GARA’AD PORT SHAPING UP

GARA’AD Port, one of the biggest ports-to-be in Somalia.

WHAT IS THE POLITICAL IMPLICATIONS OF UNDERSTANDING REACHED IN MOGADISHU BETWEEN FGS AND UNION OF PRESIDENTIAL COUNCIL?

Both Farmaajo and the Union were looking for facesaving:
a) Farmaajo is suffering from legitimacy problem and had committed constitutional and civil rights violations. He was desperate for a temporary way out of the political pressure. He got more than he expected as the Union inadvertently recognized his legitimacy to continue to occupy Villa Somalia.

b) The Union has been made incompetent and paralyzed to mount effective opposition in Mogadishu to Farmaajo. They had realized that the Union presidential candidates were more unpopular than Farmaajo. They couldn’t marshal enough popular resistance to the political and security manipulations of Farmaajo. They desperately needed to avoid exposing their weaknesses in Mogadishu in confronting Farmaajo and Fahad Yassin’s security apparatus. In their desperate need for facesaving, the Union candidates had to sacrifice their Puntland and Jubaland allies and threw them under the bus, perhaps, even without realizing it.

Despite the temporary relief of political tension in Mogadishu for now, the political challenges for both fronts aren’t over before the run-up to the election. It is now Puntland and Jubaland administrations, who have to face Farmaajo’s reckless ambitions to remain in Villa Somalia, regardless of his constitutional mandate expiring in February 8, 2021 – an unprecedented legal situation that would have have deep implications on future Somalia’s governance.

The IC and Somalia’s International Partners get relief or facesaving too in whenever cosmetic agreements and deals in Somalia is released to media for international consumption, thus alleviating their donor communities’worries. Pretending to respecting Somali sovereignty, they now opt to be extremely diplomatic and go soft on Farmaajo, thus ignoring his problems of constitutional legitimacy and abuses of power on the part of Villa Somalia.

INCOME TAXES FROM STAFF OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS IN SOMALIA

We had had that fight with regards to income tax from the staff of international organizations in Puntland during the first three years of oùr administration’s mandate. During the course of our argument, we had divided staff into locally hired and internationals. It was a bitter argument and wasn’t resolved at that time. I don’t know about the situation now. However, we learned that the only country in the world that collects income taxes from the Internationals is the United States on principle, but returns these collected taxes by IRS back to the Internationals without any deductions. Here, UN managers argued the same international regulations cover even the locally hired staff in Puntland ( which I doubt).
The problem is even bigger than collecting income taxes – Puntland is not allowed to ask for accountability for funds allocated to Puntland from the donor community.

To give you an idea of level of our fight with these international organizations, Puntland is the only country in the entire world that had expelled the UN And EC/EU from Puntland and didn’t allow them back to the State for six months, until they had signed a code of conduct and cooperation with Puntland.

Somali president challenged in his bid to secure new term

GAROWE, Somalia (Reuters) – Somalia’s president, whose four-year term expired this month, should not take part in talks aimed at resolving a dispute that has caused a delay in choosing a new head of state, two of Somalia’s five regional governments said on Sunday.

Parliament had been due to make a choice on Feb. 8, but this was delayed because new lawmakers have yet to be picked while opponents of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, who is seeking a second term, accuse him of packing his supporters into the regional and national boards who choose the legislators.

The delay has stoked tensions in the Horn of Africa nation that was ripped apart by civil war and which is still battling an insurgency by al Shabaab, an Islamist group that frequently launches attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere.

The government of Jubbaland, one of Somalia’s five regions, said the president’s term had expired and he should be excluded from any talks on the dispute.

“He should not have a role in the process of election in order for all political stakeholders to have confidence in it,” Jubbaland’s state house said in a statement.

A second state, Puntland shared similar sentiments.

“We are not going to a conference with Farmajo…” its president Said Abdulahi Deni said in a televised speech.

The constitution allows the head of state to continue in post until a new president is picked, if parliament approves. But experts say the president, by staying on, risks upsetting the delicate power balance between rival clans and regions that is at the heart of the nation’s political reconstruction effort.

The central government spokesman did not immediately respond to calls or emails seeking comment.

The president held a meeting on Sunday with the prime minister and presidents of the Hirshabele, Galmudug and South West states, as well U.N. representatives and Mogadishu’s mayor.

The meeting was reported by the state-run Somalia News Agency. The Facebook page of the president’s office said it was a preliminary meeting, without saying when more talks would be held.

An alliance of opposition parties said in early February they would reject any attempt to extend Mohamed’s term, calling a national council of lawmakers, opposition leaders and civil society to rule until a successor was chosen.

Government troops and opposition supporters exchanged gunfire in Mogadishu on Friday during a protest over the delayed vote. Rival presidential candidates have called for more protests until a new head of state is chosen.

Somalia had planned to hold elections to pick a president and lawmakers, its first direct vote since civil war erupted in 1991. But delays in preparations and al Shabaab attacks meant this was replaced by an indirect vote in which lawmakers are picked by selected elders and others.

Reporting by Abdiqani Hassan; Additional reporting by Abdi Sheikh in Mogadishu; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by Edmund Blair

STATEMENT BY UN ENVOY JAMES SWAN TO THE SECURITY COUNCIL ON THE SITUATION IN SOMALIA

22 February 2021


Madame President, Distinguished Members of the Council,

Thank you for this opportunity to once again update the Council on the situation in Somalia.

I am pleased to appear jointly with my dear colleague, Ambassador Francisco Madeira, Special Representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. Let me take this opportunity at the beginning of this session to pay tribute to the commitment and sacrifice of AMISOM forces in Somalia since 2007 alongside courageous Somali Forces.

Today’s meeting of the Council is timely in view of the significant developments in Somalia in recent weeks, and even days. Growing political tensions threaten Somalia’s state-building progress and even security unless they are resolved through dialogue and compromise in the interest of the country. Unfortunately, instead we are seeing increased brinkmanship, pressure tactics, and tests of strength that can only heighten risks.

The political standoff among key Somali leaders has blocked the implementation of the electoral model agreed by the Federal Government of Somalia President and Federal Member State leaders on 17 September 2020. This model was formally endorsed by both houses of Parliament and supported by all other major political actors, but implementation is in dispute. I will return to this point.

Tensions over electoral implementation have now been compounded by questions raised by some political figures over the legitimacy of the president’s mandate following the expiry of his constitutional term on 8 February. The Government cites an October parliamentary resolution permitting the President to remain, but this is contested by others.

Meanwhile, on the morning of February 19, a day of protests announced by the opposition Council of Presidential Candidates, several violent incidents were reported. Although full details are unconfirmed, these incidents reportedly included armed exchanges between government security personnel and security teams employed by the opposition, as well as recourse to live fire by government forces to disperse protestors.

Public communication from key leaders has become increasingly polemical and confrontational, revealing the frustration, mistrust, and sense of grievance felt by many.

Hence, this is a tense moment in Somalia, as both rhetoric and actions are escalating.

Madam President,

In light of the above, let me briefly recap recent efforts to move forward with the implementation of the 17 September electoral model.

At the invitation of the Federal Government, FGS and FMS leaders met in Dhusamareb from 2 to 6 February, and made progress but reached no final agreement on the contentious issues, namely: the composition of the electoral management bodies; the modalities for selecting representatives from “Somaliland” in federal institutions; and the management of elections in the Gedo region of Jubaland State.

Subsequently, the Federal Government convened a technical committee of senior ministers from the FGS and FMS, who met in Baidoa from 15 to 16 February. The Committee announced that it had arrived at technical solutions for the contentious issues, it reaffirmed commitment to the 30 per cent women’s quota in the electoral process, and it noted the need for a revised but short new electoral calendar.

On the basis of the Committee’s work, the Federal Government called for a FGS-FMS leaders’ summit to be held in Mogadishu from 18 to 19 February. Yet, events of recent days have disrupted these plans, and the leaders of Jubaland and Puntland have so far regrettably declined to join the FGS and other FMSes for a summit. Along with other partners, we continue efforts to understand and address the concerns of these two leaders so that they may join the process to advance the 17 September agreement.

In view of this worrying impasse, in recent days I have worked closely, alongside other regional and international partners, to engage FGS and FMS leaders, key political figures, and civil society representatives to urge a way forward based on dialogue and compromise in the national interest. The message from partners has been clear that there should be no partial elections, no parallel processes, and no unilateral actions by Somali leaders. Such approaches would only lead to greater division and the risk of confrontation.

Madam President,

Let me be clear: I remain convinced that the consensus-based 17 September model offers the best available option to proceed quickly to an electoral process for selection of members of parliament, senators, and the president. This would minimize further delays in Somalia’s four-year transition cycle, ensure that the chosen national leaders have a clear mandate and are widely accepted, and allow the country to turn its attention from the current political competition to other vital national priorities in the interest of the people.

WDM EDITORIAL

When a politician doesn’t foresee any accountability for his illegal activities, including not only trying to stay in power after his constitutional mandate had expired, but also using brute force to crush dissent, talking about elections or democracy is unrealistic. Under this circumstances, revolt and rebellion unfortunately become the alternative. What had happened in Mogadishu on February 19th could herald a trend and the new normal in current Somalia’s political conundrum. The country has turned again to the brink of pending disaster.

In these armed clashes, the opposition forces were engaged in provocations too by forcefully occupying parts of security perimeter of the country’s presidency under the command of clan militia warlords, and opposition leaders moving into hotels nearby it just before the start of armed confrontations. Some observers believe that the demonstrators intended to converge at and celebrate in Villa Somalia would they had succeeded in chasing out Mr. Farmaajo as they did with General Siyaad Barre in January 1991.

Last night’s speech by Puntland President in Garowe had exposed an alarming political and security situation in the country. It is not yet too late to take action and prevent looming mayhem in Somalia and beyond.

All parties have to show restraint and pull back from the brink. Friends of Somalia have a role to play in helping mitigate this renewed escalation of political conflict and saving the hard-fought modest gains of Somali political process post-Civil War.

By Warsame Digital Media WDM

This article has been updated since it posting early today.

SOMALIS CREATE THEIR DICTATORS

SOMALIS SHOULD BLAME THEMSELVES FOR MAKING THEIR OWN DICTATORS

When the Military Junta led by General Siyad Barre overthrew the civilian government of Somalia in October 1969, the General was so timid that he could not inform the nation of the coup d’état that had just taken place, according to the late prominent elder and businessman Ali Barre ( Cidi Libaax). One day in the 1980s Ali Barre told me that in the early days after the Military takeover, he patted on the shoulders of Siyad Barre and encouraged him, “to speak to the people bravely like a man”. History is full of similar stories from Stalin to Mussolini to all petty and big dictators in history. Dictators, therefore, are not born, but created by their own people.
In the case of Somalia, there is a popular cliché in the native language, “wax la salaaxo,madaxxaa ugu sareeya” (meaning literally the human head is the highest point someone can reach out and fondle”). In Somali setting, it means nobody is to be satisfied with the decisions and rulings of pertinent officials, bodies, departments and institutions until someone has the opportunity to go all the way to the Chief Executive Officer of the government, in most cases, the President. Based on my personal experience,everyone in the country, every Somali visitor from other parts of world,including the members of the large Somali Diaspora, seek to see the guy at top for whatever personal or mundane reasons they may have in mind. Some even bring foreign interested persons along with them to quickly secure their access to the President or Prime Minister. Failure to secure that opportunity is extremely disappointing to them. There is only 24 hours in a day and it is humanly impossible for everyone to meet with the President. Think about the enormous,unnecessary and extra burden on a Somali political leader, his offices and staff. Think about the acrimony and hatred that surround these offices, the inherent and chronic personal complains, false and unjust accusations against the staff and security personnel, influence peddling, the bribery and corruption practices the enterprise creates in the process. Unfortunately, in Somalia the positions of the President, Prime Minister, and Chief of Staff, Protocol or Public Relations Officers are the worst jobs in the world for any decent person has to seek and accept.
I could recall bitter experiences during my tenure as the Chief of Staff and I have the scars to show. Although I paid high prices at personal level, there is no doubt and nobody can deny that I had the greatest impact and made enormous difference in confronting this dilapidating Somali political culture in Puntland State of Somalia as the constituency finally accepted my approach to government operations and decision-making process.
Under these crushing, cruel and painful working conditions,one cannot expect like other normal countries to produce a good Head of State or Government. That way Somalis turn their leaders into authoritarian devils overnight by bestowing them the powers of the final say on everything. That way they disable the functions of other public institutions of government while at the same they whine about bad governance and dictatorship. They must learn the hard reality that they cannot have both ways. The powers of the any public servant including the President, Prime Minister and other officers must be respected, not worshipped. Instead, they must be constantly challenged. Leaders must be compelled to fight for popular support, not the other way round. Only that way people of Somalia can help themselves prevent dictatorship and have the opportunity to choose better leaders and maintain good governance. Do not create unaccountable,monstrous authoritarian leaders, please! That is one of the best ways you can really and positively contribute to a better Somalia.
In another related story, once upon a time people elected a man to be their leader for a fixed term in office. At the end of the term, the man wanted re-election to another term. People told him that he had not done well to deserve re-election. He told them, “how come!? I have been doing successfully what you had elected me for – meeting with you all my time”.
Other related articles:
The Way Forward for Somalia
Public Trust Deficit in Somalia
Federalism, a Guarantor of Peace among Somali Clans
Hope and Lessons in Somalia
Outside View: Building a Secure Somalia
TFG Top Priorities as Expressed by the President
Somalia, Foreign and International Conspiracyismailwarsame.blog@ismailwarsame

Author: Warsame Digital Media WDM

Somalia Briefing and Consultations

Somalia Briefing and Consultations
On Monday (22 February), Security Council members will discuss the situation in Somalia in an open videoconference (VTC). A closed VTC is scheduled to follow. Special Representative and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) James Swan, AU Special Representative Francisco Madeira and EU Managing Director for Africa Rita Laranjinha are expected to brief. Council members may issue press elements at the conclusion of the meeting.
The meeting is likely to focus on Somalia’s delayed elections and the steps being taken to safeguard the country’s political stability and security situation given the current state of political upheaval. The failure to elect a president by the 8 February deadline endorsed by the country’s parliament has now precipitated a constitutional crisis and resulted in violence. Swan is likely to brief the Council on the rapidly evolving political and security situation since he last briefed Council members under “any other business” on 9 February. During that meeting, which had been requested by the UK, Swan apparently updated members on a series of political disputes between the Somali Federal Government, led by President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo”, and leaders from two of the country’s federal member states, Puntland and Jubaland. According to a 17 September 2020 agreement, parliamentary elections were to be held from 1 to 27 December and presidential elections on 8 February. (Given the logistical and security challenges of holding direct elections, a modified indirect electoral process was agreed to last year. This system allows clans’ delegates to choose members of the lower house of parliament, which in turn chooses the president.)
The parliamentary elections had to be postponed, amid claims that Farmajo should not be allowed to run for another term based on long-standing precedent as well as accusations that he had attempted to bypass Somalia’s electoral laws by installing loyalists to polling committees charged with coordinating the parliamentary elections. This postponement, in turn, prevented the country from organising the presidential elections. The presidential elections were slated to be held by 8 February, the day that Farmajo’s term expired, in accordance with Somalia’s constitution. Subsequently, several opposition groups and the Council of Presidential Candidates Union—which is made up of 14 leading political figures and candidates running against Farmajo—declared that they no longer recognised Farmajo’s legitimacy, stating that they “w[ould] not accept any form of mandate extension through pressure”. Instead, they proposed that a Transitional National Council be established to help usher the country through this crisis and establish an electoral transition.
After discussing Somalia during “any other business” on 9 February, Security Council members issued press elements, welcoming efforts made by the leaders of the federal government and the federal member states to “find agreement on the implementation of the 17 September electoral model” but expressed concern that the dialogue had yet to yield an agreement. Council members called on Somalia’s leaders to resume dialogue and work urgently to find a consensus for how to proceed with the elections. Since December, there have been several attempts at dialogue between the parties to address the electoral delays; UNSOM, for its part, continues to offer its good offices to overcome the impasse and has facilitated meetings between the diplomatic community and Somali political leaders.
Council members will be keen to learn more about the mission’s facilitation efforts and the current state of the dialogue. There have been some notable developments in this regard in recent days. On 16 February, Somali Foreign Minister Mohamed Abdirizak announced that a meeting of a technical committee representing Somalia’s federal government and federal member states had reached agreement on a number of technical issues pertaining to the organisation of elections, though details of the agreement were not released. The following day, UNSOM released a joint statement with Somalia’s international partners welcoming the agreement. Council members will likely want to know more details about the agreement and how it may contribute to resolving the country’s current electoral stalemate. While an official statement from Somalia’s presidential office (and media reports) suggested that a meeting between Farmajo and representatives of Somalia’s federal states was to be organised in Mogadishu on 18 and 19 February to discuss the electoral crisis, at the time of writing, there are no indications that this meeting occurred.
Meanwhile, overnight from 18 to 19 February, violent clashes took place in Mogadishu, with opposition leaders claiming that a hotel where they were staying had been attacked by government forces. On 19 February afternoon, government forces fired on hundreds of demonstrators who were protesting the elections delay. An explosion at Mogadishu’s airport was also reported. UNSOM subsequently issued a statement, calling for restraint by all parties and noting that the violence “underscore[s] the urgent need for federal government and federal member state leaders to come together to reach political agreement” to implement the 17 September electoral arrangement.
In addition to the recent electoral-related instability, Somalia’s overall security situation remains volatile. Several high-profile Al Shabaab attacks have occurred so far in 2021, including a 31 January attack on a hotel in Mogadishu that killed ten people and an 8 February roadside attack on Somali National Army (SNA) forces that killed at least eight soldiers. Council members may express concerns that the recent violence could affect SNA activities and imperil Somalia’s efforts against Al Shabaab.
Given the deterioration in the security situation and the scheduled adoption by the Council of a resolution extending the mandate of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on 25 February, Council members will also be interested to hear from Swan about Somalia’s ongoing fight against Al Shabaab, as well as progress on the Somalia Transition Plan—a roadmap adopted in 2018 that laid out the steps for Somalia to assume full responsibility for its own security. The Secretary-General’s 17 February report on Somalia notes that the Somalia Transition Plan has been finalised, permitting operational planning to commence with a view to implementing the country’s security transition by the end of 2021. Council members will want to be updated on the status of the plan, and in light of the current political deadlock, how delays in its approval by the Somali federal government could affect its implementation.

STARVATION FROM ABUNDANCE

I do recall a true story that took place in Gara’ad during General Cadde mandate of Puntland, when in the height of severe draught, a large delegation from international humanitarian organizations went to the town on fact-finding and assessment mission. In Gara’ad the mission members were fed with incredibly delicious sea-foods rarely available in the best supplied five-star luxury hotels. These expatriates were puzzled by the fact that residents were crying for humanitarian intervention for their basic needs when abundance of these delicacies were within their reach locally and at their shores.
Ignorance and lack of basic survival skills are reasons for hunger and diseases in Somalia. They are the root-causes of poverty in Somalia. Paradoxically, it is rare, if non-existent, to see schools specializing in studies of animal husbandary, fishery, agriculture, irrigation, reforestation, protection of environment etc. It seems that dark and invisible enemies of the people of Somalia are at work to disable them for life. This is happening because of poor leadership in all walks of life and in all fields of human endeavors.

HELP IMPROVE THE SYSTEM

Commentators on Somalia’s federalism are to be commended for their tireless efforts to express their views and experiences on the issue. Writers like colleague @Abukar_Arman are leaders in denouncing federalism. They, however, can’t consider and appreciate the other side of the debate – the advantages the system offers in Somali context: restoration of public trust, decentralization of power, regional self-reliance, peace-making among Somali clans, prevention of city-state tyranny, efficient delivery of public services, residents’ ownership of regional state entities, etc.

Make no mistake, federalism is not a fixed system that has a set of rules to follow. Like democracy, it has inherent difficulties and messy governing problems. Even advanced nations built on federal systems experience continual frictions between states and with the central federal governments. It is an involving system getting improved over time. People adopt this system for reasons. Somalis, who lived under bitter and harsh dictatorship and vicious civil war have lingering fears and worries about the repeat of their bad experiences in Somali governance. They temporarily opted for federalism despite its difficulties. The system is enshrined in a solemn post-civil charter and provisional constitution. Why don’t you respect their wishes and let the system work. And, by the way, do you have any other ideas to contribute to improve the system rather than critizing it relentlessly?

How to compare Presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.

Both men tried to fight the constitution, its federalist chapter, in particular. The only difference is that HSM was learning quickly the impossible tasks of his challenges, while Farmaajo is too dumb to study the situation and learn from recent history. Farmaajo believed in the regional powers of Abyi Ahmed of Ethiopia and Isias Afewerk of the State of Eritrea, the most unlikely teachers for a Somali student of government.

I am neither a medical doctor nor a psychiatrist, but I suspect that Farmaajo has sort of mental disabilities, possibly autism, occuring in his younger years. I reported earlier that Farmaajo was running neither the government as a prime minister of Somalia, nor the state as president. Some readers thought I was exaggerating. As prime minister, he relied heavily on Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas, later, on Hassan Ali Khayre and Fahad Yassin Haji Dahir. That is the reason both seemed all-powerful.

I urge others to study the issue for medical and historical purposes.

Warsame Digital Media WDM

Warsame Digital Media WDM

Editorial

Electronic money makes people and owners of businesses too lazy to handle physical Somali Shilling banknotes. That is why you see store owners and public transit drivers refuse to accept payment in Shillings. It is one thing to complain about rapid inflation, it is completely another wanton desire to refuse to offer services in good faith. This is the legacy of many years’ use of air money without first studying its negative impact on the future of transactions.

The phenomenon will herald havoc in the lives of ordinary residents and lead to financial and economic crisises in Somalia. We better do something before it becomes too late.

Why Ethnic Somalis In Free and Fair System are better off in Kenya and Ethiopia

After the 1st and 2nd World Wars, some Europeans and their regions ended up under occupation by different countries and regimes. That was one of the factors why wars were waged in the first place.

Since then numerous studies were launched to find out the best way forward to resolve the problem of partitioned ethnic communities in Europe. They found out that in democratic countries nationalism doesn’t play a positive role in the political process and in a free society and market economy, all residents have fair share for progress and nation-building. Today we see some of previously occupied regions and territories in France, Italy, Germany etc doing far better in economic terms than the rest of other constituencies within same country.

What is important here is that Kenya and Ethiopia have to learn from history and treat their respective citizens equally and fairly. That is the way to resolve any territorial disputes with Somalia and remove ethnic tensions within.

Author: Warsame Digital Media WDM

Why Somalis Complain about 4.5 Clan Power-sharing formula

Why Somalis Complain About 4.5 Clan Power-Sharing Formula
By Ismail Haji Warsame
Sept. 03, 2012

The difficulty in the 4.5 lies in the fact that its authors fell short when it comes to power-sharing, to be exact, in the allocation of parliamentary seats among stake-holders within each clan. This is where everybody feels injustice done in Mbagati Conference of 2002-2004 because of the unacceptable political concessions made to accommodate unjustified sub-clan demands in an attempt to diffuse internal conflicts within each clan. That approach to the problem had created a situation where sub-clans continue to hold on to those seats as their right and ignore the fact that the allocation was a temporary political compromise and subject to change while others feel left out of the new Somalia political arrangements.

This is why Somalis complain about the 4.5 formula. I see no easy resolution of this issue at the moment until that time Somalia stands strongly on its feet once again and able to hold a free and fair general election.

For clarification purpose and to understand the complexities or difficulties cascading from the 4.5 formula, one must be briefed on how the concept was devised in the first place during the long process of the national reconciliation (see also An Open Letter to the New Members of the SomaliParliament ).

Following the collapse of the Somali central government in 1991, Southern clans claimed that they were not only the victors of the Civil War, but also have the biggest share of the Somali population. This claim was not based on credible statistics or population census. Seemingly powerful warlords then in Mogadishu spearheaded this claim with massive propaganda within foreign diplomatic circles and humanitarian organizations involved in the tragic Somalia story. The advantage of these warlords in disseminating this fallacy effectively to the outside world was that they were in charge of the Capital, Mogadishu. Somalia being a one City State at that time, that argument was powerful and the outside world started to buy it.

As the country fell into clan enclaves and de facto decentralization, talks of national reconciliation had to be started to bring the nation back together again. A series of such efforts hit the rocks. These initial talks took place in Mogadishu, Nairobi, Djibouti, all ending up in abysmal failure and creating more confusion on how to get out of the quagmire we had created in Somalia’s political vacuum.

In 1996 the National Salvation Council (NSC) known as The Sodere Group was formed in Ethiopia. The initiative to bring Somali stake-holders together in another attempt  in the town of Sodere outside Addis Ababa belongs to the Late Somali President, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed. Incidentally, in London, UK, where Abdullahi was receiving a medical attention at that time, I was the one who drafted Yusuf’s letter to the Late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, requesting for the latter’s help in hosting such gathering. Meles Zenawi positively responded to Yusuf’s request immediately.

Within a matter of months, the Sodere Group was formally formed with a Central Committee and Executive Branch with five Co-chairmen ( Abdullahi Yusuf, Osman Atto, Abdulkadir Soobe, General Aden Gabyow and Ali Mahdi) representing all major and minor political fronts of Somalia save Somaliland and Salbalaar (Hussein faction) entity.

Subsequently, in 1997 The NSC members agreed upon and resolved to organize a national congress in Bosaso, Northeast Somalia (now Puntland State of Somalia) to form a broad-based government. You may recall that the Arta Conference big tents were bought by OAU /IGAD/Partners and shipped to Bosaso. They were returned from Bosaso to IGAD Secretariat in Djibouti as Egypt sabotaged that Conference. The difficulty in organizing such a gathering though lied in the allocation and distribution of delegates along clan lines while still Mogadishu warlords demand a lion’s share of the delegates. To resolve this issue, separate talks between Hawie and Darood faction leaders took place in Sodere in early 1997. In those meetings, the only credible Somali populations found was that one organized and conducted by the United Nations in 1950s in which Darood numbered 38% and Hawie 22%. Hawie faction leaders had to recognize that census, but requested for Hawie to be equal with Darood in the spirit of national reconciliation. Darood faction leaders accepted that request.

What happened next was that Digil and Mirifle faction leader, Abdulkadir Soobe, approached Darood leaders and requested for the same treatment for his clan to be equal with Hawie. After initial consultations among the Daroods, Digil and Mirifle was given the same equal status in clan numerical proportionality. In turn, Hawie, Darood and Digil and Mirifle gave Northern and Southern Dir clans equal clan status as well, designating the remainder of the population as “others” at that time translating to a half  ( 50%) of a major clan.

Following the failure of the Somali Conference in Cairo towards the end of 1997, which brought NSC and Salbalaar together with a hidden Egyptian intention to foil the scheduled Bosaso Congress with the help of Ethiopian leaders’ naivety on Somali politics, the 4.5 Somali Clan Power-sharing Formula was applied for the first time in Arta (Djibouti) Conference of 2000 as the basis of Abdulqassim Hassan Government.

Another thing worth mentioning here was the historical outcome of the Cairo Conference despite its failure. This was:

The Collapse of NSC and Salbalaar

The agreement and resolution by Cairo Conference participants, in principle, to form the future Somali governance institution on the basis of federalism, a long time SSDF demand.

To conclude, our people should choose to see the bigger picture, which is Somalia as a secure, viable, democratic and prosperous nation. If 4.5 Formula is a bitter medicine along the way to achieve that noble goal, let us close our eyes and swallow it.

By Ismail Haji Warsame,
E-Mail: ismailwarsame@gmail.com____

The author is the former Puntland Presidency Chief of Staff and long-time participant of most Somali National Reconciliation Process since 1995. He lives in Toronto, Canada.

WHO HAD SABOTAGED SOMALI NATIONAL RECONCILIATION CONFERENCE IN BOSASO IN 1997

After many years of trials and errors in creating the 2nd Somali Republic on the ashes of the first, following a vicious clan warfare dubbed “Civil War”, the now defunct National Salvation Council, better known as Sodare Group after the name of Ethiopian City of Sodare, was established in 1996. All Somali political/militia factions, with the exception of Hussein Caydiid, the son of late General Mohamed Farah Caydiid, joined the group. The group was chaired and led by five co-chairmen, namely Abdullahi Yusuf, General Gabyow, Osman Ali Caato and Soobe – all heavyweight militia commanders and participants of the Civil War. Only Col.Yusuf opposed the Regime of Siyaad Barre before its fall in January 1991. At the time Ethiopia was a designated country by the Organization of African Unity OAU (later AU) and IGAD, to handle Somali National Reconciliation and Peace Process.

The Sodare Group had captured quickly the imagination and support of the international community through their representatives and diplomats in Addis Ababa. This recognition and support had enabled the Group to make executive decisions to convene a congress in peaceful Northeastern Port City of Bosaso, scheduled for 1997.

Preparations for would-be national congress started in earnest. IGAD bought and transported Conference tents and equipment to Bosaso. Various Sodare Group delegations went to different countries to solicit for Congress support. One delegation led by Abdullahi Yusuf went to Yemen, and under its auspices sought visits to Gulf States. While the delegation was still in Sanca, officials from Ethiopian foreign Ministry had conveyed a message to them to return to Addis Ababa immediately. When they asked why, they were informed that Egypt intended to convene a meeting in Cairo with the participation of “Salbalaar”, Hussein Caydiid’s faction. Big diplomatic mistake on the part of the Ethiopian, who never understood Somalia as they pursue diametrically opposing national interests. It was also an extremely naive for Ethiopians to be so gullible to trust Egyptians, who wanted to sabotage Bosaso Conference. How did that happen?

Egypt, through its intelligence services, and by then its chief officer by the name of Calaa, had maintained contact with and influence over both Caydiid and Cali Mahdi throughout the course of the civil war. Hussein Caydiid was their man in Mogadishu. Cali Mahdi then was an important man as co-chairman of Sodare Group.While Mahdi was in Mogadishu at that particular time to prepare his community for Bosaso Congress, Egyptian Security Chief, Calaa, met him there, to persuade him attending Cairo meeting. Mahdi accepted the invitation and phoned up co-chairman and rotational current monthly chairman of the Group, Soobe, in Addis Ababa, advising him to expect a call from Calaa and to accept his invitation to Cairo on behalf of the Council. While all these were happening, Abdullahi Yusuf and his delegation were still in Sanca, preparing to return to Ethiopia to discuss on the issue.

Ethiopia had pressed the Group to go to Cairo meeting. To make a long story short, Egypt succeeded in dividing Sodare Group, thus sabotaging the Bosaso Congress. As a result, both Sodare Group and Salbalaar Faction of Hussein Caydiid had collapsed and ceased to exist.

IGAD had re-collected tents and Conference equipment from Bosaso and returned to IGAD Secretariat in Djibouti. Later, these tents and materials were used in Carta Somali Conference of 1999-2000.

The failure of Cairo Talks and undermining of Bosaso Congress had convinced some important political figures of Northeastern Regions (now Puntland) to re-think the national reconciliation strategy in order to spearhead the foundation of a 2nd Somali Republic. These leaders had invented and pioneered the theory of “Bottom-up” or “Building-blocks ( Federal Member States); hence, the creation of Puntland State of Somalia, an historically important First Pillar for the Federal Republic of Somalia.

In conclusion, many people say that it was Egypt that sabotaged Bosaso Congress in 1997. While I don’t argue with that assertion, it was mainly the fault of Ethiopia under the misleading and unwise advice by officials of its foreign ministry, and in particular, Dr Takeda Alemu, then the deputy foreign minister.

Author. Warsame Digital Media at https://ismailwarsame.blog
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DEPARTING WAYS WITH MELES ZENAWI GOVERNMENT

It was in 2000 when Somali Reconciliation Conference was being held in the Djibouti town of Arta. In the beginning, Ethiopian leaders thought the conference to be fruitless and waste of time as “tiny country” of Djibouti couldn’t handle it for lack of capacity and resources. When they realized that there could be Somali government emerging from Arta, they decided to persuade, and to some extent arm-twist some of their Somali allies to get into the upcoming government. They had succeeded in doing that by compelling the late RRA Chairman, Shati-gaduud, to attend Arta Conference. They tried similar tactics with then Puntland President and the late President of Somalia, Abdullahi Yusuf. On this attempt, they way they played with Yusuf was amazing.This is how:Ethiopian government had sent an executive aircraft owned by Saudi-Ethiopian billionaire, Amudi, to Garowe, Puntland, with the Ethiopian Chief Protocol Officer onboard, to pick up Yusuf’s delegation to Addis Ababa for talks. Three-men delegation headed by Yusuf and including myself boarded that plane. 
As we landed in Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, a fleet of government limousines were waiting for us at door of our carrier. We didn’t hand our passports to protocol or Immigration officers. We were lodged at Addis Hilton. Instead of inviting us for talks at their offices, they started conducting informal conversations at President Yusuf’s hotel suite. Diplomats and deputy foreign minister then, now Ethiopian Envoy to UN, Dr Takeda Alemu kept visiting us in the hotel. Our impression was that they were preparing a bigger official meeting with foreign minister Seyoun, who was recently killed in ongoing Tigray War in Ethiopia and late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. During those informal chats at hotel, Yusuf suggested that we could expand the meeting to include Mogadishu warlords, who also had disagreement with President Ismael Omar Ghuelleh of Djibouti on the handling of the Conference by marginalizing warlords in favor of civil society. The Ethiopians concurred and welcomed Yusuf’s proposal. They ordered Jama Blue’s charter planes to pick up Mogadishu warlords from KM50 Airstrip on the outskirt of Mogadishu. They all accepted our invitation to Addis Ababa. What had happened afterwards is a political drama and conspiracy with high stacks.After two days of informal conversations at hotel, Dr Takeda Alemu and his team of diplomats thought that Mr. Yusuf was prepared and ready to hear the latest Ethiopian position on Arta Conference. They told us that Ethiopian leadership was earnestly advising Puntland State to participate in Arta Conference, adding that President Ismael Ghuelleh would declare public holiday in Djibouti were President Yusuf landed in Arta. Big mistake! We listened politely to them and told them we would respond shortly.Immediately, we had reached out to Mogadishu warlords to stay put in Mogadishu and not to board the Ethiopian charter plane. We also had contacted Jama Blue and our team in Nairobi not to send the plane to Mogadishu. We ordered for a charter plane for ourselves from the owner, late General Khalif Isse Mudan, who ran now defunct Damal Airlines, to fly into Bole and pick us from Addis. Ethiopian officials were unaware of our planning, actually we didn’t care about it.
I was the contact person of our delegation, and had scaled down and shut off communication with the Ethiopian diplomats on any updates or developments or the decision we made to respond to their proposal on Arta Conference.  In fact, Ambassador Sahle-werk Sewde, then Ambassador to Djibouti, and now president of Ethiopia, tried to impress me as a young man to no avail.With all our plans set, I contacted ambassador Sahle-werk to arrange a meeting with Minister Seyoum Mesfin on the following Saturday, a holiday in Ethiopia. The minister, in sports uniform and running shoes, met us in his office at ministry opposite Hilton Hotel, where we were staying. He was with his team of diplomats and officials. We looked acted very cold and disappointed. We told told them that Puntland Cabinet, Parliament and traditional elders had made decisions early on and to make any changes we had to gi back to Puntland for consultations. Seyoum was speechless. So be it. 
We had left Addis Ababa on the next day, Sunday, for Gakkayo, without exit and entry visas stamped on our passports, an unusual immigration incident in Ethiopia.
Since then, Abdullahi Yusuf and Seyoum Mesfin weren’t in speaking terms , up until Mr. Yusuf was elected President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in Mbagati, Kenya, in October 2004. Mesfin was not happy with the election of Mr Yusuf, and even earlier on Ethiopia had been trying to sabotage the Conference as they felt the pressure of isolation by Djibouti, Arab League Member States, the foreign minister of Kenya then, Kalonso Musoka, among others, who wanted re-election of AbdulQasim Salad Hassan, the outgoing Transitional National Government (TNG). Political friction between Puntland and Ethiopia continued throughout the course of Mbagati Conference. This friction escalated into the highest level when Ethiopia had championed for regime change in Somalia and sanction Mr Yusuf to bring in ” Islamist Moderate”, Sheikh  Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, as the next president of Somalia in 2009, helping in doubling Somali new members of parliament to a mindless number of 500 to depose Mr. Yusuf in a hastly arranged Djibouti Conference. Understanding the situation, Mr. Yusuf had resigned and went into exile in Yemen.

A FLIGHT TO NOWHERE

I was not in that flight to Jowhar in that early evening when planes couldn’t land there. But, I was in Nairobi, communicating on Thuraya satphone with Mayor of Jowhar, Mohamed Habeeb (Mohamed Dheere), throughout the evening. Dheere had been arranging enough cars with headlights blazing to light up the entire runway. I agree it was a risk flight too. There was no way Yusuf could return to Kenya as he was deemed extra burden on Kenyans having two presidents in town, blocking their streets traffic when moving around. Remember at time no aircraft could land in any of Somali airports, perhaps, Hargeisa ( I am not so sure), which was no go for Yusuf.
It was a mistake done by the organizers of the President’s trip to Jowhar, making such a delay to fly into Jomo Kenyatta Airport. I could confirm President Kibaki had been at Airport throughout the day with Yusuf, waiting for that flight to take the later to Somalia. Why such a delay had occurred? Later I learned that a merchant of Qat had persuaded the trip organizers that he would pick up Yusuf in the same day after he transports Qat to Somalia. Such a mess and poor judgment. Also recall I was not with TFG at the time. In fact, I was communicating with Mohamed Dheere on the trip on my own to help out. It was me who informed Dheere that the President’s plane had landed in Djibouti, to his much needed relief. ( Above is a cartoon by Penknife, Sunday Nation, on the occasion. It is dated June 19, 2005. I have been keeping in in possession since then).

Air-Transport in Somalia

I am not sure whether you are fully familiar with air-transportation in Somalia now, and particularly then, in the year 2000. It is completely dominated by foreign pilots and foreign charter planes. Somali pilots are almost non-existent here, and nowhere to reach them for advice momentarily when you need them. Basically, then there were no resources available to us. We knew airport conditions in Ceelbare in Bakool Region because we had people on the ground there. But, who could predict the situation in Bardaale? The Kenyan pilot didn’t tell us that he had lost the way until he landed in Bardaale. As I got off the aircraft alone because I left others inside for security reasons, I found myself distributing pieces of cigarettes to the militiamen as a relief worker on humanitarian mission. In the drama, I was aware that each militiamen was watching at my personal items I was wearing like the watch, shoes, suit, eye-glasses etc to grab once I was eliminated. While throwing pieces of cigarettes at mob-like militia surrounding me, I was spying for information about whose militiamen they were. Surprisingly, militia commanders weren’t forthcoming with this info, and finally discovering the fact, let two of them go onboard the plane to greet the head of our delegation, the late Abdullahi Yusuf, then President of Puntland State of Somalia.

BREAKING OUT OF POVERTY

January 26, 2021

By Paul Krugman
Opinion Columnist

Today’s column was about the Democratic proposal to give most families with children a substantial cash grant. It is, as I said, a very good idea. What I didn’t have space to talk about was a broader issue: What should we do about Americans with low income — and their children? Should we make a new push to reduce or eliminate poverty, and if so, what should it involve?

As with everything else in modern America, the two parties have starkly different positions on this issue. I’m being careful not to say different philosophies or different analyses because, to be honest, I don’t believe that the Republican position on this, or for that matter on any major policy issue I can think of, reflects a good-faith attempt to figure out what works best. But the expressed views of the parties do show a big divide about how the world works.

You can actually see those expressed views in two dueling reports released six years ago, 50 years after Lyndon Johnson initially declared his War on Poverty. One was produced by the Obama administration. The other was produced by House Republicans — essentially Paul Ryan, back when Ryan was still widely perceived as a policy visionary, and those of us who described him from the beginning as a flimflam man were marginalized (we were right).

The Republican view is basically that anti-poverty programs aren’t the solution, they’re the problem. How so? When you have “means-tested” programs — programs that are only available to people with sufficiently low incomes, or that phase out as income rises — you are in effect imposing high marginal tax rates on the relatively poor. That is if, say, a single mother manages to increase her earnings from $15,000 to $20,000 a year, she will find much of that extra $5,000 taken away in the form of reduced benefits.

This high de facto taxation, conservatives say, discourages efforts to break out of poverty. And they also say that it fosters a culture of dependency. So they argue that to help the poor we should, well, offer them less help.

Progressives don’t deny that incentives can matter. To use one of my favorite examples, countries that offer generous benefits to people who retire early, like France, end up with many people, you guessed it, retiring early.

But economists on the center left generally argue that the disincentives created by anti-poverty programs are exaggerated, and that the main thing actually trapping people in poverty is a lack of resources: It’s hard to get an education, start a business, even move to a place where jobs are available, when you have no money in the bank and are living hand-to-mouth.

Also, being poor imposes a lot of cognitive stress: It’s hard to focus on self-improvement when you’re constantly worrying about where the next rent check will come from or how to pay medical bills.

If you see resources as the main problem for the poor, the answer to poverty is to provide more resources; this doesn’t just improve the lives of the poor in the short run, it also increases their chances of breaking free of the poverty cycle.

This is the kind of debate that should be settled with evidence. And for what it’s worth, there is growing evidence that the resources view of poverty is much closer to the truth than the incentives view. As I explained in the column, this is especially true for programs that help families with children, which seem to improve the lives of those children long after they’ve matured past receiving aid.

Unfortunately, only one of our two major political parties believes in looking at evidence. Sorry if that sounds partisan, but it’s the simple truth.

But my sense is that the growing weight of evidence, combined, to be fair, with a general leftward shift in the Democratic Party, has set the stage for a new effort to fight poverty. Nobody will call it the War on Poverty 2, but it will be an important shift, and can do a lot of good

When Citizens, For Good Reasons, Take The Law Into Their Hands

Somalia is a country without a traffic police, regulations and even driving permits (except on demand). Puntland urban towns are not exceptions. When you rarely see a few isolated traffic police look-alike, they are in that particular spot to stop traffic to beg some pennies.

Under this circumstance, I often see and even got help from a few volunteer civilians in Garowe town, taking public traffic regulations into their own hands. These good Samaritans felt sorry for the state of affairs in their country in the absence of government role in the safety of the citizens along dangerous roads from reckless and unlicensed drivers.

I would like to thank those volunteers, especially a young man, who is often on guard, regulating public transit at one of bottlenecks of Garowe poorly maintained roads. He is as nameless as unknown soldier.

How Kenya nurtured Somalia’s transitional government—then lost influence years later

Africa
Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
File | PSCU
AFRICA PRIME
How Kenya nurtured Somalia’s transitional government—then lost influence years later
Sunday, January 24, 2021
By Sunday Nation Correspondent
Nation Media Group

Fourteen years ago, in January 2007, Somalia President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed set foot in Mogadishu for the first time since taking office in 2004. His triumphant entry in the capital symbolised victory for Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and indeed Kenya, from where he had ruled his country for three years.

Ever since, there has been a lot of water under the bridge and the initial goodwill, partnership and enthusiasm between the two nations has died down.

Kenya was at the forefront in the mediation exercise under the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad), which brought to end the political leadership quagmire in Mogadishu and led to the formation of TFG. With time, however, this history seems to have gradually faded, giving room for suspicions and bad blood to creep in.

From protests by Kenya that battles between Somalia-based militia groups and government forces often cause insecurity along the border line to planned repatriation of Somali refugees residing in Kenya and the unresolved maritime boundary dispute, the hostilities keep piling up.

The latest revolves around Kenya’s alleged interference in Somalia’s internal affairs, leading to Mogadishu’s decision to sever relations with Nairobi.

Kenya-Somalia border row has ‘metamorphosed’: Prof Midamba
Kenya-Somalia border row has ‘metamorphosed’: Prof Midamba
This new development is causing fears that lukewarm diplomatic relations between Nairobi and Mogadishu — against the backdrop of general elections in Somalia — pose a big threat to regional security and political stability.

Read: Somalia admits tiff with Kenya ‘profiting’ Al-Shabaab militants

Pointing out that a stable Somalia is good for Kenya, Foreign Affairs Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Ababu Namwamba stresses that Nairobi is committed to working with Mogadishu to rebuild a peaceful, secure, prosperous and stable State and “to help secure the Horn of Africa region”.

“The recent reopening of a fully-fledged Somali embassy in Nairobi after several decades of civil strife and chaos is a most emphatic confirmation that Somalia is readying itself to, once again, play an important role as a key member of the regional and international community. This is a vital step for regional peace and prosperity,” said Mr Namwamba.

Democracy
Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble similarly pointed out that a peaceful Somalia is good for the region. Roble pegs the country’s political tranquility to the delivery of a free, fair and transparent election.

“This will usher in the much-needed stability and progress to our people, besides strengthening our democracy. This election will help to shape the future of Somalia and our great people,” he said.

Kenya-Somalia border row has been messed-up by the Ministry of Foreign affairs – Hashi
Kenya-Somalia border row has been messed-up by the Ministry of Foreign affairs – Hashi
The optimism from the Kenyan and Somali government officials notwithstanding, tension between the two nations remains. In fact according to security and political pundits, it is unlikely that the diplomatic hostilities will end anytime soon before the polls in Somalia, slated for later this year.

Some government officials in Somalia have openly claimed that Kenya’s initial role was persuaded by selfish business and political interests.

Read: Kenya, Somalia tiff hurts Sh16m-a-day miraa trade

“Indeed this is a perception held by many Somalis who believe that Kenya is keener on exploiting existing business opportunities and controlling our country’s political destiny. That precisely explains the current hostilities, especially during this electioneering process,” explains Abdishakur Ahmed, a Mogadishu-based analyst.

He says the tiff between Mogadishu and Nairobi serves President Farmaajo’s political interests so well “because his government has for long been considered to be a puppet of the West and subservient, particularly, to Kenya”.

That Farmaajo is (finally) standing up against the Kenyans has earned him accolades locally and his ratings have improved,” says Abdishakur.

But Kenya is not alone in this Farmaajo storm. He has also had strained diplomatic relations with United Nations representatives, leading to the expulsion of UN’s Special Representative in Somalia Nicholas Haysom in 2019 “for meddling in the internal affairs of Somalia”.

In the Haysom instance, Farmaajo’s message was to affirm to the Somali community, within the country and in the diaspora, as well as the international community, that Somalia was serious about guarding its sovereignty, and that no individual, whatever their status, can liberally undermine the government and people of Somalia.

Oil is the root cause of the maritime row between Kenya and Somalia – Irungu
Oil is the root cause of the maritime row between Kenya and Somalia – Irungu
The Farmaajo Government also considers the support of Kenya for the breakaway Jubaland, and particularly its President Ahmed Mohamed Islam alias Madobe, as an encroachment on its internal affairs.

Read: Somalia Severs Diplomatic Ties With Kenya

On the flipside, Kenya perceives the Jubaland region as an important buffer zone between its territory and Al-Shabaab-controlled regions in Somalia. The Kenyan government, says security analyst Joash Maina, supported the election of Madobe to ensure the safety of its own borders. This was despite opposition from the governments of both Somalia and Ethiopia.

“The dictates of foreign policy are that each country’s interests come first. In our case it is about securing our borders and we cannot therefore afford to have an enemy or unfriendly federal government of Somalia bordering us,” says Maina.

Kenya also hosts a huge number of refugees from Somalia, and the authorities consider this a security threat. One reason for this is their back-and-forth cross-border movements and the fact that they are difficult to differentiate from Kenyan citizens of Somali ethnic descent. Somali refugees and Somali locals share the same language and the Islamic faith, are divided into clans, sub-clans, and lineages, and have a long history of interactions across the Kenya-Somalia border.

Citing military and economic support accorded to Somalia over the years, including the country’s role in the formation of TFG, Mr Namwamba says Kenya has all along demonstrated a spirit of good neighbourliness.

“It is a sacrifice that Kenya has had to pay dearly in terms shedding of the blood of soldiers engaged in the Amisom peace mission as well as ordinary citizens, who are often easy targets of Al-Shabaab militants. We are not paying such a price for sheer fun, but rather for the love of our neighbours and for our commitment to internal and regional peace,” the CAS told this writer.

Nonetheless, Kenya and Somalia have experienced more political friction under Farmaajo than any other leader in recent times. In fact, of the latest crop of Somali leaders, observers single out the Head of the TFG Government, Abdullahi, as friendlier and more cooperative. They partly attribute this to the fact that he was alive to Kenya’s role in his country’s political emancipation efforts.

But it is this apparent preference by Kenya — regarded as Big Brother — of certain candidates that makes the political process in Somalia dicey and generates resistance from several quarters. Part of the current friction stems from fears that “Big Brother” is hellbent on influencing the Somalia political process. Mr Namwamba refutes that claim.

https://nation.africa/kenya/news/africa/how-kenya-nurtured-somalia-s-transitional-government-then-lost-influence-years-later-3266936

The Danger to Democracy, Federalism, Power Sharing, Checks and Balance by Ignorant Masses

Governments are ran by political and bureaucracy elites. In a democracy, political elites come to power through manipulation of mostly ignorant masses to vote for them, who can’t hold their leaders accountable for the abuses in office. These leaders tend to tyranny or dictatorship. In turn, checks and balance are lost. Now, everything suddenly depends on the wishes and whims of these leaders. When corruption is widespread and erodes the traditional values of the society, things even get worse with corruption facilitating the absolute power of the ruling elites.

For those, who debate the issues of democracy, federalism, devolution of power in Somalia, there must be written rules of the road as a guide for implementation. This is the constitution to which all have to adhere to. Without this mechanism in place and respected, don’t expect things to go to the right direction and there shall be always leaders to exploit the weaknesses of the system and situation of ignorant masses.

UNKNOWINGLY MISSING IN ACTION

These days you hear rumors circulating in the Somali media about scores of Somali soldiers killed in Tigray Province of Ethiopia. These rumour mills were created by the absence of responsible central authorities in the country. The outgoing Federal President, Farmaajo, and PM Roble, resist to dispel these rumors, creating the suspicion that, in fact, that might be the case.

The reluctance of Mogadishu authorities to address publicly national issues is a pattern rather than an exception, whether it is news, statistics of victims of COVID-19, controversial election issues or nature of disputes and disagreements with the Federal Member States (FMS).

To keep silent and do nothing while issues of national interest and safety of Somali people are at stake, is more than betrayal of public trust, but committing national treason. How could you describe it otherwise when people are saying that Somali soldiers took part in Ethiopian conflict without any public knowledge, and as possibly outgunned, suffered heavy causalities?

Being unable to speak publicly and transparently on such critical national and security issues is not only beyond the pale, but could qualify as criminal negligence.

Author: Warsame Digital Media WDM

USA EXPOSED

Democracy by general elections and peaceful transfer of power made US great. Opportunity for everyone willing to compete and be successful in America has been attracting millions around the world. High standards of educational excellence brought in thousands of talented foreign students – many chose to remain in the US, contributing devastating braiñ-drain from their respective countries of orgin.Talents in every field of human endeavors got special welcome in US by especially designed Visa programs. America has been projecting an image of power and prosperity around world. It became a competition of ideas and ideology between East and West. This heralded a bitter Cold War after World War Two. Eventually, it led to the collapse of the East, exemplified by the demise of the Soviet Block, paving the way to the supremacy of US in world arena as the only Superpower.

Like historical empires before it, political polarization and partisan bickering set in, leading to disharmony and mistrust between the elites and parties. Opportunists like Donald Trump seized this chance to propel themselves into power in the US. Trump as the most powerful chief executive officer of US government wasted no time to dismantle America by eroding its core democratic values and cherished traditions of self-government. This gave rise to white extremist groups, neofascists and domestic terrorists.

Enter election of Joe Biden in 2020. He is a part of the US establishment and hardly will serve for a short period of time, not enough to make fundamental changes in systemic barriers on the road to equal opportunity for all, making provisions of US Constitution a pipe-dream for a long time in the lives of many Americans.

The historical ascent to the post of US vice-president by a woman and black lady, Kamala Harris, may backfire to usher in another Donald Trump next time around, just as it did with the election of Barack Hussein Obama. It looks it is the only way GOP could win future elections in a demographically changing America.

Photo from Ismail Warsame

It is too early to self-congratulate , Mr. President.

Set out priorities and develop public- private partnership projects and self-reliance Puntland plans. Send fact-finding delegations and trainers to Rwanda and to learn how they made that country progress a miracle in Africa.

Encourage research and establishment of quality think tank #centers. Right now Puntland lacks such capabilities, and nominally existing ones are either failing or no match for the required scope of Puntland potentialities.

forum_for_new_ideas_2021

Isn’t great to travel anywhere in #Somalia, speaking the same language, practise same religion without restrictions on other beliefs, eat similar foods with local diversities, feel at home etc. while you still know that you are in a different Federal Member State (FMS) in one #Federal_Somalia.

ON SOMALIA’S FEDERALISM

Tribes are native characteristics of the Somali society. You can’t do away in laws, but you can regulate them, as you say, in social construct as we did in 4.5 clan power-sharing approach. So far, nobody came up with a better construct, where the rights of minority are better protected as in 4.5. Its problems, though, lie in minorities disregarding the numerical superiority of the majority, and demanding more than equal rights in everything.

In a true one-person-one-vote scenario, Somali minorities have no chance of securing representation, in which case there wouldn’t be genuine democracy. It would be a tyranny of the majority. So, reserving quota for minorities would be necessary under any construct.

What you call provinces in Canadian federalism is called here “Dawlad-Gobolleed”. It is the same thing, where the Indians, French, English and immigrants in the Province of Quebec, for example, act in the same way as tribes in Somalia, with Somalis in the Dawlad-Gobolleed having closer affinity, an advantage rather than disadvantage.

GAROWE HERITAGE CONFERENCE. UPDATE

Garowe Conference sponsored by #HeritageInstitute is a combination of several competing interests. 1. For the organisation, it is the first time it is holding its Annual Conference inside Somalia that gives it relevance and exposure in Somali setting and influence. For Allah Sheikh and Damul-Jadid groups, it is an election campaign and political platforum for former president and presidential candidate Election 2021, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, to which both the leadership of Puntland and HeritageInstitute seem to be committed to 3. Presidential candidates and stray ranking leaders of the Federal entities and Jubaland delegation are trying find a way out of current political impasse in the country.

Hirshabelle and Southwest State are absent from the gathering, and Abdi Gaariye (Qoor Qoor) of Galmudugh is doing a delicate balancing act for President Farmaajo’s Political Camp and Re-election Campaign.

Federal Deputy Prime Minister, Mahdi Guled, is technically an envoy of President Farmaajo, but he is a politician who wants to survive too after the demise of his boss.

Observers of Garowe Conference believe that a reconcialatory communique to seek Interim Agreement with President Farmaajo on holding the election peacefully would eventually come out as first option. But, this is a developing story. Stay tuned.