LA LIBERTÉ Numéro spécial 3
11 janvier 2001
Journal permanent et indépendant
de tous les djiboutiens de l'opposition

de l'A. R. D. H. D
2ème année
Maj 13/01/01

Media Release, Wednesday January 10, 2001 Ref. SF/EC-027-2001


Somaliland Forum's Response to the Un Secretary-general's Report (S/2000/1211, 19 Dec. 2000) to the Security Council


A Negation of Reality and A vacation of Responsibility


It was to be hoped that Kofi Annan, the current UN Secretary-General, would better inform the Security Council on the realities in the ex-Somali Democratic Republic for once. But nothing of the sort has happened with his latest report to the Security Council. This is a report that picks and chooses certain images and facets of the Somali reality, leaving the reader in ignorance of the most important details and implications. There are three things that are striking about this report. First, it does not provide even the slightest historical background of the Somali crisis, which makes its analysis lack solid foundation. Second, instead of giving consideration to relevant information from a diversity of sources, the report is based on a narrow selection of facts and a prejudiced interpretation of those facts, which makes it seem as if the purpose of the report is not to ascertain Somali reality but to help the Secretary General to justify an already foregone conclusion. Third, the report shows very little evidence that the secretary general is aware of the potentially disastrous consequences that could ensue from the UN's adoption and implementation of what is in this report.

Specific parts and Somaliland Forum's response
The following parts are from the report and are followed by our comments as well as by independent data and references.


1 - The report says:
2. In the interval between the publication of my previous report and the initiative launched by President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti in September 1999, Somali leaders and
interested Governments continued their efforts to find a solution to the problem of Somalia. On 23 August 1999, a group of Somali leaders who had formed the "Somali Peace Alliance" (SPA)
travelled to Djibouti to brief President Guelleh and also travelled to Addis Ababa for similar meetings with Ethiopian authorities. The leaders forming SPA included those of "Puntland", the "Somali Consultative Body", the Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA) and the Somali National Front (SNF).

1 - Somaliland Forum's response:
Nothing is said about the SPA and their motives. In fact, their intentions were in the line of "bottom-up approach" of rebuilding governance in Somalia, the very method that has been hastily cast aside by the UN and the Secretary-General, Mr. Kofi Annan, in favor of the group set up in Djibouti by President Guelleh of Djibouti with an eye to his interests in the region.

1 - An independent source said:
The Indian Ocean Newsletter, New Body Huddles Around Puntland, N_870 - 11/09/99.
Delegates to the SPA founding meeting set up a management committee of 27 members, with six of these (Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed, Ahmed Sheikh Ali, Omar Hashi Ben, Hassan Mohamed Nur, Mohamed Omar Mohamed, and Sheikh Aden Mohamed) also on an executive committee. The formation's objective is to rebuild a central authority in Somalia starting off from regionally-based groups and administrations, but it also expects to unify its armed groups and to set up a unified military command in Beled Weyne,in Hiraan Region (central Somalia).
I.O.N. - For Puntland leaders, this move is the realization of their strategy known as "Bottom-up Approach" which aims to rebuild the Somali central authority from the base upwards, starting with regional bodies born of the national fragmentation. But this prospect is constantly opposed by Mogadiscio warlords who have their own designs, and it is ignored by Somaliland leaders who are no longer living in the framework of a united Somalia.


2 - The report says:

4. President Guelleh, in his address to the general Assembly at its fifty ? fourth session, on 22 September 1999, said that he was prepared to lead a new attempt to bring peace and reconciliation to Somalia and establish structures of governance. Lamenting the
failure of the Somali warlords to live up to the promises they had made in previous negotiations, President Guelleh stressed that any future process should be linked to Somali civil society. He also declared that warlords should be charged with crimes against humanity, and international sanctions should be imposed on those obstructing the peace process.

2 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report states that President Guelleh called for the participation of civil society and that warlords be charged with crimes against humanity. But it does not say anything about who actually got invited to the Djibouti conference. Far from the members of civil society being invited, the President of Djibouti, invited former cronies, ministers, and military officers of Siad Barre, the very people responsible for the ruin of the ex-Somali Democratic Republic, and internationally known war criminals such as Gen. Morgan and Gen. Gani. Other prominent Siad Barre officials included: Ali Khalif Galyr, Abdiqasim Salad Hassan (Siad Barre's Minister of the Interior, and current head of the Djibouti-created faction), Gen. Omar Haji Massale, Hassan Abshir Farah, Mohamed Sheik Osman, Adan Mohamed Ali, Ali Ugas, Gen. Gaani, Gen. Bile Rafle Guleed, Abdullahi Ossoble Siyaad, Gen. Jama Mohamed Qalib, Osman Jama Ali (Kaluun), Gen. Jiliow, Ali Mahdi Mohamed, Abdi Qaybdiid, Awaale, Abdirahman Tuur, Mohamed Ali Jama, Abdullahi Addow, Farah Anshur, Darmaan: the important missing person from the lineup was their previous leader---Father Siyad Barre, as they used to call him. Here was indeed a farce being played on the people of the ex-Somali Democratic Republic by the president of Djibouti with UN support.

2 - An independent source said :
BBC, Government-in-exile for Somalia?, Monday, 24 July, 2000, 18:39 GMT 19:39 UK
[a subtitle; underlining is ours] Late dictator Siad Barre: His followers have made a comeback
A sizeable number of delegates at the conference and even prospective presidential candidates were key figures in the former dictatorial regime of the late Siad Barre.
The report also says nothing about how the mistreatment handed to some innocent people who actually went to Djibouti thinking that this was a free process where they could talk and exchange information. In fact, While Guelleh's friends were conniving with him, the rest of the people who went to Djibouti were treated as virtual prisoners. And long before the final results were announced to the world, it was a matter of common knowledge to most Somalis who was going to be appointed president, and who a prime minister.
The fact that President Guelleh was selling to the UN a process less participatory than even the previous 12 failed ones somehow never registered with the UN. The report also forgets to mention that President Guelleh and his invitees chose deliberately to dismiss the fact that the civil society in Somaliland has already spoken and exercised its absolute rights as guaranteed to us by the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights as proclaimed in the Charter of the UN, and that the people of Somaliland have built their own democratic institutions after having first restored their sovereignty.


3 - The report says :
5. President Guelleh's address received positive reactions from Somalis both within and outside the country. There were demonstrations in a number of Somali towns and cities in support of his initiative. Initial responses from Somali leaders were also positive. Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of "Somaliland" welcomed the initiative. However, the subsequent deterioration in the relationship between his administration and Djibouti led to the former closing the border at the end of the year. The dispute was resolved in January 2000. Mr. Egal subsequently paid a visit to Djibouti and reaffirmed his support for the Djibouti peace initiative.

3 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report mentions "positive reactions" from some Somalis but does not specify where the "positive reactions" came from or how much strong they were. In fact, most of the reactions were negative and against the Djibouti initiative. Most Somalis saw the Djibouti initiative as a thinly-disguised foreign interference and as geared towards an agenda set up by a foreign country. The plan was outright rejected except those whom President Guelleh had convinced he would help them attain their goals; i.e., install them in power again.


3 - An independent source noted:
AFP, Nairobi, Aug 28, 2000
"The Abgal clansmen are meeting to discuss the modalities of opposing Abdulkassim Salat Hassan's election," Abgal elder Abdullahi Gheedi Shador told AFP....
"The whole exercise in Arta was manipulated by the Djibouti government and we need to protest against it," the Abgal elder said.

The report mentions President Egal's visit to Djibouti but gives the false impression that he endorsed the Djibouti plan or its outcome. President Egal's visit had to do more with bilateral relations with Djibouti than anything else; additionally, President Egal, and his country, Somaliland, have stated time and again that they have nothing to do with measures to reconcile the Somalia factions since they are not part of Somalia proper and have already created their own democratic institutions.


Additionally, the report gives the false impression that President Egal is the person who can reverse the popular will in Somaliland and it equates the Somaliland executive with the millions in Somaliland who have decided to reclaim their sovereignty and step back from the disastrous union with Somalia proper. The fact is when the people of Somaliland reached the decision of reclaiming their independent status as the former State of Somaliland which received independence from Britain in June 1960, Mr. Egal was not even in Somaliland. It was two years after Somaliland's independence that he became president.

It must be said if there is a country in the Horn of Africa where the popular will is so strong as to make its firm print on the minds of its officials it is surely Somaliland. The people of Somaliland fought the dictatorship of Siad Barre for a decade and brought it to its knees long before the popular revolt in Mogadishu pushed him out. The fact is what counts in Somaliland is the will of the people. It is high time that the UN, and especially the Secretary-General, should know that the will of the people is more important than the will of an elected official.


4 - The report says:
5. Mr. Egal told my Representative that the Djibouti initiative would provide the "south" of Somalia with a leadership with which he could negotiate.

4 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The wording here is questionable and shows the calculated misinformation coming from the UN and the Secretary-General's office. First, There is Somaliland and then there is Somalia proper. In June 1960, Somaliland received its independence from Great Britain; Somalia received hers in July, 1960, from Italy. The two independent countries then went into a union which was never ratified in Somaliland; the new country was called the Somali Republic; in 1969, dictator Siad Barre dubbed it the Somali Democratic Republic. "Somalia" strictly refers therefore to the ex-Italian Somalia and the more so now since Somaliland, to all intents and purposes, has stepped out of the non-ratified union in 1991. The "south of Somalia" that the report mentions is therefore juridically a curious term. There is just Somaliland and Somalia, as there are Eritrea and Ethiopia, now recognized by the UN as two legal entities.
Somaliland, whether through its president, parliament, or media, has expressed that it will cultivate friendly relations with Somalia proper if and when a representative government is established in that country. No word play can change that reality.


5 - The report says:
8. The first formal move to implement the Djibouti initiative was the holding of the Technical Consultative Symposium, hosted by the Government of Djibouti in March 2000. President Guelleh emphasized that the Symposium was not a decision?making body but a means of providing advice to the Government of Djibouti in its preparations for the conference. The Symposium was attended by about 60 Somalis, invited in their individual capacities, from all parts of the country and from the diaspora. My Special Adviser, Mohamed Sahnoun, represented the United Nations.

5 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report omits to say the "Technical Consultative Symposium" was an invitation only list. President Guelleh's staff prepared the list and invited the participants; thus, a closed list handpicked by President Guelleh was painted as an independent advisory committee. The 60 Somalis were chosen in their capacity to rubber-stamp President Guelleh's agenda.
The report also mentions the presence of Mohamed Sahnoun, a man respected by Somalis for his warnings to the United Nations in 1993 which led him to be sacked-while those who stayed behind at the UN, including obviously Mr. Kofi Annan, and never spoke about the way the UN was mishandling the Somali crisis in 1993, got promoted to even greater heights.
The mention of Ambassador Sahnoun is meant to lend a veneer of credibility to the Djibouti process. But the report omits that Mr. Sahnoun saw the Djibouti process as flawed and distanced himself from it at an early stage. In fact, Mr. Sahnoun, the UN Special Envoy for Africa, reportedly clashed with President Guelleh over the way the latter was conducting the preliminary proceedings. He advised against the strategy that was adopted and the proposed "transitional authority," but President Guelleh wanted to press ahead with his plans. One of the things that made the ambassador particularly unhappy was the way peaceful and self-governing Somaliland was being treated as one of the warring factions that needed to be reconciled with each other. Mr. Sahnoun left early in the process, and never came back to Djibouti. We can say he was right since what President Guelleh produced in Djibouti is a replica of the Siad Barre government.


6 - The report says:
11. On 2 May 2000, the first phase of the Somali National Peace Conference, a meeting of traditional and clan leaders, was formally opened in the town of Arta, which is located
approximately 40 kilometres north of Djibouti. Participants included elders from most of
Somalia's clans and from all parts of the country. The first phase of the Conference concluded on 13 June. In addition to working on reconciliation issues among the clans, the Conference
prepared for the second phase by drawing up an agenda and lists of delegates representing clans. The delegates included political, business and religious leaders, as well as representatives of civil society. President Guelleh formally inaugurated the second phase on 15 June. The total number of delegates was 810, made up of four delegations of 180, each including 20 women, representing the four main clan families, plus 90 minority alliance representatives, including 10 women. The elders who had participated in the first phase of the Conference were allowed to attend as members of delegations, but without a vote. On 17 June, delegates and traditional leaders unanimously elected as co?chairmen a former mayor of Mogadishu and the then Secretary?General of RRA. Four vice?chairpersons, including one woman, were also appointed.

6 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report speaks of "delegates"; but the more appropriate word for the participants is "invitees"; in fact, not only were people invited by name; they received telephone calls from President Guelleh's staff as well as offers of rewards, free tickets and hotel stays in Djibouti-i.e., an all charges paid vacation trip to balmy Djibouti for Somalis in the West; subsequently, ordinary Somalis and Djiboutians started calling the invitees "Guelleh's tourists.". In other instances, people especially those in Somalia were promised cash payments once they got to Djibouti. The assembled people were not therefore in any sense an assembly of delegated persons who had received specific mandates from their people.

Furthermore, the report speaks of "political, business and religious leaders, as well as representatives of civil society." As has been reported by independent sources, the most prominent politicians who were participating were mostly the collaborators of dictator Siad Barre; as for business and religious leaders, no single business person or a religious leader well known to the public participated in the conferences; as for civil society, it is strange that the word was even used in the report. One may well ask: what associations and delegates of civil societies took part? This is an abuse of the word. No doctors', engineers', livestock breeders, or business delegates sent by their associations were there.


What is even worse, and more condescending is that the reports speaks of "reconciliation issues among clans." The whole Somalis crisis is hereby reduced to a "tribal" or "clan" basis when in fact the Somali crisis began as a people's revolt under a horrendous regime, first with the people of Somaliland's liberation war against the Mogadishu regime which continued for a decade from 1981 to 1991.

The Somali case is not a simple case of one clan against the other. At its heart, it is about the role of the state (centralist dictatorial state vs. a federalist humane state) and the individual; it is also about the process of democracy and federalism, as several regions and their populations have clearly stated that they have no desire for a centralist state that holds all the powers. It is additionally about war atrocities committed by the very government that Mr. Hassan, the Djibouti-appointed president, served for twenty years. Beyond these three points, there is the case of Somaliland whose people by their own freewill decided, after having survived massacres on the scale that happened in Bosnia, to step back from the non-ratified union of 1960.

These are the major issues but the report tries to imprint upon the reader that the Somali crisis is about "cartoon head-hunting tribes" who just do not know how to agree upon a president and a prime minister. The fact that the report came from the office of an African secretary-general does not make these simplistic assumptions any less offensive or damaging. The Secretary-General should apologize for these reductionist views of the Somali crisis.

What is even more regrettable, the report forgets the fact Somalis are in many ways
pioneering new approaches to state structures and governance in Africa. As everybody knows, the centralist governance systems of Africa were handed down from the colonial regimes who had depended on a system of appointees and a total concentration of power into the hands of regional governors and a governor-general, the equivalent of a president of a republic in independent African countries. Before the advent of Europeans, Somalis had systems of governance characterized by decentralization and democratic principles; today, Somalis are trying to rediscover the democratic culture and principles. They are also trying to blend their indigenous democratic heritage into the structures of a modern state and this has already happened in the example of the Republic of Somaliland. It is also starting to happen in parts of Somalia proper through regional governments elected by the people-an evident rejection of the despotic system of governorships and centralization bequeathed to the African state by departed colonials.


7 - The report says:
12. After deliberating in committee and plenary sessions for a month, the delegates approved the Transitional National Charter for governance in a transition phase of three years, culminating in elections. The Charter provides for regional autonomy, based on the 18 regions that existed at the end of the Siad Barre regime. It also sets out structures for executive, legislative and judicial powers, as well as the rights of individuals. These include, for the first time in Somali history, a specific requirement that 25 seats in parliament be set aside for women. A representation of

24 seats for minority clans was also agreed upon. The Charter will be the supreme law until a definitive federal constitution for Somalia is adopted at the end of the transition period. It also provides for the election of a 225?person Transitional National Assembly.

7 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report omits to say no tangible agreements were produced and no reconciliations were adopted between the warring factions. For example, the RRA and the Digil and Mirifle people of the Southwest region have repeatedly stated their the lands occupied by the people of Mr. Salat be vacated or negotiated before any meaningful political settlement can be reached. In short, the main issues of the causes of the war and its subsequent effects were not discussed. Regional federalism, as demanded by the Digil and Mirifle, the regional state of Puntland, war crimes and war tribunals, return of occupied lands and properties, and what relations would a revived Somalia have with Somaliland, its previous partner, were not discussed or agreed upon-and the reason that they were not discussed is because the participants were the very people who were the pillars of Siyad Barre's totalitarian regime.


8 - The report says:
13. In early August, in accordance with the provisions of the Charter and on the basis of
nominations from clans, delegates selected the 225 members of the Assembly. This proved to be an arduous process, since serious differences emerged about the number of seats to be allotted to each clan. The Somali National Peace Conference later gave President Guelleh the right to use his own discretion to select a further 20 parliamentarians. This was seen as a way of defusing tensions.

8 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report omits the fact that President Guelleh, the president of a foreign country, has no right to distribute any seats in the parliament of another country. A "parliament" is a place where people with a mandate sit to legislate not where persons appointed by a foreign president sit. Therefore, the fact that President Guelleh personally supervised the distribution of the seats of the so-called "Transitional Assembly" invalidates it, and makes it the creation of a foreign president. In other words, what the members of the so-called "Transitional Assembly" have, is not a mandate from the Somalis but an illegitimate assignment from President Guelleh of Djibouti.

According to eye-witness accounts, President Guelleh wanted to be able to proclaim that all
the clans were represented. Hence, he started forcibly recruiting Somalis for clan slots from the streets of Djibouti, his own capital, when he could not ferry someone from a particular clan from elsewhere around the globe. At one point, a well-known homeless drunkard who used to reside in New York was recruited a "member of parliament" with promises of a steady pay and a home in Mogadishu. The man obliged and it seems both President Guelleh and the indigent man were happy at the deal. The only reason why this man was recruited is that he was a member of the Isaaqs of Somaliland. The aim was thus to be able to proclaim that "members of every clan or group of people" were represented in the "parliament". Thus, the token presence of a homeless man was illegally used to hoodwink the world opinion that the collective will of millions of Somalilanders was expressed at Djibouti.The same ploy of alluring the indigent was used in many other cases; and if it was not cash rewards, promises of a new power did the trick as was obviously the case with Hassan Abshir, the man who lost the presidential election in the Puntland Regional State. But it was not only President Guelleh who was using the argument that "every clan was represented"-the UN and its representatives picked it up to drum up support for President Guelleh's initiative and for Mr. Hassan's "government," oblivious to the embarrassing fact that the majority of Somalis do not back President Guelleh's initiative or Mr. Hassan.

9 - The report says:
14. Those present included the Presidents of Djibouti, Eritrea, the Sudan and Yemen and the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. In addition to the diplomatic community accredited in Djibouti,
senior officials from France, Italy, Kenya, the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and Saudi Arabia, as well as senior representatives of the Organization of African Unity, the League of Arab States and IGAD witnessed the inauguration. My Representative read a message on my behalf.

9 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report omits to say that only two countries, besides Djibouti, have since recognized Mr. Hassan's "government," namely Libya and Sudan, two regimes whose mode of functioning needs no comment from us. The governments the world around are wise not to confer any legitimacy to a group whose territorial control is comprised of two hotels in Mogadishu and who have no mandate whatsoever from the people of the ex-Somali Republic.


10 - The report says:
15. In an address to the delegates to the Somali National Peace Conference on 28 August, Mr. Hassan called upon those with weapons to surrender them and stated that his Government would provide rehabilitation for former militiamen, some of whom would be incorporated into the new Somali army. On 30 August, Mr. Hassan visited Mogadishu and Baidoa together with members of the Transitional National Assembly and was welcomed by large crowds.

10 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report omits the actual statement of Mr. Hassan and their implications. Mr. Hassan's actual words were: "We will not kill the boys." The "boys" refers supposedly to the militia men fighting in Somalia and to the factions. It should be mentioned that the allusion to the word "kill" is a chilling reminder of what brought Somalia to its present situation at a time when Mr. Hassan was a minister and a trusted friend of dictator Siad Barre. Back then, the solution to the problems of democracy and legitimacy of representation was then "kill and kill whoever questions you." Mr. Hassan seems to be harking to some old ways and means that he has been familiar with under his boss, dictator Siad Barre. This is not a simple slip of the tongue but a revelation of the man that parades himself now in the front of the UN as the president of Somalia.

The report also mentions that "large crowds" welcomed him in Mogadishu and Baidoa. It omits to say who the crowds were and why. Those who welcomed him in Mogadishu were from a group of people mustered in advance by his supporters-it was not a spontaneous welcome; but even at that, the number of people was vastly exaggerated to give the impression of a popular welcome. The report also omits that the services of the militias that welcomed Mr. Hassan were paid for by Djibouti and a few friends of Mr. Hassan who oversaw the renting of technicals (armed vehicles) from Mogadishu's militias, as well as the presence of the armed militias themselves. The militias, of course, welcomed this unexpected bounty. Later, more freelance militias were hired and promised more money. It is these hired freelancers and Mr. Hassan's clan relatives that were subsequently presented to the world as militias being disarmed. The truth is the city of Mogadishu is still as divided as it was before. Moreover, the fragile balance in the relative strengths of the Mogadishu factions has been disturbed since the arrival of Mr. Hassan.

10 - An independent source noted:
The Indian Ocean Newsletter, "Djibouti/somalia : Boreh Is a Happy Man," No. 917 ? 16/09/2000.

The new president's recent lightning visit to Mogadiscio cost 4 billion Somali shillings (local warlords rented out the technicals assuring his security at between $1,000 and $1,500 each), expenses which were paid thanks to the arrival of spanking new Somali bank notes (between 23 billion and 25 billion Somali shillings) printed in Great Britain and delivered to Somali traders, including Deilaf, at the beginning of August (US$1 = 10,000 Somali shillings).
The report also mentions Mr. Hassan's brief visit to Baidoa but omits the fact that the people of Baidoa, the Digil and the Mirifle of the Southwest, have broken with Mr. Hassan after realizing that he was committed to reestablishing the Barre regime, and that he was not interested in the federalist question or in the settlement of the land question. The Digil and Mirifle have since established their own autonomous region. At this moment, Mr. Hassan is neither welcome nor capable of going to the city of Baidoa, which was previously touted as a temporary capital for his "government."


11 - The report says:
16. Mr. Hassan proceeded to Cairo, where he addressed the ministerial meeting of the League of Arab States and met with Egyptian officials. He then flew to New York and participated in both the Millennium Summit and the general debate of the General Assembly. Mr. Hassan, or his Prime Minister, has since visited the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Yemen, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda. Mr. Hassan also participated in the summit meeting of the League of Arab States, held at Cairo on 21 and 22 October, and the summit conference of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, held at Doha from 12 to 14 November 2000.
17. At the IGAD summit meeting, held at Khartoum on 23 and 24 November, Mr. Hassan was the first Somali leader since 1991 to be re?admitted to the seat of Somalia in the organization. The acceptance of the Transitional National Government by Somalia's immediate neighbours represents an important development in the country's return to the community of nations.

11 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report mentions a long list of Mr. Hassan's visits abroad but fails to mention that legitimacy is conferred by the people that one represents and that Mr. Hassan is scouring the outside world in search of legitimacy instead of trying to bring peace to his own region in Somalia, and in particular to Mogadishu. The report also omits to give the reasons for Mr. Hassan's far-flung visits which was to look for funds to hire an army and acquire a territory so he could show the world that he has some territorial control. It should also be mentioned that the UN and the Secretary-General have, as is evident from this report, recognized Mr. Hassan and his associates as the "government" of both Somalia and independent Somaliland. This is, therefore, the first time that a foreign-appointed government, which was unlawfully instituted in exile by a foreign country, has been extended recognition by the UN!


12 - The report says:
8. On 8 October, Mr. Hassan announced the appointment of Ali Khalif Galaydh as Prime Minister. Soon thereafter, Mr. Galaydh named Ismail Mohamed Hurreh "Buba" as Minister for Foreign Affairs.... A week later, the Prime Minister announced the appointment of 45 assistant ministers, 5 ministers of state and the Governor of the Benadir region (Greater Mogadishu).

12 - Somaliland Forum's response:

The reports omits to say that the only reasons for the naming of these men were to undermine Somaliland since both of them were from Somaliland in the hope their presence would somehow legitimatize Mr. Hassan's government and de-legitimatize the elected government, and parliament of Somaliland. It also purposefully omits to say that Ali Khalif Galaydh has been accused of one of the largest public fund heists in Somali history and there are questions over the seed money for his businesses. Additionally, the report omits the business relations that tie Mr. Galaydh, Mr. Hassan and Mr. Boreh of Djibouti, and ultimately Mr. Guelleh. Dreams of new found wealth on the backs of poor Somalis seem to be the common link between these gentlemen.


12 - An independent source stated:
Agence France-Presse, Somalia's new PM a former minister, businessman, academic
Mon, 9 Oct 2000 8:20:24 PDT
Accusations of wrongdoing still hang in the air about his involvement in a sugar factory scam in the early 1980s, an issue over which he has promised to accept accountability.
Galaydh currently heads Somtel, a Dubai-based telecommunications company.

12 - Another independent source noted:
The Indian Ocean Newsletter, "Djibouti/somalia : Boreh Is a Happy Man," No. 917 ? 16/09/2000.
This is all the more so since the man tipped as the probable next prime minister of Somalia, Ali Khalif Galyr, is associated with Boreh in the Somtel telephone company based in Dubai and working in several Somali towns.
Boreh is also associated, notably for food imports into Somalia (ION 871), with Somali businessman Mohamed Deilaf, a cousin and partisan of Abdi Qassem Salad Hassan, and principal shareholder in the new television station Horn Afrik. This station retransmitted Somali language programmes of Radio Television Djibouti (RTD, government) from Mogadiscio during the Arta conference, thus contributing to making decisions better known.
The report also omits to say that the appointment of a governor for Mogadishu was meaningless since the capital is controlled by different factions. Additionally, governor appointments are a chilling reminder of the Barre regime and its centralist philosophy of appointing governors for all regions. This is not want the Somalis want today-they want regional and local empowerment and the ability to elect their own local officials. It all shows that Mr. Hassan is a man mired in the past and without a vision.


13 - The report says:
19. Mr. Hassan is giving priority to the security situation in Mogadishu. A security committee has been established. Demobilization and disarmament of the various militias is reportedly taking place. A police force is being established and is being financed, for the time being, by contributions from Somali businessmen. On 17 October, Mr. Hassan appointed the Chairman of the National Demobilization Authority, who was killed the next day by gunmen allegedly associated with one of the warlords opposed to the Transitional National Government.

13 - Somaliland Forum's response:

The report omits to say that Mr. Hassan is trying to lease freelance militias or buy out militiamen from his own ethnic/clan group-the Haber Gidr; the word demobilisation is therefore inappropriate here. In fact, fears of a new warlord and a new faction with more money from international sources, such as the misguided UN bureaucracy, have sent all the factions rearming not only in Mogadishu but throughout Somalia. The price of guns and ammunition is up while food commodities have become scarcer. Even if Mr. Hassan succeeds in attracting the militiamen that serve under Aidid junior or under Osman Atto, it would not amount to much a change in the Mogadishu scene-ethnically, the three men are from the same community, the Haber Gidr, and the same though fragmented faction; this leaves out the other factions of Mogadishu. In short, gaining the command of a fragment of Gen. Aidid's militias in Mogadishu, as Mr. Hassan is trying is to do, would not therefore change the grander equation of Mogadishu factions since that would mean only a change in the name of the man who commands a particular militia group, namely the same militia that Gen. Aidid used to command in Mogadishu, when Mr. Hassan was his advisor, and was technically in the fight against the UN and US forces in Mogadishu in the early 90s at a time when the Secretary-General was responsible for the UN's peace operations.

13 - An independent source has said:
Rosalind Russell, Hope for Somalia after a decade of chaos. (Nairobi) 1 September, 2000 (Reuters).
The new government also has the support of Mogadishu's Islamic courts, which with funding from Mogadishu's business community, have their own militia which already serve as an unofficial police force.

13 - Another independent source has said:
African Church Information Service, Demobilisation Plans On in Preparation for New Start, October 16, 2000.
Critics in Mogadishu, however, do not agree with Galal. Sources in Mogadishu complained that it was "wrong" of the commission to concentrate primarily on encamping militias who have been working for the business community and the Islamic Courts - both strong supporters of the new interim president.
A business source said the Committee should be "going after the warlord militias and those of freelance clans, not the government's base support".


14 - The reports says:
20. Following the call by Mr. Hassan for interested entities to assist in reconciling the
Transitional National Government with those who had stayed away from the peace process, the Government of Italy sent envoys to consult with the leaders of "Somaliland" and "Puntland". They have reported their findings to Mr. Hassan in Mogadishu. President Ali Abdallah Saleh of Yemen has twice received some of the faction leaders from Mogadishu. From 18 to 22 November, Mr. Hassan was in Yemen. In late November, Mr. Hassan visited the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya. Reports indicated that the Libyan leader offered to assist in the reconciliation process.

14 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report gives a false impression of Mr. Hassan being engaged in "the peace process" and the other parties as being outside "the peace process." For one thing, Somaliland is one of the most peaceful areas in all of Africa and is not at war with anyone. The Puntland region of Somalia has also established its peace and regional structures. The real issue is whether Mr. Hassan has any mandate from anyone. It has already been said again and again, even by the UN, that peace in Somalia proper needs to be first regionally achieved before a national reconciliation of peaceful areas can happen. The question is then can Mr. Hassan unite and reconcile the factions of the capital in his own region, let alone faraway regions?

14 - An independent source wrote:
Agence France-Presse, New Somali prime minister will face mixed welcome on return. Mon, 9 Oct 2000 7:30:17, PDT.
Two other Mogadishu warlords, Musa Sudi Yalahow and Osman Hassan Ali "Atto", have also said Galaydh would not be welcome in their fiefdoms.

"Salat can not unify Mogadishu let alone Somalia. I do not recognize Salat and hence he has no legality to appoint a prime minister," Yalhow told AFP in Mogadishu.

15 - The report says:
21. In early February, subsequent to Mohamed Ibrahim Egal's endorsement of the Djibouti initiative (subsequently known as the Arta peace process) and after he had visited President Guelleh on 28 January, 60 "Somaliland" parliamentarians denounced the initiative and reportedly passed a law declaring that any "Somalilander" attending the Conference would be considered a traitor and liable to the death penalty. Two "Somalilanders" were imprisoned in Hargeisa after visiting Djibouti. On 28 August, the Egal administration issued a decree giving sweeping powers to a "national" security committee empowered, inter alia, to suspend habeas corpus and ban public demonstrations. On 17 September, a court in Berbera sentenced a senior traditional leader of the Dulbahante clan from the Sool region to seven years in prison for attending the Arta Conference. The leader was subsequently pardoned by Mr. Egal. A representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights was present at the trial. In similar fashion, Mr. Egal detained Sultan Abdul Kadir and five others who had participated in the Arta Conference and, on 19 November, pardoned them as well.

15 - Somaliland Forum's response:
Again the report tries to get some mileage out of President Egal of Somaliland's visit to Djibouti, but omits to say that Somaliland's objective was to help with the reconciliation of Somalia factions. To this end, Somaliland even presented a plan to hold a conference in Hargeisa, Somaliland's capital, for the Somalia factions, before President Guelleh of Djibouti borrowed the idea for his own political ends. The report also omits to state that Somaliland and its president stated many times to the UN, and to the Secretary-General, in particular, that Somaliland is not Somalia and vice-versa, and that the Somali Republic of 1960 has reverted to its constituent republics: Somalia and Somaliland. Specifically, the Secretary-General should have mentioned President's Egal letter to him which partly read as follows:

On several occasions in the past, my Government has endeavoured to bring the political and security concerns of Somaliland to the attention of the Security Council either through direct representations to the Secretary General of the United Nations and his senior staff, or through the international media. Unfortunately, we have had little success. We as a state consisting of three and half million inhabitants, consider that the moral imperatives of the United Nations Charter enjoin you to give the Republic of Somaliland a fair and just hearing for its case which fall within your Council's exclusive jurisdiction.Somaliland's case is clear and straightforward. It involves the political and human rights of its people, and in particular their inalienable right of self determination. Somaliland achieved its political independence on June 26, 1960. On July 1, 1960, it joined the former trust territory of Italian Somalia as equal partners to form the new state of the Somali Republic. Contrary to our high hopes and aspirations, the political union turned into a nightmare....

The Republic of Somaliland initially supported the Djibouti conference in the belief that it would be a conference only for the people of Somalia. From the very beginning when the idea of a conference was first mooted, Somaliland made it crystal clear not only to the sponsors of the proposal but also to members of IGAD and its partners, as well as to the United Nations Secretariat, that Somaliland would neither participate in the conference nor be bound by any of its decisions. However, we did make it known that in the event that the deliberations of the conference led eventually to the emergence of a government that was acceptable to the people of Somalia; we would be prepared to sit with the representatives of that entity in order to discuss the future relationships between the two sides....

(President Egal's letter to the Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, REF: MFA/M/17/1464/2000 DATE: 7/9/2000)

Subsequently, Somaliland also made its stand clear in a press release on the 27th of August, 2000, on the issue of the appointment of Mr. Hassan:

On Saturday, 26 August 2000, the so called "Transitional National Assembly" members in Arta, Republic of Djibouti, appointed a man to become what they call the "next president of Somalia". The man appointed at Arta himself claimed that he will be a president for "the former Italian territory of Somalia" and Somaliland.

As the people and the Government of Somaliland have stated clearly before, and since Somaliland did not take part in this exercise nor has been represented in any capacity, government or civilian, the appointment does not concern Somaliland. The position of Somaliland Republic has been all along that the conference at Djibouti deal with the issue of peace and reconciliation in "the former Italian territory of Somalia" and not concern Somaliland. Our hopes were that a government representing "the former Italian territory of Somalia" alone with a broad support will be formed, after which Somaliland and "the former Italian territory of Somalia" should have discussions about their future relationship.
Press release from the Presidency of the Republic of Somaliland, 27 August, 2000.

Additionally, the report speaks of people brought to trial in Somaliland for participating in the Djibouti process but forgets to mention that there was in Djibouti a process led by a president hostile to the interests of Somaliland; it should be mentioned that even agent-provocateurs were smuggled into Somaliland from Djibouti. Subsequently, a bomb was exploded in Hargeisa to create fear and confusion among the people and also to imprint on the world opinion that even Somaliland was not peaceful and somehow needed the Djibouti process to attain peace. These events led the Parliament of Somaliland to take steps to defend the sovereignty and stability of Somaliland. It, therefore, instituted a ban on citizens of Somaliland to partake in the Djibouti process. The ban itself was no more severe than those faced by citizens of the United States when they travel to places where there is a travel and commercial ban on US citizens. Upon their return, the participants were accordingly indicted, but given a due process of law. The report also omits to say the UN commissioner for human rights stated that a fair process prevailed and that no one was deprived of their rights or mistreated in any way.


The report forgets also to state President Egal's emergency measure was repealed by the Somaliland parliamentarians. The Somaliland parliament is thus not the same as the executive branch, but has real powers, unlike those of many countries with UN seats.

16 - The report says:
22. Djibouti sent a delegation to "Somaliland" on 14 April to brief Mr. Egal and seek his participation, but the delegation was not allowed to disembark at Hargeisa airport. Reacting to the election of Mr. Hassan as President, Mr. Egal stated that he would enter into negotiations only with someone who could claim legitimacy over the southern regions of Somalia.

16 - Somaliland Forum's response:

The report omits to say that the Djibouti delegation came in uninvited and without warning into Somaliland. The way the Djibouti delegation came in was an affront to the sovereignty of the people of Somaliland: Somaliland is an independent country and diplomatic delegations are required to have existing arrangements with Somaliland authorities before they can fly into the country. In fact, Somaliland was within its rights to prosecute the members of the so-called "delegation" for illegally entering the country; but, as a gesture of good neighborliness, Somaliland authorities asked them to simply return and to contact later the relevant Somaliland authorities on subjects of further interest to them.


The report also omits to say that, in a gesture of pure and unbridled revenge, the President of Djibouti, Mr. Guelleh, expelled the Somaliland Representative in Djibouti and closed the Somaliland legation in the most unceremonious and insulting way he could-Somaliland had at that time two bureaus: one in Djibouti and one in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Without warning the Somaliland Representative, Mr. Omar, his wife and children, as well as other employees of the Somaliland Bureau, were taken out of their homes at gun-point with the only clothes they had on, and dumped in the desert no-man's land that separates the two countries. President Guelleh later admitted on the Somali Service of the BBC that he did that as a revenge for the Djibouti delegation that was returned. Indeed, here came to light the more undiplomatic side of President Guelleh in dealing with his neighbors.

President Guelleh also took other punitive measures against Somaliland such as closing the common border their side and massing troops on the border. The government of Djibouti also banned all private newspapers coming in from Somaliland, especially the independent Somali language daily, Jamhuuriya, as they were popular in Djibouti and could be understood by the local people most of whom are not able to read the Djibouti government's own French language paper, La nation, which at that time was the only paper published in Djibouti in any language. This fact was duly noted and protested by international organizations that promote the freedom of the press in the world. One of the them, Index on Censure, dubbed the Republic of Djibouti as "the one-paper state"-See Index on Censure,

"The One-paper State,

The government of Djibouti did not accuse Somaliland newspapers of any crime. So the sole aim of banning independent and private newspapers from Somaliland was to keep the Djibouti public as well as the Somali participants in Djibouti in the dark about the true intentions of the Djibouti government, and the way President Guelleh was shepherding the participants into the conclusions he had already envisaged. President Guelleh was thus practicing censorship and dictatorial measures by curtailing the freedom of the press and speech. Of course, the report omits all of that, omissions being its hallmark.


17 - The report says:
27. On 1 September and 3 December 1999 and 24 April 2000, the Under?Secretary?General for Political Affairs convened ambassadorial meetings of external actors on Somalia
in New York. The representative of the Government of Djibouti briefed the meetings on the Somali National Peace Conference. The ambassadors who spoke at the meeting generally
supported the efforts of Djibouti and called upon others to do the same.

17 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report omits to state that no chance was given to those opposed to the Djibouti intervention in the Somali crisis, and to the UN's one-sided treatment of the issues, to give their views. The government of Djibouti has been acting at the UN as the legal custodian of the affairs of the ex-Somali Republic. It never transpired to the UN staff that Djibouti is a foreign government with regional interests, and it was trying to influence the outcome in a way that would benefits its leadership.

Already, as an example, Mr. Boreh, a relative and confidant of President Guelleh, and reputedly the richest man in Djibouti, has been promised reconstruction contracts, ostensibly to be paid for by the international community, by Mr. Hassan as a reward for the help he had received from President Guelleh. In fact, Mr. Hassan was in a state of total obscurity, laying low after the fall of the Barre regime in which he was a life-time minister, when he was introduced to President Guelleh by Mr. Boreh. Mr. Hassan himself has reportedly made quite some money in the millions of dollars when he a minister in the Barre dictatorship and surely knows how to make deals with shadowy businessmen; hence the linkup with the Mr. Boreh and Mr. Guelleh, two men whose interests in Somali affairs runs deeper than neighborly altruism.

17 - An independent source stated:
The Indian Ocean Newsletter, Somalia : Making Do and Mending, No. 912 - 15/07/00
He [Mr. Hassan] has support from his sub-clan's businesmen, who are also some of the principal interlocutors of Djibouti businessman Abdurahman Boreh, close to head of state Ismail Omar Gelleh.

17 - The same independent source also noted:
The Indian Ocean Newsletter, Djibouti/somalia : Boreh Is a Happy Man, No.917 - 16/09/00
The Arta (Djibouti) conference's recent nomination of a president of Somalia (Abdi Qassem Salad Hassan) and of a transition parliament offers new trade prospects in Somalia for Djibouti businessman Abdurahman Boreh, who is close to Djibouti head of state Ismail Omar Gelleh. Boreh boasted privately in Djibouti that his construction company is believed to have very good chances of being awarded the future contracts for rehabilitating Somali infrastructures if the situation in the country becomes normal again.

This is all the more so since the man tipped as the probable next prime minister of Somalia, Ali Khalif Galyr, is associated with Boreh in the Somtel telephone company based in Dubai and working in several Somali towns.


18 - The report says:
28. UNPOS has continued to monitor the political situation in Somalia and to encourage Somali leaders and the international community to work together to restore peace in the
country. At my request, my Representative travelled to Djibouti on 1 February 2000 to assist and support the Djibouti efforts. He remained there until the conclusion of the process. Colleagues from the United Nations Somalia team, including the Resident and
Humanitarian Coordinator and the Human Rights Officer, joined the UNPOS team
from time to time throughout the process.

18 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The United Nation's Political Office (UNPOS) is an incongruous office being the only one of its kind. It was bequeathed to the current Secretary-General by the previous Secretary-General, Mr. Boutros-Boutros Ghali, whose errors of judgment in the Somali crisis were partly responsible for the UN fiasco in Somalia. UNPOS is not a humanitarian office. It has become a bureaucracy in its own right, and to justify its existence and payroll it has kept its fingers engaged in inventing reports and situations about the Somali crisis. It is high time that the donor nations of the UN stop paying for the expenses of this office in Nairobi that has already sustained the careers and the lifestyles of a large of UN bureaucrats for almost a decade with very little benefit accruing to the Somali populations.

The report omits to say that the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Randolph Kent, who operates out of Nairobi, has established himself as a proconsul, and has termed his organization and his role a "caretaker government" ready to put their expertise and funds at the hands of the Djibouti-appointed government. Through his biased zeal to treat Mr. Hassan and his faction as the legal government of not only Somalia proper but also of Somaliland, Mr. Kent has made bankrupt the notions of humanitarian work and non-partisanship; by promoting the Djibouti-appointed faction, he has squandered the last shreds of credibility the UN had in the eyes of Somalis.

It is important to note, as the reports omits it, that the President of Somaliland, Mr. Egal, has pointed out to Mr. Kent to desist from promoting the Arta faction and Mr. Hassan as a legal entity with a mandate over Somalia and Somaliland. President Egal stated:
I am following through the Internet your effort to secure for Abdulqasim and his group International support and credibility. Once before the UN had through UNSOM, supported an untried and unrepresentative faction which had ultimately became the UN''s nemesis. It is my considered opinion that you are, by your activities, repeating an awful chapter of Somalia''s history. It is not yet clear to me whether the motive behind your crusade is innocent through misguided or whether it is an attempt to resurrect the money spinning project of UNSOM. ...
There are several major problems which must be settled constructively if future civil conflict is to be avoided. The one that particularly concerns me and Somaliland is Mr. Abdulqasim''s claim that he is the President of Somalia which includes Somaliland. We reject that claim totally and without reservation. If therefore Abdulqasim acquires support and credibility from the International Community through your crusade, then you are sowing the seeds of a civil war.

We ask both you and Secretariat to take an objective view of the realities of the Somali problem. The orchestrated hysteria from Djibouti is based on malice towards Somaliland and narrow minded bias in favour of the men of the former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre. To give such a scheme the UN''s stamp of approval without question or correction, would be a sin against the very nature of the united nation''s charter.

President's Letter to the UN Resident, Mr. Randolph Kent, REF: JSL/M/UN017/1100, 4 November 2000

18 - An independent source wrote:
Bernhard Helander, "Peace in Somalia Now?", American Diplomacy, Vol. V, No. 4, Fall 2000
[T]he UN aid coordinator, Randolph Kent, promptly pledged that the new government (although there was not yet one appointed) was going to have a tremendous impact on the work of aid organizations.

When it comes to political questions and sovereign will, the report and the UN forget to mention that it belongs to the peoples of the ex-Somali republic to dispose their collective will as they wish and that it behooves international bureaucrats to provide humanitarian assistance and desist from political interventionism. However, the truth about the UN Somalia office comes out amply when you visit their official internet site. Under the "political" heading, they have lots of projects and calls for more funding from donor nations for "support staff" and "consultants"; but under the heading of "education," the only thing they could mention was the establishment of universities in Somaliland, namely the University of Hargeisa and the University of Amoud, both entirely built without a dime from the UN! Of course, all the time when the people of Somaliland were building these two universities and other institutions, the UN bureaucracy was working hard to undermine their hard-won liberty and sovereignty. They have also rebuilt hospitals and schools; in fact, they have rebuilt their towns destroyed by the artillery, and bombers of the Barre regime in which Mr. Hassan was the interior minister, all, of course, without any tangible outside aid.

It should also be mentioned that consultants and bureaucrat of the UN Somalia office have been seen in Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, paying government clerks into giving official statistics and data so they put them in their "Somalia" reports and able to proclaim that under their concerted efforts progress is being made!

The usefulness of the UN's political office and its huge Nairobi bureaucracy, under the names of the UNDP Somalia office and UNPOS, needs to be evaluated. Almost a decade ago, Ambassador Sahnoun, gave a judgment which still stands, and pointed out which UN agencies that really help Somalis and which ones do not work:

... Sahnoun got in trouble for acknowledging the UN's mistakes. In one of his first interviews, Sahnoun told the New York Times, "If a friend had $100,000 and wanted to give it to Somalia, I would advise $50,000 to the International Committee of the Red Cross, $25,000 to Save the Children, and $25,000 to UNICEF." Ray Bonner, "How the United Nations turned its back on Somalia and subverted the best chance for peace," MotherJones (magazine), March 1993.


19 - The report says:
34. The security situation in north?western and north?eastern Somalia remains relatively calm, with occasional incidents of banditry and other criminal acts.

19 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The "north-west" is UN-speak for Somaliland. However, the above statement is far from the truth-it is a huge understatement. Somaliland is not only stable but also safe-its capital, Hargeisa and most of its towns are far safer than Accra in Ghana, the current Secretary-General's home country. It is incredible that the report speaks of "occasional ... criminal acts." Is there a country in this world where "occasional ... criminal acts" do not occur! The way this statement is written is to impress on the reader that the insecurity and lack of peace and government that exist in Somalia extend somehow to Somaliland. However, independent journalists have made some of the following statements which directly contradict the image the report is depicting. In many ways, in economic management as well in the building of institutions and democracy, Somaliland, with its blend of traditional and Western systems, is a model for all of Africa.

19 - Independent sources have stated:
Gerard Prunier, Somaliland Goes it Alone, Current History, May 1998, P.225-28.
On a continent where success stories are rare, Somaliland's modest progress deserves a better response than the international cold shoulder it has received so far. This is especially true because its brand of peacemaking is real, grounded in the cultural traditions of its people and not in the benevolent but ill-informed efforts of foreigners.

Karin Davies, Somaliland: Breakaway Republic Struggles for Recognition, April 8, 1996, Associated Press.

Somaliland has a national anthem, a flag, an army, a police force, its own currency. Even better, it has relative peace, while the rest of Somalia is still wracked by clan warfare.
What the self-declared Republic of Somaliland - a Pennsylvania- size patch of parched plains in northern Somalia - doesn't have is international recognition.

Peter Biles, Somaliland: Building Peace amid the Rubble of an African Civil War, the Guardian (London), 31 October, 1991), P.8.

The peace and stability which has been restored in Somaliland, formerly northern Somalia, contrasts starkly with the anarchy in the rest of Somalia. People in the north are determined to rebuild their devastated country.

Al-Khaleej [Newspaper], September 17, 1998, Pg.1

The visitor to the Republic of Somaliland may not believe what his eyes can see, and may even be astounded to realize that the city of Hargeisa, the Capital of Somaliland, is part of the Somalia that was destroyed and which had suffered all the demolition and destruction! Indeed, the city of Hargeisa is jam-packed with the newest car models that you hardly see in any of the neighboring capitals in the Horn of Africa. Hargeisa may even be the only city of the Horn of Africa in which its markets display hard currencies side-by-side with gold and jewelry that mobile merchants move about without the least fear.

In Hargeisa's large market, the visitor finds anything he wants, and the price of merchandise in the markets of Somaliland are much lower compared to cost of similar things in neighboring countries. The minimal duties levied by the port of Berbera had encouraged Somaliland merchants to extend their commercial activities all the way to Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, the President of Somaliland told Al-Khaleej that the Government of Somaliland followed a laissez-faire economic policy from the date it came to power and it transferred all public sector institutions to the private sector. He added that 'privatization' policies that some governments in the region talk about was executed by Somaliland before anyone else, and Somaliland succeeded in transferring all institutions such as electricity, communications - including wireless, to the private sector.

20 -
The report says:
45. Following the fist-ever recorded outbreak of Rift Valley fever in the Middle East, the imposition of an embargo on the importation of livestock from the Horn of Africa was announced by the Government of Saudi Arabia on 19 September. All other countries on the Arabian peninsula followed the Saudi initiative banning the importation of both live animals and processed meat.

20 - Somaliland Forum's response:
While the report speaks of the ban placed on livestock from the Horn by the Arabian countries as well as the discovery of rift-valley fever in these countries, it omits to say no occurrences of the Rift Valley Fever in animals or humans has even been recorded in Somalia, Somaliland, and Ethiopia which count for the bulk of the animal exports of the Horn. It omits also to say no deaths have occurred in the Horn and that the livestock-rearing areas of the Horn are dry lands that had been facing a drought for two consecutive years, which makes the possibility of Rift Valley Fever occurring in these desert environments as likely as yellow-fever in the sands of the desert. Additionally, the report never mentions that Somalis eat much meat, especially lamb, and if there were a disease that was carried by the Somali sheep, thousands would have died.

The report also omits that irresponsible reporting by UN staffers have led before to the banning of livestock exports to the Arabian countries-the UN workers were looking to raise about a few million dollars for flood victims in Kenya and in the riverine parts of Somalia in 1998, when they falsely stated the presence of Rift Valley Fever in the Horn; their actions led to an embargo which deprived the populations of the Horn of exports worth at least half a billion dollars all for the sake of financing of a few million dollars of donations, which are usually spent on overhead costs for the UN bureaucracy. The UN should have paid the populations of the Horn for the economic damages that accrued from the false reporting and scare-tactics, all in the name of raising few millions that go into salaries and other overhead costs.

21 - The report says:
32. The independent expert has also raised the question of killing in "Somaliland" of an army officer, allegedly for opposing the forcible deportation of Majerten leaders who had wished to travel Arta.

21 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The only thing that is correct in the above paragraph is that a murder did take place. The person who was killed was the commander of Somaliland's Presidential Guards, Col. Osman Farah Mohammed. He was murdered in the presidential palace by a disgruntled security guard, Mr. Abdillahi Omer Hersi whom he had fined the day before for breaking security regulations. Mr Annan's so-called "independent expert" seized on this unfortunate incident to portray Somaliland as a politically unstable place. This independent expert is not the only one in the UN bureaucracy who tried to give a political dimension to this murder. IRIN, one of the UN's news organizations did the same. Somaliland's population have been aware for some time now, thanks to their own local independent media, of the false and absurd spin IRIN had given to Col. Osman Farah Mohammed's murder. But it has come as a shock to them that the UN Secretary General himself had submitted a report, to the UN Security Council, which was saying the same thing as IRIN.

Somaliland's independent English Weekly, The Republican, wrote (Jan.6, 2001):

"It is not yet known why the UN wanted to establish some connection between the killing of Col. Osman F. Mohammed and the Arta conference. But the allegation mentioned in Annan's report to the Security Council has apparently angered the Somaliland government and people."

In the same issue of the Republican, Somaliland's Foreign Minister, Mr. Mahmud Saleh Nur said:

"We have every respect for the Security Council but we hold [David] Stephen as responsible for feeding UN senior officials with wrong information that lead to misunderstanding between Somaliland and the UN system."

22 - The Report says:
55. The Transitional National Government is now located in Mogadishu. It has begun the process of establishing itself on Somali soil and expanding the areas under its influence.

22 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The report omits to say that the so-called "Transitional National Government" and its president, Mr. Hassan, are practically without a country. Their territorial control is limited to two hotels in Mogadishu where they meet, eat and sleep, all the while surrounded by barbed wire and hundreds of armed militias recruited from Mr. Hassan's clan or from freelance militia. Without doubt, Mr. Hassan is waiting for more international funds so he could expand his territory at the price of more Somali blood. Mr. Hassan is a man who believes, only if he can have more funds, he can exercise more influence by buying out some of the militia factions, and then by conquering and massacring the others. We appeal to sensible world leaders not to provide assistance to a new warlord in Mogadishu.

23 - The report says:
57. The absence of some Somali politicians and leaders from the Djibouti process has posed two immediate challenges for the new authorities...

23 - Somaliland Forum's response:
The above statement is more than an understatement; it is a deliberate attempt to impress on the world opinion that Mr. Hassan's UN-supported faction has a following in Somalia. In Somalia proper itself, all the major political and factional groups oppose it. As for Somaliland, it is altogether a different country. If anything, the Arta conference was the least attended, since it was boycotted by all the major factions. Even the RRA, an organization that represents the Digil and Mirifle people of the South-West, seeing the turn of events in Djibouti, pulled out their support from the conference; they were interested in the construction of a federal state, not another replica of the centralized government that was used as an instrument of oppression by Barre. The conference was also boycotted by the Puntland State of Somalia, which has already developed all the structures, and internal stability that would allow it to function in a federal type of government. Worst of all, the Arta conference and as well as its outcome in the form of the so-called "assembly" and president, Mr. Hassan, have made an illegitimate claim on the territory, sovereignty and independence of the Republic of Somaliland.

24 - The report says:
63. I stand ready to prepare a proposal for a peace-building mission for Somalia. A key function of such a mission, would I expect to be based inside Somalia, would be to assist in the completion of the peace process.

24 - Somaliland Forum's response:
Before a mission can be launched there needs to be a reconciliation, and the Somali parties have to come to an understanding on major issues such as:
1. Federal structures;
2. War crimes; disputed properties and land;
3. The breakup of the Somali Republic into its constituents of 1960-Somaliland and Somalia.
However, if Mr. Annan is talking about the Arta faction's so-called "government" as a done deal, he is ignoring the facts on the ground and all the above crucial issues. It is accurate to say about 98% of the population is against the Arta faction. It is also accurate to also that by supporting this Arta faction, the UN is clearly acting against the wishes of the majority of Somalis. This is not the first time that the UN wantonly disregards the views and interests of the majority of Somalis, and tries to decide their fate for them. Catastrophic results ensued from those earlier attempts by the UN to impose its will, or that of its surrogates, on Somalis. There is ample evidence that the results will not be any less disastrous this time.

In the end, the Secretary-General suggested nothing concrete. The problems of the ex-Somali Republic are far more complicated than betting on a non-representative faction composed of former Barre cabinet ministers, and army officers, to make it go away from the UN corridors. One would have, at least, hoped for a suggestion calling for the appointment of a tribunal for the war crimes and massacres committed by members of the very group that the Secretary General is endorsing as "a government," for what happened in the ex-Somali Democratic Republic is no less heinous or tragic than what happened in the ex-Yugoslavia.

The people of Somaliland who were subjected to torture and mass murder by troops commanded by these war criminals, now "deputies" in Mr. Hassan's "parliament", in what was nothing but an ethnic-cleaning long before the word gained currency, were hoping that Secretary-General and the UN would demonstrate that care about human rights violations in Africa as much as they do about such violations in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and other parts of the world by announcing a war crimes tribunal for the massacres that happened in the ex-Somali Democratic Republic.

But instead of getting any help from the UN and the Secretary-General, it looks the Secretary-General is trying to push the sovereignty of Somaliland under the rug, like his predecessor, Mr. Ghali of Egypt. Impartiality, when it comes to issues affecting the people of Somaliland, does not seem to be forthcoming from an African secretary-general, wed to an ideology of colonial frontiers held by the OAU (Organization of African Unity). And yet, Somaliland is not Biafra, the province that tried to secede from Nigeria, for Somaliland does not contravene the Organization of African Unity's edict on the inviolability of colonial frontiers-Somaliland's frontiers, inherited from the British Protectorate of Somaliland, are well delineated and have been on the world atlas for most of the 20th century.



A number of UN officials from Africa have in the past misrepresented the facts of the Somali crisis. First and foremost among them, the previous S-G who was pursuing an Egyptian foreign policy in the Horn. Second among them is the previous Under-Secretary for Peace Operations and present Secretary General, Mr. Kofi Annan. These men, in their pursuit of political ideology and expediency, have failed the Somalis and have even tried to portray themselves being more able to understand the Somalis-Boutros-Boutros Ghali used to say that he understood Somalis better than anyone at the UN by virtue of being from Egypt, a country on the same side of Africa as the Somali peninsula. This time is no exception; and this report reveals that the current Secretary-General, either intentionally or unintentionally, presents a misreading of the Somali crisis.

It is our hope that the Security Council, which represents a plurality of nations and ideas will not base it policies on the ex-Somali Democratic Republic on this report. It is also our expectation that the Security Council would suggest fair and reasonable solutions to the Somali crisis. An essential ingredient in such a solution is the right of Somaliland's people to self-determination.

As has already been noted by the two jurists, Carrol and Rajagopal:

The birth of Somaliland inevitably resulted from a combination of a distinct colonial experience, extreme economic exploitation and human suffering (210). The irredentist policies of Somalia and the systematic discrimination bordering on genocide alienated the northern populations which never acceded to the Union in the first place. The international community has a rare opportunity to bring peace and prosperity to the Horn, before the warlords of butchery in Mogadishu wipe out the evanescent hopes of independence in Somaliland (211). By a single act of recognition, the international community can end the sad saga of human suffering, enhance the prospects for peace in the region by putting an end to the Greater Somalia concept, and enable the people of Somaliland to reclaim their future.

Anthony J. Carroll and B. Rajagopal, "The Case for the Independent Statehood of Somaliland," American University, Journal of International Law & Politics, Vol. 8:653, 1993.

In conclusion, establishing and reinforcing a new faction, and a new warlord, Mr. Hassan, is an unwarranted action by the UN. If the UN cannot or does not want to help Somalis to settle their differences, then at least it should leave them alone, and not help one faction against the others.

Let there be no mistake about it: This is the first time that a foreign-appointed government, which was unlawfully instituted in exile by a foreign country, has been extended recognition by the UN! The Secretary-General has failed the Somalis and they will remember.
We implore the sensible world leaders not to be taken in by the tacit endorsement that the Secretary-General has extended to the Djibouti-appointed government, and the president without a country, Mr. Hassan. The people of Somalia proper need the assistance of the world to reach realistic peace; but they do not need the additional onus of a foreign-appointed president and parliament.

We urge the world leaders to reward the efforts of nations that help themselves and create the conditions of peace that engender prosperity for their citizens as well as those of neighboring countries and the citizens of the world in general. Somaliland has created the conditions of peace and statehood that benefit its citizens and those of its neighbors. We urge world leaders to recognize the right of Somaliland's people to self-determination.

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SLF Backgrounder:
The Somaliland Forum (SLF) is an international organization that brings together Somalilanders from all parts of the world mainly, through the medium of the Internet. The primary objective of the Forum is to work with the Somaliland communities around the world in order to provide some lasting solutions to the needs of the Republic of Somaliland and its people. For more information, Please visit the forum's web site at: