Somali women and women from all communities in the UK and around the world are outraged and condemn the speech made by Somaliland Minister of Presidency Hersi Ali Hassan at a public gathering in Liverpool on the evening of Saturday 1st February 2014.  Somali women activists urge the British government and the international community to condemn the Minister’s statements.

In front of Somaliland’s President Ahmed Siilaanyo, and of hundreds of people from the Diaspora community and the UK, the minister bragged about how he would make his political rivals ‘’cough up goat’s milk’’.

His exact words were: “I come from a goat herding family.  A man in my family who was a goat herder used to practice his wrestling skills on his two wives and two children after he drank a lot of goat’s milk. He would have one wife on each side of him, and a child on each leg, and then he would throw them to the ground”. The implication of his story is that each woman is worth only a half of a man, and each child worth only a leg. 

After Hersi had received loud cheers from his audience he continued: “One day the man went to the city and wrestled with a lion man. He lost the wrestling match and coughed up goats milk”. His words were directed at the Speaker of the House Abdirahman Cirro who recently dismissed his two deputy speakers. Hersi was comparing the two dismissed deputy speakers to the two wives and comparing himself to the lion man.  After more loud cheers Hersi concluded: “We shall see who coughs up goats milk.”  The Minister’s reference to “coughing up goat’s milk” is a common way of issuing a threat, and adds to the many threatening phrases used against women and children in a conflict region where the risk of sexual attacks and violence is high.

The statistics on violence against women and children in Somaliland are disturbing. The Somali Human Development Report 2012 describes Somalia as “one of the worst countries in the world to be a woman”.  Female genital mutilation/cutting is commonplace; domestic violence is a serious problem; and 70% of reported cases of rape and sexual violence occur in internally displaced populations. The Minister of Interior Ali Mohamed Waran-Ade reported on Friday 27th September 2013 that rape cases are on the increase in Somaliland.

According to Abdikadir Ahmed Mohamed, programme manager of the Baahi Koob Centre in Hargeisa, rape is on the increase in Somaliland. 104 cases of rape were reported in during the first four months of 2013. In 2012, out of 195 rape cases reported to the police, 67 were children. 30% of reported cases were gang rapes and 55% of the victims were under 15 years old.  According to the United Nations, there were at least 1,700 cases of rape in IDP Camps alone in 2012 in Somalia.  In Somaliland women and girls do not go out to get bread from the corner shop after 6pm.  57% of women do not feel safe from violence in their communities. 47% of women believe that insufficient victim support and access to justice discourages reporting of sexual assaults and violence against women and children.

Only two days after the minister made his ‘’goat’s milk’’ threat, his government banned Universal TV Channel from Somaliland for broadcasting Faaliyaha, a comedy show ridiculing Somaliland President Siilaanyo. But to this day the government has failed to condemn the actions of Minister Hersi.

The Minister’s ‘’goat’s milk” threat is real, and it incites hatred against women and children. His words violate their human rights. In light of this, we call urgently for his resignation to protect women and children from further violence.

The UK, the EU and the International Community place great importance on improving conditions for Somali women. They seek to promote gender equality, to empower Somali women, and to reduce the levels of violence they face.

Somali women in the UK therefore urge the British government to condemn the statement by Minister Hersi, who frequently comes to the UK.  We call on the British government to make it clear that Minister Hersi’s inflammatory, dangerous and sexist language has no place in democratic politics.

Amina Souleiman

Empower Group



    • Dawlada aad sheegaysaa watee ma tan Mafia ku tamatay ee lacagtii masaakiinta laga uruuriyay xirsi tooriile jeebka ku shubtay.

    • Miss Urayso kkkkk
      you call yourself miss lovely walee,
      iska daa qabyaalada reer aan ahay ma taqaanid, haa angu aqoon baan uleeyahay xirsi oo isku toolaan ku soo wada kornay.

  1. @Vicious little man
    malaa taad sii jiifisidbaa kuu soo urtay cayayaan yohow qabyaalada hadfaydaan aqooon maxaa xirsi iyo reerkiisa idin dabo dhigay

  2. All this story tells me is that Somalis are so dumb that they couldnt even invent dumbbells or barbells and had to resort to throwing family members around to get a workout. Also, and equally troubling is that they never realized that you have to wait 1-2 hours after eating a meal or drinking milk to workout cause you will more than likely puke your guts out. kkkkk

  3. Advice to my diaspora
    Dadkiina debada jooga (europe and America) waa naga nasiib badantihiin. Dhulkii aqoonta ayaa joogtaan. Dhulkii qofka maskaxda loo fiiqayey ayaa nasikib u hesheen inaad ku noolaataan (the land of dreams). Waxaanu idi ka fileynaa inaad dhabada wanaagsan ee aqoonta iyo anshaxa wanaagsan cagahaa noo saartaan haddi aanu nahay dadkii dalka hooyo ku nagaadey. idinkana waxaanu idi ka fileyna inaad ka korteen taageerada ku dhisaan indhola'aan iyo dhegola'aan ee qof jeclaysiga ku dhisan. qof luguma naco waa reer hebel,lugumana taageero waa bahdayada. qof waxa lagu raacaa camalkiisa wanaagsan ee u mmaddisa u qabanayo. waxana lagu nacaa haddii uu ummad dumis ku jiro. qof kasta camalkiisa ilaahay ayaa ka abaal marinaya.
    Sidaad ogtihiin madaxada wadana aad joogtaan waxa lagu qiimadeeyaan wax qabadkooda. looma eego diirkiisa ama caa'ilada u ka soo jeedo. dalaaka aad joogtaan qofka mansab soo doonanya kuma hanto jagadaas ilaa u muujiyo aqoon, xigmad, karti iyo hufnaan. yaa reer hebel ah meeshiina ma taal . idinkuna waa ogtihiin anaguna waa maqalnaa.
    sidaas darteed ficilka wanaasan ee dhukaas yaala noo soo gubiya. nagana daaya sunta (tribalism) nugu jirta in aydin mid dheerada noogu soo dartaan. Talada wanaagsan ee ka timaada dadka debeda ku nool waxay nooga dhigan tahay roobka jiilaalkii kuu da'ah, sida loogu diirsado ayey noo tahay talooyinkiino.
    Hadal iyo murti my country men and women erase the idea of tribalism from your memories. Be free and independent person from that evil. Be sensible and objective. Be good examples to us.
    Thank you..

  4. The opposition parties in Somaliland have nothing to offer their supporters other than use cheap tactics to get Hirsi and hide behind women rights. They have taken the speech out of context to suit thier
    cheap tactics to get Hirsi in such a way other than coming up with constrcutive programmes or criticisim.
    Every proverb has a meaning in its own culture and language and not the kind of ineterpratation that you potray which suits your perspective and interpretation. The hate of Honarable Hirsi has nothing to do with " Goats Milk" its rather deep rooted hatred of Hirsi personality who has done quite a lot but yet hated by certain tribalised individuals who see him as a strong and a visionary character and not with standing thier petty politics of hiding behaind the goats milk. If the oppostion and thier supporters have a better programme to offer to the people of Somaliland please bring it out to the open for the people to see for themsleves otherwise do not hide behind a speech made in public with a sense of humour and now taken out of context to suit your cheap propaganda, wake up and mature to the level expected and not use this kind of tactics. Hirsi is a hero and will not stop to your targeted motives and he is quite bigger than your cheap propaganda and works tiresly for the common good of people of Somaliland and majority of people of Somaliland support him except the opposition supporters. This Somaliland Adminstartaion has done quite a lot of developments than any other previous regime and in this regard it commands the support of the majority of Somaliland people inside the country rather than some diaspora abroad fuelling division and hatred. Viva Somaliland.

  5. rag tabliiq u baxay oo tabliiqiin ah ayaa waxay ku soo baxeen laba dumar ah oo is haysta (lesbains) dabadeed shaydanka ayay naareen oo jiho kale ayay u baxeen. mudo ka bacdi ayay nin iyo naag is haysta ku soo baxeen markaas ayay yidhahdeen alxamdu lilah ilayn wax ka daran ayay soo arkeen ee.

    Markaa Amina Sulayman waa tii wadaadadu ku soo baxeen ee ha gaab sato hadii kale yada ayaa meesha isu furan wax laga keeni.

  6. Xirsi Toorille is a bully but I think Ms Suleiman's well written piece carries of a whiff of the nasty stuff. She just seems to, well, overreact ..just a tad to what is afterall a silly moronic statement by a man with no education.

    Somaliland is a place where little baby girls are mutilated everyday without aneasthesia, where young mothers die at chidlbirth in their thousands, where girls are seen and treated as tenth class citizens, where only one MP is in parliament and where girls' and women's lives are now are being further blighted by the dark sinister clouds of Wahabbist salafism which wants them unseen and unheard.

    So why all this self-righteous faux feminist bile against Torrile?

  7. Hey, according to Reer Jaamac Waal, Mr Xirsi holds an Masters from a 'University'. Would that be El-Afweyn Oxford by any chance?