Before 19th century, no central governance system existed until colonial powers of Italy, Britain, France and Abyssinia came to conquer. Localized administrations existed in some parts of tribalized enclaves like Majertinia and Obbiyo. Later came Drawish Movement, operating in Northwest and Northeast of the East African territory barely known as Somalia before, but referred to people living there as Somalis, perpetually existing as unsettled, but freely moving clans and subclans in search of greener grazing land and water wells for their over-crowding flocks of herds, the primary wealth of the Somalis.
Generally speaking, tribal history of the nomads there knew no notion of self-government. Colonial powers imposed a modicum of law and order in emerging towns and created regions with administrative head-cities in the 19th century. Administrations built along foreign concepts on government were introduced to a pastoral society fighting for scarce resources of grazing land and water-holes for its livelihoods. As unified colonial forces with superior tools of suppression and conflict management, and mercelessly following the plan for the scramble for Africa, and ready to impose their will on free-wheeling nomads came, and they were relatively successful in establishing their regimes in a new country they called Somalia, a term that didn’t exist before them.
In the course of 19 -20 centuries, a divided country of Somalia was created. In the process, they had created a pseudo-elite from the native population, working with the European administrators. Within that small elite, rose some enlightened persons and groups that dreamed of replacing their colonial masters one day. These included poorly educated and short-sighted patriots of SYL type. These groups didn’t contemplate programs beyond attaining a nominal national independence. These were overwhelmed easily by the forces of neo-colonialism as the native government fell victim again to colonial trappings in their approach to governance, education and mindset throughout 20th century. They were still further undercut by military coup and vicious civil war.
In the 21st century, it became increasingly impossible to dig that poor country out of its abysmal situation as its new generation of leaders were unable to grow bigger than themselves.
Today, these are the root causes of Somalia’s predicament.
There is an urgent need for heavy-lifting in applying the principles of consesus-building, compromise and fair-play in self-government.
Emerging from tribal civil war requires the restoration of trust among heavily tribalized, ill-educated and ill-informed or mis-informed members of the general population before any other shot at tools of governance. That attempt is still lacking. Talk about elections in any modality in the total absence of common and basic understanding of bringing people together first.
No nation in history had risen up on foreign charity. Only native people build the nation-state they deserve. Nobody else would do that for you.
I didn’t do it for you either, if you don’t deserve my advice.