UNIVERSITY OF PENNSYLVANIA - AFRICAN STUDIES CENTER
COPY OF AN OPEN LETTER TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL OF THE UNITED NATIONS: AWDAL REPUBLIC DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
Proud to be the direct descendants of the Awdal (Adel) empire inhabitants, we are happy to announce that from now on we will revive our civilization and bring it back to the track from which it was derailed by the foreign forces.
The Awdal Republic that will soon emerge will be democratic, compassionate and civilized. Certaintly when we achieve our goal, gone will be the days when the Awdalians were the naked needles that sewed other people's clothes; gone will be the days when our destiny was in unfriendly hands and gone will be the days when we believed blindly in Somali nationalism.
We believe strongly that a nation is a nation when the basic right of every individual is guaranteed but when the state in whose bosom the individual is supposed to feel secure is turned into a clannish spear to tear the flesh of the former rival clans, then it becomes the responsibility of every group to protect its citizens. Awdalians are no exceptions.
By breaching the terms of the treaties with the Awdalians, the British derailed our state and played poker with our territory. The remaining parts of Awdal joined voluntarily to Somalia on 1st July 1960. The only fruits of independence became a nightmare: the loss of sovereignty, denial of basic rights of the individual, naked nepotism, intentional underdevelopment by taxing the people without ever spending a penny for the Awdalian welfare. The sandy beaches of Mogadishu sucked and absorbed that revenue. " We cann't fill the bag whose bottom lies at Mogadishu and whose rim touches Loyi'ado - a distance of two thousand kilometers-!", an Awdalian complained once. Awdal became the true stepchild of Somalia.
A single project was not carried out in Awdal since independence. The virtual nonexistence of any infrastructure in Awdal, its neglected landscape that was denuded of both flora and fauna, and the abject poverty of its citizens speaks poetically for the kind of union that we were duped into.
In addition, the Awdalian carried the brunt of the wars against the dictatorial regimes of ex-Ethiopia. As a result the ex-regime's troops shelled, bombed and strafed all towns and villages in Awdal. On 31st January 1984, the Mengistu planes killed in twenty seconds eighty-four civilians, including thirty-five children, at Borama. While all this was going on, most Somalis were ignorant of the plight of these people and no one reported their continuous suffereng. Moreover, the Awdalians shared with the rest of the country the brutal oppression of dictator Said Barre. It goes down in history that the first innocent civilian killed by Barre's firing squads in Hargiesa in 1970 was from Awdal.
On top of all these calmities, the SNM, spearheading an entire division of Mengistu's troops, slaughtered five hundred fifty innocent people in Borama, Dila and Zeila on February 4th, 1991. And when the SNM had occupied, with the "generous" assistance of these troops and had inherited the ammunation dumps in the north of somalia, the first step they took was a deliberate clan-cleansing of the non-Isack clans from their homes at Gebiley, Hargeisa, Arabsiyo, Eiragavo and Ainabo. To humilate further the clans in the north, they hijacked their elders and took them first to Harar (Ethiopia) in April 1991 and later to Burao where they were intimidated to sign a "compulsary declaration of independence" that has been concocted directly by "Mengistu Haila Miriam". Two ex-Ethiopian generals, violating directly the sovereignty of the Somali state, were directing that so-called conference at Burao. Thus, by carrying out these repugnant deeds that are contrary to whatever values or culture we shared as Somlis since the millennium, the SNM dealt a mortal blow to any bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood we shared.
Now, if Somalia disintegrates, the Awdalians, who has been the victims of the Somali nationalism, cannot be blamed. History is our testimony that we have persevered in spite of all kinds of oppression and that we have striven to keep Somalia together but that earned us only scron and a threat to our very survival.
We can't be aprt of a nation guided by the whims of crazy clannish zealots; nor shall we be part of a nation kept together by coercion, and we will never accept again to be the underdogs waiting for the offal.
We understand fully that the decisions we have taken are not light but God has not ordained that we become the guardians of the Somali nation. after seeing half a million of its people starved to death and millions of others obliged to go through all kinds of humiliation, Somalia is not the same any more.
Therefore, by solemnly declaring our independence, we are confident that the Somali people will support us for they understand fully the conditions and circumstances that abliged us to undertake this historic decision.
Henceforth, we are the Awdal Republic - the heart of the DIR clan (GADABOURSI and ISSA) - and our boundaries are those of the 19th century Awdal.
Signed by the people of Awdal Republic.
From: Ben.Parker@unep.no Subject: Awdal "republic" - Somalia - for Hornet Date: Mon, 13 Feb 95 08:32:42 GMT Message-Id: [9502130832.2A32AC@extern02.unep.no