Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
TFG Prime Minister's niceties; an elusive diplomacy or genuine personal commitment to peace

By Abdirizak Omar Mohamed
Friday, March 07, 2008

Lately the current PM of the TFG was speaking in a reconciliatory tone, and was making statements that were not in the TFG vocabulary book and contrast to the TFG’s position on many issues and audaciously different than his predecessor's aggressive and arrogant display of authority, and in so doing, he attracted the attention of the international community and donor community.

Though so far, he only has the ears and not the minds of the opposition groups (who are the real stakeholders) inside and outside of the country, and the opposition groups are very skeptical to his new-found diplomatic posture and are rightly paying careful attention. 


But when critically examined what he said and what he is done, it becomes apparent that he is only done good for himself by securing himself employed for the remainder of his term as evidenced by the latest approval given to him by the EU without presenting any tangible proposal of reconciliation strategy to them, there was no attempts being made to demonstrate a willingness to reconcile with his rivals, with the exception of providing mythical hope, consistent with what the Donor Community want   by merely making such statement that he will start reconciling with the opposition groups in Asmara. This demonstrates two things and only; first he is more politically savvy than his predecessor whose only goal was to enrich himself by stealing from the public coffer and donor community. He is also more inspirational with no substance and less pragmatic.


 It seems that he has been given more credit than he deserves by many including the Diasporas, though their intent was merely to encourage more dialogue among the conflicting parties and pressure him to negotiate with the opposition groups in Asmara. One such credit that is overstated by many observers is the claim that he mediated the release of those imprisoned unjustly by the Ethiopians for over 80 days, namely the spokesperson of the Hawiye elders, but to add insult to injury, those who unjustly arrested and imprisoned innocent elders merely for their passive protest against Ethiopian occupation are still in their position of power and the prime Minister also failed to give public apology for their unjust imprisonment after securing their release. And, we should also keep in mind that all these were unfolding while Mr. Yusuf was recovering in a London hospital.


Despite his display of political savviness and diplomatic posture in the absence of Mr. Yusuf, it was speculated that his actions did not bode well with Mr.Yusuf and after he had a closed door meeting with Mr. Yusuf and the Ethiopian president in Addis Ababa, Mr. Nur Adde has shown he has soft spots for the Ethiopians just like his predecessor, which prove the Somali Re-liberation alliance’s point of contention that he cannot make decisions independently without first conferring with the Ethiopians. Subsequent to that meeting, making statement that eulogized the occupation in an interview he gave News Week and making statements that contrast to his previous positions, statements such as and I quote that Ethiopia has helped stabilize the security of the country, when in fact Ethiopia is destabilizing force and their presence created unprecedented humanitarian crises throughout the country. This drastic change of heart only occurred after he had this mysterious closed door meeting with Mr. Yusuf and Melez which corroborate again what the Asmara based opposition groups were saying that the TFG is indeed Ethiopia


In fairness, unlike his predecessor and the position of the TFG he denied the presence of terrorists in Somalia and stressed that the government can only function if and only when it gets the support of its population, yet he ignores the wishes of the majority of the population, which is fundamental to citizenry acceptance of any system of governance. The fact that majority of the population support the Somali Re-liberation Alliance based in Asmara and the home-based resistance underscores that fact, the TFG has not garnered the support of its population and he as PM has failed to be pragmatic and failed to act on with what he preaches, which is to propose to his rivals Ethiopian withdrawal strategy including time frames for their complete withdrawal from Somalia to gain the public support he desperately needs. 


Contrary to international opinion that the humanitarian crises in Somalia is worse than Darfur, Mr. Nur Adde downplayed the magnitude of the humanitarian crises in spite of his understanding of the humanitarian challenges confronting Somalia, particularly those close to 1.5 million uprooted from their homes in Mogadishu and his involvement with NGOs in the past as someone who was the head of the Somali Red Crescent should have enticed him to do something about the despicable living conditions subjected to the 1.5 million internally displaced people on the outskirts of Mogadishu instead of denying the scale of crises.


In retrospect, the humanitarian crises has become more acute since he took the rein of power on November 24, 2007 and now the Humanitarian crises spilled out to other previously stable regions such as Galgadud, Bay and Hiiraan, as OCHA reported in its latest situation report on February 2007, “In Dhuusamarreeb town, Galgaduud region, the security and humanitarian situation is worrying following the arrival of Ethiopian troops on Friday 22 February. According to field reports, about two-third of the town’s residents have fled the town as they fear possible confrontation between Ethiopian troops and anti-government groups.  The humanitarian situation in this area is already overstressed due to the drought and influx of displaced from Mogadishu” and in Mogadishu the situation got worse according to the same report “700 people were displaced by the ongoing fighting in Mogadishu during the past week, bringing the total number of displaced this year to 51,000”    


There is no strong civil society in Somalia, no independent media that can operate freely and notorious warlords who take orders from Ethiopia and not laws define the relationship between the TFG and its subjects (there are no citizens) citizen become subjects, when they are maimed, looted, raped by the Ethiopians and its collaborators. And when the so-called TFG president is slapped in the face twice and humiliated publicly by an Ethiopian general Mr. Gebre as reported by the international media press, it only reinforces the notion that right from the outset of the invasion the General had the carte blanche to dismantle and destroy the country and has in the past given orders to Mr. Yusuf and his TFG collaborators. 


In conclusion; Mr. Adde lacks clarity and has no strategic plan for reconciliation, above all he lacks the autonomy to work freely and start engaging talks with the opposition groups in Asmara as this being the core fundamental requirement for a peaceful resolution to the intricate crises in Somalia. Since his inauguration on November 24, 2007 he has become a lame duck PM succumbing to the dictates and pressures of Meles Zenawi, just like Mr. Yusuf has always been a lapdog of Meles Zenawi since 2004. Playing niceties and making rhetorical speeches intended to appease the international community will not give him the support he needs to engage dialogue with the opposition, and sugarcoating the reality on the ground such as the occupation and humanitarian crises will not bring any resolution to the crises during his premiership.


Mr. Nur Adde must follow action with what he preaches, and reconcile with the Somali Re-liberation Alliance, because when the TFG imposes peace from above and subsequently fails to reconcile with its adversaries, continuing and growing violence is the most likely outcome. Mr. Nur Adde’s second option is to resign from his post with his head held high rather than being a collaborator like Mr. Yusuf and report to General Gebre. It is often said that leadership plays a key role in either causing the outbreak of conflict or in preventing it from further escalation; for instance nelson Mandela stands out as a leader who transformed a violent conflict into a peaceful relationship, while the predatory nature of Abdullahi yusuf and Ghedi is responsible for deepening the current crises in Somalia


Mr. Nur Adde has a third option and that is follow his predecessor's footsteps Mr. Ghedi and become another lapdog of Meles Zenawi, who is only interested to defraud money from the international community, and by doing so he has chosen his personal interest over the collective interest of his people.  



Abdirizak Omar Mohamed is an independent researcher and a member of Somali Canadian Diaspora Alliance, and he can be reached

Email: [email protected]