C M Abokor
As much as I admire Bashir Goth's journalist prowess, I must say, I found his recent article on the comments of Hassan Sheikh Mohamed's speech somewhat disconcerting.
Whilst I agree with the gist of Bashir's article and understand the laments coming from Hassan Sheikh Mohamed, head of the provisional federal government in Mogadishu , I fail to see how these issues relate to Somaliland .
Somalilanders take pride in being Somalilanders. We have never run away from being Somalilanders. There is no doubt that we are ethnic Somalis, but so are Somalis from Djibouti , Kenya , Ethiopia and every part of the globe. Somalilanders equate no shame with being a Somali. If others do so, then that it something they have to address.
What the issue of piracy, terrorism and other social issues that plagued and continued to plague Somalia have to do with Somaliland is not quite clear in his article. We have taken steps to fight these curses and refused to be mentioned in the same breath as those still having the issues. Also, it would be much better to mention the innumerable efforts Somaliland has made to combat these problems.
Somalilanders would dearly love to see their brothers and sisters in Somalia get their act together, and will do everything in our power to help them. However, it is up to the citizens in Somalia to stop these nefarious practises and move towards a progressive and civilised society.
In terms of the issue of rape, as we saw in the recent American presidential elections, rape is first foremost criminal, immoral and abhorrent, and it is right and proper for civilised societies to take appropriate steps.
But, unfortunately rape occurs in every part of the globe, it is not exclusive only to the Horn of Africa, and thankfully, the example the head of the provisional federal government had mentioned in his speech had never been reported in Somaliland .
We, Somalilanders therefore take an exception to being subtly being tarred with some brush with regard to the devastating social issues that plague Somalia . We have crossed those bridges a long time ago, we still have a long way to, but we are moving forward.
In terms of the issue of female genital mutilation, I think Somaliland has shown its social activism credentials by allowing the female members of our society to take the lead. This is issue is undoubtedly a sensitive cultural issue and it would better for the lead to be taken by those who are most affected and are in the front-line of the matter.
Bashir, I have a lot of time for your articles and opinions, but, I must take exception with being associated with the mayhem in Somalia . We, Somalilanders sympathize with the laments of Hassan Sheikh Mohamed, and wish him all the best. We will offer advice and support. But, Somaliland is not Somalia .
In every aspect, socially, democratically, politically, we are miles and miles ahead, and as Somalilanders, we should take a great deal of pride in that.
By C.M. Abokor
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