Yasin Haji Mohamoud Hiir (aka Yaasiin Faratoon)
A Member of Somaliland Parliament for Las Anod
The forced displacement of more than 1,500 Somalis in the city of Las Anod is unprecedented in the modern political history of Somalia. Somaliland government justified the forced displacement on the pretext that victims whom Somaliland militias in Las Anod forcibly displaced are foreigners. They are not. You know. As the MP who represents Las Anod, your birthplace, in Somaliland Parliament, you have not so far denounced the crime committed against Somali citizens who lived and worked in Las Anod. Your silence is disheartening given your past experience as the director of an NGO working with refugees before 1991, and your past work with the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, a job that had given you the opportunity to devise development policies for resettlement districts ( gargaarka) for people affected by Dabadheer drought; your visit to Oxford as a visiting study fellow at the Refugee Studies Programme ( now Refugee Studies Centre) in 1988, where you had shared your experience of working with refugees. In 1991 you became an internally displaced person who fled to his birthplace. You should know it feels to become an internally displaced person. Your failure to stop or denounce the forced displacement of your compatriots is baffling, and may put you at risk for civil action or criminal lawsuit in the United Kingdom.
As a British citizen, you have an obligation to respect the four fundamental British values – democracy, rule of law, respect and tolerance, and individual liberty. What will your answer be to the question: Do you regard people whom Somaliland government forcibly displaced from Las Anod as foreigners? If your answer is ‘No’, why did you allow for the forced displacement of Somali citizens in your constituency? Silence is not an option. The right of the Somali citizen is protected under the international law. No political authority can justify forced displacement of people living in any part of Somalia. Your MP is the first person to face questions if forced displacement – God forbid – took place in the constituency of your host country. Your past career as educationist who co-authored history books for primary schools should have sharpened your sense of history and alerted you to any pollical misjudgement. Mohamed Abib, a brave and humane MP from Awdal had you in mind when he said in Borama last week: “Any person who failed to protect people who had sought refuge in his district is undignified.” I understand that Abiib will feel ashamed to sit alongside you in Somaliland parliament you if you stick with your silence over the forced displacement of Somalis in your constituency, Las Anod.
I urge you to speak up for the victims of the forced displacement and make it clear that they are Somalis who have the right to live and work in Las Anod, and that Somaliland government committed a crime against vulnerable Somali citizens, and call for their unconditional return and restitution of their wealth looted by Somaliland militias in Las Anod.