President Bihi turns his back on the Eastern regions of Somaliland


Since Somaliland’s current president was sworn into office in December 2017, his critics have come out in force. Recently, Mr. Basha Ali Jama critisised the leadership of Somaliland’s president, citing that president Bihi has started his term by initiating war in the eastern borders of Somaliland, thus destabilizing the peace process that his predecessor worked so hard to establish. Mr. Basha who was a former minister in the previous Somaliland government, pointed out that if president Bihi can partake in a war after 20 days as a president, then what will he do in the next 5 years. Mr. Basha alludes to the idea that the president elect will drag Somaliland into a war it does not need. Furthermore, president Bihi’s administration has failed to continue with the peace process in Khatumo state, especially as the previous government signed a peace deal. Mr. Basha also outlined how the previous Somaliland president Silanyo made great efforts to restore peace in the eastern regions of Somaliland. 

Moreover, it has been well documented that the eastern regions of Somaliland, which comprise of Togdheer, Sool and Sanaag are less developed than the western regions of Somaliland. Some have argued that current administration of Somaliland is not prioitising developing the eastern regions of Somaliland.  As a matter of fact, Muse Bihi’s administration has recently approved a Somaliland Development Fund (SDF) project and have subsequently given much of the fundings to projects located in the western regions of Somaliland. In actual fact, it has been reported that around 70% of the funds were awarded to the 3 regions in western Somaliland. The western region comprise of Haregeisa, Sahil and Awdal and it comes with no surprise that Muse Bihi and his vice president come from these regions.  

Additionally, we have had reports that outline the 6 regions of Somaliland (which were created during the Dahir Rayle administration) are actually getting less SDF per capital than Gabiley, president Bihi’s home town. Some have argued that this small region which is in the west of Somaliland is being treated as a complete state and has been awarded huge fundings while other regions in the east of Somaliland  (Ainabo, Oodwayne, Buhodle) have all been denied the development of such projects. As such, it has become clear that president Bihi is doing very little to address the huge disparity in distributing resources and opportunities across the country. 

Written by Ahmed A B Ibrahim, 

LLM International Financial Law, BA Business Studies 

8 March 2018


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