As a British Somalilander, I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks and gratitude to the British Government for all the development support it gives to Somaliland, especially in the area of democracy and other services vital to maintaining peace and stability.
One such support is through the financing of the Rapid Response Unit (RRU), which has played a vital role in maintaining national security but has unfortunately more recently been used as political tool. Ordinary citizens have been left confused as to what the role of this force is since it has been used for;
- the breaking up of peaceful protests
- carrying out night raids on the homes of individuals, who could have easily been picked up during the day if necessary and without such force, but instead choosing to do so whilst their children are asleep and scaring vulnerable family members
- the closure of the House of Parliament and roads leading to it, thus stifling political debate or challenge.
Clearly the above examples are not what were intended when giving Somaliland this much needed support in the area of security, but unfortunately this has become the reality. Despite this, I have no doubt that the British Government would want to ensure that the RRU force it funds is being used for the purposes it was intended and I therefore urge the government to take steps to ensure that this force works to serve, rather than suppress, the people of Somaliland.
Written by: Pro Cabdi Xuseen Yuusuf ( Cabdi Xuseen Maraykan )