Friday, February 10, 2006
SOMALILAND INTERIOR MINISTER MISLED THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THE DUMBULUQ INCIDENT
HARGEISA (SOMALILAND TODAY)- Tempers flared at the cabinet meeting chaired by president Dahir Rayale Kahin on Monday, 6 February after the Minister of Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Abdillahi Hussein Iman, famously known as Darawal, had a serious row with the Interior Minister, Ismail Adan, over the Dumbuluq incident.Abdillahi Darawal had to be restrained by some ministers to prevent the meeting room from turning into a wrestling ground.
In the heated exchange that ensued, the president reportedly shut up the Interior Minister who wanted to protest.
The row followed when the gaffe-prone Interior Minister gave an interview to the BBC Somali Service at the weekend accusing those hurling the stones [protesters] of being responsible for the violent clashes that occurred in Dumbuluq neighbourhood.
The minister did not mention those who brought the guns with them on the disputed site and fired upon the unarmed people before the stoning began.
In the same interview, the interior minister, who is the head of the unconstitutional body called the National Security Committee- a mobile Kangroo court modelled from Af-weyne’s regime- prematurely defended the Municipality of Hargeisa and absolved the Mayor of Hargeisa, Hussein Mohamed Jiciir, of any wrong doing in spite of the fact that 16 Councillors from Hargeisa City Council lay the blame squarely at the feet of the Mayor and asked for his immediate resignation.
Asked whether the officials responsible for these violent clashes would be brought to justice, the Interior Minister, replied categorically “The local government has nothing to do with this [mess], the public was wrong…the protesters were wrong”
“He is the most pathetic and infamous figure ever to stumble across Somaliland political landscape. Don’t forget that this man who is responsible for the public order and security of Somaliland today is the same man who yesterday was responsible for the deaths of so many of his clansmen, in the heydays of Barre’s regime, and threw others into dungeons from where many never returned”, said Farah Ali Fahiye, an angry man from Dumbuluq who listened to the Minister’s interview over the BBC.
Darawal told the president that Ismail was one of the culprits behind the Dumbuluq violence and could not therefore be trusted to become a member of an enquiry committee designed to investigate into the causes of the ugly clashes that occurred on Saturday, 5 February.
Under intense pressure from the opposition parties and an increasingly angry public, the president was eventually forced to ditch his favourite henchman, Ismail, for the first time since he came to power. Ismail was replaced with the much-respected governor of Hargeisa, Abdillahi Irro.
It has now come to light that Mayor Jiciir did not act alone in allocating the piece of land to the millionaire Qat baron, Af-diinle. The interior minister was also involved in putting his signature to a document that facilitated the land title to the millionaire.
In a desperate attempt to vindicate himself in the face of mounting pressure, Ismail raised the stakes even higher by giving the president a misleading account of what exactly occurred in Dumbuluq by painting the poor people who were fired upon as the troublemakers.
President Rayale gave Ismail a slap on the wrist and urged him not to give interviews to radios and newspapers, fearing that he might drop another bombshell that could further inflame the passions of “the two brotherly people”
It is not the first time that the inarticulate minister accused an entire community of being troublemakers or enemy of the state.
Two years ago, when a Kenyan born expatriate was shot to death while travelling in her vehicle in the highway between Berbera and Hargeisa by terrorists cloaked in Chador- women’s religious garb, the minister was unhesitant to point out an accusing finger at Kulmiye supporters even though those who pursued the terrorists and made a citizens arrest were the same Kulmiye supporters.
While the men of Doqoshay were hot on the heels of the terrorists, the minister of interior was giving a misleading instructions to his security services over the radio, saying that the make of the car in which the terrorists were travelling in was Mitsubishi Pajero when, in actual fact, the minister knew well in advance that that was not the case. Conversely, the vice-president, Ahmed Yusuf Yassin commended the valour, courage and bravery of these men. To rub salt into the wound, when the Dhoqoshay men arrived in Hargeisa to collect their paltry monetary rewards, the interior minister sent them to jail.
On 23 June 2003, the minister similarly sent the former police commander, General Jama Yare, to jail on arrival at Hargeisa Airport and subsequently made an extremely irresponsible remarks by saying, “As far as Jama Yare is concerned, we will not be frightened by any individual or clan (qof iyo qabiil toonna uga biqi mayno Jaamac Yare)".
In spite of these streams of gaffes and false accusations against clans, the maverick interior minister still remains Rayale’s most favourite henchman in the cabinet.