Given what we just wrote about the military aid program resulting from the London conference , this question seems a bit out of place . But there are some strange signs that have to be taken into consideration , regardless of how real or unreal they may seem . The President has been trying to recruit 2,000 men in each of the Federated States that now constitute part of the new look Somali Federal Republic . Why not ? This could be part of an exercise in national unity which would have nothing sinister . But then he also asked the UN to remove the ban of weapons acquisition still applying to Somalia . Secretary General Guterres said he took good note but also declared that he was not personnally favourable to this lifting of the ban . This too , could simply be considered as a normal exercise in national sovereignty  . But then , there are deeper developments that do not seem to square off with “normal” sovereign prerogatives . The recruitment drive has been extended to

  • (a) the Dolbahante clan , a clan of the Darood clan-family which was used during the civil war as a reservoir of anti-Issaq soldiers . The Dolbahante live on Somaliland territory and some of them have thrown their lot with the self-declared State while others remain aloof since efforts at joining Puntland have aborted   Some of the Dolbahante responded to Farmajo’s demand while other warned Hargeisa instead , after declining to serve in a “national-federal” army
  • (b) The same recruitment drive was also extend to some sub-clans of the Majerteen and we do not have sufficient information to say what was the impact of that effort

Meanwhile Hawiye clan elders travelled to Hargeisa and warned of Darood/government plans to draw Somaliland into a dialogue aiming at the reunification of Somalia , and in case of a refusal on Somaliland’s part teh declaration of  a military break followed by an effort at reunification by force  . In order to stop this development , they requested help from Somaliland in militarily checking the Darood/Government plan . The Hawiye elders who made up the delegation were embarassed when their Somaliland counterparts thanked them for their kind warning/communication , but also remarked that after three Hawiye presidencies in Mogadishu they might have thought earlier of supporting the recognition of Somaliland as a sovereign state before the whole situation would turn into a conflict one . Obviously none of this was discussed , at least openly , during the London conference . How serious is the military effort ? And even more important , how would the various “federated” states take the idea of a military offensive against the North ?

Opinion polls , anybody ?