Somaliland: Fears of next presidential elections may go wrong

By Abdirahman M. Dirye

Hargeisa—On 18, February 2016 Kulmiye ruling party’s failed attack in Lughaya station to rob biometric registration voter PC server and make false inputs of voters to win desperately the next runoff elections shocked Somaliland public. But Kulmiye’s decision deciphered. Of the government failed policies and inaction to recognition front, the party looked anathema, earned new name locally with slight change Qudhmiye( the rotting).  However, the last attempt to take PC was a kind of testing the waters. What will happen to 2017 presidential election if transitional government not in place; no EU observers are there due to security concerns given the registration voter centers under attack in pro opposition party Wadani regions? This question being asked by concerned citizens. In response to that, Somaliland may fit what Thomas L. Freidman called “the tribes with flags” in his critical article of “artificial states” of Arabia, and be another “tribe with flag” devoid of any democratic institution and fairness. If stakeholders, elections bankrollers, and regional powers don’t intervene and speak the language Kulmiya’s junta Calan Cas or Red Flag  quite understand: language of sanctions and threats, the country will sleepwalk into Jihadists hands without beheading or suicide bombing unlike Mogadishu.

UN Somalia and EU offices as they pick the tap for the elections expenses must speak out as Somalilanders can’t stand their wishy-washy.

Muse infantry-turned-politician was, comparing to his rivals like Yonis Harvard alumni, former UN official, the most unlikely winner in his party candidacy if fair and free election held  but the president Silanyo deposited him in the party’s helm and forced other party members to vote for him or lose their lucrative jobs. Once again, he is very unlikely to win in the next presidential election unless the First Lady and Muse’s undercover personal fundraiser Samsam albeit being Finance Minister are threatened with sanctions – in the case of bloodshed, (they must be brought to ICC in Arusha Court for war crimes).

President Silanyo and the First Lady Amina Waris put the government resources at the Muse’s disposal to facilitate his bloody rocky road to power. The ruling party Kulmiye relisted Somaliland’s recognition just for fun yesterday when they nominated motley of individuals after they put on back burner for the past five years to move cynics of their party political agenda to their deserted camp. “I campaigned Kulmiye here (pointing to his mosque) but I was wrong, and I regret,” said Imam Adan Siro, Muse’s Bihi close cousin, in the last Friday sermon.

Without any exaggeration, Muse is unpopular, divisive figure, with tribal mindset. Being nominated for Kulmiye presidential candidacy led to mass resignation of ministers because they hate him for his tribalism mentality! Imagine if he claims to be the actual president that alone will put the region on fire! He sees Harti a major tribe that belongs to greater Daarod, unworthy of any political post in his government because they are Faqash or his ex-tormentors. He also sees Samaroons and Garxajis that they pose threat to his seat. Habar Habushe, according to his tribal beliefs, is commercial threat and deserved to be denied of Magaado tribe big market. They are dangerously economic rivals. He miscalculates. How on earth shall we support someone like that in a country widely accused of being “ Tribe with Flag” that wants to independent nation? Incapable of overcoming challenges, he resort to Mujahid days, the gone eras! The present generation wants to hear voices of hope, that exactly Wadani Party, unless tribal toxic and sentiment overwhelms you.

Protesters against Muse in Qulujeed & Xiirad towns chanted, “we don’t want Kulmiye party, viva Wadani!” .Immediately, he returned to Xero Awar, his hideout, for tribal comfort. Seen him disappointed with election trends and his eroding tribalism charisma downhill, his chauvinistic kinsmen reacted to raid Samaroon voters registering office in Lughaya damaging election cars, computers and disrupting the registration procedures.

Despite all the attempts met with failures and plenty of resources equipped him with, in the next election, in no circumstance, Mr. Muse  can win unless the president again give the ballot boxes to him to take to his Hirshin for packing or bribe each Commissioners of the National Elections NEC with $ million to falsify the result. But, again, mark my word—God forbid—it will be the end of Somaliland.

Kulmiye’s unfulfilling past promises

Kulmiye promised so many things from recognition to militarily capturing Buhoodle, speaking with Somalia to open gates of investment from Arab Zakats; building extra ministerial offices but the achievement of none of them! Instead, the government counted all governmental buildings roughly 500 and sold except few to finance the 2017 election where they decided in advance to overstay in power in holding semi-legal elections with falsification of the outcomes in certain regions.

What made Wadani opposition party powerfully popular is that the voters’ feel common ownership and mass participatory decision are regularly practiced while Kulmiye ‘s important decision are done by few lieutenants  such as Mohamed Kaahin. Mr. Iro earned as a result of charismatic leadership. He takes tea with common people without any bodyguards to escort him on 24/7 like foot soldier Muse. A pollster in Hargiesa shows Wadani party leads in the public support because he spoke their issues: unemployment, recognition, restoring true Somaliland without bloodshed in the East. Negotiation will be the first choice unlike the Red Flag’s military means of solving political crisis.

Muse simply confined to his sub-tribe and few tycoons whom he promised to sell remaining governmental properties when he assumes power. Kulmiye is tyrant party led by small figurehead old-fashioned warrior surrounded not by civilized people but like-minded tribalism warlords whose motto “my way or no way” they wanna screw up everything or their ‘sacred’ demands are met.

Somaliland Zakat Minister met his underground “philanthropists” in Kuwait and Saed Morgan the ruling party envoy for UAE’s Zakat. Both returned to Hargeisa wowing their party cash-needy voting chieftains with pile-up of $ millions.

Why US, AU, IGAD to intervene

To prevent Somaliland from becoming another failed state as much as its next door where suicide bombers play football at any time, the regional, continental, world bodies should warn of Muse Bihi Abdi, Kulmiye ruling party hand-picked candidate along with his junta of the Red Flag, to desist from their notorious approach to power: using violence to reach power.

If the world does’ not speak out against the latest sabotage, that’s attempt to take registration server to make false inputs to increase his voters, he would assume that it’s okay and raid on another office. Therefore, the international community should send ultimatum and remind of Joseph Kony’s and Charles Taylor’s fate.

Without stern intervention –possibly military if the circumstance necessitated. This is what Somaliland will look like: if the irresponsible candidate hijacks the election outcome that will lead to deadly conflict where sleeping cells of Al-Qaeda will capitalize the vacuum asking their counterparts from over the world to flood to their first African Caliphate where teens are served to sexually starved Jihadists for free! Last time, they tried to form a party of their own, Salvation, to save people into “God-promised path”, but Party Registration Committee politely turned down.

But they won’t stop to grab the power whatsoever happens. Their leaflets oblige them to make Jihad until “filthy” Muslims like democratic Somaliland bombarded into oblivion. Their Saudi masters, strange bedfellows with Israelis, convinced to make it happen. Smart Saudis know no black caliphate or semi-prophet would ever emerge from that region but they want to keep the region at war disabling to produce vast amounts of proved oil reserves so the global prices wouldn’t plummet risking Saudi economy! In doing so, they bought the naïve Imams in Somaliland for a song. They don’t support militant Imams on Muslim fellowship to defend their lands from “infidel” oil producing firms. Surely, without US oil expertise, Saudi Kingdom would be poorer than Somalia today.

It’s not 1994 civil war Garxajis vs. the rest of Maryal-alool tribes, so if election disputes occur, there are other dark forces in the waiting and praying Allah to see Somaliland in the middle of political turmoil.

Any violence will have regional security implications where neighbor countries will do preemptive strike backed by US Drone and spy satellites anywhere in Somaliland if chaos ascertained to arises in  the near future. Already the election procedures married by raids and irregularities therefore the scenario set in motion and doesn’t auger well. It’s now the concerning countries to invite three party candidates to Africa’s capital, Addis Ababa to warn not to stir the fragile Somaliland and derail democratization process but to keep it in the status quo till it vanishes into thin air or recognized  or re-merged, in the case of regional spillover, Somaliland will get regional military response  in return. Muse Bihi or any other Madasha Red Flag, collection of ex-warlords that destroyed Somalia, won’t celebrate.

Arms experts confirmed weapons killing innocents in Darfur have been smuggled from Somalia via Kenya to South Sudan. Any insecurity anywhere in the world poses threat to the rest of the world.

Both Faysal of UCID trying to resell his party to the highest bidder, be terrorists or not and Muse of Kulmiye reigniting old healed wounds are irresponsible behaviors . Only now can be told how to behave in election atmosphere, there’s no tomorrow.

Some government officers said to contrive gunmen attack on the registration center to justify indefinite election postponement.. Only when the threat of consequences upon election rigging or saboteurs informed of facing jail sentences becomes obvious Somaliland election commissioners or any other official with ill intent will uphold the election laws and remain fair to three parties. Wadani Party leader, Hon. Abdirahman M. Abdilahi bets on that UN and AU would reaffirm their zero-tolerance towards the possible birth of  new “Tribe with Flag” masquerading as nation of rule of law without any sense of “ citizenship” and democratic values . The nation’s “court” headed by junior, Election Commissioners, underfed and underpaid, in the pocket of the government that worries the whole region if dispute arises and the opposition parties ask outside intervention from the region and beyond since the internal self-defusing mechanism ceased to function properly.

It’s appears offensive to some gents when black Africans are treated like a naughty children always  in need of parenting guidance from the White West,  but see how 80-years-old figurehead nation began to raise his finger, an explicit hint to lead his sycophants to vote for his handpicked soldier, notorious warlord who engineered 1994 deadly conflict. Clearly, Africa and Arabia need supervision from old white folks not to kill off their people for power sake. Let’s not pretend we had 60-year-independence thus matured enough but matured in what way? Kenya election descended into utter anarchy and bloodshed, and Rwanda’s electoral procedures often criticized for lack of transparency. Imagine Somaliland with junta without President Riyale Cohen who voluntarily transferred power for greater good. Janitor replacement can be disastrous in this part of the world. Replacing President Siyad Barre turned tragic cost the lives of thousands of innocent lives! Somaliland president may leave the office with little casualties when time is up but the fear is that he wants his own man to succeed him. Neither I nor any other Somalilander want that to happen. It’s a consensus.

The UK government that called to her citizens can go only  two cities, Hargeisa and Berbera for essential tasks only, disclosing that the President Silanyo’s claims that mainland Somaliland, the east, being safe is false must again warn NEC will be accountable for any wrongdoings. If the election turn Uganda’s one, they must pay the price.EU Somalia office funded from EU taxpayers’ money, have the power t to pull the plug on Somaliland government if carrots failed to achieve intended policies, the democratization of the “Tribe with Flag”, sticks may serve the same purposes.

Let’s not forget the last municipal elections under president Silanyo’ watch marred by bloodshed and violence because of the massive evident rigging. Dozens of civilians injured in the hands of the cops, and the stability was at the risk slipping in hands again. Next presidential elections aren’t walk into a park rather more complicated to administer, so let’s not see; wait how he and his coterie handle the next elections but exert pressure on the ruling party plainly informing there would be no Somaliland if you distort the election in favor of Kulmiye junta party but rather than be playing field for all.

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Abdirahman Mohamed Dirye

Mr. Dirye is Somaliland Activist and Political Commentator, and Senior Editor at Africa's Desk of Democracy Chronicles, whose works appear in Jerusalem Post, African Review, Big News Network, Toronto Telegraph, New York Statesman, Austin Global, Sudan tribune, Middle East Online, and International Policy Digest.

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