LATEST ON THE DDS
FARMAAJO’S APOLOGY TO SOMALILAND IS BRUTALLY SELECTIVE
While all people of goodwill would welcome the President’s apology to Somaliland’s unilateral claim of atrocities by Barre’s Junta, he deliberately, or, naively ignores the war crimes and gross human rights violations committed by the regime in Mudugh and Kismaayo. Add to this, the banditry, plunder and robbery of Barre’s retreating and fleeing forces in Bay and Bakool regions in the last days of regime’s collapse.
If Farmaajo had had any common sense and any sort of what it takes a leader to address such an important issue, he would have apologized for all atrocities of Siyaad Barre’s Regime. By apologizing to Somaliland alone, on temporary political expediency, he has complicated the situation: Now, he is required to apologize to the residents of Mudugh for Barre’s mass incarceration, killing, maining of innocent citizens en masses, destruction and poisoning of nomads’s water-holes, rape and other human rights violations amounting to undoubtedly war crimes.
Make no mistake, any effort towards yet to be called for national reconciliation talks, those atrocities in Mudugh by Barre and his henchmen shall stand out, without which popular trust in national government and public institutions couldn’t be achieved.
Finally, it is my hope that the leaders and people of Somaliland would seize this opportunity by allowing President Farmaajo to visit Hargeisa without the entourage of Prime Minister Ethiopia, Abyi Ahmed Ali. People of Somaliland deserves better than that.
(Photo: The late politician from Mudugh, Yusuf Osman Samater, who had spent 18 years in Regime’s solitary confinement prison cell without charge).
SIGNIFICANT AFRICAN BREAKTHROUGH – CELEBRATE
OCTOBER 11, 2019
The winning of Nobel Peace Price by Prime Minister of Ethiopia in 2019, Abyi Ahmed, is a significant development for the people’s of East Africa. The news shall dramatic positive impact on the present and future leaders of the Horn and entire African continent in regard to governance and bold selfless leadership.
I had a number of debates with people, who thought that Mr Ahmed was too hasty in his reform programs and quick outreach to Ethiopia’s real and perceived enemies. My argument was based on the thinking that if he weren’t quick in his pace of change in Ethiopia, he wouldn’t survive to see the results of his policy initiatives. There were too many people in the Ethiopian establishment wanted him fail or get him eliminated. He had to act faster to get them sidelined first.
The outcome of being “too hasty” is today’s announcement of the Nobel Price for leadership.
I also often encounter people, who likewise criticize US Congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, for getting into issues of non of her business. I disagree. She has made history in the US legislature already, American society and the world. Somalis, too, are proud of Ms. Omar. Many other peoples of the world are empressed by Omar’s achievements and talents. Even Israel is surprised by Omar’s challenge to its unfair treatment of Palestians in the occupied territories and its powerful influence in US politics.
Don’t get surprised if she becomes next in line for the Price.
Protected: FLASH BACK: ROOTS OF APPEARANCE OF PUNTLAND ON THE POLITICAL SCENE
EDITORIAL: SOMALIA NEEDS MORE IMMIGRANTS IN
Garowe, May 29, 2019
To catch-up its neighbors, over-take them, compete and prosper, Somalia needs to allow more immigrants into the country and create the environment to keep them. Immigrant help in Somalia’s labor market is so important that a Somali lady-refugee in Kenya hires several local Kenyans to help her sustain livelihood in a refugee camp.
In Somalia, growing agricultural, construction and hospitality sectors badly need more workers now than ever before, both skilled and unskilled help to grow and expand these sectors throughout the country. These migrant workers do jobs that Somalis don’t want, don’t have skills for or too lazy to do. Education Sector greatly benefits from teachers hired from Kenya. Even goats and camels herders have been taking advantage of migrant workers from Ethiopia too. Nowadays it is hard to imagine a household in Puntland or Somaliland without domestic workers from Ethiopia.
The fear-mongering by some people that the country is going to be swallowed by Ethiopia doesn’t hold any waters. No country I know has even been taken over by immigrants, certainly not an Arab country, European or North American.
Historically, Europe and North America had been entirely built by hands of immigrants from all over the world. Arab workers had built Israel and turned it into what it is today, despite their severe conflicts in the Middle East. Petro-dollars of Gulf States had enabled them to bring in and hire hundreds of thousands of Asian migrant workers, skilled workers and professionals from advanced countries of Europe and North America.
Today, the World is what it is because of migrant workers.
Take a look at most recent statistics on Puntland alone.
Ethiopia migrant stories: 35,107 migrants have entered Puntland last year, 98% of them Ethiopians; there were 161 unaccompanied children; 17 migrants died in traffic accidents. The number of people who departed for Yemen were 32,586, of those 81% were Ethiopians, 19% Somalis.
(Image and statistics credits: Somaliaonline.com)
Somalia, Foreign Aid and International Conspiracy – Official Ismail Warsame Blog
Here is the article you have been searching for, in regards to what was happening to Somalia during the decades of Somali people’s slumber and sleep-walking. This story had also appeared in WardheerNews under the same author.
Take a read.
The story of Somalia’s tragedy is too complex to summarize in a few pages. What I learned though in the course of the past two decades is the fact that when a country breaks up in the way the Somali State failed, it is too hard, if not impossible, to reconstruct it and put it back together again. That is because such a failure creates thousands of well-paid jobs and other beneficial opportunities for a huge number of expatriates or international aid workers and foreign diplomats. It does not take rocket science to figure out that those international employees and their decision-makers would not be acting against their own self-interests in order to see Somalia back on its feet again with all their goodwill intentions and humanitarian intervention. There is no incentive for this to happen. This is the first and most serious obstacle Somalis have to deal with to get Somalia back on track. The second biggest problem is Somalis themselves in abysmally failing to put their acts together by understanding that they are in peril and fatal danger of losing not only their sovereignty, but also their country. This is the core of Somalia’s problem today.
Some, including these foreign expatriates and governments, would argue that the second problem is the crux of the issue as to why Somalis cannot have their country back. That is true too as long as our people do not take responsibilities for their own failure and always quick to blame others for their misfortune and misery they have created onto themselves. Listen with purpose to Somali group debates, the so-called Fadhi-Ku-Dirirka (lazy losers’ shouting clan/personal debates), in coffee and teashops and amateur Radio and TV panel discussions and ever multiplying clan fox-hole websites. You notice that nobody is talking about the big picture of “Somalia first” and putting any political differences or clannish self-interests aside at the moment to save the Nation as priority number one. After all what has been happening in Somalia for the last few decades, isn’t that a double tragedy? Some may conclude that Somalis are a punch of feuding clans that cannot agree to have a nation-state and therefore under such circumstances, two scenarios are plausible:
Let neighbor states take over the country by dismembering it and dividing it among themselves.
Allow foreign re-occupation of the country until Somalis are ready and fit to govern themselves.
We should never give a chance that to happen at any cost. At moment, fieriest diplomatic lobby, intrigues and direct military intervention under the disguise of flashing out Al-Shabbab, another menace resulting from our too long inaction in the vacuum, perhaps also as a punishment for our collective sins and betrayal of our country, are ongoing to opt for the first scenario. Painful as it is, this is the same country whose pilots were flying supersonic jet fighters and producing the best neuro-surgeons decades ago and famous for holding first free and fair democratic elections in Africa.
Following the Ogaden War of 1977-1978, and as fallout of the lost war with the proliferation of clan-based and violent armed opposition fronts, huge refugee camps had been created in various parts of Southern Somalia. In reality the Capital, Mogadishu, had been transformed to a big camp for refugees and internally displaced people, IDPs. With the influx of unlimited food aid from international donors at that time, residents ceased to buy food at markets all together as it is readily available to have anyway. Even households of Government officials had it delivered to their families. The result had been catastrophic with local produce wiped out and bringing farmers to refugee camps as well. The citizens of the whole country had been reduced to mere beggars of foreign handouts. What had happened next was that the law of jangle of the fittest was ushered in and whatever left of the Somali State was up for grabs and Somalia irreversibly became a country nobody owns, leave alone someone to defend it from the imminent collapse. As the regulatory bodies disappeared, unscrupulous traders broke all rules of decency and lost moral compass to sell anything and everything Somalis owned to the highest bidder. Somalia went nuts and out of control. To understand why the Somali Civil War could not be contained, particularly in Mogadishu, one should appreciate the nature of the conflict. First, it is a family feud which will last for centuries in many forms and levels. Secondly, it is economic conflict in which a few greedy business criminals do not want it stopped to prevent the establishment of regulatory bodies of a government at any cost to avoid paying taxes. Theirs is: Deny any administration, regional or central to setup the rules of the road for their trade. Chaos, killings and trade in expired food, medicine and export of everything Somalis owned and adored for centuries are the only acceptable norms for their businesses to thrive. Take note that it was not the warlords, Islamic Courts and even Al-Shabab that kept the conflict in Mogadishu running so long. It is the Mogadishu new business tycoons and merchants of death and destruction that made impossible to bring about law and order in Mogadishu.
International Conspiracy and Regional Power Play
As the Somali State finally collapsed with the disappearance of all public institutions without an exception in the height of the Civil War, Western donor countries under the framework of the international community devised economic and political plans for Somalia to fill in the power vacuum in the country. These plans are elaborate and act as a case study on neo-colonialism after the end of the Cold War. It would require volumes of books and extensive research to write on this particular subject.
In 1993 representatives of all countries interested in Somalia under the umbrella of OAU/IGAD/Partners with international Western humanitarian organizations gathered to discuss on how to handle Somalia. Ironically, the venue of this gathering was Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. To make a long story short, the participants resolved to set up the infamous “Somali Aid Coordinating Body, SACB (search for how limited this name is in the Google entries), The SACB, an Exclusive Club of Western humanitarian organizations, UN agencies, European Union agencies (EC) and international NGOs. The SACB devised the following two serious documents:
WORKING WITH RESPONSIBLE SOMALI AUTHORITIES (implying here there is no authority in the country, amounting to merely working with clan leaders and local NGOs, possibly with Somaliland, Puntland State did not exist at that time).
SACB CODE OF CONDUCT (their internal regulations dealing with Somalis).
By the creation of this unresponsive, unapproachable and invisible governing body for Somalia, The SACB, and Somalia’s sovereignty on land, air and sea had been effectively taken over. All humanitarian aid assistance, monetary or material from donor countries must be channeled through the agencies of the UN, European Union and INGOs, who have the sole discretion and authority to allocate aid distribution as they wish without any input by or accountability to Somalis. To this day no member country is allowed to unilaterally extend assistance to Somalia. An exception is Turkey which does not fit into this framework and whose recent unilateral assistance to Somalia sparked off competition to do something about Somalia to preempt China’s growing and expanding influence in Africa. The old SACB approach on Somalia continues to this day with different names like recent CMC (Coordination and Monitoring Committee setup to camouflage SACB as TFG appeared on the Somali political scene in 2004) with the same modus operandi. To call a spade a spade, SACB became the real Somali Government operating from luxury homes and executive suites in Nairobi while the report cards of the hundreds of its privileged expatriate employees show they are working inside war-torn Somalia on the most expensive life insurance coverage on earth for them and families. That is why we see signals and hear voices nowadays from individual Western countries that aid to Somalia would be channeled to “international agencies” and spelling that out once again after the election of the new Somali leaders in August this year. Perhaps the New Somali President knows better how to deal with them having worked with these agencies for a long time. An extensive network of local NGOs mostly ran and operated by one man/one woman with a bag and laptops have been established in every corner of the country. Most of these local agencies do not follow the rules of associations and societies to be accountable to Board of Directors, have secretaries of treasuries, constitution and mission to avoid duplication of same activities by others. Without their knowledge, many of these local NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) are the sources of information gathering for the “International Somali Government” based in Nairobi. These NGOs sometimes come under different fancy names as Non-State Actors (NSAs), Civil Societies, Non-For-Profit Organizations, Stake-holders and so on with the intention to avoid helping the establishment of effective Somali Government and in that way perpetuate the power vacuum in the country to justify the role of SACAB to the donor community and their tax-payers.
Welcome to the era of neo-colonialism where Somalia is a rather blatant example of the “New World Order”. Or rather, the Somali case is a direct rule by foreign powers. This unmasked way of running Somalia exposes the extent of the depth of the problem in Third World countries today and shed light on Western political expectations from “Arab Spring” uprisings.
Every year, these international agencies compile what they call “Consolidated Humanitarian Aid Appeal For Somalia” amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of Somalia. From various sources of their addressees, I had the unique privilege to see first hand and disturbed by the stunning Cover Letters enclosed with these “Humanitarian and Development Appeals. Cover letters addressed to foreign Western donors read and I quote:
“ON BEHALF OF THE SOMALI PEOPLE” and continue to this day ignoring any Somali political leadership, institution (even “Responsible Authorities”).
Equally important to note here that the European Union has been transformed to a collective body politic in the course of its existence in regards to its foreign aid to 3rd World countries (Developing Countries). To prevent unilateral aid by individual member countries to emerging markets and countries and avoid duplication of such assistance on shopping list by the leaders of developing countries, a document or an agreement called The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness had been produced in February, 2005, effectively controlling who gets what and on what European terms are applicable to a specific country or block of countries. Since Somalia is not signatory to any accord after Lome’ (Togo) Convention of 1975-1989 on Trade and Aid between ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) and European Community countries, including Cotonou (Benin) Accord, its role and interests have been mandated and taken over by a small unit of individuals within European Commission Delegation to Kenya, called The Somali Unit, acting practically and effectively as the National Authorizing Officer (NAO) for Somalia, the very function a Somali Officer would have played if there were a government in Somalia.
Has anyone heard Italy, a longtime colonial power of Southern Somalia, producing a single initiative to help find solutions to Somalia’s predicament? Italy always claims in world forums on Somalia to have the exclusive rights of the Somali issues on the basis of being a former colonial power and legitimate authority to listen to and be respected with regards to Somalia while at the same has nothing to show for in deeds. Italy understood well that once her initiative on Somali peace and reconciliation fails, she will lose all credibility in the eyes of other powers and will be immediately out of the picture in Somalia. Italy’s strategy was reduced to sabotaging other powers’ help in resolving the Somali problem. Her political position has been quite detrimental to Somalia’s national interests and prolonged the agony of the Somali people.
How Other States Rate in the Somali Saga
On the Arab front, Somalia is predominantly suuni liberal religious society. Over many years, however, the Saudis have been engaged in extending religious scholarships to thousands of Somali youths to indoctrinate them in their Wabi version, undeniably responsible for the current religious uphill in the country. This has created religious crisis and conflicts within the community unrecorded before in the history of Somalia. People in Somalia now suffer crisis of identity with regards to their religion (even crisis of attire and clothing as strange foreign fashion of Afghani, Pakistani and Arab tribal origin are imposed on them).
Sheikhdoms in the Gulf were pouring fuel into the fire in Somalia by paying Zakka to the extremist groups on individual basis and through religious charities. Egypt, a country that has been boasting to have strong historical ties with Somalia, could not even provide safe passage within its territory to Somali refugees fleeing civil war. Yemen with its meager resources and its own severe tribal problems has been overwhelmed by Somali refugees, many whom had perished in the high seas of the Red Sea trying to reach its borders. In short the Arabs have been disappointing to Somalis in their time of need. Ironically, it is only them that can extend meaningful assistance without strings attached to any decent administration in Somalia, but that is only if the country has a government, which became difficult to achieve for decades.
Djibouti played more than its capacity with regards to the spoils of the Somali Sate by putting herself in the shoes of her Mother Somalia at League of Arab States. Since the fall of the Somali Central Government, it has been hosting a number of improvised Somali reconciliation meetings to enhance its role among other power players in the region.
Kenya is a country that got the most benefit out of the Somalia’s misery as the HQ of the “International Somali Government” (foreign diplomats and expatriate aid workers of the donor community with hundreds of millions of dollars ear-marked for Somalia spent in Nairobi alone). Speak about the huge capital flight from Somalia, remittances from Somali Diaspora and investment and entrepreneurial talents shaping up Kenya as the East African business hub, not to mention about a broken and desperate people trying to calm their nerves with plane loads of stimulant drug mira (khat), another curse in the Somali tragedy, from Nairobi in exchange for cold cash dollars.
With regards to Ethiopia, a major issue of Somali foreign policy, everybody seems have an opinion and knows better. Here I would limit myself by saying that Somalis are forgiving, but Ethiopia has to choose only one of these two options:
Be a peaceful, friendly neighbor and regional ally by trying to help heal past wounds and reverse the historical burden between the two brotherly peoples. Ethiopia has to stop running Somali affairs from Addis Ababa and instruct its diplomats in foreign capitals to immediately cease their traditional diplomatic lobby to undermine Somali unity. It has to stop infiltrating into Somali society and bullying Somali leaders with its power plays.
Be an enemy in the region the Somalis have to deal with and risk losing all chances of being trusted ever again.
Eritrea seems to be more sincere and sympathetic to Somali cause than Ethiopia, but its rivalry with Ethiopia via proxy war has been causing havoc to ordinary Somalis in Southern Somalia.
Nevertheless, it would be rather mean not to recognize that the above mentioned states and organizations have been doing something good as well that had saved lives, lessened pain and suffering among the general population.
In conclusion, Somalia will rise up again, hopefully in my lifetime and, when it does, we will be stronger than ever before to be a force of good to reckon with.
By Ismail Haji Warsame
WHY SOMALIA’S NEIGHBOR COUNTRIES FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE NOW?
Mogadishu, May 27, 2019
Observers and political analysts are searching for reasons to explain the noises SOMALIA’S neighbors are making these days with regards to their relationships with Somalia. Analysts are asking about as to why now supposedly friendly nations of Somalia turn savour and uncomfortable as Somalia starts to rise up again. Observers noted that these nation-states seemed supportive of SOMALIA’S peace and reconciliation efforts in the height of the Civil War, holding and hosting series of talks for Somali faction leaders in their respective capital cities over many years. What has happened now to irritate them?
The reasons for their unhappiness with Somalia now could be multiple. One overarching reason, though, could be that SOMALIA’S current situation beats their expectations of a country emerging from total devastation.
Whatever the reasons may be, here is my take on the issue in an article I authored sometime earlier. It is worth re-reading it.
Please take a read:
“Central Authorities in Somalia finally lose its last stronghold of Mogadishu and collapse irreversibly in January 26, 1991. Mogadishu falls into the hands of General Caydiid and hotelier Cali Mahdi as leaders and militia commanders of exclusively Hawie-dominated USC-Ethiopia and USC-Mogadishu/Rome. Like any other city-state of the so-called “Third World” countries, Mogadishu becomes the “real Somalia” in the eyes of the international community, particularly for those involved in Somali issues. The diplomatic world deals with only those, who hold power in the Capital City. Somalia’s “International Partners” express awe and shock at image and exploits of savagery of Caydiid and Cali Mahdi. World press branded them the “Most Powerful Warlords” in Somalia. They continue to dominate the headlines of the international press on Somalia for nearly a decade. Hawie clan come out to be perceived as the biggest, and therefore, the most powerful force to reckon with in Somalia’s clan-dominated politics. Some non-Hawie sub-clans in deep-South-Central Somalia joined the Caydiid-Cali Mahdi bang-wagon to become “second-rated” Hawie clan members. Gosha or Jarer-Weyn or Bantu Somalis opt to call themselves “Kamasle Hawie” (The big-nosed Hawies). Other Somali clans become minor stake-holders or irrelevant in the new Somalia’s high-stakes clan power joking and rivalry. With the connivance and blessing of Caydiid and Cali Mahdi, a tolerable leeway of acceptance, as secondary stake-holders, is accorded to Issak sub-clans in the North-West as Hawie’s incentive for “Anti-Darood alliance”. Darood was deemed “irrelevant minority and descendents of Arab immigrants.” The Marehans of post-Barre Somalia nearly lost self-confidence as part of Darood clan system, as Hawies come into prominence for the first time. The creation of Jubba Valley Alliance with Cayr sub-clan of Haber-Gedir is one of the symptoms of Marehan’s clan-politics schizophrenia in the illusion of new Somalia’s reality in Mogadishu.
As opportunistic and dishonest politicians deceive the people of North-West Regions of Somalia with their imagination of fantasy and fear-mongering of Southern domination, the people of the South-Central have been equally misled into accepting an inferiority-complex on the falsehoods of suffering from centuries of Majertinian slavery. The biggest problem facing any Somali politician hailing from Hargeisa and Mogadishu now is how to un-program or undo the false and dangerous indoctrination of their own clan power-bases. Any rational and acceptable politician in Hargheisa and Mogadishu now fights against this “Been Fakatay (an accepted lie), as the Somalis say. In the case of Mogadishu, these historical falsehoods are the main reasons for holding the entire country hostage and render it stateless for two decades, not understanding that by maintaining the status quo, Somalia, slowly, but surely, is dis-integrating. Some in Hargeisa see such a scenario in Somalia as the best opportunity for Somaliland’s Gooni-usu-Taag (secession) campaign.
As the dust of clan-cleansing finally settled in the North-West Regions (Somaliland), President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, taking over from Abdirahman Tour, faces new challenges of local clan politics. The powerful alliance of Gar-Xajis effectively hinders the leadership and mandate of his new administration in Hargheisa. He takes bold steps to bring them “down to their knees”, according to the contents of a personal letter he sent to his Haber-Awal business community in Djibouti at the time, to claim and boast off victory (I loaned the only copy of that letter to the Former Vice-President of Puntland State, Mohamed Abdi Hashi, and couldn’t get it back from him; he wants to keep it to satisfy his anti-Issak bias on the top of Majertainne bashing). Amid the chaos and anarchy in South and South-Central Somalia, Somaliland unilaterally embraces secession in wishful thinking that it can survive alone after the disintegration of the Somali Republic. They ignore even the recent history of Hargheisa and Zeyla almost got lost as part of the “Haud” and once Somalia disappears, “Somaliland” will be the easiest land and sea-outlet assets to be claimed fast and swallowed irretrievably (Recall Ras Makonen-Haile-Selesse insistence in British-Abyssinian negotiations on Hargheisa and Zeyla being part of the Haud under Ethiopian sovereignty in the 1880s). Perhaps, some in Hargeisa want this to happen rather than to entertain themselves with the annoying music of Somali-weyn, and in this way, offer their children’s children the opportunity (or condemnation) to struggle for freedom once again. Tragically, the Somaliland’s attempt to secede from Somalia stifles, if not eliminate, its world-famous heritage of inventiveness in literature (hal-abuur suugaaneed). This can thrive again within the fold of Somalia with the freedom of people’s imagination again in a wider competitive market for renaissance and renewal of arts and poetry among their brethren. Sadly, the current political atmosphere of Somaliland’s “Gooni-usu-Taag (secession/independence) produces no more Hadraawis and Gaariyes. The opportunity for supply and demand is negligible there. It is “Dawladda Qolka iyo barsadda” (“one bedroom State), as Somalis popularly describe Somaliland, in terms of geographical size and business opportunities.
The Ogadens are torn apart between ONLF, Ethiopian occupation, and Kenyan political marginalisation, amid their disarray, following the disintegration of MOD (Marehan-Ogaden-Dhulbahante) Coalition Government, while the Majertaines suffer from Siyad Barre’s ” Kacaan-diid” (anti-revolutionary) and “power-hungry bunch” profiling syndrome. Many suffer from paranoia, as a result, regarding debate on leadership in any field of human endeavour, where-ever they have to deal and interact with other Somali clan members, and habitually, they opt for low-profile and let go existence in Somalia and within the Diaspora. Fortunately, the Late President of Somalia, Abdullahi Yusuf, proves every one wrong and leads the way to re-kindle their imagination on possibilities and potentialities. Hence, you see the types of Caddes, Farooles, and Abdiwelis, running for office.
In Somalia’s neighbourhood, Djibouti attempts to replace Somalia in international arena, keen to seize all it can chew and swallow from the spoils of the Somali State, after suffering for a long time from the shadows of “Big Brother” Somalia (Siyad Barre’s towering image, in particular), and its junior membership of the Arab League. On the other hand, Ethiopia and Kenya see new opportunities for the scramble of the Somalia, and a good chance to deal with the “The problem Child of Africa,” effectively this time.
In the “Restore Hope”, President Bush’s (Sr) campaign, the international community collectively tries to re-instate Somalia only once. They couldn’t. They, thus, finally decide to leave it to its own device, as they found out that every body there is “he is own Sultan” and cannot be re-civilized as “they are still tribal savages” as Richard Burton described in his First Footsteps in East Africa over two hundred years ago.
The world community, however, faces a new problem: Somalia becomes a danger not only to itself alone, but to international peace and security as defined by the UN. The international community eventually decides to manage the country disintegration peacefully by containing its threat of terrorism within its borders. Powerful nations use proxies to remote control this troublesome and difficult people in the Horn of Africa. To-day, I don’t think any keen observer of Somalia’s tragedy can fail to identify the elaborate levels and multitude of “security, developmental and humanitarian projects” put in place to insure the country’s quiet disappearance from the geo-political map
By ismail H. Warsame”
A NATION IN TURBULENT TRANSITION
Garowe May 17, 2019
You may not be aware of the fact the name, Somalia, didn’t exist in the sense of a united central entity as a country, but as ethnic group among East African peoples before 18-19th century European colonial powers of Italy, Great Britain, France, Portugal, and Turkish Ottoman Empire from Egypt. Most historically known self-governing entities in Southern and Northeastern parts of what is presently known as “Somalia” didn’t have the notion of Somalia as a country. Colonial Italy led the way in the creation of the concept of Somalia as a country for its own colonial objectives and administrative-political expediency for a united colony.
These powerful nomads in the Northeastern, Northwestern and Central parts of “Somalia” had had no sense of a country beyond their grazing localities and water wells. The Southernmost agriculturalists of Bantu extraction had had no specific identities other than they were remnants of perished local slave-owning sultanates and chieftains with occasional visits, rule or influence from Arabs looking for slaves and fortune in East Africa, usually coming from the sea and Zanzibar.
The concept of Greater Somalia didn’t exist before Somali Youth League (SYL) political campaigns for independence from as recently as the year of 1943. Even the notion and the term of “Greater Somalia” (Somaliweyn) was conceived and coined by former British Foreign Secretary, Bevin, before Britain abandoned the initiative and had decided to transfer the Somali territory known as the ” Haud and Reserve Area” to Ethiopia in 1954. At the time, Ethiopia was demanding from Britain to agreeing swallowing Hargeisa and Zeila as part of Haud and Reserve Area as well.
The struggle waged by the Head of the Darwish Movement of Sayyid Mohamed Abdulle Hassan against British Colonial Administration and Emperial Ethiopia was a mixture of Islamic extremism, nationalisn and bad approach to self-government blind-sighted by fight for local control over grazing Somali nomads. The British wanted cheap meat for its military garrison in Aden, South Yemen. The Sayyid wanted loyal clans for supply of fighting men for religio-nationalistic wars. He also wanted to model after Sheikh Ahmed Gurey in his attempt to conquer Abbysinia. Darwish Movement was in-transition to statehood. It never had a chance to succeed. Bad approach to self-government was the root cause of its failure.
Enter the era of independence in 1960 from colonial administrations of Italy and Britain. The colonial masters had left a country in-transition to statehood. They left behind a Somali political elite of their design with very limited preparation, education and skills to run a modern government and poor state with no infrastructure or institutions to talk about. Despite all these, Somalis did well in the first few years after securing the national independence with fledgling democratic culture and successful presidential, parliament and municipal elections that was the envy of black Africa at time. The native political and business elite, who had little training by colonial powers, were in-transition themselves to learn the art of government and statecraft. Yesterday’s nomads poured into over-crowded urban cities, specially Mogadishu and Hargeisa, with no social and labor skills. They too were in-transition to become, as least, normal citizens of a new country called the Somali Republic. The new Somali Government was now in-transition to become as viable as any government on earth.
The Government of the Somali Republic didn’t survive long as it had suffered from military coup of 1969 led by General Mohamed Siyad Barre. That Military Government lasted in office for twenty-one years long in-transition to multi-party democratic elections and people’s self-rule. It never fulfilled the promise to transition to democracy.
The Ogaden war of 1977 -78, rebellion against the dictatorship, people’s uprising and vicious Civil War that followed had cut short the long military reign of the General and his Client-Military Administration.
The world came to learn the phrase “Failed State” of Somalia, total collapse of public institutions and breakdown of law and order. Upheaval, uprooting of people, mass displacement of residents from cities and towns followed in-transition to peace and normalcy.
National Reconciliation Conferences had finally produced “Transitional Governments” from the year of 2000. These Somalia’s transitional governments are, however, still in-transition to multi-party democratic self-government – back to square one in-transition.
The Federal Regional State governments are too in-transition to full-fledged federal states, some of them are still needed to satisfy the basic requirements of the Transitional Federal Constitution for their legal formation and very existence. The entire country and its state institutions are in-transition, some of the goals and objectives of which will not happen in my life. But, as long as things are in-transition, there are always opportunities to move Somalia forward. Be hopeful.