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An Open Letter to President Abdullahi Yusuf and his Government!

By Hodan Mohamed


“Ma anigaa waalan mise Cadan baa laga heesaya.”


President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed - "your government is completely out of touch with the reality on the ground; even Puntland is not on board with TFG, and we haven’t even mentioned Somaliland"

I’m no politician but a concerned Somali citizen among the diaspora who follows the developments of the reconciliation/reconstruction talks of our beloved homeland “Somalia.”  Mr. President, I am deeply disturbed and disgusted by your juvenile mixed messages with regards to your September 5th trip and subsequent meeting with some IGAD leaders in Kenya when you agreed to sign a foreign peacekeeping force to be sent to Somalia.  How dare you do that?  You did not even have a chance to meet with your returning Khartoum delegation where you could’ve had the opportunity to think through the items they were bringing back, one of which was the creation of a Somali unified force.  Your actions undermine the efforts of the delegates among your administration and thus tell the world you don’t listen to the wishes and desires of the people you are supposed to represent.  The Khartoum meeting was highly supported by the international community (potential financial aid money), Arab League and by majority of Somalis in and around the world.  Don’t tell me the meeting was prescheduled therefore you had to go.  You spend so much time with these African leaders more than you do with your own people maybe Professor Samatar is right in calling you a “Client Government of Ethiopia,” may I remind you they are not worth your time simply because………….“Labo qaawane isma qaado”

“Nin tiisa ka soo baxaa tu kale ku dara.”  (the duo and you are more of the same).


Some of the characteristics of a good leader are having a shared vision with the people, compassion, analytical and listening skills, flexibility and ethics among other things, but Mr. President and those who are loyal to you in your administration continue to give deaf ears to the overwhelming opposition to the foreign peacekeeping force expressed by Somalis from all corners in Somalia and in the diaspora.  According to Reuters News this week, the African peacekeeping force that you believe is the magic wand will cost 30 million U.S dollars per month, that is 360 million per year, that is a lot of money in Africa that is subject to fraud, did it ever cross your mind maybe this is what partly motivates Kibaki, Zenawi and like.  The point here is don’t try to break the will of the people, they are adamant about their position, it is time that you wake up.  The joint forces deal from Khartoum is the best shot you have right now, seize the opportunity and make clear to IGAD that you are changing course and want this Somali force to go on the payroll instead who in turn will restore law and order in the country.  It is a win-win situation, some of the IGAD leaders may sever ties with you but who cares! it’s your country that matters.  You are after all a Transitional Federal Government not a monarchy and the task at hand is huge and you must move along fast because this single issue dominated your tenure leading to the creation of 3 governments in 2 years.


After the Somali Contact Group met and released their recommendations in Stockholm, Sweden last month and stated that the TFG power share with the Union of Islamic Courts as a prerequisite to getting the aid money to rebuild the country because the UIC has majority support, your government spokesperson, Mr. Dinari, was quoted as saying “That is not fair, 80% of the people support the government.”  Anyone care to explain where in the world did he get these statistics? I’m not aware of any poll done with respect to this issue, we just have general observations and many would seem to agree with the SCG report.  It seems to me your government is completely out of touch with the reality on the ground; even Puntland is not on board with TFG, and now we are hearing the creation of Jubbaland, Mudugland and we haven’t even mentioned Somaliland.  We have drought in some parts of Somalia and flooding in others; in the literature Somalis are described as destitute, internally displaced, malnourished, khat-chewing, gunmen, illiterate, fiefdoms, Taliban-like, afflicted by an infant mortality rate of 1 in 4 children under the age of five and life expectancy of middle forties.  We are also complex people of various ethnic backgrounds, languages, religious, secular, some educated and some uneducated.  If it were not for diaspora and the millions they send home each year this image would be catastrophic.  Thanks also to non-governmental organizations who stayed to help our people in anyway they could and still do. 


Mr. President, the Somali people are at bottom of the “Hierarchy of Needs” if we look at Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid.  If you are not familiar with his work, the Somali people are struggling with basic needs like shelter, food, water, safety etc. so that puts them at the bottom of that pyramid.  What they need is a swift action that would meet these basic needs not an underpaid African soldier with a gun who is also hungry and coming from similar communities if not worse.  This explains why the UIC is popular and your government is not, they are trying hard to bring back to restore law and order, improve the infrastructure in order to improve the lives of the masses and have so far succeeded.  Your government is not one who validates what is working even though you purport to be a government of reconciliation, why anybody in your government uttered the words “Maansha Allah” or “Good Job my fellow Somalis.”  This would have improved your relations with the UIC but no no no…………..how could you your government was busy with dealing with defections and the pressure to fill seats. 


Mr. President, the task at hand requires a paradigm shift, you must compromise for the sake of the Somali people whether it is stepping down like a nobleman or working with UIC immediately.  Let’s face it they hold the heart of Somalia in which the rest of the other regions’ organs need to fully function.  In this post 9/11 world, anything Muslim is looked at with a critical magnifier, you have to show that you are proud to be Muslim(s) and you are committed to building the country for the people and if that requires semi-sharia constitutional charter so be it.  It is how you apply that law not that I’m an expert of it but we need to simplify the final product of that agreement for the people. We cannot afford wasting the lives of our people and the hopes and dreams of many in the diaspora who long for their homeland.  When I recently told my 8 year-old child we can expect to visit Somalia soon she responded, “Please don’t take me there the children eat garbage there,” my heart sank.  We need to fight this image of Somalia with all our might, God willing. In order to win the hearts and minds of people you want to serve, I suggest you and your government dress down from your expensive suits while dealing with the people and wear something casual because your constituents in which I mentioned above don’t wear suits, you meet people at the level they are at, prepare to sit on the floor, sand or walk on mud.  You are the interim leader of Somalia, therefore you should be the bus driver not Kibaki or Zenawi, get on the driver’s seat and steer that bus in the right direction.  May Allah bless Somalia.


Hodan Mohamed
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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