Investigative Reports

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 Page 3

Critical Scholarship or Political Attack on Somaliland


Having reinstated its sovereignty in 1991, Somaliland has exhibited empirical sovereignty for more than three decades but continues to lack de jure recognition as no state has hitherto formally recognized its statehood. The arguments for and against an independent Somaliland are well known. The purpose of this short piece is, therefore, not to advance a discussion and assessment of these. Rather, the burden of the present piece is to critically unpack and examine how the academic scholarship on Somaliland informs and potentially impacts the latter’s quest for recognition. It argues that a significant body of scholarship attributes Somaliland’s achievements to external factors, i.e., the ongoing quest for de jure recognition. By doing so, this scholarship denies Somaliland(ers) agency.

Quest for recognition: a disciplining force?

Anyone who has studied Somaliland will know that the academic scholarship on Somaliland is predominantely produced by Western academics. Second, as will be seen momentarily, a significant body of scholarship denies Somaliland(ers) agency, reducing Somaliland’s successes to external factors. According to this literature, political and social leaders in Somaliland are seemingly incapable of acting wisely, pro-socially, responsibly, prudently, and providently independent of external factors moderating their behaviour.

Martha C. Johnson and Meg Smaker (2014), for instance, write:

Commitment to independent statehood by the political leaders and a large portion of Somaliland’s population, including the business community, has helped the state secure financial support and has created pressure on political leaders to provide stability and democratic institutions as a means of securing recognition (Johnson & Smaker 2014 12).

They further assert that:

If Somaliland secures recognition, the people may no longer be mobilized by a shared goal, allowing internal divisions to remerge. International recognition would no longer serve as a carrot encouraging politicians to moderate their behaviour (Johnson & Smaker 2014 12).

We are, according to Johnson and Smaker (2014), asked to believe that international recognition is the ultimate goal explaining democracy, peace and stability in Somaliland. The quest for recognition is, in other words, the glue that has held Somaliland together. It moderates the behaviour of politicians and puts pressure on them to democratize and generally adhere to ‘good governance’. Following this line of reasoning, Somaliland has not, for the better part of three decades, been peaceful, stable, and democratic because of the prudence and providence of civilians and political leaders but rather because of the quest for formal recognition.

Similarly, Rebecca Richards (2014) attributes peace, democracy, stability, and legitimacy in Somaliland to the latter’s ongoing quest for de jure recognition. As she rhetorically asks in the conclusion chapter of her book Understanding statebuilding: traditional governance and the modern state in Somaliland:

How long can the political leaders continue to justify their actions based on the promise of recognition? How long can the state be held together on the basis that peace and political change are necessary for the ultimate goal? (Richards 2014 179).

Unless Somalilanders are predisposed to violence and anarchy, is it not plausible that peace has been kept independent of the quest for de jure recognition? According to Rebecca Richards, Somaliland is an unrecognized state conforming to external normative demands to secure recognition. In this view, adoption of democratic rule is merely a strategy.

As Richards puts it:

Because of its inability to access international structures and institutions that are reserved for sovereign states, achieving recognition of statehood has become a primary goal of the government in the territory, with the creation of a democratic state at the centre of Somaliland’s strategy (Richards 2014 13).

If democratic rule is an internal demand rather than an external demand, it becomes evident that Somaliland did not adopt democracy to please the so-called international community, questioning the cogency of Richards’ arguments.

In 1981, the Somali National Movement (SNM) published a manifesto entitled ‘A Better Alternative‘ in which they laid down their political vision for a post Barre Somali society. Rather than reinstating Somaliland’s sovereignty, the stated objective of the SNM was to overthrow the Barre government and reinstitute democracy in all of Somalia. The SNM manifesto proposed that a post Barre society should be governed by a hybrid regime, where the Xeer system would be elevated to the national level and where Somali institutions of governance should be included within the central state structure.

Thus, the idea of creating a hybrid government with a bicameral legislature consisting of an upper house of experienced and broadly respected moral community leaders (Guurti) and a lower house of representatives was conceived in 1981, while the decision to reinstate Somaliland’s sovereignty was made in 1991.

As Mark Bradbury notes, the National Charter, produced at the Borama conference, indeed:

Reflected much of what was proposed in the SNM’s manifesto for post-Barre government: a government built on Somali cultural values; the elevation of Xeer to the national level: and the incorporation of elders into a two-chamber legislature (Bradbury, 2008 100).

If not by adopting democratic governance, which was proposed a decade before the declaration of independence, how then did Somaliland conform to external normative demands as claimed by Rebecca Richards? The independence agenda is not universally supported in Somaliland, while democratic rule is broadly accepted. The question must, therefore, be raised of why those who do not support an independent Somaliland are not rejecting democratic rule? Recall that we are, according to Richards, asked to believe that Somaliland transitioned to multi-party democracy to secure independence. If so, what incentivises those who do not support the idea of an independent Somaliland. Evidently, an undesired goal cannot constitute an incentive. How many of those currently opposing Somaliland in Laascaanood have, for instance, made a case against Somaliland on the basis of multi-party democracy? If democracy is merely a strategy adopted to secure recognition, then only those who desire independence should be embracing democracy. Everyone else should be rejecting it.

Puntland has recently adopted multi-party democracy. A significant difference between Somaliland and Puntland is that the latter has not declared independence from the rest of Somalia and there is no credible evidence suggesting that it will do so in the future. If Puntland has adopted multi-party democracy independent of external pressures, is it then not plausible that also Somaliland adopted multi-party democracy independent of external pressures? A contention is indistinguishable from opinion when it is not accompanied by evidence. There is hardly any evidence suggesting that multi-party democracy in Somaliland is, in any significant way, linked to the quest for de jure recognition.

Similarly, Sarah G. Phillips, in her award-winning book, When there was no aid, attributes peace in Somaliland to what she calls the ‘independence discourse’ which consists of two components: othering of Somalia and fear of ‘returning’ to violence. The so-called independence discourse is essentially a covert way of saying that peace in Somaliland has been kept because of the ongoing quest for de jure recognition. After all, there would be no ‘independence discourse’ without the desire to become an independent state.

According to Sarah G. Phillips,

Somaliland has not experienced large-scale violence since 1996 in part because of how the independence discourse structures the conditions under which political violence can occur. Courting violence is rendered illogical not only because it could easily spiral into war but also because returning to war dissolves the separation that the discourse constructs between Somaliland and Somalia on the basis of who is inclined toward peaceful behaviour and who is not. If Somalilanders return to war, they become just as susceptible to violence as other Somalis (Phillips, 2020 16-17).

As will be seen shortly, Phillips’ model does not withstand scrutiny. First, members of the Dhulbahante community, led by Garaad Abdiqaani, and the SNM made peace as early as 1989. Note that Ziad Barre’s troops were not ousted from Somaliland until January 1991. Second, rather than seeking retribution against the communities that had supported the Barre government, the SNM invited all communities to peace and reconciliation negotiations upon ousting Barre’s troops from Somaliland. By attributing pro-social behaviour in the post-independence period to what she calls the ‘independence discourse’, it appears evident that Phillips’ model has rather limited utility in terms of explaining pro-social behaviour in the pre-independence period.  Third, the bulk of the population in Somaliland is under the age of 35 and has therefore no recollection of a predatory Somali state. How long can it credibly be postulated that peace in Somaliland is, partly, kept because of the othering of Somalia? Even Somalia, including the capital of Mogadishu, has come a long way since the chaotic and devastating violence of the 1990s, accentuating the essentializing nature of Phillips’ model.

Somaliland should not be recognized

We are, according to these leading ‘experts’, asked to believe that people in Somaliland cannot, by means of reason, choose democracy over authoritarianism, statehood over anarchy, peace over conflict and unity over division independent of external factors. According to this line of reasoning, peace and stability in Somaliland are largely attributable to the latter’s ongoing quest for de jure recognition. Consequently, the implicit policy proposal is that Somaliland should not be recognized as an independent state. Following the scholarship presently discussed, granting Somaliland de jure recognition is imprudent as the quest for recognition has, hitherto, proved fruitful in fostering peace and democratization. Evidently, Somaliland continues to lack de jure recognition for a multitude of reasons, and it is both reductionist and simplistic to attribute Somaliland’s lack of formal recognition to the output of Western academics. That said, it is also rather naïve to assume that it plays no role at all. What appears certain is that models on Somaliland’s successes that are untenable, do sit comfortably with the historical record and are at odds with common sense logic, certainly do not enhance Somaliland’s chances for securing de jure recognition.


That Western scholarship on Somaliland is often steered by unfortunate implicit assumptions, obfuscating conclusions, can hardly come as a surprise. What it quite baffling, however, is that arguments and models that are devoid of evidence, and are at odds with common sense logic, are not challenged. It does, for instance, not require much effort to debunk the contention that multi-party democracy in Somaliland is the result of external normative demands. Anyone who studies Somaliland’s peace and state building trajectory will find that such line of reasoning is at odds with the empirical evidence. Academia is the intellectual’s colosseum. It is here that great minds clash and battles of the mind fought. Serious critical scholarship should therefore always be welcomed and cherished. Scholarship does, however, become a form of oppression when the less powerful are silenced, denied agency, and assigned motives and properties by privileged and powerful Western academics who position themselves as objective experts. In an unrecognized state as Somaliland this is indeed a matter of national security. As has been discussed in this short piece, Western academics are essentially telling the world that Somaliland is peaceful and democratic because it wants formal recognition. Unless this is true, what does Somaliland do to counter this narrative? It appears that there is not a single office in the entire state apparatus that deals with this issue. Moreover, the scholars that tacitly suggest that Somaliland should not be recognized are treated as royals upon arriving in Somaliland as objective researchers who are friends of Somaliland. I know of no other state that would tolerate this kind of attack on its reputation and soft-power.


Jamal Abdi holds a MSc in International and European Relations. He is currently a PhD candidate in international relations at Keele University. His research focuses on peace and state building in Somaliland.

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

Creative Commons License

Notice: This article by Somaliland Chronicle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Under this license, all reprints and non-commercial distribution of this work is permitted.

Hurre Walanwal & Cambaro: The famous Somali Folklore Dance Story


The art of flirting and courtship takes many forms, each with its own fascinating cultural history and traditions. In the past Somali culture, men would flirt with ladies in various ways, and marriage came in different forms, including ‘Isasiin’; arranged marriage, ‘Dumaal’: Widowed marriage, ‘Xigsiisan’ ‘Dhabargaraac’ etc. Somali people were and are still nomadic, which means the day is always busy for both men and women. Chores, including herding cattle, cooking, and water harvesting, were usually carried out during the day, which kept them busy from sunrise to sunset. Although men and women occasionally met during the day, meeting at night was typical. Young men and women used to meet on special occasions like traditional weddings or ‘Gaaf’. Apart from those weddings, evening folklore dances were the most common social event young men and women would attend.

Typically, folklore dances happen in the rainy season, and in general, they were a way to socialize, entertain, and get information. People used to gather and exchange information, socialize, and contemplate. Men frequently engage in folk dances as a means of social interaction and dating. There is a type of folk dance called ‘Dabraac’. Dabraac means bonfire: this ritual starts when a group of young men decide to start a bonfire so that people from far away will see it and join them. There was also another way to start a folklore session; men would meet around a particular residence and begin the ritual there. In most cases, they would pick a residence because they knew girls lived there.

As these nights began, men usually started such nights by singing loudly so the women in the house could hear and join in. Because the young men knew that the ladies would not participate if the family was in the wrong place (due to grieving, illness, or loss), before they started singing or dancing, the young men would come up with creative ways to make sure the family was in a good mood. In this case, to make sure the family is in a good place, they would start singing those words loudly:

‘Waa dhegoo war kama dheregtide
Waa dhuloo wax jira ma ogide,
Reerku nabad ma soo galay?’
‘Ears are eager for more news
And on earth, you don’t know what’s going on
Did the family arrive safely? (Is the family in good place)’

The young men, who are outside the house would then wait for the women to respond. If everything is okey, then the women of the home, will usually answer with:

‘Cawdibilooy ballooy baydh
Cawo daranka yaasiin
Il sharle ba sharkeed lee
Shaydaan debedda loo xoor
‘I seek protection from evil
And the shield of Surah Yasen
The evil eye owns the corrupt
Devil should be robed (Tied)’

Incase men don’t hear back they usually continue singing hoping they will come out eventually. For example they would say:

‘Miiganeey marti haddaad tahay
Reerkana maal u soo galay
Muska kaama eegeen
‘Ooh, Miiganeey if you are guest
And my family receives a wealth
I wouldn’t sneak to see you over the fence’

Some men think the girl’s mother might have been turned down, so she won’t let the girls come out and dance with the young man. This is because of a few things, but mostly because she is a mother and wants to protect her daughters. In this case, they are still looking at the bright side of things. In this scenario, they’d sing and say:

‘Aamina ilwaad qurux
Way soo ordi lahayde
Aar baa hor yuurura’
‘Amina, the one who blesses the eye
She would come running
Yet, there is a Lioness sitting on her door (the mother)’

The women would eventually come out and join the young men. The folklore dances usually happen in a circle facing each other and leaving the middle spot for the dancing. The songs were mainly poetic and filled with amusement, riddles, and jokes about dating, life, and marriage. These songs are known as ‘Gole-kafuul’. Gole-kafuul means poems that are composed on the spot. Usually, everyone could not compose the verses, only a few men and women could compose songs, and those usually led the night’s dance while the others chanted and clapped.

The story of Hurre Walanwal and Cambaro is well-known in Somali society and has been widely discussed. It happened in the 1960s in a place near Buuhoodle City. This story occurred between Hurre Walanwal (Cismaan Ibraahim Warsame) and Cambaro Nuux Maxamed. Hurre was a nickname, and its meaning was dark-skinned. Hurre is the only surviving brother of Hadraawi, the great Somali poet. Hurre, as his nickname suggests, was a dark-skinned, short young man. He was twenty years old when they met. Cambaro, on the other hand, was a seventeen-year-old and stunningly beautiful, tall young lady.

Hurre and Cambaro met for the first time at a family wedding in Buuhoodle, Togdheer Region, Somaliland. The bride’s family was the Hurre’s, while the groom’s family was the Cambaro’s. Hurre claimed that on the night of the wedding before he and his friends left home and joined the folklore dancing, they returned to the reception area where the bride was to determine if she was sufficiently attractive. Hurre started singing first, and he started with songs of advice for the bride. Hurre was checking on the bride’s beauty to gain confidence on the playground because the poems exchanged at the playground might get heated, and he may lose the battle if the bride is not up to bar. Thankfully, the bride was beautiful, and Hurre and his companions confidently hit the dance floor that night. (Yusuf Shaacir, 2013)

These are a few excerpts from his lengthy sage counsel song:

‘Sheyga dibbedda kaa tagiyo
Maryahaaga daahiri
Dacwada kale waxay tahay
Dugsi weeye xooluhu
Kii lahaa darandeereele
Duunyadu yay kaa lumin e
Dul ivo hoosba u ogow
‘Be aware of everything going outside
Purify your clothes
My will(testament) to you is
Livestock are shelter
Owning them needs caring
Don’t lose (miss) them
Know that in-depth (mesmerize that it)’

Eventually, Cambaro joined the dancing and began singing for the first time. That was their first encounter. Since they had never met before and he was leading the session, she partook and inquired about his identity and origin. Here is how she began her song:

‘Goortu waa habeenimo
Waana heel cayaareed
Halqina waa isku soo galay
Hore la isku garan maayee
Inankaaga heesaayoow
Horta aan is baranee
Haybtaada noo sheeg
‘The darkness of night came
And its playground
All the crowd (halqi) come together
It’s tough to know who is who
Ooh, the one who is singing
Let’s get to know each other
Where does your lineage come?’

The session became increasingly intriguing. Once Cambaro completed her recital song, Hurre reacted with a second song that read, “I will tell you more about myself, but first invite me to your home and offer me a warm welcome.”

‘Hayb doon baddaad tahay
Hoygiina ina geeyo
Hararkaaga ii gogoloo
Hooyadaana iga qariyoo
Haasaawe ii qaboo
Igu haybso dabadeed
‘If you want to know my lineage
Take me to your home
Invite me to your mattress
Hide me from your mother
Tell me sweet stories
Then ask me my lineage’

After this, people on the playground became interested. Because it was obviously wrong for a woman to invite a man into her home, and Hurre said this to tease her and see how she would react. This is how her response poem went:

‘Sidii hogol kaliileed
Oo ka hilaacday hawd sare
Inankani han waynaa
Sowdigaa hawada koray
Nimaan halawle maadhin iiyo
Baarqab madow hurinoo
La heshiinin aabbahay
Harar aan u dhigo daayee
Hadalbkaba ma anigaa u fura!
‘Like rain in the summertime
Rained in the highland of Hawd
Ooh boy how arrogant you are!
And think high of yourself (You climbed the air)
A man who doesn’t own guns
And black camels
Who didn’t ask my father’s hand
Forget about inviting to my harar (mattress)
I don’t open talking to him!’

Hurre then came back with another song:

‘Dadka himilo aan Jirin iyo
Ruux ku hammiya baa badane
Qof hadduu hawada Koray
Hor ilaahay waa adigee
Nimaan sheeko kaa helin
Hadalba idin dhex marin
Horena kuu aqoon jirin
Siduu kuugu hawl galay
Hantida kaaga soo dhuro
Faahfaahi hadaladoo
Bal hibooy dadka u sheeg
‘Some believe a dream that doesn’t exist
And hallucinate about that
If someone has high expectations
I swear to ALLAH, it is you
Without a proper relationship
And didn’t share any talk
Who didn’t know you before?
How he can be a detriment to you
And give wealth
Elucidate that
Ooh, Hibo enlighten that to the people?’

After that, there has been a significant amount of song exchange. To a great extent, a joke and a denial. Cambaro joked about what he would be doing here if he didn’t have a camel and only had sheep. Hure jokes that she is exceptionally elderly and that he will not marry her since she is ancient. Cambaro responded in the form of a song, stating that he cannot afford to marry her with sheep regardless of whether or not she is elderly. The following is a list of some of the songs that have been exchanged during the night:


‘Mar hadduu gondaha hoosiyo
Awr yaqaan gon qabashada
Guudaandir waa bahal
Gooradhigis lagama karo
Ragguna hadduu guddoonsado
In uu dumarka gaasiro
Oo gardarada ku talo galo
Geed xajiin leh uma waayo
Ama aan gu waynaadoo duumaale geel wado
Ama aan gobaysaniyo soo gaadho Waayeel
Ama gootan aan kacee
Mar haddaanad geel dhaqan
Oo gacantaadu madhan tahay
Halkani waa gar ciideed oo
Goosbuuca aad wadatiyo
Riyuhu inan ma gooyaan
Maxaa gadaha aan joogiyo
Kaaga xidhan ganka aan ahay
Ma kolbaad I guursanaysaa?
‘When someone goes down
And he is aggressive
Everything is a horror
and keen indignity to others
Men, if they accept
resentment of women
with known aggression
They would find low points
If I am too old and have been there for a long time
Or if grow with the older generation
Or if I am infirmity
If you don’t own camels
And you are a broke
This is a land of sand
This type of livestock
The goats you own
Are worthless to girls
My age doesn’t matter
You couldn’t marry me’


‘Inan yahay garaabiiliyo
Isma qariso geesadu
Rabbigay baa ku gaadhsiiyay e
Gedahaaga ku eekow miyaa
Noqotay geed xajiinle iyo cay.
Waa hagaagee gabantaay
Aniga gumaro xoolaad
Way ila wacan tahee
Adigaa kala guray?
‘Ooh girl, the wickedness
And the age of the person
Cannot be hidden
God, give you this age
Mentioning it is an insult
Hey, the young lady
For me all kinds of livestock are good
You are the one who offense some’


‘Inan yahow gun baad tahayna
Gole lagama odan karo
Hadal gobi ku haasawdoo
La gartana namaad odhan’?
‘Man, I can’t say you are a wicked boy
At this platform
You didn’t use graceful words
To beautify your argument’


‘Gabdhihii kula filka ahaa
Beri horaa la guursadoo
Geesh caruura yeesheen
Adna gabashi baad tahoo
Wakaa garayskii
Guudkaaga ku engegee
Ka kac goobta higileed
Haddii ay gunimo tahay
Waan ka gaabsan doonaa
Weligaaba galuubnow
Guriigiina taagnow
Kurtimada ku gaamuray oo
Ha ku guro gardhaaluhu
Adoo gegi habaas weyn
Iyo gaylaalsan buul caws
Wedku ha kuugu soo galo oo
Geerida ku dhawr ciil’
‘Your agemate girls
Married years ago
And had many kids
You are alone
The traditional clothes you are wearing,
get dried
Get up from this isolation
If this is cheekiness to you,
I will take a step back
Be there forever
Stay in your home
Be an old lady
Wait for nonsense
stay in a dusty place
Keep rolling in a bush house
The demise will come to you
Wait for death with annoyance (infuriation)’

These last few poems are well-known because they were recorded, can be found on audio cassettes, and have been listened to in almost every Somali household. The tale of Hurre and Cambaro is an extremely lengthy one. It did not occur all in one night, but it is reported that they were continuously meeting on the playground and challenging each other for years to come. Throughout that period, the tale spread throughout the region to the point where it became a standard joke amongst the two different tribes that the individuals were originally from (Habarjeclo and Dhulbahante). In the middle of this chain of events, other people participated, and to this day, it is considered one of the most exciting stories among Somali people. Although there is no written record of this story yet, a wealth of information is available, most of which comprises recordings and interviews conducted by the poet Yusuf Shaacir. Yusuf can recall most of their series memory, and he also had the chance to personally meet Cambaro and Hurre.


  • Yuusuf Shaacir. Baadigoob. August 25, 2018. Silsiladii Hure Walanwal iyo Cambaro dhexmartay oo dhamaystiran. Youtube:

Credit: Cover photo by Abdishukri Haybe


Muna Ahmed is a bilingual writer, published Author, and Activist. Muna works with some other robust networks to promote literacy and advocate for reading, self-development, Gender Equality, and Cultural Identity among Somali Youth.

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

Creative Commons License

Notice: This is an article by Somaliland Chronicle and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Under this license, all reprints and non-commercial distribution of this work is permitted.

Breaking – United States Ambassador to Somalia Mr. Larry André to Retire


According to sources, the United States Ambassador to Somalia, Mr. Larry André, is retiring in the next few months. Mr. André, who has been appointed on February 2021 to replace Ambassador Donald Yamamoto, is leaving before his term is up, an unusual timing that could signal a deeper issue with his performance as the United States Representative in volatile Somalia.

Ambassador André has doubled down on positions held by his predecessor Ambassador Yamamoto who all but ignored Somaliland and adhered to the “One Somalia” policy despite the inclusion of Somaliland in the landmark National Defense Authorization Act of 2022 that signaled a significant shift of the United States policy towards Somaliland and mandated the Departments of State and Defense to work directly with Somaliland on security and potential military base in Berbera.

Since his appointment to Somalia, Mr. André had visited Somaliland once in May 2022 when he accompanied the former Africa Command General Stephen Townsend to tour potential facilities for the US base in Berbera. Current Chargé d’Affaires and likely successor Mr. Tim Trenkle led a delegation to Somaliland on February 23rd and met with government officials, including the President of the Republic of Somaliland, the opposition parties, and civil society organizations.

Counterproductive and antagonistic language towards Somaliland from the Embassy has led to a public spat between the Somaliland government and Ambassador André. In multiple interviews and an op-ed he penned to respond to a public spat with Somaliland over language often tweeted by the US Embassy in Somalia, Mr. André has insisted that the Somali constitution is his guide to advancing what he called shared interest. 

In an interview we had with Ambassador André in July 2022, we asked him if his strict adherence to what he repeatedly called “historic Somalia” may be a contrarian position to the interest of the United States when it is seeking to partner with Somaliland security matters “My job is to accurately represent the views of the United States government. If I took “a contrarian position to the rest of the U.S. government” then I would soon become a former ambassador,” he responded.

It is unclear if Mr. Andre’s early retirement directly results from his strict adherence to the “One Somalia” policy and implementation of the National Defense Authorization Act 2022 objectives in Somaliland to advance the national security interest of the United States.

Efforts to reach Officials from the Somalia Embassy were unsuccessful.

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 and National Guidance, Mr. Saleban Ali Kore, the Ministry will pay Gorof Procurement and Logistics company a sum of 600,000 US dollars to fix a large radio station that the Ministry has purchased and inaugurated in October 2012. The radio station, which has been out of service for a very long time, is manufactured and installed by the Chinese government-owned Beijing Science & Technology Co., Ltd. In addition, there is no evidence of the 600,000 US dollar repair contract going through a public bid by the National Tender Board. 

According to sources familiar with the defunct radio station, at its inception a decade ago, the government balked at the price tag, as well as the complex specifications put forward by the manufacturer BBEF and opted out of major design elements, including the placement of antenna array at the northern outskirts of Hargeisa. Sources add that the contract with BBEF did not include support, training, or skills transfer to the Ministry’s technical staff to maintain the radio station.

Sources add that the radio station functioned on and off for a while before going offline few years ago, and multiple attempts to restart it were unsuccessful. On December 2022, the Ministry of Information, Culture, and National Guidance paid the original manufacturer Beijing Science & Technology Co., Ltd [BBEF] 62,000 US dollars to fix the radio station. It is unclear why the manufacturer has not succeeded in restarting the radio station.

Besides complexity and lack of basic know-how to maintain the radio station, sources familiar with this project stated that the shortwave transmitter Somaliland purchased from BBEF is a high-powered liquid-cooled system, and the cost of running it became an issue in terms of massive fuel consumption and monthly trips to Ethiopia to import the cooling liquid for the power-hungry system.

There is not much to go on Gorof Procurement and Logistics company, the company the Ministry of Information, Culture and National Guidance awarded the contract, and there is no indication that it has done any prior business with the government of Somaliland or if it possesses the technical know-how to restart the decade-old radio station.

Despite billing the government for 50% of the contract, Gorof Procurement and Logistics CEO Mr. Abdikarim Mohamoud Diriye did not answer questions about the contract, particularly the company’s technical capacity. Mr. Diriye stated the project is still at a very early stage and there isn’t much to share at the moment. When confronted with the $300,000 invoice he billed the government, Mr. Diriye pointed to a confidentiality clause in the contract and directed all questions to the Ministry of Information.

The Unusual contract stipulates that it supersedes and nullifies a prior agreement to purchase a 50kw solid state radio station and re-payment of 96,000 US dollars borrowed from the Central Bank for a study of the now-aborted project to procure a new radio station. The contract does not state who conducted the 96,000 US dollar study and whether Gorof Procurement and Logistics were awarded the contract to buy the 50kw radio station, and if any funds were disbursed for this reason.

A cursory check of the parts list in the contract totaling 265,500 US dollars shows the items are available for much less than the astronomical figures the Ministry and Gorof Procurement and Logistics company agreed. For example, the High-Frequency Metal Ceramic Vacuum Tube Amplifier Triode model #4CV100000C listed in the contract for 55,600 US dollars is available on Alibaba for less than a thousand dollars. 

Item Name/ModelGorof/Ministry of
Information Price List
Market Price
100kW PAQt Tube Model # 4CV100000C$55,600.00$850.00
Water Pump Model # GZ50-32 160/2.2$19,600.00$591.00
Audio Processor Model # ORBAN 9300$18,400.00$5,595.00

Despite multiple claims by the Somaliland government, and particularly President Bihi, that all government contracts with a price tag of more than 5000 US dollars go through the National Tender Board, there are many instances where lucrative contracts were awarded to private entities and occasionally retroactive permission was sought from the National Tender Board.

President Bihi who ran on an anti-corruption platform has not succeeded in curbing rampant corruption and at times failed to re-nationalize public services contracted out to private businesses.

Minister of Information, Culture and National Guidance Mr. Saleban Ali Kore did not respond to repeated queries about this contract.

Ministry of Telecommunication and Technology Spent Tens of Thousands of Taxpayer Funds on Documents Plagiarized from the Internet


According to government records and agreements examined by the Somaliland Chronicle, The Ministry of Telecommunication and Technology has spent tens of thousands of dollars on multiple contracts for policy, awareness, and training documents copied from various online sources.

Documents show a frantic pace of spending towards the end of the 2022 where multiple contracts under 5,000 US dollars which falls threshold of National Tender Board requirement for public bid were awarded to various companies with the majority going to a company called Somali Software Engineering company.

In recent months, plagiarism has become a standard operating procedure for some government agencies and the latest to do so were the Ministries of Transportation and Health which released major policy documents that were plagiarized from Rwanda and Bangladesh.

In the case of the Ministry of Telecommunication and Technology, its documents for awareness, fiber optic, and postal service are riddled with spelling errors and were entirely copied or stitched together from various sources on the internet.

Some of the projects implemented in this period include the Postal Customer Service Policy document put together by ministry employees who have been compensated 5,000 US dollars for their effort despite being salaried government employees and their product being a copy of Kenya’s Postal Customer Service Guidelines. Email addresses and other identifying marks were not removed from the Kenyan Postal Services document to hide its origin. In addition, it cites laws and statutes that do not exist in Somaliland.

The awareness campaign and fiber optic training documents which the Ministry has funded and implemented by Somali Software Engineering, a company frequently used by the Ministry of Telecommunication and Technology, are elementary and lack technical depth. The most egregious case of plagiarism by the Somali Software Engineering company is the document titled “Excessive use of technology devices and their healthy impact” where a single paragraph seems to have been stitched from multiple sources that have nothing to do with one another and the ministry paid 5000 US dollars for it. 

Efforts to reach the Director General and other officials from the Ministry of Telecommunication and Technology about the review process of documents produced by consultants and qualifying processes to award contracts were unsuccessful.

Guban View: The Civil Disturbances in Las-Anood, another critical battle for Somaliland freedom


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


Ali-Guban Mohamed
Founder and Editor

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

Creative Commons License

Notice: This article by Somaliland Chronicle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Under this license, all reprints and non-commercial distribution of this work is permitted.

Somaliland Army Ordered to Barracks to De-escalate Las Anod Crisis


Somaliland Armed Forces command announced the arrest of two of it’s members responsible for the death of a civilian yesterday that led to further riots and attacks on their positions in Las Anod. Initial unconfirmed reports indicated that the deceased individual was armed and opened fire on troops who returned fire killing him. Army spokesman stated that the incident is under investigation.

In consultation with the elders of the local community to de-escalate, the Army spokesman stated that the army units in Las Anod were ordered back to their Barracks.

The President of Somaliland Muse Bihi Abdi said in speech earlier in the week that the Military would leave the city once normalcy was restored.

Speaker of the Parliament Mr. Khalif who has also heavily criticized [link to bbc interview] the executive branch headed by President Bihi on its handling of the situation in Las Anod in two interviews he gave to the BBC Somali service has suggested the removal of the army from the city to help es-escalate the situation. Mr. Khalif is among many dissenting voices which called for calm and immediate de-escalation.

The Mayor of Las Anod city has confirmed the removal of the armed forces from the city and added that one of the region’s most influential leaders Garaad Jama Garad Ismail is in Las Anod and is working with others including business owners to stop further disturbances, remove rocks and other debris blocking the streets and help re-open the city.

“Today the 5th of January 2022, the city of Las Anod is peaceful, there are no riots or crisis and we have returned to normal” said the mayor in his press briefing on the state of the city of Las Anod. He also thanked the residents and called upon them to safeguard the peace and security of their city.

Conflation of the targeted assassinations in Las Anod and Sool that have led to the riots with territorial claim from Somalia’s Puntland region over parts of Somaliland including Sool region on the basis of tribal composition have led to sharp rise in incitement of violence from prominent politicians from Somalia particularly Puntland region and others in the diaspora who have called on the people of Las Anod to take up arms against Somaliland.

Threats of incursion into Somaliland from Puntland’s armed forces in neighboring Somalia and President of neighboring province of Somalia Puntland, Mr. Said Abdullahi Deni who promised to send troops into Las Anod to help free it from Somaliland have not materialized.

Despite deteriorating security situation in Puntland including a bombing at Hotel Jabir where government officials including the Ministers of Interior and Finance as well other security officials were meeting and multiple shootings around the region that results in death and injury of civilians, many in Puntland including prominent politicians and media have sought to exploit the grieves of the people of Las Anod to further their claims over parts of Somaliland. United States has recently sanctioned many prominent businessmen from Puntland on illicit arms trade.

President Bihi Addresses the Las Anod Crisis and Warns Somalia that Somaliland will Defend itself if Attacked


The President of the Republic of Somaliland addressed the nation today about the ongoing crisis in Las Anod and stated that terrorist groups assassinated 40 people, mostly government officials and prominent members of society, including high-ranking members of the opposition parties and has called for calm and reiterated Somaliland’s commitment to peace and stability.

Las Anod, the capital of the Sool region has seen days of protests following the assassination of a prominent politician from Puntland, Mr. Abdifatah Abdillahi Awil. Somaliland security forces have been accused of heavy-handed response that result in the death and injury of civilians.

President Bihi stated that 32 suspects are in custody in connection with the forty assassinations that have taken place in Las Anod since 2009, while eight others remain at large. He added that while some have been sentenced to prison terms he did not specify, two have been exonerated while the prosecution of seven suspects is still ongoing.

Speaking of the deaths and injuries following the recent protests in Las Anod, President Bihi sent condolences to those affected and stated that a thorough investigation will be conducted once the current situation is under control.

“Today, the task in front of us which we are working on is for the peaceful coexistence of the people, and we are working with the leaders, the intellectuals, the youth, the traditional leaders, and the women of the people living in Las Anod. What we are saying is, let’s talk about our differences, but first, let’s secure peace. If there is no peace, nothing can be solved. The army is not there to oppress the people and is there to defend them and will leave once peace is restored” said President Bihi.

President Bihi spoke of external factors including Somali government officials and foreigners calling for violence in Las Anod and spoke of a Mr. Farah Maalim, a Kenyan member of Parliament national at length and his previous role in actually helping integrate Las Anod in Somaliland.

Recently, the President of the Somali region of Ethiopia Mr. Mustafa Mohammed Omar has warned a diaspora group which held a meeting in Jijiga that incitement and actions against neighboring countries are not welcome.

In addition, President Bihi addressed the President of the Puntland region of Somalia, Mr. Saeed Abdullahi Deni, who has openly declared war on Somaliland and threatened that he send troops into Las Anod. The Puntland region of Somalia claims the Sool and Sanaag region of Somaliland as part of Puntland based on a tribal composition. Somaliland’s boundaries are based on colonial boundaries on which much of Africa’s boundaries are based.

“War was declared by the President of the Puntland administration and his deputy, but we did not expect that Puntland would declare war, but today we are calling for peace and good neighborliness, and we appeal to them to reconsider as war has no benefits. But if you attack us, you will reap what you have sawn, and Somaliland stands ready to defend its sovereignty,” said President Bihi.

Members of Parliament, Ministers, and other prominent politicians have called for the assassination of Somaliland government officials in Las Anod for years. Mr. Deni, whose close advisors include Mr. Mohammed Said Hersi Morgan, known as the Butcher of Hargeisa for his role in the genocide against the people of Somaliland, has been under pressure to respond to events in Las Anod.

President Bihi, who has been widely criticized for tone-deafness and failing to unify the nation with multiple meetings with leaders of Somalia despite their open hostility to the security and sovereignty of Somaliland, stated in his speech, “Today in Somaliland there is no opposition or pro-government, and we stand together for the sake of our nation.”

The Somaliland Ministry of Foreign Affairs sharply rebuked a statement from the Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission in Somalia Mr. Souef Mohamed El-Amine, and called upon him to stick to ATMIS‘s mandate to secure Somalia, and that Somaliland is an independent country. In addition, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called upon the International Community to stand with Somaliland in its effort to combat terrorism and condemn those who have carried out the assassinations in Las Anod and the neighboring leaders who are calling for violence in the region.

On May 2018 Somaliland clashed with armed militias from Puntland over the control of its eastern flank with Somalia. The unofficial truce between the Republic of Somaliland and Puntland has held with minimum incidents.

President Bihi did not specify concrete steps to address the grievances of the people of Las Anod including law enforcement overhaul and steps to ensure the safety and security of the public in the region.

Somaliland Parliament Assigns Committee to Revamp the Criminal and Penal Codes


According to a circular issued by the Somaliland House of Representatives, the first Deputy Chairman of the Parliament Mr. Saeed Farah Mire [Giire], has assigned a committee to amend and update Somaliland’s General Penal Code and the Criminal Code.

Deputy Chairman Giire, as he is widely known, noted in his circular that the laws are outdated which resulted in gaps that that does not cover certain crimes that and that the changes and amendments to the General Penal Code and the Criminal Code must be in accordance with the Islamic Sharia and International Law and Somaliland’s cultural principals.

Although Somaliland regained its independence in 1991, its criminal and penal codes are still based on the draconian laws created in 1960 for Somalia. It is unclear how the proposed amendment to the criminal and penal codes will reconcile Sharia, international and customary laws of Somaliland into cohesive criminal and penal codes.

Somaliland should be considered for the Nobel Peace Prize


Upon gaining independence from Britain on June 26, 1960, Somaliland voluntarily merged with Somalia on July 1st, 1960, to create the Republic of Somalia. In the wake of the dissolution of the Central Somali state, Somaliland reinstated its sovereignty on May 18, 1991.While fulfilling all the criteria for statehood, i.e., defined boundaries, a permanent population and a functioning government that routinely engages in relations with other states and international organisations, Somaliland is yet to achieve de jure recognition but continues to function as a de-facto sovereign state.

Somaliland has created an organic and legitimate hybrid state rooted in society by merging Somali institutions of governance with constitutional multi-party democracy. In doing so, the young state has transcended the (semi) Weberian OECD-model of statehood and has given birth to the hybrid turn in the peace and state building literature. The people of Somaliland have demonstrated a genuine and robust will to maintain peace and build a vibrant democracy. Since 1991, Somaliland has experienced five consecutive peaceful transfers of power. Impressed with the successes of Somaliland’s peace and state building trajectory, some scholars and practitioners have gone as far as to suggest that Somaliland offers an alternative model of statehood in Africa.

Making Somaliland a puzzling and fascinating case is that its successes were achieved with virtually no external assistance. Political and social leaders in Somaliland have achieved on their own what the combined capacity and economic means of the international community has failed to achieve in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Somalia. Actors fighting on opposing sides of one of Africa’s bloodiest civil wars voluntarily ceased hostilities, peacefully negotiated and in this way created peace, stability, democracy and built an inclusive state. Why Somaliland has succeeded on its own while numerous other post conflict societies have failed despite foreign intervention and assistance is a question that continues to baffle scholars and policymakers alike.

Somaliland’s road to peace and a functioning democracy was challenging and required concerted effort and leadership steered by prudence and providence. Throughout the 1980s Somalilanders were arbitrarily and indiscriminately persecuted by Maxamed Ziad Barre’s brutal military regime, culminating in 1988 where Somaliland’s two largest cities were razed, killing 50.000 people. Rather than prolonging the war after Barre’s army was ousted from Somaliland in early 1991, leaders of the insurgency (Somali National Movement) that fought Barre and representatives of the communities that had supported the central government voluntarily commenced post war peace and reconciliation efforts. A series of peace conferences took place in different areas of the country from the early 1990s to the mid-1990s. The first grand conference was held in the port city of Berbera in early 1990 with the last being held in the capital of Hargeysa in 1996-1997. It was at these conferences that the different social groupings in Somaliland would meet, each make their case in the spirit of Somali egalitarianism, peacefully negotiate, and solve thorny issues through consensus. This capacity to overcome internal collective action challenges through generalized pro-social behaviour is a key factor in grasping Somaliland’s remarkable success in peace and state building. While Somalilanders were struggling with consolidating peace and building a viable state, the international community, under the guise of the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM II), was going at lengths to disrupt Somaliland’s reconciliation efforts and tried to bring all actors under the framework of UN-led peace and state building in Mogadishu. It is therefore safe to say that Somaliland did not merely make it without external assistance during its formative years (1991-2001), but that it made it despite of the international community.

FILE PHOTO: A Nobel Prize medal replica is on display inside the Norwegian Nobel Institute in Oslo, Norway September 19, 2022. REUTERS/Victoria Klesty

Against this backdrop, it appears peculiar that Somaliland has not yet been shortlisted for the Nobel Peace Prize. Since World War II, the Peace Prize has annually been awarded to those who have done outstanding work within the four main areas of: arms control and disarmament, peace negotiation, democracy and human rights and work aimed at creating a better and more peaceful world. With scarce resources and against all odds, Somalilanders succeeded in ending violence, consolidating peace and in building one of the most vibrant and inclusive democratic states in the developing world. That Somaliland did not collapse into a never-ending vicious cycle of endless violence and devastation is, more than any other reason, attributable to the sheer will of the people of Somaliland. It was them who came together voluntarily, negotiated peacefully, and averted a looming catastrophe through concerted effort. It is by attention to this point that it appears rather difficult to advance a tenable line of reasoning against the motion that the people of Somaliland are worthy of at least being considered for the Nobel Peace Prize.

While the Norwegian Nobel Committee is responsible for selecting the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, a nomination may be submitted by any persons who qualify to nominate. University professors are among those are considered ‘qualified nominators’ and there is surely no shortage of senior academics with a Somalilander background in universities around the world. Some of them receive a hero’s welcome upon returning to Somaliland. It is therefore quite puzzling that none of them has hitherto been willing to nominate Somaliland for the Nobel Peace Prize.


Jamal Abdi holds a MSc in International and European Relations. He is currently a PhD candidate in international relations at Keele University. His research focuses on peace and state building in Somaliland.

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

Creative Commons License

Notice: This article by Somaliland Chronicle is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. Under this license, all reprints and non-commercial distribution of this work is permitted.