Every nation there is certain institutions social forces or individuals with the strong level of Patriotic convictions, which act as the final safeguarding and grantor for this nation. In Britain, for instance they have trained civil servants, reputable people from the law, media and House of Lords who are the grantor of British State. In Pakistan, the military establishment is the final custodian of the Pakistani State. In Iran, the religious scholars in the system of Ayatollahs are the guardians of the Iranian State.

In Somaliland the Gurti were designed to be the guardian of Somaliland State, unfortunately the current Gurti in the opinion of many Somalilanders lost all its credibility with the exception of the Chairman and few others. This mainly happened during the dispute between the Opposition and the Government regarding the Presidential Election in November 2009 when the Gurti supported the government which was the on the wrong side on this dispute.
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The overriding Political thinking of Somaliland politicians and political activists is in terms of clanism, and this creates a huge problem for the Somaliland State as well. Political Ideas that emerge from clanism often creates conflicts but does not enhance the institutions, ethics and values of the state.

Clan consciousness in most of the cases is a false consciousness, those whose ideology is embedded in the clan context, often exaggerate the size, history and the ability of their clans visa-avis other clans. Another way of looking this phenomenon is that clanism; in any form you put it undermines the state ethos and state functions. Those who believe clanism instead of a state cannot be grantor for a Modern State. The state requires people who understand its functions, committed to its philosophy and above all sincerely working to the citizens of the nation in equal basis.

The forthcoming presidential election in Somaliland is expected to bring about the following:

1. Not only change of government but radical and fundamental change of the entire institutions upon which the current state is built on.

2. A government that provides the Somaliland people confidence in their future.

3. A government that establishes state functionaries and practitioners not tribal functionaries and practitioners as the case is now and who act in future as true custodians and grantor of the Somaliland modern State.

4. A government that is free from corruption, transparent and has a national vision and hence has the respect and support of its citizens.

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


  1. We need a radical change in Somaliland not just a regime change but a change in the way we do things. This change should usher in a new wave of Somalilanders who believe in one Somaliland. The kind prepared to take up arms to safegurad the republic from both domestic and foreign enemies.

  2. this is very good question that needs a critical analaysing; we can not combine clanism and good government…….every one knows the right answer,but i requires emplemetation …..by the people,instituations, parties,private sectors and goverment.

  3. to Sh. Abdillah,
    we had long history of sorting our selves with Guurti or elderly policy to our clans and communities issues. However, its 21st century, the world has changed and people too, and if we do not take part that modernism we will be disadvantaged forever and i do not believe Guurti has answer the challenges facing Somaliland and its people today.

  4. Somaliland needs to form a government and institutions that have their power base in the tribal institutions because this is where the real power emanates from. i.e. Most Somalilanders respect and have primary allegiance to the tribal structure. The central government is viewed as an outside force that is often hostile and not relevant. I submit that the national government would have more legitimacy if all tribes were represented

    • If a legitimate goverment is by defination tribaly represented, there is NO need to have ELECTION commision, we better have SELECTION commision.

  5. The Guurti should always be part of our political structure but it must be modernised. Every member of the House of Elders must elected by his clansmen and women. I mean elected not just by the other old boys, but by everyone from the age of 15. They should have a fixed mandate to run the clan affairs and seek re-election after their term expires. Only then can there be real democracy. By the way, who is my clan leader and who chose him?? I will have to find out. How annoying, when someone you have never seen claims to represent you!!!

    • Mashallah brother, I agree with you 100%.

      Adding to your point:

      Somalilanders need to realise that the western style of democracy needs to be modified to reflect the realities of our culture. We can not simply say that "the British system works in the U.K and so it should work in Somaliland". We must understand that their system was designed to reflect the realities of THEIR culture, and so ours must as well. For example, the concept of TRIBE plays an important role in the way we describe ourselves and relate to one another. We also have sultan representatives of each tribe.

      In my opinion, Somaliland, May Allah(swt) protect it, is a work in progress. Therefore, we must be patient. Secondly, we must try and bring about change in a safe and incremental fashion. These individuals (Guurti) do not have pensions and most aren't wealthy nor educated. What do you think would happen if these old boys lost their jobs and sense of importance?

      In summary, we must help them and not simply criticise. We should educate them, build their confidence, and inform them of their role as the caretakers of the nation. LONG LIVE SOMALILAND!

  6. I agree some of the view of the Gentleman who wrote the piece, but if we want a real Guurti, we should selected and seriously consider the person from whichever tribe brings or put his name forward. The person becoming a member of the Guurti should be someone who is not less than 60 years, and wisdom. Someone who is famous of conflecting resolving within his tribe, and not Afmiishaar. He should be some respected both in interior and cities of Somaliland. We need Guurti of Sheikh Khalif and his likes, and not those who now sit the house.

  7. I wan my fellow citizens to check the history of Sheikh Khalif and what he did when our fist officers cross the border to join the fight to liberate our country. I want you all check this Noble man and what he did. You can ask the first officers that went there.

  8. There are no such things as governments, organisations, institutions etc. When push comes to shovel and decisions have to be made, or action are taken (which affect us all) – these are made or done by people, people like you and me.

    So the question is how do we remove tribalism from our governance; by removing from our people (ourselves). An elected guurti would not make a difference as people still vote according to clan lines. So then then the question of how, again arrives.

    So the solution (or part of it ) is the following:

    1) The state of Somaliland must (in the long term) provide free education to all children of the country.
    2) The children must be taught/socialised to know the disadvantages of tribalism and what it is costing us economically, politically and socially.
    3) The media must be regulated to provide socially desirable information to the people (i.e. tribalism is wrong and its costing us dearly)
    4) The adults & parents must be informed to know the disadvantages of tribalism and what it is costing us economically, politically and socially.
    5) The police force must be revamped, retrained, re-briefed (also the judiciary). They must be more effective in their policing, must have the confidence of the public, rid themselves of corruption. The public will see clear justice take place and will not have to take the law into their own hands.
    6) The state and its organs (institutions) must be the mediator between the people – not clan leaders or others. To again reduce the power of Clanism culture.
    7) The media & public must play its role in holding to account biased politicians – politians must understand that they serve the whole state – all the poeple. Other pressure groups must be formed and take responsiblity in policing politics and promoting good politics benefial to the whole country.

    Then gradually, hopefully we can phase out tribalism effect on our politics.

  9. Long live Somalia! Somaliland is a sad fantasy country which will never be regonized. Long live Siad Barre.

    • Only time will tell. Then you have to remind yourself.

      It is not a matter if but a matter of when and how soon. It will happen sooner than you think, Yaa Xaywaaaaaaaaaaaan! Wadnuhu hayskaataago markaase!!!

  10. What I would say about the article by Dr. Rashiid, is alreay expressed here by Mr. Colhaye. However, I want to add to Mr. Colyaye`s comment this: The one man practising a policy of divide and rull is President Riyaale. This has not only affected the Guurti but also the parlement and the people of Somaliland in general. Riyaale and his ministers always try to divide the people of Somaliland on trible lines in order to remain in power. This policy of divide and rull has so far penefited Riyaale and his henchmenn. This a dangerous political game, which if not confronted, can take Somaliland back to stone age period. Dr. Rashiid failed to hit squarely where the problem lies.

  11. President Riyaale and his government might try to use every trick they can find to stay in power, but if the members of the Guurti where elected by their respective clans and not just chosen because of their afmiishaarnimo; and if we had a system in place where voters can ballot to remove a corrupted or incompitant parliamentarian or Guurti through a 'Vote Of No Confidence', then every elder or politician would think twice before accepting bribes. Only by having such a system can power remain in the hands of the public.

  12. Clanish we where yesterday, Clanish we are today and Clanish we will be tomorrow……………the question is, are we going back to yesterday to start the cycle again?