SOMALIA: Can Sheikh Hassan Dahir Help End Piracy and Release the Hostages Held in Somalia?

Published: May 13, 2010

Nothing is hidden from the Somali public about our nation. Since 1991, many individuals have come in the public eye of the Somali nation. The Somali people are aware that Sheikh Hassan Dahir, the leader of Hisbul Islam is a man of his words who abides by what he says. To match one’s words with one’s actions is a leadership quality which has been for a long time in short supply in Somalia.
Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys has another quality, also nowadays a rarity in Somalia. Unlike many Somalis, Sheikh Hassan Dahir does not suffer from the weakness to drool after government positions because he is not driven by the spoils of life. It is obvious that he has a lot of goodwill in him.
There are two pressing issues Somalia needs swift closure. One is the piracy from our shores. The second issue is the hostage of the elderly British couple.
It is common knowledge that there are two piracy command centers in Somalia. Haradheere, a town located on the coast is one of them. Since the recent fall of Haradheere under Hisbul Islam, it is likely that piracy from the area would end.
Eyle, a fishing town in Puntland which has been in the media is also the second hub of piracy. A number of documentaries by the BBC, ITV and Aljazeera have shown pirate activities in both Eyle and Haradheere.
One wonders what the authorities in Puntland are waiting for to shut-down piracy administered from Eyle under their nose. Puntland authorities and elders need to do more to end the piracy that is shaming the Somali nation. Once piracy from our shores is ended, hundreds of military ships from different nations criss-crossing our marine territory daily would go home.
There is hope that Sheikh Dahir can free the British couple from captivity: a task which the transitional government has failed miserably. The two British hostages have been in captivity in Somalia for over eight months. Holding the innocent hostage is against our religion. It is inhumane and un-Islamic.
Broken Somalia has been unfortunate in many ways. A broken nation, like broken animal attracts many predators. Somalia in ruins has been attracting all kinds of calamitous individuals. One such individual is none other than the UN representative to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould Abdalla. However, we cannot blame the likes of Ould Abdalla alone when Somalia has not been cared for enough by its own people. Nevertheless, it is high time Ould Abdalla to sling his hook from Somalia. He must realize that his “self-interest project” has fallen flat on its face.
The Somali people follow keenly the affairs of our nation. What we all want is Somalia to get better. The Somali people know too well who cares about the nation and who cares only how to line up their own pockets.
It is obvious that leadership is the remedy to most of our nation’s troubles. Nonetheless, what is needed is all our people to do their bit for the nation to which we belong. We hope that Sheikh Hassan Dahir too would help to end piracy from the area he controls and free the British hostages.
By: Abdullahi Dool

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