- Why did Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, the late president of the Transitional Federal Government, propose to the late president of Somaliland, Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, to seek the post of Somalia’s president, given the fact Mr. Yusuf had been struggling all his life to become the President?
- Why did friends-officers, Col. Abdullahi Yusuf and General Mohamed Farah Aydid couldn’t agree to unite USC–SNA and SSDF to form a united national government?
- How history would treat the leaders of Somali National Movement ((SNM)? These and more will be exposed in this short story.
It is generally agreed Abdullahi Yusuf was extremely ambitious to become one day Somali president and that he had been working hard towards that goal in all his adult life. Becoming a rebel SSDF leader in exile in Ethiopia after a failed coup is part of his struggle to attain the goal. When the Somali Republic had failed, he saw diminishing returns for that dream of ever becoming a Somali president. Here re-instating the failed state of Somalia became his top priority, using any means to realize the foundation of the 2nd Somali Republic.
Establishment of Puntland State is a major part of that political vision. Abdullahi Yusuf saw the territorial disputes on Sool and Sanaag between Puntland and Somaliland as an obstacle to Somali unity and persistent factor for security instability in Northern Somalia (Puntland and Somaliland). He approached Late Mohamed Ibrahim Egal for peaceful resolution of the issue, including encouraging the latter to seek post of Somalia’s president. Despite Egal’s known bold past decision-making, he couldn’t dare to confront Somaliland public, who in delusional way, bought into the idea of “gooni Isutaag (secession from Somalia). At the time the Head of the BBC Somali Language Section, Patrick Gilkes, told the author of this article that Mr Egal couldn’t stay President of Somaliland one day more, were he to return to the issue of Somaliweyn politics.
General Aideed of USC and Abdirahman Tuur of SNM had conspired with Mengistu Haile-Mariam of Ethiopia to overthrow the already dying regime of Siyad Barre, and split the spoils of Somali State among their factions in Mogadishu and Hargeisa. It was agreed that in post-Siyad Barre, power would be shared between Hawiye and Isaak. Darood would be marginalized in this power grab. This is how and why Abdullahi Yussuf and Aideed couldn’t strike a deal.
When talking about the issue of “Somaliland”, in reality, people don’t appreciate the difference between Isaak clans and the rest of other clan system of Harti (Mainly Dhulbahante and Warsangeli), Issa, Samaroon (Gadabursi) that technically constituted the former British Protectorate of Somaliland. By the way, Dhulbahante clan wasn’t a party to that Protectorate arrangement as they were conquered by the British Military Administration with the help of Isaaks’ British conscripts and help.
Now, the leaders of rebel SNM, expressing real and perceived grievances against the politicians and officials of former Italian Protectorate, represented only the interests of Isaak. Somaliland is now nothing more than an Isaak identity. Many of SNM leaders were former officials of Somali Republic, who had contributed to its progress, turning up against it in the end. How history would treat them is to be seen.