My take on Khaatumo – By Dr. Mohamud Tani
I have no problem with Khaatumo. By now it is the stated political position of the Dhulbahante traditional elders, intellectuals and almost every one of them in the Diaspora. Whether it is a state of mind or a state on the ground that is what a major part of its people believes in, for now. It is by far a much better position than the SSC of yesterday; which was nothing more than an armed insurgency of no value at all to anybody.
To tell the truth, I was surprised and a little uncomfortable with the declaration of a sovereign, independent region of Khaatumo at the Taleex meeting. It seems that the decision underestimated the level of paranoia in Somali Politics. Immediately a great number of people in Somaliland and in Puntland fabricated the whole project as a conspiracy against their existence as nation in the case of Somaliland, and as a regional administration as far as Puntland concerned. I can not understand how what is a conspiracy for Puntland would be also be for Somaliland. Looks strange to me.
I was prepared for and was expecting, as I told many Dhulbahante friends of mine that the conference would only mandate the G6 to carve a Path for the destiny of the people in the area. I was expecting that a declaration of the sort “we the elders and the participants of this conference do hereby give the G6 to negotiate on our behalf with all the stake holders in the area -Somaliland, Puntland, TFG, Governments in the region, the international community and then will make a report and a recommendation back to another conference in a year time where a decision will be taken on which way to go, Khatumo, Somaliland or Puntland.
“I believe if a decision like that was taken, it would have elevated the chances of the Dhulbahante people making a more deliberated decision than this hasty one. I am sure Puntland and Somaliland would have out bided each other to satisfy the Dhulbahente, and the G6 would have put their knowledge and expertise to a better use , more fruitful to their people. Now what they have in their hands is back to square one and just another SSC insurgency, which I think Xaglatoosiye could do better than all these Phds. The hasty declaration of Khatumo was only an appeal to the ego. It was not the real answer to the day to day problems of the people in th earea. Just a pain killer. I was expecting a more well thought out approach from the cream of the cream.
Yet , I believe that the major disaster was not the declaration of Khatumo. To my mind it was the way it was handled by the President of Somaliland. Mr Siilanyo extended an olive branch to the G6. Unlike Faroole of Puntland, he did not interfere with the conference. He let the participants pass through Berbera and Hargeisa. Against the advice of all his Government, he facilitated the conference in anyway he could.
At that time I thought he was acting like statesman. After all people have the right to decide on their fate. However, when Khatumo was declared he became paranoid. He just got transformed into a belligerent leader. He ordered the Somaliland army to enter Buuhoodle and capture Ali Khalif Galeydh. Somaliland police were ordered to open fire on demonstrators in Las Anod. A calamity has happened. The people of Somaliland were surprised. What a sudden change of policy!!
He acted Mercurial. Infact he made me remember Idi Amin. Idi Amin would invite you to dinner, and if he does not like the way you are chewing your food, he would strangle you on the spot. The dhulbahant leadership were also taken aback.They thought Siilanyo was on their side. They thought they could make a deal with him. Unfortutunately it did not turned that way.
How trusting were the G6 of Siilanyo is obvious from the story that happened to two of them who after the conference wanted to fly back from Berbera. They were apprehended and nearly got arrested in Yagore. They had to escape thirty kilometers on foot and then all the way to Galmudug to fly back. They never thought that the same one who welcomed them would arrest them. They were also ready to continue the channels of communication. A golden opportunity was lost.
Now, I think we in Somaliland have to sincerely address the question of Khatumo. Let us invite the G6. Let them address the parliament and the Guurti. Let them explain their position. Let them meet the elders, the intellectuals, the youth. Let them go to all the regions. Let us appreciate and listen to their position. If we do that they will listen and appreciate our positon. After all when I am debating with dhulbahante friends of mine, we never disagree on the fundementals. We only have got different approachs.
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