Somalia silence on Hargeisa’s inroads baffling
EDITORIAL- Somalia's silence on the continued bid by Somaliland to seek recognition is baffling. Last week, Muse Bihi, the leader of the self-declared independent region of Somaliland, was in the US, pitching to have the global power acknowledge its independence. Of course, Washington clarified that it treats Somaliland only within the One Somalia policy, something that every other sovereign state does.
But Somalia itself has kept mum on the issue, which suggests that either there is a lack of interest in dealing with the problem, or political ambitions in Mogadishu have clouded principle.
If we look at the latter reason, which sounds plausible, elections around the corner maybe force Villa Somalia to look the other way so as not to antagonize voters from northern regions.
Somaliland has a significant number of representatives in the bicameral parliament, and that can be good fodder for a politician seeking to cling on to elusive legitimacy. Such a politician would rather keep mum and get the votes than speak and lose the vote, even if it benefits the country.
To speak or not to speak about Somaliland should never be determined by politics, however. This is why the federal government must clarify that countries that entertain Somaliland’s independence are reprimanded immediately to dissuade them from discussing the issue in the future. On this occasion, despite the US announcement that Bihi’s visit will not upend US policy on Somalia, he has continued to meet with critical players politicians pushing for a special law on Somaliland.
Such gains could weaken Somalia’s stance and make it cumbersome for future leaders to resolve the issue. Farmaajo has indeed been lukewarm on dealing with the Somaliland issue, sweeping it under the carpet, or simply banking on the international community’s support for Mogadishu.
The problem is everyone has been telling Mogadishu that only Somalis must sit down to determine their fate, including the future of Somaliland in the Union. It can be dangerous if Mogadishu’s strategy is to dig their heads in the sand and hope that the wave of secessionist demands will flow away.
This is why Mogadishu has to speak and speak clearly to convince any stuttering entities that a united Somalia is good for us, the region, and everyone. A country rebuilding its institutions from years of war must not be distracted by secessionist groups. Such a country should not, either, assume that the country is united just because it looks like it.
Editorial it tackles recent events and issues, and attempts to formulate viewpoints based on an objective analysis of happenings and conflicting/contrary opinions. An editorial is predominantly about balance.