jama, recently visited Moscow for talks with Lavrov. They reportedly discussed military cooperation, raising the specter of Wagner mercenaries being stationed in Somalia.

To Eritrea’s west lies Sudan, which has over 500 miles of Red Sea coastline. Civil war broke out there in April, derailing years of American efforts to help cement a civilian-led government. Meanwhile, Russia has a strong presence in the country, primarily through Wagner.

America’s Non-Response towards Somaliland

The US faces the increasing likelihood that thousands of miles of Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean coastline will become progressively more inhospitable. Two of the three countries—Eritrea and Djibouti—that command the Bab al Mandeb Strait could fall irretrievably into the Chinese camp. Yet Washington’s response has been either apathetic or ineffective. In Sudan, the US spends most of its diplomatic energy supporting doomed ceasefires. And despite years of warnings from senior US military officers, Washington has failed to halt or even impede China’s growing influence in Djibouti.

Meanwhile, the US has allowed one of its most promising relationship in the whole region to cool. Washington has slowed its engagement with pro-American Somaliland, with its recently renovated Berbera seaport and airport, over delayed elections and a territorial dispute in its east. Those concerns are legitimate. However, the US is losing out in an important part of the world, and tightening relations with Somaliland is one way to ameliorate that problem. Washington should not let concerns about Somaliland’s delayed elections or violence in the east, which are ancillary to American interests, derail its pursuit of core interests.

Eritrea’s increasingly close relations with Beijing and Moscow likely mean that the situation in the Horn of Africa will soon get even worse for Washington. The warning signs are obvious. But whether Washington is paying sufficient attention—or has a workable plan for addressing the problem—is much less clear.

About the Author

Joshua Meservey is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute, where he focuses on great power competition in Africa, African geopolitics, and counterterrorism. He was previously a research fellow for Africa at the Heritage Foundation. Before joining Heritage, he worked at the Atlantic Council’s Africa Center and at the US Army Special Operations Command, where he helped write an Army concept paper. He also worked at Church World Service (CWS) based out of Nairobi, Kenya, and traveled extensively in East and Southern Africa interviewing refugees. He is a returned Peace Corps volunteer who served in Zambia and extended his service there to work for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Source: Content first published by Hudson Institute under different title

Somaliland Office in Taiwan Rejects Sexual Misconduct Allegations


The Republic of Somaliland Representative Office in Taiwan has rebuffed a former employee’s claim of unfair dismissal, telling CNA Thursday that the worker was fired due to “persistently breaching” her employment contract.

The woman, identified only as “A,” started working as a special assistant to Somaliland’s representative to Taiwan Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud in May 2021, Kuomintang (KMT) Taipei City Councilor Chang Szu-kang (張斯綱) told reporters at a press conference Thursday. At the press conference, “A” alleged that Mohamoud held her responsible when one of his personal employees, a Filipino worker, left their job without warning. “A” said he checked her phone multiple times, and despite not finding relevant evidence on it, dismissed her in August 2022.

When she was fired, a co-worker went through her possessions, stating it was for official purposes, she said, adding that the co-worker repeatedly hugged her without her consent. The woman filed a case of sexual misconduct against that co-worker, which was turned down by prosecutors. She then asked a court to send the case to trial, but that appeal was also rejected by the court.

She also filed a civil lawsuit against the Somaliland office regarding her dismissal, but this was thrown out on June 29 by the Taiwan High Court after Mohamoud claimed diplomatic immunity. “The cases filed by the petitioner, which involved allegations of sexual harassment and wrongful dismissal, have all been brought before the court and prosecutors have decided not to bring charges in both cases,” the Somaliland Representative Office said, when asked for comment by CNA.

The office said it terminated its contract with the former employee because she “persistently breached contract terms and ignored multiple warnings.” In the press conference, the woman also alleged that the office initially did not want to give her overtime pay and labor and health insurance and only agreed after she made multiple requests.

When she was fired, a co-worker went through her possessions, stating it was for official purposes, she said, adding that the co-worker repeatedly hugged her without her consent. The woman filed a case of sexual misconduct against that co-worker, which was turned down by prosecutors. She then asked a court to send the case to trial, but that appeal was also rejected by the court.

She also filed a civil lawsuit against the Somaliland office regarding her dismissal, but this was thrown out on June 29 by the Taiwan High Court after Mohamoud claimed diplomatic immunity. “The cases filed by the petitioner, which involved allegations of sexual harassment and wrongful dismissal, have all been brought before the court and prosecutors have decided not to bring charges in both cases,” the Somaliland Representative Office said, when asked for comment by CNA.

The office said it terminated its contract with the former employee because she “persistently breached contract terms and ignored multiple warnings.” In the press conference, the woman also alleged that the office initially did not want to give her overtime pay and labor and health insurance and only agreed after she made multiple requests.

Source: Focus Taiwan