Hargeisa, 27 June 2009 (Somalilandcurrent) – Somaliland scored 4.5 in the numerical index rating, with 1 representing the most respect and 7 the least respect; ranked Somaliland as the 144th world’s political and civil rights-respecting country out of 208 countries (193 recognized and 15 yet to be recognized countries); which further indicated that Somaliland has more political rights and civil liberties, than 64 countries, including China, Russia, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Tunisia according to the Washington based Freedom House Organization’s 2007.
Somaliland peace-making and democratization, and the relatively peaceful neighboring Puntland State of Somalia are enough to approve of the hypothesis of that building peace through people not for the people is more successful than parachuting Somali government established in Nairobi, Impeghatti, Djibouti, Arta, Cairo, Sana, etc.
Thanks to traditional elders, the homegrown efforts not only manage the peace and security in Somaliland but also the judicial functions as a prevention measure. According to the Hargeisa based Research and Training Center (RTC), 65% of Somaliland settlements rely on community elders in their peace, security and justice management. In addition, two third of the cases reached at the prosecution offices withdrawn their cases to civil mediation; which accumulates the traditional elders’ peace, security, and justice management burden to 77.5%.
Unexpectedly, the supposed appreciation and reward from other Somalis and the international community to the Somaliland is yet to be materialized. Instead, all the fifteen international community’s Somali reconciliation attempts and the self-pro-claimed Somali efforts of setting Somali governments, including internationally unrecognized late General Aideed’s government, the Union of Islamic Courts defeated by the Ethiopian Military intervention with the US logistic support, and the Al-shabab Al-Mujahedeen Islamist Movement, which currently controlled most of Southern Somalia emphasized to establish a Mogadishu based (suppose to be based) Somali governments; as if Somalia is in Mogadishu; while Mogadishu is in Somalia.
“Contrary to the western belief, Somaliland ’s successful multi-party elections have proved that the African tradition, Islamic faith and modern democracy are compatible“
Al-shabab Al-Mujahedeen publically declare that they masterminded the three suicidal explosions in Hargeisa on October, 2008 as retributive action against the pro-western and pro-Ethiopian Somaliland is schemer to revenge from the extradition of Anti-Ethiopia ONLF members or supporters from Somaliland to Ethiopia , since Ethiopia is common enemy for ONLF and Al-shabab.
Contrary to the expectation, the international community graded Somaliland down to UN Security Level Four, which could discourage development and investment. In the gatherings, Somalilanders asked questions to each other- whether such security downgrading decision is rewarding to Al-shabab, and inviting to carry our more attacks or not? On September 11, 2001; three planes were crashed into buildings in New York, just couple of yards away from the United Nations headquarter, and no one down graded the USA security level; why Somaliland? This will be a witness for Islamist hardliner’s claim of that the Western World is not looking a democracy but they are using as proxy hand to intervene other’s affairs.
The currently widespread legitimate debate among Somalilanders is- ‘what did they benefited from supporting the Western World in the war against the international terrorist’, Djibouti in the war against Eritrea, Ethiopia in the war against ONLF, and the Red Sea facing countries in the war against the sea pirate.
The homegrown Somaliland peace and democracy needs to be rewarded, at least by offering temporary recognition to both Somaliland and Somalia with condition of attending negotiation to agree, either as two separate states or into one Somalia within that period, as a carrot and stick policy.
Any other attempt is unproductive, if not counterproductive, and could create a conducive environment for Al-shabab Al-Mujahedeen’s potential conquer of all Somali territories, including Djibouti, and the Somali regions of Ethiopia and Kenya.
Somaliland the home of 3.5 million persons, one third of the population of the collapsed Somalia , is a former British colony in the Horn of Africa that merged in 1960 with the Italian colony of Somalia to form the independent republic of Somalia .
When Somalia disintegrated into fiefdoms controlled by iron-fisted warlords in the early 1990s, Somaliland broke away and set up its own administrational institutions, including executive, legislative and judicial bodies, and currency.
Somalilanders tried to build a new state through shirweyne (conference in Somali) under the acacia trees that people in this country can understand and identify with, instead of the extravagance five-star hotels in the neighboring or concerned African and Arab cities, where many failing reconciliations held.
In this basically classless society, the right to choose one’s leaders freely and hold them accountable was practiced for centuries or perhaps for millenniums. The traditional elders controlled political system took the major decisions by consensus and selected government leaders through an electoral college consisting members representing clans during the decade of 1991-2000. Since then, the challenge has been how to transfer the clan-based system to a modern democratic system.
Opportunely, a gradual democratization process took place, where 2001 constitutional referendum, municipal elections, presidential, and House of Representatives election where held in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2005, respectively; and the second term presidential and municipal elections are planned September and December 2009, respectively.
Seventy-six International observers from 15 countries including South Africa , Britain, Canada , New Zealand , the United States , Zimbabwe , Sweden , Finland and other EU members reported in their overall assessment that besides lack of enough resources and higher illiteracy of the voters, free and fair elections have been conducted in Somaliland .
Ahmed Mohamed Diriye (Toorno),