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I Opted for Somaliland to forestall Tyranny

By Abdulkadir Dualeh



Political views espoused by Somalis are shaped by experiences of the recent past and by hopes and dreams for the future.   Somalis, individually, share a common vision of a prosperous and peaceful Somalia in which they and their offspring can live in a tranquil and joyful life.   This is evidenced by the behavior of Somalis when they meet for the first time in a chance encounter at an airport, taxicab or at a grocery store.  They invariably express affectionate sentiments for each other and therapeutically lament together the death of their society.  For a brief moment, mystic chords buried deep in their psyche overcome their conscious mind.  Hard feelings and suspicions implanted in them by implacable haters and expert controversialists thaw and melt away and transform themselves into empathy and recognition of their common destiny.   Yet, despite all these good will and heartfelt passion of kinship expressed in these brief encounters, Somalis cannot resolve their present problems.


It is one thing to have a vision for the future. It is another matter to convert this vision into actuality.  The former represents wishful sentiments that do not require any effort; the latter requires hard work and compromise.  To chart a course for the future, you need to know your staring point and your present state of affairs.


At the present time, Somalis are filled with a deep distrust and suspicion of each other.     Chattering pundits and zealous combatants foment and propagate this distrust with their harsh tones.  


The public sees different groups elbowing each other for power in an effort to outwit one another through intrigue and constantly shifting alliances.  People have become cynical about the whole futile and fruitless exercise in forming a national government.  People are disgusted with warlords but they do not feel secure enough to hand over unfettered power to self-proclaimed religious or nationalistic leaders.  People are fully aware of the dire consequence that can result from submitting oneself exclusively to the tender mercies of an absolute ruler.


Self- preservation of oneself is an innate and most basic instinct of man and beast.   Faced with the present uncertainty and committed to self-preservation, many have sought peace and comfort in the good old tribal structure, presumably because tribalism is less evil than tyranny. They have consciously and rationally picked this alternative as the least repugnant of the many distasteful choices at their disposal.  The lofty agendas of religious or nationalist based parties are viewed as diplomatic maneuvering to mask power grab.  People suspect that once in power these new kings will horde all power and use it for evil ends.


Personally, I have embraced Somaliland’s self-government.  I sincerely believe that a decentralized government is the only ways to bring back some trust among the groups and forestall repeat of recent history.   I have decided to follow this path the day Ali Mahdi unilaterally declared himself to be new ruler of Somalia.   I could not believe that despite all the struggles to overthrow one tyrant, we were to submit to another.    The decision was simple. 


So far, I have not been disappointed with that decision.  While democracy in Somaliland is its infancy and much needs to be done in perfecting it, I do not see any other clear and feasible alternative for myself.  I wish other regions have organized themselves in a like manner, focused on rebuilding their regions and stop wasting their time on lofty goals when they can not provide basic services to their inhabitants.  Once those basic tasks are accomplished and legitimate leaders are identified, meaningful dialogue can be considered.


At present, Somalia lacks statesmen who are versed in the art and science of nation building.  We are cursed with a crop of leaders distinguished only by their ineptitude and moral bankruptcy.  The men who are presently battling each other in Somalia’s political stage are men with limited horizons. 


Fortunes of nations rise and fall with the quality of their leaders.  At this critical hour in our history, providence decided to endow us with muddled men of straw.  Perhaps fate is testing our mantle before admitting us into the ranks of civilized society.


Abdulkadir Dualeh
E-mail: [email protected]


The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "Hiiraan Online"

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