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PRESS RELEASE: By Abdulkadir Khalif August 15,2005

  “Harre Huuraale” and his cohorts have been camping in Ceelwaaq for the last one week begging for peace and reconciliation with the people his forces evicted from their homes 5 months ago. He has witnessed the destruction his mercenaries have inflicted on the people and their properties. Whether that makes him feel like a hero or diminishes his status in front of all civilized peoples remains to be seen. But what is for sure is that he will not find peace as long as his mercenaries continue to occupy one inch of the territory of the Digil and Mirifle people of Kedi. He may withdraw his forces as he said he would but he can not attach any pre-conditions for doing that. He is looking for an exit strategy but we will not help him in that. He came to Ceelwaaq on his own volitions and he is at liberty to live  at any time. That timetable has no bearing on our strategies or plans and the KLA will come to Kedi and go wherever it wants at a time of their choosing, and nothing “Harre Huuraale” or anybody else will say or do will influence that. 

 “Harre Huuraale” is in a tight corner. He wishes to go back to Kismaayu before his Ceyr allies overthrow him. He wishes to guarantee the Marexaan of Kedi that he will not abandon them. His mercenaries are restive and hungry; and most important of all he knows that the KLA is coming after his mercenaries. He is offering peace to the Garre but without looking weak. He wants to live quickly without showing that he is actually running away. His forces feel like the forces of Napoleon in a devastated Moscow. Their malnourished ranks are begging for peace and can not withdraw or desert because they are afraid of being hunted down and destroyed. Their hope lies in a “quick fix” peace deal that would save them face. The Garre people are overwhelmingly against negotiating with the mercenaries who are not answerable to any authority. “Harre Huuraale” is not a Somali Government minister. He is not even a member of parliament. He has never been sworn into either of those positions because as his compatriots were celebrating peace in Nairobi, he was stealing from traders at the port of Kismanyu. He therefore represents no one at all except the thieves he leads in Kismanyu and the helpless Marexaan residents of Kedi who are hoping for some deliverance, and who for the lack of any better person see salvation in the desperate despot that is “Harre Huuraale”.

  The District Commissioner of Mandera, Mr. Waweru desperately needs to pull a coup that would stick out prominently in his resume. He knows that if he succeeds, he stands to gain through promotion and also through financial gains from the Marexaan businessmen in Nairobi and Beled Xaawo, who are right now feeling the pinch of an economic boycott by the Garre people. But that peace deal which would save “Harre Huuraale” face will be of no benefit to the Garre people even if it guarantees them total ownership of Ceelwaaq district. Ceelwaaq District will belong to the Garre, whether the Marexaan live it on their own or whether they are kicked out of it. They can forget ever sharing power with the Garre in Ceelwaaq. On top of that they have to share power with other Digil and Mirifle peoples in Baardheera, Doolow and Luuq if there is to be a just and equitable peace in the Kedi region. The conflict in Ceelwaaq has brought forth whole new issues in this region. We are aware that before the Garre, other people like the Garre Maro, Gabaweyn, Gasaar Gude and others have been marginalized and evicted from their homes in Doolo, Luuq and Baardheere. The Garre people therefore have decided that peace with Marexaan would no longer be a piece-meal kind of deal but will have to be a comprehensive one that must involve and include all the peoples of the Kedi Region. There will in future be two blocks of forces in that region: The Marexaan on one side and the Shanta Geed Ganaane on the other. That was how things were before the dissolution of traditional power balance by the military dictatorship of the ‘70s and ‘80s which was dominated by the Marexaans themselves.

 Peace can only come under the following circumstances:

·        The Marexaan Mercenaries must withdraw from Ceelwaaq District at once and without any pre-conditions what-so-ever.

·        “Harre Huuraale” and his Juba Valley Alliance militia must withdraw completely from the Kedi region and go back to their looting fields of Kismanyu immediately.

·        The Marexaan Ugasses and elders must declare publicly that Ceelwaaq District is the ancestral home of the Garre people and that all other Somali clans including the Marexaan are guests to that region.

·        All civilians whether Garre or otherwise should be able to go back to their homes without intimidation or any pre-conditions.

·        All Digil and Mirifle peoples of Kedi must be allowed to go back to their homes and if there are any other people occupying their homes they should be forced to move out and surrender that property.

·        The capital of the Kedi region must be transferred from the stoney-earth Garba Harre to the more cosmopolitan Baardheera so that it can be equally accessible and socially conducive to all the inhabitants of Kedi.

·        All farms and watering points that have hitherto been confiscated from the Digil and Mirifle people in Kedi must be transferred back to them immediately and without any financial or other considerations.

·        The KLA must be free to secure and maintain peace on the border areas the way they have done for the last two years and no members of the Marexaan tribal militias would be allowed to approach the border areas.

·        The border between Kenya and Somalia along the Kedi region must remain closed until a comprehensive peace is achieved according to the conditions stipulated above.

  On behalf of all the Digil and Mirifle people in the Diaspora and especially on behalf of the Garre community, I sign this declaration with confidence and with the knowledge that these are the only environment for a permanent solution to the conflict in Kedi.

Abdulkadir M. Khalif


The opinions contained in this articles are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of Africa News Online.