S/Land.Bruttal Murdrers Shatter Harmony.
Posted by Admin on August 20, 2009
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Posted by Admin on August 20, 2009
|On the evening of July 11, 2009 (7/11), 24 men clad in army uniforms and armed with automatic rifles parked their vehicles on the Dila-Kalabaydh road near Xuunshalay and started intercepting vehicles travelling on the Hargeisa-Borama road. All together they stopped 8 vehicles with 17 unarmed travelers on board. The abductors ordered the travelers to get off their vehicles, surrender keys for the vehicles, cell phones and money. Some of those abducted fled under the cover of the darkness. The rest were transported to the headquarters at Ceel Bardaale where four were brutally murdered after mid night. The four dead bodies and those spared from death were later retrieved by the Somaliland Minister for Interior, Abdillahi Cirro and the Commandant of National Army, Nuh Tani. The perpetrators of the crime are still at large.
As those who either fled or were spared from death later recounted, the abductees reminded the abductors that they did not have anything to do with Ceel Bardaale, a contested piece of real estate. To which the abductors responded that they did not really care because to them a Gadabursi is a Gadabursi regardless of his sub-clan affiliation.
According to those who saw the dead bodies, the four died from gun shots wounds. There were also severe wounds on their bodies from sharp instruments most likely the bayonets attached to the killers’ guns. Their throats were slit and the severity of the wounds made it difficult for the bodies to be recognized. The victims’ names are:
They were all well known and well respected in Borama. I had the privilege of being a classmate of one of them, Ali Sheikh Omar, during the first 11 years of our schooling at Borama and Amoud schools. He was good student and decent, pious man. He was living in Hargeisa with his family when he was brutally murdered while working hard to support his family.
The brutal, politically motivated murders shattered the pristine image of Somaliland as an oasis of peace and social harmony, qualities that set her apart from the chaotic and violence riddled Somalia. How then can this senseless violence be explained? Why did it take place at the Dila-Kalabaydh road? Why were the victims of Gadabursi origin? Why did it happen in 2009?
There has been long standing Kulmiye Party’s malevolence towards Awdal region. As was stated in a recent Awdalnews editorial, Kulmiye party’s grand political strategy has been to erect a wedge between the Issaq electorate and the Gadabursi in an effort to rally the Isaaq electorate behind the party. There is strong circumstantial evidence that supports this claim:
The party’s calculated emphasis of the SNM struggle and their derisive use of the term “Faqash” to refer to those from Awdal who did not participate in that struggle; its desire to see the voting power of the region diluted as stipulated in the party platform; and its continuous promotion and exaggeration of the land and jurisdictional dispute between the Habar Awal and Gadabursi. The chairman of the party, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamoud Silanyo never misses an opportunity over the last several years to cast the people of Awdal in a bad light. Last spring he told an audience in the seaside city of Berbera that those who were given amnesty (meaning the Gadabursi) should not be allowed to hold certain offices. A year ago he told a graduating class that “we are being governed by those who were killing us in the 1980s”- statement unbecoming for someone who aspires to be the leader of every body.
The first sign of the trouble being caused by the inflammatory party rhetoric became clear in June 2007 at soccer match at Hargeisa stadium between Burao and Borama teams, when the team members from Borama were booed and heckled. There were press accounts of some boys who suffered wounds inflicted by stones. A subsequent basket ball game between Hargeisa and Borama was cancelled for fear of the safety of the team from Borama.
Political leaders do not need to shoot their opponents themselves. All they need is to use codes to communicate to their supporters so that the dirty work is carried on their behalf. Violence instigated by the Kulmiye party rhetoric was expected; only the degree of savagery of the recent killing was shocking.
While for decades Ceel Bardaale has been a legitimately contested piece of real estate, in the parlance of Kulmiye party it is used as a euphemism for a nefarious political tactic designed to incite blood shed between the Habar Awal and Gadabursi people with the expectation that a war between the two groups would flood crucial voters into the ranks of the party.
Several months ago, the Chairman of the Upper House ( Guurti), Suleiman Adan ( Gaal) who shares the same pedigree with, and is a political ally of, Kulmiye party chief Ahmed Silaanyo nominated a committee of his House who are party loyalists, and known vocal opponents of President Dahir Rayale Kahin, to ostensibly mediate on the same issue at Ceel Bardaale that their party has been nurturing as potential flash point of violence. The composition of the committee and its voting behavior is as follows:
Maxamed Maxamoud Diiriye Voted to remove Rayale from power on March 29, 2009
It is common for Guurti members to mediate and diffuse tensions between the people. But this particular Guurti committee was formed to inflame tensions and incite blood shed. The committee exceeded its mandate to mediate and in an unprecedented manner adjudicated and ruled the issue in favor of one side. The leaders of those who committed the recent heinous murders took the unholy verdict of the above Guurti members as an authoritative license to commit the crime.
Just two weeks ago, when the blood of the victims was still wet, members of the Guurti committee issued a statement declaring (1) their decision regarding Ceel Bardaale ought to be implemented (2) the list of voters from the disputed registration drive should be used as the basis of the election. Ceel Bardaale, which is basically a very local land dispute – and there many others across the country- has become a top political priority for the Kulmiye party. While their main constituency is safely established in eastern Togdheer and western Sanaag regions, Kulmiye party is determined to incite the Gadabursi and Habar Awal to kill each other like two pit bulls being led to maul and tear each other to pieces. It defies credulity that high ranking officials of one political party are openly calling, in a broad light, for two communities to go and kill each other!
Fortunately, 64 members of the Upper Houses ( Guurti) condemned the unholy decision of the above committee, disassociated themselves from that decision and decried the unwise, politically motivated action of Suleiman Gaal. The full House declared that they will be neutral in all the disputes and earn again the trust of the citizens by not aligning themselves with any political party.
If Kulmiye party expected political dividend from the blood shed, they must have been disappointed. The heinous murders provoked unprecedented outpouring of sympathy from across the country towards the grieving people of Awdal. Elders and clerics from Las Anod, Erigavo, western Buao, Odweyne, Berbera, and Hargeisa poured into Borama to express their sympathy and condolence over the killing. According to reliable sources representatives of east Burao, the main base of Kulmiye party, was the only one that did not send any delegates. Awdal is gratified by this outpouring of sympathy and solidarity. This is the people of Somaliland we have come to know and admire for the last 20 years.
In its zealous quest to unseat President Rayale, Kulmiye party leaders have considerably deviated from the norms of political campaigns and engaged in activities that have seriously undermined the country: (1) domestically, their commitment to incite internecine wars have shattered the harmony that Somaliland has enjoyed for the past two decades (2) Somaliland’s external image has suffered greatly. Kulmiye was the principal perpetrator of fraud during the registration effort which the western world had invested $20 million. It is difficult to see how the Somaliland can regain the trust of the rich democracies, which were warming towards Somaliland. As an influential Somaliland group of business leaders in Abu Dhabi alluded to in a statement just released, Kulmiye has put its self interest before that of the Somaliland people and the country.
What Kulmiye does not understand is that the consequences of their activities may be uncontrollable and not to their liking. General Mohamed Farah Aideed once moved to Villa Somalia, installed himself as the president without obtaining the wide support of all the people in Mogadishu, unleashing social forces that resulted today in Wahabi Al Shabab group, inclined to behead their adversaries, to control most of the country. The genie that Kulmiye lets out of the bottle may not be to their liking. Already, some members of the overseas Awdal communities are expressing a desire to boycott the businesses believed to be extending unlimited financial resources to Kulmiye especially DAHABSHIIL, the money transfer company. They argue that the dollar they are paying to send money is being used to endanger the existence of their people, corrupt the political system and destroy the country.
The only predictable consequence, which will benefit the lives of the people and enhance the image of the country, is to engage in peaceful democratic activities. If this is deviated from, as Kulmiye party is doing, the consequences will not benefit anybody including Kulmiye party officials and their supporters. They are naïve if they believe they will be the sole beneficiary of the crisis they create.
Adan H Iman is an analyst for the City of Los Angeles
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