02 November, 2013

Somaliland:Kulmiye: Two Parties in One (The Unknown Winner)

Somaliland:Kulmiye: Two Parties in One (The Unknown Winner)


Though published when president Silanyo’s administration was three months old or Septemeber 2010 to be precise by wardheernews.com, this article’s true message has not been received until very recently when a bitter row broke between exactly the same two groups that the author comments (SNMVeterans Vs Wadaads). This clash has been a popular talking point both in the conventional media and other public gatherings such as the cafés, teashop, public transport over the last three months. The editor of SomalilandPress.com chose to republish it as Kulmiye’s General Assembly get closer by the day and as the in-party fighting between these wings intensifies.

By Hamse A. Khaire
If you are about to congratulate the winner of Somaliland’s recent elections don’t mistakenly, like many of us did, applaud neither Silanyo, the voters, Kulmiye’s mujahedeen/SNM wing nor ‘beelihii harraadanaa’ but an unknown powerful subgroup of Kulmiye- that is ‘wadaaddada’. This subgroup is characterized by a high degree of organization and secrecy, strong discipline and cohesion, ample financial resources and a hidden agenda with a strong element of anti-somalilandism.Its command is highly decentralized and follows both Kulmiye and clan structure. The name of this Kulmiye subgroup changes constantly with time and political strategy

Apart from its secret nature, the existence of this elite within Kulmiye’s authority is hidden from the public eye for two main reasons. Firstly, their main rival subgroup, the SNM wing of Kulmiye, were not only disorganized to withstand ‘wadaaddada’ but were weak interims of financial resources, group cohesiveness and trust. Secondly, Ahmed Silanyo as the referee in charge seemed to be favoring ‘wadaaddada’ not because he admired their philosophy and values but simply because they were not immediate threat to his presidential ambition rather they were very generous to give him any kind of support be it financial or moral.

Though there was constant struggle and infighting between these two main subgroups within the party it was still very difficult, at least on the surface, for an innocent spectator to reveal this dual nature of Kulmiye. Fortunately or unfortunately, Kulmiye’s becoming in power unfolded the fact that this organization has always been two parties in one as opposed to the common public perception (and of course their slogan as the party of unity) – that it’s a party with one vision and mission. We have also came to know that all Kulmiye subgroups are not all winners instead and as expected by many analysts the ‘Wadaaddado’ subgroup, after a long jihad, emerged as clear winner in round one of the game.

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To end the “two in one game” , Ahmed Silanyo, now the elected president, as the referee announced his decision by clearly drawing clear bold line between the wadaaddada and Mujahedeen Kulmiye subgroups or winners and losers respectively. In other words, Silanyo’s action to step down from the party chairmanship was nothing else but to give Mujaadeen the second best prize they have won, Kulmiye Chairmanship as waraabe-u-taag, while he hands over the task of government building and running as the first prize to the winners- the other subgroup. It wasn’t also a coincidence that the very same day of transferring the party leadership, a heavyweight member of the other group, may be Silanyo’s secret endorsement, announced his plans to run for presidency in the coming presidential elections.

The losers or the SNM wing pseudo-prize (party chairmanship) is quite visible, however, one may find very hard to see the winner’s prize (government set up and running).They are responsible for building the new government by deciding the overall structure and dictating its membership. The mujahedeen subgroup of Kulmiye, for example, had minimum or zero involvement in shaping the new government. The process of selection and appointment was exclusively assigned to the‘Wadaaddado’ subgroup of Kulmiye. Even the president’s influence and role is questionable that’s why the puplic are really confused about ‘who is in charge?’. Suldaan/Boqor Raabi, bewildered and confused, in an interview with VOA’s Somali section said that ‘Women and teenagers’ are running the affairs of the state but this is far from reality.

This non popular secret society, to our dismay, with their hidden agenda now in action, designed a government that shocked Somalilanders and Non-Somalilanders alike. With less than four weeks in place and not yet even completed, the public confidence in our government is its lowest point. Contrary to their rhetoric in the election days, government fuel subcontracting, fibre optic licencing, and government staffing is being awarded without bidding to people and businesses that are directly or indirectly linked to this subgroup. Similarly, the long nurtured, people-to-people, cooperative, peacefull and brotherly Ethio-somaliland political relationship is being undermined by the posture of the government built on one hand and by a carefully calculated policy to return to the old baseless hostilities between the neighborbouring people to achieve other ends on the other.

I could not have imagined a better label for Kulmiye than the one coined by and old wise man who described Kulmiye’s nature of duality as ‘Isku-filan’ or in English ‘Self-sufficient’. He derived the name from a locally produced drink powder that contains its sugar but needs just a water. Like “isku-filan” , Kulmiye includes its own opposition and not necessarily needs an external opposition party. The two parties will no longer be in one but will be a tough foe to each other. What name will the guys in charge take? Whose credit will it be in case the government performs well? If not, who will be accountable to the public for government bad performance? Should popular uprising be necessary to correct things before they got worse?

By Hamse A. Khaire



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