On 31 August 2019, the Prime Minister Somalia has met with Stefano MANSERVISI, the Director-General of EU International Cooperation and Development. According to press release made by the Somali government, the EU has approved two obviously development projects for Somalia and Somaliland as follows:
15 million Euro for the construction of 17 km road in Mogadishu
8 million Euro for development of the “’Youth” in Berbera
The Mogadishu project which will cost about 15 Million Euros to finance construction of 17 km road sounds genuine. However, the funds approved for Berbera project have sinister objectives and the involvement of an Italian Director smells bad in the noses of the people of Somaliland.
The funds earmarked for the city of Berbera in the northern coast of Somaliland are not intended to improve the life of the people or contribute to the wellbeing of the Republic of Somaliland.
On the contrary, the immediate aim of the Berbera project is to falsely demonstrate that Somaliland is adminstared by the failed Mogadishu regime, where the officials of the so-called Somali government are unable to move within the streets of Mogadishu without the protection of the African Mission Forces.
Secondly, as could be detected from the Declared Objective, the purpose of the Berbera project is vague and not clear and funds are evidently designed to disguise the planned misappropriation of the proceeds by Stefano and the Somali leaders. This is not unpreceded in Somali EU relationship. Way back in 1980s, the dictatorship of Siyad Barre has used corrupt Italian officials to loot millions of European Taxpayers’ money through fake projects and shady schemes.
The corrupt relationship between the Italians and Barre, which began in 1978, flourished after 1983 when Pitino Craxi became prime minister. The Italian Socialists flooded Somalia with millions of dollars in aid. Siad Barre obtained arms, military advisers and trainers for his armed forces. This has positively contributed to the massacre of 100,000 in Somaliland in 1988/1990 and the eventual downfall of the Somali state in 1991.
It is painful that the EU is evidently repeating the grave mistakes made by Italian Socialist Party in 1980s by financing “Destructive Projects Disguised as Development Schemes”.
The funds approved for Berbera Project are clearly well-designed to infiltrate the Somaliland YOUTH to lure them to spy on their nation through spreading of fake news and cheap propaganda aimed at creating chaos and confusion in Somaliland territories. The Mogadishu regime is already involved in similar destructive activities targeting singers and other arts, tribal leaders etc. I will not be surprised if the funds are used to recruit armed pandits (Paando in Somali) against Somaliland.
It is ironic that the Farmaajo government is wasting time and effort in order to damage and disrupt the World-renounced peace, tranquillity and the democratic institutions operating in Somaliland. This is at a time when he and his assistants have failed to collect taxes from Mogadishu airport and seaports. On the contrary, Al Shabaab are effectively collecting income taxes from vast majority of businesses across the southern part of the country.
We write to inform the senior officials of the European Union to take note of the action of this Italian hitman named Stefano MANSERVISI whose obvious purpose is to make quick money, Italian style, abut actually playing with fire as far as the people of Somaliland are concerned.
By: Hassan Abdi Yousuf
Retired Senior Banker & Geopolitical Analyst
01 September 2019