Somaliland: Cannot Let the Dictator Set Our Destination
In the same year the two most notorious dictators in the horn of Africa, Mengistu Haile Mariam of Ethiopia and Mohamed Siyad Barre of Somalia were ousted. Mohamed Said Barre was expelled in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, in January 1991 whereas, Mengistu Halie Mariam ousted in May 1991. Both left behind the death, destruction, and lawlessness they created.
From the day he was ousted dictator Mohamed Said Barre, Somaliland has exercised liberty and democracy, in contrast, Ethiopia has performed authoritarian regimes even after rebellion ousted president Mengistu Hailemariam. But Ethiopia is better than the Somalia, because Somalia has been anarchized and chaotized, and current leaders have struggled to tackle the law and order in the country.
Last week there are a lot of rumours and linkages that shed light on the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed which planned to bring the president of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo into the capital of Hargeis. The Prime Minister is unaware that Somaliland is a democratic country. The president of Somaliland did not have the power to reach his own decision. He is sharing the power with other government branches such as House of Representatives, civil societies and House of elders. Therefore, the president of Somaliland has no power to allow any proposal that gives the joint visit to Hargeisa.
The current prime minister has struggled to reform the Ethiopian political system. Ever since 1991 Ethiopia was ruled only by one party, the Ethiopian people’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Abiy Ahmed has in general achieved a significantly improvement. He released incarcerated journalists and let all media to exercise openly and operate inside Ethiopia. The jailed opposition were released, and political parties became free from being labelled as terrorist organizations. The ethic tensions ease even though millions of people were internally displaced and needs to solve their dilemmas.
Ethiopia first general elections were held in 1957, the elected parliament was 210 members that called Chamber of Deputies, political parties were not authorised at the time. Therefore, the members were only nominal because they were not representing anything. The next Ethiopian election occurred in 1995, the elected members were named- the Council of People Representative. The majority of the 547 members belonged to one party- Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Ethiopia has implemented representatives’ member’s elections every five years. However, the ruled party had won most of the elections. The conflicts and irregularities were overwhelming and most of the oppositions accused the ruled party for rigging the elections.
In 1991 up to present time, Ethiopia had only three prime ministers, Meles Zenawi, Hailemariam Desalegn and the current prime minister Abiy Ahmed. Meles Zenawi die after he ruled Ethiopia for 21 years, the successor was Hailemariam Desalegn and he ruled for only six years. Abiy Ahmed is the popular prime minister after he won to resort the peace between his country and Eritrea. These two were archenemies since the Eritrea took its independency from Italy.
The next election is scheduled to be on august 29, 2020. We are expecting it to be held in accordance with democratic standards which includes being free and fair. According to the previous Ethiopian election observer, there were a lot of criticisms such as voter coercion, registration obstacles and intimidation. This coming election would be the litmus test of the Prime Minister Abiy leadership. The Horn Africa Democracy Advocacy Group have expected from the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) robust electoral laws and framework to be fair. The Horn of Africa needs a good leadership that promotes, freedom, liberty, democracy, and rule of the law.
After Said barre left, Somalia has become a perfect example for constant state breakdown, split between a stew of plundering and strongly armed militias. The international community attempt to stabilize the country ended in a horrible failure, and its people have undergone apparently endless misfortunes. Again, for years, Somalia was ruled by notorious warlords and weak transitional government and did not take any forward steps to recover until the African Union Mission- backed the current federal government.
Somalia has been a failed state and the last decade the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) implemented the peace mission. While the dictator Mohamed Said Barre was ousted, the security and stability were never restored. The current government and its president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo are under protection of the African Union Mission (AMISOM). Somalia’s government has limits to its power in terms of political, and administration ways. Current government failed to instigate political process, stabilization, reconciliation and peace building in Somalia.
Somalia is under construction; it needs a tremendous help. The regional administration and federal governments are not working together. The constitution is under the construction and needs to reach a compromise between the regional administration and federal government. The large parts of Somalia regions have applied the religious laws such as the central regions of Somalia and yet the religious junta still rule a part of Somalia. Somalia is also trying to overcome the economical difficulties and most of the sectors are barely functioning.
Somalia is far from implementing the democratic process because it is struggling to secure the peace and stability. On December 28, 2019, the large scale of explosion blew up one of the busiest intersections in the Somalia capital. Al Shabab has been bombing and killing the government officers as well as the other civilians. The current president was elected in 2017 and unfortunately, he did not achieve any tangible development so far.
Somalia and Somaliland were united on July 1, 1960, and the purpose of the unification was to establish the great Somalia that includes Somalia’s region of Ethiopia, Northern Frontier District (NFD) and French Somaliland.
Somaliland is the only country in the Horn Africa that has always implemented the democracy process, elected freely and fairly its president three times. The local government was elected two times and once for the House of Representative. Somaliland practices the rule of law, due process and personal freedom. The media is free, every citizen has been able to express his/her opinion without intimidation. For that reason, Somaliland people are against any attempt of blackmail to their destiny. In 1997, the Somaliland people caste their balls and overwhelmingly vote for withdrawal of the unity from Somalia.
Somaliland is the only democracy in the Horn of Africa; therefore, those who does not like the enactment of democracy, liberty and rule of law are not welcome in Somaliland. Most of Somaliland intellectuals are preferred to sit and deal with the elected head state of Somalia. Those who have a full mandate reach a real negation between Somalia and Somaliland are elected leaders not the ones nominated by few. Somaliland people do not welcome either Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo or Abiy Ahmed.