The repercussions of Somaliland – SSC war

Is it an end of Somalia’s mini- state project or is it self- determination and ending of long clan graveness? The Somalia unity is a natural and sacrosanct

After more than three decades of Somaliland’s unipolar secessionist campaign, the northern regions of Somalia has split in to two hostile mini states (Somaliland and SSC KAHTUMA). It is really divisions, dysfunctional and deceive internal spilt with in the north regions and the clans dwelling of the region have also divided in to pro-independence and pro- unity.

The war broke out between the two mini sates after a lot assassinations, intimidations, and cycle of violence in LAASANO city. After years of grieves and 8 months intensified fighting the referendum became via gun and by force. Their fighting and solving their political cleavage by force became inevitable.  The 

Somalia land is the self-declared and breakaway region of north of Somalia, while the SSC KAHTUMA state is a self- emerging regional state of north too. Both of them are locating in the north of Somalia and member of former British protectorate. The northern and eastern regions are quieter and calm comparing the rest of Somalia expressly south central of Somalia. The region northern is the birthplace of Somalia’s literature, art and poetry.   

Tactlessly The Somaliland had long unipolar secessionist tendencies and long struggle against the unity, while SSC KAHTUMA opposes the secessionist state. The SSC KAHTUMA had a unity mind. Unlike Somalia land The SSC KAHTUMA state is the newly emerging regional state in the north of Somalia which seeking unity of Somalia with autonomous regional administration. The SSC KAHTUMA gained suddenly its ambitions of autonomous regional state.

This idea of consolidating oneness of Somalia nation and waving Somalia flags got SSC KAHTUMA uncountable sympathy by the Somalia masses, political leaders, Somalia federal government, Somalia educators, patriotic people and intellectuals who outrage the idea of disintegration and dismemberment of Somalia and the prospect of Somalia’s unity become rock solid and more nearest than it was yesterday. The Somalia unity is natural, sacrosanct, and shatterproof; talking Somalia’s disunity is a taboo in Somalia. The SSC KAHTUMA was historically a symbol of ant –colonization in the past and now icon of the unity. 

In this way The SSC KAHTUMA strongly opposed the idea of independent entity of the northern.  The SSC KAHTUMA believed the establishment of the mini- state of Somaliland in the north and its declaration as independent entity as unilateral decision, irrational and lacking of conventional wisdom.

Illogically the war between SSC KAHTUMA and Somaliland had many ambiguous stories. No one knows exactly the motives of their war.  Some Somalia political analyst argued the war is the proxy war between some hiding hegemonic states which seeking energy of gas and oil in that area and the potential discovery of oil and gas had exacerbated the rift between two clan based mini states, While others believed the war behind the ideology, political cleavage which is unity opposes disunity, yes for Somalia nationalism versus and independent – minded.

The other analyst believed as distressed area where unemployment and poverty are rampant comparing others area in the country. In this issue Non body can deny the idea of independent – minded is contradictory of Somalia act of union, it contradictory the Somalia referendum, it contradictory Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, it’s also contradictory homogenous of Somalia people which gift of god. It’s nothing but more anarchy meaningless mini- state dependent on the world humanitarian aid. Its clear evidence that Somalia unity is natural and sacrosanct, gift of god and debating Somalia’s disunity is a taboo and traitor of the country.

However Somalia in general had 50 years of natural disasters such as droughts, floods, cycles, and tsunami and within 50 years of droughts there were also 33 years of man- made disasters. The man-made disasters had resulted piracy, religious zealots, anarchy and absent of effective governing mechanism for more than three decades. 

Furthermore the establishment of the SSC KAHTUMA and recognition as one member of Somalia regional state means the end of proliferation mini- state based clan project which started from north in 1993 and ended to the north itself. The idea of establishing clan based mini- state with this failed state started after SIYAD bare military junta collapsed. It’s a nomadic and pastoralism based on imaginary concept by the pessimistic view and state, building blocks and clan self- determination by the optimistic view. 

The optimistic analysis argue that the clan mini state as a misleading idea, dismemberments, disintegration and against the Somalia constitution, rationality, Somalia sovereignty and its territorial integrity. The mini- state based clan project was emotional based project, far from reality and leads the country endless war, division with the homogenous Somalia clans and aggression mentality. Somalia is the failed state inhabiting in failed clans. The Clan pure based politics in Somalia is the instrument for anarchy and upheaval. It’s against modernization, enlightenment, the art of governing system, and meritocracy.

However the war in LASAANOD the capital city of SOOL region and also the current capital city of SSC KAHTUMA state was longest, cruelest and bloodshed and caused the split of Somaliland in two. The war in LASAANOD had been killed many innocent, civilians and prominent persons like (JAMAC KADIYE) who was poetry man ad well respect person. During the war the Somaliland some commanders had been accused for violating the human rights and committing crime and crime against humanity. 

According the international crisis group ICG (since then, the tug war over LAS ANOD has killed over hundred and displaced at least 150,000. Fighting has regard on the outskirts of the city, which is now under DHULBANAHANTE control, with the observers also reporting indiscriminate shelling of houses and other buildings) 

The infighting with the north particularly Somalia land and SSC KAHTUMA state had roots which dated back to Somalia’s traditional clan bad blood relations, chronic conflict of the scare resources of water and pasture which transfer in to the governing system, and long absent of the effective government. Tribalism and clannism are played a crucial in the north. 

The clan is the thermometer which is measured the level of their political temperature. A lay man told me these words(  Clan sentiment and clan based political system born and grew up in the north and sick in south and hospitalized in BARAWE and buried in HAMARWEYN- the home of Somalia nationalist. )  In this issue when I was in Pakistan as student in 2007 one of my class mates told me that ‘tribe area is a trouble area’

  The other root causes of the conflict are the clan became the tool for defending nomadic vulnerable and defenseless people against the aggression of the former military junta of SIAYD bare. The clans established a ragtag clan rebels in 1980s like Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF) or the Somali National Movement (SNM), the united Somalia congress (USC) and Somalia patriotic movement (SPM).

These four ragtag clan rebels had been organized along clan-lines. They agreed to topple the regime but they did not agree on power-sharing and, political consensus. The clan ragtag rebel’s lack of political consensus caused the anarchy and long absent of effective government. These rebels became the tool and base for Somalia political system. Between 1991 and until now, there is not effective government in the country and Somalia became from military junta to ragtag clan rebels, from rebel to warlords and finally to the clan min- state.  These clan- based militias fought each other in the name of warlords in south central and in the name of lands (Somalia land and punt land) for the control of local recourses such as major roads, airports, ports junctions and raking in it.

As the UK aid report cited LASAANOD: City at the margins (The politics of borderland trade between Somaliland and Punt land) the report cited the following things: (According to a senior Somaliland Ministry of Finance official in LASAANOD, LASAANOD’s customs, which raises some USD 80,000 per month, rank fourth in terms of the amount of revenue generated, after Berbera, Kalabaydh and Lawya’ado.77 Four customs points manned by Somaliland officers exist along the 330 km road between Lasanod and Burao)  according to this report may be the infighting based on the finance and recourses and raking in it. 

However after the war The Somalia land is controlling now three regions of out 18 regions of Somalia.  The three regions are TOGDHEER, WAQOOYI GALBEED AND OWDAL STATE AND two districts of SOOL AND SANAAG. The SSC KAHTUMA state had captured after decisive defeating Somalia land soldiers most of the SOOL region excluding one district and SANAAG excluding one district and BUUHOODLE district of TOGDHEER region. In the addition there are debates about Somalia mini- state. Some are pessimistic view about federalism, 4.5 and Somalia mini state and the question is:  is it the end of Somalia’s mini state project or is it self- determination and ending long clan graveness? 

Here is the clan mini state map regardless pessimistic and optimistic view of Somalia citizens:  

Furthermore The Somalia federal government appointed an envoy to Somaliland before the war. The motive was political negotiations to solve the Somaliland issue and the divisions but this idea did not produce a tangible solution. On another side the Somalia federal government has invited the SSC KAHTUMA interim president Mr. ABDIQADIR AHMED AW- ALI and recognized his SSC KAHTUMA as regional administration in north of Somalia. Mr. ABDIQADIR AHMED AW- ALI have declared that the SSC KAHTUMA is newly established administration neither Somaliland nor punt land.  

 However The Somalia federal government is the father and mothers all clan mini states. It is the only legal, consensus and existing national institution. 

  In this way most Somalia commentators believe the epicenter conflict between Somalia land and SSC KAHTUMA state is the clan hysteria, mob mentality; lion share mentality and clan miscalculation. Somalia land is ISAAQ clan of DIR dominant, while SSC KAHTUMA state is the HARTI clan of DAAROOD.  The border between Somaliland SSC KAHTUMA is the clan border and their real border will be look like north and south GALACYO city of the south.  The north and south GALACYO is the fair-minded model of clan based governing system. The Somalia land and SSC KAHTUMA war took 8 months. The war was largest and meaningless and many innocent people lost their lives. The war ended the GUUJADE military base battle. 

The GUUJAADE military base battle 

The north east regions of Somaliland and punt land were quite stable, peaceful before GUUJAADE battle comparing to the south central of Somalia.  These regions were free from warlords in the past free from AL-SHABAAB in the present. The GUUJAADE battle badly damaged the reputation of the region.   

The GUUJAADE was a military base of Somaliland and the clash were daily discussion events.  Before a clash the Somalia federal government sent a delegation to Somaliland and SSC KAHTUMA. The aim was to mediating the two and de-escalation of the situation. They visited both HARGEISA and LASAANOD.  Their mediation effort had failed. The clan elders came back to Mogadishu without achieving. The failure of the mediation was caused the Somalia politicians always lacking of rational potion for the settlement of the disagreement on side, and lacking totally and utterly of political compromise to Somalia political dictionary on another side. 

The clash was between Somaliland and SSC KAHTUMA and the fighting continue until Somaliland forces defeated.  The SSC KAHTUMA became another mini- state by power and captured The GUUJAADE military base and more than 350 prisons including the GUUJAADE commander Somaliland forces in the area.

One of The SSC KAHTUMA staunch and supporter told me the defeat of Somaliland in GUUJAADE means the close of the chapter of clan under clan and the beginning that every clan has the right to the self-determination and govern his clan territory, we don’t cross our clan territory and we don’t want an inch of land of the other clan only we need our clan territory. For me as observer these words are ideal, rational and can base for Somalia’s state building but the question is it an end of Somalia’s mini- state project or self- determination and ending of long clan graveness? 


Somalia doesn’t need more mini- states. It needs more agriculture, farming and fishing. 

In south central there are four mini- states and BENEDIR regional administration while in the east and north of Somalia are three mini- states too.  The total is seven mini states. The Somalia mini state did not respond the needs and aspirations of their staunch clan members.  The Somalia mini-state did not bring a tangible solution to the basic needs of their clan community. The expectation of their staunch clan members was high. The Somalia is the failed state and one of the poorest countries on the earth. 

The poor and poverty are not natural. Its man- made disaster. The Somalia doesn’t need more mini- states. It needs more fishing, farming and thinking deeply more tangible and meaningful discussions about which form of government suitable for this nation, fit for their life unitary, federal, presidential or parliamentary.

In the ultimately Somaliland and SSC KAHTUMA have to deescalate the situation, hostilities, tension and declare a cease fire for six months and The Somaliland and SSC KAHTUMA to rid of all past graveness, injustice, crimes committed during the war, painful stories of the war, clan emotionality and hysteria and to close all hostilities, aggression and open the new chapter of cooperation and mutual interest. The SSC KAHTUMA and Somaliland have to realize that No clan, mini state or community can wipe out to another and the only option on table is the peaceful negotiations and peaceful settlement the political cleavage. It’s also peaceful co-exist is the only sustainable and ideal solution. 


Researcher, human rights analyst and lecturer

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