INDIRECT RULE OR CONTAINMENT OF SOMALIA


October 5, 2019


The international community, including her neighbours consider Somalia dangerous, not because of the extremists she produces, foreign radicals she hosts or sending huge refugees to the Western World. These can be easily defeated or managed as they aren’t more difficult than those in Syria or Iraq. Somalia is regarded dangerous because of the characters of her people. From her colonial rulers and observers to the present Somali Partners’ Forum, the conclusion is keeping Somalia under indirect rule or containment, taking clue from past colonial anthropologists, explorers, travelers, administrators and leaders of colonial powers of Great Britain, Italy and France as well as historically hostile neighbors of Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania, which has no borders with Somalia, and lately Djibouti, exploiting the spoils of collapsing Somali Central Government.


As the Somali Central Government had failed in 1991, the International Community had set up the Somali Aid Coordinating Body, the SACB, to direct and manage the problems of  Somalia, basically taking over the sovereignty of the Somali State. As the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic, TFG, was elected in 2004, the Somali Coordinating and Monitoring Committee, CMC, was created immediately to hang on to Somali sovereignty and not letting it go. That is why the TFG couldn’t operate. Somali Partners’ Forum is the similar grouping as SACB with just different friendly name, doing the same function of indirect rule of Somalia.


The common character of these groups, specifically designed to handle Somalia, is their lack of accoubtability. They aren’t accountable to anyone. They have no common address. Their membership is difficult to know as International NGOs and foreign security services often take part in their activities. They often issue no-reply statements. They always take advantage of high turn-over of naive and inexperienced Somali leaders. The problem is that Somalia, in her desperate humanitarian, governance and security situations, needs the individual countries and organizations that make up such Western oranizations as they need or interested in Somalia too.


In my personal capacity as representative of Puntland Government then, I had to reject the decisions and letters from SACB at the time, reiterating the fact that Puntland was not signatory to 1993 Addis Ababa Treaty on creating the SACB, its Code of Conduct and Policy Paper On Working With Responsible Somali Authorities. In 1993, only Somaliland existed. The rest of these “Responsible Authorities” were traditional leaders, local NGOs and other civil societies, if any.

The reasoning behind the mindset of these foreign organizations is based on historical writings of Richard Burton, Sir Richard Ellot, Enrico Cerrulli,  I.M. Lewis, Gerald Hanley and others, descriping Somalis as proud, firecely independent, extremely intelligent and violent by nature. If not contained and marginalized, they would move beyond their native borders to own up entire East Africa first, after which they could surprise the rest of the world. Their danger lies in the fact that they consider themselves more equal than the white European people. To paraphrase one British colonial administrator of East Africa, the white man couldn’t accept a black man, who thinks he is superior than the European man. They should be contained within the borders of Jubaland. Take a listen to Sir Richard Eliot:


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HOW PUNTLAND DESTABILIZATION STARTED IN 2000-2001

July 22, 2019

It started with the creation of network of key traditional leaders, influential religious personalities and pro-TNG political activists in PUNTLAND. TNG President Abdulqassim Salad Hassan and his political supporters of PUNTLAND origin in his Cabinet had established and maintained communication with this network of political and armed saboteurs. These Cabinet members provided the link between AbdulQassim and TNG Operation Network in Puntland.

Transfer of funds to this Network of TNG agents followed. What happened next is history.

It looks as if the current FGS is re-testing and re-playing the same operational formula without knowing that those tactics and political strategy had been applied on Puntland before, and badly failed. The damage, however, was done.

Puntland had recovered not only the damage, but also came out much more stronger to be able to lead the Somali National Reconciliation and Peace Talks and establish the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic in October 2004 – Puntland President, Abdullahi Yusuf, becoming the President of Somalia.

At that time, there was a good portion of Puntland population blindly supporting Arta Conference and TNG. Puntland leadership then knew better about Abdulqassim Salad Hassan, Ismail Omar Ghuelleh and their political objectives.

It looks like history repeating itself.

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Somalia, Foreign Aid and International Conspiracy – Official Ismail Warsame Blog

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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:

  1. Let neighbor states take over the country by dismembering it and dividing it among themselves.

  2. 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:

  1. 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).

  2. 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 it 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:

  1. 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.

  2. 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

E-Mail: ismailwarsame@gmail.com

https://ismailwarsame.blog/2013/01/06/somalia-foreign-aid-and-international-conspiracy/

SOMALILAND: THE ILLUSIONS OF ANOTHER SMALL BEGGING BASKET IN-WAITING

Garowe, May 25, 2019

Residents of Hargeisa, Berbera and Burco are a confedaration of loose, fantasy sub-clans politically branding themselves into belonging to one clan under the fictional clan name of Issak. The name Somaliland is interchangeably used for Issak as well, not aware that very name of Somaliland is the same name for entire Somalia. As a Somali clan, they have been suffering from identity crisis for the past three decades, often calling themselves, and/or accepting different clan affiliations of fictional nature like “IRIR”, and lately accepting the name offer of “DIR”. Fantasy tribal names of their origin are abundant among them like belonging to the tribe of Prophet Mohammed (SCWS) of Quresh. Some of them even claim to be the lost tribe of Israel, a severe identity and psychological crisis. Their dilemma is that they were unable to figure out a new original name for their attempt to secede from the rest of the country to become another annoying begging basket for the international community. Going back to the name of British Protectorate is not saleable to the people there, and to Britain alike. We wonder whether they had even spent a little time to think of a name for their illusionary dream of becoming a poor would-be independent country.

They have no resources of their own to sustain lives and lead a modicum of fedgling economy. Their small portion of the Gulf of Aden on the Red Sea is almost devoid of marine resources. They have no livestock to talk about other than what they buy from Ogaden and Central Somalia’s regions. They also buy frankincense and gum from Puntland to re-export them. They now live on hand-outs from NGOs and international organizations with some shaky, suspicious and secret budget support from certain countries bent to undermine Somali unity. Dahabshiil money transfer and remittance Co. draws its funds from customers in the rest of Somalia. Their role model country they dream of is Djibouti, a small enclave, which had received huge and unproportionable money, manpower and minds of Somalia to squeeze out itself from French colonialism for nominal independence, and the threats of being swallowed by Somalia’s competitor, Ethiopia.

As the Djibouti economy was dependent then on decadent nightclub lifestyles of French Foreign Legion stationed there, Somalia had to open development and investment banks to build houses for the Djibouti destitutes. Following the collapse of Somalia’s Central Government and vicious civil war that broke out, thousands fled to Djibouti for safety. It turned out to be one man’s trouble is another man’s opportunity. Djibouti had started trying to fit into Somalia’s shoes on the World stage. The break for Djibouti came about during Arta Conference for Somali National Reconciliation Talks in 2000. Predident Bush’s War On Terror was the 2nd Djibouti survival breakthrough, no more dependence on nightclub businesses of the French Foreign Legion only. When I visited Djibouti last time 20 years ago the entire its young female population used to dress up in the evening for the town’s nightlife. Then, there was stiff competition for the attention of young men of French Foreign Legion at Djibouti nightclubs between the locals and illegal female immigrants from Ethiopia, another country famous for that particular old trade as well.

So, Djibouti as strategic foreign military bases, has already taken away the pipedreams of delusional bunch of loosely related sub-clans in Hargeisa, Berbera and Burco, known derogatively in Somali circles as the “Three Bedrooms” of the Northwest Regions.

Political pipedreamers there had tried every act of treason to realize the impossible and tried hard to cut deals with the devil.

What they didn’t tried yet is how to come up with a name other than Somali-land, which is the same name of the country, Somalia. We are also not so sure of them seeking advice from the more experienced tiny Djibouti on how to survive on a life of one city staying afloat on foreign slodiers’ decadence and foreplays in town alone. Who needs another begging basket?

Better remain Somali.

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SOMALIA: THE NEW LEBANON OF THE SECRET INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY_PART II

PART II

The stateless situation of Somalia, rise of extremist religious extremism of Wahabi Sect, sea-piracy, enormous porous borders, historical territorial disputes and conflicts, greedy Somali traders willing to sell anything and everything Somalia has to the highest bidder, destruction of Somali fauna, strategic oil/mineral interests in the country, among other things, made Somalia uniquely attractive to intelligence community. Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Kenya became permanent centres for operation of these foreign spies on Somalia. These countries provide convenient centres of interdiction for apprehended terrorist suspects from Somalia. Many Somalis and non-Somalis were targeted for elimination when convenient. Former Somali military officers and Professionals in other fields were eliminated in mysterious circumstances. No national institutions existed to investigate the murders and horrendous crimes against the stateless people of Somalia. It was like hunting them for sports or game in eliminating any body important for the future rise of Somalia as a state.

While these heinous crimes were being perpetrated against them , the Somalis were busy in under-cutting each other in what everybody commonly call “clan-rivalry” and warlordism, dismissing these daily crimes as the work of their respective rivals, and embracing for new wave for revenge in a vicious circle that pushes Somalia into further abyss and mayhem.

Sometime after 9/11, and following the establishment of the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in Mogadishu. The USA government renewed its security interests in Somalia. USA security agents were keen in finding the connection between Al-Qaeda and these Courts. USA resources, however, were limited in Mogadishu. At the time, the only available intelligence infrastructure they could rely on was their global surveillance programs of monitoring internet and telephone communications. They found out connection existed between elements of the ICU and foreign extremist organizations, including Al-Qaeda. But, they needed human intelligence on the ground in Mogadishu. They had to seek help from Djibouti, Kenyan and Ethiopian governments, and Somalis in their Diaspora communities, to establish monitoring and operational network in Somalia.

In the process of setting up espionage centres and other intelligence gathering channels throughout Somalia, they sent a delegation to Puntland State to discuss ways of cooperation against the real and perceived common enemy of Al-Qaeda. In one of a series of meetings with Puntland officials, the US side asked for Puntland help in linking them with those Mogadishu warlords Puntland thought they could be effective against the Islamic Courts Union. State officials inquired those US officials about which warlords they were working with so far. They told Puntland officials that they were not happy with the effectiveness of the likes of Osman Ali Caato and Mohamed Qanyare Afrax. “What about Muuse Suudi Yalaxow?”, asked one official of the Puntland side? “Oh! No! This guy doesn’t pick up his home phone for three months in a row. American cannot work with such a man!? “What about Mohamed Dheere?”, asked another official? “The guy in Jowhar?; yes, we could try that one?”, concluded, the US Intelligence Officer. Mohamed Dheere soon found himself airlifted from Jowhar to Wilson Airport in Nairobi, Kenya.

A few weeks after these meetings in Bosaso, Puntland State of Somalia, Mogadishu Warlords announced the creation of The Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism. US dollars, in suit-cases, exchanged hands in Dayniille Air-strip in Mogadishu, under the command of Mohamed Qanyare Afrax. The hunt for Al-Qaeda and foreign persons starts in earnest in Mogadishu. Warlords competed in the new game of hunting people for unaccountable US dollars. Any light-skinned person of seemingly Arab origin was vulnerable and a possible target for warlord’s grab. Residents of Mogadishu broke down into ICU and Warlords camps-a polarisation that transcended beyond the traditional clan rivalry into an ideological rift of national and religious connotations. Ethiopia stepped up its war of proxy, this time acting for Americans as well, with the provision and offer of access facilities for US counter-terrorism forces in Godey and elsewhere in its country. Djibouti became centre for US covert operations, including interdiction of foreign elements captured in Somalia, and drone attacks against targets in Somalia. Kenya established itself as the coordination centre for covert operations in Somalia, business and financial hub, and modern resort of get-away for Western intelligence and counter-terrorism agents.

A huge spy network of Ethiopia and Western countries took deep roots in Somalia. They now use highly trained personnel of Somali origin from the Diaspora, on the top of well-placed locals. Don’t get surprised if you find spies posing as camel herders in Somalia’s countryside today.

Ismail Warsame
E-mail: ismailwarsame@gmail.com
Twitter: @ismailwarsame

Somalia: They Got It Wrong

By Ismail H. Warsame

“Ultimately it is the Somalis who can solve their own problems” is the desperate and repeated expression often used by the external diplomatic and political actors of Somalia when something didn’t work out as planned, or planned intentionally to fail, after all.  This is another way to concede defeat and shift the blame of failure onto the Somalis themselves. It is also a successful ploy by these foreign actors to justify the continuation of their respective tax-payers’ money contributions to find the elusive solution to the dangerous Somali stateless chaos, rightly acknowledging that Somalia is not only a security threat to itself, but also to the outside world. Their bottom-line strategy on Somalia is to contain, at least, this security menace within Somalia. Such an approach to Somalia’s long-running predicament have been creating a thriving industry that continuously produces good paying jobs and resort-like living luxury existence in Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Djibouti and Uganda for expatriates on Somalia’s supposedly dangerous job assignments.

As a man who worked in the field, a witness to most recent events in Somalia, I found quite astonishing that nobody is getting or reading rightly the Somalia’s current root causes of the problem, apart from the legacy of the Military Dictatorship that led to the failure of the National Government. Everybody, including researchers and experts on Somalia is busy with in looking at symptoms of the problem: warlords, the Union of Islamic Courts, Al-Shabab, corruption, piracy …etc. Nobody had ever thought that the instruments and institutions that helped sustain livelihood of the Somali masses in a uniquely failed and stateless situation for such a long time are the same ones that perpetuate the status quo and prevent, at any cost, the creation of a viable institution of governance, especially in Mogadishu.

It is important to note here that one would not see any scholarly references attached to this short article as I was there, in person, to re-tell my own take of developments and events that made the most recent history of Somalia.

It was towards the end of 1996 when I met, for first time, with Mohamed Abdi Habeeb (Mohamed Dheere), the Late Former warlord and former Mayor of Mogadishu of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, in Ghion Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the time, he was not a warlord, but a future one for Middle Shabelle Region (Jowhar). He was a member of then the National Salvation Council (SNC), an impressive organization of Somali Warlords sponsored by Ethiopia under the initiative of Late Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed in a congress held in the city of Sodere, about 120 Kms to the Southeast of Addis Ababa and within the Oromo Regional state. I was a member of Somali Diaspora in Canada, having spent at that time one and half years in England and mostly in Dubai after I left Canada in 1995. While in Dubai, I was invited by the SNC Co-Chairmen to help in the documentation and office work of the Council in Ethiopia. As the warlord organization was seriously planning and set to hold a congress in Bosaso, the commercial city of Northern eastern Regions in 1997, to announce the election of a new Somali Central Government, one perhaps to be led by Ali Mahdi Mohamed as President and Abdullahi Yusuf as Prime Minister, I was eager to learn more about the political, security and economic events in Southern Somalia and Mogadishu, in particular.

In my conversation with him, Mohamed Dheere was a surprise to me. Although he had no academic credentials to speak of, I found him shrewd, highly intelligent and amazingly knowledgeable about the nature of Mogadishu conflicts at the time. He exposed and gave me his take and analysis of what he termed: “The Mog Forces”. Basically, he informed me that the real and invincible force in Mogadishu are not the warlords in the name of Aidid, Ali Mahdi and others, but a handful of business tycoons in Northern and Southern Mogadishu. The warlords are used and bankrolled by these business titans to prevent any local, regional or national governance in Mogadishu or Somalia. These business giants of ill-gotten riches following the collapse of the Somali State run huge enterprises of telecommunications, money transfer (Hawaala), makeshift seaports, huge warehouses of foreign aid (think of WFP) and its distribution outlets, public transport chains, hotels, import and export businesses, security and protection escorts…  etc, all tax-free. They created their own huge army of militia. They constituted the real power that no other institutions can challenge them, foreign or local. Add to this,  the proliferation of the so-called civil societies under the watchful eyes of these business predators as their clever and invisible channel of communication with the external diplomatic, political and humanitarian organizations, primarily working as double agents within the misery of Somalia at cost of Somalia’s national sovereignty. Warlord alliances like USC/SNA and USC/SSA, SNF, SPM and others continued to operate to add to the Southern chaos for divide and rule purposes along sub-clan allegiance. That was the gist of Mohamed Dheere’s assessment of Mogadishu situation nearly twenty years ago.

Having understood and fully aware of what was happening in Mogadishu and Southern Somalia, in general, the establishment of Puntland took first steps to contain and isolate such business and NGO forces becoming too powerful. Militia organizations of SSDF, USP and SNDU were outlawed and banned for good. Traditional leadership was allowed to drive the governance process and a government based on the consent of its stakeholders was instituted. While the Somaliland Administration of the Late President Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal had an ideological difference with the Somali National Movement (SNM) to politically marginalize it, SNM former members were active and still are behind the scene in Somaliland body politic. They are known as the “Calan Cas” (Red Flag) Group because of their leftist political orientation. In the case of Puntland, former militia organizations are things of the past, and while Puntland lacks behind Somaliland in terms of democratization and multi-party system because of latter’s concerted attempt to attract international recognition and more international aid rather than a result of inherent good governance, there are areas in which Puntland is a way ahead of Somaliland like fair distribution of resources, standard of living of residents, gap between the rich and poor, and even residents’ self-confidence in better future, welcoming and creation of safe heavens and income opportunities for Somali IDPs, regional cooperation and good neighbourliness despite Somaliland unwarranted provocations in Sool and Ayn Regions, and struggle for the re-institution of Somalia’s Central State for the benefit of all, including Somaliland, and in the best interests of all peoples of East Africa and world peace and security, in general.

Recommendations:

It may sound very sad indeed to suggest and recommend now that, given a genuine commitment to fix Somalia, the international community needs to completely re-think Somalia by targeting those forces that prevent Somalia to stand on its feet again and rise up as a less dangerous member of world community. Unfortunately, the only way feasible at moment is to restart resolving Somalia’s problem afresh by identifying the culprits for the failure at local and international levels. Trial and errors approaches on the failed state for the past two decades had become the Sarah Palin ‘ s “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska.

In conclusion, the international community is either ignorant or reluctant to learn one important lesson from former colonial powers of Somalia. When dealing with law and order and governance issues in a given city or region in Somalia, you cannot have a Governor in the same city he/she hails from. Because of the local sub-clan rivalry and conflict, a local governor will be a part of the problem, not its solution. Such a Governor will not have the benefit for playing fair arbitration as he/she is perceived locally to belong to and serve the interests of one of the clan antagonists. A Somali President from Southern Somalia suffers the same perception and fate in Mogadishu. Hence, you also have an additional clan and family conflicts in Mogadishu, on the top of the powerful “Mog Forces”.

 

 

Raadraac: Wareysi Ismaaciil Xaaji Warsame: Doorashada Madaxtinimo iyo Guud ahaanba Xaaladda Siyaasadeed ee Puntland | WardheerNews

Raadraac: Wareysi Ismaaciil Xaaji Warsame: Doorashada Madaxtinimo iyo Guud ahaanba Xaaladda Siyaasadeed ee Puntland | WardheerNews.

Why Puntland State Deserves Better Presidential Candidates than Faroole and Gas

Location of Puntland State of Somalia
Location of Puntland State of Somalia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Puntland State of Somalia is one of the few achievements I happen to be proud of. Other Puntlanders, stakeholders and supporters in Somalia and beyond, within the Diaspora and external players today can pause for moment to imagine their social, political status and relationships with Somalia without the existence of Puntland State. While people always give the visible leader the credit for it, I had the chance to know full well that there were a few of us that made the difference in initiating its creation and playing the critical role in making it a functioning reality that changed the political landscape of Somalia for ever. This is my moral authority and basis on which I pen this short article.

Once again, Puntland State is at cross-roads and it was unfortunate that the democratization process failed abysmally. That was a great setback for the people of Puntland. Nevertheless, the State is relatively safe and has high hopes for a better future. But, to survive and progress, Puntland requires an urgent political change that the current administration cannot deliver. Faroole is a spent force and is running out of ideas, on the top of his poor domestic policies. He becomes a divisive figure and liability for Puntland despite his foreign contacts drama and superficial Diaspora perception that he is the man who can challenge the ill-advised and naïve Damul Jadid Clique in Mogadishu. To refresh up the memory of the readers of this article, Faroole was against the foundation of PuntlandState from the onset to consist of Sool, Sanaag Bari (now Haylaan), Nuguaal, Bari, Mudugh and the District of Buuhoodle (now Cayn). He was among the proponents of creating only Northeastern Regional Administration ( not even a regional state) composed of only Mudugh, Nugaal and Bari ( Karkar Region was part of Bari then). He fled to Australia in early July 1998 before the creation of Puntland State and in the last days of the Puntland Constitutional Conference to found the State when he and his colleagues failed resoundingly in their attempt to exclude Sool, Sanaag and Buuhoodle in the process.  He came back later to Somalia in early 2000s to oppose Puntland State every step of the way. For a long time he was frequenting anti-Puntland conferences and lobbies in Djbouti, Mogadishu and elsewhere. As he left the Conference, I vividly recall his departing words, on the mike, to the Late Islaan Mohamed Islaan Muse, then the Chairperson of the Constitutional congress and I quote, “Shirku waa afduubanyahay”, unquote ( The Congress is being held hostage). Following Puntland State constitutional crisis involving Supreme Court President, Yusuf Haji Nur, Jama Ali Jama and Late Abdullahi Yusuf, and as gesture for Puntland internal reconciliation, I personally persuaded the later to include Faroole in the New Puntland Cabinet as a counter-weight to the defection of Hassan Abshir Farah, then the Puntland Interior Minister, to Arta’s produced TNG of President AbdulQasim Salad Hassan. Despite his background, he was appointed Puntland Finance Minister. He became President of Puntland State due to the unpopularity of then the incumbent Puntland President, General Mohamud Hersi Muse (Boqor), bribery, intimidation of non-Majertaine MPs in Garowe and absence of capable Presidential candidates on the scene at the time. This can happen again if Puntland communities do not do their due diligence in searching and finding better alternative candidates.

The People of Puntland State are now ready for change. To effectively take part in that on-going political need and imperative for change, Traditional Elders, business community, intellectuals and any person at grass-root level has to help in selecting truly representative and worthy members of Puntland State Parliament. People who hail from Khatumo areas have the moral obligations and legitimacy too as founders of Puntland State to help in the current efforts for political change. All Puntlanders have every right and owe to their country to select and promote capable and honest patriots as presidential candidates on merit: personal integrity, character, leadership talent, experience and vision. They have to do their due diligence to get it right this time around, and peacefully. We must insure that if such a candidate wins the election, he/she must not use Puntland State as stepping stone or leverage for a national position in the Federal Government of Somalia, but willing instead to concentrate and focus on the unity, peace and socio-economic development of Puntland as his/her priority No. 1.

I know a good number of Presidential candidates have put their names forward. My assessment is that while many of the declared candidates have something to contribute, they don’t pass the test of leadership requirements needed in Puntland at this crucial moment. Puntland State deeply suffers from political stagnation, has serious governance and security problems. The country is politically polarized and unity is at stake. Economy has collapsed because of lack of sound fiscal management and absence of competition in a free market, leaders’ destructive interference in the market, nepotism and cronyism of the administration. No one among the known Presidential candidates can meet the challenges now Puntland faces.

Current political perception within Puntland Diaspora and supporters of Puntland is that there are two front runners among these candidates: They claim to be Abdiweli Hassan Ali (Gas) and incumbent President,  Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Faroole). I take an exception to this artificial and cosmetic assessment of reality in Puntland. My take on them is based on my Puntland experience and reading of the prevailing political situation at home now.

Let me call a spade a spade. Dr Abdiweli’s chance in that race is extremely limited. I also suspect that Dr. Abdiweli (Gas) has other personal national goals and ambitions and Puntland is not his priority. Based on his short political life as Prime Minister of Somalia, he did little or nothing for Puntland interests, although I acknowledge that he had had a bad working relationship with Faroole that made doing business with Puntland difficult. In fact, tampering of the Provisional Federal Constitution was done under Abdiweli’s watch. He and his team ( including his right-hand Constitutional Minister, Abdi Hosh) failed to deposit the constitutional version agreed upon in Garowe I and Garowe II to Congress delegates that provisionally approved the Federal Constitution. Instead, a print-out of completely another version was distributed to the 800 Congress Delegates, including the Traditional leaders that gathered and finally approved it in Mogadishu. That was a long time before President Hassan Sh. Mohamud got elected. To sum it up, the Road Map Dr Abdiweli seems to be proud of today is faulty and had done considerable damage to Somalia’s future governance as it was detrimental to Puntland vital national interest: Federalism as safeguard against Central Dictatorship and return to a One-City Republic Status. In terms of team work and selection of aides and political advisors, he is considered the worst Prime Minister that the successive Somali Transitional Governments had ever had.

The Roadmap received help and new boost from the most unexpected source: Jubaland, a non-existent entity during the Roadmap process. The appearance of JubalandState (which, of course, PuntlandState has been working tirelessly for throughout its existence) saved the day to re-enforce the Puntland State Vision on future governance system for Somalia. This de facto establishment of Jubaland Administration, in turn, led to the overwhelming acceptance of federalism by the international community as the only viable option for Somalia’s governance. Abdiweli also did nothing to contribute to the noble cause of creating JubalandState. He was not even visible during those tough political and military fights for Jubaland. One may recall that he was a tourist and traveling guest among the Puntland Diaspora in every corner of the world on a mission without an objective beyond his personal interests. Therefore, Puntland does need a man with that profile. It is too risky to take a chance!

I strongly believe that Puntland State communities have yet to produce the right Presidential Candidates to choose and elect from, and that is a heavy responsibility for all concerned. Let us debate on it and get this done. Take a note that time is of the essence in this regard.

Correspondence corner

Cooperation Within CBP in Savannah Leads to La...
Cooperation Within CBP in Savannah Leads to Largest Khat Seizure in Agency’s History (Photo credit: CBP Photography)

29/06/2013

Re: Banning Khat

As a Chairman of London Somali Youth Forum I would like to take the opportunity to encourage the Home Secretary, Theresa May to continue with her plans to ban Khat in the United Kingdom. Over the past five years as a youth activists and a Local Government civil servant, I have witnessed the direct and unintended consequences of Khat use in the United Kingdom.

In a recent article, Professor David Nutt, chair of the Independent Scientific Commitee on Drugs has commented on the banning of Khat and has accepted the relative harms associated with Khat use, following investigation from expert advisors.

Although I respect the views of scientist, I would like to bring their attention to the fact that any drug that is associated with low/high level of harm has devastating consequence for our Somali community and youths. It may be low level harm to the scientist, however, the community, welfare departments, health agencies and the third sector have to pick up the pieces and respond to impacts of Khat use on family life, economy and wellbeing of our citizens.

I would like to encourage the Home Secretary and the Coalition Government not to bow down to any pressure from, what Cyril Connolly (renown reformist) once called The Enemies of Promise. For our community, youths and Somali Professionals, this is issue is fight against outdated cultural ideology, ignorance, poverty of aspirations, a struggle to unlock the potential opportunities of over community so that they can take their rightful position in our economy as citizens.

I make my conclusion from our direct involvement and experience with our communities/youths and we feel the Coalition Government should continue with its plans to ban Khat on the following grounds:

Impact on family life:

It is widely accepted that the issue of Khat has indirectly caused family breakdowns in Somali families and this historical lack of stable home coupled with absence fathers (leadership) means that a young Somali youth growing up in London is becoming ever harder, forcing a majority to turn to khat use as a tool for escapism, inevitability impacting on their life chances to compete and progress in life. As a Forum, we genuinely subscribe to the aims and notion or policies of Every Child Matters. As a result, we would fully support a ban on the use and availability of Khat, which is destroying the life chances of our children, cementing their place in a life of misery and wasted human capital for generations.

Loss Generation:

I would like to take the opportunity to underline the impact Khat use is having on Somali youths in London. It is arguable that the issue was just isolated to older Somali men who regularly chewed the substance. However, that trend has now changed where young Somali now form a growing and alarming number of Khat users, affecting their prospects, health and stability at home. As a youth activist and a strong campaigner for the progress of our youths, I find it astonishing that the issue is now trickling down to our first/second generation Somali youths, some languishing in mental health institutions and others wasted on the wilderness of benefit dependency with no aspiration for progress. As I pass through outside Khat stations in around London, and I speak to young people, I am witnessing the collective deteriation of our youths, which will ultimately result in a lost generation.

Community Integration/cohesion and Economic Empowerment

As we strive to promote tolerance, integration and progress for our youths, we, as a Forum, feel the issue of Khat availability and use is hampering our efforts to work for a common good so that our youths that have been affected by the issue take appropriate steps to be part of our society as productive citizens. However, previous subsequent delays, debates and lack of political will to tackle this issue effectively mean our work is even harder. The issue further defeats the objectives of recent Government Welfare Reforms. For example, the Work Programme from Department for Work and Pensions require people on benefits to make serious steps and efforts in finding work and employment training. However, the experience I have seen show that the readily availability of khat is having the opposite effect on the success of such programmes because the intended target group are not in a position to wake up for such employment training/work due to the heavy use of Khat the nights before.

In many ways, I sense this is an already transformative Coalition Government that is bold and I would like to inform the Government that Somali youths, community/mothers and professionals are fully behind such ban, because this about unlocking their potential as citizens, removing barriers to progress. The Community and the Nation expects.

Yours

Sincerely

Mohamed Ibrahim: Chair of London Somali Youth Forum

T: 0207 2842373

Email: http://www.LSYF.ORG

Info@LSYF.ORG

Correspondence Corner

Dear Fernandez,

To answer your questions, inquiries on personal background are relevant because in the Somalia of today, and as a result of the most vicious civil war in its history, objectivity in political analysis become an issue. Emotions usually play out into Somali authors’ essays and descriptions of events in the country. Although Somalis are patriarchal in their lineages, my mother is the Northerner while father is from Central Somalia regions. I was born in Northern Somalia and raised in Mudugh Region ( Galkayo) of Central Somalia and Banadir Region (Mogadishu) of Southern Somalia. I finished formal education (High School) in Mogadishu. I went overseas for higher learning and trained as Mechanical Engineer with Masters Degree in thermal power engineering. Since then, I have been acquiring other skills as well, including public administration and politics.

Since I was raised mostly in Mogadishu, I am deeply connected to Southern Somalia too. My political constituency is PuntlandState of Somalia in the North Eastern Somalia though. I therefore consider myself as someone having broad multi-clan background. I am not sure whether that makes sense to you.

I travel a lot in Europe, North America and East Africa and therefore I cannot say I am stationed in one place. My e-mail address, ismailwarsame@gmail.com, however is permanent if someone wants to reach out to me. Right now I am in Toronto, Canada.

With regards to your question on whether Somalia can become a Federal state, I attach my relevant views on the subject expressed in these articles found both in http://Wardheernews.com and http://imailwarsame.com

The Way Forward for Somalia

Kismayo Solution: The South-WestState of Somalia

The Current Status, Goals and Vision of the Transitional Federal Government

Public Trust Deficit in Somalia

Federalism, a Guarantor of Peace among Somali Clans

Self-Governance Options for Somaliland

Hope and Lessons in Somalia

Outside View: Building a Secure Somalia

TFG Top Priorities as Expressed by the President

Somalia, Foreign and International Conspiracy

AYA Response to Riyale’s Provocations

AYA Memo Escalating Conflict in Somalia’s Northern Regions

Letter to Prime Minister Berlusconi

Other articles of interests are

NATTCO Mandate

EU and Africa Guiding principles for Cooperation

ICG London Meeting

UN 2006 Security and Humanitarian Report on Somalia

Ambassador’s Report Back

UN Arms Embargo Monitoring Group Report

TFG and ICU

 Presidential Briefing at ICG Meeting

Diplomatic Briefing

European Union Policies on Multilateral issues

SACB Secretariat

Somalia Aid Coordinating Body (SACB) Guiding Principles

Basis for European Union-Somalia Relationship

SACB Addis Declaration on Somalia

Declassified briefing to the European Union member states by the Author

Safarkii Dheeraa ee Wiilka Reer Miyiga

The Long of the Nomadic Boy

Don’t get high on Khat (aka Kat, Qat, Chat); It is not worth it

In addition, there is a Provisional Federal Constitution to be adhered to by Somalia’s leadership as well as the basis for governance for new Somalia. Respecting that Constitution by all is the basis for restoring trust among people of Somalia.

I am not so sure if I understood well your question regarding the role of religion in Somalia. However, I must say that there are two permanent factors in the country.

1. Clan

2. Islam (in the form of Somali traditional Sunni sect).

Islamic religion in Somalia is now experiencing deep crisis as the new adherents of Saudi Wahabism make their presence felt and forcefully imposed upon the population, hence extremism and radicalism resulted in the creation of Al-Shabab, Al-Itihad, Al-Takfir, Al-Islah among others of fundamentalist Islam. Wahabism now is a political and religious force to be reckoned with. You may be aware that Saudi Arabia has been extending religious scholarships to a huge number of Somali youths for decades. When these graduates came back to Somalia, the resulting effect is devastating for the stability of the country and religious harmony. That is the main source of the current religious intolerance never recorded in the history of religion in Somalia.

I hope this will give you a brief introduction to the “state of the union” in Somalia.

Regards,

Ismail

Dear Ismail

It is a pleasure to contact you and I appreciate your qick answer.

I found your blog through a Somali news site, named Wardheer News. An article signed by you and look up in the web who you are, and I found your blog. That`s all. It has been my first contact with the blog but it will not be, for sure, the last one.

I guess you are living in America (US or Canada), Aren’t you? Sorry for asking some personal questions. Are you a national Somali?, if so where are you or your family coming from in Somalia?, and, finally, which is your family clan?

My tow first (non personal) questions is basics and difficult. It is about the future of Somalia.

– Will Somalia be a real Federal state?

– Is Islam more than the nationalistic idea what is going to unify Somalia?

I have watched out about this three aspects of (name of the city omitted for privacy reasons). I am leaving the country before Summer what is a wise decission I took…

Thnaks in advance. Best regards.

Fernandez (name of the sender modified for privacy protection)

 

Kat (aka Qat, Chat, Khat) is Grave National Security Threat to Somalia

image001Courtsey of Wikipedia

 If Somalia is to survive as a nation-state and having at least a normal functioning government with even average bureaucratic operations, it must urgently find effective solutions to the epidemic of Kat addiction among its population as a national priority. The problem is more than socio-economic issue. It is a grave national security threat as well.

 In the summer of 1997, I was a member of a delegation of the now defunct National Salvation Council (the NSC, aka Sodare Group) from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Mogadishu, Somalia. The delegation members included NSC Co-chairmen, Ali Mahdi Mohamed and Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed as well as Council members that included Mohamud Mohamed Guled (Gacmadheere), Duuliye Sare Abdi Osman Farah among others. We numbered about 13 men and one female. We were on our way to meet with an Italian delegation led by then Deputy Foreign Minister for Africa, Senator Serri, who was about to visit Mogadishu for the sole purpose of mediating between disputing Mogadishu warlords despite many other problems of Somalia. The vision of the Italian delegation on solving Somalia’s predicament was not beyond the Banadir Region at that particular time.

Abdullahi Yusuf’s intention in the mission was to disrupt the Italian visit (which he did successfully) while Ali Mahdi’s was to win over the Italian favor against Hussein Aidiid and Osman Ali Atto.

We made a two-day stop-over in Djibouti. The Prime Minister of Djibouti then, Barkat Gourad Hamadou, honored us with a lavish luncheon with tender baby-goat’s meat and other delicacies of Djibouti at his residence. After the lunch, we were taken to a large and well furnished room with an Arabic seating with soft cushions specifically designed for long-time session in comfort for Kat indulgence, gossiping experience, news and secrets debriefing under the “high” influence of the stuff. In front of every person a bazooka-like wrapping was placed and a  large silver tray full of the tools of the trade: A big and tall golden tea thermos, crystal glasses, shining and engraved tea-mugs, various branded cold soft drinks in plastic Coca Cola –type bottles and commercially distilled water in gravines with swimming crystal clear ice-rocks, all to be consumed in the breezing air-condition of the room- an artificial weather hide-out from the environment of burning heat of the City of Djibouti.

After a few chit-chats, Prime Minister Hamadou noticed that none of the members of our delegation was using the stuff as they were all non-chewers, at least, at that period of time. The Prime Minister was a bit annoyed and asked: “Why are you in civil war then, if there is nothing to fight for?” I guess we spoiled the daily indulgence session for our generous, high-level Djibouti host. Luckily, the conversation didn’t break up as we a had had a lot to discuss on Somalia, Somalia-Djibouti past and future relationships and the Horn of Africa, in general.

During those few years, I discovered, in separate sessions, that Ismail Omar Gheleh, the current President of Djibouti, was pondering about his desire to join his tiny country with Ethiopia as he was desperately convinced that Djibouti would not survive on its own. There was  rampant corruption in the seaport operations, the main revenue generating enterprise besides the high spending men of the French legionnaires at Djibouti night clubs. The City of Djbouti was on the verge of being taken over by the influx of Ethiopians, who needed no immigration papers to come in. It was only Puntland help in 1999 to commit him to Somalia’s National Reconciliation process, encouraging him to take it over from Ethiopia, an AU and IGAD Mandated Country for Somali National Reconciliation Process. President Abdullahi Yusuf convinced President Daniel arab Moi of Kenya to support President Ismail Omar Ghueleh to play the role. It was undoubtedly a diplomatic success that pushed Ethiopia aside from the Somali issues.  One may guess already why Ethiopia was not happy with President Yusuf lately. The second help came to Djibouti from post-9/11 World Order. Besides God’s wish, it was only these two factors that saved Djibouti from voluntary union with Ethiopia. Unfortunately, he betrayed Puntland State during the initial phases of the Arta Conference, a rift that eventually undermined the TNG of Abdulkassim Salad Hassan to pave the way for holding Embagati (Kenya) all inclusive and broad-based Somali National Conference and finally, the establishment of the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic (TFG) in 2004, transforming it into the Somali Federal Republic in 2012.

Suddenly, the Prime Minister shared with us the socio-economic devastation Kat consumption has been causing on Djibouti at the time. He informed us that Djibouti was paying Ethiopia a hundred thousand US dollars daily, and that was only the portion of the payments that goes though from bank to bank. Think about residents who buy the stimulant on their own from individual Chat traders on the top of train and air passengers who also bring sacks of the green leaves to their families, relatives and friends in Djibouti cities.

On a number of occasions, I stopped over in Djibouti for a short stay. On multiple times, arriving at Djibouti International Airport, I used to see popular demonstration-like commotion at the gates of the airport-population rushing to the airport when Kat cargo delivery from Ethiopia is delayed for only a few hours. One would see custom and passport control officers whose mouths are asymmetrically filled with Qat and chewing it on the job. Think about the officers’ mental judgment and decision-making capability under the influence of the hyper-leaves at country’s highly sensitive and main border entry point.

The situation is even worse in Somalia with a few millions of US dollars spent every day on the habit. With no credible fiscal statics available, the country may be fast sinking into public and personal bankruptcy. A failed state desperately trying to recover from decades of civil war and total collapse of public services and institutions, has also population wholly consumed by the epidemic of daily Chat use, effectively destroying the socio-economic fabric of its society, abysmally curtailing manpower productive hours and bringing havoc to family livelihoods and relationships while it is also at same sometime constitutes an instigator and main source of corruption and loose social morals. A country with the geographical size larger several times than Italy or UK with porous long borders with Ethiopia and Kenya requires alert and non-Chat chewing security personnel and efficient bureaucracy.

The irony is that Somalis nowadays like to talk about safeguarding their sovereignty and territorial integrity, while at sometime allowing their neighbor states to dump poisonous addictive Kat to their citizens, drain their economy, disable their manpower and threaten their vital national security interests. Think about the real double-talk and double standard with a proverbial ostrich attitude!

Somalia has to come up with a solution to the menace of the Qat. While fully it is understandable that it is tough to try to ban the habit outright, at least a committee of experts should be immediately setup to study the problem and submit recommendations to competent bodies for, at minimum, regulating it and eventually outlawing it. Massive public education and media programs relating to its dangerous hazards to personal and public health should be initiated and launched immediately to stop the spread of the habit to young generation. Somalia cannot afford to continue to ignore its greatest, silent killer of its productive members of the society and the gravest national calamity posed by Kat trade. Please wake up!