Somalia: Sool’s Deficit Questions the Feasibility of Northern Somalia Endeavor

Somalia: Sool's Deficit Questions The Feasibility Of Northern Somalia Endeavor

Somalia: Loss in Sool Reveals the Unsustainability of Northern Somalia’s Secession

In the pursuit of secession for over 30 years, Northern Somalia received a wake-up call on Friday. The Sool region, which had been simmering with unrest for months, witnessed a self-motivated uprising known as SSC-Khatumo. This uprising successfully pushed back Northern Somalia troops, resulting in victory. However, this victory came at a high cost, with displaced people, damaged infrastructure, and loss of lives. Despite the consequences, the people of Sool see this as a clear indication that unity is preferable to division.

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Yet for Northern Somalia, beyond the battlefield lies a significant blow to the morale of its secessionist enthusiasts. These individuals have long campaigned for Northern Somalia to separate from Somalia, but now they may have to confront the reality that they remain closely tied to Somalia.

Following the defeat on Friday, President Bihi spoke of “strong measures” to be taken. While he did mention an investigation into the reasons for the loss, he assured the public that Northern Somalia’s services would not be affected. However, the context surrounding this statement hints at a crisis. Bihi called upon his party, KULMIYE, as well as other political parties in Northern Somalia, such as Wadani and UCID, and they all reportedly supported his call to action.

In Sool, the presence of Northern Somalia may have come to an end. The people of Sool clearly expressed their desire for a unified Somalia, accompanied by genuine attentiveness to their concerns. Sool has long requested to be governed like other regions in Somalia and to be recognized as a part of Somalia. They reiterated this in November and once again after their recent victory. Instead of heeding their pleas, Northern Somalia forces intervened to suppress the uprising and silence their voices. They soon discovered that the locals’ determination had created an impenetrable wall of resistance.

As we have previously argued, the responsibility now falls upon the Federal Government to support the rebuilding of Sool and ensure its integration within a Somalia they find comfortable. The International Community, which has remained neutral on this issue, must condemn any acts of state-sponsored terror against the people of Sool. It would be unforgivable if Mogadishu and its international partners fail to seize this opportunity to establish a stronger state presence on the ground. This not only discourages future uprisings but also fosters a sense of national unity that the people of Sool have long yearned for.

Priority must be given to resettling the displaced population, reopening schools and hospitals, and restoring access to roads. The fight against terrorism in Somalia outweighs the battle against defenseless civilians.

For Northern Somalia, this defeat should serve as a valuable lesson and a pivotal moment in their political strategy. It exposes the fact that not everyone supports their secessionist ambitions and highlights the international community’s reluctance to engage with this issue. The easier path for Northern Somalia now is to engage with other stakeholders in Somalia to determine the future and political direction of the country.

Secession or any other form of political administration cannot be achieved by isolating others.


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