WHO COULD BE SUPPORTERS OF N&N  ELECTION 2020/21 IN PUNTLAND?

September 29, 2019


If an election were held in Puntland today, whom do you think would vote in support of N&N?
It isn’t a wild guess work, but a predictable scenario based on keen observation on the mood, utterings and attitudes of sections of the Puntland population.

  1. Historically, there were portions of the population in the State, who are uncomfortable with the numerical superiority of the Majertain sub-clan groupings. These would vote N&N at expense of Puntland interest.
  2. There are young and politically naive social media fans, who know neither the history of Puntland struggle nor what N&N stands for.
  3. There are people, who fell victim to Dr. Ali Khalif Galayr’s type of hate speech directed at Puntland  State.

Consequently, all these groups are turning out to be anti-federalists and anti-self-government in their campaign to discredit the formation of federal member states in favor of a strong N&N led central government, even dictatorship from Mogadishu.

Historically, this political culture of hatred towards certain sections of Northeastern population had been cultivated and developed by the former military regime of Siyaad Barre. President Farmaajo is a product and student of that repressive regime. This is Farmaajo’s basis for purging Puntlanders from Federal Public Service, exactly in the same way Siyaad Barre did then. That is why Puntland students are being punished for belonging to the wrong Federal Member State. He isn’t learning from recent Somali political history. As he got chance and a shot at Somali politics, he didn’t know enough persons of Puntland origin. As TFG Prime Minister, he was compelled to tap someone seemingly from Northeastern Regions of Somalia. He placed his bet on Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (Gaas), his fellow resident of US Buffalo NY State, the only one person he knew from Majertain, and also Gaas was former resident of Dusa-Mareeb in Galgaduud Region of Central Somalia, where Farmaajo sub-clan family hails from. President Farmaajo now thinks that even Abdiweli Gaas had betrayed him as the former had lost the Somali Prime Ministership to the latter.


Given the situational analysis of Puntland, any administration in Puntland ought to study and pay attention to these societal contradictions, as it should address any real or perceived grivances harbored by certain sections of Puntland residents, including Somali IDPs.


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SOMALIA: FEDERALISM MORTALLY WOUNDED, HAS PUNTLAND LOST BATTLE OR WAR?

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FEDERALISM IN SOMALIA AT CROSS-ROADS

When former Federal President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, had the battle to block the formation of Jubaland Federal Member State in May 15, 2013, it was a turning positive point for proponents of the Federal system in Somalia. It was, however, clarion call to anti-federalist forces in Mogadishu political elites. For federalists, Jubaland victory made them complacent and got disarmed. For anti-federalist, it was a wake-call to change course and find out options to fight back. For them, two options were on the table:

1. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Co. had to accept reluctantly the reality on the ground and speed up the process of creating Hawiye federal member states in Central Somalia, Galmudugh and Hirshabelle, to counter the political weight of the established Darood federal member states in Puntlland and Jubaland, on the top of the NFD counties in Kenya and Somali Regional State in Ethiopia. There was panic in President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s political camp. They had to hurry up.

2. However, the other more effective faction of anti-federalist forces had to change tact by bringing in an electable non-Hawiye opponent of federalism. They put their bet on former prime minister of FGS, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo. They struck gold as Farmaajo surprisingly got elected FGS President in 2016 by heavily corrupt members of the Federal Parliament Lower Chamber, while ignoring the non-existent then Upper Chamber.

In turn, Farmaajo had to find a political novice to install him as his loyal prime minister. He had made an unconventional choice of picking up the most unexpected candidate in the eyes of Hiraab political elite and Mogadishu establishment, Hassan Ali Khayre, an outsider and an in-law from Farmaajo wife’s Murursade clan, a non-Hiraab minority Hawiye sub-clan, who would be loyal only to Farmaajo because of Khayre’s vulnerability due to lack of power-base in Mogadishu.

Now, the process of fighting back to undermine the Federal Constitution and unravel federalism had had to begin. The new anti-federalist policies got started with suppressing all promotions and press support for federalism; delaying the Review Process of the incomplete Federal Constitution, creating tension and conflicts in all Federal Member States, and commissioning an unprecedented worldwide social media campaign of Nabad & Nolool (N&N) to mislead and misinform Somali youth.

The success of FGS anti-Federal agenda, in the short period of only two years, is stunning with elimination of most Heads of Federal Member States that begun with removal of Abdullahi Osoble of Hirshabelle, and went on to eliminate Sharif Hassan Adan of Southwest State; Abdiweli Gaas of Puntland and recently Ahmed Du’aale Haaf of Galmudugh.

The challenges to overcome now are Said Abdullahi Deni of Puntlland State and Ahmed Mohamed Islaam (Ahmed Madoobe) of Jubaland. Both Heads of Regional states have certain vulnerabilities to exploit by Farmaajo anti-federalist team. Both didn’t come to power by popular choice. Both have unpredictable and unreliable members of local parliaments. Both avoid surrounding themselves with the states’ political heavy weights as advisors and consultants. Both have serious political rivals being bankrolled by the FGS leaders. FGS subversive campaigns to destabilize them politically is reportedly well under-way now. For President Deni, it is probably through the Puntland House of Representatives by means of impeachment and non-confidence vote to oust him. For Madoobe, they will probably try Sharif Hassan removal style: Buy him out. If that wouldn’t work, then, use Gaas removal style: support his political rivals with massive financial backing to get rid of him in the forthcoming Jubaland Election in August this year. They could succeed.

For the benefit of those, who do not understand the political dynamics of FGS in Mogadishu, misleading reports and misinformation coming from Somalia abound as to who is in charge in the FGS. Most say that it is Prime Minister Khayre’s one man-show and President Farmaajo is a by-stander.

Nothing further from the truth. According to informed and reliable sources. Khayre is the weakest of all past TFG/FGS Prime Minsters. That is because he has no strong power-base in Mogadishu. Nothing happens in FGS without Farmajo’s permission or knowledge. It is Farmajo, who is dictating Khayre. It is Farmajo, who is anti-Federal and anti-regional administrations. It is Farmajo, who is protecting Khayre. Khayre couldn’t survive a parliament motion against him if it weren’t Farmajo. The entire Hiraab constituency is up against Khayre. Khayre has more parliament MPs support from Darood than from Hawiye. This is Khayre’s strength as FGS Prime Minister because of Farmaajo. It is, actually, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, who is pushing hard for unitary central government in gross violation of the Federal Constitution, and, by the way, that is the main reason as to why the FGS doesn’t want to complete the Review of the Constitution to make easier for them to ignore or violate it while it is still in never-ending process. If Farmaajo would get elected in 2020, there would not be a federal constitution. Talk about nominal semi-autonomous regions and central government tyranny.

Their policy strategy is to destroy the Federal Member States, or install their puppet regional leaders in the meantime, hold sham general elections to return to power and establish a strong one city-state with rubber-stamp institutions.

Now, it is a clarion call to forces of Federalism to fight back as it is a wake-call to the residents of Puntland State to contemplate about their destiny in a new Somalia whose leaders are trying to restore One City-state rule.

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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/

THE STAR’S TAKE ON SOMALIA’S PRIME MINISTER

https://www.the-star.co.ke/siasa/2019-05-25-somalias-renaissance-a-welcome-respite-for-the-horn/

WILL SOMALIA RISE UP AGAIN?

Garowe, May 26, 2019

I receive multiple long distance phone calls, text messages and emails almost on daily basis from friends and colleagues living overseas within the Somali diaspora around the world. To sum up the contents of these messages, their overall inquiries boil down to the above question: “Will Somalia rise up again?” How would you answer that question? Think a bit about it.

Personally, I have found out a genuine way to answer it. How? Well, ask them critical questions. What are they?

In your own opinion, is Somalia better off today than what she was ten years ago?

Does Somalia have a recognized government engaged with the world community today?

Is Somalia an active member state again in all major international and regional bodies as a sovereign nation?

Does Somalia talk about elections and building public institutions these days?

Is Somalia fighting back against extremism and wanton violence?

Is federal system agreed upon already, at least, half done?

Now, you guessed my method and approach to ask close-ended questions.

What about if you ask them open-ended questions. How?

What is your own take on Somalia’s situation today?

How would you, yourself, describe the performance of the Farmaajo-Khayre Government?

What would you like to know about Somalia?

How would you evaluate the general public opinion of Somalis living in your part of the world?

Now, I think, you can figure out the big difference between the two methods of questioning.

The first method is a critical approach to an organized fact-finding and quicker way to cause the inquirer to think critically and ask you intelligent questions too.

The 2nd method is to solicit for information and personal opinion of your interlocutor.

So, decide upfront which method of informing your colleagues you will use for a mutually satisfactory exchange of information.

Both methods are useful, depending on what you want out of these communications.

What I don’t want you to do is to lecture your friends and colleagues about your own take or opinion on things in Somalia. Be open-minded and listen to any concerns and misperceptions people have on many things. You will not be able to correct misinformation and biases if you don’t listen, acknowledge concerns first, paraphrase their opinions to let know them that you understood them, and try to answer to a reciprocally listening and attentive person on the other side of the world or infront of you across the table- a pleasure session to conclude.

ismailwarsame.blog

PUNTLAND REPS vs SSC REPS IN CONSTITUENCY REPRESENTATION

Garowe, May 24, 2019

People of PUNTLAND are wondering about as they are also dismayed by lack of true political representatives in Mogadishu and Hargeisa.

The SSC Regions don’t express much regrets as they didn’t choose those who are either self-appointed or hand-picked by Hargeisa with a specific purpose to harm the very cause and interests of SSC Regions. That is self-explanatory to most people in the Regions. Tradionally, residents of the SSC Regions had no history of self-government, and had historically always supported the strongman among Darood leadership in Somalia, starting with Sayyid Mohamed Abdullah Hassan of Derwish Movement. Now they are tempted to support Farmaajo, but their delemma is that they don’t see him as a strong leader to bet on.

In the case of Puntland State, we aren’t too sure whether the people of PUNTLAND are aware of the fact that they have neither genuine political representation nor competent spokespersons for the vital interests of Puntland in Mogadishu at all. Some observers said that Puntland had zero influence in Mogadishu, and that is why the obvious and well documented partial and partisan politics of Farmaajo-Khayre Administration has free hand in its systamatic campaigns to purge persons of Puntland origin from the public service of the Federal Government – forget all about power-sharing and taking Puntland into any account in regional balance on power and resources sharing. This political campaign to marginalize Puntland specifically by President Farmaajo to the pleasure of Prime Minister Khayre, is happening under the watch of those presumably was elected to represent the interests of the people of the State of Puntland in conjunction with Somalia’s national objectives. We have authentic reports that some Federal Cabinet Ministers of Puntland origin were even complaining about the presence of some junior civil servants from Puntland federal constituency in various departments of the FGS in Mogadishu. Think about the extent of that failure and irresponsibility. One may not be aware of the fact that the so-called Puntland representives in Mogadishu are locked in Mogadishu hotels, and they are in line, waiting for a call from either Khayre or Farmaajo to settle hotel bills. Federal dipomatic corps, judiciary and finance postings have been made “no go” for persons of Puntland origin. What representation people of Puntland expect from poor hostages in a gangland under the name of Somalia’s Capital City.

Still under these severe conditions, failed Puntland’s representatives operate in petty partisan factions, some acting as if they represent their own parties in sub-clan riddled politics of Puntland of late; some representing the old school when MOD was in power in the heydays of Barre Regime, while others are confused as to where they belong to, still others are there to go along the highest bidder for vote-buying in anti-government parliament motion-prone Mogadishu. Nobody trusts a politician without a principle and one nobody knows what he or she stands for. It is unfortunate situation in politics one may find himself/herself. Hence, the name of political prostitution in political science. These pseudo representatives of Puntland in Mogadishu couldn’t even dare to challenge Federal Minister, Godax Barre, whom everybody knew that he was a minister only by name with no influence over one class-room in Mogadishu, let alone Somalia’s Education Sector, and who still doesn’t understand that the Federal Member States hav exclusive jurisdiction over Education Departments of the states.

It is quite ironic that Somaliland Authorities, who arrest youth and children clad in T-shirts painted in Somali flag, have more staying power, influence over Mogadishu Regime through its unofficial representatives in Mogadishu than Puntland, who considers itself as the main pillar in the re-instatement and reconstruction of the failed state of Somalia.

Political observers had noted that in the case of Puntland representation in Mogadishu, the problem had its roots in the actions of former opportunist ruler and petty despot that had sold out everything dear of Puntland values, leaving behind a mess and a society that had lost hope and vision for the future. That is the challenge the current leaders of Puntland have to meet and fix ASAP.

Puntland’s unlucky representatives within Mogadishu ruling bodies don’t even have the awareness of powerful lobby works by representatives of Northwest Somalia (Somaliland), Southwest State, even Galmudugh.

In the light of the above dire political situation, we recommend that all failed Puntland political representatives in Mogadishu have to tender their resignations enmase and return their Puntland Mandate to the people for another chance to select competent and patriotic persons of higher moral and political standing. Cut the crab and resign all.

ismailwarsame.blog

EDITORIAL: SOMALI-KENYAN RELATIONSHIPS

Garowe, May 21, 2019

Diplomatic relations between states are reciprocal. Those relationships could be passive and cold. They could be warm and cordial. They could be friendly and brotherly. They could be strained, contraversial and frictious as they are happening now between Somalia and Kenya.

These relationships are based on mutual interests for the good of respective citizens. Sometimes, the leaders of one party may happen to be short-sighted and take unilateral hostile actions as Kenyans are doing now on the basis of emotions, leaders’ echo and wrong perceptions on the work and motives of other party. The other is compelled to retaliate promptly and make things even worse.

We would therefore advise the leaders of the Federal Government of Somalia to exercise restraints and weigh reciprocal retaliation in the interests of Somali people, refugees in Kenya, large Somali expatriates and business community in Kenya, Kenya’s AMISOM participation, employees of Kenyan origin in Somalia.

In our opinion, breaking diplomatic relations with Kenya is not advisable at this stage yet. There would be reciprocal retaliation, though, equal to the actions Kenyan Authorities have taken against Somalia’s interests, “nothing more and nothing less”

In the meantime, the Somali Government, Somali international partners and diplomatic community accredited to Somalia must plan alternative business and diplomatic hubs now. Uganda, Ethiopia and Djibouti are possible venues to do business with the IC, whenever it is necessary to do so out of Somalia, but preferably conduct nation’s business inside Somalia.

ismailwarsame.blog

HUSSEN ON CANADA’S AUDITOR GENERAL REPORT

Hussen says auditor general report only looked at period of time before they started addressing issues https://globalnews.ca/video/5250088/hussen-says-auditor-general-report-only-looked-at-period-of-time-before-they-started-addressing-issues

A CABINET MADE IN HELL

January 12, 2015
By WardheerNews

Somalis both in the country and abroad kept longing for the appointment of the new cabinet. Rumors swirled around in Mogadishu about a deadlock between the president and the prime minister about the formation of the cabinet.

Then last night, PM Sharmarke dropped a bombshell.

Omer Cabdirashiid1“I am bringing back the old cabinet,” declared Sharmarke. What followed was a regurgitation of the list of the cabinet ministers that the last PM Abdiweli Ahmed had left behind.

President Mohamoud has finally got the right prime minister he has been looking for.

It is obvious that there was no deadlock or misunderstanding between the president and the prime minister. The whole thing was a game that Villa Somalia and PM Sharmarke had concocted. President Mohamoud was the one who in fact orchestrated the appointment of these ministers. The cabinet consists of the usual suspects: Damul Jadid ideologues, old friends of the president, and a few faces that have no distinction. For instance, a former cabinet named Abdikarim Hussein Guled (a Damul Jadid figure), failed in his old job as a minister in charge of Interior. Under his watch, there was an unprecedented spike of violence by Al-Shabaab, where civilians and various Parliament members have lost their precious lives. Subsequently, Guled was forced out of his job. Today, thanks to PM Sharmarke, Guled was gifted to his old job. This travesty only happens in Somalia under the leadership of President Mohamoud.

The new cabinet has 26 ministers and only two are women. In other words, the 60 officials PM Sharmarke appointed, only 4 are women, and hence less than 1 percent (0.06% to be exact).

Omar A. Sharmarke comes from a family steeped in Somali politics and history, and he himself was a former prime minister. He had spent most of his life abroad and worked for the United Nations. Only a few weeks ago, Sharmarke was the Somali Ambassador to the U.S, and was suddenly thrown into the PM position when the president needed someone who could bring to live his life’s vision of nepotism and corruption. If Mr. Sharmarke was chosen for his unique and stellar background, it did not help him select a fair, competent, inclusive, and gender-sensitive cabinet.

The predictions are clear, he will relent his duties to the President who had been infighting with two former Prime Ministers, because they refused to allow his willy-nilly, overextending, and manipulative ways.

The new cabinet is an embarrassment to the nation and to PM Sharmarke who has shown the world that he is nothing but a lackey to a president who never learns from his past colossal blunders. It is ironic that this sham cabinet will preside upon a government that is supposed to prepare the country for the 2016 elections.

Prime Minister Sharmarke has lost an opportunity to be visionary, creative, and an agent of change. He failed the mothers and children who are caught in the abyss, those whose lives haven’t seen a break in the interim of president Mohamoud’s tenure. He is one notch lower than the previous two prime ministers who—at least—had a modicum of independent mind.

Omar Abdirashid “Sharmarke”, reduced himself to a man who has accepted, from day one, a mere figurehead status.

The list of Sharmarke’s new cabinet :

Ministers from Dir clan

Maxamed Cumar Carte (Qaalib), Ra’isulwasaare Xigeen, Habar Awal, Sacad Muuse, Isaaq
Cabdiraxmaan Ducaale Beyle, Wasiirka Arrimaha Dibadda & Dhiirigalinta Maalgashiga, Gadabuursi, Dir
Cabdalla Bos Axmed, Wasiirka Boostada iyo Isgaarsiinta, Habaryoonis, Isaaq
Maxamed Cabdi Xayir Maareeye, Wasiirka Korontada iyo Biyaha, Habarjeclo, Isaaq
Cabdulqaadir Sheekh Cali Baqdaadi, Wasiirka Diinta iyo Awqaafta, Reer Aw Saciid , Dir
Cabdullaahi Sheekh Ismaaciil, Wasiirka Gaadiidka Cirka iyo Dhulka, Biyomaal, Dir
Ministers from Hawiye:

Cabdikariin Xuseen Guuleed, Wasiirka Arrimaha Gudaha iyo Federaalka , Habargidir, Hawiye,
Cabdullaahi Maxamed Cali (Sanbaloolshe), Wasiirka Amniga, Xawaadle, Hawiye,
Maxamed Mukhtaar, Wasiirka Kaluumeysiga iyo Kheyraadka Badda, Gaaljecel. Hawiye
Nadiifo Maxamed Cismaan, Wasiirka Hawlaha Guud iyo Dib u Dhiska,Gugundhabe , Hawiye
Mustaf Sh. Cali Dhuxulow, Wasiirka Warfaafinta, Hiddaha iyo Dalxiiska Murusade, Hawiye
Faarax Cabdulqadir, Wasiirka Cadaaladda ,Reer Aw Xasan, Hawiye
Xasan Maxamed Jimcaale, Wasiiru Dawlaha Dastuurka, Duduble, Hawiye
Ministers from Daarood clan:

Xuseen Cabdi Xalane, Wasiirka Maaliyadda ,Ogaadeen, Daarood
Daa’uud Maxamed Cumar, Wasiirka Macdanta iyo Batroolka, Dhulbahante, Daarood
Cabduqadir Gaabane, Wasiirka Dastuurka, Leelkase Daarood
Maxamud Cali Magan, Wasiirka Qorsheynta iyo Iskaashiga Caalamiga, Mareexaan, Daarood
Cabdullahi Axmed Jaamac ” Ilka Jiir”, Wasiirka Waxbarashada iyo Barbaarinta, Warsengeli, Daarood
Faysal Xuseen Ciid, Wasiirka Caafimaadka, Carab Saalax,Daarood,
Maxamud Xayir Ibrahim, Wasiiru Dawlaha Madaxtooyadda, Majeerteen, Daarood.
Ministers from Digil & Mirifle:

Maxamed Sheekh Cismaan, Wasiirka Gaashaandhiga, Raxanweyn
Yusuf Macalin Amiin,Wasiirka Dekaddaha, Leesaan, Raxanweyn.
Xuseen Maxamed Sheekh Badni, Wasiirka Beeraha, Raxanweyn
Abukar Cabdi Cusmaan (Mardaadi), Wasiirka Xanaanada Xoolaha Dhirta iyo Daaqa, Garre, Digil
Axmadeey Sheekh Mukhtaar, Wasiirka Diinta iyo Aawqaafta, Raxanweyn
Ministers from various clans ( Beesha Shanaad):

Khadijo Mohamed Diiriye ,Wasiirka Haweenka iyo qoyska, Madhibaan
Maxamed Cumar Caymooy, Wasaaradda Shaqada iyo Arrimaha Bulshada, Jareerweyne
Burci Maxamed Xamza Wasiiru dawlaha Xafiiska Ra’isul Wasaaraha, Reer Baraawe
WardheerNews
Email:admind@wardheernews.com

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.

Reviewing the Somali Government’s First 100 days

Reviewing the Somali Government’s First 100 Days: a Scorecard
On 3 March 2013 Prime Minister Abdi Farah
Shirdon stood before parliament and presented his
government’s accomplishments of its first hundred
days. Such a proactive strategy in itself is
commendable. It shows an appreciation for
institutional checks and balances, acknowledges
parliament’s oversight role, and contributes to the
establishment of an open and accountable
governance system in Somalia. Furthermore, this
preliminary exercise demonstrates that Somalia’s
political leaders realize that citizens – through their
representatives – expect rapid and tangible results.
One hundred days, however, is too short to fully
assess the Somali government’s performance let
alone carry out a proper appraisal of programs.
Nonetheless, since the government presented an
overview of its achievements, it is worth reflecting
on its claims while shedding some light on the
direction of such developments. Needless to say, any
evaluation must be contextualized within the
prevailing circumstances, as the new government
operates under a difficult and uniquely challenging
political, economic and security environment – a
situation that all stakeholders readily acknowledge.
The most reasonable task that the new government
could have achieved in 100 days was to lay the
foundation for laws, systems, and processes that
would put the country on a path of effective,
transparent, and accountable governance. There is
reason to believe that the government is on the right
trajectory. It has now passed seven laws, pertaining
to finance, the judiciary, human rights, and tariffs.
Eight others, concerning police reform,
telecommunications, media, and energy are
pending.
However, when one looks beyond the intentions and
plans of the current government, which are too many
to enumerate in this short brief, one finds a mixed
record characterized by a jarring imbalance between
foreign and domestic policy priorities, slow response
to economic and political crises, immodesty in
rhetoric and, above all, an unhealthy imbalance
between the presidency and the cabinet.
Foreign Policy
The president made high-level visits to important
capitals such as Washington, London, Ankara,
Brussels, Kampala, Doha, Nairobi, Cairo, Addis
Ababa and Riyadh. He has firmly established his
government’s non-transitional credentials.
His government has argued successfully for the
easing of the arms embargo by the UN and resisted
Kenya’s bid to establish an AMISOM naval unit at
the expense of the nascent Somali navy. The
government also deserves credit for refusing to
accept the business-as-usual meddling of external
actors.
The most assertive foreign policy stand – which irked
both Nairobi and Addis Ababa – is Mogadishu’s bold
rejection of the Intergovernmental Authority on
Development’s (IGAD) Grand Stabilization Plan. The
Plan, devised in the final days of the former
Transitional Federal Government (TFG), gave Kenya
and Ethiopia the authority to establish local
administrations in territories recovered from al-
Shabaab.
Some countries, like Uganda and Burundi, made
their soldiers pay the ultimate price for Somalia’s
path to recovery, while others, such as Turkey,
mobilized their entire society to end Somalia’s global
isolation. The United States and Italy have been
paying the salaries of the Somali National Forces
(SNF) for years. Other countries, such as Djibouti,
have come to the rescue of Somalia countless times.
Still, there are others whose track record in Somalia
is checkered by years of institutionalizing the
balkanization of Somalia.
Even though the government seems, on the surface,
to have achieved tangible diplomatic goals, it
Reviewing the Somali Government’s First 100 days – Policy Briefing © HIPS002/2013 info@hertiageinstitute.org
2
appears not to have overarching guiding principles
and the necessary acumen to balance genuine
friends and foreign actors. As was the case with his
predecessors, the president’s overseas trips appear to
be having him dancing to too many and often
contradicting tunes.
Somalia’s staunchest allies are often puzzled of its
true intentions. It is time for the government to
develop and articulate a sensible foreign policy with
the sole aim of advancing the national interests of
Somalia.
Economic and Political Woes
The government has thus far failed to address
domestic priorities adequately. High on the
president’s ‘Six Pillar Policy’ is economic recovery.
Recently the purchasing power of the middle and
lower classes throughout much of south and central
Somalia has eroded considerably due to a sharp drop
in the value of the U.S. Dollar against the Somali
Shilling. The cost of basic commodities remains
stubbornly high, leaving millions of vulnerable
citizens with fewer resources.
The President’s Six-Pillar Policy
1. Establish functioning institutions
2. Spearhead economic recovery
3. Promote sustainable peace
4. Provide service to citizens
5. Undertake robust international relations
6. Work towards reconciliation, political
dialogue and national unity
The government’s response to this growing crisis has
been simplistic and inconsistent. President Hassan
Sheikh Mohamud claimed the exchange rate issue
was a “side effect of the reforms” made by his
government and asked the international community
to deliver food aid to the poorest. The mayor of
Mogadishu accused the businessmen who control
the foreign exchange market of manufacturing the
crisis. A cabinet minister insisted that sinister
individuals with suitcases full of U.S. Dollars are
responsible for the vanishing of Somali Shillings
throughout south-central Somalia. This incoherent
approach to the looming economic crisis
underscores the government’s perennial incapacity
to respond to crisis on an institutional level and
through sensible policy decisions.
On the political front, the Prime Minister’s ‘listening
tour’ in Puntland, Galmudug and the central
province has certainly eased tensions and raised his
profile. The government deserves credit for
establishing local administrations in several
Galgaduud cities following dialogue with the Ahlu-
SunnaWal-Jama’a militia that controls the area.
Shirdon’s trip to Puntland and Galmudug
administrations was an important step toward
inclusivity, enhancing dialogue with regional polities
and extending the government’s domain beyond the
city limits of Mogadishu. Equally, the government
should be commended for establishing new
administrations in the Bay and Hiiraan regions after
an initial hiccup.
Serious challenges remain in other regions. The
Jubbaland crisis took a turn for the worse after the
Somali Federal Government rejected the congress
convened in Kismaayo by local clans. Prime Minister
Shirdon and his cabinet have dismissed the attempt
to form a regional administration in the area as
“unconstitutional”.
The government’s approach to the Jubbaland crisis is
troubling on two levels. First, the issue is not, in its
current iteration, a simple constitutional problem –
rather, it is a more broadly political crisis that
requires political solutions. Second, the
government’s overall rhetoric has been
counterproductive and, in some cases, bombastic.
This is unhelpful to the process of reconciliation,
which is far from over.
While the Jubbaland issue is undoubtedly complex,
the government’s response has been imprudent. That
Prime Minister Shirdon, often praised for his
conciliatory approach to politics, was not deployed
to the region early on is confusing and demonstrates
the continued failure to leverage on his credibility.
Shirdon hails from one of the communities vying for
the control of Kismaayo and, as the head of the
executive branch he is uniquely positioned to
mitigate the crisis. Unfortunately, the government
has allowed the issue to fester and emotions to boil
over. As a result, the government’s options vis-à-vis
Jubbaland are dwindling by the day, making the
environment conducive to renewed conflict in the
region.
Another urgent issue is corruption, which remains
widespread. While one can’t expect the government
to wipe out corruption within a mere 100 days, the
resilience of the corruption syndicates at revenueReviewing
the Somali Government’s First 100 days – Policy Briefing © HIPS002/2013 info@hertiageinstitute.org

generating institutions is shocking. Government
contracts and procurements are still not subject to
oversight, and the budget allocated for each
department cannot be tracked or audited properly.
Fighting corruption, among the government’s top
three priorities, should start with dismantling the
syndicates, and individuals found engaging in
corrupt acts must be prosecuted.
Executive imbalance
The cabinet, initially considered “lean and focused”,
is increasingly becoming ineffective. 100 days into
their jobs, ministers have not yet made substantial
progress on the president’s “Six Pillar Policy”.
Ministers, it would seem, are overwhelmed by the
challenges they face. Short-term fire-fighting
measures are given more attention than long-term
planning and policy implementation.
There is a widely held perception among the public
that an imbalance exists between the two highest
office holders, the President and the Prime Minister.
This is partly political, partly constitutional, and
partly a style issue. Politically and historically,
Somalis have always gravitated toward the
presidency with the view that, ultimately, power
rests in the elected office.
Constitutionally, however, the cabinet, under the
Prime Minister, enjoys considerable powers. To his
credit the President has assembled an impressive
team for his new Policy Unit, which advises him on
various issues. The unintended consequence of this
commendable move, however, is that critics are now
suggesting that a parallel executive branch is
operating beside the cabinet.
The perception of an ‘expanded’ presidency, beyond
what the federal constitution envisaged, is unhelpful
to reconciliation and nation-building. The president
is an elected leader who should hold executive
powers. However, governments in Somalia are
chronically weak and thus require legitimacy and
credibility to effect change. Such legitimacy is
derived from, among other sources, the upholding of
the constitution, inclusivity, and reconciliation.
Conclusion
That the government wants to be accountable and
assessed is welcomed. Three months is not long
enough to undertake a meaningful inventory of the
government’s progress. A preliminary review should
provide an indication of future plans as well as
missed opportunities. A cursory look at government
assertions, accomplishment and agendas indicate
mixed results.
There is no doubt that structural limitations and
inherited challenges have prevented the government
from translating certain stated objectives into actual
results. It is also true that many avoidable errors and
built-in idealism of the new team have got in the
way and been compounded by overblown
expectations – of quick fixes – on the part of the
citizens.
Overall the government, however slow, is moving in
the right direction. The Prime Minister’s ‘listening
tour’ is commendable. The formation of the Policy
Unit at Villa Somalia is encouraging, and the
diplomatic successes in recognition and easing of the
UN arms embargo are timely. However, there are
disturbing signs of an imbalance between foreign
policy priorities and domestic achievements. Equally
worrying is the perception that disparity has emerged
between the two highest offices.
The presidency is accused of encroaching upon the
prerogatives of the Prime Minister and his cabinet.
The cabinet also has its own inherent weaknesses
due to its limited number, the absence of state
institutions and limited technical capacity to run
such institutions. Finally, the crisis in Jubbaland has
been left to fester and corruption syndicates continue
to thrive and misappropriate meager public
resources. The Somali government cannot be
excused for allowing this to continue.
Reviewing the Somali Government’s First 100 days – Policy Briefing © HIPS002/2013 info@hertiageinstitute.org
4
Recommendations
To the Somali government:
 Expand the council of ministers from its current 10 members to their original 18 in order to address inefficiency, accommodate all stakeholders, forge a national agenda and address the prevailing perception of exclusionary politics;

Restore balance between the presidency and the cabinet under the Prime Minister by ensuring that the President plays his constitutional role of upholding the laws of the land and lets the cabinet run the day-to- day affairs of the country;
Create an environment conducive to national consensus and act as managers of the current political process and not as the sole proprietors;

Dismantle known corruption syndicates and replace them with individuals of high standing and selected purely on the basis of merit in order to increase domestic revenue and establish credibility with the donor
community;

Immediately convene a roundtable discussion on the restoration of the nation’s financial well-being and enlist the assistance of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank;
Address the exchange rate crisis, diminished purchasing powers of the Somali people, and soaring commodity prices by convening an urgent conference that includes policymakers, the business community, economic and monetary policy experts, and international financial institutions;

Strike an interim win-win arrangement with regional stakeholders in Jubbaland with the aim of
conducting, within two years, free and fair elections where citizens elect mayors, governors and regional administrators.
The Heritage Institute for Policy Studies is an independent, non-partisan, non- profit policy research and
analysis institute based in Mogadishu, Somalia. As Somalia’s first think tank, it aims to inform and influence
public policy through empirically based, evidence-informed analytical research, and to promote a culture
of learning and research.

Source: The Heritage Institute For Policy Studies, Mogadishu, Somalia.

An Interview with Dr. Abdirahman “Baadiyow”

WardheerNews: Dr. Baadiyow, could you share with WardheerNews readers about your background?

Dr. Baadiyow: In the name of Allah, the Merciful and the Beneficent. Let me first thank you for posting these questions for the interest of the public. To answer your question briefly, I am a former military officer (1971-1986) and hold a PhD in Islamic studies from McGill University, Canada. I have returned to Somalia in 1992 in the capacity of regional director of Mercy-USA for Aid and Development.  I am also one of the founders of Mogadishu University and its current chairman of the Board of Trustees.  I am also a member of Islah Movement and a member of its Shura Council since 1995, and its vice-chairman in (1999-2008). Currently, I am responsible for the bureau of reconciliation and political activism. Finally, I was a presidential candidate in the 2012 race.

WDN: You were one of the founders of Mogadishu University.  Can you tell us the challenges and successes thus far achieved by Mogadishu University?

Dr. Baadiyow: Mogadishu University is one of the major achievements of Somali initiatives during the civil war. Establishing internationally recognized university in the midst of the civil war in Mogadishu is obviously extremely challenging. The very idea was innovative, visionary and ambitious. The biggest challenge was convincing the community that a university could be established by private citizens since the field of higher education was considered to be in the domain of the state. The second challenge was to persuade students who used to get free education to pay fees without which the project cannot sustain itself. The third challenge was adopting a competitive curriculum and hiring qualified faculty members in order to gain international recognition. However, all of these challenges have been dealt with successfully. MU boasts to have given admissions to more than 10,000 Somali students in its seven undergraduate faculties and postgraduate programs.  Its graduates are the backbone of the young Somali scholars and professionals today.

WDN: You ran for the office of Somalia’s president in last year’s presidential election. What have you learned from that experience?

Dr. Baadiyow: After running in the presidential election of 2012, I am relieved and believe that I have done my part in attempting to provide leadership to my people.  Indeed, running for a presidential position was a great opportunity and experience. I have learned a lot about emerging trends of Somalia’s political culture and interacted with many political elites. I have observed two important trends: the weakening role of political clannism and nationalism, and the growing role of the pragmatic individualistic motives of “what’s in It for me”. Lessons learned will be considered and counted in the future political engagements. Indeed, it’s my deep conviction that Allah gives leadership to whom He wants and stripes leadership from whom He wants.

WDN: What is your current assessment of the political situation in Somalia?

Dr. Baadiyow: After initial high expectations, the current political situation in Somalia has a propensity for tumultuous scenarios and profound societal disappointment. For example, security is deteriorating, the economy is waddling and Jubaland project is biting hard. The government is not generating adequate resources and external financial support is not forthcoming. Thus, the government faces great challenges while lacking necessary human, technical and financial capacities. Moreover, the government and the parliament are already behind the schedule in implementing major tasks according to the constitutional provisions. For instance, the government should propose and the parliament should establish numerous commissions in specific timeframes. According to article 135 of the constitution, the government should establish Judicial Service and Truth and Reconciliation Commissions in 30 days, Human rights, Ombudsman, National Security and civilian oversight commissions in 45 days; and Constitutional Court in 60 days.

On the other hand, even though it is a bit too early to pass a fair judgment on the performance of the government, nevertheless, it seems that public support is dwindling, frustration and desperation are growing. Objectively, the performance of the current government should be evaluated on three major aspects: progress in the internal challenges and issues, progress in the institution building and progress in the international relations. These are three intertwined indicators that this regime will be evaluated on. Fairly, they will be evaluated on the final outcome and constitutional tasks, not the some processes and disjointed activities here and there. The general mood in the street is “let us give the regime  more time to improve and reform itself.”

WDN: Many argue that the current president Mr. Hassan Sh. Mohamoud concentrated all powers in his office, thus undermining the responsibilities of the prime minister as given by the constitution, what is your opinion on this issue?

Saacid_CulusowDr. Baadiyow: Looking into the Somali political culture, Somali presidents since 2000 were operating in a false assumption as through the system of the state is presidential and prime ministers have been accepting less than their constitutional powers. Some of the prime ministers even accepted such low key roles in under the table agreements with presidents prior to their appointments.  Accordingly, presidents usurp executive powers from prime ministers. Paradoxically, in the constitution making process, we advocated for a parliamentary system while practically we operate on the basis of presidential system. Interestingly, members of the parliament tolerate such political malpractice and never raise the issue seriously. Coming back to your question, the existing power relations between President Hassan and Prime Minister Saacid in is not different from that chronic political culture where Presidents usurp executive powers of Prime Ministers.

WDN: How do you see the issue of lifting arms embargo in Somalia, while many believe that it could re-ignite Somalia’s clan conflicts?

Dr. BaadiyowThere is no doubt that all Somalis are in total agreement to have effective national army capable of protecting our national territory, guaranteeing the security of the citizens and protecting our sovereignty. We also agree that building such security institutions require military hardware which necessitates lifting the arms embargo.  The major concern of many Somalis, however, is based on the fear and mistrust to the possible use of this military hardware to ignite clan conflict.  Their reason is based on the low capacity of the security apparatus and its lack of inclusiveness. The government must reasonably address these concerns.  I believe that Somalia needs lifting the arms embargo while concerns of its proliferation must be adequately addressed.

WDN: Could you provide some background on Al-Islah Islamic organization and what does it stand for?

Dr. Baadiyow: Islah Movement is a Somali organization established in 1978 with the purpose of spreading and promoting Islamic moderation in the Somali society in line with the methodology of the Muslim Brotherhood which is based on gradualism and long term societal transformation. The name of Islah means “reform” and its name is a true expression of its nature. It is non-violent, tolerant and promotes comprehensiveness of Islam in all aspects of life.  Accordingly, Islam is not only creed and rituals, but must be applied in the social, political and economic spheres. Moreover, Islah inculcates this ideology through peaceful means and through building civil society institutions. It is a matured institution with established legal foundation and exercises internal democracy through electing its consultative council (central committee) and its national and regional leaders every five years. Members of Islah are very active in the society and in the Somali Diaspora, and participate in the social and political activism through available opportunities which does not contradict Islamic principles and values. In the very near future, however, Islah is planning to mandate its willing members to form political parties (regional and national) with other Somali politicians and approach politics from pragmatic point of view of national unity and inclusiveness which are major principles of Islam.

WDN: Many people lump the Islamic group “Dammul-Jadid” (New Blood), which some of the top leaders of the Somali government belong to, and Al-Islah. What is the difference of the two groups?

 

Dr. Baadiyow: The Islamic group aka “Dammul-Jadid” is a splinter group form Islah. It happened in 2004 and since then the group has been on its own. The whole story began with early grievances of some members during the reformation period of the organization in the 1990s. In those years, Islah was transforming itself from an underground organization to a public institution.  It had drastically reformed its internal regulations and bolstered its democratic practices through periodical elections. However, some individuals who lost elections showed dissatisfaction and began to distance themselves from the organization’s activities and later began to spread rumors violating the regulations of the organization.  As is the normal procedure of all organizations, disciplinary committee dealt with the issue and expelled some of them from the organization while others voluntarily joined them.  They later became part of the wide coalition of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) in 2006, which led to an armed uprising in Mogadishu against warlords. As a result, they became part of the government under President Sheikh Sharif. Later, they initiated their own political initiative and formed PDP party with Hassan Sh. Mohamoud, now the current president, as its chairman. On the other hand, Islah denied to be part of all armed groups in the pretext that it is bounded to its non-violent doctrine and persistently pursued that guiding principle in turbulent and chaotic environment.  

WDNWas your presidential candidacy a calculated political move by Al-Islah, the movement, or a personal undertaking?

Dr. Baadiyow: Initially, my candidacy was a personal undertaking which I have decided after 12-years of pushing other individuals to the position of national leadership and, consequently, their repetitive failure. I convinced myself that seeking the presidency is an Islamic duty as well as a national responsibility. Many members of Islah supported my program in the beginning while others were not happy with it for various reasons.  The Islah by-laws, however, were in my favor since they allow that every member has the right to participate in the political process in his/her individual capacity. Finally, towards the end of the campaign, the Islah Movement officially supported my candidacy. 

WDNRecently a conflict surfaced between Sheikh Mohamed Nur “Garyare,” a co-founder and former head of Al-Islah, and the current leadership.  What was the nature of the conflict?

Dr. BaadiyowSheikh Mohamed Ahmed Nur “Garyare” joined the Muslim Brotherhood in 1963 and has a long and shining history with Islah. He was one of the five founders of Islah in 1978 and became its first chairman. He migrated to Canada in 1989 and his role was confined to be permanent member of the consultative Council. However, he tried to exercise an extraordinary role within the organization beyond his legal prerogative. After many years of attempts to dissuade him, he unitarily announced that he took over the leadership of the organization, claimed that he expelled from the Islah Movement its legitimate chairman, Dr. Ali Basha Omar, co-founder and former chairman Dr. Ali Sheikh Ahmed and Dr. Mustafa Abdullahi, a member of the executive bureau. However, Islah Movement, being a matured institution, dealt with the incident in accordance with its legal framework and expelled Sheikh Garyare and his associates from the organization. Currently, a process of reconciliation is underway. My hope is that this conflict will be resolved once for all and unity and brotherhood will return to Islah.

WDN: The issue of Federalism is being hotly debated in Somalia and in the diaspora between its proponents and critics. What are your thoughts on this matter?

Dr. BaadiyowDiscussions of federalism are very hot all over Somalia. Both the proponents and the opponents base their perspectives on what they consider the best interest of Somalia. Proponents look the matter from clan mistrust and post-civil-war syndrome which they think federalism will cure it. Opponents argue from national unity perspective fearing federalism may create an environment of divided Somalia. The clan sensitivity and perceived parochial interest is not absent from both sides. However, my perspective does not examine the merits and disadvantages of federalism as a system of governance and its applicability in Somalia. My thesis is based on the notion that the responsibility of our generation is mainly to bring back united Somalia under one flag irrelevant of the system of the governance.  My assumption is founded that any adopted system of governance could be effective or nominal. For instance, in case federalism fails, it will be reformed or altered in the future under the unity government of Somalia. Let us make our priority at this stage to restore trust, reconcile communities and bring Somalis together under one functioning state. This means respecting and considering emotions, fears and mistrust of various clans from any form of clan hegemony in the name of the state. On that rationale, I accept federalism and want to give it the benefit of doubt until it is proven that it does not work for Somalia.  

WDN: Why is the issue of Jubaland becoming polarizing and divisive in your opinion?

Dr. Baadiyow: The issue of Juba-land is very controversial and knotty issue which had revived clan sentiment. It is unfortunate that such sentiment is instigated as political tool after 23 year of the civil war and formation of recognized government of Somalia in 2012. The true nature of the issue is hijacked by singular clan interpretation perspective. However, it is a well-established reality that Juba-land is a home for all Somali clans irrelevant of who the majority there is and who is the minority. It is so rich that it can accommodate the entire Somali population and more. Certainly, there are multiple factors for and against building Juba-land regional state. These include neighboring regional states with economic and security interests, perceived clan hegemony and marginalization of some clans, lack of prudent policy from the federal government, deep mistrust between national leaders and local leaders, the notion that national leaders are against federalism and represent the interest of a specific clan and so on. Instead of instigating unnecessary conflict, the best interest of Somalia lies in the genuine negotiation between the Federal State and Juba-land aspirants and accepting a win-win deal through dialogue that does not contravene constitutional provisions.

WDN: What are the main challenges faced by the current government?  Can the current military pursuit of AMISOM win the war with Al Shabab or is there a need for a dialogue to win the hearts and minds of Somalis?

Dr. Baadiyow: The major challenges and tasks of the government in the next three and half years include creating reasonable security and justice system; generating adequate financial resources; acceptable capacity building of the national institutions; completing and adopting federal constitution though referendum; restoring national unity (negotiation with Somaliland); establishing federal states; legislating political parties; and conducting census and carrying out free and fair election. The most important of all these tasks is security which could not be restored through military means alone. The major security threat emanates from Al-Shabab which requires, besides the use of force, a comprehensive strategy of winning the hearts and minds. Various strategic and tactical options should be applied to win the war including negotiation and persuasion. After all, except small number of foreigners, most of Al-Shabab forces are Somalis with specific grievances and agendas that may require sagacious Somali solution.

WDN: How do you see the way out of the current malaise of the regime?

Dr. BaadiyowThis regime, as it stands today, is incompetent to achieve national goals and to deal with the growing enormous challenges. The availing internal and external opportunities are unprecedented; however, the capacity of the regime to make use of these for the benefit of rebuilding Somalia is very limited. My personal take is that three major conditions must be fulfilled to improve the performance of the current regime and to restore its credibility.

  1. The president should be advised, and, perhaps also pressured, to be accountable to abide by the constitution and to stop overtaking government affairs as if the  system of governance is presidential. The president’s unconstitutional power grabbing have marginalized  the Prime Minister and Ministers; ruined institution building processes  and created unbalanced power sharing among various clans, which has instigated clan sentiment and created divided communities.
  2. Forming national unity government capable of discharging bequeathed responsibilities. The new government must include qualified and experienced individuals of hig standing within the society. Also, it should be wide enough to accommodate various clans to quench their desire for power and prestige without compromising quality and capacity.
  3. The government should encourage, instead of blocking, various regions and communities to hold their conferences in order to establish federated regional states avoiding any imposition of leadership from the top. The role of the federal government should be limited on coaching, facilitating, mediating and making sure that these regions are complying with the national provisional onstitution. Moreover, the Boundary and Federation Commission, responsible in dealing with the issue of federalism, constitutionally required to be established within 60 days after forming the cabinet, must be immediately formed as well other commissions (see article 135 of the      constitution).

WDN: How do you foresee the future of Somalia? 

Dr. Baadiyow: I am very optimistic of the bright future of Somalia. I have witnessed a changing Somalia to the better since the civil war eruption in 1980s. Somalis are better educated, acquired more wealth and gained great experiences and entrepreneurship qualities in the Diaspora. Somalis became a trans-national community capable of transferring technologies from all over the world. The new educated generation of Somalis is more nationalist, principled and conscious about Islamic values and societal heritage. Moreover, the world interest of Somalia, in terms of investment due to its strategic location, is growing. Somalis are getting integrated in the Horn of African states and their businesses are thriving in the whole region. The exploration of oil, gas and minerals is under way and its discovery is highly probable. Therefore, there are great opportunities in Somalia, and the main aspect that we are still lagging far behind is the governance sector which requires extensive capacity building and coaching.

WDN: Thank you so much Dr. Baadiyow for your time.
Dr. Baadiyow: Thank you Abdelkarim for  the opportunity to share my thoughts with the Somali people through WardheerNews media.

 

Source: WardheerNews

Somali Government Welcomes Recognition of World Communities

Prime Minister welcomes G8 recognition of progress in Somalia

13 Apr – Source: Prime Minister’s Media Office 

His Excellency Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon today welcomed the G8 statement in London praising recent progress in Somalia and emphasizing the international community’s continued support for the country.

“The Somali government has worked hard to entrench the recent progress on the political, security, economic and humanitarian fronts that we have made with the support of our international partners and I am immensely heartened to see the G8’s vote of confidence. We know we have a long way to go and we cannot make it alone but there is no turning back.”

In a statement issued in London today, “G8 Foreign Ministers welcomed the significant progress made in Somalia over the past 18 months on security, political transition and humanitarian conditions… G8 Ministers underlined the need for continued early international support to the new Somali Government.”

The G8 also pledged its political support as Somalia is set to re-engage with international financial institutions of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund and the African Development Bank.

“I am encouraged by the lead taken by the UK to support efforts to re-engage with the IFIs and the longer term process that may lead to arrears clearance. Without this we will not be able to receive sustained support from these organisations. And we understand the reciprocal obligations on us of strengthening the accountability and transparency of our public financial management systems. We look forward to making progress on this and many other critical issues at the London Conference on 7 May.”


PM hails IMF recognition of Somali government as milestone towards economic recovery

13 Apr – Source: Prime Minister’s Media Office 

His Excellency Prime Minister Abdi Farah Shirdon said the International Monetary Fund’s decision to recognise the Somali government after a break of 22 years is “a major milestone in the country’s long road to economic recovery”.

On Friday the IMF recognised the federal government of Somalia, paving the way for the resumption of technical assistance, policy advice and ultimately – subject to arrears clearance – borrowing rights. The Prime Minister welcomed the news as the latest in a series of developments supporting the government’s policy of strengthening relations with its international partners.

“The President is in Turkey today for talks with Somaliland, while I am returning from a visit to Djibouti, Uganda and Burundi. In less than a month we will be attending the Somalia Conference in London. The truth is that we are rejoining the community of nations and we must continue to demonstrate, both to Somalis and the world, that we justify this newfound confidence. There is much hard work ahead.”

The IMF said its decision was “consistent with broad international support and recognition of the Federal Government,” since His Excellency President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office last September. “The new administration has since enjoyed considerable support, including from the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and many IMF member countries,” the Fund added.

Before Somalia can borrow from the Fund it must first clear outstanding arrears of approximately $352m. This issue will be at the heart of discussions at the forthcoming Somalia Conference in London on 7 May.

 

Source: AMISOM Monitoring Services

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!

Federalism, a Guarantor of Peace among Somali Clans

Nowadays and for while during the past two decades, Somali thinkers, writers and politicians were keenly debating on best way forward for Somalia’s governance and political arrangements Post-Civil War. This debate is extremely crucial for the survival of Somalia as a country as well as a strong cohesive nation-state.

While many among debaters were and are still sincerely looking for best possible governance system (s) and pros and cons of each of the “Menu of options”, a few of them continue to ignore the status quo (current Somalia’s political situation) dismissing it as side track and unimportant clannish nuisance or refuse to acknowledge the extent of public mistrust following the vicious civil war involving heinous crimes of ethnic cleansing, mass murder, forceful and illegal landing-grabbing, plunder of both public and private wealth and barbaric destruction of national heritage and state archives in Mogadishu and elsewhere.
In my humble opinion, any politician of conscience at any level of government (President, Cabinet and parliament members) whose political power base had committed such grave and gross human rights abuses, national robbery, national betrayal and treason should apologize to the nation and resign immediately. If that is not forthcoming, it would be mean that the civil war is still technically on, and there is no guarantee that history would not repeat itself. Such politicians have no moral legitimacy to govern until they come clear and publicly accept their personal and power-base responsibilities for what happened in Somaliaduring the Barre regime and following the final collapse of Somalia’s central state in 1991. Somalis, please be warned. One should never entertain with the idea to translate the recent US recognition of the current Somali Government as a victory of one faction over others in the Civil War, and again attempt to misuse state resources to try to subjugate others. That would be a futile exercise and would unfortunately hasten the disintegration of Somaliaas we know it. It is the expectation of all Somalis from the world community to watch out any signs for the repetition of that sad saga.
During the past ten years we witness multiple self-proclamations of regional federal mini-states such as MakhirState,KhatumoState,AwdalState,GalgamudState, Hibin and HeebState,AsaniaState,RasAsayrStateamong many others. With keen observation, one would realize that those self-proclamations were characteristically peaceful and surprisingly did not spark off any clan fighting with the unique exception of Khatumo, rightly resisting aggressive occupation of its territory by “Somaliland”militia. Why? This could be a case-study; of all clan wars in the country, the self-proclaimed federal mini-states brought relative peace to their respective constituencies.  In my opinion, one of the main reasons for such peaceful environment within for all sub-clan systems is the fact that their constituencies see themselves as equal stake-holders in that mini-entity (state), which acts as the accepted and shared mechanism for conflicts resolution and constitutes common interest for all. Logically and practically, one would therefore take note of this new development to expand the concept to a national level in Somalia’s long journey to restore lost trust among its people and regions.
For historical prospective, a few months after we had established the Puntland State of Somalia in August 1998, a sub-sub-subclan among the inhabitants of coastal Indian Ocean Mudugh town of Gara’ad and surrounding areas including the District City of Jeriiban unilaterally announced the creation of Coastal State, declaring its independence from Puntland State, following sub-clan grievances regarding their expected share in the newly constituted Puntland Parliament. That grievance was actually proved to be the mistake or intentional concession of their allocated Parliament seat to another sub-clan in Mudugh Region by their local traditional elder. The subclan members opposed the move by the elder. To address the issue and resolve it, a delegation led by the Late State President, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and me included, went to the District and met with all stake-holders. One of the first questions we asked our interlocutors was: “How many sub-subclans belong to or created the CoastalState, and how many regions are there in the proclaimed entity?” The audience looked at each other, and surprisingly, the answer was obvious. The District belonged to the larger Mudugh Region and even most of the inhabitants of the Jeriiban District alone via their representatives did not belong to and were not party to the “CoastalState”. That was the end of the story. I believe, CoastalStatewas the first unviable mini-state created in Somalia.
The lesson we learned from that experience was that a state whether it is a national or regional must enjoy the trust of all its constituencies to survive, safeguard its unity, develop and prosper in peace and harmony. Anyone aspiring to see the Somalia he or she wants or imagines must take this lesson seriously into account.
Those Somali writers debating on federalism lately almost all of them ignore the fundamental reason for the debate itself on the issue and failed to find the answers to two critical questions:
  1. What     is the main reason that has brought us here to debate on Somalia’s     governance options?
  2. How     would you restore trust of the people nation-wide in a central authority     when people of Somalia     have not yet officially and technically ended the Civil War in the absence     of comprehensive national reconciliation given what happened?
President Hassan, in a thoughtful, prepared and defiant speech to the Somali Diaspora in his recent visits to US and Belgium says openly, “ if you look back on what happened yesterday, you lose the opportunities of today”, thus dismissing outright any possibility for accountability for crimes of mass murder, crude human rights abuses, robbery and plunder of personal and public properties. With such a vision for Somalia, forget about reconciliation and peaceful conflict resolutions!
Finally, I am aware that many Somalis would like to give the current government in Mogadishuthe benefit of the doubt and wish her to succeed in the best interest of the entire nation. To those I say the taste of pudding is in the eating. Anyone who helps Somaliarecover from its present predicament will be highly appreciated and undoubtedly recognized.

Deficit of Public Trust in Somalia

Public Trust Deficit in
Somalia
By Ismail Haji Warsame
Oct. 02, 2012

The Presidency of the Republic does not give the expected trappings of power, the magic of the highest leadership position in the land or the glory of the Office amid distrust and absence of loyalty within the population and regions of the country. That institutional empowerment must be earned nation-wide in the hard way, and in the case of Somalia, require hard work over many years to come for the future generations of Somalia to enjoy it. If successful, the new leaders can only pave the way for restoring that missing public trust. To accept any Somali President, Prime Minister or the Speaker of the House as a leader of all the people is a long shot, given the depth of distrust developed within the communities for the past 30 odd years towards government officials, or rather any institutions of governance unfortunately. In Somalia’s today the Presidency or any position of leadership is unenviable role for a decent person to play for it requires heavy personal sacrifices few are willing to commit to.

The very idea of bottom-up approach in rebuilding Somalia is primarily based on the restoration of that missing trust before the country has central institutions. Quite a number of Somali intellectual circles and many politicians inside and outside the country, particularly in Mogadishu, do not still appreciate how important the “Building-Blocks’ concept is, as we coined the term more than a decade ago in Puntland State of Somalia, as the shortest way to heal the deep wounds caused by the civil war and abuses of the Military Government, in addition to nepotism and rigging of elections by previous civilian governments. Creation of Federal Institutions starting with the TFG Charter and current Provisional Constitution is a hard fought negotiated outcome towards rebuilding that public trust. Anybody who believes that we can have a highly centralized system of government again in Mogadishu or elsewhere in the country is either of out of touch with reality in today’s Somalia or must have his/her sanity re-examined as this dream cannot be realized in the present political conditions of Somalia. The sooner we all embrace whatever type of federalism we accept as result of a negotiated settlement, the better off we are to re-construct our country. I may add, under the current political atmosphere, having a Federal President and Prime Minister hailing from South-Central Somalia is a recipe for failure and does not meet the necessary power-sharing legitimacy to move the country forward. If proven true (I hope not), the rumors flying around these days in Mogadishu and beyond on the selection of a Prime Minister do not give me sense of optimism for Somalia to be on the mend.

 Practical intellectual thinking and bold political leadership are required to brainstorm on why Somaliland and Puntland were created in the first place. While the First went to the extreme of outright unilateral declaration of seccession, the Second did not lose hope that Somalia can be rebuilt from the ashes of the Civil War and the deficit of public trust. For the benefit of those who were not closely following major political developments in the country during the past 15 years or so, or limited/exposed to only superficial sideline debates on Somalia, Puntland State spent considerable resources including brain power to see Somalia re-instituted. This is a major political capital investment that cannot be written off without paying a heavy national price.

A simple political instinct is lacking among the intellectuals and politicians in Southern Somalia, i.e. they could not figure out that if Mogadishu is to remain the Capital City and enhance its status as attractive to the residents of Northwest and Northeast Somalia among other parts of the country, it should be subject to power-sharing. Someone cannot be expected to have both ways or as they say, “have their cake and eat it”, given what happened in that City during the vicious Civil War. Mogadishu leaders instead, for the sake of national unity, would have been smart enough to encourage others get elected to the presidency. That did not happen unfortunately despite the great expectation from the new President to deliver, and a lot of people are worried about the direction and the future of the country.

While it is not so popular to be an early pessimistic person, they say, a pessimist is a well informed optimist. Nevertheless, I have strong conviction that the best days of Somalia are still to come.