by Mohamud M Uluso
Friday, December 17, 2010
The inevitable outcome of the contradictory and illusory actions of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG), of the armed Islamists, of the clan-based Regional Entities, of the neighboring and occupying countries of Somalia, of the International Community (IC), and of the “Transnational Somali Diaspora” is the quick death of gravely ill Somalia. TFG is part of the death scheme that is glossed over and it is impossible to make it functioning as a government working for the common interest of the Somali people.
The responsibility to prevent such imminent mournful outcome falls on the shoulders of those who believe and want to be recognized as “Somali Citizens” and are able to focus on the “real bigger picture”, which is the fate of the “Republic of Somalia.” It is up to the “Somali Citizens” to device the relationship and social harmony that would guarantee their long term stability, security, unity and prosperity after years of civil war and foreign interventions. There must be common understanding of what Somali Citizenship entails vs. clan, religious or group affiliations.
Some Somalis have chosen to be separate and indifferent. Others have failed to see the destructive and dead end path they have chosen to travel on. Others have decided to pursue their personal interests through deceptive and unpatriotic ways. The rest are overwhelmed by the struggle for survival. As a result, the country is up for grab.
The anti Somali political platform of armed extremist Islamists has generated accusations, suspicion, detentions, and of all sorts of abuses against all Somalis inside and outside of Somalia. The day the majority of Somalis wherever and whatever passport they hold will be forced to curtail or totally abandon the freedom of movement, the liberty to engage in legitimate economic and political activities could be upon them despite the hope that justice and open-mindedness will ultimately prevail. The harsh treatment of Islamists against Somalis has intensified and justified the allegiance to and dependence on foreign forces.
The Transnational Somali Diaspora is confused about the difference between the Somali interests, culture, the nature of the Somali problem, the provisions of the Transitional Federal Charter and the foreign culture, priorities, and laws. Currently, the political system of Somalia is set, controlled and legitimized by the IC. Therefore, the Transnational Somali Diaspora became receiver of the Somali political power through foreign controlled system based on corruption, misinformation and threats. The European Union threatened Members of Parliament with suspension of salary payments if they do not immediately approve the new Cabinet.
A quick recap of some of the events in the past months is good illustrative of the TFG’s uselessness. A Nominal Government like TFG without real political base and power will not serve any purpose.
First, former TFG Minister of Defense, Prof Mohamed A. Gandhi and the Kenya Government developed and implemented a plan to train more than 2,000 men forces in Kenya in order to attack Jubba Regions of Somalia and create a Regional State. This plan, not approved by the TFG, was halted in its track by Ethiopia.
Second, former Prime Minister (PM) Omar Abdirashid A. Sharmarke vacated (resigned) Office after he received as reported 1.5 million dollars. It is not clear who really wanted the PM’s removal and for what reason(s). It doesn’t seem that lack of performance was a real reason for his removal since President Sheikh Sharif Sh Ahmed and Speaker Sharif Sheikh Hassan exercised 75 % of TFG power.
Third, after weeks of consultations with foreign leaders, President Sharif has appointed a new Prime Minister Mr. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed ‘Formajo’ whose name surfaced few days before his appointment. There are different stories behind his surprise selection. One of the stories suggests that he has been proposed by a foreign private security firm. Another story emphasizes his connection with President Sharif’s Chief of Staff, Abdulkareem Jama whose mysterious power, religious group affiliation, groupthink (clannish) management and unprincipled views with regard to Djibouti process left many scratching their heads. Abdulkareem is seen as the manager of TFG. His appointment as Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and Information has raised many red flags.
The Speaker of Parliament shook down the new PM and his new Cabinet. Representatives of the IC led by the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General (SRSG) travelled to Mogadishu to pressure TFG leadership to stop their unacceptable behavior. All times the IC delegations met with TFG leadership at the Airport instead of Villa Somalia despite the presence of AMISOM forces. That special self care reveals the misery and danger in Mogadishu and the low deference accorded to TFG leaders.
With laughable explanation, the Speaker reversed his position after undisclosed concessions. While he knew all along that a minimum of 72 MPs never joined the Parliament in the first place and another 135 MPs were absent for long time, he repeatedly argued that the Cabinet needed 276 yes votes for approval out of 343 MPs. This shows his dereliction of responsibility and leadership deficiency. The fact the new Cabinet is part and under the oversight of such hypocritical leadership, it must be insane to expect a meaningful change from it.
Fourth, Ethiopia’s recent commentaries about TFG convey the impression that it is not enthusiastic about the re-packaged TFG. Consequently, it has deputized President Farole to attack the TFG. Further, to raise the profile of Alhu Sunna Wal Jama (ASWJ) over TFG, it will train 1,000 ASWJ forces. It has also called an extraordinary summit of IGAD Heads of State and Government, which demanded the UN Security Council the approval and immediate implementation of naval blockade, a no fly zone over Somalia and the deployment of an additional 12,000 AMISOM forces. This will allow Ethiopia to permanently be involved in the internal affairs of Somalia.
Fifth, contrary to the CNN headline that says “Somalia receives first Head of State visit in nearly 20 years,” President Yoweri K. Museveni visited Uganda troops in Mogadishu. In reality he summoned TFG leadership in a bunker in the AMISOM Headquarter and gave them a pep talk because President Museveni controls Mogadishu.
Sixth, a security company called Saracen International trains and equips 1,200 men with weapons, 120 pickup trucks, 4 armored trucks and 6 small aircrafts in Puntland. So far more than 10 million dollars were paid by unidentified Muslim Country. Saracen International which is owned by brother of President Museveni will also train TFG Presidential Guard. President Sharif and his Chief of Staff Abdulkareem Jama, President Farole and his son, all are counterparts to Saracen Officials who are the owner and his surrogates- Mr. Pierre Prosper, former US Ambassador at Large for war crimes, Mr. Michael Shanklin former CIA deputy station in Somalia and Mr. Bill Pelser, former member of South African Special Forces. The term Saracen has Islamic connotation.
Seventh, the US Administration announced a new policy strategy called a “Dual Track Approach” towards Somalia. The basic tenet of this strategy is that the US Administration will deal with all entities, agents and actors of Somalia like TFG, Regional Entities and clans who are willing to confront extremism, terrorism and piracy. This approach has dramatically down-graded TFG. The Special Envoy of European Commission to Somalia has declared that such policy was for long time the cornerstone of European strategy. Similarly Ethiopia welcomed the strategy as vindication for its strategy towards Somalia. The most probable interpretation of the US Administration strategy is license for warlordism, factionalism, and polarization, which would facilitate permanent foreign intervention or occupation in Somalia in the foreseeable future.
Eight, the constitutional draft is going with full speed. President Sharif, despite his previous objection to the Constitutional draft process, has nominated individuals whom the UNDP should consult with about the completion of the constitution. The IC wants a new Constitution and invented governance Model without known Somali Stakeholders. The process falls outside the control and authority of TFG and contradicts US-EU Approach.
As TFG is a totaled institution and the conferences outside Somalia have become insignificants, an alternative which is reflective of the present reality, is necessary. A proposal sort of the “a framework for a Transitional Government in Somalia,” drafted by President Ahmed M. Silanyo in March 1991, could be the first step.
Mr. Mohamud M Uluso