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Somaliland’s Aid Accountability

You’re Excellencies,

At the onset, I would like to express my at most gratitude to you and the other generous nations, for the indefatigable political and humanitarian assistances that you proffered to the Somali people. In which without it, the plight of the Somali people could have undoubtedly been far worse than it is now. For that reason, I’m hereby kindly appealing for the continuation of these morally imperative assistances as long as the current quandary exist in Somalia.

Having said that; I would also like to draw your attention into an inadvertent negative impact resulted from lack of humanitarian oversight on the part of the donor nation and the implanting partners.

Your Excellencies, as we all know; the sole aim of humanitarian aid is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the context of life-threatening situations, so that, the affected individuals and communities can once again rebuild their lives without enduring additional hardship. But, in the case of the Northwestern regions of Somalia, best known as Somaliland, relief supplies are persistently diverted away from the affected communities in those regions, notably the Samaron community of Awdal region, the Dhulbahante and Warsangle of Sool and Sanaag regions as well as handful minorities, who are absolutely in a deplorable living conditions due to the corrupt misuse of aid by the maturity tribe in region (the Isaac), who are not only misusing the humanitarian aid, but also, redirecting it into building a military mighty so as to coerce other tribes in the region to surrender to their separatist ideology (split of Somalia) and to avenge from ever-existing rift among the Somalia tribal society.

Your Excellencies, it has been demonstrated in recent years that the Northwestern region of Somalia receives from the UK government more humanitarian aid than any other region in Somalia. According to UK’s Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell in his recent visit to Hargeisa on January 31, 2011, “40 percent of UK’s aid to Somalia will go to Somaliland” which is 1/5 (one fifth) of the total population in Somalia! However, the misuse of such aid isn’t just a tragedy for the aforementioned communities, but also the entire donor nations including UK. Because, every dollar misused by the tribal authority in Hargiesa, to oppress other tribe in the region in which the latest atrocities had just occurred as late as yesterday in Lasanod city, the capital of Sool region, and in Buuhoodle town days before, so was Seemaal town of Awdal region in about a month ago, where innocent civilians were intentionally massacred by the tribe-government militia of Isaac tribe; is money which could have been spent on other dire humanitarian crises around the country – victims of abject poverty, disease, and violence.

Your Excellencies, during the colonial era, the Somali tribes in the area that later became British Somaliland Protectorate in the late 19th century were traditionally divided into tribes, with each being separated and independent from the others. Since then and until Somalia’s independence in 1960 each one of the above mentioned tribes maintained connections with the British government separately, and tribe area remained a separate Territory. When the central government collapsed in 1991; tribal rivalry re-started immediately in that part of Somalia (Somaliland), where secession proponent of 1-tribe empowered by humanitarian aid vs. 4-opposing tribes. Therefore, the initial assumption of “one size fits for all” of the international community isn’t just working.

With that in mind, I hereby recommend the following: in the absence of inclusive local governance, it’s absolutely important for donor nations like UK, and the implementing agencies to ascertain on what and how their humanitarian donations spent. However, intended beneficiaries of aid must also be involved, to ensure improved accuracy. This can be done in the form of strict oversight and occasional flash surveys of sample beneficiary groups in those affected regions. If those steps are collectively implemented, I’m optimistic that the intended victims will be helped rather than hurt.

Thank you

Farah-Kolley

najmaf@live.com

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