by Sheikhnor A. Qassim
Friday, August 10, 2012
The world continues to wonder about the lack of peace in Somali after so many years. However; what they don’t know is that the international community always interferes on Somali affairs and invests on shady processes that polarizes the public and impoverishes the country. In 2008, the UN and the international community created a monster parliament of 550 MPs; though the UN celebrated this as a great step to the right direction, it was in fact a big disaster for Somalia.
The ongoing process to end the transition is fraudulent and is a shame to the UN and the international community who are supporting it both financially and militarily. The public has spoken and is overwhelmingly asking for transparency, accountability and inclusiveness. Up to now nobody knows, who owns the process? Is it a Somali owned or is it a UN process supported by the international community? The one thing that has emerged over and over is that the process seems to be owned by the roadmap signatories who have been given the liberty to design, and mismanage the entire process as they deem appropriate.
The behavior of the UN and the international community towards Somalia is troubling because traditionally their policy has always been pleasing the bad boys of Somalia. In the past 12 years, with all the support and commitment, politically Somalia remained paralyzed. Somalis are skeptical and often question why Somalia is dragged into the mud all the time.
Twenty one years ago the public had overwhelmingly welcomed the short-lived victory that led to the end of the
military regime. After 21 years of chaos and anarchy, the UN with its international partners is once again supporting a totalitarian system led and fully controlled by the roadmap signatories. This is unacceptable. In the eyes of the public the current leadership has failed to effectively run the day-to-day business of the government. Instead of institution building, their focus has been more on wrongheaded policies that tend to emasculate the fragile peace
obtained in Mogadishu. During their tenure as TFG leaders, institutions remained in existence and the government can’t provide basic services to its citizens. The future of the entire nation remains grim.
The people are stuck between rock and a hard place with TFG leaders and Al-Shabab running deadly shows.
Ironically with all the complaints raised against this shady process, it looks like the message is falling on deaf ears. Somalis continue to blame the UN and the international community because they are the one who are sustaining the last breath for the TFG. The inclusion of bogus elders, the intimidation and the corruption in the selection of the MPs are prime examples of a hopeless process deliberately designed to support a group and completely deny access to other potential candidates.
It appears as though the UN and the international community has no power or no interest in considering or accommodating the public demand. Their main interest seems to focus on the August 20 deadline.
Sadly this is again a loss of a big opportunity to stabilize Somalia. The AMISOM soldiers have done a superb
job in defeating Al-Shabab and secure Mogadishu. In order to continue and sustain their military success a complete leadership change is necessary as the current leadership has even failed to establish a disciplined army. There are only 13 days left; time is dicey and knowing that the president, the deposed speaker and the prime minister each
finalized his own last strategy to remain in power, while isolating the contending candidates. They are the only
power controlling the process; the only group who has resources and money to buy the MPs- infusing transparency to the process is vital. The public is desperately looking for a better process to end the transition, but there are no signs of relief. These last days are crucial for the future of Somalia; the process must be made transparent. It won’t matter if it goes beyond August 20. The most important thing is defying a fraudulent process.
It is not acceptable that the world will support Arab Springs and invest money and sacrifice people on defeating leaders like Gadhafi, but legalize and fund few individuals with criminal backgrounds to hijack Somalia. I appeal to the UN and the international community to seriously look into these allegations and take the necessary steps to fix the process.
As a nation we should stand together and defy the culture of corruption in our society. We need to unite for the advancement of our country. Enough is enough.
If the Arta process of the last 4 years has resulted in displacements and killings of many thousands of Somalis,
the post-transitional era will be more devastating and more dangerous. We cannot just continue to hope that suddenly
shiny days will come - in reality, “hope is the worst of all evils, because it prolongs man's torments” (Friedrich Nietzsch). We ought to stand together and demand for a positive change.
Sheiknor Qassim is businessman based in Minnesota and co-founder Somali Institute of Peace Research (SIPR). He can be reached email@example.com