The major objective of the SNM administration has been focused on two political agendas that has to go hand in hand in order to convince the world opinion that there is a nation in the making. These two agendas are; first to organize political institutions within their clan controlled area; and second, parallel to that agenda, use force to bring the other non-isaaq inhabited regions under their control.
But what is very astonishing is that every time a delegation visits Hargeisa – say a low ranking officer from either a European nation or from an international institute - the SNM militia begins to attack non-Isaac clans in the area. Whatever the reason behind this move, I see no political logic in it. But wait a minute; what is clear is the political interpretation of the SNM administration to appease their clan affiliation that the visit is a sign of recognition as a separate state from Somalia. This psychological propaganda enables the authority to give their common men and women on the street the aspiration that once the recognition comes “everybody will be high and happy”. This kind of propaganda has the effect that the common men and women can be used easily as the “Canon Food”. They are indoctrinated that there is only one more thing, which they have to accomplish before they can feel high and happy. And that is; they have to force the non-Isaac clans to be part of their administration. This view takes me back to the causes of war itself. In many cases like the one we have now in hand, the war in Sool and Cayn area particularly Kalshaale and Gambadhe is caused by a simple fact. In other words this war is not something that came out of the blue.
Although I do not want to go deep into this discussion of the cause of war, I would like to mention only that there is in one way or another “spiritual self estrangement/disconnection which is the basic depravity”. (In: www.rainbowbody.net/Ongwhehonwhe/warcause.htm)
This is followed by deprivation which in a sense tries to achieve an accomplishment through neurotic compensatory mechanisms. According to the author of the above article in such a state the following feelings of greed, status, privilege and the longing for control appears. The reason this happens is the missing of a sense of the spirit filled with connectedness or wholeness. In such situation arise individuals and institutions that use the opportunity to manipulate these neurotic afflictions. So now the SNM elite that depend thoroughly on the international aid have one thing in mind and that is to find a way to reward their common men and women. This kind of thinking use to exist in a definitive way during the feudal era in Europe and elsewhere in the world. The manipulated mind of the common men and women in Buroa and Hargeisa receive the confirmation of their masters that they will have free land for their livestock. But they have to be productive in the battlefield to receive the reward.
Kalshaale is a very good example; the SNM leaders encouraged the clan from eastern Buroa to move into and settle this area and they will be protected. This happened in the same period as some of the western international aid agencies and governments promised that they will channel the aid for Somalia partially direct into the SNM administration for the five northern regions of Somalia. And the international aid agencies such as the UN Somalia Program in collaboration with the administration in Hargeisa declared that the non-Isaac inhabited regions as a danger zone and brought these regions under the scale of UN security situations to level 4; this means that the international agencies can not operate or assist these regions because it is not a safe place to work. But isn’t it crystal clear that such attitude of international humanitarian organizations operating now in Northern Somalia contradicts the principles of humanitarian assistance and at the same time makes it a mockery of such a principal?
Let me explain why I do have a concern over the principles of humanitarian assistance in the Northern Part of Somalia. This is the definition of the principles of Humanitarian from OCHA :
“Humanitarian principles provide the fundamental foundations for humanitarian action. Humanitarian principles are central to establishing and maintaining access to affected populations whether in the context of a natural disaster, an armed conflict or a complex emergency. Promoting compliance with humanitarian principles in humanitarian response is essential element of effective humanitarian coordination. It is central to the role of OCHA.” (ochaonline.un.org/OchaLinkClick.aspx?link=ocha&docId=1164797)
Following that definition let’s see the four principles, humanity, neutrality, impartiality and operational independence. Let us leave the first three aside and go through the last one. OCHA defines Operational Independence in the following: “Humanitarian action must be autonomous from the political, economic, military or other objectives that any actor may hold with regard to areas where humanitarian action is being implemented.”(see above)
Wonderful! Is it so in the Northern Part of Somalia especially when it comes to the three largest regions Sool, Sanaag and Ayn? Definitely No! Other principles operate in those areas.
I do believe that these principles have been undermined by the on-going UN humanitarian reforms. According to the international humanitarian agency of Medecins san Frontieres (MSF) stated over the reforms that UN has been developing, is an attempt to further align political, military and aid objectives. This according to their findings blurs the lines between political and humanitarian action, which will create an environment that isn’t conducive to upholding the core humanitarian principles of independence, impartiality and neutrality. (www.odihpn.org/report.asp?id=2914)
Further to the findings of the MSF even though the humanitarian reforms are intended to represent a positive attempt to address gaps in assistance and to improve humanitarian response they have not achieved their goal. For example in Somalia, following their findings, “ despite increased coordination meetings and a greater willingness to share information, cluster output is negligible, and there are still too few concrete interventions being implemented in-country for coordination to have any real meaning.”
As the people of SSC and their representatives have been saying all through the past years that the decisions reached in the coordination meetings held either in Nairobi or in Hargeisa have no effectiveness, timeliness and accountability, especially when it comes to their regions. All the organizations – international and local- stationed in Hargeisa and funded by the UN through the decisions reached in the cluster meetings lack accountability and consistent evaluation of their impact, especially when it comes to the activities intended to be implemented in the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Ayn. The inhabitants of these regions and their traditional leaders have explicitly stated that they are not part of the Hargeisa administration, thus it is time that the international organizations acknowledge the wishes of the people in these regions.
One thing is for sure clear today after twenty years of negligence to the people of the three regions under the occupation of SNM administration that the international organizations including the UN as well as the international diplomats (such as the minister of development from UK) are complacent to the atrocities committed to their people. The UK administration has promised to train the section of the police force namely Somaliland Special Protection Unit (SPU), who are now the group, which is brutally shooting and oppressing the peaceful demonstrators in Las Anod. ( Somalia: British Taxpayer’s money may be used for clan warfare: in www.boacame.com)
In effect the aim of the British government is historically relevant and it fits exactly the same objective of the SNM administration to take revenge on the descendants of the Dervish movement. That is how the people of SSC interpret the training of the most hated group in the present day occupation of the SSC territories. One thing the nations and organizations involved into the Somali politics have to know is that recycling leaders within the SNM administration is not a democracy per se. There is more to it than just changing names.