In the Heart of Somaliland: Bridging Divides in Pursuit of Democracy ( Ali Behi).

Saturday September 09, 2023 - 11:10:12 in Articles by Xaaji Faysal
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    In the Heart of Somaliland: Bridging Divides in Pursuit of Democracy ( Ali Behi).

    Sadly, this pursuit of democratic ideals came at a great cost. As the world

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Sadly, this pursuit of democratic ideals came at a great cost. As the world

Somaliland, a nation marked by its rich history and resilient people, has seen two significant dates, August 11th, 2022, and August 11th, 2023, etch themselves into its collective memory. These dates, while emblematic of Somaliland's enduring commitment to democracy and a brighter future, also carry a heavy burden of tragedy and complexity.


On August 11, 2022, the city of Hargeisa bore witness to an unprecedented surge of protest, with more than half its population taking to the streets. Led by the Wadani party, these citizens demanded the immediate commencement of the long-delayed presidential elections. What was remarkable about this protest was not the seasoned politicians at the forefront, but seven teenagers armed with referee whistles. These young individuals embodied the hopes and aspirations of a generation yearning for their voices to be heard.


Sadly, this pursuit of democratic ideals came at a great cost. As the world watched in disbelief, these seven courageous teenagers lost their lives during the protest, victims of Somaliland police actions that many perceived as targeting supporters of the Wadani party. The shockwave of their loss reverberated through Somaliland, leaving the nation to grapple with the profound tragedy of young lives cut short.

Fast forward to August 11, 2023, a date eerily reminiscent of the previous year. This time, a team of intrepid Rapid Response Unit (RRU) officers embarked on a mission to apprehend Oofwareen, a prominent leader among the rebel freedom fighters who had sought refuge in the rugged terrain of Gacan Libaax. These freedom fighters, celebrated as heroes by many, were fiercely committed to their vision of a better Somaliland.


Adding complexity to this narrative is the shared heritage and grievances connecting the freedom fighters of Gacan Libaax and the seven teenagers from the 2022 protest. Both groups hail from the same community, and their pursuit of justice, or perhaps even a quest for retribution, binds their fates together. When the RRU ventured into Gacan Libaax to apprehend Oofwareen, it triggered an unforeseen confrontation, revealing the intricate dynamics of the nation.


The lack of attention and discussion surrounding the seven Somaliland civilians who lost their lives during the 2022 protest points to a disconcerting double standard in policies, breeding discontent. Discrimination and xenophobia have escalated between clan-based areas, exacerbating fractures in the community.


Amidst these challenges, it is vital to acknowledge that the Somaliland constitution, a nation valuing every life as precious regardless of origins, stands at a crossroads. The unity of the people, the very bedrock of the nation, appears increasingly fragile.

Furthermore, the house of elders, headed by Saleebaan Mahamud Adan, is seen by some as part of the problem.


There is concern that Saleebaan Mahamud Adan, alongside President Muuse Biixi, may exert undue influence over the National Electoral Commission (NEC), undermining Somaliland's electoral system.


In addition to these internal complexities, Somaliland is also navigating external pressures on its path to recognition. The world watches closely as Somaliland strives to address its challenges and bridge the divides that threaten its unity.

As these events unfold, one thing remains clear: the resilience of Somalilanders. In the face of adversity, their voices grow stronger, and their spirit shines brighter. Together, they aspire to script a new chapter in their history, one characterized by hope, unity, and progress.


Ali Behi



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