HARGEISA, 2 November 2009 (Somalilandpress) – Last year, on October 29, 2008 Alshabaab terror group carried out a devastating terrorist attack against Somaliland. Over twenty-two Somaliland citizens—not Ethiopians or foreigners—perished in the blast. The majority of Somalilanders have never seen anything but peace because they were born after the brutal war against Somaliland ended in the early 90s. However, in October 29, 2009, they were shocked, dismayed, and traumatized. Alshabaab shattered their oasis of peace and tranquility. A new dawn of combating against terrorism with very little resource has begun. http://somalilandpress.com/9337/somaliland-a-year-from-the-terror-attack“>
Today, Alshabaab more than ever before gains a strong hold in Somaliland. Partially thanks to the U.S. efforts to blindly arm the current Somali regime which in return arms Alshabaab. See how the U.S. weapons are giving Alshabaab the upper hand: <a href=”http://tinyurl.com/ykpox2s“>
Again, in November 01, 2009 without a warning, the beast struck again. Callously and cowardly, Alshabaab sent shockwaves throughout Somaliland. Unknown to Somaliland streets, a new terror warfare of roadside bombs ripped through the streets of Las Annod, the provincial capital of Sool region in Somaliland. The blast sent shockwaves throughout the peaceful city of Las Annod; its residents were not sure whether they were in Mogadishu or in Las Annod.
The Alshabaab cowards targeted Somaliland top officials in the region. Mr. Osman Yusuf, the commander of Somaliland’s 12th infantry division was the prime target. And Alshabaab murdered the brave commander instantly. He died on the spot after remote controlled bombs were detonated against Somaliland forces passing through the city. <a href=”http://somalilandpress.com/9398/somaliland-roadside-bomb-kills-official-in-lasanod“> But is Alshabaab alone in its terrorist attack against peaceful Somaliland?
The answer to Alshabaab’s increased murder rate in Somaliland lies squarely within the enemies of Somaliland. That is, Gen. Mohammed Said Hersi Morgan—the butcher of Hargaisa, Somaliland capital— the violent NSUM and the pro-Puntland group from Sool region of Somaliland.
Gen. Morgan who commanded the Somali National Army the 26th division which was stationed in the North [Somaliland] before the collapse of the Somali regime in late 90s attended a meeting convened in Nairobi by the violent NSUM and the pro-Puntland group from Sool region, in October 2009. See a brief introduction of Gen. Morgan (or Gen. Murderer) and his involvement in the Nairobi meeting. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohammed_Said_Hersi_Morgan http://www.lasanod.com/details.php?num=2917“>
Little do most of people know that Gen. Morgan’s forces are already fighting in Kismanyo region of Southern Somalia under the guise of Islamic group: Hizbul Islam. Now, he wants to shore up support for the new pro-Puntland group and in return he wants a militia from Sool region to join his violent Hizbul Islam militia in Kismanyo—a militia that eventually will wage suicide attacks against Somaliland officials. http://tinyurl.com/ycyabxy“>
Meanwhile, the former Puntland vice presidential candidate, Saleban Ahmed Isse and Col. Ali Hassan Sabarey, a former commander of the brutal SNA, were elected as president and vice president of the new pro-Puntland group formed in Nairobi. Shockingly, despite violence consuming the rest of the Somali world, the primary objective of the conference was to wage a war or a Jihad against Somaliland security forces in Sool region.
Mr. Isse, who lives in Toronto, the heart of Canada, calls for a deadly war against Somaliland security forces. Shamelessly, he instigates a tribal warfare between Somaliland tribes. He even invites the wider Darood tribe of Somalia to fight against Somaliland. Listen to his interview: <a href=”http://tinyurl.com/yhvpxm4“>
Similarly, Garaad (a tribal chief) Jama Garad Ali from Sool, a participant in the meeting, threatened to wage a war against Somaliland if it doesn’t leave the region. He stated unambiguously, “We must fight against Somaliland by any means necessary”. Well, the first roadside bomb has been delivered successfully. And welcome to Las Annod, the new Mogadishu of Somaliland. Listened to the Garaad’s interview:
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Additionally, just like Alshabaab, the NSUM’s terror attacks against Somaliland were first reported in 2008. In the past, the NSUM admitted that its military wing led by Col. Cabdul Casiis´s (Garam Garam)—one of the henchmen of Gen. Morgan—launched grenade attacks against police station, in Las Annod, in 2008. In this attack, two innocent police officers were wounded. See the details of what NSUM is all about and its violent terror campaign against Somaliland, in my article entitled, “Somalia: When NSUM’s “Mission Report” Fails “The” Mission”.
Also, some people argue that the NSUM closely works with Alshabaab to destabilize Somaliland. And as stated clearly in the following article, the NSUM of course collaborates with Alshabaab. The article states, “NSUM waxay aaminsanaayeen…in Jaal dhaw oo dahsoon lala noqodo Xarakooyinka dagaalka…or the NSUM advocates for working closely with Alshabaab (Xarakooyinka)”. http://tinyurl.com/ybcmg9t“>
In fact, a new organization called Jabarti National Movement (JNM) claimed the terrorist attacks against Somaliland security forces in Las Annod. The leader of the NJM, Buraale Yusuf states that his group fights along with NSUM to destabilize Somaliland forces and both groups are responding to the meeting held in Nairobi recently. But actually, no other group other than Alshabaab is sophisticated enough to carry out roadside bombs. So this group either works with Alshabaab or receives training from Alshabaab.
Shockingly, the current Somali regime, Puntland, and Alshabaab cannot agree on anything; but they agree on one and only one thing: Somaliland must not succeed in its quest for independence. That is, whether it is a terrorist attack or a massive earthquake that halts its independence, Somaliland must not succeed.
The unholy coalition between Alshabaab, Gen. Morgan, and NSUM coupled with U.S. naïve policy of arming only the current Somali regime which in turn arms Alshabaab while U.S. inadvertently leaves Somaliland vulnerable to attacks, indeed bears fruits—poisonous combination.
What the U.S. needs to understand is: arming Alshabaab unintentionally gives this terror group the upper hand and compromises Somaliland’s security. Clearly, now the balance has shifted in favour of Alshabaab. This is something the United States never intended to happen.
What now? It is never too late, is it? The United States of America has the responsibility to stamp out Alshabaab. But the strategy to contain this terror group has never succeeded partially because as it seems to be the U.S. always takes the wrong side. And just like a boomerang, its naïve policy comes back to haunt the U.S.
In an open warfare, Somaliland forces could annihilate Alshabaab terrorists. But in terror warfare, Somaliland lacks: the resource, training, and experience to combat terrorism. This is something that Alshabaab is fully aware of; and this is where the U.S. support is desperately needed.
Somaliland people will not succumb to Alshabaab’s demand. Whether they get help from the International community to fight Alshabaab terrorists or not, Somalilanders will resiliently recover from the devastating terrorist attack that took the life of the commander of Somaliland’s 12th infantry division, Mr. Osman Yusuf. My God bless his soul. He didn’t die in vain. And the terrorist cowards who murdered him will sooner or later face justice.
Views expressed in the opinion articles are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the editorial