Somaliland's slavery of refugees in their own homeland? By Abdirahman Dirye

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Thursday June 04, 2015 - 17:44:19 in Editorials by Super Admin
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    Somaliland's slavery of refugees in their own homeland? By Abdirahman Dirye

    By Abdirahman Mohamed Dirye From the onset, Aminos had had always pondered escape route from Yemen which was falling apart at the seams.

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By Abdirahman Mohamed Dirye From the onset, Aminos had had always pondered escape route from Yemen which was falling apart at the seams. She wished to flee to Somaliland, a place she imagined has a better human rights record than Somalia that once inserted radio batteries in her vagina and offer safe space to live. "Somalia is too dangerous to live despite having thousand foreign peacemakers,” she said. She safely arrived after precarious voyage, but she wasn’t allowed to disembark. Because Sadly, rather than rescuing fleeing Somalis from Yemen’s civil war, Somaliland openly denied her debarkation at Berbera, closest safe haven by escaping folks of approximately a quarter million Somalis who already fled from Mogadishu’s insecurity and sought safety earlier on. But they caught up in Yemen’s intensifying deadly war again. The inhuman decision terrified them. They come can’t return to Yemen’s inferno nor land at the Berbera—it’s catch-22 situation. Aminos, (not her real name) called out in agony. Somaliland’s ruling party Kulmiye’s leadership values are tested and they miserably failed us all by sending her back to the sea to die. But we’re not that bad.


Financial quarrel with Mogadishu over the share of the UN repatriation funds assigned for the refugees once they arrive at Somalia’s entries including Somaliland. This squabble led Kulmiye’s government to reship and bar refugees away.

The ruling party, not the public, victimized and exploited the vulnerability of their fellow Somalis; but it’s the height of immorality. The mishandling of refugees is more akin to the mistreatment of Rohingya Muslims refugees driven to the seas by Buddhists’ Osama while their unreliable boats running out of water.

Somalilanders, however, ghastly watched Somali woman, one of their own flesh and blood as she was denied landing at of what once used to be of "her own country’s port” because her ethnicity was different from the dominant tribe there. "I rather die at "my” sea than going back to Saudi’s massacre!” she sobbed convulsively.

On the other hand, some fringe minority says that any non-Somalilanders should be sent back taking no notice of the world outcry. Saudi Kingdom, the holy land for our religion did the same thing to us. Why Somaliland be an exception? But they tend to forget that Somaliland is a sort of democracy where human rights are for all while Saudi Kingdom’s " Sharia law” considers non-westerners inferior therefore are a fair game.

Did it morally wrong to return refugees—technically nationals – coming back to their "homeland”? Some say it wasn’t. Hosting countries everywhere are paid by the UN agencies, so likewise Somaliland. Nevertheless, can Kulmiye the ruling party’s love for money from the UN and the following transfer of the cash to Mogadishu warrant the refusal of the disembarkment? Still there’s a hope as the overruling decision emerging day in and day out. Hirsi and Warana’ade ministers categorically denied entry for refugees, those belong to them in terms of tribe, and ideology are the exception, unless UN funds are equally shared between Hargeisa and Mogadishu, they greedily argued.

The port authority officers yelling at the hapless woman who narrowly managed to escape from naked death forcibly deporting her to Yemen’s all-out war while Yemenis were allowed in unchecked. If Kulmiye was true to Somaliland democracy and the rule of law, the officers were persecuted and found guilty of homicide. Somalilanders shocked the misconduct and the ongoing criminality. This dangerous move by the unpopular ruling party stained Somaliland’s reputation as "welcoming democracy” for all victims” because Somalilanders witnessed a war and asylum. Back in the days, even Somaliland’s withered president Silanyo was an asylum seeker in some point in his lives.

Abdirahman known as "Irro” of Wadani party leader refused to gloss over ongoing abuses of fundamental principles of human rights by the myopic ruling party and sympathized with the plight of refugees stranded at the Berbera. It’s naked violation of human rights to slam the door in the face of danger by fleeing refugees, he stated. Wadani party protested to repudiate the politicization; commercialization of humanitarian disaster.

Somaliland born out of social injustice and supposedly believed to stand by justice regardless of tribe or faith, but the tragedy created the stark fault lines within the system. But this unique phenomenon has far-reaching impact. Although Wadani party stated this case is extreme case unrepresented of the nation’s traditional values and against our decorum. It’s Kulmiye’s moral turpitude and lack of conscience.

Dirye is Somaliland Activist, Political Commentator, and Senior Editor at Democracy Chronicles, mrdirye@gmail.com


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