Under the guidance of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Omar, our foreign policy has been restructured severely to the detriment of Somaliland's national interest handicapping our ability to be heard by international policy actors and other institutions. This indefensible restructuring has, unfortunately, lead to dissonance in our foreign policy affairs.
In this restructuring Somaliland's Africa Jewel, Counselor and most ardent supporter, Dr. Iqbal Jazbhay, was let go and the question every Somalilander is asking is why. I can only attribute this to either or both of the following two reasons:
1. Mr. Omar, as someone who was brought up and cultured in Southern Somalia, Baidoa, has values which are innately different than ours. He retains a narcissistic culture where he has to be seen as the only Mr. knows it all. In pursuit of this bigheadedness, to our dismay, he removed our Africa and international policy guru and gone with it are our connections and ears in South Africa, a country whose relationship was one of our most critical relationships in sub-Saharan Africa.
2. This Southern culture is based on self-promotion, eliminating players and expertise in matters of international affairs. Therefore, one can only conclude that Dr. Omar must have been envious of Dr. Jazbhay's prolific writing in refereed scholarly papers as well as making presentations at international symposiums. Mr. Jazbhay's remunerations were extremely reasonable and obviously could never have been the reason for his removal.
Also to our disadvantage many foreign country representatives were purged due to so called budgetary restraints but I will not delve into that, instead in part II of this article I will discuss how America's Africa Foreign Policy is structured.
Why our Foreign Policy is paramount:
President Siilaanyo's biggest failure has been the staffing of the ministry of foreign affairs. Mr. Siilaanyo promised during the election campaign that he will ensure the campaign for our recognition will be at the forefront of his foreign policy agenda.
Choosing an uneducated Assistant Minister who can not conduct basic policy research along with an egotistical Minister is not a prudent leadership but a feckless failure that is damaging our national interest. As a matter of fact the job requires two well educated assistant ministers with expertise in international affairs who are conversant in U.S, British and European Union Africa foreign Policies. These assistant ministers should also be able to conduct research and be able to churn scholarly papers for departmental consumption while also counseling the minister in all matters of international relations.
Cirro's nescience in foreign policy matters:
The irony in all of this is it is happening under the watchful eye of the Chairman of the House of Representatives. Mr. Cirro's silence and failure to call on the Minister of foreign affairs and subject him to parliamentary scrutiny as to why he had removed Dr. Jazbhay and why he has not hired equally capable international affairs counselors can only be described as nescience and nothing short of dereliction of his parliamentary duties. At this moment it is paramount that parliament authorize the turning on of foreign affairs expense spigot to pay for expertise and lobbyists as soon as possible. We should spare no expense in our endeavor to be recognized as a member of the international community of nations. That must be pursued immediately and at all costs.
Riyaale's Foreign Policy Successes:
President Riyaale chose New York educated Abdillahi Dualeh as his Foreign Minister, a young and capable man who expanded Somaliland foreign country representatives assigning International Affairs expert Dr. Saad Sheekh Osman Nour to be his Washington Diplomat. Dr. Saad, now a consultant and a former professor at the prestigious University of Michigan, was not only an expert in his field but he has also lived in Washington DC, the capital of the United States since the early eighties where he cultivated close friends in academia, congress, the pentagon and Washington's power circles.
Speaking at a U.S Congress invitation Mr. Saad fiercely defended the reclamation of our sovereignty. He was also a ruthless debater that pulverized pro-Somalia opponents driving them to hide and run fast from wherever he set his foot.
Mr. Riyaale's Foreign Affairs Ministry had a decent budget and wisely spent it on international affairs counselors and expertise. Lobbying is not an inexpensive service. For example, to give you an idea, Ethiopia spends at least $30,000/ month in Washington for retaining lobbying experts who help defend and preserve its national interest. There is no such lobbying on behalf of our national interest either in the United States or in the United Kingdom.
In conclusion, Somaliland is a new developing country with few or no expertise in most fields, including foreign affairs. For us recognition is existential, it is therefore critical that we acquire the services of expertise (International lawyers, foreign policy experts, etc) that can walk us through the mazes of international relations.
Saeed M. Timir