Somalia: Mind-Boggling Twist as Northern Somalia Crowns New House Speaker
HARGEISA, Somalia – In an astonishing turn of events, lawmakers in the tumultuous breakaway region of Northern Somalia have elected a new House Speaker amidst unprecedented political divisions and a fierce war that has claimed the lives of over 200 people in the troubled city of Las Anod within the Sool region.
In a bewildering twist, Yassin Hajji Faratoon emerged as the victor, securing 46 out of 81 votes in the election held in Hargeisa, the regional administrative capital of Northern Somalia. He triumphed over Mohamed Khadar Dahir, who managed to garner only 35 votes.
The race for Speaker was expected to be a grueling battle, marred by complex political interests and regional dynamics within the opposition-controlled House. However, at the eleventh hour, Ali Hamud Jibril withdrew from the race, citing a lack of support from lawmakers in his own constituency.
In the 2021 elections, Faratoon had previously lost to Abdirisaaq Khalif Ahmed, the eventual winner. The former Speaker recently resigned due to the ongoing violent conflict in Las Anod, which has resulted in the tragic deaths of numerous residents.
In a significant move, the ex-Speaker joined the SSC-Khatumo forces, aligning himself with the liberation movement for the Sool region. This movement advocates for governance from Mogadishu rather than Hargeisa, the regional capital. Additionally, he relinquished his seat and membership in the Waddani party, which emerged victorious over the ruling Kulmiye party in the 2021 polls.
Yasin Hajji Faratoon, born in the disputed city of Las Anod in 1947, completed his primary education there and attended Dayaha High School in Erigabo. He is renowned as one of the esteemed scholars in the breakaway region of Northern Somalia.
Northern Somalia, which asserts its independence from Somalia, fervently pursues international recognition, although efforts to reconcile the two factions persist. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud recently appealed for a ceasefire between the warring parties, highlighting that reconciliation would pave the way for restoring order.