Wednesday, December 30, 2009

President Faroole of Puntland: Swimming against Powerful Tides

With the closing of yet another tumultuous year, two thousand and nine, which, like its predecessors, ushered in chaos and confusion among Somalis, President Abdirahman Mohamed Faroole of Puntland is faced with three political challenges. While two of these challenges, namely the question of the disputed regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn, and the human rights issue of Ethiopian Somali prisoners, primarily those belonging to the Ogaden clan family, are local in nature, the third and tempest challenge comes from the powerful Chairman of the African Affairs Subcommittee of the United States Congress, Mr. Donald Payne, who in a letter dated November 22, 2009 publicly rebuked Mr. Faroole.

To say the least, these challenges are formidable and, if not carefully attended to, could cumulatively have serious repercussions for the existence and wellbeing of Mr. Faroole’s government.

A bit background is due here: At the wake of establishing the Puntland regional state in 1998 by the then victorious former faction leader Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, who had successfully ejected violent Islamic groups from the territory, the vision was to create an all Somali sanctuary with an autonomous status in the northeastern flank of stateless Somalia. More importantly, the following goals were embedded in the vision:

To create an autonomous regional administration within a future federal government system for Somalia;

To challenge Somaliland's claim for a unilateral secession by placing claim on all Harti-inhabited regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn;

To create an oasis marked by free market-based economy and a bottom-up peacemaking.
In the past, Puntland went into two loosing wars with Somaliland on said territorial question. Consequently, with the reality on the ground hugely favoring Somaliland, which has ruled these regions for most of the last twenty years, President Faroole seamlessly has changed political direction on this question.  Reliable sources who attended the grand Dhulbahante meeting recently held in Nairobi, Kenya, confirmed to WardheerNews that Mr. Faroole informed the conveners that the disputed regions are no longer a priority for his administration. Moreover, Mr. Faroole’s administration’s decree announcing that any Nairobi convener (including 3 Garaads of the Dhulbahante clan family), who are going to Puntland to mount opposition activity, be it peaceful or otherwise, against Somaliland, would be arrested on arrival complicated matters more.

The consequences of Mr. Faroole’s policy change could be one of two: This change could foster good relationship between his government and that of Somaliland, hence ultimately sacrificing the Dhulbahante question by effectively letting Hargeysa administer the disputed regions; or this could lead, if remotely, the formation of Sool/Sanaag/Cayn resistance forces to reclaim their region and seek a clan-based regional state independent both from Hargeysa and Garowe. The former case seems to be more likely to happen in the event that Mr. Faroole stays course and decides to squeeze any potential opposition to Somaliland’s authority. But this would come with a price, primarily a prospective instability fomented in Puntland.
Pres. Faroole meeting with Ethiopian goverment officials
President Abdirahman Faroole meeting with Ethiopian officials
A second sore point on Mr. Faroole's administration is the accusation that his security forces imprisoned Ethiopian Somalis, or as some call them, members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). It is alleged that at least one prisoner is "murdered" while in custody, whereas others are reportedly handed over to Ethiopian authorities for questioning. Despite alleged mistreatment in the hands of Puntland and Somaliland or other Somali leaders for multiple times, ONLF by all accounts is a recognized resistance and political movement whose goals and objectives are part of a larger historical question – the question of Somalis under Ethiopian rule. As such, they must be given protection and other due process guaranteed under the 1958 UN convention.

Despite a counter claim made by the Puntland authority that at least "one prisoner died from tuberculoses-related illness," it is plausible that the Faroole administration wanted (out of his mishandling of ONLF members) to send at least two messages: (1) Puntland administration is not going to tolerate anything that may threaten its regional benefactor, Ethiopia; and (2) Puntland would stand only for the sole interest of its "stakeholder.” In other words, Puntland leaders are going to pursue only their local interest and forfeit any other higher ideals that were in the past recognized, such as safeguarding the rights of all Somali speaking people.

One possible result from alienating ONLF, which at times plays on the primordial feelings of the larger Ogaden clan, could be a retaliation by ONLF or ONLF sympathizers exacting casualties against all business interests and transhumance movements associated with Puntland that move in and out of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia.

But the most debilitating challenge to Faroole's position on the Ogaden prisoners comes from the powerful Chairman of the African Subcommittee of the US Congress, Congressman Payne, who in his rebuke of Puntland, stated the following:

"This is not the first time Puntland authorities have harassed, tortured, killed, and handed over men of Ogadeni origin to Ethiopian security. Over a year ago, two senior members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) were handed over to Ethiopian security by a Puntland minister. They came, with the permission of Puntland authorities; to discuss the murder of an elder.....I strongly condemn this abusive and dictatorial behavior and demand the immediate release of the prisoners. I also call for those responsible for the killing of the prisoner and intimidation of Ogadenis to be held accountable, including senior officials who authorized these measures. Failure to act quickly on this matter will have serious consequences."

Faroole and members of his administration meeting with Congressman Donald Payne in Nairobi
Mr. Faroole and some members of his cabinet meeting with Congressman Donald Payne in the US Embassy in Nairobi.
Given the power that congressional subcommittees, particularly their Chairpersons, wield, these words, coming from the very person who is the number one law maker on the US-Africa policy, should worry Puntland leaders and the inner circle that advises Mr. Faroole.

The Puntland administration, if it intends to weather these challenges, must bring peace and order into its region, coupled with good governance by taking some of the following corrective measures:
  1. Puntland must seek cooperation and consultation with Congress Payne and his staff on matters concerning the rights of ONLF and other non-combatant Ethiopian refugees in its region.  In a post Rwanda world, African human rights issue are no longer peripheral matters to be left alone to small time dictators or rulers of mini states in a distant country.

  2. Puntland should be able to explain the cause of death of the concerned prisoner in Puntland. Furthermore, it has to bring all the rest of "ONLF" prisoners to an open and legitimate court, where Amnesty and Red Cross observers are invited to hear and, if need be, represent said prisoners. This may present both challenges and opportunities for Puntland in showcasing its court system.

  3. Puntland must quickly rescind its decree to arrest Dhulbahante elders and bring them back to the table for consultation on their question. Puntland has every right to denounce war and confrontation against Somaliland. It is not, however, prudent to antagonize groups who are part of the "original stakeholder" of the Puntland regional state.

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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

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