Written by Dalmar Kaahin

Hargeisa, 30 June 2009 — As I watch the video of U.S. congressional hearings convened in Washington DC in June 25, 2009 about the current turmoil in Somalia, a hostile voice echoes in the conference room: “If they [Somaliland people] want to be isolated, they can be assured that I will do all I can to isolate them…” an infuriated man states. Then applauses ensue. See the video: http://international.edgeboss.net/real/international/af06252009.smi

Covering my forehead with one hand, I whisper to myself, “Damn Somali warlords and Alshabaab terrorists are so omnipotent; they seem to be everywhere, even in Washington DC, threatening the democratic republic of Somaliland, and working hard to isolated it”.

I play back the video to watch what I missed: this savage warmonger, or this blood thirsty Alshabaab suicide bomber who lashes out at peaceful Somaliland.

To my utter disbelief, shock, and dismay it isn´t the usual suspect: a Somali warlord, or an Alshabaab terrorist that wants to further isolate Somaliland where its citizens will suffer more for they choose democracy over violence, to settle their difference through dialogues, and to rid of their leaders at the polling stations and not at the killing fields.

But it is none other than an honorable American Congressman Donald Payne, the Chairman of the congressional hearings about Somalia, who is upset about Somaliland´s absence in the hearings. For starters, Somaliland politely excuses itself not to participate in the congressional hearings about Somalia because: for one thing, Somaliland isn´t part of Somalia any more. For another, Somaliland senses that Mr. Pyne supports greater Somalia notion. Such a fear comes true, as he states, “We look forward that one day perhaps they [Somaliland people] will decide they are going to be part of greater Somalia.”

Although Mr. Payne is one of the bravest American Congressmen, a commendable man, who risked his life when he visited Mogadishu this year where he was attacked with rockets, he is either not aware of the historical facts that compelled Somaliland not to even share a table with Somalia, or he received disinformation from Somaliland opponents.

Also, what Mr. Payne ignores is: if United States is entitled to decide which meeting it should participate in, so is Somaliland. For instance, the United States boycotts a number of meetings every year. No one threatens to choke it, or isolate it. If the U.S. finds it is not in its best interest to participate in a meeting, it refuses invitations. Even worse, some times U.S. walks out of International meetings when it doesn´t get its way. Take as an example, in 2001, U.S. walked out of World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa.

So, if U.S. could walk out of World Conference against Racism, why would Somaliland´s decision to avoid joining a conference with Somalia and Puntland—both determined to undermine Somaliland´s existence as a nation—infuriate Mr. Payne?

Ever since the former Somali dictator Gen. Mohammed Siad Barre of the 90s and his notorious henchmen such as, Gen. Mohamed Ali Samatar, a former defense minister and prime minister of Somalia, Col. Yusuf Abdi Ali (Tuke), and Gen. Mohammed Said Hersi Morgan—the butcher of Hargeisa, Somaliland capital—slaughtered over 60,000 Somaliland civilians, and pulverized its cities to dust, understandably Somaliland refuses to touch anything that has to do with Somalia with a ten-foot pole. Both Mr. Samatar and Mr.Tuke live in the U.S. See my article entitled, “Does U.N. Attempt to Recruit Somalia´s Ex-Army Officers Evoke Nostalgia or Poke Old Wounds?”
http://www.californiachronicle.com/articles/view/105156

Then, is the honourable Congressman, Mr. Payne not aware of the historical facts the compel Somaliland to avoid Somalia´s never-ending chaos? Somalilanders ask.

Somaliland is a country that received its independence before Somalia or Djibouti got theirs. Somaliland refused to participate in all earlier fourteen failed Somali reconciliations meetings held in foreign countries from 1991 to 2008 because Somaliland always remained an oasis in midst of a harsh desert and isn´t affiliated with Somalia any more either; similarly, today Somaliland feels that it has no reason to join the congressional hearings about Somalia. And because the hearings is convened in Washington doesn´t mean Somaliland will jump on the wagon to join the meeting either.

It is a paradox in an American democracy that although Mr. Payne is elected democratically, he, inadvertently, suppresses the wishes of Somaliland people and assures them that he will do his best, use his leverage, his influence, and his authority to further isolated them.

Mr. Payne should know that in fact U.S. needs Somaliland as much as Somaliland needs U.S. A case in point: Somaliland security forces cooperate with those of U.S. to curb terrorism and piracy in Horn of Africa. Also Somaliland intelligent agents share invaluable information with their U.S. counterparts.

Congressman, you may as well know that the Somaliland you threaten to strangle because it politely turns down the invitation to participate in the congressional hearings is in fact the only wall that separates Alshabaab terrorists—bent to attack U.S. interests in East Africa—and the U.S. forces in Djibouti.

Additionally, Somaliland is one the most democratic countries in East Africa, far more democratic than Kenya, Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Eritrea. As L.A Times writes, “For most of the last decade, Somaliland’s governance and human rights record have drawn praise, particularly compared with those of its neighbors. Somaliland boasts free speech and private newspapers. Its population voluntarily disarmed, reconciled and transitioned into an elected, civilian government.” ‘”The government in Somaliland has a better human rights record than any other government in the Horn, including Kenya,”‘ said Chris Albin-Lackey, an analyst at Human Rights Watch.” adds L.A Times. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-somaliland17-2009may17,0,3938098.story

Finally, although Mr. Payne´s unjustified economic threats against Somaliland send shockwaves throughout Somaliland and Somaliland Diaspora communities, Somaliland remain determined to cooperate with the United States to confront instability in Horn of Africa. Also, the Somaliland people are grateful to the United States for its understanding of Somaliland´s quest for independency.

Surely, if U.S. could storm of out conferences, Somaliland could choose not to take part of them. Mr. Payne with all due respect, what is good for the United States is also good for Somaliland whether you perceive Somaliland as a poor, weak and trivial country that a single threat from an American Congressman sends shivers down its spine, or not.

Don´t get me wrong. Somaliland people definitely will rejoice to witness Somalia stand on its feet. The sooner Somalia stabilizes itself the better for Somaliland. They also commend Mr. Payne´s tireless efforts to achieve a lasting peace in Somalia. But Somaliland and Somalia are two separate countries.

Also, Somaliland Diasporas encourage Mr. Payne to visit Somaliland and witness how almost twenty years of isolation has devastated the peaceful and democratic people of Somaliland. See for yourself the destitution caused by isolation: poverty, unemployment, none existing health care system and lack of investment to rebuild, schools, hospitals, potholes in the roads and crumpled bridges; see how isolation keeps thousands of children malnourished and denies them access to medicine.

You may be overwhelmed by Somaliland people´s poverty, but you will be amazed by their hospitality and kindness. Without a doubt, a trip to Somaliland will imprint an everlasting impression in your mind. Come to Somaliland, Congressman.

Dalmar Kaahin
dalmar_k@yahoo.com

Source: Somalilandpress

1 COMMENT

  1. It's politics after all. It was and has always been the correct thing to do.

    Somaliland cannot claim to have seceded on the one hand and go take part in a meeting concerning the troubles in Somalia on another. Not forgetting that this is election season and the wretched Kulmiye would have taken advantage of any action by the SL admin that shows it to be cosying up to greater Somalia.

    In refusing to attend the meeting and in getting the 'telling off' that they got, they made themselves stand out. Now the game of politics shall begin. This is not the end of the matter and that SL has people lobbying on its behalf in the American corridors of power.

    In the longer run, I believe (from a purely political viewpoint) that this was the best thing SL could have done under the circumstances. The argument has always been that we are separate, self-sufficient and not involved in Somali affairs and this recent action of SL only goes to confirm to Americans (and whoever else that would listen) that the case remains so.

    Will America shut us out? Have we lost any ground by this action? No. I don't believe that to be the case. If anything, it raised the stakes and informed those members of congress – in that not so important meeting that Horn was belittling a few days ago and is now trying to make sound like the do or die meeting of the century – that SL has a cause, a serious resolve and a destiny that it refuses to surrender no matter who is on the opposite side.

  2. It's politics after all. It was and has always been the correct thing to do.

    Somaliland cannot claim to have seceded on the one hand and go take part in a meeting concerning the troubles in Somalia on another. Not forgetting that this is election season and the wretched Kulmiye would have taken advantage of any action by the SL admin that shows it to be cosying up to greater Somalia.

    In refusing to attend the meeting and in getting the 'telling off' that they got, they made themselves stand out. Now the game of politics shall begin. This is not the end of the matter and that SL has people lobbying on its behalf in the American corridors of power.

    In the longer run, I believe (from a purely political viewpoint) that this was the best thing SL could have done under the circumstances. The argument has always been that we are separate, self-sufficient and not involved in Somali affairs and this recent action of SL only goes to confirm to Americans (and whoever else that would listen) that the case remains so.

    Will America shut us out? Have we lost any ground by this action? No. I don't believe that to be the case. If anything, it raised the stakes and informed those members of congress that SL has a cause, a serious resolve and a destiny that it refuses to surrender no matter who is on the opposite side.

  3. It's politics after all. It was and has always been the correct thing to do.

    Somaliland cannot claim to have seceded on the one hand and go take part in a meeting concerning the troubles in Somalia on another. Not forgetting that this is election season and the wretched Kulmiye would have taken advantage of any action by the SL admin that shows it to be cosying up to greater Somalia.

    In refusing to attend the meeting and in getting the 'telling off' that they got, they made themselves stand out. Now the game of politics shall begin. This is not the end of the matter and that SL has people lobbying on its behalf in the American corridors of power.

  4. In refusing to attend the meeting and in getting the 'telling off' that they got, they made themselves stand out. Now the game of politics shall begin. This is not the end of the matter and that SL has people lobbying on its behalf in the American corridors of power.

    In the longer run, I believe (from a purely political viewpoint) that this was the best thing SL could have done under the circumstances. The argument has always been that we are separate, self-sufficient and not involved in Somali affairs and this recent action of SL only goes to confirm to Americans (and whoever else that would listen) that the case remains so.

  5. It's politics after all. It was and has always been the correct thing to do.

    Somaliland cannot claim to have seceded on the one hand and go take part in a meeting concerning the troubles in Somalia on another. Not forgetting that this is election season and Kulmiye would have taken advantage of any action by the SL admin that shows it to be cosying up to greater Somalia.

    In refusing to attend the meeting and in getting the 'telling off' that they got, they made themselves stand out. Now the game of politics shall begin. This is not the end of the matter and that SL has people lobbying on its behalf in the American corridors of power.

    In the longer run, I believe (from a purely political viewpoint) that this was the best thing SL could have done under the circumstances. The argument has always been that we are separate, self-sufficient and not involved in Somali affairs and this recent action of SL only goes to confirm to Americans (and whoever else that would listen) that the case remains so.

    Will America shut us out? Have we lost any ground by this action? No. I don't believe that to be the case. If anything, it raised the stakes and informed those members of congress that SL has a cause, a serious resolve and a destiny that it refuses to surrender no matter who is on the opposite side.

  6. There is no such a thing as somaliland people, there is only one Somalia nation and one religion,
    Come to mama Dalmar !!
    I agree with Payne, you can not wash your hands from your people and pretend you are any different.

    • I wonder how hard it was for your ex-girlfriend (if you could ever even get one) to get you top stop stalking her?

      I know Somaliland is beautiful but please just forget us and stop calling us too!

  7. even if somaliland isnt part of somalia (which is tottaly rediculous) does that justify the malicious speach you print??? "understandably Somaliland refuses to touch anything that has to do with Somalia with a ten-foot pole", what kind of a human being speaks like that??, was it the entire southern population that voted for the destruction of the north or was it the gangmen of siad barre among whom was your current prisident?, talking of mascres why not talk about the SNM terrorists who murdered and slaughtered five hundred fifty innocent people in Borama, Dila and Zeila on February 4th, 1991? taking your backward logic that should be enough of a reason for Awdal to take indipendance from somaliland shouldnt it??. your hypocrisy is overwhelming.

    either way your ministers choose not to attend, why suddenly cry and condemn donald payne for speaking the truth, isolation comes to those who seek it.

    • Donald Payne is a clown. The idea that Somaliland and Somalia will reunite is a ridiculous as your spelling of the word ridiculous.

  8. Lets admit the so called Foreign Minister of Somaliland made huge mistake and while I respect Mr Dalmar, he has no right to attack Mr Payne. While Somaliland might consider it self not part of Somalia, the issue on the table was not about Somalia but about the region's stability and what role each player can play to stabilize or help stabilize Somalia and safe guard the already stable regions.

    Somaliland ha failed. Lets admit it. I believe in Somaliland that plays role in the region and reaches out for their Somali brothers in the south, what is the use of been a "country" if you cant even sit down with your brothers or even neighbours to discuss issues that matter?

    Foreign Minister has miserably failed, and Dalmar is attacking the wrong man. Many of you guys misunderstood what was in discussion.

  9. This was the right thing Somaliland should always do. How can you attend a meeting organized for Somalia factions if you said you are not part of them ?

    Somaliland is and was always different from Somalia. Attending such meeting would be the biggest mistake we did since 1991. Shall we attend because America is the organizer ? shall we attend because we should be heard ? Shall we attend because we are afraid of isolation ?

    What did America do for us ? Aren't we already isolated ? what is more they can do now ?

    If Mr. Pyne and his likes want Somaliland to be ruled and destroyed by Alshabab then let him do his best now. I'm sure he will be the first one later on warning Alqaedah expansion in the horn of Africa.

    I'm sure Mr. Pyne had good intentions when inviting Somaliland but he was misinformed and he took the issue more personal.

    Somaliland will solve this little misunderstanding in other ways as usual but i believe we did the very right think we should always do.

  10. Mr. Pyne is a war monger and of no use to SL & Somalia. Let him do what others have failed to do in the last 2 decades. Go to hell pyne and the Somalis don't need you. We will all become AL-SHABAAB!!!!!!

  11. Payne said what is in the interests of the majority of Somalia. 'Somaliland' doesn't exist.

  12. "Somaliland doesn't exist…blah…Somaliland doesn't exist…blah"

    Just like a child who is telling another kid, “Your toy isn't good as mine" because the aggressive child isn't sure about his own toy to begin with so he has to repeatedly mention how good it is. Similarly, some people in this forum think by reciting, "Somaliland doesn't exist…blah…Somaliland doesn't exist…blah", will give them the assurance that they have something…

    Don’t tell us why Somaliland doesn’t exist because we are not blind….

    Show us why it doesn’t exist…

    And by the way, I am tired of seeing some people embarrassing themselves by spewing out ridiculous comments…please when you establish something as good what Somaliland has join the debate

  13. I ask everyone who thinks somaliland does not exist, why they spend their energy on being bitter about something that does not exist then???. I support Somaliland's decision in refusing to participate in the so called "somali discussions" organized by the US. If you refuse to accept us then why invite us! if you advocate for democracy and the will of the people and you are forcing it on the middle east and Iraq, why not notice the people who established it already. It is a double standard, the US is looking for solution for somalia because all of sudden somalia becomes an area of interest for many reasons!!!

  14. lol@ at comment above te;ll em yo

    somalia ppl need us to show em ways to walk on ..wat somalia ppl cant find paths on thair own ..wtf get of s.land jocks ppl ….somalia doonimayno

  15. Mr. Dalmar, you are right and your article is at right time and place. US Congressman dont understand much about Somaliland, and even the US policy towards Somalia and Muslim World is always wrong.

    USA should support Somaliland other than dancing with Warlords and pirates.

    Good job Mr. Dalmar, you really tranmitted my idea.

  16. Mr. Payne called Puntland and Somaliland in order to gather and equip a military force to fight in Southern Somalia . USA is looking proxy army to side with one faction against the other in Mogadishu. This means to kill the Shabab on behalf of the USA. People of Somaliland will never go and kill Somalis or muslims in any part of the world.

  17. Mr. Kaahin, as always you have yet again written an excellent article, however, one thing is for Issue, Mr. Payne, get most of his Information on Horn of Africa from one source, that is Mr. Ted Dagne an Ethiopian who who calls himself an expert on the horn and Mr. Dagne,is know to be againest anything to do with current gov. of Ethiopia, maybe they are associating Somaliland with Ethiopia.

    Hope the congressman comes to realize that it's the wishes of the people of Somaliland to exercise their god given right not to be part of the failed and distruction of Southern Somalia.And I hope he he himself one day he will visit Somaliand and find the fact and reality on the ground and then make his conclusion.

  18. The problem in Somalia is mainly caused by people like payne who are ignorant and have no idea about the situation that prevail in Somalia. The congress man needs to educate himself before he makes a comment about Somailand.

    SOMALILAND is an independent country and will never reunite the So Called Somalia. For those who are commenting negetively about Somaliland, I say to them Solve Your problems in the south and then you can talk about others who managed their destiny.

    Leave Somaliland alone and Payne educate your self.

    Kahadar

  19. I think Mr. Payne should’ve spent more time on that morning with a single mother because he obviously woke up on the wrong side of the world, let alone the bed.

  20. What bring the peace and the wealth? The people and the people of Somaliland cooperate one another and we know how much peace means to us. As young man before I left Somaliland to peruse education other country I always want to go back my country and use what I learn outside in my country and I’m not the only person who is doing this but millions of Somaliland people are doing the same thing. One I look back the commons old guy from congress which I know for sure he make his statement about Somaliland without knowing what Somaliland is and how they earn the name neither Somaliland nor the peace we have. The another reason he maybe ignorant about Somaliland is his contact people are all from Somalia we all know anyone who is from Somalia will always want to bring the name of Somaliland. We'll see the rise of Somaliland as the old man from USA watch the celebration from his retirement nursing home…..

  21. Peopel, people, people! this was just a sub-committee meeting, it was not like a government hearing or even a full-committee or even a senate hearing. We all remember how Dr.Frazier's visit change America's perception of Somaliland. So let us not excited about a "player" from New Jersey, giving off steam..Funny thing is, he is so uninformed that he invited several major players, and only the pirates come to the meeting..

  22. how bathetic of somaliland press to delete my comments, you guys are not only looking unprofessional but you're also acting like one, PS DONT DELETE PEOPLE COMMENTS

    • lol you noticed it too?, usually somali websites display other somali websites on the left hand side of the page, that means ALL somali opinionated websites, you look at s/landpress and what do you see? not even shabelle (the most important news source for somalia isnt even found) garoweonline and wardheernews (who's fair and displays messages from dalmar kahin the delusional clerk of seccesion) are also keept out. that was one thing, but now they also turn to deleting peoples comments??, lool talk about being pathetic. somalilandpress has proven to be as FACIST to freedom of speach as its government in hargeisa.

      lets see if they have the guts to leave THIS comment standing and redeem themselves and their already weak reputation 🙂

  23. Abdi and Somali Moon,

    If Somalilandpress is pathetic, what are you still doing here?

    If your comments are inappropriate and childish like, "Somaliland doesn't exist…blah…Somaliland doesn't exist…blah" of course they will be deleted because the admin. of this site don't babysit grown ups.

    Advice: stop whining and share your thoughts in a respectful manner.

    As for the author of this article, Dalmar Kaahin that you seem to be attacking, I have to admit if someone demystified the fake unionist wannabes such as NSUM, Mooryaanis & Alshabaab terrorist’ agendas Dalmar did it all.

    He simply: whipped your ****.

  24. Were is common sense's,their is more to this hearing than any of you realize.American does not care about Somalia or Somaliland,this a new 21 century economic exploitation.but the people who are dying and savoring are Somalians.there is a fact her we can not get alone.and it is best to be apart to safe what we had already.we went back to stone age.please can we come to a middle ground and leave each other alone to see how far one can stand alone.

  25. their is only one nation it is call somalia you can lobby jump up and down scream from 100 hundred floor building call people names use failed state it would not make any difference you are part of that nation the sooner you accept that fact the better it is sorry guys.

    • @disqus_CBBSi01jZF:disqus . If we don’t have a choice then you don’t either. The US have no allies in Egypt or most of muslim nations you are hallucination if you think Alshabab or the many Somalia supporters differ. Somaliland has every right to disapprove and disengage from those who couldn’t be bothered when it mattered. Too little too late for a Somalia.

  26. The leader of Alshabab hails from so-called Somaliland. Somaliland will neve ever been an independent entity in the Horn of Africa because the former^'s struggle was based on Isaqism and its quest for independence is indeed the hegomony of Isaq clan in Somaliland. Siad Barre regime destoryed Hargeis due to the bad military strategy of Somali National Movement. The Eritrean Peoples Liberation Frot Had never attacked Asmara during Ethiopia militry regime to save their capital from destruction. The Wstern Somali region the so-called ogaden has better chance to be independent state than the Hargeisa adminstration because the Ethiopian constitution gives the Western Somali nation to seceed from the Ethiopia empire.Somaliland quest for independence is a day dream.