Ref: XIS/WAD/UK/144/2018 Date: 29th November 2018
The position of Waddani Party on so called Somaliland Diaspora Conference (in London)
The Waddani Party hereby wishes to outline and share its position with the Somaliland Diaspora and International community on the forthcoming conference that the Kulmiye Party has scheduled for the 1st of December 2018 in the United Kingdom. Having closely examined events on the ground, it is our view that this conference is being organised and led by stakeholders whose personal, vested interests are best served by perpetuating existing fault lines in Somaliland. We feel that this conference therefore is simply the means by which Kulmiye can seek to extend these divisions to Somaliland communities currently living abroad as well as at home
It is patently clear for all to see that the dire socio-economic situation in Somaliland has been exacerbated by Kulmiye’s lack of good governance and accountability. This has been illustrated by:
Ever-increasing levels of people living below the poverty line
Thousands of local traders being forced out of business
Scarcity of access to potable water
The complete absence of any semblance of public health services
Very low standards of education
Injustice, brazen favouritism, shameless tribalism and nepotism. This has been particularly evident with regard to how Kulmiye government officials have handled and misappropriated various state assets and government buildings in Somaliland.
Of late, much of Somaliland’s eastern regions are no longer under Kulmiye government’s control. For example, although Badhan is part of Somaliland which proudly exercised its democratic right in the presidential elections of November 2017, it is now being claimed by another regional administration as under its jurisdiction.
The current administration also failed to contain several skirmishes and flashpoints that threatened the security situation inside Somaliland, particularly with regard to the Sool region most recently. This leads us to having no confidence in Kulmiye government’s capacity and appetite for peace and reconciliation between various groups across the country.
For example, only a full 17 days after fighting broke out that tragically resulted in a number of casualties did the government decide to send the current Interior Minister to the region under the ostensible pretext of defusing heightened tensions. That he was preceded in doing so by foreign officials, is an immense source of frustration for the Waddani Party as this perhaps best illustrates Kulmiye government’s cavalier attitude to its own citizens’ security.
That peace and reconciliation meetings between the aforementioned clans had taken place in Jigjiga, Ethiopia, with absolutely no involvement whatsoever from its own government of Somaliland is also a particularly unfortunate turn of events.
All of the above mentioned factors have led to an overriding sense of doom and gloom with regard to Somaliland’s regional and international prospects in both the short and long term. This is evident through the increasingly-widening divisions between various sections Somaliland’s society, with little hope in Kulmiye government’s willingness and appetite to change course.
It is well known that the Somaliland Diaspora has always stood shoulder to shoulder with Somalilanders at home, successfully overcoming all challenges to date. This has only been possible through our longstanding spirit of collective unity, independence and a sense of nationhood that has always transcended tribal or ethnic fault lines.
Regrettably, successive Kulmiye administrations, having successfully exacerbated and entrenched division within Somaliland are now shamelessly seeking to extend their sowing of discord to the Diaspora community abroad. In our view this is an attempt to shore up and strengthen their position politically but one that can only have devastating, potentially irreversible effects in future
A delegation to the UK comprising various ministers and other government officials are there in London or on their way here, and they’re currently led by the current Vice-President, Abdirahman Sayli’i.
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, it is our understanding that the aim of the December 1st conference is to celebrate this Kulmiye’s administrations “successes” since retaining office one year ago. It is hard to envisage exactly what type of successes Kulmiye wishes to hold up as achievements of progress since November 2017
It goes without saying that this conference will incur considerable expenses which are desperately needed by millions of Somalilanders in terms of their daily needs being met. We understand that much of this is being funded by tax hikes being borne by Somalilanders that they can ill afford. It is our view that such displays of extravagance on such gatherings are an affront to the people the government has been entrusted with serving and illustrates the total lack of fiscal discipline and responsibility required to run and manage the coffers of the state
If the Somaliland diaspora wishes to hold such conferences, in our view, various non-governmental organisations should be allowed such privileges without the interference or input of any state actors.
In summary, the Waddani Party wishes to reiterate that due to a combination of the aforementioned factors, we will not partake in or support the forthcoming conference currently scheduled for the 1st of December 2018 in London. We would also advise our supporters across the globe to avoid supporting the conference as in our view, Somaliland’s aspirations will not be achieved by the current Kulmiye administration until it listens to and address the very real and legitimate concerns of its people and changes course from this destructive trajectory before it is too late.
Mr Mohamed Mohamoud
The Chairman of the Waddani
Somaliland Party in the United Kingdom