If the percentage of fringe, militant media practitioners was small, it would have been negligible, insignificant and not noteworthy at all. It is not – on academic calculations – less than 80% of the total line up.
These radical elements daily pen a stream of subversive, caustic, discordant and tribally-laced drivel for websites, newspapers and TV stations. They write not from the heart or on a basis of reach findings or from intellectual derivation and suppositions, but purely on the basis of tribal and individual interests.
Examples are aplenty. There too many attempts the nation made to rise from the dust of underdevelopment that the media failed: (a) the attempt made on resuscitating the Berbera cement plant; (b) the on-going attempts on turning Somaliland’s oil reserves into viable economic concerns; (c) Attempts made in transforming fallow, dilapidated and/or neglected government properties into solvent cash for use on reconstruction programs; (d) the attempts to turn mining reserves such as Simodi and along the coastal line east of Berbera into going concerns ; (a) the investments to be made on Berbera and Hargeisa power plants that currently run on generators and input concerned private sector citizens have made on them; - and so on and so forth.
If, for instance, the presently-running generators of Hargeisa electricity were turned off this minute, nothing much to talk about would have been there. MSG bought and installed the new generators that are running now – but then the exploited elements among the Somaliland do not know that or are being blinded by tribal hatred that knows neither reasoning nor is in any way nationalistic.
The current clamor for shares on plant by one of the villages of Hargeisa (note: not individuals) is an irrefutable proof of a puppeteer’s hand running the strings behind the curtain. Almost everybody knows that it is the self-same hand that started not-so-long-ago political riots which is again making the puppets play to its tune, whim and agenda. And one can guess who that is: an example of self-interest hiding behind the pens of semi-literate hooligan journalism.
Alongside the venom spouted out by the so-called elements among the media that blemish the good name of the profession, are always absurd claims and accusations that are far from the reality. Moles are turned into mountains. Ignorant, spotlight hungry opposition elements run for the nearest print outlet and TV station with a handful of dirty banknotes clenched in their small fists to buy print space and airtime.
As soon as some kind of a settlement is reached or some people get killed, the gall fizzles out. The dead and wounded, the wronged and the ill-accused are all left behind ignored and ridiculed with no recourse to law or justice. Instead they accuse the ill-treated and demand compensation where they should have collared the instigators of the cause who exploited them to the hilt.
Architects of discord
They no longer hide behind the curtains. They are out in the open. Only they have succeeded to convince everybody that there is valor in bucking the system and disobeying law. They neither stammer nor blink when they are calling out all the superlatives in doom and destruction despite the evident unity and development Somaliland is basking in, and is being commended on by the international community.
The architects of discord in Somaliland are led a few members from the opposition parties, joined along the way by elements from the private sector that change shade with the issue, the occasion and the interest on hand. They can be named by any child who sits in front of a TV screen or reads the dailies in Hargeisa or the websites.
Talking of websites, any novice van tell which website belongs to which tribe/clan right away by looking at the content of their editorials and what the editors select for ‘news’ and ‘opinion’ columns.
Word of Advice
Somaliland must be bigger and more valuable than passing, ephemeral cares and interests. The number of ‘issues’ that were made to boil over and evaporate to thin air, thereafter, suffices for examples. The number of people maimed, killed, impoverished or compelled to flee the country only to die on the Sahara Desert or drown on international seas should be recalled.
The media must not defend tribal or personal interests at all. Nothing can bring back the lives and trust that inadvertent or cruelly calculated media coverage like yours can make us all lose.
Somaliland media must come back to its senses or cease to be.
Amran Isa Aideed