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In our childhood, listening to mother’s lullaby was the mere pacifier for relieving our irritating behavioral discomfort, and scary stories on impalpably abhorrent demons and wild predators were other techniques to defuse our inherent hyper-activity, frighten and make us immobilized in the securely warm arms of our beloved mothers. This was a traditional rule of etiquette which the Somali mothers and perhaps mothers in other cultures often deal with their youngsters even in today’s contemporary world. Though this cultural narrative is a bit above the logical cognitive of yours (reader) __ the context was just to discipline their children.
Waraabaa ciyaayee ka soo carara aabooyin; caruurtaa sidaa lagu habaa ka caqliwayn uunku (a stanza from the pearls of wisdom offered by a former Somali poet and a literal meaning of the above paragraph in Somali language).
Digital generations of today are globally sitting in closed rooms where they can smoothly exchange information, generate and share thoughts and of course react and counter react to the issues that matters them. The press freedom and free flow of information have empowered the human lives way beyond levels that would defy descriptions. It overshadows the stone-age era like mentality and practices of many rogue states in many parts of the world today. Blinkers are widely used for horses and alike just to prevent them seeing to the rear, using the same metaphor, what we see today are nations been blindfolded and controlled their rights to genuine information within small boundaries censored not by their enemies but by their own countries. Somaliland, a long stable de’facto state in a security challenging region has slipped into the paths very similar to those marked by the black history; a history which still physically and psychologically haunts thousands, but widely used as a political tool by politicians who had been under a constant state of failure to set out a viably strategic plan for a roughly 3.5 million people under a different, yet dire circumstances. Slapping an unjustified jail terms with anyone who voices his thoughts and suppressing the freedom of expression would unequivocally confront the very basic fundamentals of human rights. Today, the detention centers of Somaliland hosts a bunch of civil rights activists, lawyers, scholars and traditional leaders among others, who’ve expressed their feelings in ways not favoring to Somaliland’s parochial vision which is resistant to the ever changing paradigms within and the region in its seditious nature.
Abdiqani Yasin Mohamed, a young dynamic fellow compatriot is another addition to the Somaliland incarcerations today, as he was abducted in a midnight raid from his house and family by Somaliland forces. It’s not yet known what crime Mr. Abdiqani was accused of to have raided in such odd times in what less than a terrorist combat operation. Abdiqani, the bread winner for his family, was living in Hargeisa, unemployed for years that has ultimately prompted him venture to a trip to Moghadishu, the capital city of Somalia. For his luck__ he eventually landed into a non-political position as a temporary Personal Secretary of the incumbent Vice-premier of Somalia Mr. Mahdi Mohamed Gullet, who also hails from the same region of the abductee. Although an officially updated national census on the Somaliland population and employment rates are absent, about 70% of the 3.5 million are said to be below the age of 30s, where 75% of this age range are unemployed or even lack any visible horizon that could change their status-quo in the near future. This is what fuels the horrendous youth exodus from their homes to take the adventurous options that have caused irreparably the loss of lives of tens of thousands not from Somaliland alone but the entire continent and elsewhere in the world.
Uncontemplated, impromptu and shamelessly quick statements are always common among many of the Somaliland officials, and having said that__ the deputy-interior-minister preaching beyond what he really does practice labelled the young abductee as a foreigner intruded illegally into his own country where he was born and bred. This has left dumbfounded many, included Abdiqani’s family and friends, let alone others. Such statement might cause choking to swallow to even people who are medically free from Dysphagia syndrome but it is normal among my people, as you can even see many of us smoothly digesting such dummy words.
Yesterday, 28-Aug-2018__ I happened to click a live video link shared by one of my friends on Facebook. This was the 15th convocation ceremony of University of Hargeisa held in the university premises. A well decorated hall full of the graduating students dressed in gowns with sparkling stripes of different colors presumably depicting their different faculties, and government officials included the incumbent president Musa Bihi Abdi, national political parties’ representatives among other dignitaries has uncontrollably attracted my attention. Although the coordinator, a lecturer of the university trying his best to keep the ceremony away from the political shots and rhetoric of both the conservative and opposition representatives; Adam Haji Ali__ the Chief Justice & the President of the Constitutional Court was among those welcomed to the podium to say their words for this occasion. Words seemed to be encouragement by many but an utter disappointment were delivered to this class of generation embarking a new chapter of their lives. “You shouldn’t wait for the government to employ you guys”, you must all be entrepreneurs and generate opportunities for yourselves and others’ too, were the words of the Chief Justice. As we know, governments are fundamentally obliged to set out employment policies for their people and if entrepreneurship is a place to go, everyone would have gone for it included the one who voiced such words. The Somaliland president, delivering the sealing speech has spoken differently of what his Chief Justice understood and disclosed his plans for the youth employment are under way; according to him, his government created a youth employment fund for better capacity building and eventually regular placements.
Subjugation, arbitrary imprisonment or even loss of lives could be something that potentially inflict damages to certain individuals, but would never ever bring about a lasting solution to the lives of the youth and would not deter the job seekers to tap opportunities in Mogadishu or any other place in Somalia or elsewhere to change their lives and the lives of their families.
Finally, it is an undeniable fact that, many of yesterday’s graduates have somehow booked their tickets to travel to somewhere that fits their needs___ Mogadishu surely will be the final destination for many. It’s really shameful that Somaliland authority is using tactics similar to those used by our mothers______ in this 21st century.