(Waridaad) - By Ahmed Sulaiman Curi
Monday, October 08, 2007
In the 1960s, many political parties divided along tribal lines held hostage both Somaliland and Somalia. And despite its name which emphasized unity, the United Somali Party USP could not escape from the grip around its neck—the doctrine of tribal loyalty of the ‘60s which still dictates the Somali society. Like any other clan based political party of the ‘60s, the USP was based on a tribal conviction rather than on a national identity; yet it echoed pan-Somalism drums across Somaliland. And surprisingly, 47 years later, another group: Northern Somalis for Peace and Unity NSPU—an offshoot of the USP—echoed yet another questionable unity drums while supporting Abdullahi Yussuf’s quest for tribal hegemony over Somaliland regions, spewing venom towards Somaliland, and receiving funding from foreign spy agencies.
In Somaliland, although many former rivalry tribes of the ‘60s settled their differences, buried their ugly past behind them and formed their own national government, the NSPU, formerly known as USP, remained as ignorant as ever. Oblivious of the facts on the ground, the NSPU without a doubt remained in deep coma. Not only it appeared to be in deep coma, but unlike its sister party USP whose members hailed from Somaliland, the majority of the NSPU cliques including their self-proclaimed “Executive Director”, Gamal Hassan, were born in Somalia, not in Somaliland. (In fact, Mr. Hassan hails from Bosaso, Puntland.)
Worse still, the NSPU spearheaded by Mr. Hassan is far from advocating for Somali unity. Among other reasons, the NSPU is pro-Abudllahi Yussuf’s ambition to achieve a tribal hegemony over Sool and Eastern Sanag of Somaliland. Time and time again, although the NSPU echoes bogus nationalism and pan-Somalism drums, this clique, in fact, favors the creation of tribal fiefdoms in Somaliland. The NSPU resolutely opposes the regions of Sool and Eastern Sanag to remain within the Somaliland parcel. That is, the NSPU chauvinistically supports Abdullahi Yussuf’s notion which very much states: since the people of Puntland share tribal lineages with their “cousins” in Sool and in Eastern Sanag, therefore, these regions must stay within Harti (Majerten, Dhulbahante and Warsangali tribes) tribal kingdom, but not within Somaliland parcel. The NSPU itself states, “…Sanaag, Sool, and Cayn [SSC] have never been within its [Somaliland’s] reach and are firmly in the hands of the State of Puntland…” (1) Also, no one could have done a better job in explaining the NSPU blind allegiance to tribalism and to Abdullahi Yussuf’s mission to change colonial borders into tribal borders than one of its cliques. Amazingly, another NSPU clique, in fact, further sheds new light on what this group is all about as he writes, “Abdalla Hirad and the director of NSPU are from SSC regions as are other members of the team. They also belong to Puntland since SSC is part of it.” (2) [Italics added] Therefore, hiding behind a smoke-screen so as to avoid revealing their real motives, the NSPU cliques fool no one else other than themselves. Keeping the disputed regions within Somaliland—then uniting Somalia and Somaliland is far more logical than dismembering Somaliland on the bases of tribal lineages and at the same time shedding crocodile tears for Somali unity. Clearly, the NSPU cliques are far more loyal to their tribes than to their country.
Without a doubt, the NSPU along with Abdullahi Yussuf make tireless efforts to disintegrate Somaliland into small tribal state. Additionally, despite the number different tribes that call Somaliland home, and despite the fact, Mr. Daahir Riyale Kahin, the democratically elected president of Somaliland hails from Gudabiirsay tribes, still the NSPU labels Somaliland as an Isaqland. However, surprisingly, it [NSPU] doesn’t call Puntland: Majertenland (Majerten—the dominant tribe in Puntland). Nor does the NSPU call Djibouti: Issaland (Issa—the dominant tribe in Djibouti). Isn’t this absurd?
What is even more absurd than the above is the NSPU repeatedly claimed the Somali National Movement SNM coerced the leaders of Sool and Eastern Sanag regions to accept Somaliland independence, in 1991. Is that so? Very unlikely! According to the NSPU, “What happened in Burao cannot … be described as a meeting … the participants were literally coerced into accepting the position of the military wing of the SNM…” (1) [Italics added] Participants who, of course, hailed from Sool and Eastern Sanag regions! Surely, the preceding accusation lacks merit; for one thing, the disputed parts of Sool and Eastern Sanag have been controlled by their local people, not the SNM of the ‘90s. Nor has Somaliland government ever established an effective control in those regions, as NSPU even stated earlier. For another, Graad Saleeban (a tribal chief, and a hard-core supporter of Puntland) who not only hail from Sool region but also participated in the Burao reconciliation meeting did not sign or endorse the Somaliland independence paper. And he is still alive and didn’t get killed by the SNM’s bayonet had he failed to sign the independence paper, as the NSPU contended.
Additionally, there are dozens of MPs who hail from Sool and Eastern Sanag regions in Somaliland parliament. And the government does not hold a gun to their heads and force them to accept Somaliland against their will. These MPs believe that they are in their birth country and its political system—even though it lacks fairness and justice—should be participated in and corrected by their people rather than alienating themselves. Today, some of these MPs and some of their former foes SNM can be found in the opposition parties (KULMIYE and UCID) as well as in the ruling party (UDUB). Isn’t that a miracle? Yet the NSPU, which seems as blind as a bat, does not see this forward push: from clan-based parties to national parties as a progress, but it would rather cling to past events (SNM forces which were dismantled almost two decades ago).
But, while the NSPU still holds grudges against the SNM forces and views the reconciliation process of the 1991 in Burao, Somaliland, as a spectacular hostage-taking operation, surprisingly, the NSPU blindly supports the bogus Somali “reconciliation” meeting—a meeting that ended before it had even begun—in Mogadishu, under the barrels of blazing Ethiopian guns. No way! You bet. The NSPU states, “What you never hear…is …support for the on-going efforts at national reconciliation…” (3) Put another way: the NSPU accuses SNM of forcing the leaders of Sool and Eastern Sanag to sign the Somaliland independence paper in 1991, but today the NSPU is encouraging the same leaders to sign an imaginary reconciliation papers in Mogadishu, under Ethiopia’s—Somalia’s enemy number one—watchful eye. How ironic is that? This is baffling. Talk about hypocrisy!
Meanwhile, the NSPU maintains a small office, in Ottawa. This office serves dual-purpose: it is used as a Qat-house (Mafrish). Then once the Mafrish members consume a huge quantity of Qat (and they all get high, of course), brainstorming begins: barrages of venomous attacks are often unleashed against unwary people of Somaliland. The NSPU cliques, for instance, made desperate attempts to cast aspersions on the dignity of Somaliland leaders. Their hatemongering tactics broke all ethics known to a civilized society when one of the NSPU’s writer wannabes, Abdikarim Ali Xandule, published an “article” entitled, “Somaliland Recognition & Western Gay Activists”. (4) In total disregard towards Islam and Somali culture, he went too far and associated Somaliland leaders with homosexuals. As ignorant as ever, he repeatedly smeared the reputation of Somaliland people. Amazingly, having an innate talent for hurling insults at Somaliland leaders whom he knows nothing about them, Mr. Xandulle honed his skills as stand up hate preacher. However, Mr. Xandulle’s dirty attacks, unknown to the Somali society before, not only against Somaliland leaders but also against individuals like Dr. Abdishakur Jawhar, a well-respected Somaliland psychiatrist and the son of a highly respected Muslim scholar, caught off guard many people. No one, however, thought that the NSPU cliques would sink this low, but as it turned out they respect no bounds.
Their dirty campaign filled with hateful and shameful propaganda has no limits. As a result, their provocative messages send a chill down your spine. Not so long ago, they even put a short hate video together which demonizes sections of Somaliland society. (5) The video portrays Somaliland people as evil, drug addicts, and none-believer worshipers. (See the video for yourself by clicking the link at the bottom.) Ironically, at the same time the clip advocates for Somali unity. Isn’t that something? What a backward mentality?
Much of the NSPU backward message, in fact, incites not only hate but also polarizes the two Somali societies: Somaliland and Somalia. To spur hate among Somalis, the NSPU’s constant filamentary remarks towards Somaliland people continued unabated.
Also, as Somaliland inched closer to recognition, the NSPU seemed flustered. The well-known phobia of Somaliland becoming a sovereign state clouded NSPU’s judgment. Evidently, it made fetish out of Somaliland. And no sooner had the NSPU realized Somaliland was attending the seminar on “Somaliland and the African Union in the Horn of Africa” in Accra, Gana, than the NSPU’s panic alarm went off. Frantically, the NSPU scribbled on scrap pads and fabricated a so-called research paper conducted, of course, in a Mafrish-house in Ottawa. In this paper, the words Isaq, clan, and secessionists were mentioned no less than 231 times. (1) (Do the word-count for yourself.) Usually, almost every paper published by the NSPU is generously sprinkled with worn-out propaganda Isaq, clan, and secessionists —a hail of rubbish—ad nauseam at best, self-destructive and counterproductive as well. However, after you read the NSPU’s paper, you would conclude that certainly the theme was about Isaq, clan, and secessionists. Riddled with fallacious arguments, the NSPU’s “research” paper speaks for itself—venomous diatribes against Somaliland and its people. But does this vomit-worthy clichéd expedite the resurrection of Somali unity? Not in the next 10 million light-years!
To advocate for Somali unity is fine and an opposition to Somaliland’s quest for independence is not a crime either. However, to spew out a load of venom—as in the case of the NSPU—towards Somaliland people is a moral bankruptcy—a paradox to unity efforts. Could the NSPU come up with a better way to further drive a wedge between brotherly people of Somaliland and Somalia while, ironically, at the same time campaigning for Somali unity? This is the conundrum for the NSPU: on one hand, it claims advocating for unity. On the other hand, it has an urge for maliciously attacking Somaliland and constantly spreading disinformation about the country. This pathetic strategy for ill-conceived unity campaign, if anything, lynches the NSPU itself, doesn’t it? One wonders the main objective of the NSPU papers. As it seems though, to the NSPU the word objective remains undefined.
But, while the NSPU’s objective remains undefined its unequivocal loyalty to foreign-imposed Somali regime—of course under false pretences of supporting Mogadishu’s “peace” meeting—remains unquestionable. Nor is there a doubt about its [NSPU] admiration for Ethiopia. As a zealot supporter of the belligerent and hell-bent warlord Abuddlahi Yussuf (a.k.a the butcher of Mogadishu), Mr. Hassan (the Executive Director wannabe of the NSPU) recently published an article entitled, “The naked hypocrisy of TFG bashers”, and he labeled the Islamic Court Union ICU as a terrorist organization financed by foreigners. In his article, he wrote, “The clano-religious bandits were…spreading mayhem long before Ethiopia came to the scene to aid a sister state [Somalia] in thwarting attacks from... well financed, and armed rebellion…directed from abroad.” (3) [Emphasis added]
Excuse my shameful ignorance—enlighten me please! Since when did Ethiopia become the “sister” state of Somalia? If Ethiopia were the “sister” state of Somalia, then Israel would certainly be the “sister” state of Palestine as well. Contrary to popular belief, Ethiopia and Somalia fought since 1280 (6). And recently, a U.N report confirmed Ethiopia used deadly chemicals—White Phosphorus—against Somali civilians in Mogadishu. The report states, “Ethiopian military forces resorted to using white phosphorus bombs … approximately 15…fighters and 35 civilians were killed.” (7) [Italics added]
Worse yet, the Ethiopian regime that the NSPU painted as the “sister” state of Somalia happened to be the same Ethiopia that—in the past two years alone—slaughtered thousands of Somalis, raped thousand of Somali women, burned dozens of Somali villages, and looted the Somalis’ properties both in Somalia and in Ogadenia. Additionally, another report published by Amnesty International detailed the brutality of the Ethiopian regime. As Amnesty International states, “Ethiopia's army had indiscriminately bombarded highly populated areas, targeted and looted hospitals, and summarily executed civilians.” (8)[Italics added] Yet again, this was the Ethiopia that the NSPU and Mr. Hassan called the “sister” state of Somalia. Baffling! Have you ever heard more absurd things than this? Of course not! But Mr. Hassan is not alone in his unequivocal support for Ethiopia. Also, another staunch supporter of Abdullahi Yussuf, named Abdalla Hirad —another NSPU member—vehemently denies that Ethiopia is occupying Somalia. In one of his articles, he states, “… they [I.C.Us] resent the fact that Ethiopia, an old enemy of Somalia, is occupying the country—a false claim, indeed.” (9) [Italics added] Incredible! Clearly, Mr. Hassan and his collogue, Abdalla Hirad, can best be described as worthless national traitors—a fifth column. Yet they shed a river of crocodile tears for Somali unity while they shamelessly support the occupation of Somalia by Ethiopia. Paradoxically, too often, most tribal-minded Somalis as well as least loyal to their country somehow manage to shed more crocodile tears for Somali unity—a unity they would readily sell to Ethiopia—than thunderclouds could spill rains. Surely, painting a rosy picture of Ethiopia’s brutal incursion into Somalia where the nation’s capital, Mogadishu, remains in ruins not only adds insult to injury but also sheds light on the NSPU member’s other activities. Evidently their loyalty to Ethiopia remains unquestionable. But as their loyalty congeals, it soon reveals their true colors.
That is, their hardly known clandestine operations deep inside savagely butchered nation of Somalia, truly summarizes what this coterie is all about. Surprisingly, Ethiopia is not the only regime which they are affiliated to; they are also listed in the payroll of foreign spy agencies. Recently, the NSPU cliques have been awarded a “prestigious” position as one of their members boasted of it. How did it begin? A report published by the Canadian Security Agency accused many Somalis in Canada of supporting the I.C.U— “the ghost terrorists”. (10) However, what many Somalis were not aware of was much of the data, including the names of the suspects, their profession, their e-mails, their tribes, their political affiliations as well as their regions of origin in Somalia were provided by none other than the NSPU ring. Furthermore, shortly before the collapse of the I.C.U, two unidentified members of the NSPU flew to Mogadishu not to rescue the fallen city but to identify as many of its Somali-Canadians residents who were later falsified as “Al-Qaeda” sympathizers. And no sooner had the two liaisons landed in Mogadishu, than many Somali-Canadians faced grim reality of betrayal by their fellow Somalis.
Meanwhile, far away from Mogadishu, here in Ottawa, because of the NSPU informers in the Somalia Diasporas, hundreds of Somali-Canadians who resolutely opposed a foreign-imposed Somali regime, which has been parachuted into their country by foreign powers, were classified as Al-Qaeda supporter. As a result, the Canadian Security Agencies launched massive, perhaps warrantless, secret wiretaps and searches targeted against Somali community. Furthermore, it was no secret either way before the Mogadishu war crimes began members of the NSPU received salaries from the Canadian Security Intelligence Service CSIS. Some members also worked as paid informants for the local Canadian police. And I bet you they still do.
Moreover, currently, it is also a well-known fact the NSPU pays weakly visits to the Ethiopian embassy, and provides bits and piece of information to the Ethiopians. Also, back in Mogadishu, many of the Somali-Canadians—including a seven-month old baby (11)—ended up in the Ethiopian torture chambers—the Guantanamo Bay of Africa—where the lucky ones paid a fortune, $5000 ransom per person, for their freedom. Thanks to the betrayal of the NSPU. Yet, while the NSPU spied on unwary innocent Somalis, so insidiously, it laid another trap—a deceptive cobweb—disguised as unity. And despite the NSPU’s hollow mantra of Somali nationalism, evidently the NSPU secretly collaborates with Ethiopia. Clearly the NSPU’s action contradicts its nationalism rhetoric. So much for its fake lip-services to unity, undoubtedly, the NSPU is nothing more than a clandestine group on the payroll of foreign spy agencies.
To sum up, clearly, there is more to the NSPU rants than meets the eye. And unity does not come as easy as the NSPU wishes. Surely, also unity won’t be achieved while groups like the NSPU are so deeply aligned with Abdullhai Yussuf’s mission for greater tribal fiefdom, but not for greater Somalia. Nor will unity be achieved while Somaliland people constantly being attacked, smeared and demonized by cliques of hate-mongers like the NSPU group. And unleashing preemptive barrages of defamatory remarks and vicious attacks towards Somalilanders are not popularity contests, but they are counter-productive, unethical and immoral. Additionally, whether the NSPU cliques like it or not, Ethiopia has never been the “sister” state of Somalia and will never be one either (sorry to burst your bubble). Words cannot convey how much painting Ethiopia as the “sister” of Somalia has infuriated the Somali people in general and in particular the family members of the victims whom Ethiopia butchered in Mogadishu—in their backyards. Furthermore, for now, the NSPU may enjoy the cash it receives from foreign organizations, however; it should be aware the interests of foreign spay agencies in the Somali community here in Canada may fade away soon like the scent of cheap clones, but the Somali-Canadians are here to stay. Also, as history will attest the occupation of Somalia—where the land mourns and the oceans rage with anger—will run its course. And the wounded national pride of the nomads will bounce back.
The author can be reached at email@example.com
1. Northern Somalis for Peace and Unity (NSPU), 18 May 2006 <http://www.somaliunity.org/publications/The_Illusory_Somaliland__Satting_the_Record_Straight.pdf>
2. Mahad, Mohsin, 24 August 2007 <http://www.awdalnews.com/wmview.php?ArtID=9274>
3. Hassan, Gamal, 18 June 2007
4. Xandule, Abdikarim, 15 June 2007
5. Nala Daawada Somaliland & SNM, 17 August 2007
<http://www.jidbaale.com/fullpage.php?sscid=4819&PHPSESSID=a89ddac5583061a5351053234d28898b or <http://tinyurl.com/ywuk8r>
6. Alinur, Said, 17 Jan 2007 <http://www.wardheernews.com/Articles_07/Jan/17_invasion_alinur.html>
7. Smith, Brian, 13 August 2007
8. Cawthorne, Andrew, 13 August 2007 <http://www.hiiraan.com/news2/2007/aug/world_ignoring_somalia_war_crimes_rights_group.aspx>
9. Hirad, Abdalla, 09 September 2007
10. Bell, Stewart, 25 July 2007
11. Mitchell, Anthony, 04 April 2007 <http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__africa&articleid=303808>