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Dialogue into Oblivion: Is Somaliland Sleepwalking into a Re-union with Somalia?

If you are the sensitive type that is allergic to inconvenient and harsh reality checks, you should probably stop reading, our intention is not to upset your delicate sensibility, instead we want to objectively examine and look at the underbelly of the Somaliland – Somalia talks and how it has been the biggest obstacle to Somaliland’s quest for recognition and independence. If you have read this far, you are curiously skeptical of a new perspective on this dead horse of a subject. Trust us there is…

Let’s agree to disagree but we believe that Somalia has already won its main objective in the supposed dialogue with Somaliland. There are a lot of misconceptions about the nature of the talks and why we should participate in them in the first place, for instance, some think that Somalia is trying to convince Somaliland to rejoin the union or from the perspective of many Somalilanders, Somaliland must convince Somalia to ‘agree’ that it indeed deserves its independence and be the first country to recognize it, that could not be further from the truth and anyone who believes this needs their head examined. What Somalia is doing is simply show the world that Somaliland is not serious about its independence and that its leadership care more about aid funds and are holding out for a better deal. Deceptively brilliant and it is working because you see, we are being lectured by the Swedish Embassy in Somalia on election and security.

Because of the flaw in the basic premise of talking to Somalia, starting with the fact that it makes no sense to talk to a country that has been willing to strangle Somaliland in the crib since its rebirth of the horrific genocide perpetrated by the murderous dictatorship of Siad Barre, which it has prioritized over putting out the many fires that has been engulfing it for years, and that Somaliland has never understood the actual cost of the talks or the fact that those entrusted to negotiate on its behalf came back grinning like idiots and with a straight face broke the news they have signed over the control of our airspace to Somalia.

Although President Bihi did not start the talks with Somalia, he is equally complicit in perpetrating this monstrous lie and with his autocratic tendency of not caring about anyone’s view on any subject coupled with lack of any dissenting voice from his circle, he may be slowly sleepwalking Somaliland into a union with the very country that is attacking it in Lasanod. It is a lot, but before you blow a gasket, remember that that President Bihi has fully endorsed Hassan Sh Mohamoud’s Envoy to Somaliland Affairs immediately and has reciprocated by reappointing our brilliant Edna to represent us in talks with Somalia, despite recently declaring the talks dead and that Somaliland will no longer participate in such shenanigans unless a specific set of preconditions were met.

Lets address the elephant in the room that Somaliland is facing an existential war in its eastern flank where brave men and women are dying to uphold their sacred duty to defend the homeland against all enemies foreign and domestic. Our Command-in-Chief, President Bihi, has failed to hold Hassan Sh Mohamoud and Somalia accountable and has not uttered a word of protest to the world to get Somalia to stop the flow of arms and fighters from the Somali National Army to Lasanod where supposedly decorated and highly trained officers have met their maker at the hands of our brave military.

Through his multiple admissions, the Somali President, Hassan Sh Mahamoud, a diet version of Farmajo perhaps but despite the smile is just as antagonistic and hostile towards Somaliland and its independence. He has unequivocally stated that Somaliland cannot be independent and that Somalia will not disintegrate on his watch. The NGO-drones turned public servants in Somaliland view HSM different as he pledged not to disrupt aid to Somaliland and perhaps this makes him likeable in some circles but as far as anyone with an ounce of brains is concerned, Somalia’s stance has remained consistent and has demonstrated the will and resolve to achieve the goal of bringing Somaliland into its fold by any means necessary, including waging war using its proxies in Lasanod.

The damage is already done, and re-appointing Edna to lead the Somaliland – Somalia talks is utterly pointless. Somalia’s goal is to simply demonstrate that Somaliland is at the negotiating table, and is willing to talk and perhaps one day will rejoin Somalia. Keeping Somaliland at the negotiating table is a brilliant tactic and another level of ‘Ila Meerayso’ and we have been willfully falling for it for years.

In hindsight, during his election campaign, President Bihi has sold an image of a hardliner who will never compromise Somaliland’s independence and sovereignty while labelling his opponents from Waddani pro-Somalia, we are not here to relitigate that but the reality is that President Bihi has has not been good to Somaliland and failed the most basic of his sacred oath and duty as a leader and has continued the trend of distorting the line between Somaliland and Somalia much more than his predecessor.

Engaging in any form of dialogue with Somalia is futile unless Somaliland can come to a consensus on what they hope to gain from these discussions and have leaders who will not compromise their sovereignty. It is an act of betrayal to our nation and a disrespect to the sacrifice of our courageous young soldiers who are fighting to defend their homeland, to sit down with the enemy and continue on this perilous path. By allowing Somalia to take the lead with minimal opposition and compliance from Somaliland’s political leaders, we are permitting Somalia to triumph.

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