by Ali-Guban Mohamed
October 28, 2020
James Swan, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia with Somaliland's President Muse Bihi Abdi
This week, the Somaliland government suspended all UN operations in the country until further notice, according to a press release from Somaliland Ministry of Planning. But the press release did not go far enough to mitigate the damage that has been done to the self determination of Somaliland people by the blatant interference of the highly biased, corrupted and politicized UN and its various agencies.
In the early 1990’s, the late UN Secretary General, Boutras Ghali, promoted Egypt’s national interest on Nile water; consequently, he pushed hard reconstituting a United Somalia with irredentism in Ethiopia. The UN has actively financed groups that have been waging campaigns against Somaliland’s people rights for self determination.
The late Somaliland President Mohamed Egal and the United Nations had a contentious relationship until he passed away in 2002.In 1993, Mr. Egal expelled all UN staff from Somaliland because they were undermining his efforts to build a functioning state structure and to unite Somaliland people out of the ruins of a brutal civil war.
The UN even denied Egal a vital aid to demobilize clan militias and to build government institutions unless Somaliland came under One Somalia policy of the UNISOM—the UNSOM predecessor in 1990’s. Egal with the help of Somaliland people had succeeded in bringing organic peace and stability, and building a functioning government albeit imperfect in Somaliland while the UN and its backers had failed to do so in Somalia up to now.
But now the UNSOM has a full functioning office in Hargeisa. In 2012, the UN signed an agreement with then Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s weak government on the status of the United Nations Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). According to the agreement “established the legal framework under which the UNSOM will operate in Somalia.” The agreement gives UNSOM full access to the territories of Somalia including Somaliland. Recently, the UN has signed a five year working agreement with the lame duck president of the so called Federal Republic of Somalia.
All UN’s various agencies have presence in Somaliland, under the auspices of UN Somalia office—-including the highly politicized and corrupt UNSOM and UNDP. The UNDP assists Somalia, including Somaliland in law enforcement related training, local government, and other social programs; however, it’s a Trojan for al-Shabaab infected Somali government in Mogadishu. In fact, when the UN deals with Somaliland it treats it as a part entity of Somalia—-with five Siad Barre era administrative regions.
The United Nations even has strategies and a special office ( UNSOM office in Hargeisa led by a British officer) dedicated solely to tackling Somaliland questions and bringing it under the control of the nominal Somali government in Mogadishu.
The real purpose of the UNSOM is not to advance peace, rule of the law, or women rights in Somaliland. Somaliland already has law and order. In May 2001, the will of the people was supported in a referendum by more than 90 percent of the population. Somaliland is a sea of calm in a region infested with tribal violence, despotism, and terrorism. Somaliland people are not interested in UNSOM work nor do they need its aid.
Moreover, Somaliland’s independence is legal because self determination is the centerpiece of international law. In fact, The Article I of the United Nations Charter states clearly that the main purpose of the UN is to “develop friendly relations among nations based on respect for the principle of equal rights and self determination of people,”
To protect the integrity of Somaliland, we must expel all UN agencies and their staff, with the exception of UNICEF, if it refuses to enter a separate working relationship with Somaliland government—until Somaliland’s political future is settled.
The UN’s biased policy toward Somaliland makes peace and justice a mockery.
The UN used to be an effective organization working world peace and stability, but not anymore. Its record on peacekeeping in Africa is dismal and it’s mired with corruption and impunity. There is no single successful UN peace operation in Africa, including Somalia, Congo, or any other countries.
For instance, over a quarter century of costly military intervention, billions in foreign aid, Somalia is still a tragedy: Millions of people have died from conflict since 1988; millions were forced out from their own homes and became refugees worldwide. Add to the 4.2 million that are facing food insecurity, and 2.9 million who’ve also become internally displaced, and living in squalor camps throughout the country, according to the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. . And, a so-called al-Shabaab infected, corrupt Somali government is holed up in a hilltop Villa in Somalia’s capital, and is unable to provide its people safety, deliver basic services, and administer justice
In fact, The UN Security Council which is the lead body of the UN is completely dominated by countries with the worst human rights abusers and whose goal is to dominate the rest of the world. The UN is not even relevant anymore because it’s a bias and does not reflect today’s world.
Somaliland is at a critical juncture: The Somaliland people cannot go about business as usual. We have to make a tough choice. We either defend our freedom and independence or we have to submit to the demands of the UN bureaucrats.
Somaliland’s independence cannot be sustained if we make foreign aid a national staple as Somalia did, and the problem of patronage and corruption, if it is not managed well— it brings to the peace and stability. We should never allow the UNSOM and the NGO’s and their protectors to run a parallel government to undermine our governance.
Finally, if President Bihi fails to put a stop to the UN’s meddling NOW, the remnants of Siad Barre, or al-Shabaab syndicates will take over Somaliland – — right out of our hands very soon, patriots. A risky scenario that we could lose our hard fought freedom. As former US President, Ronald Reagan once said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We don’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed for them to do the same.”
Ali-Guban Mohamed, Founder and Editor. Gubanmedia.com
Email: [email protected]