The Outcast in Somaliland

Gaboye, Tumaal and Yibir together form a cluster of the occupationally segregated group. Gaboye used to perform a range of activities such as leather-working, shoe-making, pottery(if female), hunting and traditional healing, the Yibir described as wandering sorcerers and leather worker. Tumaal is associated with blacksmithing and metal workers. A traditional blacksmith works with blow-pipes and produces knives and other pieces of metal work.
Today most traditional blacksmith’s metal work is done in metal shops which produce a variety of items such as construction materials, windows, iron gates, storage tanks, an instrument of livestock slaughtering and agricultural tools.
A research shows that the work of blacksmithing for producing low-cost equipment as well as maintained locally is the focal point of any sustainable rural development program in Africa.
Instead of acknowledgement for their contribution to the richness of the society-the Somali minorities collectively-suffer denial and abuse of the whole range of basic human rights.
As Somali organisation reported awareness and action for minority rights in Somaliland have advanced and foster in the last years but still issues facing minority still exists.
  • Political participation: majority clans excluded the minority from political participation. Highest political achievement in the history of minority groups of Somaliland was when ex-president Dahir Rayale Kahin appointed a deputy minister from Gaboye community. Currently, minority groups of Somaliland have no single representative in the house of parliament and the local government. Recently, the current president of Somaliland implemented quota for women and minorities in Somaliland’s coming election of the representative house.
  • Educational discrimination: very few minority children(and far fewer girls than boys) are in the educational system due to segregating environment existing among young students and in the schools.
  • Employment: since few minority members have received much education, they are ill-equipped for most modern employment opportunities.
  • Prohibition on inter-marriage: any inter-marriage that occurred between members of ‘noble’ clan and occupational groups face hostility and violence from ‘noble” member relatives.
To realize our dream of Somaliland for all citizens our government must fully take the responsibility to uphold equally the rights of all groups.
The opposition parties of Somaliland which are future governments must create policies and conditions that allowed effective participation of people belonging to minority groups.
By:Ahmed Mohamed iedle


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