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Somaliland: A successful election, what then?

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The republic of Somaliland has successfully completed its sixth election and third presidential election. In this last election, there were many firsts including which were: the first time an incumbent president chose not to seek a second term, the first presidential debate and most impressively the first time an iris-recognition technology is used for election in the world.

On the 13th of November happened the election peacefully, after 21 days of exotic campaigning. For a week’s time, the whole nation waited with a sense of restlessness to who will be the declared winners. On the 20th, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) confirmed the ruling party’s candidates Mr. Muuse Biixi Cabdi and Mr. Abdirahman Abdilahi Ismail (Zeylici) as the winners.

The whole country once again held its breath waiting on if the opposition candidates would accept the defeat and concede as the country’s electoral history shows. Sure enough, and in stark contrast to the neighboring Kenya, the two opposition leaders accepted the result.

As the constitution states the Supreme Court has to endorse the preliminary results announced by the Electoral Commission to make them official and on the 28th they made their endorsement which leaves only the swearing of the President and Vice President-elect to finish the electoral process.

As the electoral process is nearly over people’s attention is shifting from what has been described as ‘the election fever’ to the expectations of the new government.

The first big task of the President-elect is forming his new government and that is a very critical task as it comes with many dilemmas; on one side are the citizens tired by the corrupt politicians who held high positions in Siilaanyo’s administration and on the other are the very same politicians who campaigned very hard for the President-elect and helped him secure the presidency. Choosing to reappoint some of these politicians is enough to lose him the trust of the fed-up citizens as it will portray his new government as no more than a continuation of the old regime and if he chooses to left them out he will alienate some of the most powerful politicians and will make many enemies within his own party.

The president-elect understands the tough position he stands very well and addressing to the head campaigners of his party and the other top party officials he said “It awaits me that many will say ‘Ow, I have been put this [bad] position by my finger [vote]’, but you did not vote for me to do as you want but to do as I think serves the country the best.”

As the locals raise their concerns of the new cabinet and how they would like to witness the appointment of honest men and women, old politicians struggle and hustle to secure their spot in the new government, and Somaliland diaspora flow back to the country in the hundreds as they themselves join the race of securing a position in the new cabinet their bargaining chip being their generosity during the campaign, the president-elect faces his first big challenge which a success or a blunder will be the first mark of his leadership.

There are also many more and much larger challenges ahead of the new government that is to be formed in a few weeks’ time. Creating jobs for the youth that make over 70% of the population whom an estimated 75% is unemployed was on the top of the priorities Kulmiye’s political manifesto. Creating an open economic system that encourages production to reduce poverty; modernizing and improve the Healthcare, Education, and Water Supply systems; setting an effective avoidance strategy of natural disasters like recurring droughts; and the rule of law, justice and equality among all the citizens of Somaliland, were all an areas that the Kulmiye party said that it will focus on.

But two factors above all seem to be the most important for Somalilanders to be worked upon: the restoration of good governance, which has suffered intensely in the past 7 years, by employing a competent bureaucrats and technocrats in the ministries and other governmental institutions rather than unqualified based on nepotism and clannism. Moreover, people can’t wait to see the institutionalized corruption uprooted and ended, and indeed it was reassuring when the president-elect told his party’s strongmen “the fight against corruption will start on top and that they will not be excluded.”

Somaliland saw a massive improvement in the past 26 years but that shall never be taken for granted. Sustaining its success story demands more than elections, it will take a leader that guides the nation’s forward march. Over 55% of this election’s voters believe that Muuse Biixi with his decisiveness and daring character can help the nation towards a better future and even those who voted against him are hoping for that to be true. The President-elect has five years of leadership to make his story part of the country’s legacy.

 

By: Khadar Mariano

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OpEd: Recall Of Berbera Oil Storage Facilities – A Major Milestone

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Written by: Abdirahman Aideed

 

Majority of the public in Somaliland welcomed and aired their congratulations for the president of Somaliland (H.E. President Muse Behi) for his remarkable decision, August 2018, to recall the national oil storage facilities in Berbera from the hands of the currently run private company(ies) to remain under the management of the government.

The former president Silanyo government tabled a resolution/motion to the parliament in August 2015 to approve the privatization of the Oil Storage Facilities to private companies. The parliament objected the motion with majority ruling vote. However the government has overruled and implemented the decision with presidential degree by October 2015. A period of about three years of being run the property by the private companies, there were number of arguments in the public domain, as such arrangement tempted a number of risks to the public interest including slack quality control of the petroleum coming into the country and national security as well.  This debate heated up in April 2018 when a sub-standard petrol offloaded into the storage facility that has affected many vehicles as owners suffered heavy unaccounted financial loss for repairing the damaged machines by that poor quality fuel, and that is why the public are clapping for the action of the president. In socio-economic perspective we can mark it as “the SECOND MILESTONE” for President Behi, since he come into power.

Dear reader, let me remind you also the FIRST MILESTONE for President Muse Behi Abdi, which has happen in March 2018, , when a presidential letter/order released by the Minister of Public Works, Mr. Qambi, in a press conference. The minister explained in detail the message from the president, informing all government respected offices about the suspension of any tenure awarded for the natural seaway land in Berbera (aka Raasiga). This land of about 3.5 Km into the sea waters is a natural inland that remain untouched for centuries and safeguarded as national property by all subsequent administrations that ruled Berbera in history. The Raasiga is believed to be the comparative advantage that gave Berbera to have the importance of being a strategic sea port for centuries. The Behi’s predecessor of Mr. Silanyo government awarded property ownership deeds of Raasiga to business people and individuals that had an influence in the ruling regime. President’s decision of retaining the rights of Raasiga was also commended by the public and termed as the FIRST MILESTONE for President Muse Behi accomplishments of recollecting the national properties that has been privatized by those in power, before him, to themselves as beneficiaries and their respective closer friends, relatives and bogus political allies that later vanished.

Terminating buddy based contracts in Egal International airport and ensuring such diverted incomes go directly to the national income box was also another key THIRD MILESTONE for MBA. Though there are still some government duties that are franchised to private hands to, for instance, print various national tax stamps and logos etc., the majority of the public regarded this third milestone as the beginning of empowering tax collecting departments and upholding the government reputation.

Recovering the national properties and income sources is not an easy task and there are number of reasons for making the task challenging, these will include: First, prominent figures from the former ruling executive power under H.E. Silanyo are believed to have vested interests in those privatized projects. Secondly, such finger-pointed de-facto officers conserve deep-rooted support to a major constituencies that was among Behi’s voting centers, which has contributed President Behi’ s landslide victory to come to the Power House and hence touching below the belt of those individuals will implicate Behi’s political support and jeopardize for his intentions in next term elections. Thirdly, the opposition sustained a continuous pressure, which sometimes seems embedded with number of spicy ingredients on the President to weaken his political support status.  All these and plus are putting the president in a situation with least options to take drastic corrective actions in the system, and he may even sometimes opt sitting on the burning pans, despite being fiery and heatening.

 

Back to the topic, the Nationalised Oil Storage Complex in Berbera, implications are not easy either. This Presidential decision is coming in a situation where already other private companies are given permits and allowed to establish and construct their own oil/Fuel storages in the fuel port quarters by former Silanyo government. Envisaging such a trend it is understandable that privatised oil storage facilities constructions would ignite uneasy market competition with government owned facilities. The current allied company that was recently running the government facilities, could also demand to establish their own private Oil Storage facilities, because that path is already open, they can also use to store their imported supplies to privately owned storage facilities. This cites the scenario of the unchanged status quo of the national banks of the government in compare to the fast developed private banks., which could mean government oil storage facilities will same be only used by the government, should they not become dynamic and competitive in the market.  In that regard the re-nationalized government Oil Storage facilities perhaps can only commercially survive if the government retains the right of becoming the sole proprietor of such giant facilities in the country, like the norm and practice are in the region, especially in the port of Berbera, while oil importers will only be users of the facilities. See more on this in an earlier article on the same subject http://hadhwanaag.ca/detail.aspx?id=221181

 

However, there are number of awaited milestones, from the new president to accomplish:

  1. To recall the reserve lands for the port and free zone expansion, aka Noobiyadda area, as was the plan in history.
  2. To implement the issued order regarding the Raasiga area
  3. To initiate a law, or issue presidential degree of making clear demarcation of the state properties that only the government can own, run and manage vs. what properties the public or private sector can be engaged and to what level. For instance, can an individual or private company retain the ownership of (a) a sea port? (b) An airport? (c) An Oil well? (d) A mineral well/cave? (e) City water supply? (f) Fuel Storage complex at import/export hubs? (g)Export livestock health check quarantines/Mahjars? …….just to mention few.

 

In my view, I think such resources and facilities can only be run by a government on behalf of the ownership of the state.

 

Written by:

Abdirahman Aideed

abdiaideed11@gmail.com

 

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Baadigoob: Jawaabta Goobjoogayaasha Caalamiga ah

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Halkan Kala eeg Maqaal uu qoray Mr. Michael Walls, Madaxa Goobjoogayaasha Caalamiga ah ee Doorashadii Madaxtooyada Somaliland ee 2017kii. Farriintan ayuu Michael ku caddaynayaa arrimo muddadan dambeba dhex wareegayay baraha bulshada iyo tuhuno lagu faafiyay muuqaal lagu baahiyay baraha bulshada oo la yidhaahdo “Baadigoob”.

 

Halkan kala deg Maqaalka oo Faahfaahsan:

 

OpEd Somali

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OpEd: The Lost Intellectuals

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They live in a place where the tribalism is the major dream that the leaders in their country kill to hunt what they want to find. They live in a place where the only opportunity they can mostly get is a life that is related to their heredity family prosperity or clan based opportunity that they cannot learn anything more; where an international NGO/INGO’s go after their rights, because there are no more opportunity they can get.  Every new authority promise to develop somewhere  or something but after they get the lead position they tend to spent their time and money many vehicles and new houses  for billions of money. Where none of them is aware about even the name of their country; or the passport of their own country.

In each year they try to improve and support their society just for dream; they defeat their government on  all the social media  for  hope; they support every one promise unity of their community and developing of their countries production because of hope; in each year of election they expect new change and support for  bright future but after another few years of dream and wishes they nearly lost all their dream; and they lost like nothing until their sight  is dark  in every other way of dream.

The youth which are almost finish their first generation in a dream seasons; were there are more politicians but their sense of politician is not rather  of  having  a big houses; cars and eat good food at  homes; where even they do not think about how they find for it; and they are mostly from outside of the country and they send their children to the most popular university and they send their family and wives to the most beautiful countries and they just visit for rest; while they block  the right of the street children.  The mother that don’t sleep because of worry; gets up early in the morning or midnight around 3:am to feed her  an orphan child; or the single mother that her husband lost any opportunity to have a work or don’t even  consider  his children anymore and busy for feeding his self-non-sense grass like goats all the day and night.

The right of the child in 20 years of age who is already lost in African coastal area and the sea animal have hunted him; most beautiful African girls that lost their most important body in the African coastal and their hunger poor mothers faces is unknown because of sadness and worry; which has many of them effected with diseases in the coastal area; all this does not make any sense to our politicians until his children are safe  and in beautiful country that a leader of his age, mind and power to make it a country that everybody likes it; a youth have a leader who campaign to support them and improve their future life but cannot even have any dream to step forward; no more foot print; no real dream; a youth which have a coastal area of more than 360 feet who do not know how to live  for it and have no   power to learn and cannot across where  their families  are from because of tribalism and lack of leadership.

A  youth which cannot learn any more about government because of their heredity leadership tribalism; a youth which are just separate because of where  their families  are from and cannot make a change any more; a youth which their maturity is after 30 years old and death for worry diseases and do not know where to go and what to do even in that age; a youth which their intellectuals got mad after more think and lack of leadership; a youth which have the most powerful mentally and physically but cannot do any more because of leadership situation; a youth which have not any role model; a youth which have no motivation; a youth which cannot realize their dream; a youth which are ready to change their people, country, and mind but have not any support; a youth which have no  power to eliminate to bring new ideas; a youth who live in a country while  the leaders are the business men’s, doctors, telecommunications, and everybody  of their families  have a department of the authority without any humanity.

The question doesn’t the street child is citizen? Why educative citizen cannot do a work that an international citizen take a lot of money in the country? Why the community are separate and not support each other? Isn’t that because of selfish campaign tribalism? Why they teach the others out of their nation where they from I mean which clan they are? Is it the leadership? If it’s not the leading why the religion make equal brotherhood on all the different individuals that become Muslim when the prophet (csw) was spreading the religion? If it is not then why all American people mention that they are just American from that city? Why and why?

 

Written by:

Amran Abdirahman 

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