Are you a Somalilander

Rain in Somaliland - Is the Somali Nation Perishing?

Something happened again on the journey through northern Somaliland, as it did in 1986 in Ethiopia, during what was then known as the greatest famine. There was heavy rain in Hargeysa, the capital of Somaliland. When we wanted to make our way to Hargeysa from Berbera on the coast of the Indian Ocean, the rivers, which had been pounded bone-hard by the heat and sun in the past 12 months, suddenly swelled up and made the road between Berbera and Hargeysa impassable . A report by Rupert Neudeck

Again I was tempted to call the “Tagesschau” in Hamburg or the “heute” broadcast in Mainz because of the most important news: rain had fallen in northern Somalia. But I couldn't because there is a cell phone hole between Hargeysa and Berbera. But it would be exciting to know if media awareness has continued since Ethiopia. Back in 1986 we got through to Hamburg on the phone. One service editor just told us, "Rain is not news."

I was now traveling with the tall Abdulkarim Guleid, a Somali from a large semi-nomadic family in Somaliland. He came to Germany in 1977, learned German, studied economics and worked for Siemens. He was then in favor of his compatriots, who were then 1980ff. Hundreds of thousands fled in the opposite direction (from Ogaden / Ethiopia to Somalia) and returned to his country.

I would immediately suggest Abdulkarim Guleid for the right or the alternative Nobel Prize. In his new homeland, Ethiopia, he not only recognized the recipe for solving periodic water scarcity, he also carried it out. In the eastern Ethiopian province of Somali Regional State - more precisely between Jjigjiga and Geschammo - he built a total of 13 water dams, where he collects all the water during the heavy rain that occurs once a year. And he had built a huge tree nursery and schools for the children of the semi-nomads. Until the government of Ethiopia closed the project to him in 2009, the office of his organization "Hope for the Horn" closed. All because this government again only harbors suspicion and contempt for the Somalis.

Abdulkarim would now be the savior of Somaliland if he decided to set up the water project in the great expanses between Tug Wajale and Hargeysa or Burao and Erigavo. I understand his compatriots who are rallying around him, who are asking him to stay in Somaliland now (Abdulkarim Guleid is now a citizen of Ethiopia). The drought catastrophes are not biblical plagues. You can do it.

In Somaliland during my visit I feel the sadness of the Somalis, who have to fear for their national identity, a quarter of all Somalis probably already live outside the country. If one million more remain in Kenya and one more in Ethiopia in the future - what will become of the people?

Here, too, we experience the reality of African migration in a startlingly impressive way. It's on the drive from Berbera to Burao on the country's second tarred road, built by an Italian company when Somalia was still Somalia. Suddenly two boys are walking a little groping in the shimmering heat on either side of the street. You would like to be taken, but we have no space. They come from the area near Tug Wajala, they walk because they have heard that in the port of Bosasso, which belongs to the landscape of Puntland, another part of old Somalia, you can take a boat to Yemen, if it is all comes great, can also come to Saudi Arabia.

That is the goal of young people, the hopeful, strong Africans, they are looking for a country that they can work, earn and train. For West and Central Africa it can be Europe, it can also be Saudi Arabia and the Emirates on the Gulf. We give them some water and two 500 Somalia Shillings and they trudge on.

When will Europe understand that there is a young generation who would like to, would love to build something in their own countries, but who are denied that by the inertia of the governments?

It could be that Somalialand will turn out to be an alternative to the chaos criminal al-Shabaab state of Somalia in the south. The fact that the Chinese are already there in their international law and would like to build a large highway against the exploration of possible oil fields in Somaliland speaks volumes. The African Union is opposed to the recognition of Somaliland, all neighboring states are. Eritrea even supports the Al Shabaab militias with weapons. But it does so against the archenemy Ethiopia.

The so-called President of the so-called Republic of Somaliland, nicknamed Silanyo (English: a clever beetle), stays in China for five days. The number of hunger refugees from southern Somalia has now risen to 50,000 in northern Somaliland.

You enjoy an advantage. You don't only get rice, tea, aspirin and powdered milk here. There is still little of that, less than in Kenya's Dadaad camp. But they are welcome in the population. You don't have to hide and you won't be barracked.

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Rupert Neudeck 2011 Green Helmets 2011