Somaliland: Silaanyo’s other invisible hand or real leader?

Somaliland: Silaanyo’s other invisible hand or real leader?

Minister of interior Mohamed Nur Arale (Duur) begs Ali Haji Hassan’s while grabbing his beard in the presence of the other officials.

By Abdisamad Mooge “Kayse”

When in 2010 Somali people in the Somaliland region went to the polls, they cast their votes to decide between three men; President Dahir Riyale Kahin, main opposition leader Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo and Faisal Ali Warabe.


In the wake of Silanyo’s June victory, the locals never in their rightful minds for once thought there was a fourth invisible man inside the suitcases of incoming Kulmiye party. After the power was transferred peacefully by outgoing and respected Riyale, Silanyo was quick to introduce the actual man the people have elected. However, the locals were to slow to connect the dots until recently.

Silanyo introduced Hirsi Ali Haji Hassan as the “Chief of Cabinet” but could not even find a Somali translation for such fake portfolio. After an outcry and public confusion, he was forced to change his title from chief to “Minister of Presidency” or “Wasiirka Madaxtooyada”. It really was another misleading move designed to confuse the citizens even further because Hirsi as it turned out should have been introduced as the “non-elected President” of the region.

After more than two years it all became too clear for the general public and today they full understand that Silanyo is just a figurehead whose statements and actions are confined to the four corners of Somalia’s former General Hirsi Morgan’s former residential home. Their real leader is the man whom they became to know as “Hirsi Gaab” or “midget-Hirsi”. They say good things come in small packages but hardly true when it comes to midget-Hirsi. In the short term he has been in power he has used and abused every resource and system available to him and for the first time in two decades the region faces political uncertainty.

Cracks are showing in Somaliland region society, threatening the status quo. And it is not the opposition or a popular rebellion beginning to destabilise Hirsi’s administration, but the very forces that Silanyo has created. Greed, nepotism, corruption and tribalism are all for the first time competing in the same arena. Hirsi Gaab is now completely on the loose and spreading the symptoms of tribalism at a pace the region has not seen since the civil war in late 1980s. The pretend president Silanyo is completely powerless and can’t really do much. He remains hostage to Hirsi Gaab and the Dahabshiil, formerly Dhiigshiil (meaning “Blood smelter”), elites.

Silanyo originally appointed Hirsi Gaab for three main reasons: 1) To help him govern since half of the time he can’t remember to take his medications let alone rule; 2) To represent Dhiigshiil money transfer since they financed his campaign and party. Hirsi was already an employee of Dhiigshiil’s subsidiary SomTel and 3) To increase their clan chauvinist interests since all three belong to the same Habr Jelo sub-clan of Isaaq.

Ahmed Silanyo, 76, now sits at the House of Morgan as a mere figurehead, acting as a noninfluential caretaker fronting a cabal that sees the Somali people as mere pawns in their domestic scheme to play chess with their lives.

Unlike Silanyo, the real leader demands that all his cabinet ministers bow in front of him and if they make mistakes face the punishment of going to the naughty corner or grabbing his beard, which is equal to kissing one’s feet in Somali culture. When early this year the former minister of interior and the former minister of finance refused to bow to Hirsi, Dr. Mohamed Abdi Gabose was forced to quit while Silanyo was forced to issue a decree bidding Eng. Mohamed Hashi Elmi adieu respectively. Amazingly things could not have worked out for better for Hirsi, Dhiigshiil and the so called first lady Amina Weris when they promoted Mohamed Nur Arale (Duur) as the Minister of Interior, a job that carries responsibility for all of the region’s overlapping security and intelligence forces. He was immediately all over Hirsi’s lap like a little girl madly in-love for the first time and he was openly on his knees grabbing Hirsi’s premature beard.

Amina had Duur on a leash ever since his appointment and he was doing as she wishes at the snap of her fingers. She even managed to get him to arrest three innocent officials and one businessman over purported food aid embezzlements in June of 2012. It was widely known that Amina secretly profited from the Omani food aid but in a desperate attempt to cover herself she framed Osman Saeed Jama, former government advisor, Ahmed Omar Abdullahi, former governor of Hargeisa, and Ahmed Elmi Barre, former director of the Ministry of Relocation. Together with Hirsi, she continues to abuse, arrest and harass whomever she pleases using Duur and the so called interior ministry and security forces. In the latest episode, after spearheading the murder of three youth’s in Hargeisa Ahmed Dagah neighbourhood, she ordered Duur to summon Mohamud Abdi Jama ‘Huuto’, the editor-in-chief of Waaheen newspaper, to the Central Investigations Department (CID) just last week.

Like Hirsi, she would love to arrest me for this revelation but I ask her to be patient because I will make my way to north Somalia while leading the Somali National Army. For now she can entertain the few that will listen to her with the constant references to a threat from the south and “Walanweyn”. Somaliland regional leaders, with exception to Abdirahman Ali Tur, Egal and Riyale, have sought to depict the northern region as a besieged fortress as a pretext for curtailing their subjects’ rights. But the virulent and artificial secessionism and tribalism that this inspires cannot always be kept under control.

Hirsi Gaab, who has been accused of having ties with al Shabab, remains on the loose and continues to abuse the whole society in the north. He has sought to tighten his grip on power by turning over key functions of the regional government to trusted family and tribal members. From the main regional government to the district Councils, Hirsi moves the chessboard at will and with total impunity. For the first time in over two decades, Somaliland region is experiencing great political and security turmoil and risks falling apart and into the hands of Hirsi’s al Shabab allies.

One thing is certain: Somali citizens in Somaliland region will once again rise up to the challenges and send the abusers packing like the much, much more powerful Siad Bare elites. It is just matter of time now. Not everyone is ready to grab Mr. Midget’s beard, God knows what it has and where it has been.

The locals deserve better; enough with the lies, isolation and tribal manipulations. It is time the youth demanded real changes including jobs, cleaner cities, better roads, fresh water and education instead of being held in limbo. The current system only benefits the few from the Diaspora like the ones mentioned above and their family members. Meanwhile men with beard should avoid going near Duur before he starts grabbing them too while begging “walaal keen ducaadi”.

By Abdisamad Mooge “Kayse”