Is it a Crime to Preserve the History of SNM?

After twenty years of injustice and widespread atrocities underwent by the people of Somaliland, tiny group of Somaliland intellectuals and politicians from the Gulf counties converged in London in 1981 where they declared an armed struggle against the brutal regime of Siyad Barre. This was not an easy decision but there was no other option. The delegations met in London and formed SNM as an insurgent and liberating wing. The SNM that made its hub in the neighboring country of Ethiopia engage fierce fighting from 1981 till 1991. The fight between SNM and the dictator government of Somalia started with minor clashes launched by SNM from the border of Ethiopia until 1987 when full-scale battle ensued between the two sides.

The anecdote of SNM is so fascinating. First, SNM defeated one of the mightiest militaries in the continent. The Somali military was equipped with sophisticated weapons of Russian and American arsenal. It had also much admired military training. It had run over the Ethiopian army in 1977.  No matter, the combatants of SNM beat that much feared army within hours and became a subject discussion afterwards. Second SMN was very disciplined and self-controlled. No single matter of indecency behavior had been suspected on SNM fighters and her leadership. They were fighters with outstanding character and sense of self-esteem and dignity.  SNM had set a record different from their corresponding parties who were accused of a range of crimes against humanity such as looting, sexual abuses, illegal drug trafficking and child soldiering.

Furthermore, SNM had accorded amnesty to all non- SNM militias affiliated and fought alongside the Somali army against her. Yet SNM ceded the leadership of the country to a civilian government chosen by the people, only after three years of been in charge of the country.

It is unfairness and wrongness to exclude the history of those nationalist liberators who shed their blood for the people and the county from the curriculum of education of the country. Almost every country in the world preserves and celebrates for the history of its heroes through teaching to their young generations. On top of that the disabled SNM heroes who are bed-ridden now with sustained injuries during the struggle do not get any assistance from the people whom they sacrificed their live and shed their blood for. Consequently, the SNM Veterans and their orphans live in a very abject and dilapidated life.


Abdirahman Omer Hussien

Freelance Researcher and Activist

BA in Mass Communication

MA International Relations