The conservative words we hear and the supportive actions we see are usually not from free minds. Chants and applause by the crowds and party supporters are mainly not due to nationalism, but merely pollutes the air in the premises they are jam-packed. Politicians know what they are preaching is incorrect and the people know what they are hearing is just a dummy rhetoric too. Corruption is no welcome, but it is a customary and common profession we all share. Tribalism is the most abhorrent business we do, but the concurrent measure for every deal we strike.

Why contradiction and irrelevancy? Let me set you straight!

Ever since Somaliland reclaimed its sovereignty back from what formerly known as the Democratic Republic of Somalia headed by the ousted authoritarian leader Mohamed Siad Barre for about a quarter of a century ago, this tinny country on one of the darkest sides of the moon had been dealing with diverse issues and circumstances; the impact of which, the people have strongly endured with a meager help by the international community. Prior to the formation of the national political parties, “it took almost a pretty 12 long challenging years to constitute all governmental institutions and maintain strong police and military to safeguard the security of the country”.

Almost 14 years ago, Somaliland has adopted the multiparty political system constitutionally limited to three parties, in its best interest to transform both the social and political structures of her nation, and of course, to deviate if not alleviate the tribal political stagnations, but due to the grim challenges exposed mainly by the lack of good governance and recognition, the political climate of the country has been changing. The national political parties aimed at progressively promoting an egalitarian society have unfortunately descended into exclusively owned properties by the middle sub clans (Issak/Isaq) and their affiliations.

UCID, KULMIYE and WADANI are the only three constitutional national political parties in a political arena of roughly 4 million people that forms the breakaway Republic of Somaliland. The supposedly three formidable presidential contenders in the upcoming elections hail from the aforementioned middle sub-clans, but every one of them represents the other tribes through deal-based affiliations only. UCID party; the most senior party of the three, had a dramatic rebirth in the last national parties’ elections by the blessings of not a thankful coalition with another political splinter group from UDUP (the party of the president’s predecessor), headed by the banker turned into the politician “Mr. Jamal Ali Hussein”. Soon after their legitimate signature as a political party__ years long, but impenetrable acrimonious wrangling broke out among the top party leaders__ Mr. Faisal Ali Hussein and Mr. Jamal Ali Hussein. The basic principle for the bilateral agreement of the new coalition was that Mr. Hussein (the later) would be the presidential runner for the party and the other Hussein (the former) should remain the founder and the chairman of the party. As their dispute accelerated and farther inflamed by mainly the KULMIYE party of the lame-duck nonagenarian president Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud (Silanyo), the mightiness of the party has significantly slimmed down into farther splinter groups, whose faith has eventually culminated to be part of the other two parties.

On the other hand, the chairman of the UCID party has recently vowed audaciously that he would be running for the presidency for the third consecutive time and would never turnaround his willingness to lead this young nation left trapped and forgotten in the horn of Africa, but many believe that his ticket at this time to voyage alone with this strong political winds across the country is nothing more than being a KULMIYE proxy aimed at weakening a former friend but a new political foe__ Mr. Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi (irro) of WADANI party. Though his claims to win the elections tends to be unsubstantiated; the truth is that, no one can predict the real concerns of the current chairman of the UCID party, as he can easily go with the mysterious twists and turns of the Somaliland political culture of all time. What we all know for the time being is that Mr. Faisal Ali Hussein is a presidential hopeful in the March 2017 elections.

The Rewind of Tribalism

Today is the same as yesterday, but yesterday is not today; politics is a dirty game by nature and would never be a static__ friends of today might become the enemies of tomorrow and vice versa. However, many faces of both old and new with huge propagandistic maneuvers have emerged in the country’s political sphere. The reality that KULMIYE and WADANI seem to be the only major opponents in the coming elections has showed early negative repercussions on the social cohesiveness among the people of Somaliland, as many prominent politicians have seen lining up with the party the tripe they belong to has a strong interest in terms of benefits or key positions. It is a complete redefinition of the country’s political map, which has simply resuscitated the almost soothed tribal-fiefdoms through the adoption of the inclusive multiparty system for almost a decade and half ago. The politicians’ actions for today argue against their words of yesterday; the lack of accountability by both the system and the people earned them behavioral perplex. Their apocryphal statements are shamelessly normal, as they always talk just for the sake of talk and there are many cells of individuals and groups employed to flatter and blindly support them.

The leaked shameful tribal power-bargains brokered by the Minister of Finance Ms. Zamzam Abdi Adem; at the presence of the president himself, are a good example for the reality on the ground, and could well prove the long standing argument on the statehood of Somaliland. This leakage has left many country lovers dumbfounded and it is a stab at the back to the president’s promised legacy and what he has taken the oath for.

Somaliland has been a catchphrase for a beautiful democracy and relatively peaceful in a region under deflagration and many would probably argue that this fact is the raison-d’ietre for Somaliland as an independent nation.  Notwithstanding, when you look at the two big tribal based lines swollen with the majority, yet prominent political actors that would meet in the compelling power challenges ahead, God forbid, the above catchword for the beauty is under apparent threat from within and could cause an unfortunate implosion among the brethren people. I am not alone with such an outlook but many other compatriot elites are keeping the same apprehensive eyes on the outcome of the proposed elections. The well observed social-cohesiveness is under erosion and the long anticipated social-egalitarianism is on the verge of dissolution. What I strongly believe is that if Somaliland peacefully bypasses these elections would mean a major test it has passed with a 100% MARK.

The recent uncivilized barbaric attacks on some official members of the WADANI political party shows us how, many of the people and of course the so-called politicians are still naïve and responsibly immature to respect the opposite views, or could well be an inclination to an untimely revival of aversion among the people on the basis of political misconceptions. The uncensored media of all forms in Somaliland has turned into a common ground for exhibiting and manipulating the obvious social polarization that casts a shallow doom and gloom on the future of this young, but promising people.

The contradiction and irrelevancy I have questioned in the beginning of this discourse is a diabolical behavior accustomed by us all and sundry.  We are people terminally intoxicated by the unabated corruption in the system. We all want to build a beautiful Democracy through ugly Tribalism (illogic).   The words we say are always the opposite of what the same eyes can see. I am afraid that we’re challenging with what psychologists call as “cognitive dissonance”.

Like it or dislike it “Somaliland would either be for all or for none”. The OPTION is for us all.

Khadar Hanan