Monday, March 15, 2010


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Farah Ma’allin is a brother deeply touched by the Somali dilemma

It is a heroic and courageous step from a talented politician of Somali origin to rise above the tribal lines that divided the Somali nation. Hon. Farah Ma’allin the Deputy Speaker of the Kenyan Parliament deserves standing ovation in his bid to find a credible solution to the elusive task of finding peaceful settlement to the Somali problem.

All Somali groups should applaud and support Mr Ma’allin’s recent fact finding trips to Somalia and Somaliland to see the reality on the ground. Indeed, he is a man touched by 20 years of death and destruction for his people and is seeking for a viable solution to the problem.

Hon. Farah started his fact finding mission in Mogadishu where he met the TFG government and civil society leaders last year and appealed to them to work together for peace and end the hostilities there. But as the adage goes “you can take an old horse to the water but can not make it drink”. Unfortunately, his noble mission attracted little attention from the warring factions there.

Hon. Farah wants the Somali people to re-discover their traditional wisdom and engage in dialogue and negotiation rather than the barrel of the gun to sort out differences. This is where Somaliland champions the region and certainly Mr Farah is hoping the rest to follow suit. He has taken the honest step of giving credit to where it is due.

The people of Somaliland have endured 20 years of post-war sanctions and isolation imposed to them by the International community who refused to acknowledge their right to self determination. But this only reinforced the people’s dedication to independence and strengthened their resistance to the pressure. They pursued their choice of withdrawing from the 1960 union with Somalia. They endured economic pressure imposed by rest of the world, particularly the Arab world who suspended the import of Somaliland’s livestock, the main source of hard currency revenues for the country. Despite this harsh treatment, Somaliland strived to flourish without any outside help.

Somaliland has successfully adapted a functioning and inclusive modest democracy with all the apparatus of a modern state. They held peaceful presidential, parliamentary and local council elections. This earned Somaliland a position of respect from the democratic world and honest personalities such as Hon. Farah Ma’allin.

Accusing Mr Farah Ma’allin of stirring tension between Somaliland and Puntland is absurd and cheap propaganda by groups who profit from the suffering of their own people (the very people Mr Ma’allin wants to help). It is simply repeating the old usual pattern of “do nothing and negate everything positive”. The Somali people are in serious need of water, health, education, jobs and above all, peace and stability to rebuild their shattered lives. They don’t need Kalashnikovs, armoured vehicles or tribal hatred.

Perhaps those calling themselves ex UN employees and intellects criticising Mr Ma’allin’s fact finding visit to Somaliland should direct their energies towards helping the peace process in their country rather than wasting it in attempting to discredit the noble people helping their poor brothers and sisters.

The people of Somaliland appreciate and fully support the efforts of their brother Hon. Farah Mo’allin.

Peace for all,

Ali Aden Awale
London UK