Oodweyne News - Latest Somali News Update

Somaliland: What We Have Achieved So Far?

There is no doubt about it, President Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal has achieved tremendous development. He started to build up Somaliland from scratch. When he had became the president of the land, Somaliland was in deep trouble, the civil war affected everywhere, and the tribal feud was at the highest level that it has ever been.
As I remember, in the middle of April 1988, which was the time that Siyad Barre ruled with iron fist in the so-called Northwest Region of Somalia, there were three checkpoints between Berbera and Hargeisa, the first one was on Hargeisa outskirt, the second was on Aw-Barkhadle and the last was on Berbera outskirt. In contrast, in May 1993, after we had clamed sovereignty, there were eight checkpoints in between Berbera and Hargeisa. Each checkpoint there were a group of tribal militias who was Harassment, humiliation, and stalking the commuters, vehicle owners and passengers.

President Egal was the only president that had demonstrated a clear vison. He had set up a chronological timeline. First, he launched the plan to nationalize the tribal militia in order to create a national military. Secondly, he started to build up the economy’s foundation with the establishment of the Somaliland currency and at last he gradually initiated the democracy process that included Somaliland constitution, multiple parties and local government election.

Since Egal passed away, Somaliland has declined in different areas. Why do I say that? By the time he left, we had a complete government structure. Somaliland had its own money, strong military, legislative houses, a judiciary system, constitution, freedom, liberty, individual and minority rights, and full democracy. What do we have now? We have no elections, no free press, injustice, inequality, lack of liberty, unfreedom, lack of tangible development, and on vision.

Since the Kulmiye party took the power and led the nation, we have heard rhetoric and propaganda that sheds light the development that the country reached. For the last decade, Somaliland has failed in terms of development. The Kulmiye party has not provided the growth of the gross domestic products as well as human development index. The following procedures has measured the development of nations.

How has the development of the country been measured? Two broad approaches have evaluated or measured: first one is the gross domestic product (GDP), which defines the growth of the economy of the country within one year and only counting the final product in terms of the money. In other words, GDP is a measure of final output of the economy. The gross domestic product could be measured in three different methods: the expenditure method, the income approach and the last would be value-added procedure. Then all three would give you the same result, but you have an option to use these various approaches.

The second measurement is the human development index (HDI). This dimension focuses on three parts: the health, education and gross national income (GNI) per capital (PPP). These two broad approaches define the level that the country reaches per year. At the end of each year it needs to calculate or measure the country’s development. In other words, it needs to figure out if the GDP and HDI grows by each year. Everything is measurable.

Since president Egal passed away, we have been conducting one legislative election, two local elections and two presidential elections. The elder house has been a monarchy and seats become heritable. The constitution is still inadequate, the elections have been overdue, and every democratic process ends up hollow. If president Egal were alive, there is no doubt about it, Somaliland would have been at a better place today.
As long as Somaliland leaders have no vision, we are far from being able to achieve what president Egal had accomplished within only nine years. Think about what he would have attained for the seventeen years that the Klumiye party were in power? I do not think that the current military junta has the ability to conduct what has Egal conducted in his short period. In contrary, the current leaders have paved the way for more conflict and the lack of rule of law. Unless Somaliland demonstrates all of the rules of law index: constraint on government power, absent of corruption, open government, fundamental freedom, order and security, regulatory enforcement, civil justice, and criminal justice. Somaliland would be in limbo. Somaliland needs to reevaluate its own internal and external strategy.


By Osman Awad