Despite all the pretensions to the contrary, the Somaliland Agenda is not, and has never been a state agenda or a national agenda, but a clan agenda!Isaaq secessionists are pretty much like some Ogadenis of Somali Galbeed, who call that territory Ogaden, and expect others to adopt their clan name as a national one. Similarly, the secessionists fill the world with Somaliland this, Somaliland that, and by sheer rhetoric and repetition attempt to transform what is purely a clan agenda into state agenda.The Somaliland business, its pursuit of independence, and its secessionist drive are entirely an Isaaq vernture! No one who hails from Awdal will put his or her life on the line in order to enable Somaliland secede from Somalia. It will NEVER happen! No one who hails from Sool and East-Sanaag and Cayn will do the same. It is impossible! But the Isaaqs will sacrifice their lives and everything they own for that same cause simply because they know the Somaliland agenda is their clan agenda.As a clan agenda, today Somaliland is a success story. And its success is primarily based on two factors:
A. The dedication and the tenacity of the Isaaqs B. An enormous amount of good luck!
Since as a writer I am expected to justify statements that I make, I am obliged here to illustrate the crucial role that 'good luck' played in the success of the Somaliland agenda. If I don't, and leave the statement about luck, without presenting a convincing evidence, it would appear that my reference to luck was just my way of undercutting the accomplishments of the Isaaq clan and its people.How big a role did luck play in the success of the secessionist agenda? A very crucial role. It is not easy to correctly express such a role in numbers, nevertheless, allotting luck about 50% of the success would be just about right.Now in order to make the reader understand the role played by luck, we have to put the events of the Somali Civil War in reverse, and hypothesize what would have happened if things that did take place didn't occur; and things that didn't come to pass did indeed take place.If the Mogadishu warlords, after winning the civil war, instead of becoming forces of death and destruction and road-blocks, behaved as forward looking forces of national leadership, and fostered rebuilding and reconciliation, and spread peace and stability in the south, the consequences of such wise policies would have become a fatal blow against the secession of the north!
Well, when the leaders of Sool and East-Sanaag and Cayn saw the peace and stability in the south, as Somali patriots, they would have automatically rejected the secession of the north, and they would have declared that they and their territory would forever remain an integral part of the Somali Republic.Similarly, when the people of Awdal, who are also as patriots as anyone can be, also saw the stability, peace and the unity in the south, they would have held up the secession-rejection-card they have been tactically holding under the table, and would have declared that they and their territory are, would be, and would forever remain part and the parcel of the Somali nation! When the people of Awdal stand up for the unity of the Somali nation, and knowing that that region and its people are geographically cornered, the Somali leadership in Mogadishu would have made it clear, in no uncertain terms, that no adventurist of any kind would be allowed to contemplate any mischief or ill-will against Awdal and its people! Therefore the abuses or rather the atrocities inflicted upon the people of Awdal by SNM "mujahids" could not have been entertained much less exercised!Thus when Awdal, Sool, eastern-Sanaag, and Cayn, all non-Isaaq territories, reject the secession and remained part of the Somali Republic, Somaliland would have shrunk into the territory inhabited by the Isaaq clan only, and, hence, the secession would have lost its crucial mask, and would have clearly and nakedly become a secession of one clan, by one clan, for one clan!Now if, as we all know, Somaliland with a crucial mask and is tactically supported by Awdal, and nominally supported by SSC for almost two decades could not get recognition even from one country, you just have to wonder what hope would have been there for Somaliland that is confined into one Somali clan and the territory it inhabits? The answer is none! Even the most ardent and diehard Issaq secessionists know that if the people of Awdal, sool, and Easter-sanaag reject the secession, and Somaliland is left for the Isaaqs, there will be no hope for world recognition, and the secession will be dead on its tracks.When the secession proves hopeless, there would have been two options facing the elders and the leaders of the Isaaq clan, and those options would have depended on whether:
A. The Isaaqs were lucky B. Or the Isaaqs were unlucky
If they were lucky, the Isaaq elders and political leaders would have quickly realized that pursuing a hopeless cause and traveling on a road that leads to nowhere doesn't make sense. And consoling themselves that, at least, they have tried their level best, they would have rejoined the Somali nation.If the Isaaqs were unlucky, they would have done what the Somali clans do best: Issaq sub-clans would have started fighting over a mountain that was made out of a mole-hill, and after much blood-shed and exhaustion, the sub-clans would, one by one, and in a rather disorganized way, have returned to the fold of the Somali Union.As you can see, the mayhem that swept the south had been a blessing for the secession. And as Al-mutanabbi once said, "Massaa'ibu qowm, cin-da qowm fa-waa'id!"In either case, the secession would have been abandoned by the Isaaqs, because the other clans' rejection of the secession would have made the secession hopeless and unworkable. And regardless of how hard the Isaaqs may have tried initially, they would always be forced to abandon it at the end of the day. This is the INHERENT vulnerability of Somaliland! Because its fate is always in the hands of non-Isaaq clans in Awdal and SSC, who have no intention or interest to willingly support a secessionist-clan-agenda at the expense of the Somali Republic.Conscious of the crucially important support that diversity lends the secession, Isaaqs have been extremely diligent in attracting politicians from other clans, and those who showed willingness to work with the secession have been generously rewarded and given the highest posts including top ministries and even the presidency! However neither the diligence nor the generosity that goes with it will ever solve the inherent vulnerability associated with the secession. This is so because bribing and placating individuals and groups to maintain the façade of statehood can only go so far Any time these non-Isaaq clans reject the secession, Somaliland will crumble, regardless of whether it is recognized by the world or not! That is why pursuing this secessionist venture is really a waste of time and hopeless. Thinking Isaaqs should wake up!Nevertheless, having said all of that, still the Somaliland agenda had been good for the Isaaq people! True, they sacrificed blood, a lot of it, and treasure and tears, but at last, their efforts have paid off. The Somaliland agenda had given the Isaaqs credibility. It had given them respect. And most importantly, it restored their confidence in themselves that they can be masters of their own fate! But that is as far as a clan-agenda, any clan agenda, can go.
Today because of all they achieved with Somaliland agenda and with their tenacity and good luck, and because all that went wrong with the south, Isaaqs are in a unique position to redress their grievances and the marginalization they complained about so loudly for so long, and at the same time help the Somalis to get up on their feet. Though, even today, Somaliland has many problems, still comparing it with the South, its stock is high and valuable! And today is the right time for the Isaaqs, the sole sponsors of the project, to cash it in and utilize that golden opportunity.
If they don't, and if the Isaaqs take this vulnerable clan-agenda too seriously, and allow themselves to be deceived by the legion of cheer-leading foreigners, almost all of whom are behind the scenes working for the land-locked Ethiopian regime, the inherent vulnerability will catch up with it, and like an anthill that went beyond its capacity to resist gravity, the secession will crumble, its stock will crush; the golden opportunity will be gone; and like the Mogadishu warlords, the secessionists will live to regret it!The secession had been sold and oversold to the people of Somaliland. If there weren't a clear change both in form and substance and tangible, definable benefits to Somaliland and its people, it would have been difficult to convince ordinary Somalilanders to support a new reunification arrangement between the Somali nation's two halves. But today the reunification arrangement is afresh, the benefits to Somaliland and to all Somalis are gigantic, and the ordinary Somalilanders will need no convincing. The question is strictly a question of leadership and foresight, and it all depends on the action or inaction of Somaliland leaders.
And now the crucial and ultimate question is, would Somaliland leaders grab this golden and historic opportunity the consequences of which will decisively change, for the better, not only Somaliland and the entire Somali nation, but, in my view, the Horn, East Africa, and the entire African continent? Or will Somaliland leaders keep deceiving themselves and their people, and continue walking on the barren road they have been treading in almost two decades, and keep chasing the ever illusive mirage of the 'world recognition' that even if attained, Laa Tus-minu, Walaa Tugh-nii Min-juuc!
It is my hope that every thinking Somalilander, man and woman, would do his or her best to ensure this golden and historic opportunity not to be wasted for the sake of all Somalis, for the sake of Somaliland and its people, and for their own interest first and foremost.
NorthernSomaliaNews is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and is Anchor for Allvoices and serves as a regular contributor to terror free somalia