On 6 February 2023, SSC Traditional Leaders and a 33-Member Committee issued the ‘Laascaanood Declaration’ where a 45-member body was elected to administer SSC-Khatumo, and where SSC-Khatumo declared of not being part of the Somaliland administration, and having never agreed to nor participated in the secession program, and that “SSC-Khatumo territories are part of the Federal Republic of Somalia, and stand for the unity and integrity of the Somali Federal Republic.”
In addition, the ‘Laascaanood Declaration’ unequivocally stated that “Somaliland administration should respect the desire and the will of SSC-Khatumo people toward their self-determination, and Somaliland administration should withdraw its troops from the territory of SSC-Khatumo without any conditions.”
Minutes before the ‘Laascaanood Declaration’ communique was to be announced, Somaliland immediately began attacking to capture the city and raining down artillery shells on the city. The war for Laascaanood that began on 6 February rages on to this day, where daily Somaliland artillery shelling of the city continues to destroy civilian homes and take innocent lives.
As the war rages on and death toll mounts, Somaliland clan loyalties are fraying, and Hargeisa is experiencing political disarray, Daljir Media reached out to a number of Somali intellectuals and influencers, and we posed them two questions on the ‘War in Laascaanood and the future of SSC-Khatumo.’
In PART III of this series, Faisal Roble, M. Mubarak and Mohamoud Gaildon share their thoughts on the war in Laascaanood, and the role of or lack thereof of Villa Somalia in safeguarding the union.
Question 1: The people of SSC-KHATUMO, the 33-member Committee and most importantly SSC-KHATUMO traditional leaders have triggered Article 47(2) and they have clearly stated that they aren’t party to Somaliland’s secession project, and that they want to be a Federal Member State under the jurisdiction of the federal government of Somalia. So far, neither President Hassan Sh. Mohamoud nor PM Hamza Abdi Barre have provided an understandable answer to the people of SSC-KHATUMO and they haven’t even declared that SSC-KHATUMO is under the jurisdiction of the FG of Somalia and not under the jurisdiction of secession seeking Somaliland. What is preventing President Hassan Sheikh and his PM Hamza Abdi Barre from protecting the flag and standing up for the unity of Somalia, and in the process perhaps providing the answer to the unity of Somalia the people of SSC-KHATUMO seek?
Faisal Roble: The federal government headed by President Hassan Sh. Mohamoud and PM Hamza Barre are between a rock and a hard place. Villa Somalia has a sustained yet ineffective policy of appeasement towards Somaliland for the last 20 years. This is so, because Mogadishu has neither the capacity nor the will to confront Hargeisa at this juncture. Since Somalia has disintegrated in 1990, there is one undeniably bitter reality – the reunification of Somalia is more of a long term dream than a near-reality. It is this reality that prompted the people of Lasanod to seek solution on their own and not wait much from Mogadishu.
M. Mubarak: Hassan Sh. Mohamoud was elected because of a last-minute support from Somaliland MPs, many of them under the direction of Muse Bihi himself. President Hassan Sheikh seems beholden to Bihi because of that. Nevertheless, as the President of the country, he will have to support unionists at the end of the day. He may not want it personally, but the constitution and popular opinion will force his hand.
Mohamoud Gaildon: I don’t have an answer other than that it is so because of a mere political calculation, meaning how many votes a president or a presidential candidate can get or lose in Parliament. Of the MP’s hailing from the former North, their success in Somalia’s political machinations lies in the fact the Somaliland contingent is more organized and, in the past, has provided more votes to presidential candidates than the unionist contingent.
Question 2: What is the role of Djibouti and IOG in supporting Somaliland’s desire to secede from Somalia? And if he does have a role, why does IOG support, and how does he politically and economically profit from such a risky venture?
Faisal Roble: As far as my understanding is concerned, there is no tangible fact to tie Djibouti and President Ismail Omar Gelle to the conflict in Lasanod. Outside social media hyperbolic accusation of Djibouti, no facts have thus far been produced by those who blame IOG. The same is said by Garad Mukhtar Garad Ali, who said that beyond rumors, not real facts tie Djibouti to the mayhem caused by Hargeisa. Some of us even hope that IOG will play a mediating role to have positive influence on President Bihi to stop the war.
Stay tuned to PART IV of our next series with more Somali intellectuals and influencers. If you want to contribute to this series, please send us an email at [email protected] or DM at Radio Daljir.
Somali intellectuals and influencers on ‘War in Laascaanood & the future of SSC-Khatumo’ | PART II
FAALLOOYIN & FALCELIN