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.
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.
can only come under the following circumstances:
The Marexaan Mercenaries must
withdraw from Ceelwaaq District at once and without any pre-conditions
“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
opinions contained in this articles are solely
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