By Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi
What could be made out of the current mess in Somalia? What will happen next?
I am sure these are the questions that everybody is asking. As humans, of course, we have no prescience, and I am a human, and therefore cannot predict what the future will hold ultimately for Somalia, in the same way I was unable to foresee the debacle of the Islamic Courts (not that I support them) at the hands of Meles’ armies and their Somali collaborators.
When the Americans went to Mogadishu in 1992, they thought pacifying it would be a piece of cake; they had the personnel, the armor and the financial resources. They also had a false of sense of confidence in themselves and brushed aside all the advice for caution coming many quarters, including the Italians who had colonized Somalia. The result was an insurgency that ended in a hasty withdrawal of American forces. That was
Now we have a much poorer country, a much less equipped army inside the vast
city of Mogadishu. So what can one say of Meles’ adventure in Somalia? The
cliché "fools rush in where angels dare to tread" says it all.
Some would say, given the colossal cost of keeping a wartime army in Somalia as well as the thinning out of his forces means actually means the bells are pealing loud and clear for Meles, the biggest dictator in the Horn of Africa. And what a dictator? This is the man that sent his goons to kill the students at Addis Ababa University, the man who rigged the last elections and shot into the protesting crowds. But what can you expect of a man who just loves to be in the seat of power forever until his death or forced
removal. It is said his love of power began a long time ago, according to a
story a museum keeper in Addis Ababa told me (I hope that Meles’ thugs will not out to cut the ears of all museum personnel in Addis Ababa). This is how it went. One day a very young Meles was walking near Menelik’s palace in Addis Ababa. Young Meles looked at the house of Menelik and said, "Mom, I want that house." "Hush," said the mother. "That is the house of the Emperor, and you cannot sit in it." At that, young Meles cried and cried with tears rolling down his cheeks, to the utter consternation of his
mother. Then suddenly, he stopped crying and said, "I am going to sit in that house when I grow up." And guess who is sitting now in Menelik’s house? Will Meles ever quit Menelik’s house so it can turned into a museum of Ethiopian history?
That is for Meles and now Gedi, the so-called prime minister of the so-called Provisional Government of Somalia. I listened to his recent statements on the BBC Somali Service, after the Ethiopian forces had routed the militias of the Islamic courts. Previously, I had never paid much attention to this man for the simple reason that I felt that I had no need
to look into the composition of that foreign-appointed clique that was more something to laugh at than anything else, until Meles gave it a victory over the Islamic Courts.
It is said that a man, whether a general, a statesman or politician, reveals his inner most character when at war. War is a brutal endeavor but brutes reveal their brutishness when they win a war. A great man who wins a war shows magnanimity and generosity to those he defeats in war; he also knows that you never really win a war without also winning the peace. In contrast, a brute shows his teeth and avows vengeance. And that is exactly what Mr. Gedi did. Concerning the remaining Islamist forces, he said and I quote,
"CAGTA AYAANU MARINAYNAA" (WE WILL CRUSH THEM UNDER THE FEET), concerning Somaliland, a peaceful republic that had reverted to its sovereign status of 1960, he said that it does not exist, which means he is hoping that he will
also have it crushed the feet.
I will not say much about the rest of the so-called Provisional (Federal) Government. (Actually, the ‘federal’ part is a misnomer. It has no federal pact with the only other constituent of the Somali Republic of 1960, which is Somaliland.) Suffice to say that its so-called president, the ailing Col. Abdullahi Yusuf (The Reptilian Colonel) is a hyena, while his so-called prime minister, Mr. Gedi, can be likened to a jackal. Now both the hyena and the jackal are in league with the king of the beasts of the Horn of Africa,
Mr. Meles. God save all the peoples of the suffering Horn of Africa!
I conclude this article by repeating what I have previously said elsewhere.
1. Supporting Meles’ adventure in Somalia is counterproductive, and will not serve the interests of any nation, including the US and Britain, reported to be supporting Meles’ politics at this time.
2. The so-called Provisional Government of Somalia should be disbanded; to replace it, a fresh genuine conference of Somali communities should be held inside Somalia, not in another foreign capital to avoid another foreign-appointed government for Somalia.
3. The people of Somaliland should be rewarded for their positive contribution to the Horn of Africa; they have created the only truly democratic and peaceful society in the Horn of Africa. They deserve international recognition and support. To deny them such a reward is tantamount to opening another war in the Horn of Africa, one that will dwarf
the current one.
Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi, Hargeisa, Somaliland
E-mail: [email protected]
Mohamed Diriye Abdullahi is a Somali scholar, linguist, historian, and
former journalist. He was written among others, "Parlons somali," L’Harmattan,
Paris, 1996; "The Culture and Customs of Somalia," Greenwood Press,
Westport, 2001; "The US-UN Fiasco in Somalia," Africa Institute of South
Africa, Pretoria, 1995.