By Yussuf Ali Korow
Samawathal community is a Sub-Sub-clan of the larger Talamoge Sub-clan of Ogaden Clan that inhabits Garissa County of North Eastern Kenya.
They inaugurated the son of the Kenyan famous king and the faultfinder of secessionists’ crown: It was truly a royal occasion. Indeed, it was an event many longed it to witness for months and weeks but was concluded yesterday with cheers and happiness. A convoy of more than 50 vehicles snaked its way into the venue amid thunderous applause, song and dance.
Security was tight as journalists jostled to take moment pictures of the chief guest in the historical event while arriving in a complete bravura and dazzling at Garissa primary ground on Saturday with the regional leadership.
Leaders from Northern part of Kenya across political divide led hundreds of people invited from the sister counties (Wajir, Mandera, marsabit and Tana river counties respectively ) at Garissa primary ground to witness the coronation of sultan ( king) Hassan sultan Omar. It’s traditional cultural legendary leadership among the Somali people
King Hassan joined a galaxy of previously ordained community kings in the northern part of Kenya a clear sign of evoking back the historical kingship in Kenyan’s per-independence time where the kings played greater role in community Conflict resolution, unity, cohesion, community prosperity, maintaining harmony and peaceful coexistence, preserving culture, identity & heritage of the community and other important decisions within the society.
King Hassan inherited the leadership crown from his father King Omar Shurie Hassan who was killed 53 years ago in assassination attempt. He was among the famous venerated colonial sultan of Somali communities in northern Kenya who refused to join secessionists for a Greater Somalia State ahead of independence and latter on paid the price for his colossal stand and was assassinated in 1963.
King Omar Shurie was known in the history of Kenyan Somalis, he was among the top respected Somali kings who played a very outstanding role in peace building and conflict resolution in Kenya during the colonial epoch.
King Omar Shurie, before his assassination he was apprehended with many other sultans from different Sub-clans of Somali communities which include: Maalim mahat bashir, Mohamed Hassan Ibrahim, Aden Ahmed Ibrahim, Bare Hassan yarrow, Dagane sheilkh Hassan, Sheikh Hassan Muhumed Warfa, salat hadhe roble and among others who tirelessly worked as mediators for North Eastern Kenya.
The Sultans are known for their efforts in mediating conflicts and other issues affecting Somali communities to restore peace especially the Somali pastoral communities who fight over greener pastures. In early years, despite their illiteracy in secular education, the Sultans had the acknowledge and wisdom to bring peace and handle issues affecting Somali Communities. During this period they enjoyed states recognition and were accredited with various national and local honors along with other hundreds of Kenyans.
Sultan Ogle from Wajir South Constituency in the neighboring Wajir County and Governor Nathif Jama led the crowning of the new sultan together with other leaders present in the inauguration occasion. Leaders set the stage for the new circlet with prayers as the memory of old historical narratives rented the air. The sultan was first adorned with a sultan stick and seated on a traditional stool at the Coronation site before he was dressed on by the leaders.
Garissa Governor Nathif Jama termed the occasion as a very wonderful piece of event that reminds the historical days where Kings played an outstanding role as far as peace and development is concerned. He urged the Community kings to remain a symbol of unity and unite the warring communities across the region.
“The records in our history books that we use for reference in the process of peace building in our Country is all about our forefather achievements in building our nation peacefully and our sultan and kings have to set examples in promoting community Conflict resolution, unity, cohesion, community prosperity, maintaining harmony and peaceful coexistence, preserving culture, identity & heritage of the community in our forefathers footsteps‘’ Jama said.
The leaders in the event who spoke have unanimously urged and challenged the new crowned Sultan to hold hands with other communities’ Sultans and Kings in the region and pick up the peace process in order to bring lasting solution to the inter-clan wars that is costing development in most part of the northern counties.
When the time for the new sultan to speak has come, he did not mount like other guests. As they say “Kings do not rise unless they want to give their speech.”
The Sultan said the history of the Somali community is very rich as compared to other communities living in Kenya, we fought for the liberation of this country and we lost several of our leaders in the quest of democracy and independence in Kenya.
The Sultan promised to work together with other Sultans and Kings across the northern Kenya to restore back the lost glory of peace Northern Kenya have ever enjoyed. He also promised to be guided by principles of humility, obedience, honesty and responsibility in executing his duties.
“Our culture is our identity and we must preserve it at all costs despite our past tribulations that our founders were subjected to by the enemies of peace” The emotional king Hassan said during his last part of his sermon.
The Sultan is expected to launch his tour to all Northern counties together with other Kings and Sultans from the region in a mission to expound Common unifying factor that unite the peace loving communities of North Eastern Kenya.