By Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud
The politically motivated Cadaan-Studies brought into being when a group of Western Scholars arrived Somaliland, and introduced an Academic Journal jointly with the Institute of Peace and Conflict Resolution of the University of Hargeisa. The aim of the Somaliland Journal of African Studies is to cover African Studies at large, but particularly the journal focuses on East Africa as well as the Horn of African political and social concerns. As it was written in its introductory piece ‘’the Somaliland Journal of African Studies (SJAS) aims at covering an academic research area in a clear expansion. The objective of the journal is to shed a light into the political landscape of Africa, its political regimes, the current democratic situation and the respect for human rights’’. This ‘’political regimes and the current democratic situation’’ refers that this academic journal is more concerned with political and sociological understanding of the African continent.
The title of the journal starts from the an unrecognised State of Somaliland that has withdrawn its independence from Somalia in 1991, after a bloody ethnic cleansing war that caused a severe damage to the lives of more than 50,000 civilians, so as the degradation of the capital properties of Somaliland cities and towns. As luck would have it, unlike Somalia, where I have portrayed domicile of inferno, analytically corrupt, where immoral and ethical dishonest are all on primed. Somaliland is a peaceful, democratic state, where the subsequent governments transfer and handed power to their successors. The world sent an international observers to closely witness the elections of the President, Members of Parliament and the Local Councillors. These elections ensued through a multi-party political system and later internationally and locally dyed-in-the-wool to be free and fair, while the opposition parties all accepted the results of the election. Despite the fact that, the people of Somaliland, whichever political party they have voted for, people collectively consented and showed their willingness to their democratically elected legitimate government.
Unfortunately, their fellow brothers of Somalia who failed to build their own system of governance, which the International Community provided a lot of technical and financial assistance alongside with the peace keeping mission of African troops. Disclosed to the world a perpetual jealousy about the progress of Somaliland’s political development. Somalia remained a home of piracy and a self-haven of international terrorism for the last 24 years. The only activity and effort they put their political lifetime is to hinder the positive achievements of the democratic state of Somaliland. Let alone to serve people or secure the peace in which the world has funded and still bankrolling to the billions of dollars for the last two and half decades. Regrettably, from the subordinate staff to the President, the salary of the entire government is provided by the International Community, but yet the required peace and stability is unachievable because of the failure of the Somalian Politicians and Academics.
Most surprisingly, the very same political elites and academics who have failed to secure their own premises of homeland Somalia inaugurated and funded a newly thought up academic scheme of what is called Cadaan-Studies. The aim of this project is to hinder the idea of popularisation of Somaliland by the name of the newly invented Academic Journal, namely the Somaliland Journal of African Studies. Fortunately, the People of Somaliland are now beginning to understand the campaign of Cadaan-Studies. The movement is nothing more than a politically affiliated bewilderment from Somalian objectors. The impression was introduced by Abdi Ismail Samater receiving the funding budget from the fragile government of Somalia, a Somaliland Born, Professor of Geography from the University of Minnesota and a brother of Ahmed I. Samater. The perseverance of Mr Samater who later used his wife (Somali Italian born) by writing articles against SJAS by her name and Safia Aidid, a Somali Canadian Feminist and a PhD Candidate from Harvard University for his own sake, was just to challenge the name of the academic journal, because it has a Somaliland name. The main purpose of the group of objectors was to hinder the Somaliland’s political, economic and social development, for the reason that, Somalia the Failed State is politically on its last legs.
The academic scheme of Anti-Somaliland nosedived after when the funding project has been corruptly mismanaged by its senior members, including Professor Samater and Professor AF-Yare who were the masterminds and the architects of this hostile political venture. I received telephone calls from some individual members of Cadaan-Studies, they confirmed to me that the government led project has botched to reach its target, because of corruption and mismanagement from its senior inventors. Safia Aidid who is the actress but not the director of the project also felt that she was chastened by her instructors. She deliberately tremored the Cadaan-Studies innovators when she posted on her Facebook wall that the Somali Youth League (SYL), as the first political party of Somalia, and also the first nationalist political party that ever existed in Somali speaking nations. Safia is PhD historian student, and this shows that she was thoughtful to reveal the conspiracy theory of Cadaan-Studies. Because, as an academic elite she already knew the backfire of any biased scripts of history and its consequences.
This was her quotation marks ‘’the first Somali anti-colonial nationalist organisation, the Somali Youth Club, later renamed the Somali Youth League, was founded on May 15, 1943 in Mogadishu. This argument of hers reveals two things, firstly whether she has not researched enough to demonstrate the idea of a Somali sense of nationalism and where it started, or deliberately displayed to her senior architects of Cadaan-Studies that she is not happy about how things have managed. It is unlikely that the former happens in this way, because as a history researcher the fact of what has been written about the Somali political life is imaginable and cannot be squandered, where the latter is much more likely to happen. According to Sanderson Beck (2004) ‘’ in 1941 the British were welcomed as liberators by the Somali people. They disbanded the Italian police, and British officers recruited the Somalia Gendarmerie, which increased to 3,070 Somalis and Africans under 120 British officers by 1943. A police school was opened to train Somali officers. Agriculture improved, and by 1943 Somalia was supporting itself with food. Restrictions that Italians had placed on political associations were abolished. Thirteen representatives of the main clans founded the Somali Youth Club in Mogadishu on May 13, 1943. Military Governor Gerald Fisher (1943-48) was credited with progressive policies, and the Protectorate Advisory Council was formed in July 1946. That year the British Military Administration estimated that the Club had 25,000 affiliates, and the next year the name was changed to the Somali Youth League (SYL)’’. This ‘’political association were abolished’’ refers that during the Second World War when Britain occupied the Italian Somalia from 1941 – 1950. This was where the Somali Youth Club was initiated by the British. It is obvious that this was a British led mission because Italians were pressurising the United Nations that Somalia is to be returned to its first hand colony by the British Empire.
In conclusion, Historians, Anthropologists and Sociologists cannot differentiate between interval and history. For instance, the Cold War period, World War I and World War II periods could only be scaled into their periods and times of occurrences and discourses. Although, I cannot loggerheads with her biased argument of SYL, for the reason that, it was Italian Colony and later a trusteeship of UN dependency. Whilst, Somaliland was a Protectorate, but nevertheless, she is just a historian, and the unscrupulous thing of the historians is they cannot academically defend their arguments. Because we are in a post-modernity age where history is totally dead and being vanished in a lot more ways by the different societies of the world. Look at the map of the world, it is controversial today, because winners wrote the history for their own benefit. And as we are the winners (Somaliland) who firstly got their independence before challengers (Somalia). Secondly, we built our State economy and recuperated from the inherited destruction of the unification. Therefore, we should write the history of our own, rather than citing from a politically and socially defeated academics and politicians, who failed to build their country back and wasted the 24 years international support of state-building.
Finally, I am having a doubt why these so called academics spent their time on this Academic Journal? The group of the SJAS writers are Sociologists, Anthropologists and Political Scientists. It is all about Research Studies in Africa, I think it is nothing to do with history and geography or even to be included with Somali academics. Why are they bothering to write about it, or is it the name of the Somaliland Journal of African Studies what matters? I think we need to understand why? I believe the debate was naturally initiated in a political way of manner. It is nothing to do with academic debate, we all see that there are no certified rules of engagement. I believe that she (Safia) is not the one who has engaged the war with Markus or SJAS members as some people believed. The certified academics behind the curtain, are the Mogadishu government led elites, namely Professor Abdi Samater and Professor Af-Yare. Therefore, Somaliland government should play its role by engaging politically to its elites. I hope the Somaliland University Students and Academics should also understand that the multi-dimensional attack is always under our beloved state of Somaliland, whether it is an academic, economic, social and political.