#Op_Ed: The Cost of Being a #Somalilander: A Personal Journey

In this op-ed, Barkhad M. Kaariye, serving as the Deputy Head of Mission at the Somaliland Embassy to Ethiopia, shares a personal journey reflecting on the cost of being a Somalilander. Kaariye recounts a dark night 36 years ago when his family, along with almost 2 million Somalilanders, fled aerial bombardments in #Hargeisa to seek refuge in #Ethiopia. He notes, “The Somali Republic’s national army, whose main mission was to defend citizens, instead killed, massacred, and bombed them.” The historical background provides context to the Somaliland-#Somalia situation, emphasizing Somaliland’s independence from European powers and the ill-fated union with Somalia in 1960. The piece highlights the subsequent injustices, culminating in extrajudicial killings, crimes against humanity, and genocide perpetrated by the Somali government. Moreover, the op-ed chronicles the establishment of the Somali National Movement (SNM) to resist suppression, leading to the overthrow of Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991. The article shifts to current challenges, particularly the collaboration between Ethiopia and Somaliland through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The author sees the MoU as a beacon of hope for both nations, fostering development, addressing security challenges, and lifting people out of poverty. The piece concludes with a call for international recognition of Somaliland’s achievements and emphasizes the importance of adherence to the MoU for regional stability.