The Somaliland community in Minnesota has asked the members of parliament to act against hostile groups trying to destabilize the only democratic nation.
A statement sent by the community to elected representatives in Minnesota is as follows;
A COMMUNIQUÉ ABOUT LOS-ANOD
March 9, 2023
Senator Amy Klobuchar
Senator Tina Smith
Representative Brad Finstad
Representative Angie Craig
Representative Dean Phillips
Representative Betty McCollum
Representative llham Omar
Representative Tom Emmer
Representative Michelle Fischbach
Representative Pete Stauber
Dear Congressional Delegation from Minnesota,
Minnesota has the largest Somali population in America. Although appearing homogeneous, the Somali population in Minnesota is a diverse group, reflecting the rich tapestry of Somali regions. Unfortunately, the accentuation of regional differences has contributed to the instability and conflict that has plagued Somalia for decades, culminating in a failed state. Somaliland, our original home, has been an exception to this state of lawlessness, and there are now hostile groups trying to destabilize the only democratic nation in a rather tumultuous region of the world using Las-Anod as a proxy.
A brief historical background is necessary to understand the current situation in Las -Anod city of Somaliland. On July 1st, 1960, the newly independent British Somaliland and Somalia entered into a union to form the Republic of Somalia. In October 1969, General Siyad Barre assumed power in a coup d’etat and instituted a brutal dictatorship that led to a civil war and eventually to the disintegration of the state of Somalia. In 1991 Somaliland withdrew from the union and established the Republic of Somaliland.
In the past 32 years, while Somalia descended into warlordism, piracy, and terrorism, and adopted the infamous 4.5 tribal formula as the basis of politics ultimately descending into statelessness, Somaliland embraced Constitutional Democracy based on one man one vote. Somaliland, a beacon of hope and stability in a rather tumultuous region, earned the nickname of “Africa’s Best Kept Secret” due to its hallmark politics of dialogue, negotiations, and consensus building within its borders and with neighboring countries.
At the moment, Somaliland is the only country in the whole region with ties with Taiwan, another democratic nation in an antidemocratic region of the world. Somaliland’s friendship with Taiwan did not please the CCP. The Chinese ambassador to Ethiopia met with key protagonists immediately prior to the unrest. The stability and security of Somaliland is very vital to the interests of the national security of the United State.
The 2023 National Defense Authorization Act acknowledged Somaliland’s importance and called on the Defense Department and intelligence community to broaden ties with Somaliland. Somaliland’s success in preventing terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda or its local affiliate Al-Shabaab from sinking roots should not be overlooked and Somaliland should not be allowed to be destabilized, which would provide a safe haven for Al-Shabaab terrorist groups.
As proud American citizens of Somaliland descent residing in Minnesota, we voted for Somali politicians who we believed would be exemplars for young Somali Americans in their pursuit of civic engagement and political activism. Unfortunately, all three politicians that signed the letter to congress are perpetuating the harmful tribal politics that failed Somalia, potentially sowing division and further exacerbating long-standing conflicts within our community.
This is sad given that these politicians were elected to promote the American ideals of democracy, freedom, and inclusion. We are dismayed that some elected Somali officials in Minnesota who hail from Puntland are trapped in Puntland’s archaic tribalistic model of politics. They shamelessly divide our Minnesotan community along tribal lines. It is noteworthy to mention that Congresswoman Ilhan Omar recently visited Puntland and met with its president. Ilhan Omar is fully aware of the jihadist militia formed in Puntland to destabilize Somaliland.
It is very unfortunate to see our Somali elected officials, whom we voted into office, turn a blind eye to calls for “Jihad” and fundraising for arms to further fuel the situation in Las-Anod. Known Al-Shabaab terrorist group commanders like Abdi Madobe are battling Somaliland forces in Las-Anod city. It is deeply troubling that violent and extremist rhetoric has been allowed to be expressed in our community, and we find it regrettable that our local elected politicians who wrote to you neglected to highlight these dangerous and reprehensible events.
True to its organic homegrown peaceful conflict resolution mechanisms and peaceful coexistence, Somaliland has announced a unilateral ceasefire since February 10th. The ceasefire became difficult to implement because of the coalition of antidemocratic hostile groups. If the concern was purely humanitarian, the politicians in question should have unequivocally called for all parties to refrain from violence and implement the ceasefire.
We urge you to encourage all parties that are fueling the conflict to seek a peaceful resolution through constructive dialogue and negotiation to avoid further escalation of the conflict and its far-reaching consequences for the whole region. We trust that elected officials like yourselves will take note of these concerns and act to ensure that the interest and well-being of all Somalis, regardless of clan or region of origin, are safeguarded and protected. It is also our hope that elected Somali-American politicians will take heed and exercise astute judgment and thorough diligence before inadvertently aiding activities that undermine the cherished values of our state of Minnesota and the United States of America.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
SOMALILAND COMMUNITY OF MINNESOTA
917 5th Ave S unit 103
MN 55404 612.4812395
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