Somalia: “Somalia-phobia” is spreading through Somalilanders
Abdihakim Abdillahi Aden “Tiyari”
Irrespective of political concerns, Somaliland’s independence is among numerous factors that affect the entire Somali ethnicity. Of course, there are religious crises and cognitive crises, which are among the escalating problems that Somali society share despite their geographical difference and political system.
Nevertheless, Somaliland has cut off Somalia in 1991, and they declared themselves as an independent country. Somaliland’s independence led to other Somalia regions to follow or more exactly to disintegrate into “clannish fiefdoms” but with attractive names such as “regional administrations”. Hence, the dream that was Somalia unification was weakened and became further distant and ambiguous due to various circumstances.
Somaliland wants to stand on its own feet , and attracted the world’s attention: “How did unrecognised authority adapt to a democratic system?” The other mystery is: “How this small country was able to hold free democratic elections, with limited foreign aid?“
I am not sure whether Somaliland will get recognition or not. But rather, in respecting many challenges and political matters, unification is something crucial. Even animals prefer to walk or flee as a union. In fact, when we are saying Somaliland separated from Somalia, it does not mean that everything in common with other “Somalis” was suspended.
I have just seen many government officials saying that, if you are a Somaliland citizen, you do not have permission to travel to Mogadishu. If you did, you are criminal; people in Hargeisa, dressing in Somalia’s blue flag and greeting someone from Somalia are arrested.
Am I visiting to Israel? I do not have any problem with Israel or other UN member country! Moreover, there is a citizen who was detained as “instigator of sedition” – a good label designed to undermine freedom of citizens .Amazingly we will soon hear: “You have had a dream about [Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi] ‘Farmajo’, so you are under arrest.” All above mentioned events may be considered a form of “Somalia-phobia”.
Disregarding politics, it is important to remember that socially the Somali community is the same bloodline and share many norms and cultures. In addition, inter-clan marriage is a common custom, once different clans come together, there is no way to classify and discriminate one person who over the other. A Somali can travel from Hargeisa to Mogadishu, without any hindrances. There is free market and goods exchange between Somalia regions.
Ultimately, people with extreme views and exaggerated defamations may provoke internal xenophobia and hatred among the Somaliland public. I recommend Somaliland thinkers to defeat people with short-sighted vision and divisive politicians who are unable to convince their followers with wisdom. Finally, it is necessary to learn the difference between social relationships and political issues.
Abdihakim Abdillahi Aden “Tiyari” is Somali social activist and writer living in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He is a candidate for MBA. He may be reached by E-mail: Abdi.firstname.lastname@example.org