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By Cali Cusmaan & Axmed Axmed


Disclaimer: We have no insight into the Somali government or the Islamic courts workings. All this article is about is an observation of what We have read from the media and interviews they have provided to the International News Agencies such as the BBC.



Have you ever been unfortunate enough to sit with a warlord and listen to him? If you are someone who has been exposed to modern day management “Maamulka adduunka ka socda” and world thinking “fakarka adduunka ka kajira” would you have trusted him to completely run the affairs our nation? Even if you have trusted him, because he is your “Qabiil” would you have faith in his leadership skills to restore peace, law and order to the failed state of Somalia?


I posed the questions above to prepare you for the subject that I am about to discuss. As you are well aware of, we have been without a functioning government for more than fifteen years now. You are also fully aware that many conferences have been held to rebuild a broken Somali government. Starting the Manifesto led by Ali Mahdi to Abdi Qasim up to the current transitional government led by Abdullahi Yusuf and Ali Mohamed Gedi which remains in self exile to this date. 


A trait common to all governments that failed or are about to fail happens to have few unmistakable trademarks: (1) warlords (2) Ethiopian connections - their shuttling back and forth to Addis Ababa (3) Allegiance to Qabiil rather than to the nation.  (4) Selfishness and disregard for the common good of the people where each one is interested ONLY in securing the best position for his sub-clan (5) Islamic phobia and deep hatred for those calling to the return of Sharia based rule. (6) Corruption, embezzlement and looting of the natural resources and infrastructure of the nation.


On the other corner stands the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts characterized by their trademark of: (1) Deep hatred towards the enemies of Somalia (2) Aversion to warlords and what they stand for and the discipline to crush and subdue them. (3) Deep desire to re-introduce the Sharia based rule and bring back a constitution based on the Quran and the prophetic tradition. (4) Willingness to do whatever means necessary to achieve their end and (5) under enemy immense pressure, they have shown willingness, competence, fairness, and nationalism to overcome the sickness of tribalism and the malaise of ineptness against warlord domination. For instance, they have opened both the International airport and main Mogadishu port after fifteen years of closure; dismantled the countless roadblocks “Isbaarooyinka” that brought Mogadishu to its knees; another hurdle they overcame was opening the roads, confronting and stopping the armed gangs that sprung up in Mogadishu and surrounding areas; cleaning the city and opening the 13 police stations for the thirteen counties and taking over the symbolic presidential place “Villa Somalia”. They also made an appeal for all learned Somalis to come back to their country to assist in the painstakingly rebuilding process. Recently they started to enlist what was left of the police apparatus of the former regime to rebuild the police and security infrastructure.


Seeing the stark difference between the two groups, one must ask: what would be the basis for them to agree on a settlement that could satisfy both sides? But before, we throw our hands up the air and forget it, let me remind you of few bright lights that could make us think there is still a chance. Here are the few facts that I would like to point out.


Knowing that Abdullahi Yusuf, the current internationally recognized Somali President is almost 75 years old and it has been said, that he was vying – waging wars often - for the chair of presidency for more than 40 years of his adult life. One must ask, could he change his views about Islamists and surmise that they are more viable option to make his dream come true than the current warlords who stifled his efforts for the past 24 months? Could he trust them and disassociate himself from Ethiopian influence? Could he take the bold decisions like Anwar Sadat and land in Mogadishu to hammer a solution and unify his nation under his leadership? Could he take the bold decision to send Gedi home and replace him with a genuine Somali PM who does not respond to the despotic regime in Addis Ababa, perhaps one from the Islamic courts? Could he make the bold move to adapt an Islamic Shari based constitution? Could he gain the trust of the Supreme Islamic Courts so they hand off to their heavily armed militia? Could he overcome his rebel mentality and step up to the plate and become the leader of the people? Could he be trusted that he would not sale out the leadership of the Supreme Council of Islamic Courts Supreme Council of Islamic Courts. Last but not least can he stop and forget calling IGAD to send troops but look inward his Somali country men to assist.

For the Supreme Islamic Courts Union, could they show trust and be more pragmatic in their approach? Could they agree to let Abdullaahi Yusuf be the undisputed president of Somalia and garner a group flower waving youths similar to the admired and fashionable “Ubaxii Kacaanka” of the Siyad Barre era, this of course, if their major principles are adopted mainly to (1) Allow the Islamic Sharia based constitution (2) Allocate major ministerial posts (3) Major role in the area of security and regional governance (4) Could they unite under the president to enable him to secure the rest of the county. Could they show trust to the president if he shows genuine change of heart in adapting the Islamic Sharia rule?


My humble opinion and only Allah knows the best, is that they could change their views on each other, trust each other, make repentance to Allah and fix their differences to achieve what is good for the people not what is good for them or their cunning enemies. They, the Supreme Islamic Courts Union and the Transitional government have more to gain in reaching a lasting and brotherly agreement than to fight and antagonize each other. They both have everything to loose if war were to flare up between them.


I do believe the President and the Supreme Islamic Courts have both advisers. My humble advice to the advisers of these two opposing but equally important groups is: Work diligently to bring the two sides to common grounds, compromise the major sticking points by adapting the Islamic constitution and recognizing and working with the government. I believe the president, his prime minister and the parliament should be bold enough to change the constitution to Islamic Sharia based constitution to satisfy the desire of the majority of Muslim Somalis and the Supreme Islamic courts Union.


They must not waver that the Somali constitution be based on the Islamic Sharia, our holy Islamic Book the Quran and not the French penal theory, or the Dutch legal system or the American/English civil law or Italian Roman law. We are Muslims and it only befits us to base our constitution to that of the Islamic faith not the Christian or the Talmudic law. We must realize that the West does not shy away from undermining the Islamic world.  They say Muslims need to change their way and must adapt to Western way of life. Muslims need to have the courage to oppose it and show their will to determine their destiny. After all, no nation or people have ever achieved greatness in laws and regulations that don’t reflect their character.




Somalis aspire and want a government with an independent judicial legal system where the Court system is independent of the legislative branch such as the Prime Minister or the President. The Islamic Supreme Court must be held by people with an unparallel wisdom and education and grounded in the Islamic theology; people that all Somalis know to have the best moral values and an unquestionable moral characters. People who are able to review the cases and see the circumstances and can go back to the timeless Islamic text and can come up with a consensus that all Somalis would accept.  They must be people that could not be intimidated easily by powers that be and able to stay their ground even thought they might be under considerable pressure to rule in favor of a certain way.


We would like to see a government that is transparent, accountable and employs the best and brightest of its sons and daughters; a government that pays decent wages to live comfortably. A government where bribes and kickbacks are impossible and companies have equal chance in being awarded a contract; a government where the average person can get the government services they need without paying bribes or dealing with a corrupt official.


We would like to see a government that provides necessary services to its citizens such as collecting the garbage, providing clean water to its citizens, pays decent wage to teachers, police officers, the military, the Imams and Muezzin of the Mosques. I like to see a government that employs trusty worthy police that would not extort money nor torture its citizens.



We would like to see a government which has sufficient military and security services that can defend its territories from foreign enemy aggression. The military should be able to mobilize units with speed and efficiency for potential wars, peace and disaster and rescue operations. There must be intelligence units assigned to the protection of the nation’s resources to thwart potential saboteurs of our economic life blood such as the money currency, agricultural, forest protection, sea ports, airports, waterways, public health and military and civilian installations such as private corporations and telecommunication infrastructure.


We would like to see a government that would give the highest priority to an education system that builds the moral character of the pupil, educates in matters of religion, good character and teaches the subjects of science, mathematics, languages and humanities. Students who would rival their counter parts in the developed world in science and technology and at the same time would be equally grounded in the Islamic teachings. Such institutions should be able to produce the future leaders of Somalia.

The education system must be different from the previous systems that produced selfish, get rich quick, easily manipulated individuals, foreign spies, ignorant agents that follow the direction the wind is blowing that particular day and those who respect not our cultural, religious and moral values. We can’t ignore the importance of sound education system. If we do that, we do in our own peril.


For those of us who sought refuge in far away foreign lands, we would like to go back home and once again live in a non-alienating home-sweet-home environment.


We would like to see a government with coherent agenda in dealing with our nomadic and farming communities. Somalis are either originated from nomadic pastoralist communities or farming communities.  Each is in dire need of reform and can’t be overlooked if stable and viable Somali is to emerge from the current morass.


First let me start with the farming communities, the Somali farming community is the life line/blood of Somalia but they have been sabotaged for the longest time. For example, the harvesting season the UN, NGO’s, World Bank and other aid agencies start pouring free agricultural products that undermine the long term viability of the Somali farming communities. Secondly, the farming community is organized in individuals and they are vulnerable to large conglomerates which can muster more technology, know-how and have access to the International markets that the average farmer does not. What needs to happen is to organize them in cooperatives of large scale. For example, the sugar cane growers would combine their harvest and sell to the sugar cane factory as a cooperative not as an individual and so is the Banana farmers and likes.


Finally, the ministry of agriculture must facilitate in changing some of the cash crops that are not easily marketable or have limited shelf life to other sources of farming which will give the farmers a better negotiating position. An area that should be explored is the Spices, dried fruits, organic products and other methods of efficiency farming.


The Somali pastoralist’s way of life needs a complete overhaul for several reasons we would detail later. But to start let me tell you a short story that a friend of mine who was a one time “Geel Jire” told me. “Geel jire” means the one who looks after the camel. He told me, there was once a very long draught “Abaar” that caused famine in the Mudug region. He said since most of the animals have died or were dying, they used to follow the “Quraanjo” ants to its colony and raid the ant house to eat the seeds it collected during the “Guga” raining season.  Somalia’s nomadic herders are at the mercy of the seasons and often times are inflicted with great hardships that could have been averted with little modification to the way they live.


For example, during the rainy season, water is plenty but they have no “Baaraago” (water holding tanks made of cement or mud) to keep water for consumption during dry season. If built and shown to the “Reer Baadiyaha” the “Baraag” could be a source of water for all the seasons. They could also use the water from the Baraago to grow grass for their livestock and save it for the dry season “Waqtiga abaarta”.


If this is accomplished, first we could eliminate the unnecessary famines that kill hundreds of our nomadic people. Secondly, their livestock would become a source of wealth as they will be able to produce milk and meat for the people in the cities and in return invest the money to further their lifestyle. Thirdly, their children could be sent to school because they are not constantly on the move as before. Last but not least, this will eliminate the constant wars that result due to the limited water and grazing-land resources. This should not be underestimated because the current warlords have all grown up in this climate of constant limited resources and perpetual war between tribes fighting over a limited water supply or animal grassing land.



I believe the president of Somalia could not achieve the aspirations of the Somali people with his current warlord infested government. He should rather make a deal with the Supreme Islamic Courts Union and encourage establishing similar types of courts in other areas of the country such as Puntland and other regions of Somalia. Genuine Muslims would not steal the wealth of the nation; they would not lie to him, and are the most honest people. He should strive to earn their trust and in no time, Ethiopia would have no choice but to seek for Somali assistance. Land locked Ethiopia, should not have an option but to negotiate in good faith and become a true partner because we have everything they need.


Cali Cusmaan  Email: [email protected]

& Axmed Axmed 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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