Whether it is anarchic Somalia or other corrupted African nations, before the World Food Program (WFP) feeds drought-devastated locals: catering to the needs of the government officials as well as the local gangs first tantamount to resolving the most critical aspect of the crisis. The governments’ bureaucracies kill far more people than droughts obliterate victims from the face of the earth. The local gangs, on the other hand, loot whatever aid snatched away from the hands of callous, gluttonous, selfish officials.

Take Somalia particularly the Puntland region as an example. At the beginning of February, 2010, a large convoy of trucks loaded with food aid for the drought-stricken people of central Somalia departed from the republic of Somaliland’s port of Berbera. A chain of trucks over 130 departed from Berbera, traveling through the breath-taking views of Sheikh’s snaked mountain road to the plains of Togdheer and Sool provinces, all in Somaliland, without a hitch. Even the local police forces didn’t bother stopping the trucks to search illegal contraband because the security forces knew that the lives of thousands of Somalis were at risk of starvation.

But when the convoy reached the provincial capital of Sool region, Las Annod, something unexpected happened. Puntland refused to allow the trucks to proceed through its territory. For two weeks, while carrying heavy loads over 130 trucks remained in Las Annod. See the video clip below about the plight of the drivers:

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Understandably, the drivers complained because of the heavy loads on their trucks and the hot weather, the tires could rapture any minute. But Puntland officials turned a deaf ear to the outcry of the truckers as well as the needy people of central Somalia’s suffering.

Paradoxically, this is the same Puntland that echoes Somali nationalism and unity across the barren land of central Somalia, where heaps of livestock carcasses remain visible from a distance, and malnourished children depend on food aid which Puntland held hostage. But what compelled Puntland to act in such a cruel manner?

Puntland was not happy with how the food distribution was handled and the fact the aid went through Berbera port instead of Bosaso, Puntland’s commercial hub.

For the WFP officials, however, by going through Berbera achieves three things: first, the chances of pirates attacking the aid ships while in Somaliland waters is slim because Somaliland coastguards are known to round up pirates when they trespass into Somaliland’s waters; second, through Berbera, WFP officials face less bureaucracy.  After all the WFP has an agreement with Somaliland to ship food destined for the needy people of Ethiopia through Berbera, so why not send aid for Somalia through the same port as well. Third, the WFP officials know as long as the convoy is traveling through Somaliland territory security won’t be an issue, no need to hire gunmen to protect the food aid.
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But why Puntland officials waited until the last minute, when the trucks reached Las Annod, to raise objections doesn’t surprise anyone. The reason is too obvious: once the trucks reached Las Annod, the Puntland authority were in a better position to coerce the WFP to accept whatever they demanded. In other words, the corrupted Puntland officials knew they had the WFP over a barrel.

After an intense negotiation, and of course, receiving bribes, Puntland officials agreed to let the food reach its destination. How kind! They also assured the safety of the food, the trucks, and the drivers. But what the Puntland officials didn’t tell the WFP and the Somaliland was: the trucks will be protected while loaded with aid but not when they are empty and heading back to Somaliland.

Doubtless, in Puntland, some officials, local gangs, human traffickers, and pirates work as a team. That is, as soon as the trucks unloaded the food, local gangs started helping themselves. They began kidnapping the drivers and their trucks. See: http://somalilandpress.com/11960/somali-pirates-seize-somaliland-aid-trucks/

The kidnappers, members of Puntland’s infamous pirate community, demanded the release of a number pirates whom Somaliland arrested and convicted recently. All these pirates were caught red-handed with weapons in Somaliland’s territorial waters.

But for the kidnapped drivers, who may not even aware the convicted pirates much less have any thing to do with their arrest, must got used to being terrorized and kidnapped by none other than those who they deliver desperately needed aid to, by now.

Some members (not all of them) of the Ogaden National Liberation Front ONLF are notorious for burning trucks which belong to Somaliland citizens as to revenge for the ONLF comrades possibly held in Somaliland. So far over 75 civilian, not government, owned trucks—worth $30, 000 to $50,000 each—have been burned by the ONLF.

Employing the same tactics as the ONLF’s, Puntland pirates are now holding hostage five Somaliland trucks and their drivers.

However, what the ONLF and Puntland pirates ignored is: just as we cannot hold the population in the Gedo region of Somalia against former Somali ruler Gen. Siad Barre’s actions, so too Somaliland civilians should not suffer because of Somaliland President Dahir Riyale Kahin’s decision to crackdown ONLF and pirates in Somaliland territory. (Gen. Barre hails from the Gedo province of Somalia.)

In other words, the brave Somaliland truck drivers—determined to deliver much needed aid to the needy people of central of Somalia and the Ogden region should not suffer because Somaliland government’s actions.

Puntland’s piracy—a double-edged sword

If Puntland successfully rescues the drivers, this would open up a can of worms. The International community would demand to free hundreds of seamen and dozens of ships held hostage in Puntland territory. This won’t happen because much of Puntland’s economy depends on ransom money collected from ships. Also, Puntland doesn’t get its hand dirty unless pirates hijack ships destined to its territory.

In fact, Somaliland officials are already warning citizens not to take justice into their hands. http://somalilandpress.com/11983/somaliland-police-wary-of-revenge-attacks-on-puntland-truckers/ Also read about the root cause of piracy in Somalia: http://www.maanhadal.com/articles/Epicenter_o_%20Sea_Piracy.html

On the flip side, if Puntland doesn’t resolve the hostage crisis quickly: the infuriated family members of the victims my soon take the law into their hands. For instance, hundreds of trucks from Puntland travel through Somaliland peacefully every month. Now, the likelihood of some innocent driver from Puntland region becoming a victim of an ugly avenge carried out by the Somaliland truck drivers’ family members is very high.

More serious problem is Somaliland may launch a full-scale war against pirate bases to free Somaliland hostages. By doing so, would also open another unexpected door. The International community would ask Somaliland to undertake similar operations against pirate bases as to free ships and their crews. Somaliland won’t hesitate to neutralize pirates as longs as logistics are provided. Somaliland has over 16, 000-18,000 fully trained military personnel and will not hesitate to eradicate piracy in the region with the support of regional and international community.

To sum up, more than ever before, Somaliland truck drivers need to establish a strong union which will negotiate with Somaliland, Puntland, Ethiopia, and WFP in the near future as to safeguard the safety of the drivers and their trucks.

As for Puntland, failure to free Somaliland hostages will result: more damage to Puntland’s eroding reputation as the kingdom of piracy and human trafficking, dozens of Puntland trucks kidnapped—and worst of all Somaliland may launch a military assault against the pirate bases in Puntland.

To top it up, burning Somaliland civilian owned trucks and their goods by ONLF as well as kidnapping trucks and their drivers by Puntland pirates is a counter-productive strategy to accomplish anything; it just infuriates people.

Free Somaliland truck drivers now. Feed the needy people of Somalia first; bureaucrats, next.

Dalmar Kaahin

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Views expressed in the opinion articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the editorial.


  1. Subhannallah. Somaliland needs Ethiopian forces to invade another Somali region? ONLF is now a terrorist group? It's apparent from your nauseating post that you've lost the plot ages ago, Kayse. I suggest you renounce all claims to Soomaalinimo, because I feel embarrassed to have anything to do with you, or people who think like you. I swear to Allah that I'm netiher from Puntland, nor belong to any clan that resides in that region, but it truly is astonishing to see such vitriolic hatred directed toward your fellow Somalis.

    If this is how we as the people of Somaliland think, I think it's something I can no longer morally support. Maybe the Unionists are right.

  2. Excellent Dalmar, I am with you and personally I suggest Somaliland truckers should form their own trade union group that negotiates on their behave with international aid agencies, governments and other institutions.

    Also I think Somaliland needs to get UN funds to combat Puntland pirates right now what NATO and US need is Somaliland forces on land because those forces can not enter Somalia.

    However I believe Somaliland and Ethiopian forces should invade Puntland with the blessing and support of the international community to eliminate piracy for once and for good.

    Puntland government highly profits from piracy and 90% of the randsom paid directly goes to them through a man named Hassan Abshir who is a close friend of Abdirahman Farole (Puntland pirate president), both lived in Melbourne Australia and use to drive cab together.

    The money is channeled back to places like Australia using Somali Hawala and few Puntland guys who take it by plane to Dubai such as Liban Boqor, Abdirahman Farole’s own son Mohamed etc.

    The money is smuggled to Kenya, Dubai and Australia in small installments over months using different accounts and names.

    Its time the international community understands Puntland is the pirate.

    Also much of the piracy money makes it’s way to support terrorist groups such as Al Shabab who also work along side ONLF. So Puntland is financial base for ONLF and Al Shabab.

  3. the feeling of the existance of terrorist activities triangle ( Alshabab, ONLF, and Puntland Pirates) it getting stronger day after day.

    it is the time that East african countries, "Somaliland , Djabouti, Ethiopian and Kenya" develop and implement one common strategy to deal with this situation.

  4. Somali F*** you and F*** the Somalinimo you hide behind you dirty F.A.Q.S.A.H we know who you are so stop this fake Somalinimo business all the while you burn our trucks and take our citizens hostages.

  5. Well spoken brother Somali and to add to you comment it should now be clear to anyone with sense of Somalinimo that this tribal state is out of its minds by brainwashing people with lies and more lies.

  6. One time use the pseudonym, "Somalia"; another time, "Muslim".

    Why don't you guys make it simple: take your Somalinimo to where it is needed the most: Somalia.

    Once you rebuild your houses, then you can criticize ours.

    Waar dadkan hadalku labashub buu ugu dhacaa. Waxaasaa naleh nagu soo biira.

    Idinkiibaa kala cararay, maxaanu idinku soo biirnaa.

  7. Ama Muslnimo isku soo qariya ama Soomaalinimo–dur dur iyo dabaal wuxuu maro doofaar abidkiis ma daahiro.

  8. Dalmar, first of all I have nothing against if Isaqs became and independent state and I wish you all the best.

    Having said, you can't claim that ONLF burned your trucks. ONLF never claimed publicly that they burned your trucks, But what is clear that Isaqs are handing ovef to Ethiopia Ogaden Civilians and the relatives of these handed to Ethiopia took action against Isaqs.. remember Isaqs or Somaliland whatever you call is not recognized government and you can't expect other Somalis see you as a government. I do not see you as a government…I see you an Isaq enclave and I will deal with you according to our traditional way…but you guys refuse that…

    You guys (Isaqs) are doing something which an hear of. …just few weeks ago you handed a lady from Ogaden to Ethiopia….for God sake where is humanity……..forget about Somalinimo!!!…just have some commonsense..


  9. anigu waxaan dhihi lahaa Darood 10 mar ayuu ka badanyahay Dirta waqooyi maan iska celino oo aan dharbaaxayo uusan ka soo kaban ku dhufano. Somaliland SOmaliland buu ku waashaye hadii aadan wax badan ka shalaayin.

    Soo joog ninki laga waayo soo jiifso ayaa laga helaa !

  10. SOmalinimado waaa macaantahay ee ma la raadsho, isku xirnaanta waa wanagsan tahay ee ma la raadsho. Somali waa hal famil ninkii raboo diid.

    SomaliLnad is not in our intrest nor puntland or any other land but only Somalia long live somalia

  11. believe in every second that pass away i will do whatever it takes to fight those animals from Somalia..

  12. Somalilanders are pedofiles and rape 7 month old baby. This is not the first time that's occurred in hargeisa. Maybe you want to show that to the world, or i might email it to farole son to put in garoweonline and allafrica will definitely publish it. Because noone publishes your articles in here, ppl come in here to laugh at the lies and then leave.

    Somaliland raped 7 month old baby

    Plus u send oromo's to steal our childrens because u ran out of selling your own. But u will meet fierce resistance as we don't tolerate that behavior. No somali inhabited area has ever done pedophile except u. Burcad wow. Your ancestors were stealing camels why don't you find that shocking!!!

    Lastly. FOLLOW buuba path if u want recognition u have a seat as bucur bacayr beesha direed and u get no more then minister role in the tfg. Wa bah dil idin qoran? And guess what if you dont like that, then stay in the mugdi and shut the fuck up and stop talking about other ppl.

    Let me tell u the truth. The Raw truth. I am the biggest faqash there is, im majerteen and as u are aware in 88 we killed 50,000 of your people and you have not killed 1 man from me. Why? Because your langaab and dont have the power to match me. Fuley xaar wayn. And guess what we still make u sit in the tfg right next to morgan to show u HOW POWERFUL WE ARE.

    You want a war bring it baby. because i know im stronger then u, because for 20 years u never killed 1 of me. But i killed 50,000 of u., Plus anything born after 88 has aids. Don't blame siyad for it, siyad was in his office, it was morgan that was rolling the heads out. HAHAHAH

    Where is morgan? he is tfg parliamentarian. he has been rewarded and never will be jailed. What can u do? ask your fathers what can they do. Nothing sxb they will say to u "way naga awood badan yihin majerteen we must leave them alone and let them laugh at the xasuuq their ina adeer morgan did to u"