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Sep-05-2011 21:21printcomments

Sharing Excerpts from a Thought Provoking and Inspiring Piece

“The secession of Somaliland failed not for lack of effort, determination, or lack of resources, human or otherwise. If tenacity, commitment, and diligence would deliver a goal, Somaliland would have been recognized long ago.”

Is Somaliland 'out in the wilderness'?

(UGANDA) - The following excerpts are gleaned as inspiring quotes from what Mr. Mohamed Heebaan posted on under the title “Time to Reconstruct Somali Politics--.” Apart from admiring this great piece so articulately written by Mr. Heebaan, like all great pieces, it inspired me to see the travails of our region from the Horn to the Great Lakes from a new angle as well as provoking a set of questions in my mind. Putting aside my perspective and queries towards the end, let us begin from the quotable quotes now.

The quotes

“Though, the north has been peaceful for quite long time, in the last few years, there is a noticeable crack in the unity and the cohesiveness of Somaliland as we can see from the conflict in SSC and from the floated idea of the Awdal statehood.”

“After 20 years of failed reconciliation and failed rebuilding, Southern Somalia has, in the end, fallen into the grips of blood-sucking mafia of Addis Ababa and Kampala club that see the perpetuation of the Somali mayhem as the best way for them to optimize their benefits!”

“—The IGAD warlords benefit from the misery of the Somali people there is no question about it. Few weeks ago, Mr. Museveni was handed $45 million dollars by the U.S for keeping his mercenary forces in Mogadishu, and Zenawi have received over hundreds of millions of dollars for taking charge of Somali affairs. Neither of the IGAD-Warlords would get or would have gotten one penny of those millions that are regularly poured into their coffers should peace and real stability are restored in Southern Somalia.”

“The secession of Somaliland failed not for lack of effort, determination, or lack of resources, human or otherwise. If tenacity, commitment, and diligence would deliver a goal, Somaliland would have been recognized long ago.”

“—I highlight all of this to underline that Somaliland’s failure to win recognition is not for lack of skill, or lack of effort. But simply, this is un-winnable issue.”

“Aside for the disintegration of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, which both were supported by the west, in recent decades, only four territories, East Timor, Eritrea, Kosovo and South Sudan seceded and gained world recognition. But these four territories share two important characterstic; their secession was/is wholeheartedly supported, if not actually engineered by Western and world powers. But even more importantly, aside from Kosovo, the secession of all other three territories was blessed by their mother countries; Indonesia, Ethiopia, and Sudan respectively. If a territory secedes without the acquiescence of mother country, or clear support from world powers, its ambition seldom gets off the ground.”

“Nowadays, so much effort is made by Somaliland leaders and their supporters in order to gain recognition from Ethiopia, the only country with vested interests in the dismemberment of Somalia.

However, because attaining recognition at any cost has become an obsession for Somaliland leaders, little in the form of debate is engaged to ascertain what effect recognition from Ethiopia would have on the secession. Would it help or hinder the secessionist cause?”

“—Ethiopia’s recognition would sink the secession beyond any hope. Since Ethiopia is known as the historic enemy of Somalia, no country that hasn’t recognized Somaliland already (and none has) would want to look so foolish as to unnecessarily take sides on enmity between two African countries, and support a secession that is clearly pushed and supported by Ethiopia. That means, if Ethiopia doesn’t recognize the secession, no one else would. If Ethiopia recognizes the secession, no one else would. In either case, the secession is dead and helpless!”

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni

“—if we go by the favoured comparison of equating Somaliland to the South Sudan and Eritrea, it becomes clear that Somaliland’s recognition by the world rests with Mogadishu. That is, if Mogadishu recognizes Somaliland’s secession, the rest of the world will quickly follow suit.--- However, as the most ardent secessionists know, expecting Mogadishu to grant recognition to Somaliland’s secession is simply wishful thinking that goes on border of insanity.Thus,pursuing this secessionist endeavor whose roads are blocked is nothing but an exercise in futility.”

“Hargeisa as the New Capital, a way out of the abyss;”

“3. AMISOM; the mere relocation of the nation’s Capital to Hargeisa will make the African mercenaries in Mogadishu irrelevant. As government ministers and leaders move to the peaceful city of Hargeisa, the mercenaries will have no one around to claim of protecting. The cash-cow that Somalia has become for the mercenaries and for the IGAD-Warlords will immediately dry up. Uganda’s warlord Museveni will have no other choice but evacuate his forces, while crying all the way to Kampala!”

My take on Somalia and the whole saga called “secession!”

Remnants of recent war in Ethiopia... tanks - scattered
across the countryside - war with Eritrea.

Although, I chose only the above to quote from Mr. Heebaan’s writing, the whole thesis has stirred my intellect and emotion. As I am an Ethiopian from whose motherland Eritrea seceded after waging a three decade destructive war, I occasionally speculate with hindsight that what if the military regime, while it had the upper hand, let Eritreans decide on their fate after securing Assab as it was rightfully Ethiopia’s port? On top of sparing unnecessary loss of life and destruction of property on the Ethiopian side, I believe, that move would have turned the Eritrean people itself against the secessionists who styled themselves as “liberators.”

Not only the military régime, but all of us Ethiopians should take the blame for failing to think outside the box and end the quagmire to our benefit. Of course, my intellect tells me that thinking outside the box, let alone thinking it aloud is not possible in a society that’s constantly subjugated. For this reason Ethiopia lost the war to the most destabilizing secessionist force recognized as “liberator” by all and sundry and in the process became the third country in history to lose its access to the sea next to Bolivia and Serbia. What precipitated Ethiopia’s defeat, among others, in the hands of the Eritrean secessionists is the downright dictatorship of Mengistu Hailemariam’s regime that even denied the minimum freedom Ethiopian’s used to enjoy in the “feudal” system of Emperor Haileselassie.

This had the effect of destroying the morale of the Ethiopian military as well as pushing Eritreans and later other people to the folds of the secessionists.

Meles Zenawi

Accordingly,the secessionists spread their destabilizing war to other parts of Ethiopia whereby they succeeded to install a Trojan horse in the person of Meles Zenawi who wrote a letter while being a mere president of a transitional government with no mandate from Ethiopians to then UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali so that UN sponsors the secession of Eritrea from Ethiopia.

One can argue emotionally and intellectually that if the dictatorship of Mengistu Hailemariam hadn’t alienated the patriotism of Ethiopians, Ethiopia could have defeated the secessionists like Sri Lanka that defeated the Tamil Tigers after three decades of war.

Since what happened has happened between Ethiopia and Eritrea let us now turn to Somalia and raise some questions. Considering the Eritrean secessionists achievement followed by a three decade bloody war and persistent lobbying to sell their concoction of “Eritrea being colonized by Ethiopia” in the corridors of world power; and since they succeeded to have the “blessing” of their mother country, if Zenawi, the Trojan Horse planted by the very secessionists is considered “Ethiopia,” what prevents those Somalilanders set on secession to do both? That is, install their own Trojan horse in Mogadishu while at the same time selling themselves in the corridors of the “international community?”

Though, I know very well that Somalis would never submit to such a Trojan horse in Mogadishu, it would nevertheless be additional fuel to the ongoing carnage. As Mr. Heebaan himself ably pointed out and also as the Ethiopian saying has it, there are no shortages of these sorts of meddlesome elements who enjoy profiteering by poking wood to other people’s wounds.

An Ethiopian Human Rights Defender exiled in Uganda

Kiflu Hussain is an attorney based in Uganda. He says his passion for writing came from reading, and that it’s inevitable that the more one reads, the more one develops the urge to write. Kiflu has published articles in Ethiopia on the English Reporter, then a weekly newspaper along with a few Amharic articles on the defunct Addis Zena. It was after he and his family found refuge in Uganda, that he began contributing writings to the local papers and various websites such as Daily Monitor, Uganda Record, The New Vision, Ethioquestnews, Garowe Online, WardheerNews etc.

The reason for this is clear. Ethiopia, despite being a seat of the African Union had never produced a regime that allows even the minimum space for dialogue that other people in Africa enjoy so naturally. So Kiflu's ending up as a refugee in Uganda is a blessing in disguise for it accorded him with the opportunity to write. He says at the same time he learned, unfortunately, that his refugee status would be what showed how deep the hypocrisy of the “international community” goes. We at are honored to carry this gentleman's work and we hope that in the process, western people may come to appreciate the struggle of refugees throughout the world.

You can write to Kiflu at this address: E-mail;

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Gecho September 6, 2011 12:00 am (Pacific time)

Kiflu, I personally know of an Operations Officer in the Northern Army of Dergue Ethiopia who firmly believed in what you with the benefit of a hindsight indicated here. Among other options he shared with me it is a matter of time that Ethiopian Govt would lose the war. The Derg should strengthen groups in Eritrea who support unity, such as the Afar, Kunama, Bilen, etc. and tackle the issue of secession in a systematic way while it is still controlling most of the territory. He also believed if Shabia wins the war it will directly and indirectly try to rule the rest of Ethiopia as Eritrea without support of Ethiopia is not viable. A year or so later this Officer's friend Gen. Tarkiu Aine was killed and I saw why those who saw what is coming did not try to voice their concern. It was not for the lack of thinking outside the box things turned out this way. I remember the negative reactions from my own friends when I shared this with them after the fall of Massawa. Most of us were so focused on eradicating the Wonbedies other options were usually seen as borderline treason. Even now the same structure of thinking is at play in many of our interactions.

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