(Somalilandpress)-The recent visit of the Ethiopian delegation to Hargeisa, Somaliland capital, may be disguised as a routine diplomatic tour to strengthen the relationship between Somaliland and Ethiopia, but the rosy pictures painted by Hargeisa could be misleading. In fact the visit could be the prelude for a devastating political storm gathering momentum in Somaliland.

We are now learning that the Ethiopian delegation led by the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Tekeda Alemu arrived Hargeisa to mediate the Somaliland government and the opposition parties’ political gridlock created by the upcoming presidential election’s possible fiascos. But the truth is: many Somalilanders are sceptical about Ethiopia’s involvement in their internal affairs. But never before have foreigners attempted to mediate Somaliland’s quarrelling groups.

After Ethiopia pulverized Somalia to dust in 2006-2008 and launched a brutal campaign of terror against the Somalis in the Ogaden region of eastern Ethiopia, hardly anyone in Somaliland or Somalia receives Ethiopia’s crocodile tears for Somalia or “good-will” towards Somaliland as an honest gesture. Both Somaliland opposition party leaders bitterly protested against Ethiopia’s atrocities in Somalia. Ever since then, Ethiopia viewed Somaliland opposition parties as hostile.

Yet another reason that Ethiopia is not keen on the idea of Somaliland opposition parties winning election is: if either Somaliland opposition party leaders Mohammed Ahmed Silanyo or Faysal Ali Warabe win the election, the winner would put lots of weight on resolving Somalia’s crises which held Somaliland hostage for almost two decades. This is something the current Somaliland regime is reluctant to do.

However, through the eyes of the Ethiopian rulers, having a lasting peace in Somalia is not in the best interest of Ethiopia, despite its shrill about insecurity in Somalia.

On the other hand, surely, Somaliland people are not hostile towards Ethiopia and wish to have business relationships with Ethiopia’s landlocked population, but Somalilanders don’t appreciate Ethiopia poking its nose into their affairs, nor do they trust it. That is a fact.

Many Somalilanders are now convinced that the Ethiopian delegation delivered a message from the Ethiopian Prime Minster Meles Zenawi to Somaliland President, Dahir Riyale Kahin. That is, Mr. Zenawi using his experience of how he crushed the Ethiopian opposition groups during the 2005 election disputes promised Mr. Kahin that Ethiopia would send troops to Somaliland to quell any upraising against Mr. Kahin’s government if election violence erupts.

Also, Mr. Zenawi may have assured Mr. Kahin no matter how much he [Mr. Kahin] rigs the election, or how many times he postpones it, the International community can do very little. Take Ethiopia and Kenya’s election scandals as an example. Not surprisingly, I warned about Ethiopia’s meddling into Somaliland’s affairs a year ago.

Last year, in January, I wrote a piece entitled, “Somaliland: A Democratic State In East Africa Or A Tinderbox Waiting To Explode?” In this article I predicted that a failed election will lead to a failed state. See this link: http://www.somalilandtimes.net/sl/2008/312/78.shtml As I have mentioned in the article, Ethiopia will be a major player in Somaliland’s election scandals. And the game just began. See also: Somaliland regime “Hostages to Peace” documentry by Human Rights Watch http://www.hrw.org/en/node/84296/section/9

The truth is Somaliland faces formidable challenges: for one thing, unresolved internal tribal feuds in the Gibbilley region and Alshabaab terrorists bent to bomb polling stations in September 27, 2009 presidential elections remain an impending disaster. For another, election scandals and foreign interventions lurk around the corner. (See articles about tribal feuds and Alshabaab terrorists:
http://somalilandpress.com/7172/somaliland-elections-formidable-challenges-terrorism-tribalism/ and http://www.awdalnews.com/wmview.php?ArtID=12037 )

In short, the elections and politicians will come and go, but violence ensued election disputes will linger for years, create tribal animosity, and set the clock back. That is why we have to understand what is at stake: it not just the “election” or “Mr. Kahin, Mr. Silanyo or Mr. Warabe” that will suffer but the entire nation could crumple faster than a block of ice melts in a harsh desert.

We all must be vigilant and not fall into the diabolical tribes of tribal feuds, Alshabaab terrorists, and Ethiopia’s crocodile tears.

The opposition parties must outsmart the current Somaliland regime to rescue our nation from falling into a dark abyss.

As for the ruling party, just revisit our dark history; if any junta leader could rule Somaliland with iron fist, Gen. Mohammed Siad Barre, the former Somali regime president from 1969 to 1990, would not have died in exile. That is Mr. Kahin, his vice president Mr. Ahmed Yassin, and the rest of their cliques must not repeat our ugly history.

Dalmar Kaahin


  1. What are you talking about?
    Are you drunk?
    Ethiopian colleges, ethiopian banks, ethiopian airlines, ethiopian everything has been helping our people in Somaliland the last 20 years when the rest of the world ignored us.

    So all pro-democracy Somalilanders support Ethiopian assistance.

    • "Ethiopian colleges, ethiopian banks, ethiopian airlines, ethiopian everything has been helping our people in Somaliland the last 20 years when the rest of the world ignored us"

      ask yourselv this, why have they been helping somaliland when their own people didn't get that help, if you cant figure it out then let me spell it for you DIVIDE AND CONQUER its very simple Ethiopia lost Eritrea and needed a weak Somali people divided by clanism to dominate its not as you see it a equal partnership between two nations, like it or hate it the habasha dominate somali race today call it puntland jubbaland ,southern somaliland or somaliland ,
      we need to wake up and get rid of those who promote hate among Somali population

  2. I am an Ethiopian. If the people of Somaliland have any sense keep Meles Zenawi at arms length. He will poison and create an enmity among brothers. I implore every somalian not to take their quarrel to Meles Zenawi. He will devastate you as he did millions. Having a democratic somaliland as a neighbor does not reflect very well on Meles Zenawi. Therefore he will not think twice before devastate Somaliland if you give him the chance.
    By the way Meles Zenawi is not an Ethiopian creation. If any thing he is a somalian creation.

    • I absolutely agree with you,meles is not only an enemy of the ethiopian people but an enemy and a danger to the whole of the horn of africa,when if ever are so-called african leaders going to wake up to the fact that they are no more than lackeys of foreign powers who are out to rob and keep africa forever backwards.there should be no enmity between somalis and ethiopians but the enmity is created from outside using dictators who are patted on the head and given a few million dollars to subjugate their freedom and peace loving peoples.

  3. I heard this from a high official:

    The Ethiopian Minister said to Riyaale:

    ” if you do not fix your problems, we will take over somaliland before shabab does”

    Riyale didn’t say a word back!

    • haaka

      be sure before u talk we are in the holy month of Ramadan and its is not good for u to tell some thing lie who was the high official u saying i heard this fantastic words.

  4. meles is not the devil and he has at his heart the interest of ethiopia for sure, but he also meant good for somaliland! it is not as the naysayers put, but meles believes that a peaceful and democratic ally is all the more important than otherwise! case in point is eritrea and the rest of somalia!!!!!
    Somaliland is well positioned for an enduring business /economic and other relationships! ethiopia can use the port of somaliland and somaliland can compete with djbouti for port service! ofcourse the relationship is mutually benefitial and ethiopia has no intention of intimidating any neighbouring country; it desires peace and economic prosperity together with neighbouring countries and bring together the people of the horn!
    good wishes to the people of somaliland, and may u get what u wish!

  5. I should agree Dalmar
    Ambiguous part-time mediation
    I expect and keep watching any movements that Ethiopian troops may exercise at border areas of Togwajaale and Harshin. This volatile situation will soon take different posture first, these troops will proclaim securing border their rightful territory. 2nd they would pose threat to what certainly can be explained as villain antagonist in Somaliland, Thus, opposition parties.
    It is obvious, Meles political perspectives in the Horn of Africa favours feeble corrupt leader who does the job for him and can be easily manipulated.
    Again, the more Somaliland fails to make its home work, the more the Eastern gate way to the sea (of Berbera, Zaila, Lukhaya) would come closer to them.
    It was said, in politics, nothing is impossible. So, what is barring us to discuss the sarcastic and hideous Ethiopian motives behind the veil of so called part-time mediation between Somaliland political stake holders?
    . ………… read with the next commentry

  6. you have every right to edit, discard, post as you may think fit. Also you could comment ask me clarity through e mail.

  7. …….read with the above commentery
    For example, if you ask Ali Samater, what to do SNM infiltration in Hargeisa? You can imagine the answer, Carpet bombardment. So in Military strategy civilian massacre is insignificant. Economy and power drives real politics. In this case, to have substantial influence over Somaliland politics is enough for Ethiopia boost economy and the land itself.
    Why should Somalilanders feel impossible when a hard thinking citizen express the peril lay a heard while most of you keep holding presumptions which does not play any role about the forth coming realities while headlong sleep walking?

  8. Although i believe Ethiopia has good intentions towards Somaliland, they should keep out of our internal affairs. Too many cooks spoils the broth.

  9. Somaliland needs Ethiopia and Ethiopia needs Somaliland. We live in a global neigbourhood. So, good, friendly and cordial realtions are important, if Somaliland and Ethiopia want to develop their economy and a better life for it's peoples. Clearly, Ethiopia has developed healthy relations with Somaliland and both peoples have benefitted. Countries cannot choose who their neighbours are!!

    Somaliland has shown through its day-to-day efforts that it was able to develop a "home-grown, bottom-up" polical entity. The ball now is SERIOUSLY in the hands of Somalilanders to negotiate a way forward via dialogue, negotiations and the time honoured Somali principals of heer and consensus seeking. The media, public, leaders and all political players, cannot affird to create further tensions, leading to clan clashes.

  10. In a world and rough neighbourhood of Al-Shabaab, and a world where there are their own pressing problems, such as the world financial melt-down, Somalilanders should do everything to find that home grown solution. The world outside wants to hear a good, home-grown negotiated solution. It does not want to see Somaliland, as another Kenya or Zimbabwe. War, violence and ongoing stalemate is not an option, less Somaliland wants to repeat the behaviour of southern Somalia.

    South Africa also mediated their own home solution. The outside world did play a role, when it was required to pressure certain leaders. Friends, such as the African Union Special Envoy, made time and visited Somalialnd as they are concerned of the future stability of Somaliland.

    We await the good news ahead and pray for a peaceful Somaliland in this blessed month of Ramadaan. Let us not squander the sacrifices of those who died for Somaliland. They surely did not die in vain.

  11. This is the scenario i had in mind when rayaale started acting like a wannabe dictator,he must have been getting advice from his 2 dictator friends one of them being meles zenawi,you reader can figure out his second dictator friend.rayaale will cause a civil war among somalilanders and then call for military assistance from his friends but what he is blinding himself to is that once tigre soldiers enter somaliland that would be the end of somaliland as a free state.the people of somaliland are going to regret the day they chose a mindless and corrupt leader like rayaale,God help the people of somaliland,they are going to need it.LONG LIVE SOMALILAND.

  12. All of Somaliland’s people have failed. If not this political crisis would never have occurred. If all the citizens of Somaliland did not support any politician because of clan affiliation, no corrupt evil man would have ever got any power over us.
    Continued down…………………..

    • How very true,our blind clanism is undoing all efforts to create a stable and progressive nation.

  13. Think of this: If the parliamentarians had legislated sound laws, and the police enforced them, the courts judged everyone from the president to the beggar on the street using those laws, and the military made it clear to the government and the nation that they would protect the country's constitution with their lives, which politician on the land could have dared t destroy our democracy? By saying law I mean a law that is produced in accordance with the Shariah. The first thing the parliamentarians should have done when they were elected to serve the nation was transferring control of the military, police force, the prison service, and all the courts to a body independent of the government and directly appointed by the two houses of parliament. This independent body then should have been given control of national security and the safeguarding of peace and democracy. In this way, no president would have broken the law without facing the consequences. Separation of power is the foundation of all the real democracies.

  14. What will happen next? only time will tell but i hope they sort this problem out quickly.
    P.s riyale has to go by any means neccessary! he can not be trusted.

  15. I think that this whole story is just lies. I think that the person that made this story is anti riyale. And if indeed it is true that meles zenawi promised riyale that he would send him troops if there was any uprising against him, then i think meles is just making empty promises! believe me he won't back it up. He's got troops getting killed by onla and eritrea is giving him a hard time and al shabab is another threat so i doubt he would send any troops to somaliland to help riyale if there is an uprising. plus america won't let him.
    But like i said this could all be just a lie to make more people angry with our government.
    i'm against riyale but the message must be spread to all somalilanders to not OVERREACT. We definately need to get rid of our current useless government but we must do it peacefully.

  16. Well, it will depend how the satuation develops the following weeks, whether Meles is backing Riyale or not.
    But, what we are thinking is:-
    If Somalilanders could not agree anything and that there will not be solution for this conflict, then where Ethiopians will stand?
    Tell me what you think?

  17. there will be no civil war in somaliland we now what civil war is we had it b4 but for sure riyale and UDUB or out its matter of time i wont be suprised if he ends up in Mandera prsion he forgot we put him there.

  18. riyale it the one keeping the peace, once riyale is out of the picture thats when hargaisa starts becoming like Mogadishu all our issaq subclans would start civil war, true story

      • Dear Abdi
        What is a hallucination is that if Riyale goes out of the picture, then Hargeisa will become like Mogadishu. This is really, really a hallucination.
        You need to explain why Hargeisa is turn into chaose if Riyale goes out of the picture?

  19. The greedy family of hargeisa…unwanted leaders of hargeisa are imposed by the powerful richmen of hargeisa,we know riyale cant stand a chance without those hidden masked mostors who want to destroy our homaland…time is up…we the people of somaliland must rule…long live democracy…..ohh about ethiopia believe me when i say they r our list problem we have…the problem is those rich greedy old men from hargeisa who dont want freedom for somaliland and its people…lastly they want to keep on stealing our small economy we have….