Lasanod (SSCKH); In the arid landscape of the Horn of Africa, where the sun’s relentless rays beat down on the resilient people of Sool Sanaag and Cayn in Northeastern Somalia. SSC-Khatumo, a pro-union regional state emerged as a beacon of resistance against the neighbouring regime of Muse Bihi’s occupation forces. SSC-Khatumo, a land with a rich history and Dervish cultural heritage, found itself caught in the clutches of a long-standing conflict.
The people of SSC-Khatumo were determined to reclaim their autonomy and resist the oppressive forces that sought to control their destiny. United by a common cause, they rallied behind their charismatic 13-member Traditional leaders, who became the face of their struggle for freedom.
For almost a decade and a half, Khatumo folks faced the challenges of occupation, suppression, extra-judicial killings and manipulation by the Hargeisa Administration. The Sool Sanaag and Cayn (SSC) people endured hardships, but their spirits remained unbroken. The movement dubbed the Blue Revolution of 2023, gained momentum as stories of resilience and resistance spread across the region. International and UN Security Council support trickled in, along with various human rights organizations including Amnesty International shedding light on the plight of the folks in SSC-Khatumo communities.
The turning point came after an eight-month-long war that saw the SSC-Khatumo forces successfully pushing back Muse Bihi’s occupation forces. The war had been brutal; relentless and indiscriminate shelling of civilian populations with approx 600 dead, thousands injured and more than 200k displaced, but the people’s determination prevailed. The Khatumo communities celebrated their hard-fought victory, and the long-awaited freedom was finally within their grasp.
In the aftermath of the war, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) recognized Khatumo as an Interim Administration on that faithful day of Oct.19th, 2023; acknowledging their struggle and resilience. With support from the 45-member General Council, H.E. Abdulkadir Aw-Ali (Firdhiye), once a symbol of resistance, now stands as the leader of the newfound interim administration, tasked with rebuilding the war-torn Dervish State.
Meanwhile, the Hargaisa administration finds itself grappling with a 32-year-old project of gaining international recognition as an independent country. The tables had turned, and their aspirations are marred by the shadows of their oppressive actions in the Khatumo region. The international community refuses to recognize Somaliland’s claims, given the recent history of occupation and Bihi’s atrocities in Lasanod.
As SSC-Khatumo moves forward with reconstruction and reconciliation, they are on par to become an example of triumph over adversity. The global community slowly begins to view SSC-Khatumo as a testament to the strength of a united people fighting for their right to self-determination.
In the coming years, the people of Khatumo plan to work tirelessly to rebuild their communities, nurture economic development, and foster a sense of unity that transcended the scars of war. Abdulkadir Aw-Ali, a Khatumo veteran, now stands as a leader committed to guiding Khatumo towards a brighter and more prosperous future.
The story of Khatumo serves as a reminder that even in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds, the power of a united people striving for justice and freedom can reshape the course of history.