Thursday, 29 November 2018 17:34

PRESS RELEASE HEVOS : Position on the London Somaliland Diaspora Conference

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Hear Voices of Somaliland

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Press release by: Hear voices of Somaliland (HEVOS).

Date: 29/11/2018

HEVOS position on the London Somaliland Diaspora Conference

As you may already be aware the Somaliland Mission to the UK is organising a one day

conference in London on 1st December 2018. The aim of the conference is said to be

‘’constructing diaspora Somaliland identity in an ever-changing Europe: Unity, patriotism

and contributing through positive activism. In simple terms, their objective, as they claim,

is to harmonise and unite Somaliland communities in Europe.

This topic raises many questions including the simple ones of why now and what does it really mean?

We ask these questions, because we all know Somaliland has existed for the past 27 years

and its people both inside and outside Somaliland have been working very hard to

convince the international community about their self-determination and aspiration to

secede from the union it entered with the Italian Somalia after its independence in 1960,

and the causes for its withdrawal from the union.

 

This statement is to address whether holding this kind of conference in Europe,

particularly in London is the right answer and solution in uniting the Somaliland Diaspora

in Europe and elsewhere when we realistically consider the social, economic, political and

geopolitical challenges Somaliland is currently facing. If we want to achieve the

aforementioned objective of the conference we will need to be sincere and truthful to

ourselves and we can only do that if we are thinking realistically and not idealistically.

Therefore, it is of significant importance not to shy away from pointing out issues that

unite us and those that divide us and unless we can find a sound balance on these issues

we will be doomed to fail and history will repeat itself.

 

Before we outline the serious challenges Somaliland is currently facing, we would like to

make one thing very clear, we are and will always support and encourage the peace,

stability and unity of all Somalilanders wherever they are as we believe this is the only

way we can build a solid statehood. But, at the same we must not and cannot ignore the

real problems and challenges Somaliland is facing and how best to address them, then I

believe we can talk about sense of patriotism and activism.

 

Social Cohesion - anyone with little knowledge of Somalis knows they are generally a

homogenous ethnic group inhabited in several countries in the Horn of Africa i.e. 

Somaliland, Somalia, Djibouti, parts of Ethiopia and Kenya, united by common language,

religion and culture but their diversity is defined by tribal lineages, and this is a significant

social structure which one must not ignore, because if tribal balance is lost in the system,

then that system will undoubtedly fail to maintain peace, stability and to harmonise the

various tribes and regions.

It is unfortunate that since the Kulmiye party took over power in 2010, the trust between

tribes has gradually declined and this is due to the divisive policies promoted by the

Kulmiye leadership in which favouritism, nepotism and massive corruption by particular

groups have become the norm and many feel that the system has encouraged those

groups to enrich themselves from public resources. Development projects were

corrupted and many regions in Somaliland have not benefited from the increasing

international assistance such as the projects funded by the Somaliland Development Fund

which Britain and Denmark contribute to.

One example of many projects misappropriated by the administration is the multimillion

Dollar Humbowayne Water project funded by the United Arab Emirates which failed due

to corruption. Both previous and current Kulmiye administration failed to shed a light on

why the project failed, how they spent the money earmarked for the project, and why

those responsible for the failure of this lifeline project got away with impunity.

Furthermore, the lack of equal opportunities for work, government contracts,

development projects between regions and tribes have damaged social cohesion,

polarised public opinion and the vast majority of the population were hoping a new

political direction from the new government but nothing has changed, and Somaliland

has never been so divided before.

 

Public services – many regions, particularly those in the east of the country lack the basic

public services such schools, health centres, clean water and child and Mother mortality is

the highest in the world, yet the president’s priority is to build a new presidential Palace

in his tribal backyard, which is a testament to his priorities for the country.

 

Peace and security – there have been recurring tribal clashes in the east of the country

where hundreds of people lost their lives, and the government failed to intervene in a

timely fashion to save lives and find lasting solution for their problems. Hundreds of

government soldiers defected from the military, because they have been complaining

growing injustices within the military forces. It is thus HEVOS’ view that this conference is

no more than a public relationships exercise aimed to camouflage the fundamental issues

facing the country at present and the government’s failure to find solutions for them.

Therefore HEVOS will not be supporting this conference and feels it is a waste of badly

needed money that could be used to save lives of Mothers and Babies in Somaliland.

HEVOS is urging the government to focus on improving those above named areas.

 

HEVOS executive committee

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