Thursday, September 23, 2010

Unmitigated Challenges ahead for Somaliland’s new government

More professionally engineered articles have been framed differently by different authors, politicians and intellectuals on the amazingly triumph-worthy chronological tales of Somaliland, even much more have been inked about the shining star in a region, gaining infamy as a haven of terrorism, warlordism and sophisticated modern buccaneers. But the question is__ for how many more years will the world keep the deafening ear towards the Somaliland’s success story? It is a widely acknowledged fact that what has happened in Somaliland during the recent presidential elections was remarkably national momentum, absolutely wonderful and non-African character. Transparent free and fair election, democratic power-transfer and a consensus based dispute resolutions were the actual secret-ingredients behind the success in which Somaliland lies today. This was neither the first nor the last of its type happened in this country with the young but promising people.

This newly-born government headed by His Excellency president Ahmed Muhammad Muhammoud, has already crossed the so-called 100 days mark and disclosed what they have accomplished as per their pre-election rhetorical promises. Although, some critics and opposition parties have slapped heavy security and economical scandals with the government’s early political showdown, it is too early to judge the government with such short span of time. Notwithstanding, it is undeniable fact that, the new government will undoubtedly face a numerous stark domestic, regional and global challenges, in terms of security and progress.


Domestic Challenges:

Peace is the most precious plateau which the people of Somaliland nurture together and their decision to strengthen it will always remain unshakable. However, the heavily armed ONLF clandestine disembarkations at the Somaliland ports, mysterious murders in Burao and the other cities by the unknown sinister executioners, the unsolved farm and pastoral-land imbroglios between the brotherly people in eastern and western regions, the rampant spread of robbery by the confederacy of local gangs in the major cities, coupled with the growing number of strangers (like the arrested German-octogenarian) who have opened their doors flooded into the country with their hidden/shapeless agendas and influences, are the most alarming issues the nation faced today, the responsibility of which is constitutionally obliged to the government. It is up to the government to wear big magnifying glasses to decipher every threat against the civilian people.

Of course, safety and security is not only for the citizens but for everyone in the country and if it is so, It must be kept in mind that, any form of ill-treatment against the Somalia war-evacuees and other domestic poor or drought-driven impoverished people, who are living in far below the poverty-line (BPL) circumstances, dying from hunger and thirst, could simply trigger to shorten the people’s mature nationalistic anticipations for a better, yet a prosperous future.In addition to that, as the black-magic-tribal-card is the political denominator for every Somali-spoken society; the non-middle tribes are seem to be largely not happy with the way the power of this government was shared among the major dominant clans in the country. It is the government’s far most responsibility to act as swiftly as possible to turn every stone positive to virtually remove any fugitive ideology on its policy and to passionate any potential negative backlash what so ever, that can cause an untimely internecine among the brethren people.


Regional & Global Challenges:

20 years after its inception, Somaliland is no longer be a toddler, however, a bottom-up-approach based global and geopolitical strategy towards the peaceful coexistence, mutual interest with the regional and global countries must be duly initiated. Every single diplomatic relations made, like the recent state-level diplomatic visits exchanged with the front line countries could possibly blossom the paralyzed economic activities of the country, which has faced an inhospitable repetitive strangulations from both regional and international fronts. There are so many opportunities to countenance two-way commercial relationship with the neighboring countries, for example, the country experiences a huge cash outflow to Ethiopia in Khat (magic Greenleaf) importations, as a result of negative balance-of-payment. Edible salts and many other products could be exported to Ethiopia as hinted by the Minister of Finance Mr. Mohamed Hashi at the takeover ceremony of his Finance Portfolio. As Ethiopia completed one of the world’s biggest hydroelectricity projects, Somaliland could simply take the power from it, by proposing them to enjoy zero levies (taxation) on their exports/imports through the national corridors in the form of modern time barter-business. According to my observations on the entire country, the privately owned industrial muscle of Somaliland is on boom today, hence, it is the authority’s responsibility to seek and encourage regional-block free trade agreements, which, perhaps could create a sustainable platform for a potential national GDP and accordingly narrow the national deficit and the widening socioeconomic disparities.

Similarly, as Somaliland have had a very old business, social and cultural ties with the other Somali people, as many of Somalia based business-tycoons, entrepreneurs and commuters freely enjoy the brotherly hospitality given by their northlanders, to start a symbiotic smooth trade vehicle together with them could be an advantageous move towards the national economic betterment.

Life stock acts as the crude oil or the core national economic stimulator, however, augmenting the existing Arabian markets and pioneering strongly competitive new market segments in non-Arab countries could be a new breakthrough as well. Almost all the former Somaliland authorities have individually and collectively failed to deal with the oil-rich gulf countries, except the predecessor’s administration who have won to set up a moderate ties with at least one or two of the above said countries. According to the recent press release held by the Somaliland Aviation Minister Mr. Muhamoud Hashi Abdi, Kuwait government is financing a multi-million dollar underlying project for upgrading and renovating the major Somaliland airports, as a result of the successor’s perpetuation of the Kuwaiti-Somaliland ties. In a net shell, Somaliland needs an all-in-one political strategy for achieving a full-fledged national identity from within firstly and secondly from the international community.

In conclusion, any tangible goal for change scored by this government will be the road-end to the negative outlooks of many people on one hand and the start of a new down for not only the people of Somaliland, but Somalia and the region as well.

Khadar A. Hanan


Doha, Qatar