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IGAD and its patient (Part 3)

By Mohamed Mukhtar



Somalia was discharged from Mbagathi Hospital after Somalis formed a government under the auspices of IGAD in 2004. As an outpatient, Somalia was prescribed a self-administered drug to recreate a new nation through the envisioned inclusive Somali government. It is exactly two years ago when the current transitional parliament was inaugurated. Unfortunately, Somalia has not made much improvement and gone back to IGAD’s Follow-Up office, which serves a resource for the patient to discuss the result.


Doctor:           Yo, Patient! What’s up?


Patient:           Sorry?  


Doctor:           Since the last G8 meeting, I have developed a fondness for talking like Ali G.


Patient:           Ali G! Do you mean Ali Gedi, the Prime Minster?


Doctor:           Ali G is the role model of President Bush. Anyway, I believe that you are here for your annual check up. I can’t believe that it is already your second anniversary. Well, it is nice to see you again. How are you feeling?


Patient:           Listen doc. I followed your advice blindly. I didn’t move to Mogadishu, told the international community that there are international terrorists in Somalia and invited your troops to come to my country as peacekeepers. Will I get better?


Doctor:           Not really, it will just seem better.


Patient:           People naturally decompose after death, but the outcome of Mbgathi started decomposing from the beginning. Members of Parliament have been having heated debates, if not brawls. Ministers have resigned from virtual government positions. The embattled Prime Minster has to form three governments within two years. Are you sure that you did not give me substandard drugs?


Doctor:           You have the audacity to question my competency! IGAD bore the main brunt of restoring the Somali government, because of the excellent fraternal relations between IGAD and you. I don’t intend to seek gratitude on that account, but when you question my ability, I have every right to express my astonishment. Strangely, you are comparing people with a peace conference. I can’t recycle people but I can recycle peace conferences: Arta Conference to Mbagathi Conference to Khartoum Conference. 


Patient:           Sorry


Doctor:           For the effort I put in, let me tell you the results: I have raised your profile; you have a Western-backed government which has all the symbols of a government, and the UN will soon easy the arms embargo against your country. I remember the first day that you came to attend the Somali Reconciliation Conference in Kenya you were wearing a shirt streaked with blood. Look at you now! You have a dignified appearance. Unbutton your shirt


Patient:           You sound more like a freak rather than a doctor, if you are using my look as a genuine index of your performance.


Doctor:           If I am a freak, just imagine what my patient is. You are wearing a t-shirt written on the back “IOIP”. What are these words? “I owe IGAD Partners?”


Patient:           The t-shirt is a gift I received from my friend in Mogadishu and I believe the letters stand for “IGAD Offers Insubstantial Peace.” Listen doctor, you have literally appointed the cabinet members of the first Gedi’s government. That government failed as it turned out to be too inconvenient. The second government could not function as it was too large. A delegation, led by Ethiopian Foreign Affairs Minister Seyoum Mesfin, came recently to Somalia and suggested the creation of a small government. If one is too inconvenient, one is too large and one is too small, when are we going to get it right?


Doctor:           You are the first patient of IGAD and learning happens through trial and error. Please exercise some patience.


Patient:           Time is not on my side. Zealous religious leaders are lurking everywhere. What can I do?


Doctor:           You will engage the Islamists in fitful long-term negotiations as long as possible. If there is a new development before your next annual check up, you will come and see me immediately. 


Patient:           What is the point of having spasmodic negotiations?


Doctor:           In the past, Somali hurt itself and its neighbours; to forestall such misfortune happening again, it is important that Somalia loses some weight so it can’t hurt itself or its neighbours. Since Somalis are loquacious society, oral diarrhoea is a good way to lose weight. Spasmodic negotiations will enable Somalia just to do that.  


Patient:           What about those who currently occupy Mogadishu streets?


Doctor:           Don’t worry about them. I know how to make Islamic Courts really incensed. It is said, “Anger blows out the lamp of the mind.” I will deploy troops here and there and visit hither and thither.


Patient:           Doctor, I forgot to ask you about the scan and blood results.


Doctor:           It seems that you have Alzheimer disease.


Patient:           Oh! Boy!


Doctor:           It is not as bad as you may think. The main benefit of having Alzheimer disease is you don’t remember what you did to others. No wonder you entrust your fate in my hands. On your way out, see the receptionist and make another appointment.


Patient:           Another appointment!



Mohamed Mukhtar
Email: [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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