Somalia is emerging from the dark era of the civil war of the 1990s. The recovery is a promising trend but it needs a careful and calculated leadership that guides the society into a lasting peace and stability. Many political and social commentators and other scholarly writers pointed out that Somalia is a failed state. Somalia as a failed state is not something that I wish to discuss again because the evidence to support it has been crystal clear for so long; Somalia existed as a territory not as a functioning state.
The test now remains; do the Somali people have the will and knowledge necessary to revive or reconstruct the nation back to its feet? One thing is for sure; the Somalia people do have the ability to destroy a nation but if they have the talent to build one is yet to be proven. Many challenges exist, including but not limited the external interventions that has been meddling in the nation’s affairs for so long, however that is not an excuse for failing to find a lasting solution. This is detrimental to the peace and stability in Somalia. The world politics justified the outside intervention of a country, driven by the international rationality that internal conflicts of a nation have a potential to spill over to a neighboring country and destabilize. Preventative measures are allowed to retain and repel any potential threat. Right or wrong this has been a common phenomenon since the West became the sole world superpower politics.
It is imperative to strengthen the local discourse of our nation and mitigate outside influences. The difficulty is the lack of understanding, the historical happening of our nation that made what it is now and the discourse might not lead to a solution. We cannot eliminate our social organic composition easily and focusing on it too much will derail the efforts to find an answer for our problems, however as time passes this organic social composition will break down. The discourse should begin by first understanding the nature of our people and then using whatever strength they have for the common good.
Disagreements are common to the human condition and they can appear at any time, but on the national level political differences among the competing forces should not be addressed as a problem. Differences of opinions are a healthy nourishing element for the balancing and strengthening of the system. The individuals in any given society do not have same political inclination; some are liberals while others are conservative, but all of them share a common goal to live together in harmony.
Each generation in any given country has a unique opportunity and responsibility that should be dealt with as it is but not as they wish it were. The subsequent events could be prevented if each leader of that time considers how their current decisions will shape the future rather than relying on their temporary beliefs. In a brief reflection of chronological history we might stop to discuss timelessly about why the Somali leader preferred under Italian trusteeship in 1948 rather the British. The British government wished and requested the Somali’s to vote in favor of them instead of the Italian and promised to unite all Somalia territories.
In 1960 the British north of Somalia and Italian South Somalia hastily merged and formed the Somalia Republic without considering the legal and social ramifications that will follow. The first political fallout between the North & South Somalia started when the Northern junior military officers attempted to make a coup for secession in 1961. The coup was aborted but no efforts were made to address the Northern political grievances. The second political mishap was made when the Somalia government decided to go to war with Ethiopia in 1977 to forcefully annex the disputed Ogaden territory.
Later a group of disgruntled officers went to Ethiopia and started an armed insurgency against the government without envisioning the social and political consequences it might have. That was the end of greater Somalia and the beginning of Somalia Republic disintegration. On the other hand, the Mogadishu government did not take steps to address the growing political discontent among its citizens but kept suppressing the political dissenters. President Abdullah Yusuf Ahmed admitted many times on different occasions that he was wrong and regretted starting the first armed insurgents against Somalia government. By on his own account he clearly stated “I was young and inexperienced to predict what this action might lead to; if I knew what I had known now, I would never go against the regime and would work with Siyad Barre”. But what’s strange enough is the fact that when he won the presidency he immediately sought and brought the Ethiopian military into Mogadishu alleging to fight against the Islamic courts. They helped him but with a price; therefore the Somali’s owe a debt to the Ethiopians. Who knows the price of debt?
The Somalia armed insurgents in the 1980s has had different grievances against Mogadishu. The insurgents also had different agendas among themselves but united to overthrow the sitting government, however, the Somalia National Movement (SNM) wanted to rewrite the union act or secede from the rest of the country. In contrast, Somali Salvation Democratic front (SSDF) was a tribal insurgent looking to overthrow President Mohamed Siyad Bare and replace him with one of their kin. Unfortunately, the government treated both insurgents equally, when they should have given more concessions to SNM in order to avoid the later secession that eventually manifested in the 1990’s. The aftermath of these armed conflicts weakened the Somali military, put unbearable pressure on the fragile economy, and withered the national pride.
The United Somali Congress (USC) finished the job in Jan 26, 1991 and struck the last blow to the central nerve of the government. Ultimately, this arms struggle between the government and the armed insurgents led to the complete collapse of the Somali government in 1991. USC Militia entered the presidential plaza while SNM captured the second largest city of the country, Hargeisa. The biggest political mistaken was made by USC leaders; they may have avoided entering Mogadishu and stationed their Militia around Jawhar or Beledweyn and negotiated with President Mohamed Siyad Barre to vacate the post peacefully. It would have prevented SNM forces from accessing the northern cities as the government forces were still controlling Hargeisa and other main cities. The future of Siyad Barre’s presidency was over; but the pressing issue was to avoid SNM militia entering and capturing Hargeisa and Burco in order to stop the imminent breakup of country.
The current leaders of our nation have their share of blame and history will judge them unfavorable. There are always a questionable leadership attributes that develops along the efforts to build the governing institutions that will disdain the nation’s revival. The existing Institutions of our nation are in early developmental stage like an infant that needs constant attention of the parents. The institutions don’t have physical and mental capacity to sort out the contending interests fairly to resist and reject those interests not serving the common good.
For sure our current leaders confront a difficult and tedious task that would make them either heroes or failures. A leader’s cumulative actions and policies will guide the people even if the leader has left office because his character will become ingrained in the institution he creates. Our problem is not only tribalism, although is one of them. The absence of enlightened leadership is a factor that can’t be denied.
Most leaders who came to power in the post-conflict government have worldly tendencies and fears, especially those embezzling from the national treasury, were presumed to have an overwhelming individual interest which is contrary to the public interest. They used the national treasury irresponsibly without regard to the rules and procedures of financial institutions. Those who had the underlying motive of money making cover their motives with demagogic and patriotic speeches, while their heart is fixated on how to make money and rig the elections at every opportunity.
Behaviors are the reflection of an individual’s intention; people judge the behavior and action not the intention. The speaker of the parliament became autocratic ruler by discarding a legitimate motion of impeachment after a sizable number of parliamentarians filed against the sitting president for corruption, extrajudicial killing and abuse of power. Whatever reason or motive the speaker justified for his overruling, it preceded the institutional dignity and abrogated the trust of the people. There were so many legal ways to let the president off the hook if the national interest demanded that; but throwing the allegation into the dustbin will create a legal precedence.
We are currently witnessing a trend in which the executive branch of the government is aggressively grabbing and possessing unlimited power over all other institutional pillars of the government. Executive branch manages and distributes the government revenue, that puts her indirect control over the other branches, but a complete usurpation of power is undemocratic and violates the spirit of the public and division of power. We must learn and believe that a government is not only an institution that enacts laws and enforces it; but it is a a complete system that governs the true character of its citizens.
A radical editor Afrique-action in 1961 wrote “because personal power… it nurtures pride and scorn in its holder, submissiveness and servility in other, it is inherently dangerous to the well-being of the nation. Because it does not stimulate the search for factual truth or thoughtful appraisal and discussion, it can easily be disoriented in the real sense of the world. Finally …, because it leaves no heir… it dooms the nation, its faithful companion, to chaos. It must reflect the transformation of the social dynamics of the public and personal realities of the citizens. A cultural revolutionary belief should be exerted to root out the distorted habits that we inherit from the previous regimes. The government is the byproduct of modern societies that have created and enforced in pursuit of happiness.
The present central power is dangerous, degrading the ability of its citizens to choose their destiny and weakening the decentralized power. Decentralized policy does not mean fragmented and uncoordinated power that are vying for authority over each other; rather a vertical and horizontal structured power that communicates accordingly must prevail. It’s necessary to break the manipulative tendencies associated with governing body that dehumanizes the talented Somalia people.
The radical and hard-headed policies intended to keep the governing body in power is one of the reasons forces opposing the government refuse to lay down their guns and join the government. It’s an obscure notion to expect something good out of bad politics and abuse of power. The agreed rationality is that good ideas have a power to defeat false and wicked ideas. Politics is the art of negotiations with humility and seeing what the others want, but political toughness does not necessarily resolve political problems.
This does not give mark of pride but eventually leads you to hate and rejection. People of Somalia witnessed and abhorred the anarchy and the perpetual violence that had been in their country for the last quarter of a century. It will be political miscalculation to hope that The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) would end the armed conflict while sensational injustices gallop unabated the political and economic circle of the nation. The vibration of grievances permeating in our society may degenerate into full violence and anarchy. Man is usually cynical; the outcome of any politics based on privileges will be followed by disobedience.
Human experience teaches us that a leader’s policy can progress to a certain level before it dries up. Somalia has advanced in so many ways but security challenges still exist. After decades of political instability the people of Somalia are confident that their society is emerging from the tribal wars, becoming commercially viable and their business prowess and sophistication regaining confidence. They may lack the political leadership to support the commercial progress, but are definitely moving away from the barbaric nostalgia of tribalism. Unfortunately, some of us developed a pessimistic view of the president’s affiliation with Damjadiid organization.
Damjadiid has been known to have little desire to advance the political participation of the nation and treats the government as a source of personal glorification. They fail to understand the fragility of our society and spend little time devising policies creating a sense of ownership and national pride. A catalyst is required to speed up the reawakening of the dead soul of our people and remind them of who they are. However, we must remain vigilant against behaviors that can lead to a catastrophic unraveling of our society again.
Please click here for the voice of the coming song: https://youtu.be/emXWW4-YtgA
Mirihii Abdi Qayse iyo codadkii marwo Khadra dahir iyo AUN saado Ali.
Waxaa heestan qaadaya Amiirka Alshabaab Ahmed Diriye kuna socota Madaxweyne Hassan sheikh
Heestii waxay tiri
Dhul aan ceel lahayn baan Dhaankii u rarayaa, adna Dhool guyaad iyo Dhibicdii ma haysidee Dhacar baad ku nooshahay.
Dhankaan anigu kaa xigo Dharka lama yaqaanee Dhuub baanu xidhanaa. Adna Dhogorta xoolaha Maro waad ka Dhigataa.
Buuraha Dhexdoodiyo Dhagaxbaan ku seexdaa, adna wax ima Dhaantide Dhulka hoos u qodan iyo Dhufays baad u hoyataa.” Kolka adigu dhimataa naftu iga dhaqaaqdaa,…
,dhaxalkii aad reebtaa dhitadaydu noqotaa.
Waxii adiga kaa lumay aniga I dhaafoo dhaandhaan haddaan ahay adna dhoohanaa tahay.
Abdiwahid Abdullahi Warsame, is a PhD student, Constitutional Democracy – USA. He can be reached at Abdiwahid_abdullahi@hotmail.com