The newly formed Dhulbahante Unification Council (DUC), for the first time in over 24 years, releases a 17-point Communique’ (attached) divided into four “Decision” points, in support of Somaliland sovereignty, peace talks and power-sharing with the rest of the Republic of Somaliland.
The Communique’ calls for the commencement of peace and power-sharing talks between the executive arm of the Republic of Somaliland and a fifty-member task force headed by Professor Ali Khalif Galaydh and Professor Ali Essa.
The first point (1.1; 4 sub-points) of the Communique clearly states that ‘95% of Dhulbahante clan members decide to wholly merge with the rest of Somaliland’.
Above decision brings to an end a costly and ruinous political oscillation that had seen clan members fragmented and politicians divided on allegiance to existing regional Somali administrations: Somaliland, Puntland, Somalia and the recently proclaimed ‘Khatumo Federal State’.
Other points within the same Decision Point One subdivision goes on to call for full participation of the Somaliland voter registration as well as voter process to be effected in all areas under the clan jurisdiction.
Decision Point Two (4 sub points) supports the 1991 Burao Declaration of Sovereignty, relieves Dhulbahante clan elders of political involvement and nominates leaders of Somaliland-DUC talks.
Decision Point Three (4 Sub-points) declares the DUC intention to hold political, regional and developmental talks with the President of Somaliland and his cabinet.
Decision Point Four (2 sub-points) establishes the DUC vision of non-violence and the supremacy of dialogue against the gun.
The Communique represents a welcome about-turn on the part of a major clan in Somaliland that has hitherto maintained an often disturbing opposition to a sovereignty that leading elders of the clan put the signature to in 1991 along with the rest of Somaliland clans in Burao.
The decision reached by the DUC is seen as a major boost to peace and stability not only in Somaliland but to the entire region of the Horn of Africa which is often characterized by costly armed strife that pits a clan against another, a brother against a brother. The regional – most times politically motivated – scrimmages are exacerbated by continual armed conflicts between opposing forces such as that presently raging between Somalia/AMISOM forces and Al Shabaab which keep crossing over to other areas by virtue of blurred ethnic, political, economic, geographical and demographic lines and loyalties.
The DUC Communique’ content or veracity has not been challenged or denied by any quarter although the media has yet to publish a signed and stamped copy of the official communique.