So, Ahmed Madoobe is proclaimed President of Jubaland for 3rd time, now three times consecutively, in exchange for the destruction of Jubaland natural environment and perinnial rainforest, turning the entire vinicity and Kismayo Port black with coal ashes; with extremists still occupying entire Jubaland, save Kismayo City, which still enjoys the administration of warlordism and one-man show, with the extra security threat this time around to Somalia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity from Kenya at mercy of autistic-like political leader at the helm of the Federal Government of Somalia.
Was the whole purpose of Madoobe’s Inauguration involves in doing more harm to the causes of the residents of jubaland and Somalia under the incompetent, short-sided, selfish and vengeful leadership of Farmaajo-Khayre feeble and pity dictators?
Where do we go now from here to try to fix this mess created by Farmaajo Team?
Read what the Ethiopian intellectuals and scholars are concluding on FGS, in their October 2019 CDRC DIGGEST Journal, Vol 4 No 4:
“This is similar to how the Islamic Courts Union dealt with their opponents to emerge as the sole power in Southern Somalia from 2005 until early 2007. Currently the SFG is facing a dual challenge: addressing the threats that Al-Shabaab poses on the one hand and asserting itself as the de facto and de jure government of the entire country and the federal member states on the other.
It appears that the SFG has yet to show progress on both fronts. The assault it has waged on the FMS has created fault lines that Al-Shabaab is manipulating. The situation of the Sourhwest, Galmudug and Hir-Shebelle states and the strength that AlShabaab is showing indicate these fault lines. Puntland and Jubaland have survived the onslaught of the SFG and are reasserting themselves in their respective areas of control, although the SFG is trying to asphyxiate them, Jubaland in particular. But these confrontations will not help either the SFG or these contesting FMS, as resources spent on self-defense and attacks could have been used to strengthen each other against a common enemy”
Prime Minister Abyi Ahmed of Ethiopia has just won the Nobel Peace Price for job well done for the entire Region, while President Farmaajo is being accusing of dismembering his own country and allowing extremists to multiply and get bolder under his watch.
N&N Concept Note on Federal Election 2020 boils down to removing the carpet under the feet of leaders of the Federal Member States by-passing them to convey N&N message directly to the general public, especially to the youth. So far, the plan is working well.
The remaining hold-outs among the Heads of the Federal Member States are feeling the N&N political pressure now to either give in or get eliminated. The battle grounds are now shifting to Puntland and Jubaland. In the case of Puntland, there is still a political space for Puntland President Deni to maneuver as he was elected a half year ago for a 5-year Puntland mandate. Ahmed Madoobe of Jubaland is now fighting for survival. He is deeply entangled with vicious confrontation with leaders of N&N. How this would end up is everybody’s wild guess.
Prime Minister Khayre’s visit to Galmudugh and Northern Galkayo in an uncoordinated fashion with the local authorities tells volumes of information on how this political game will play out in the next few months and beyond. The plan has risk factors that could spark off renewable of the civil war. It is a daring political gamble. But, it seems to have the overwhelming support of youth in the country. And this is the very reason why N&N leaders are reluctant to approach politics as usual by ignoring community leaders, civil societies and local governments. These are to be undercut and undermined by talking to the people directly. That populalist political approach had made the election of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo possible in 2016, to the surprise of those who regarded themselves political weights.
So far, no local politicians are equipped to deal with the N&N Concept on populalist agenda.This is how electioneering and political campaigns are conducted in democratic one-person one-vote elections. But, the Heads of Federal Member States are doing politics in the conventional Somali ways: clan politics. That is why they are losing battles one after the other. Puntland President Deni had underestimated Khayre’s recent visit to Galkayo by sending junior politicians to deal with the issue. The gathering yesterday in a North Galkayo stadium tells the rest of the story. But, the war has not been won or lost yet, and the final casualties are unpredictable.
Congratulations to President Said Abdullahi Deni for making first encouraging steps towards taking the ownership of PUNTLAND STATE multifaced problems, some of which are chronic and intractable. However, these are only first steps in overalling a stagnant socioeconomic and administrative/political malfeasance that had crippled the State so long since its foundation in 1998.
The President is right to start reforming the State’s Acheel’s Heels: Security and Finance Sectors. Flashing out aging and corrupt bureaucrats from Puntland finance sector is a much welcome effort by the President.
Appointment of good people in position of authorities is not enough, though. Transparent standards and legal instruments must accompany with these official appointments. To fight corruption and mal-administration in public affairs, autonomous agencies and departments such as the Auditor-General and Accountant-General must be empowered with independent powers, financial and legal means to discharge their responsibilities. If that doesn’t happen immediately, there is nothing much to celebrate for the President’s seemingly bold official appointments last night.
It is equally important to appoint bureaucrats on merit and qualifications through competitive interviews and exams, including their through vetting and background checks, while taking into account the necessary employees diversity at ministries and agencies. President Deni seems not bringing in new qualitative ideas and innovative system of personnel recruitment. He has immediately embarked upon doing business as usual.
It is also the right time for the President to make an appropriate Cabinet Reshuffle as six months is more than enough to evaluate the performance of individual ministers. There is no point in keeping on a non-performing Cabinet Member.
PUNTLAND STATE has been held back for much of its existence by two major crippling factors:
Epidemic corruption with impunity
Weak and equally corrupt House of Representatives.
Puntland House of Representatives were solely responsible for all that went wrong in Puntland, I can ascertain this with authority. They were the reason why we have “Madax-ka-Nool” government here. It is a sham Parliament in both its election (in fact, selection process) and legislative operations. Until this House and its leadership behavior change, a goodwill of the Executive and its compliance with laws and regulations of the land can’t be expected, not to talk about checks and balance of power.
To sign off, I must share my personal experience with you that the people of Puntland love their government as they equally admire competent, transparent and honest leaders. They will definitely fall in love with President Deni, only if he earns that public trust.
Puntlanders might have been a bit disappointed with the current setup of the Ministry of Energy, Water and Mineral Resources in the terms of lack of employees diversity. Based on the historical background of these agencies now coming under a ministry, the President couldn’t do it better otherwise without risking a political capital for the time being because of known sub-clan considerations and contradictions. These agencies are now also better off, being attached to a ministry for funding and more public transparency.
In tribal politics, no politician can assert his paramount leadership role, however, without first securing his last word command on his immediate sub-clan power-base.
Come to rain, for down beneath you, there is an earth-scorching drought, goes the Somali saying.
The news on rainfall is still sketchy, however, there was a heavy downpour over Garowe City, and Qardho town in Karkaar Region of Puntland last night. This is more than good news as life and livelihoods in this country depend on rain water. This happens only by the divine intervention, exclusivity and generosity of the Almighty.
Nevertheless, it has been said over and over again that Allah helps those who help themselves. There is a chronic and primitive way of life in the Somalia’s nomadic mode of production and thought. They keep living in ways of the first man on earth, never minding that their world is constant changing with soil and plants degradation, increasing shortages of underground water because of continual decline of rainfall, resulting in life-threatening droughts and fast-paced land desertification. The world is running out of fresh water and climate change is a scientific fact, despite the denial of President Trump of USA and his clowns of morons.
Somali Nomads had never been caused of evaluating the consequences of their own actions on nature: They foolishly cut trees, burn them for charcoal and never, never plant trees. Still they wait in earnest for Almighty to help them with rain, and on time. They are accustomed to having both ways: Destroying their habitat and begging mercy from Almighty. Perhaps, this is the root cause of certain Somali bad spirits. Let us study the phenomenon with the intention of trying to find lasting solutions to the current Somalia’s predicaments.
Here is the article you have been searching for, in regards to what was happening to Somalia during the decades of Somali people’s slumber and sleep-walking. This story had also appeared in WardheerNews under the same author.
Take a read.
The story of Somalia’s tragedy is too complex to summarize in a few pages. What I learned though in the course of the past two decades is the fact that when a country breaks up in the way the Somali State failed, it is too hard, if not impossible, to reconstruct it and put it back together again. That is because such a failure creates thousands of well-paid jobs and other beneficial opportunities for a huge number of expatriates or international aid workers and foreign diplomats. It does not take rocket science to figure out that those international employees and their decision-makers would not be acting against their own self-interests in order to see Somalia back on its feet again with all their goodwill intentions and humanitarian intervention. There is no incentive for this to happen. This is the first and most serious obstacle Somalis have to deal with to get Somalia back on track. The second biggest problem is Somalis themselves in abysmally failing to put their acts together by understanding that they are in peril and fatal danger of losing not only their sovereignty, but also their country. This is the core of Somalia’s problem today.
Some, including these foreign expatriates and governments, would argue that the second problem is the crux of the issue as to why Somalis cannot have their country back. That is true too as long as our people do not take responsibilities for their own failure and always quick to blame others for their misfortune and misery they have created onto themselves. Listen with purpose to Somali group debates, the so-called Fadhi-Ku-Dirirka (lazy losers’ shouting clan/personal debates), in coffee and teashops and amateur Radio and TV panel discussions and ever multiplying clan fox-hole websites. You notice that nobody is talking about the big picture of “Somalia first” and putting any political differences or clannish self-interests aside at the moment to save the Nation as priority number one. After all what has been happening in Somalia for the last few decades, isn’t that a double tragedy? Some may conclude that Somalis are a punch of feuding clans that cannot agree to have a nation-state and therefore under such circumstances, two scenarios are plausible:
Let neighbor states take over the country by dismembering it and dividing it among themselves.
Allow foreign re-occupation of the country until Somalis are ready and fit to govern themselves.
We should never give a chance that to happen at any cost. At moment, fieriest diplomatic lobby, intrigues and direct military intervention under the disguise of flashing out Al-Shabbab, another menace resulting from our too long inaction in the vacuum, perhaps also as a punishment for our collective sins and betrayal of our country, are ongoing to opt for the first scenario. Painful as it is, this is the same country whose pilots were flying supersonic jet fighters and producing the best neuro-surgeons decades ago and famous for holding first free and fair democratic elections in Africa.
Following the Ogaden War of 1977-1978, and as fallout of the lost war with the proliferation of clan-based and violent armed opposition fronts, huge refugee camps had been created in various parts of Southern Somalia. In reality the Capital, Mogadishu, had been transformed to a big camp for refugees and internally displaced people, IDPs. With the influx of unlimited food aid from international donors at that time, residents ceased to buy food at markets all together as it is readily available to have anyway. Even households of Government officials had it delivered to their families. The result had been catastrophic with local produce wiped out and bringing farmers to refugee camps as well. The citizens of the whole country had been reduced to mere beggars of foreign handouts. What had happened next was that the law of jangle of the fittest was ushered in and whatever left of the Somali State was up for grabs and Somalia irreversibly became a country nobody owns, leave alone someone to defend it from the imminent collapse. As the regulatory bodies disappeared, unscrupulous traders broke all rules of decency and lost moral compass to sell anything and everything Somalis owned to the highest bidder. Somalia went nuts and out of control. To understand why the Somali Civil War could not be contained, particularly in Mogadishu, one should appreciate the nature of the conflict. First, it is a family feud which will last for centuries in many forms and levels. Secondly, it is economic conflict in which a few greedy business criminals do not want it stopped to prevent the establishment of regulatory bodies of a government at any cost to avoid paying taxes. Theirs is: Deny any administration, regional or central to setup the rules of the road for their trade. Chaos, killings and trade in expired food, medicine and export of everything Somalis owned and adored for centuries are the only acceptable norms for their businesses to thrive. Take note that it was not the warlords, Islamic Courts and even Al-Shabab that kept the conflict in Mogadishu running so long. It is the Mogadishu new business tycoons and merchants of death and destruction that made impossible to bring about law and order in Mogadishu.
International Conspiracy and Regional Power Play
As the Somali State finally collapsed with the disappearance of all public institutions without an exception in the height of the Civil War, Western donor countries under the framework of the international community devised economic and political plans for Somalia to fill in the power vacuum in the country. These plans are elaborate and act as a case study on neo-colonialism after the end of the Cold War. It would require volumes of books and extensive research to write on this particular subject.
In 1993 representatives of all countries interested in Somalia under the umbrella of OAU/IGAD/Partners with international Western humanitarian organizations gathered to discuss on how to handle Somalia. Ironically, the venue of this gathering was Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. To make a long story short, the participants resolved to set up the infamous “Somali Aid Coordinating Body, SACB (search for how limited this name is in the Google entries), The SACB, an Exclusive Club of Western humanitarian organizations, UN agencies, European Union agencies (EC) and international NGOs. The SACB devised the following two serious documents:
WORKING WITH RESPONSIBLE SOMALI AUTHORITIES (implying here there is no authority in the country, amounting to merely working with clan leaders and local NGOs, possibly with Somaliland, Puntland State did not exist at that time).
SACB CODE OF CONDUCT (their internal regulations dealing with Somalis).
By the creation of this unresponsive, unapproachable and invisible governing body for Somalia, The SACB, and Somalia’s sovereignty on land, air and sea had been effectively taken over. All humanitarian aid assistance, monetary or material from donor countries must be channeled through the agencies of the UN, European Union and INGOs, who have the sole discretion and authority to allocate aid distribution as they wish without any input by or accountability to Somalis. To this day no member country is allowed to unilaterally extend assistance to Somalia. An exception is Turkey which does not fit into this framework and whose recent unilateral assistance to Somalia sparked off competition to do something about Somalia to preempt China’s growing and expanding influence in Africa. The old SACB approach on Somalia continues to this day with different names like recent CMC (Coordination and Monitoring Committee setup to camouflage SACB as TFG appeared on the Somali political scene in 2004) with the same modus operandi. To call a spade a spade, SACB became the real Somali Government operating from luxury homes and executive suites in Nairobi while the report cards of the hundreds of its privileged expatriate employees show they are working inside war-torn Somalia on the most expensive life insurance coverage on earth for them and families. That is why we see signals and hear voices nowadays from individual Western countries that aid to Somalia would be channeled to “international agencies” and spelling that out once again after the election of the new Somali leaders in August this year. Perhaps the New Somali President knows better how to deal with them having worked with these agencies for a long time. An extensive network of local NGOs mostly ran and operated by one man/one woman with a bag and laptops have been established in every corner of the country. Most of these local agencies do not follow the rules of associations and societies to be accountable to Board of Directors, have secretaries of treasuries, constitution and mission to avoid duplication of same activities by others. Without their knowledge, many of these local NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations) are the sources of information gathering for the “International Somali Government” based in Nairobi. These NGOs sometimes come under different fancy names as Non-State Actors (NSAs), Civil Societies, Non-For-Profit Organizations, Stake-holders and so on with the intention to avoid helping the establishment of effective Somali Government and in that way perpetuate the power vacuum in the country to justify the role of SACAB to the donor community and their tax-payers.
Welcome to the era of neo-colonialism where Somalia is a rather blatant example of the “New World Order”. Or rather, the Somali case is a direct rule by foreign powers. This unmasked way of running Somalia exposes the extent of the depth of the problem in Third World countries today and shed light on Western political expectations from “Arab Spring” uprisings.
Every year, these international agencies compile what they call “Consolidated Humanitarian Aid Appeal For Somalia” amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars on behalf of Somalia. From various sources of their addressees, I had the unique privilege to see first hand and disturbed by the stunning Cover Letters enclosed with these “Humanitarian and Development Appeals. Cover letters addressed to foreign Western donors read and I quote:
“ON BEHALF OF THE SOMALI PEOPLE” and continue to this day ignoring any Somali political leadership, institution (even “Responsible Authorities”).
Equally important to note here that the European Union has been transformed to a collective body politic in the course of its existence in regards to its foreign aid to 3rd World countries (Developing Countries). To prevent unilateral aid by individual member countries to emerging markets and countries and avoid duplication of such assistance on shopping list by the leaders of developing countries, a document or an agreement called The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness had been produced in February, 2005, effectively controlling who gets what and on what European terms are applicable to a specific country or block of countries. Since Somalia is not signatory to any accord after Lome’ (Togo) Convention of 1975-1989 on Trade and Aid between ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific) and European Community countries, including Cotonou (Benin) Accord, its role and interests have been mandated and taken over by a small unit of individuals within European Commission Delegation to Kenya, called The Somali Unit, acting practically and effectively as the National Authorizing Officer (NAO) for Somalia, the very function a Somali Officer would have played if there were a government in Somalia.
Has anyone heard Italy, a longtime colonial power of Southern Somalia, producing a single initiative to help find solutions to Somalia’s predicament? Italy always claims in world forums on Somalia to have the exclusive rights of the Somali issues on the basis of being a former colonial power and legitimate authority to listen to and be respected with regards to Somalia while at the same has nothing to show for in deeds. Italy understood well that once her initiative on Somali peace and reconciliation fails, she will lose all credibility in the eyes of other powers and will be immediately out of the picture in Somalia. Italy’s strategy was reduced to sabotaging other powers’ help in resolving the Somali problem. Her political position has been quite detrimental to Somalia’s national interests and prolonged the agony of the Somali people.
How Other States Rate in the Somali Saga
On the Arab front, Somalia is predominantly suuni liberal religious society. Over many years, however, the Saudis have been engaged in extending religious scholarships to thousands of Somali youths to indoctrinate them in their Wabi version, undeniably responsible for the current religious uphill in the country. This has created religious crisis and conflicts within the community unrecorded before in the history of Somalia. People in Somalia now suffer crisis of identity with regards to their religion (even crisis of attire and clothing as strange foreign fashion of Afghani, Pakistani and Arab tribal origin are imposed on them).
Sheikhdoms in the Gulf were pouring fuel into the fire in Somalia by paying Zakka to the extremist groups on individual basis and through religious charities. Egypt, a country that has been boasting to have strong historical ties with Somalia, could not even provide safe passage within its territory to Somali refugees fleeing civil war. Yemen with its meager resources and its own severe tribal problems has been overwhelmed by Somali refugees, many whom had perished in the high seas of the Red Sea trying to reach its borders. In short the Arabs have been disappointing to Somalis in their time of need. Ironically, it is only them that can extend meaningful assistance without strings attached to any decent administration in Somalia, but that is only if the country has a government, which became difficult to achieve for decades.
Djibouti played more than its capacity with regards to the spoils of the Somali Sate by putting herself in the shoes of her Mother Somalia at League of Arab States. Since the fall of the Somali Central Government, it has been hosting a number of improvised Somali reconciliation meetings to enhance its role among other power players in the region.
Kenya is a country that got the most benefit out of the Somalia’s misery as the HQ of the “International Somali Government” (foreign diplomats and expatriate aid workers of the donor community with hundreds of millions of dollars ear-marked for Somalia spent in Nairobi alone). Speak about the huge capital flight from Somalia, remittances from Somali Diaspora and investment and entrepreneurial talents shaping up Kenya as the East African business hub, not to mention about a broken and desperate people trying to calm their nerves with plane loads of stimulant drug mira (khat), another curse in the Somali tragedy, from Nairobi in exchange for cold cash dollars.
With regards to Ethiopia, a major issue of Somali foreign policy, everybody seems have an opinion and knows better. Here I would limit myself by saying that Somalis are forgiving, but Ethiopia has to choose only one of these two options:
Be a peaceful, friendly neighbor and regional ally by trying to help heal past wounds and reverse the historical burden between the two brotherly peoples. Ethiopia has to stop running Somali affairs from Addis Ababa and instruct its diplomats in foreign capitals to immediately cease their traditional diplomatic lobby to undermine Somali unity. It has to stop infiltrating into Somali society and bullying Somali leaders with its power plays.
Be an enemy in the region the Somalis have to deal with and risk losing all chances of being trusted ever again.
Eritrea seems to be more sincere and sympathetic to Somali cause than Ethiopia, but its rivalry with Ethiopia via proxy war has been causing havoc to ordinary Somalis in Southern Somalia.
Nevertheless, it would be rather mean not to recognize that the above mentioned states and organizations have been doing something good as well that had saved lives, lessened pain and suffering among the general population.
In conclusion, Somalia will rise up again, hopefully in my lifetime and, when it does, we will be stronger than ever before to be a force of good to reckon with.
Observers and political analysts are searching for reasons to explain the noises SOMALIA’S neighbors are making these days with regards to their relationships with Somalia. Analysts are asking about as to why now supposedly friendly nations of Somalia turn savour and uncomfortable as Somalia starts to rise up again. Observers noted that these nation-states seemed supportive of SOMALIA’S peace and reconciliation efforts in the height of the Civil War, holding and hosting series of talks for Somali faction leaders in their respective capital cities over many years. What has happened now to irritate them?
The reasons for their unhappiness with Somalia now could be multiple. One overarching reason, though, could be that SOMALIA’S current situation beats their expectations of a country emerging from total devastation.
Whatever the reasons may be, here is my take on the issue in an article I authored sometime earlier. It is worth re-reading it.
Please take a read:
“Central Authorities in Somalia finally lose its last stronghold of Mogadishu and collapse irreversibly in January 26, 1991. Mogadishu falls into the hands of General Caydiid and hotelier Cali Mahdi as leaders and militia commanders of exclusively Hawie-dominated USC-Ethiopia and USC-Mogadishu/Rome. Like any other city-state of the so-called “Third World” countries, Mogadishu becomes the “real Somalia” in the eyes of the international community, particularly for those involved in Somali issues. The diplomatic world deals with only those, who hold power in the Capital City. Somalia’s “International Partners” express awe and shock at image and exploits of savagery of Caydiid and Cali Mahdi. World press branded them the “Most Powerful Warlords” in Somalia. They continue to dominate the headlines of the international press on Somalia for nearly a decade. Hawie clan come out to be perceived as the biggest, and therefore, the most powerful force to reckon with in Somalia’s clan-dominated politics. Some non-Hawie sub-clans in deep-South-Central Somalia joined the Caydiid-Cali Mahdi bang-wagon to become “second-rated” Hawie clan members. Gosha or Jarer-Weyn or Bantu Somalis opt to call themselves “Kamasle Hawie” (The big-nosed Hawies). Other Somali clans become minor stake-holders or irrelevant in the new Somalia’s high-stakes clan power joking and rivalry. With the connivance and blessing of Caydiid and Cali Mahdi, a tolerable leeway of acceptance, as secondary stake-holders, is accorded to Issak sub-clans in the North-West as Hawie’s incentive for “Anti-Darood alliance”. Darood was deemed “irrelevant minority and descendents of Arab immigrants.” The Marehans of post-Barre Somalia nearly lost self-confidence as part of Darood clan system, as Hawies come into prominence for the first time. The creation of Jubba Valley Alliance with Cayr sub-clan of Haber-Gedir is one of the symptoms of Marehan’s clan-politics schizophrenia in the illusion of new Somalia’s reality in Mogadishu.
As opportunistic and dishonest politicians deceive the people of North-West Regions of Somalia with their imagination of fantasy and fear-mongering of Southern domination, the people of the South-Central have been equally misled into accepting an inferiority-complex on the falsehoods of suffering from centuries of Majertinian slavery. The biggest problem facing any Somali politician hailing from Hargeisa and Mogadishu now is how to un-program or undo the false and dangerous indoctrination of their own clan power-bases. Any rational and acceptable politician in Hargheisa and Mogadishu now fights against this “Been Fakatay (an accepted lie), as the Somalis say. In the case of Mogadishu, these historical falsehoods are the main reasons for holding the entire country hostage and render it stateless for two decades, not understanding that by maintaining the status quo, Somalia, slowly, but surely, is dis-integrating. Some in Hargeisa see such a scenario in Somalia as the best opportunity for Somaliland’s Gooni-usu-Taag (secession) campaign.
As the dust of clan-cleansing finally settled in the North-West Regions (Somaliland), President Mohamed Ibrahim Egal, taking over from Abdirahman Tour, faces new challenges of local clan politics. The powerful alliance of Gar-Xajis effectively hinders the leadership and mandate of his new administration in Hargheisa. He takes bold steps to bring them “down to their knees”, according to the contents of a personal letter he sent to his Haber-Awal business community in Djibouti at the time, to claim and boast off victory (I loaned the only copy of that letter to the Former Vice-President of Puntland State, Mohamed Abdi Hashi, and couldn’t get it back from him; he wants to keep it to satisfy his anti-Issak bias on the top of Majertainne bashing). Amid the chaos and anarchy in South and South-Central Somalia, Somaliland unilaterally embraces secession in wishful thinking that it can survive alone after the disintegration of the Somali Republic. They ignore even the recent history of Hargheisa and Zeyla almost got lost as part of the “Haud” and once Somalia disappears, “Somaliland” will be the easiest land and sea-outlet assets to be claimed fast and swallowed irretrievably (Recall Ras Makonen-Haile-Selesse insistence in British-Abyssinian negotiations on Hargheisa and Zeyla being part of the Haud under Ethiopian sovereignty in the 1880s). Perhaps, some in Hargeisa want this to happen rather than to entertain themselves with the annoying music of Somali-weyn, and in this way, offer their children’s children the opportunity (or condemnation) to struggle for freedom once again. Tragically, the Somaliland’s attempt to secede from Somalia stifles, if not eliminate, its world-famous heritage of inventiveness in literature (hal-abuur suugaaneed). This can thrive again within the fold of Somalia with the freedom of people’s imagination again in a wider competitive market for renaissance and renewal of arts and poetry among their brethren. Sadly, the current political atmosphere of Somaliland’s “Gooni-usu-Taag (secession/independence) produces no more Hadraawis and Gaariyes. The opportunity for supply and demand is negligible there. It is “Dawladda Qolka iyo barsadda” (“one bedroom State), as Somalis popularly describe Somaliland, in terms of geographical size and business opportunities.
The Ogadens are torn apart between ONLF, Ethiopian occupation, and Kenyan political marginalisation, amid their disarray, following the disintegration of MOD (Marehan-Ogaden-Dhulbahante) Coalition Government, while the Majertaines suffer from Siyad Barre’s ” Kacaan-diid” (anti-revolutionary) and “power-hungry bunch” profiling syndrome. Many suffer from paranoia, as a result, regarding debate on leadership in any field of human endeavour, where-ever they have to deal and interact with other Somali clan members, and habitually, they opt for low-profile and let go existence in Somalia and within the Diaspora. Fortunately, the Late President of Somalia, Abdullahi Yusuf, proves every one wrong and leads the way to re-kindle their imagination on possibilities and potentialities. Hence, you see the types of Caddes, Farooles, and Abdiwelis, running for office.
In Somalia’s neighbourhood, Djibouti attempts to replace Somalia in international arena, keen to seize all it can chew and swallow from the spoils of the Somali State, after suffering for a long time from the shadows of “Big Brother” Somalia (Siyad Barre’s towering image, in particular), and its junior membership of the Arab League. On the other hand, Ethiopia and Kenya see new opportunities for the scramble of the Somalia, and a good chance to deal with the “The problem Child of Africa,” effectively this time.
In the “Restore Hope”, President Bush’s (Sr) campaign, the international community collectively tries to re-instate Somalia only once. They couldn’t. They, thus, finally decide to leave it to its own device, as they found out that every body there is “he is own Sultan” and cannot be re-civilized as “they are still tribal savages” as Richard Burton described in his First Footsteps in East Africa over two hundred years ago.
The world community, however, faces a new problem: Somalia becomes a danger not only to itself alone, but to international peace and security as defined by the UN. The international community eventually decides to manage the country disintegration peacefully by containing its threat of terrorism within its borders. Powerful nations use proxies to remote control this troublesome and difficult people in the Horn of Africa. To-day, I don’t think any keen observer of Somalia’s tragedy can fail to identify the elaborate levels and multitude of “security, developmental and humanitarian projects” put in place to insure the country’s quiet disappearance from the geo-political map
You may not be aware of the fact the name, Somalia, didn’t exist in the sense of a united central entity as a country, but as ethnic group among East African peoples before 18-19th century European colonial powers of Italy, Great Britain, France, Portugal, and Turkish Ottoman Empire from Egypt. Most historically known self-governing entities in Southern and Northeastern parts of what is presently known as “Somalia” didn’t have the notion of Somalia as a country. Colonial Italy led the way in the creation of the concept of Somalia as a country for its own colonial objectives and administrative-political expediency for a united colony.
These powerful nomads in the Northeastern, Northwestern and Central parts of “Somalia” had had no sense of a country beyond their grazing localities and water wells. The Southernmost agriculturalists of Bantu extraction had had no specific identities other than they were remnants of perished local slave-owning sultanates and chieftains with occasional visits, rule or influence from Arabs looking for slaves and fortune in East Africa, usually coming from the sea and Zanzibar.
The concept of Greater Somalia didn’t exist before Somali Youth League (SYL) political campaigns for independence from as recently as the year of 1943. Even the notion and the term of “Greater Somalia” (Somaliweyn) was conceived and coined by former British Foreign Secretary, Bevin, before Britain abandoned the initiative and had decided to transfer the Somali territory known as the ” Haud and Reserve Area” to Ethiopia in 1954. At the time, Ethiopia was demanding from Britain to agreeing swallowing Hargeisa and Zeila as part of Haud and Reserve Area as well.
The struggle waged by the Head of the Darwish Movement of Sayyid Mohamed Abdulle Hassan against British Colonial Administration and Emperial Ethiopia was a mixture of Islamic extremism, nationalisn and bad approach to self-government blind-sighted by fight for local control over grazing Somali nomads. The British wanted cheap meat for its military garrison in Aden, South Yemen. The Sayyid wanted loyal clans for supply of fighting men for religio-nationalistic wars. He also wanted to model after Sheikh Ahmed Gurey in his attempt to conquer Abbysinia. Darwish Movement was in-transition to statehood. It never had a chance to succeed. Bad approach to self-government was the root cause of its failure.
Enter the era of independence in 1960 from colonial administrations of Italy and Britain. The colonial masters had left a country in-transition to statehood. They left behind a Somali political elite of their design with very limited preparation, education and skills to run a modern government and poor state with no infrastructure or institutions to talk about. Despite all these, Somalis did well in the first few years after securing the national independence with fledgling democratic culture and successful presidential, parliament and municipal elections that was the envy of black Africa at time. The native political and business elite, who had little training by colonial powers, were in-transition themselves to learn the art of government and statecraft. Yesterday’s nomads poured into over-crowded urban cities, specially Mogadishu and Hargeisa, with no social and labor skills. They too were in-transition to become, as least, normal citizens of a new country called the Somali Republic. The new Somali Government was now in-transition to become as viable as any government on earth.
The Government of the Somali Republic didn’t survive long as it had suffered from military coup of 1969 led by General Mohamed Siyad Barre. That Military Government lasted in office for twenty-one years long in-transition to multi-party democratic elections and people’s self-rule. It never fulfilled the promise to transition to democracy.
The Ogaden war of 1977 -78, rebellion against the dictatorship, people’s uprising and vicious Civil War that followed had cut short the long military reign of the General and his Client-Military Administration.
The world came to learn the phrase “Failed State” of Somalia, total collapse of public institutions and breakdown of law and order. Upheaval, uprooting of people, mass displacement of residents from cities and towns followed in-transition to peace and normalcy.
National Reconciliation Conferences had finally produced “Transitional Governments” from the year of 2000. These Somalia’s transitional governments are, however, still in-transition to multi-party democratic self-government – back to square one in-transition.
The Federal Regional State governments are too in-transition to full-fledged federal states, some of them are still needed to satisfy the basic requirements of the Transitional Federal Constitution for their legal formation and very existence. The entire country and its state institutions are in-transition, some of the goals and objectives of which will not happen in my life. But, as long as things are in-transition, there are always opportunities to move Somalia forward. Be hopeful.
“Ultimately it is the Somalis who can solve their own problems” is the desperate and repeated expression often used by the external diplomatic and political actors of Somalia when something didn’t work out as planned, or planned intentionally to fail, after all. This is another way to concede defeat and shift the blame of failure onto the Somalis themselves. It is also a successful ploy by these foreign actors to justify the continuation of their respective tax-payers’ money contributions to find the elusive solution to the dangerous Somali stateless chaos, rightly acknowledging that Somalia is not only a security threat to itself, but also to the outside world. Their bottom-line strategy on Somalia is to contain, at least, this security menace within Somalia. Such an approach to Somalia’s long-running predicament have been creating a thriving industry that continuously produces good paying jobs and resort-like living luxury existence in Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Djibouti and Uganda for expatriates on Somalia’s supposedly dangerous job assignments.
As a man who worked in the field, a witness to most recent events in Somalia, I found quite astonishing that nobody is getting or reading rightly the Somalia’s current root causes of the problem, apart from the legacy of the Military Dictatorship that led to the failure of the National Government. Everybody, including researchers and experts on Somalia is busy with in looking at symptoms of the problem: warlords, the Union of Islamic Courts, Al-Shabab, corruption, piracy …etc. Nobody had ever thought that the instruments and institutions that helped sustain livelihood of the Somali masses in a uniquely failed and stateless situation for such a long time are the same ones that perpetuate the status quo and prevent, at any cost, the creation of a viable institution of governance, especially in Mogadishu.
It is important to note here that one would not see any scholarly references attached to this short article as I was there, in person, to re-tell my own take of developments and events that made the most recent history of Somalia.
It was towards the end of 1996 when I met, for first time, with Mohamed Abdi Habeeb (Mohamed Dheere), the Late Former warlord and former Mayor of Mogadishu of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, in Ghion Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. At the time, he was not a warlord, but a future one for Middle Shabelle Region (Jowhar). He was a member of then the National Salvation Council (SNC), an impressive organization of Somali Warlords sponsored by Ethiopia under the initiative of Late Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed in a congress held in the city of Sodere, about 120 Kms to the Southeast of Addis Ababa and within the Oromo Regional state. I was a member of Somali Diaspora in Canada, having spent at that time one and half years in England and mostly in Dubai after I left Canada in 1995. While in Dubai, I was invited by the SNC Co-Chairmen to help in the documentation and office work of the Council in Ethiopia. As the warlord organization was seriously planning and set to hold a congress in Bosaso, the commercial city of Northern eastern Regions in 1997, to announce the election of a new Somali Central Government, one perhaps to be led by Ali Mahdi Mohamed as President and Abdullahi Yusuf as Prime Minister, I was eager to learn more about the political, security and economic events in Southern Somalia and Mogadishu, in particular.
In my conversation with him, Mohamed Dheere was a surprise to me. Although he had no academic credentials to speak of, I found him shrewd, highly intelligent and amazingly knowledgeable about the nature of Mogadishu conflicts at the time. He exposed and gave me his take and analysis of what he termed: “The Mog Forces”. Basically, he informed me that the real and invincible force in Mogadishu are not the warlords in the name of Aidid, Ali Mahdi and others, but a handful of business tycoons in Northern and Southern Mogadishu. The warlords are used and bankrolled by these business titans to prevent any local, regional or national governance in Mogadishu or Somalia. These business giants of ill-gotten riches following the collapse of the Somali State run huge enterprises of telecommunications, money transfer (Hawaala), makeshift seaports, huge warehouses of foreign aid (think of WFP) and its distribution outlets, public transport chains, hotels, import and export businesses, security and protection escorts… etc, all tax-free. They created their own huge army of militia. They constituted the real power that no other institutions can challenge them, foreign or local. Add to this, the proliferation of the so-called civil societies under the watchful eyes of these business predators as their clever and invisible channel of communication with the external diplomatic, political and humanitarian organizations, primarily working as double agents within the misery of Somalia at cost of Somalia’s national sovereignty. Warlord alliances like USC/SNA and USC/SSA, SNF, SPM and others continued to operate to add to the Southern chaos for divide and rule purposes along sub-clan allegiance. That was the gist of Mohamed Dheere’s assessment of Mogadishu situation nearly twenty years ago.
Having understood and fully aware of what was happening in Mogadishu and Southern Somalia, in general, the establishment of Puntland took first steps to contain and isolate such business and NGO forces becoming too powerful. Militia organizations of SSDF, USP and SNDU were outlawed and banned for good. Traditional leadership was allowed to drive the governance process and a government based on the consent of its stakeholders was instituted. While the Somaliland Administration of the Late President Mohamed Haji Ibrahim Egal had an ideological difference with the Somali National Movement (SNM) to politically marginalize it, SNM former members were active and still are behind the scene in Somaliland body politic. They are known as the “Calan Cas” (Red Flag) Group because of their leftist political orientation. In the case of Puntland, former militia organizations are things of the past, and while Puntland lacks behind Somaliland in terms of democratization and multi-party system because of latter’s concerted attempt to attract international recognition and more international aid rather than a result of inherent good governance, there are areas in which Puntland is a way ahead of Somaliland like fair distribution of resources, standard of living of residents, gap between the rich and poor, and even residents’ self-confidence in better future, welcoming and creation of safe heavens and income opportunities for Somali IDPs, regional cooperation and good neighbourliness despite Somaliland unwarranted provocations in Sool and Ayn Regions, and struggle for the re-institution of Somalia’s Central State for the benefit of all, including Somaliland, and in the best interests of all peoples of East Africa and world peace and security, in general.
It may sound very sad indeed to suggest and recommend now that, given a genuine commitment to fix Somalia, the international community needs to completely re-think Somalia by targeting those forces that prevent Somalia to stand on its feet again and rise up as a less dangerous member of world community. Unfortunately, the only way feasible at moment is to restart resolving Somalia’s problem afresh by identifying the culprits for the failure at local and international levels. Trial and errors approaches on the failed state for the past two decades had become the Sarah Palin ‘ s “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska.
In conclusion, the international community is either ignorant or reluctant to learn one important lesson from former colonial powers of Somalia. When dealing with law and order and governance issues in a given city or region in Somalia, you cannot have a Governor in the same city he/she hails from. Because of the local sub-clan rivalry and conflict, a local governor will be a part of the problem, not its solution. Such a Governor will not have the benefit for playing fair arbitration as he/she is perceived locally to belong to and serve the interests of one of the clan antagonists. A Somali President from Southern Somalia suffers the same perception and fate in Mogadishu. Hence, you also have an additional clan and family conflicts in Mogadishu, on the top of the powerful “Mog Forces”.
Although I heard about it and reminded myself, on several occasions, to have a look at it, I, finally, had the opportunity to read Mohamud Jama Ghalib’s book, The Cost of Dictatorship, 1995 Edition. While I commend the author’s efforts to record his own experience with the extremely repressive regime he served loyally for such a long time, and although I am, perhaps, a bit sympathetic to his inclination to the Somali unity, I found the author’s account in the book full of historical distortions, perhaps with intended omissions of facts and extreme partiality towards forces that led to the removal of Siyad Barre Military Dictatorship.
When I read Ghalib’s book I suddenly remembered one incident involving the author during the Somali National Reconciliation Conference in Imbagati, Kenya, 2002-2004. For whatever reasons he avoided Hargheisa even when it fell to the forces of Somali National Movement (SNM) he claims that he was the key man in Mogadishu at
he time to support its armed struggle against Barre, the General remained connected to Mogadishu even after the collapse of the Somali State. Whatever role he played within the reign of Mogadishu Warlords and their struggle to finish one another, the General finally decided to act as an active member of the Mogadishu civil society politicised organizations. Because of external donors’ manipulations, these organizations became the most serious obstacle to the restoration and re-institution of the Somali State. One day in 2004 at the Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, the President of Uganda, Yoweri Musaveni, in his capacity as the Current Chairman of IGAD, and in an effort to reconcile severely opposing views and differences within the Somali parties at Conference, met with predominantly members of the Mogadishu civil societies. During the briefings and discussions with M7 (Musaveni), one lady from the Digile and Mirifle group, Ms Ardo, who later became a member of the Somali Transitional Federal Parliament, complained to him that the “warlords are giving no chance to any one, including a claim to be members of the civil societies like my brother General Mohamud Jama Ghalib”. Ghalib was comfortably sitting there when President Musaveni looked at Ghalib and asked him,” aren’t you a General? What are you doing here?”
The point here is that General Ghalib can claim for himself any past societal status or role rightly or wrongly he so desires to be remembered of, but he cannot be allowed to distort modern history as we are all witnesses as well, and perhaps more informed than him with regards to the Somali movements established to fight against Barre Regime.
Let me set the record straight. The movements of SNM and USC the esteemed General glorifies are nothing, but the work done by the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF) in its historical efforts to mobilize Somali masses against the Military Junta in Mogadishu. When some political leaders of prominently Issaks led by Mr Duqsi and Mr Jumcale, came to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and met with then leaders of the Somali Salvation Front (SSF), a successor of Somali Democratic Action Front (SODAF) in 1981, it was agreed to form a united front against the Regime. There was no SNM at that time. It was decided that Issaks had to organize themselves, either to join SSF individually and in groups, or to form their own movement with an intention to join forces later. The formation of SNM was announced in London, UK, in 1982 after SSF became SSDF with its merge with the Somali Communist Party led by Abdirahman Aid, himself hailing from Sool and Togdheer regions of Somalia, and Somali Workers’ Party led by Said Jama, hailing from North-western Somalia.
SSDF sent a high level delegation composing of Mr. Jama Rabile God (after he defected to SSDF) and Abdirahman Sugule Xaabsey to SNM leadership in London for unification talks. An SNM delegation led by the organization’s Secretary-General, Mr. Duqsi, came to meet with SSDF leadership in Addis Ababa for unity talks. The talks continue for several weeks and ended in stalemate. The main reason for the failure of talks was the position of SNM leaders that if they were to join with SSDF, they might not secure the support of Issak masses as they were mostly bent to fighting against what they called Southern domination. It was agreed that SSDF, rich with Qadafi money and huge and generous supply of modern arms, would bankroll SNM and arm its forces for the next two years, or until SNM could secure enough support from its own constituencies while the unity talks would continue in the foreseeable future. SSDF shared its broadcasting Radio Studio, Radio Kulmis and changed the name to Radio Halgan, the United Voice of the Somali Opposition. That cooperation continued through Sheikh Yusuf Madar/Issak/Habar-Awal until the SNM leadership of Col. Kosaar/Issak/Habar-Younis, who was assassinated, perhaps by Siyad Agents, in a Mustahiil (off Hiraan Region) SNM Military camp.
Ahmed Mohamed Silaanyo/Issak/Habar-Jeclo/Adan Madoobe was elected as Kosaar’s successor. SSDF leadership ran into trouble with Mengistu Haile-Mariam. Then, SSDF leader, Col Abdullahi Yusuf was arrested by Mengistu because of serious political differences involving opposing national interests. There was a temporary lull in the activities of SSDF. Then, SSDF broke into two factions.
Mohamud Jama Ghalib ignores the fact that USC was a splinter group of SSDF following the arrest of its leader in Ethiopia. The second and most influential figure in USC leadership after General Aideed was the Late Mohamed Farah Jimcaale/Harbar-Gedir/Saad, a once Deputy Chairman of SSDF until General Aideed forced his way to remove Hussein Ali Shido/Harbar-Gedir/Suleiman with the support of Jimcaale at a militia camp at border. When General Aideed came to Ethiopia, in his initial attempt to remove Hussein Shido from USC leadership, he was received by Mengistu. In that audience, Aideed requested for the release of Abdullahi Yusuf. Mengistu warned him not to try that again.
The trouble I have with Mr. Ghalib’s accounts is that he could know better, having a formal police and intelligence training, unless his intention is to distort facts, deny others of their historical role and glorify the works of yesterday’s political stooges of the hated regime. One should not stay with and serve a dictatorship for twenty-odd years, always in-waiting for an appointment to high office and higher promotion within the regime while claiming to be a staunch supporter of the opposition. You cannot be a Police General and a member of the civil society at same time!
In the Cost of the Dictatorship, Ghalib has no slightest fairness or guts to mention about the role of the first organized opposition to the Regime, The SSDF. Read and see his tendency towards not mentioning even once the name of its Leader, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, while he glories the names and noble contributions of his colleagues, including himself, in the Regime of Siyad Barre. He is easily exposed, however, when he ignores the fact regarding the SNM that an organization does not fight for liberation and independence while at same time installing yesterday’s political stooges and security agents of the dictatorship as its new leaders. It makes no sense.
I, therefore, strongly believe that there are many distortions and twisting of facts in the Ghalib’s book, The Cost of Dictatorship. Some stories recounted in the book must be re-examined and verified as its author seems emotionally partial, accompanied with a motive, I suspect, to deny his role and responsibilities in the gross misconduct of Somalia’s affairs, horrendous abuses of power and human rights violations during the period the author served not his country, but Siyad Barre’s Junta for many years.
Having said that, I am, however, a bit inclined to agree with General Ghalib’s overall assessment of the extent and the irreversible damages Issak intellectuals had done to undermine the existence and vital national interests of Somalia’s state in their blind fight against Siyad Barre Regime or the “Southern domination”. In that regard, I recall one painful expression or rather a question relayed to me in a conversation in Nairobi, Kenya, a few years ago, with Mr Mohamud Jama “Sifir”, a long time employee of the UN about the extra efforts of these intellectuals have been exerting in destroying Somalia as we knew it: “Who will ever dig Somalia out of the deep hole of our own making?” Sifir told me that the question was raised by one of his colleagues as they assessed the tremendous damages done not only to Siyad Barre Regime, but to Somalia to a much greater extent, during their anti-regime campaigns in foreign and Western capitals within the international community. No wonder Somalia becomes too difficult to fix.
SECRETARY-GENERAL APPOINTS FATIHA SEROUR OF ALGERIA AS DEPUTY SPECIAL REPRESENTATIVE IN SOMALIA
United Nations Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon today announced the appointment of Fatiha Serour (Algeria) as his Deputy Special Representative for Somalia. The Secretary-General extends his sincere thanks to Peter De Clercq of the Netherlands who served as Deputy Special Representative since the establishment of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), and was recently appointed Deputy Special Representative for the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).Ms. Serour is currently Director of “Serour Associates for Inclusion and Equity”, an association focused on supporting inclusive approaches to economic development. She previously served in senior advisory positions with the Department of Social and Economic Affairs (2000-2001 and 2003-2006), the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) from 2001-2002 and as Director for Youth at the Commonwealth Secretariat (2006-2010).
In her most recent position as Regional Director for Europe, North Africa and the Middle East at the United Nations Office for Project Services from 2010-2012, she led national and international teams to implement projects for the United Nations system, international financial institutions, governments and other partners in world aid.
Dr. Serour holds a Ph.D. in Development Strategies for Africa from the University of Aberdeen, United Kingdom, and a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Lille, France. She is fluent in English, French and Arabic.
Puntland Government Position on Natural Resources in Somalia
It has come to the attention of the Puntland Petroleum and Minerals Agency (PPMA) that over the past few months the international media has been covering matters concerning hydrocarbon issues in Somalia.
Many of these reports have contained misleading information about the nature of the Somali Federal Constitution and the constitutional rights of Federated States. This press release seeks to correct and clarify the legal issues and rights and responsibilities surrounding hydrocarbon issues in Somalia.
Puntland State of Somalia is a Federated State within the Federal Republic of Somalia, with an adopted State Constitution. The people of Puntland are proud to have contributed significantly to rebuilding Somalia through their efforts to ensure peace, security, governance, and economic development, and will continue to do so.
On August 1, 2012, the Somali National Constituent Assembly – of which Puntland had delegates – adopted the Provisional Federal Constitution (PFC) in Mogadishu, under which the country’s current Lower House of Federal Parliament and new President were established.
Provisional Federal Constitution
Under Article 55 of the PFC, the Somali Federal Government (SFG) has the following four delegated powers: (a) Foreign Affairs; (b) National Defense; (c) Citizenship and Immigration; and (d) Monetary Policy. These powers, as the Constitution states, are the only “powers and responsibilities of the Federal Government” until all the Federated States of Somalia are completely established and reach a comprehensive negotiated settlement with the Federal Government, concerning the final constitutional allocation of power and resources between the Federal Government and the Federated States. The powers endowed to the SFG in Article 55 are also are subject to other constitutional provisions that guarantee the States’ rights of consultation with the SFG over federal matters and national security arrangements.
In addition, all matters specifically concerning natural resources are dealt with in Article 45 of the PFC. This Article states that the “the allocation of the natural resources of the Federal Republic of Somalia shall be negotiated by, and agreed upon, by the Federal Government and the FederatedStates in accordance with this Constitution”. The SFG and the Federated States, once completely established, shall agree upon in a negotiated settlement a system of management and revenue sharing from natural resources, to be incorporated into the finalized Federal Constitution.2 of 2 Article 45 operates parallel to Article 208 of the PFC, which stipulates: “(1) Until such time that all the Federated States of Somalia are established and the Federated State Constitutions are harmonized with the Somali Federal Constitution, the Federated States existing prior to this Provisional Constitution shall retain and exercise powers endowed by their own State Constitution. (2) Existing Federated States must be consulted in the decision-making process regarding the federal system and national security arrangements”.
Following on from these Articles in the PFC, Article 54 of the PuntlandState Constitution stipulates that PuntlandState owns, administers and receives all the revenues from natural resources in Puntland. Under the provisions of the current PFC, Puntland shall retain its constitutional rights – enshrined in the Puntland State Constitution and in harmony with the PFC.
Puntland Petroleum and Minerals Agency
The Puntland Petroleum and Minerals Agency (PPMA) is the competent authority charged with the management, oversight and regulation of Puntland Government’s hydrocarbon and minerals policies and operations.
Any entity, either from the Somali Federal Government, or any individual(s) purporting to be a consultant to, or having a role in advising the Somali Federal Government or Puntland Government, whether they are foreign or Somali nationals, are not responsible for, nor have the authority to discuss, negotiate or represent Puntland Government in hydrocarbon and/or minerals operations in any part of Puntland territory, onshore or offshore, to any Somali or foreign company.
Confirmation of Support for Current PSAs in Puntland
Petroleum and Minerals Agency PPMA reaffirms that the people and Government of Puntland shall honor, respect, and uphold the current PSAs with our partners. These contracts were signed in 2007 and are legally valid agreements.
Further inquires, please contact:
Mr. Issa M. Farah, the Director General of Puntland Petroleum and Agency at
The Assembly was attended by H. E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti; H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia; H. E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya. The Summit was also attended by H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E Ambassador Hussein Elamin Elfadil, Ambassador of Sudan and permanent reprehensive to IGAD, H.E. Nicholas Westcostt , Director General for Africa , European Union, and H.E.Amb. Renzo Mario Rosso the Ambassador of Italy to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU and IGAD in his capacity as the Co-Chair of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF).
The Assembly was preceded by the 48th Extra-ordinary Session of IGAD Council of Ministers held on 24th of May 2013, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As a follow up to its decision on 3rd May 2013 of its 21st extra-ordinary session, the Summit received a briefing from the chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers H.E Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and also a report from H.EAmb(Eng.)Mahboub M. Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD on the high level fact finding and confidence building mission delegated by the Summit to Mogadishu and Kismayo in the Federal Republic of Somalia.
The Summit deliberated on the report and the overall political and security situation in Somalia,
In this regard,
After listening to the briefing by H.E Dr. Tedros Adhanom,Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, on the Council consultation in its 48th Extraordinary session and Further considering the report from H.E Amb(Eng.)Mahboub M. Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD on the fact finding and confidence building mission to Mogadishu and Kismayo ,
Having taken Note of the findings of the mission and the recommendations made and further considering the various views observed by the Somali Federal Government as well as major stakeholders in Mogadishu and Kismayo;
Recalling the previous decisions of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government and the Council of Ministers on Somalia; Considering the major political and security priorities of the Federal Government of Somalia, and the efforts for peace and stability within the framework of the provisional constitution;
1.Commends the successful fact finding and confidence building mission led by H.E Amb.(Eng.)Mahboub M. Maalim;
2.Endorses and adopts the report of the fact finding and confidence building mission to Mogadishu and Kismayo;
3. Notes with Satisfaction the agreement of all stakeholders to respect the provisional constitution, to accept the government leadership, to conduct the process in an all inclusive manner, the need for IGAD’s
supportive role and conduct the process in a way that helps the fight against Al-Shabaab;
4. Urges that the Federal Government of Somalia should timely convene and lead reconciliation conference with the support of IGAD while consulting key stakeholders in the Juba Regions with a view to chart out a roadmap on the establishment of interim administration and formation of a permanent regional administration in accordance with the Provisional Constitution with IGAD playing a supporting role;
5. Noted with concern the situation in Kismayo and appeals for calm and
restrain by all parties as such actions may threaten peace and stability mainly the fight against Al-shabab;
6. Calls upon all parties in Mogadishu and Kismayo to uphold the tenets of the five principles enumerated in the communiqué of the 21st Extra- Ordinary Summit ;
7. Re-iterates its previous call for the Federal Government of Somalia to as soon as possible integrate the various militia forces into a unified national command of Somali National Army;
8. Stresses the need for enhanced engagement by the international community and the AU in improving the operational capacity and coordination of AMISOM and Somali National Forces in view of supporting the on-going operations for peace and greater stability;
9. Reaffirmed the strong commitment of IGAD countries to assist the peace building and the reconstruction process in Somalia;
10.Recognises the important role to be played by the Somali refugees in the reconstruction of Somalia , and calls on international community to support the initiative by the governments of Somalia and Kenya
and UNHCR to convene an international conference on repatriation of Somali refugees to be held later this year;
11. Directs the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers and IGAD Secretariat to make the necessary arrangements to ensure continuous consultation and dialogue in Somalia;
12.Expresses appreciation to international partners and Organizations that are currently providing financial, material and technical assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia and appeals for increase in the
level of support;
13.Underscored the efforts made by the Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, in his capacity as IGAD Chair, in facilitating member countries efforts for the regional peace and security;
15.Congratulates the AU on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary and its accomplishments; 16.Expresses its appreciation to the Government and the people of Ethiopia for hosting this Extra-ordinary Summit and for shouldering the heavy responsibility of hosting the 50th Anniversary of the AU;
17. Decides to remain seized of this matter.
Issued this 24th of May 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
A few days before the “Somalia Conference 2013” held in London on May 7, a foreign journalist friend of mine sent me an e-mail asking what my thoughts were regarding the upcoming conference hosted by Prime Minister David Cameron. I replied: “My heart’s belief in miracles outweighed my mind’s interest in the pursuit of objective analysis.”
I am as optimistic as I was then, but hardly quixotic.
While the conference’s Final Communique outlines specific acknowledgements and directives that could have various effects on various actors, the most important messages were asserted in the implicit, or by way of omission.
The communique acknowledges improved conditions such as security sector, drastic reduction in the number of pirate attacks, receding famine, and the large number of the diaspora returning home. Likewise, it acknowledges challenges such as al-Shabaab’s hit-and-run campaign of terror and the fact that the provisional constitution is an incomplete document that fails to address some of the most serious issues of contention.
On the political front, the communique welcomes the Federal Government’s plans “to resolve outstanding constitutional issues, including the sharing of power, resources and revenues between the Federal Government and the regions.” It continues to state, “We welcomed the dialogue on the future structure of Somalia that has begun between the Federal Government and the regions. We welcomed progress on forming regional administrations and looked forward to the completion of that process. We encouraged the regions to work closely with the Federal Government to form a cohesive national polity consistent with the provisional constitution.”
The message seems clear; however, there is one thing missing — the term “federal state.” Though the concept is prominently established in the constitution, oddly it is replaced with terms such as “regions” and “regional administrations” in the communique. Throughout the communique the term is sidestepped seven times.
Was this the result of collective amnesia, or was it a deliberate action articulated in a carefully crafted language? If I were a betting person, I’d go with the latter.
As a newly rebranded coalition mandated by a new resolution, the international community has a new plan and initiative that will most likely to be much different than the discredited version outsourced to the hegemon of the Horn- Ethiopia. Hegemons tend to grant themselves the right to roam around freely and randomly exploit any ventures they deem expedient to their perceived unilateral self-interest.
Despite the fact the U.S. dual-track policy still has a de facto presence on the ground, this new language seems to have been injected to indicate rejection of the prevalent domestic clan-centric political order. Who can ignore the stubborn fact that, in current day Somalia, “federalism” means nothing other than legalized clan domination? The Alfa Clan, or the most armed, mainly gets the lion’s share and subjugates others while crying wolf.
The writing is on the wall: Somalis must renegotiate the form of government and indeed governance in a way that decentralizes power, leaves space to accommodate Somaliland, and brings the nation back together. The international community has been receiving earful of grievances from various clans, such as those from Sol, Sanaag, Ein and Awdal who inhabit Somaliland and say they are facing existentialist threat from the current arrangement, and, as such, are invoking their rights to stay in the union.
However mortifying this may be to some actors, reason should prevail. Staying the old course is a recipe for renewed civil war and perpetual instability. Somalia is too war-weary and too important to let it drift back into chaos again.
Contrary to the common perception, Somalia is perhaps the most important political theatre in the 21stcentury as it is where geopolitics, geoeconomic and georeligious dynamics intersect and interplay. And it is where two old empires (British and Turkish) are positioning themselves for global influence. Meanwhile, the curtains are slowly opening to unveil the covert rivalry of civilizations, instead of the clichéd “clash.”
Whether or not this latest high profile conference would prove “a pivotal moment for Somalia” would depend on two particular factors. First, it depends on how soon the Somali leadership comes to understand that without reconciliation, improved security, public services and development cannot be sustained. Second, it would depend on how key international partners avoid the political temptation of zero-sum gains.
Competition of civilizations can be healthy so long as the key actors cooperate, collaborate and negotiate ways that would not take away from each other and the others. However, it’s no secret that the difference between pre-Erdogan (Turkish Prime Minister) and post-Erdogan visit of Somalia is day and night, and that Turkey has been quite humble about the life-changing provisions it has made available for the Somali people and nation.
At the end of the day, what tips the scale and wins the hearts and minds of people are the tangible direct services provided to them at their most dire moment. Everything else is considered a costly symbolism. “There are two kinds of people, those who do the work and those who take the credit;” said the late Indira Gandhi. “Try to be in the first group; there is less competition there,” she added. This, of course, is even more pertinent to the Somali government.
While improvement of security apparatus, finance system and rule of law are indeed issues of high priority, the federal government would have to provide substantive public services far beyond Mogadishu. More importantly, the government must strategically balance the ways, means and ends at its discretion to achieve its objective of secure, reconciled and cohesively functioning Somalia. That is what Somalis yearn for, and that is what the international community wishes to assist Somalia with.
To think strategically is to recognize “what time is it.” What works today might not work tomorrow; and what is available today might not be available tomorrow.
(Reuters) – As many as 3,000 African Union peacekeepers have been killed in Somalia in recent years in an attempt to end an Islamist insurgency and bring stability to the Horn of Africa nation, a senior U.N. official said on Thursday.
“I want to pay tribute to the countries and to their soldiers who paid such an enormously heavy price,” U.N. Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson told reporters.
“You would be shocked to learn that maybe it is up to 3,000 AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) soldiers that have been killed during these years that AMISOM has been there,” he said.
The 17,700 strong African Union force began deploying to Somalia in 2007. It includes troops from Burundi, Uganda, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Djibouti.
“Uganda, Burundi have paid a tremendous price,” he added. “The Kenyan troops are, of course, also a large part of AMISOM.”
Somalia is only just emerging from two decades of civil war. Its government is struggling to rebuild a country riven by clan divisions and whose infrastructure and institutions are in tatters.
A newly appointed parliament last year elected a new president, the first vote of its kind since the toppling of former military dictator Mohamed Siad Barre in 1991.
African Union peacekeepers have been largely responsible for pushing al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab out of the capital Mogadishu and other urban centers in the past two years, but the group is still able to launch major attacks, including a suicide bombing on Sunday that killed at least eight people.
Eliasson said on the sidelines of a donor conference in London earlier this week that sought pledges to rebuild Somalia that the United Nations has given strong backing to the country’s new leadership.
Heads of State and Governments, Excellencies, Ambassadors, Special Representatives, Honored Guests – the Prime Minister and I welcome you to the second Somalia Conference in London.
Mr. Prime Minister, I wholeheartedly thank you and your government for your personal engagement in shaping our future and for your support in hosting this Conference. I particularly congratulate you for re-opening your Embassy on our soil in Mogadishu after more than two decades absence.
People may ask why Somalia matters at this time but there is a huge amount at stake right now: the future of our country, the security of the region and the wider world, and the removal of the piracy stranglehold on the Gulf of Aden.
I know you all understand this and I fully appreciate the political capital being invested to support Somalia.
Since the last meeting held here in London more than one year ago, more has been achieved than anyone would ever have imagined. In just one year the cornerstones of a new Somalia have been successfully and peacefully laid.
The political transition has ended and I stand here as the elected President of a sovereign nation, with an elected Speaker leading a new Parliament representative of all the regions and all communities and with a legitimate and effective government delivering our Six Pillar Policy Framework – the foundation of a new beginning. Progress has defied the skeptics. Somalia has rejoined the world community.
Under my leadership, we offer the world a legitimate partner you can trust, hard at work to deliver an integrated national security plan; economic reform and new financial management systems; rule of law and judicial reform; and an environment conducive to commercial growth. We are achieving real progress week by week, month by month. But challenges do remain.
Despite being militarily defeated, Al Shabaab have melted into society and begun a new phase of insurgency and a campaign of terror – an experience I know that Great Britain comprehends as well as any other. Our Constitution is only partially complete. Piracy must come to an end. Millions of Somalis still live in desperate conditions as refugees in neighbouring countries or as internally displaced persons in their own country. And we lack developed government institutions, schools, hospitals, roads, sanitation and other basic services.
As you will hear over the coming hours, however, we come to London to share with you our detailed plans to address these challenges.
We are rebuilding our armed forces. We are restructuring and developing our police force. We are reforming our justice sector. And we are revolutionizing our public finance management systems. We are driving Somalia from emergency to recovery; and from recovery to development and reconstruction.
Ultimately, however, it will be a Somali owned solution that will fix Somalia, but no country has ever recovered from such social and economic collapse without the help of the world. And so in partnership with our endeavors, we respectfully ask for your total and unflinching commitment, partnership and support. We hope that you will agree how you can support the implementation of our plans and put an end to our dependence on the international community.
The Federal Government of Somalia has now laid down the foundations for a new public finance management mechanism, which we believe will give enable our donors to agree funding arrangements with the confidence that funds will reach their intended recipient.
The progress that has been made in Somalia over the past three years would not have been possible without the courageous support of IGAD, the African Union and our brothers and sisters in AMISOM and the ultimate sacrifice paid by many brave African soldiers. We owe to it their memory to ensure that we do not take one single step backwards.
The progress that has been made in Somalia over the past three years would also not have been possible without the committed support of the United Nations, the United States, the United Kingdom and the European Union. We owe it to the publics who contribute to these governments and institutions to see this process through to a successful conclusion.
We are also indebted to the kindness and generosity of countries like Turkey, Norway, the Arab League member states and other countries. Your assistance over the past few years has spread hope and belief among our people.
We welcome UNSOM, the new United Nations Mission in Somalia, and we are grateful for the consultation offered in agreeing both the mandate and the appointment of the SRSG. We congratulate His Excellency Mr. Nicholas Kay on his appointment as SRSG. We are looking forward receiving him and the new UN mission in Mogadishu. I wish to thank Ambassador Mahiga, the outgoing SRSG, for his relentless and determined efforts in leading the design of the roadmap and seeing the transition through. Our best wishes and tributes go to him. The people of Somalia are eternally grateful.
Winning the war in Somalia has been proved. Winning the peace in Somalia will take patience and great skill. We are at a critical junction. The time is now.
We have little time today and lots to achieve. All of us, especially those in the background who have worked so hard to make this conference happen, will want to depart with a real sense of progress.
I thank you all for coming, and for your dedicated support. Together we can make Somalia strong again. A tree standing tall in the African bush with deep roots binding it securely to its region and offering shade and protection to its people as they rebuild their lives.
The aid community believes that tens of thousands of people died needlessly because the international community was slow to respond to early signs of approaching hunger in East Africa in late 2010 and early 2011.
Associated Press/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File – FILE – In this Monday, Aug. 15, 2011 file photo, children from southern Somalia hold their pots as they line up to receive cooked food in Mogadishu, Somalia
The toll was also exacerbated by extremist militants from al-Shabab who banned food aid deliveries to the areas of south-central Somalia that they controlled. Those same militants have also made the task of figuring out an accurate death toll extremely difficult.
A Western official briefed on the new report — the most authoritative to date — told AP that it says 260,000 people died, and that half the victims were 5 and under. Two other international officials briefed on the report confirmed that the toll was in the quarter-million range. All three insisted they not be identified because they were not authorized to share the report’s contents before it is officially released.
The report is being made public Thursday by FEWSNET, a famine early warning system funded by the U.S. government’s aid arm USAID, and by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit – Somalia, which is funded by the U.S. and Britain.
A previous estimate by the U.K. government said between 50,000 and 100,000 people died in the famine. The new report used research conducted by specialists experienced in estimating death tolls in emergencies and disasters. Those researchers relied on food and mortality data compiled by the Food Security and Nutrition Analysis Unit.
Because of the imprecise nature of the data available, the toll remains only an estimate.
When asked about the report, Somalia Health Minister Maryan Qasim Ahmed said she didn’t want to comment until she read it because of questions she had about the accuracy of the figures.
Sikander Khan, the head of UNICEF in Somalia, also said he needed to look at the report’s methodology before commenting specifically. But he said generally that the response to the famine was problematic because it depended on political dynamics. He said the international community needs to change the way it classifies famines.
“You lose children by the time people realize it’s met the established definition of famine,” he said.
Marthe Everard, the World Health Organization’s country director for Somalia, said she has not yet seen the report but would not be surprised by such a high death toll.
“The Somalis themselves were shocked about the number of women and children dying,” she said, adding later: “It should give us lessons learned, but what do we do with it? How do we correct it for next time?”
Much of the aid response came after pictures of weak and dying children were publicized by international media outlets around the time the U.N. declared a famine in July 2011.
“By then you are too late,” Everard said.
A report last year by the aid groups Oxfam and Save the Children found that rich donor nations waited until the crisis was in full swing before donating a substantial amount of money. The report also said aid agencies were slow to respond.
Quicker action wouldn’t have prevented the deaths in areas controlled by al-Shabab. The militant group prevented many men from leaving the famine-hit region and allowed no emergency food aid in.
Thousands of Somalis walked dozens or hundreds of miles to reach camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. Countless numbers of families lost children or elderly members along routes that became known as roads of death.
Somalia: Rumours Of Al-Shabaab’s Death Are Greatly Exaggerated
By Stig Hansen
April 25, 2013
Harakat Al Shabaab is an organisation that has, for many years, been misunderstood. This is perhaps most clearly illustrated by the frequent predictions concerning its fragmentation and imagined demise. These predictions first occurred in 2008 and have been repeated ever since. They overshadow a very important and, for Somalia, comparatively unique trait – namely its success in maintaining its unity relative to other Somali factions.
The second misunderstanding is the importance of the so-called ‘global-local divide’, where one part of the organisation is predicted to split of from Shabaab because of a supposed difference in focus. By using local sources, and studying interviews with the organisation’s leadership, a more complex picture emerges. This is a picture of an organisation influenced by clannism and with differences over strategy, its degree of centralization and implementation of Sharia, but also with a local focus, whose largest contribution to international radicalism is probably its foreign fighters, and NOT a will to strike at international targets.
The confusion was in many ways a product of stereotyping, both of Al Qaeda and of Shabaab itself, coupled with a lack of access to Somalia in order to carry out local interviews. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to visit Mogadishu continuously from 2006 until the present day – this greatly aided information gathering, but also created considerable irritation (on my part) over some of the external “desk top” analyses on Al-Shabaab.
Origins: Jihad and Justice
Shabaab itself was most probably formed in 2006, initiated by a Mogadishu based ‘old boys’ network made up of veterans from Afghanistan (and their supporters), also supported by Al Qaeda veterans, which at the time had little contact with regional Al Qaeda organisations. These veterans were formed by the so called “shadow wars” of Mogadishu between Western and Ethiopian intelligence, future Shabaab leaders, Al Qaeda veterans, warlords and clan militias – supposedly part of the “War on Terror,” but in reality a multifaceted conflict with many local dimensions.
Al-Shaabab’s initial success was driven by the perception that islamist control was preferable to the reign of the warlords – with all their crimes, random acts of violence and targeting of the civilian population. Shabaab, as a part of the wider Sharia court movement, managed to contribute to a more peaceful Mogadishu in 2006. This was the first lesson to be learned from Al-Shabaab’s success – if there is little protection offered to ordinary Somalis, through for example a non-paid predatory police, Shabaab will flourish – offering the harsh alternative of Sharia, which at-least give some resemblance of order, and of safety. A gender activist told the writer in 2007 that she preferred Shabaab to the government at the time, since the latter’s police were not paid, and plundered and raped – probably a true statement in this period. Indeed, Shabaab propaganda showed pictures of pillaging police in 2007 and 2008.
In 2007, Ethiopian use of heavy artillery, sometimes falling on civilians, helped the recruitment of a new, leaner and more radical Shabaab. This Shabaab drew attention to itself by speculative but low cost fighting techniques such as suicide bombings, but nevertheless avoided the larger battles that other parts of the opposition fought against the transitional government and the Ethiopians, saving its forces for later.
Fragmenting… as usual?
The first rumors of a split inside the Shabaab occurred in 2009, when Ethiopia withdrew from Somalia; Shabaab drastically expanded and took the then interim capital of Baidoa. The split was often said to have been between the previous spokesperson of Shabaab, Afghanistan veteran Muqtar Robow, and the leader of the organization, Muktar Abdirahman “Godane”. However, when I spoke to locals in Baidoa over the telephone at the time, they stressed the continued centralised nature of the movement, believing that for this reason it would survive. The analysts that predicted the collapse of the Shabaab also failed to notice that it was another Shabaab leader, Fuad Qalaf “Shongole”, who made the public critique of Robow, not Godane. And indeed Shabaab did not collapse.
Predictions of Shabaab’s split into factions led by Godane and Robow have continually resurfaced. Despite Shongole often making statements with a very local agenda, and Robow at times making statements on a very global agenda, and despite Shabaab’s clearly local modus operandi, abstaining from attacking international targets (the only exception being the Kampala attacks in 2010), the local-global division was repeatedly stated, with little evidence to show for it. By systematically exploring the speeches of the leaders, an alternative picture merges, a picture were the “local” is very important for the so-called globalist faction, while signals of a global interest are displayed by individuals supposedly close to Robow. For example, the initial adaptation of the very un-Somali suicide bombing technique by members of a sharia court militia close to Robow in 2006.
Shabaab’s other serious cleavages came to the fore following the Ramadan offensive in 2010, when Godane applied a very unusual strategy for Al Shabaab – namely large militia attacks over open territory. Most analysts, however, failed to understand the nature of these differences over tactics, and resistance towards Godane’s centralization attempts, often voiced by Shongole. The cleavage between Godane and Shongole, largely over Sharia implementation, was also totally neglected.
The fortunes of the Shabaab declined after the loss of the Ramadan offensive. It subsequently lost control of its territories in Mogadishu (including the important Bakara marked) and changed its strategy there to a guerilla based approach. Having lost Baidoa, and the important Southern port city of Kismayo, at the time of writing it is left in control of only a few smaller cities.
These defeats were, however, primarily as a result of African interventions (and not due to an internal disintegration of the Shabaab) – the Ugandan and Burundian AMISOM forces in Mogadishu and the (re)entry into the conflict by Ethiopia and Kenya in 2011/2012 respectively. The resilience of Al-Shabaab was almost unique in a Somali setting – despite taking a lot of losses, it managed to avoid direct confrontations between leaders in the open, save the critique of Omar Hamami (Abu Mansoor Al-Amriki), a rather peripheral figure in the Shabaab leadership, but admittedly quite prominent in their propaganda. The often predicted breakdown of Al-Shabaab simply did not take place. There where problems, but problems, as the last alleged showdown between Ibrahim Afghani and Godane demonstrated, never followed the supposed global-local divide, and, perhaps more importantly, never fragmented the organization – there were defections, but seldom from the top ranks.
More curiously, sources such as the diary of Fazul Muhamed, Al Qaeda’s leader in East Africa, as well as the papers from Abbotobad after the killing of Osama Bin laden, showed an Al Qaeda more inclined to mediate in the conflicts that plagued the Shabaab, and not always inclined to support the presumed “globalists” within the movement. Al Qaeda strategists also appeared worried about too harsh an implementation of sharia in Somalia, never pressing a more global agenda on the Shabaab, even being hesitant to the latter’s union with Al Qaeda.
An interim conclusion
The Globalist/localist division inside Shabaab has often been overstated, based on hear-say and seldom clearly proven, but it was a tempting narrative. In Somalia, the influence of this narrative has been damaging, as it failed to highlight other cleavages within the Shabaab, and the organisation’s real strengths and weaknesses.
The time has come to stop predicting a collapse of the Shabaab according to a globalist/localist fissure and to acknowledge the surprising show of unity within a predominantly Somali organization. For 9 years it has managed to transcend the centrifugal forces of clannism that has led almost every other organization in Somalia, including various governments, into fragmentation.
Shabaab has not been divided into a radical group that wants international action, and another group that just wants to reform Somalia – the two groups overlap, but with a mutual agreement that the focus should be on Somalia first, and after that on the region.
Shabaab’s relative success in bringing law and order in Somalia (admittedly of the harsh kind) should not be overlooked. Neither should its relative success in spreading jihad in Africa, by exporting ideology and training to Libyan, Sudanese, Nigerian, Kenyan, Tanzanian, and probably Ethiopian jihadist sympathizers, nor should the movement’s primary tactical focus, which is set on Somalia with an increasing interest in Kenya.
Stig Jarle Hansen is an Associate Professor in International Relations at the University of Life Sciences in Norway.
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
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.
A major British defence company is supplying the deadly US drone programme, which has killed scores of civilians, leading critics to condemn the UK as complicit in ‘war crimes’.
The firm, Cobham plc – which specialises in defence and communications electronics, including satellites – manufactures antennas for armed Predator drones used to launch fearsome weapons on to targets.
The Mail on Sunday can reveal that the Government has approved a series of controversial export licences for the firm, showing that Ministers are officially sanctioning the controversial US drones war.
The unmanned Predator, armed with Hellfire missiles or guided bombs and with a top speed of 135mph, has been used to find and kill Al Qaeda leaders and terrorists in a series of covert missions in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Africa.
Human rights groups say that the drone attacks violate international law and kill civilians.
British companies supplying military equipment to other countries must seek approval for contracts from the Government. Last year another British company, GE Intelligent Platforms, pulled out of supplying the Predator programme following an outcry.
But according to a document seen by The Mail on Sunday, the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) granted Cobham 31 drone export licences between 2008 and 2012. Many of the parts covered by the licences will end up being used in drones, including the Predator and Reaper.
In its literature, Cobham boasts of its work with the Predator. It says: ‘Cobham’s communications antennas, radar components and sub-systems play important roles in modern UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], including the General Atomics Predator family of drones.’
Last night human rights group Reprieve called on the Government to review its policy on granting the licences. Reprieve lawyer Catherine Gilfelder said: ‘US drones hover over towns in non-war zones 24 hours a day, seven days a week, terrorising communities and indiscriminately killing, in violation of international law.
‘The manufacture of components for Predators on British soil further implicates this country in these gross human rights violations.
‘The Government, by condoning the export of these components, is demonstrating a complete lack of concern for those affected by drones and for the UK’s reputation. Export controls urgently need to be tightened in order to end our complicity in this unlawful programme.’
John Hemming MP, a Liberal Democrat member of the all-party committee on drones, said: ‘The UK needs to stop facing both ways on armed drones. They may be efficient and cost effective tools for extra-judicial executions, but they don’t deliver peace.’
And Rehman Chishti, Conservative MP for Gillingham and Rainham, said: ‘It has previously been alleged that the Government has supported the American drone programme through providing locational intelligence and both of these issues raise serious questions about whether the Government has acted in accordance with international law.’
Foreign Secretary William Hague has said that the UK supports the use of armed drones only in Afghanistan where the UN has authorised military action. But the US military also operates armed drones in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen, where innocent civilians have been killed in attacks on suspected terrorists.
The Department for Business Innovation and Skills has refused to disclose details of licences on grounds of commercial confidentiality. A spokesman said that human rights issues were properly considered in all export licence decisions.
A spokesman for Cobham, which is based in Dorset, confirmed it supplied antennas ‘to numerous unmanned systems including the US Predator, specifically via our facility in Texas.’
The World Bank’s working definition of the Non-Governmental Organisations “The NGOs” is, “ private organizations that pursue activities to relieve suffering, promote the interests of the poor, protect the environment, provide basic social services or undertake community development.” But many people now ask whether the NGOs that work in Africa are progressively engaged in activities that are developmentally sustainable. And by the way, how democratic and accountable are the NGOs?
Here in Kenya, it looks as though most Kenyan middle class individuals, and their regional counterparts who live in Nairobi, have their own Non-Governmental Organizations or are partners in NGOs with others. Interestingly, Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, is the base for this huge, unregulated and unaccountable industry which, when looked at the surface, seems to have a supporting role for the local economy, human rights advocacy and governance programmes. Nairobi is the NGO’s capital in Africa.
I came to the conclusion, however, that the overwhelming majority of the NGOs do more harm than good to livelihoods and sustainable developments in Africa. Here is my charge sheet: NGOs artificially sustain a false economy whereby they push huge amounts of cash into the pockets of corrupted local African partners while taking most of the cash back to their private bank accounts in Europe and elsewhere. Yes, they do pay the salaries of a few people here and there who support their families. But that’s not my point. The NGOs actually work against home-grown developmental strategies in Africa. The NGO operatives don’t want the recycling of aid operations – which creates chronic dependency and corruption within the receiving societies – to end. For example, NGOs are not prepared to cede some power or train local people to take over in the future, and they don’t give the confidence necessary to carry out the work to local government personnel of the countries that they operate in. Africans have the experience and the expertise to own the operations of the NGOs, but actually the foreign bosses of the NGOs want to retain power in order to continue the dependency culture that they have created.
In Kenya, the number of the NGOs in Nairobi had surpassed the capacity of the Kenya government departments. If you stop at a traffic junction in downtown Nairobi for a moment, you’d have spotted every few seconds that passes an especially number-plated NGO’s 4X4, clearly marked on the side with the logo of the NGO that owns it or a partnership logo with a government department. This is true. And you may find out more if you ask anyone who lives in Nairobi. When a European colleague and I recently took the steps of a 1st floor coffee shop at Yaya centre in Nairobi, he whispered to my air and said, ‘this is where they cook Somalia.” He was referring to the mixture of Europeans and Africans in most of the tables we passed.
Leaving that Mall later that evening, we waited for our taxi for nearly an hour, because the car parking lot was full and the road leading to the centre was choking with traffic. I confirmed my colleague’s statement when I later met a couple of NGO reps at Yaya centre. It’s the same story in every other Western-style shopping centre throughout Nairobi. Perhaps, they do cook Somalia at Yaya and Congo at the Junction Mall! I have lived in Nairobi since October of last year, and I have seen more than my fair share of NGO’s actual activities in this region.
Sexual freedom, women’s rights, child soldiers, judicial reform, and what they call “good” or “better governance” are the areas they concentrate on most of their efforts, and these kinds of NGOs are plentiful here in Nairobi. However, you wonder how can they empower women or protect the rights of the child in Africa if they keep corrupting the very institutions that are meant to carry out the necessary support systems? Christian and Muslim NGOs are here too. But unlike conventional NGOs, the religious charities also compete relentlessly among themselves for the hearts and minds of Africa’s poor. Read the bible or the Koran and we will dig water wells for your community is their main policy objective. Religious-based NGOs, however, are far more active in helping alleviate the short and medium term needs of their target populations, building a match-box-sized school there or bringing few mattresses to a hospital in that village.
Much of the operations of WilsonAirport, Nairobi’s second airport, are NGO-related. Tens of light aircrafts take off from this airport for destinations across East and Central Africa every day. Daily flights depart for Kinshasa, Kisangani, Juba (South Sudan), Mogadishu, Kigali and Hargeisa, most of the time carrying a few NGO executives who fly twice a week from Wilson to sign yet other non-existent projects with local leaders of their destinations.
And it’s not only the local African populations that receive the brunt of NGO’s onslaught; ethical journalism is victim too. Upon arrival in the continent, NGOs reps and journalists link up much quicker than other professional expats because they depend on each other in the rough terrain of Africa. It makes business sense too, more corrupting business that is. NGOs are the first to find an African tragedy. Then, they call their journalist colleagues in on their phones, and upon arrival they provide with them handy 4X4s, complete with experienced driver and armed bodyguards. To return the favour, journalists beam to the Western prime time televisions with harrowing stories of death and destruction.
In fact, the journalists are encouraged to travel on the NGO’s chartered planes for free, and in return for the hospitality, the NGO executives ask the journalists to bring graphic pictures and exaggerated stories of the local situation back with them, ready for consumption in Western capitals for more donations.
The NGOs have unlimited powers here in Africa and they are unaccountable to any other authority. In Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda, for example, NGOs act as something more or less similar to coalition governments. But in Somalia and the Congo, they effectively run the whole country. African ministers are powerless against the NGOs and are scared of them for fear of being deprived of future funds. Or they may have already been corrupted by them so the NGOs have the upper hand all the time. I heard a firsthand account of a Somali minister begging an NGO executive from his hotel room for extra subsistence allowance while the plane taking him back to Mogadishu was being repaired.
NGO operatives often resist the calls for relocations closer to epic centres of their operations, like setting up shops in various towns across Somalia and the Congo. Earlier this year, the UN agencies have issued directives to partner organisations to relocate their staff to Somalia by May 2013. To my knowledge so far, none of them had done so. Almost all of the NGOs that have activities in Somalia, South Sudan and the Congo are based in Nairobi and do not wish, apart from periodical visits, to base themselves in the country of their operations. Simply, it’s not comfortable enough for them to live there. You’d have thought that the safety of their personnel is their main priority, but the stories I am discovering are doubtful and suggest otherwise.
Early last month while I was returning from Djibouti, I met a Norwegian aid worker at Addis AbabaAirport. We were both transiting at Addis on our way to Nairobi. I asked where he was coming from. ‘Hargeisa,” was his reply. The British government had earlier that week issued a warning of a credible terrorism-related activity in Somaliland. Without my prompting, he added, “Bloody UK Foreign Office, many people were leaving Hargeisa.” He told me that he and his family live in Nairobi, and that his children attend private schools there. I asked about the operations of his organisation in Somaliland. “On my part, nothing much really,” and he went on, “I just visit Hargeisa once in every three months, and Garoowe, twice a year, simply to check the boys and girls there.” There is no way to verify this story as people often misrepresent themselves in a volatile and dangerous region like the Horn of Africa.
If the NGOs are in Africa for anything other than transitional services, they should not be allowed to operate in this continent any longer. The NGO culture must come to an end in Africa and throughout the developing world. Where NGOs have become a substitute for governments for so long, it’s almost impossible to lay the foundations of a functioning state. Moreover, places like Somalia, the Congo and Afghanistan where NGOs have operated for decades now, they should set the example for any change in policy from donor states. How can we expect a Somali or an Afghan minister who begs for his subsistence allowance from an NGO to take on the Shabaab or the Taliban? Simply, it doesn’t make sense. Real power should be removed from the NGOs and transferred to the indigenous populations.
I suggest that a pilot programme somewhere in Africa – perhaps Somalia or Congo – should be put into action sooner rather than later.
In fact it’s time to overhaul the cartel-style aid industry in Africa and the developing world. It makes all the sense in the world to hand over the cash to the institutions it meant to be supporting and embed couple of auditors in them. It’s cheaper, highly effective and it will be in line with the local socio-economy in a sustainable manner. Donor states should seriously reconsider whether to funnel their tax payer’s money and other resources through unaccountable third parties.
The current differences on the democratization process between Puntland authorities and opposition parties could escalate into destabilization of Puntland and gave opportunities to militants and extremists including Al-shabab now in hiding. Puntland Traditional Leadership and donor community should immediately intervene before it becomes too late to bridge the gap and mistrust between Puntland leadership and opposition political associations.
Democratization was never meant to jeopardize peace and stability in the State, but enhance people’s confidence in the process and add harmony and understanding among inhabitants. Ignored and unaddressed, this simmering political confrontation now could serve as time bomb that can explode anytime as popular protest against real or perceived Government manipulations of electoral process grow louder in the coming weeks and months. It is now about the time to intervene and mediate sides.
Already, some members of the opposition like UDAD (PPP), Midnimo, PDP and others have declared that they will be boycotting the upcoming local elections. This is a bad omen for Puntland stability and must be avoided at any cost.
These new political parties sent out letters to all local and international bodies, party to the electoral process recently and issued press releases, complaining about Government sponsorship and support for amendments, omissions by local Parliament of critical articles in the multiparty electoral laws .
A compromise arrangement has to be made to bring parties together for an agreement acceptable to all. It is in the best interests of all parties concerned to prevent hostilities and political violence.
We, Somalis, all belong to a particular clan. But, the secret is to use that for reconciliation, good neighborhood, conflict resolution, cross-cultural/clan friendship and for knowing each other as societal membership identification. This, in turn, can be used to a national advantage for unity and togetherness as all stakeholders. That is the best use, in my opinion, based my experience on the ground over many years. Once used for division and hatred, everyone loses. In the Somali culture, one is at easy and comfortable once he or she knows whom one is meeting with for the first time. It does not matter which clan one belongs to.
Britain is one oldest of the oldest nations on earth-they have it and society knows who is an Irish, Scot or English. They have macro-clans in the form of ethnic nationalities. It is the same thing, if our situation is not even much better because of our unique affinity. That does not pull themselves or their country apart. Other nations have similar ethnic nationalities. i don’t buy the notion that clans are responsible for Somalia‘s misery. It is bad and poor government leadership, corruption and mismanagement of public resources and absence of sound public institutions as a result that is at core of Somalia’s predicament.
The warnings emerge from an annual report on anti-Semitism in the world, released on the eve of Israel’s memorial day for the 6 million Jews killed by German Nazis and their collaborators in World War II.
The report noted a 30 percent jump in anti-Semitic violence and vandalism last year, after a two-year decline. It was issued at TelAvivUniversity, in cooperation with the European Jewish Congress, an umbrella group representing Jewish communities across Europe.
The report recorded 686 attacks in 34 countries, ranging from physical violence to vandalism of synagogues and cemeteries, compared to 526 in 2011. It said 273 of the attacks last year, or 40 percent, involved violence against people.
The report linked the March, 2012 shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, where an extremist Muslim gunman killed four people, to a series of attacks that followed – particularly in France, where physical assaults on Jews almost doubled.
The report by the university’s Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry found little correlation between the increase of anti-Semitic attacks and Israel’s military operation in Gaza in November. While there was a spike in incidents at the time, it was much smaller in number and intensity than the one that followed the Toulouse school attack, said Roni Stauber, the chief researcher on the project.
“This shows that the desire to harm Jews is deeply rooted among extremist Muslims and right-wingers, regardless of events in the Middle East,” he said. An Israeli offensive in Gaza four years earlier led to a significant spike in attacks against Jews in Europe.
This year, researchers pointed to a correlation between the strengthening of extreme right-wing parties in some European countries and high levels of anti-Semitic incidents, as well as attacks on other minorities and immigrants.
They said Europe’s economic crisis was fueling the rise of extremist parties like Jobbik in Hungary, Golden Dawn in Greece and Svoboda in Ukraine.
This shows that the desire to harm Jews is deeply rooted among extremist Muslims and right-wingers, regardless of events in the Middle East
Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, called for strong action by the European Union, charging that governments – particularly in Hungary – were not doing enough to curb these parties’ activities and protect minorities.
“Neo-Nazis have been once again legalized in Europe. They are openly sitting in parliaments,” Kantor complained.
Kantor, a Russian-Swiss businessman, said the EU should even consider expelling Hungary and Greece. “If they do not protect their own population against neo-Nazism, with all the lessons Europe had already, maybe there is no place for them in the European Union,” he told The Associated Press after the presentation of the report.
First, he said, his group has asked the European Parliament to hold a special hearing on Hungary. The parliament is planning the hearings, said parliament spokesman Jaume Duch.
The president of the parliament, Martin Schulz, has been openly critical of anti-Semitism in Europe.
There was no immediate reaction from European officials, but the chances of punishing any country for the results of a democratic election are slim. The EU has never suspended a member state, much less tried to expel one.
Golden Dawn swept into Greece’s parliament for the first time in June on an anti-immigrant platform. The party rejects the neo-Nazi label but is fond of Nazi literature and references. In Hungary, a Jobbik lawmaker has called for Jews to be screened as potential security risks. The leader of Ukraine’s Svoboda denies his party is anti-Semitic but has repeatedly used derogatory terms to refer to Jews.
Among all the business that was left undone when the Western “donor”-powers/U.N. rammed through the “transition” to the Somali Federal Government (S.F.G.) in the late summer of 2012 was that of the form that a permanent Somali state would take.
In particular, although it specified that Somalia would be a federal state, the interim constitution did not decide the issue of whether the form of federalism would be centralized or decentralized, paving the way for a political struggle that is now underway between interests favoring an arrangement in which the central government would dominate regional states and those favoring one in which the regional states would have substantial autonomy in relation to the central government. The two focal points of the conflict over decentralized and centralized federalism are, respectively, Puntland, the only established regional state in Somalia, and the S.F.G., the recognized central government. The territories in which the conflict is playing out are the regions of south-central Somalia, in which regional states have not yet been formed. The S.F.G. has been attempting to set up regional administrations in south-central Somalia that are loyal to it, whereas Puntland is encouraging the formation of regional states that are independently organized. With forces in favor of both arrangements in each of the south-central regions, the conflict has become a test of power region by region.
Of all the regions in south-central Somalia, those in the deep south – Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba, and Gedo – have become the test case for whether Somalia will adopt centralized or decentralized federalism. Even before the inception of the S.F.G., a process had begun to unite the deep-southern regions in a regional state that was undertaken by local politicians and clan leaders independently of any central authority. By early November, 2012, that process to create a “Jubbaland” state modeled on Puntland had matured to the point that negotiations among the participants moved from Kenya to the capital of Lower Jubba, Kismayo, and preparations for a convention to inaugurate Jubbaland were underway. Faced with the imminent prospect of a regional state in south-central Somalia that was formed without the S.F.G.’s guidance, the S.F.G.’s president, Hassan Sh. Mohamud, asserted that any regional state in the deep south should be formed under the direction of the central government. In response, the technical committee overseeing the preparations for the Jubbaland convention dispatched a delegation to Somalia’s capital Mogadishu to attempt to persuade Hassan to back the Jubbaland process. Hassan countered that the administrations of the deep-southern regions should be appointed by the S.F.G. The initial face-off had ended in a deadlock.
From mid-November, 2012 through late February, 2013, the conflict remained frozen as both sides attempted to mobilize support, and preparations for the Jubbaland convention proceeded. The struggle reignited in late February, on the eve of the convention’s opening and has gone on since then.
The Show-Down Begins
Slated to start on February 23, the Jubbaland convention was delayed when armed clashes broke out between Ogaden-Darod and Marehan-Darod militias in Kismayo, and some of the delegates to the convention from Gedo had not yet arrived in the city.
On February 24, as reported by Hiiraan Online, the S.F.G. attempted to pre-empt the convention, with S.F.G. interior minister, Abdikarim Hass Guled announcing that the S.F.G. had not been involved in the preparations for the Jubbaland convention and would hold a “more inclusive” convention of its own for the deep-southern regions. “We are inviting all parties to attend this conference including the interim local rulers [who are key figures in the Jubbaland process] and all the local stakeholders,” said Guled.
The counter-convention turned out to be a bargaining chip for Guled when he arrived in Kismayo on February 25 with an S.F.G. ministerial delegation and met with local officials involved in the Jubbaland convention. As reported by Garowe Online, Guled suggested that the convention be held in Mogadishu, whereas his interlocutors insisted that its venue remain in Kismayo. According to Moallim Mohamed Ibrahim, speaking for the convention’s organizing committee, the Jubbaland leadership had repeated to Guled the invitation that they had “always extended” to the S.F.G. to participate in the convention, to which, he said, the S.F.G. had not replied. Having had their counter-offer of a Mogadishu convention rejected, the S.F.G. delegation returned to Mogadishu, saying that they would consult with Hassan on the possibility that the S.F.G. would participate in the Jubbaland convention.
On February 27, more convention delegates from Gedo arrived in Kismayo. It came to light that the absence of the Gedo delegates had been due to some Gedo politicians’ opposition to the convention. Sh. Mohamud Daud Odweyne, spokesman for the Ahlu Sunna Wal-Jamaa (A.S.W.J.) movement, a Sufi-associated militia that is prominent in Gedo, and a member of the Jubbaland technical committee, told Garowe Online that he had met with the opposition politicians in Gedo’s capital Garbaharay and had convinced them that they should attend the convention. On the same day, Guled sent a tweet warning that “no clan or armed group” could create an administration in Kismayo. Guled was making a veiled reference to the Ogaden-Darod and the leader of the Raskamboni movement, which is dominated by that sub-clan, Sh. Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Madobe), who chairs Kismayo’s interim administration. The opposition Gedo politicians were Marehan-Darod.
The Jubbaland convention opened on February 28 with a speech by Madobe in which he urged the S.F.G. to attend. The delegates, who numbered more than 400, then began discussions on a schedule for mapping out a Jubbaland regional state. The S.F.G. had failed in its first attempt to derail or redirect the Jubbaland process.
The S.F.G. made its next move on March 2, when the office of S.F.G. prime minister, Abdi Farah Shirdon, issued a statement declaring the Jubbaland convention to be “unconstitutional:” “The government’s constitutional mandate is to establish a federal state as the end goal.” In fulfilling its mandate, said Shirdon, “the government will only be a facilitator.” The statement ended by warning that in its unilateral action, “the Kismayo convention will jeopardize the efforts of reconciliation, peace building and state-building, create tribal divisions and also undermines the fight against extremism in the region.”
In a statement issued on February 26, the Puntland government had already accused the S.F.G. of “violating the country’s [Somalia’s] Provisional Federal Constitution “ by “actively interfering with the formation of emerging Federated States, such as Jubbaland in southern Somalia.
Rekeying a political conflict as a legal dispute is a syndrome that became chronic during the tenure of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government, which preceded the S.F.G. Such a move can undoubtedly produce peaceful and orderly dispute resolution when there is an established body of law, legitimate institutions of adjudication, and acceptance of the decisions of those institutions by disputants. In the absence of the fulfillment of those requisites, however, as is the case in Somalia today, legal argumentation tends to replicate political conflict and to distort it by diverting attention from substantive issues. That pattern of distorted replication becomes particularly acute when the document in which the argument is rekeyed is incomplete and poorly drafter, which is the case with the interim Somali constitution. Whether the lacunae and ambiguities are the result of the constitution’s having been rushed, including unresolved compromises, or being incompetently drafter (one wonders about the role of the Western experts who were hired to prevent such problems), the provisional constitution is an invitation to endless legal contretemps.
In the present case, the arguments turn on Article 49, which addresses “The Number and Boundaries of the FederalMemberStates and Districts.” The S.F.G. and its supporters base their case on the first section of Article 49, which says: “The number and boundaries of the Federal Member States shall be determined by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.” From the S.F.G.’s viewpoint, no regional state can be formed independently of parliamentary decision, from which the S.F.G. draws the conclusion that it has been tasked with forming interim administrations where there are no existing regional states, pending parliamentary decision. In contrast, Puntland and the supporters of the Jubbaland process cite the sixth section of Article 49, which says: ”Based on a voluntary decision, two or more regions may merge to form a FederalMemberState.”
The ambiguity is further muddied by the second and third sections of Article 49, which require parliament to nominate a national commission to “study the issue” and report to the lower house of parliament, and that parliament enact a law defining the commission’s responsibilities and powers, the “parameters and conditions it shall use for the establishment of the Federal Member States,” and the number of commissioners and their requirements. The commission, of course, has not yet been established and the lower house has not yet defined “the parameters and conditions” for a regional state, which could be based either on a process overseen by the central government or one initiated locally and ratified by parliament.
[The fourth and fifth sections of Article 49 address the number and boundaries of districts within regional states and are not at issue here, since they assume that regional states have already been established.]
It is clear that neither the S.F.G. nor the supporters of the Jubbaland process has a knock-down constitutional case, since the requirements for a regional state have not yet been defined. The opponents have been throwing sections one and six of Article 49 against each other, while ignoring section 3(b), which shows how the issue is supposed to be resolved constitutionally, when and if parliament gets down to defining the “parameters and conditions” of and for a regional state. Meanwhile their dispute is doomed to revolve in a constitutional void. The lower house of parliament has begun the process of revising the constitution; it might also start fulfilling its requirements under it.
The Story Resumes
With the drafters of the provisional federal constitution having dumped the question of how to define a regional state into the lap of parliament, which shows no sign of resolving it, the political show-down over Jubbaland continued.
The conflict took on a military aspect on March 6, when S.F.G. forces based in Gedo crossed into Lower Jubba and set up camp at Berhani, about twenty-five miles from Kismayo. As reported by Garowe Online, the provisional administration in Lower Jubba headed by Madobe prepared to send his forces to Berhani to push back the S.F.G. contingent, but was prevented from doing so by Kenyan forces in the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which attempted without success to persuade the S.F.G. to pull back. The provisional governor of Gedo, Mohamed Abdi Kalil, who opposes the Jubbaland process, said that the S.F.G. forces were in Berhani to “safeguard peace.”
Alarmed by the prospect of armed conflict between the S.F.G. and supporters of the Jubbaland convention, Kenya and the sub-regional Horn of Africa organization, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (I.G.A.D.), which has backed the Jubbaland process, called Madobe and S.F.G. military officials to Nairobi to resolve the dispute. The Jubbaland convention was suspended in Madobe’s absence. On March 23, Madobe returned to Kismayo and announced that both sides had reached agreement on “all the issues” and that the Jubbaland convention would continue without disturbance.
As more delegates to the convention arrived in Kismayo from Gedo, and the convention’s technical committee announced progress on drafting a three-year interim constitution for the Jubbaland state, S.F.G. Prime Minister Shirdon announced on March 24 that he would visit Kismayo as part of his “listening tour” of Somalia’s regions.
Shirdon arrived in Kismayo on March 26 and immediately met with leaders of the Jubbaland convention. Garowe Online reported that Shirdon repeated the S.F.G.’s position that it should appoint regional administrations for Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba, and Gedo. According to the Mareeg website, leaders of the Raskamboni movement countered Shirdon by saying that the S.F.G. would not be allowed to participate in the Jubbaland convention and could only attend as “visitors.”
Talks continued on March 27 and a joint committee was appointed by the two sides to hammer out a “cooperation agreement,” but the committee deadlocked over the S.F.G.’s demands that Kismayo’s airport and seaport by handed over to its control, that S.F.G. forces from Mogadishu be stationed in Kismayo, that the S.F.G. appoint an administration for Lower Jubba, and that the Jubbaland convention be disbanded. Madobe refused to accept any of those demands, and, on March 29, as reported by Hiiraan Online, S.F.G. Interior Minister Guled announced that the talks had “collapsed” on account of the Jubbanland leaders’ “unconstitutional demands.”
Having failed twice to thwart the Jubbaland convention by sending high-level delegations to Kismayo, including the prime minister the second time, the S.F.G. officials returned to Mogadishu. In commenting to the press on his visit, Shirdon appeared at the outset to hold out an olive branch to his Jubbaland rivals, saying that he was “content with the current administration” in Kismayo and praising the communities in the deep south for organizing the Jubbaland convention. Then, however, he reversed field, noting that the Jubbaland process did not conform to the way the S.F.G. expected “state administrations in Somalia to be established.” In particular, Shirdon claimed that the Jubbaland process was flawed because in its inception it did not include the S.F.G. in a leadership role, which would have insured that “all communities” in the deep-southern regions were represented in the process. As reported on the Mareeg website, Shirdon noted that “the people of the Jubba region were divided on the convention and that the S.F.G. was needed to “reconcile the Jubba clans.” Appealing to the fourth section of Article 49, Shirdon claimed that no regional states could be formed before a national commission on regional states had released a report. The prime minister omitted mentioning that the constitution does not mandate the central government to prohibit local processes to initiate regional states in the absence of parliament’s fulfillment of the fourth section of Article 49. Both sides continued to act in a constitutional void.
With both sides claiming constitutional sanction and neither of them clearly having it, the conflict moved back to a political power struggle. In the S.F.G.’s next move, Shirdon resumed his listening tour, visiting Gedo, where he appointed the S.F.G.’ ally Kalil as interim governor and made an agreement with A.S.W.J. to merge its forces with the Somali National Army. Meanwhile the Jubbaland convention unanimously ratified a transitional constitution for the new regional state on April 2, with more than 870 members voting, as reported by the Sabahi website.
On April 3, a split surfaced in the federal parliament when forty-four M.P.’s, most of them from the Jubba regions, traveled to Kismayo to show their support for the Jubbaland convention. As reported by RBC Radio, the M.P.’s visit “came a day after tense debate” in the federal parliament, in which the “bulk of the house’s members” opposed it.
Countering the S.F.G.’s moves to undermine the Jubbaland process, Puntland sent a ministerial delegation to the convention to show its support and to make it clear that Puntland would not acquiesce in the S.F.G.’s interpretation of its role. Puntland’s minister of public works, Dahir Haji Khalif, said that the delegation was “ready to contribute our advice in the establishment of Jubbaland state administration.” Former T.F.G. prime minister, Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, also arrived at the convention as an observer, urging the S.F.G. to “fully respect the interest and legal rights of people in Jubbaland.”
The face-off in November, 2012 had become a full-fledged show-down.
Assessment of the Show-Down
There is little interpretation that an analyst can add to a narrative of the first phases of the show-down over Jubbaland between the interests in favor of centralized federalism and those advocating decentralized federalism. As the conflict proceeds, it increasingly takes on a clan character centered on the Marehan-Darod, who are divided among those who support the Jubbaland process and those who
believe that their-sub-clan is under-represented in it. The S.F.G. has moved to gain a foothold by bolstering the disaffected Marehan (what else could it do but play the divide-and-rule game?); whereas Puntland has responded by showing overt support for the Jubbaland process (would one expect it to acquiesce in the S.F.G.’s moves?). That should be obvious from the narrative.
It would be easy for this analyst to describe the clan politics at work in the deep-southern regions and beyond, but to do so would be poisonous and fruitless. He can only say that at its root the breakdown and degeneration can be traced to the vicious naivete, malign neglect, narrow self-interest, and incredible hypocrisy of the “donor”-powers/U.N., but it is too late to do anything about that. The provisional constitution is a “$60 million ‘panacea’” as Abukar Arman puts it perfectly, with bitter irony, in an analysis posted on April 5.
Only Somalis will be able to pull themselves out of the pit into which they are falling. It is obvious that nobody else will help them, at least politically, and nobody ever did since the fall of Siad Barre.
Report Drafted By: Dr. Michael A. Weinstein, Professor of Political Science, Purdue University in Chicago email@example.com
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