By Eng. Mahmoud Dahir Adani
TFG squashed the pride and dignity of Somali people when they lead the way and allowed Ethiopian war machines to march into Somalia, but they can still help Somalis – that is if they complete their mandated reconciliation tasks and prepare a new Somali government to govern Somalia in 2009 while both Mr. Yusuf and Mr. Gedi publicly announce they’ll not be part of the new government and they must allow Somalis to freely elect a new leader to lead the country and must welcome Sheikh Sharif if he is willing to take the challenge. However, if the security of the country continues to deteriorate and the peace and coexistence fades away as we see every day in the streets of Mogadishu then this date must be moved up - that is the way forward. TFG has opportunity to heal Somalis and they know what needs to be done.
The chaotic retreat of UIC may have been a feel good moments for TFG and Somali enemy but it quickly became clear to Somalis that this government - TFG which came to Mogadishu in the backs of Ethiopian military machine, American money and covert operations is up to no good. TFG is not working for Somali interest and quickly started to operate Siad Barre’s dictatorship mentality – be good to me and I’ll kill you later (xabadi sugto) or stand up to me and I’ll kill you now (xabadi qaxiso)… TFG’s short comings are mainly their vision for Somalia and they will not accomplish their mandated reconciliation tasks unless they change course.
In order to understand the big picture of Somali conflict let’s first examine where Somalia fits the new world order. During the cold war Somalia used to be a country in the cross roads, since America’s new world conflict Somalia is now placed in the camp of America’s enemy. One may ask what conflict Somalis have with USA, and the short answer to this is absolutely nothing. America is a very generous nation and the reason so many people in every corner of the world call America home is not only because of its democratic principles but also its people and how just most Americans are in their dealings with foreigners. Unfortunately America is currently ruled by the most hated president and Somalis became his target when UIC took over the country in June 2006. George Bush must be informed that Somali warlords elected TFG in 2004 not 2007. Bush and the African Union should have stretched their hands to TFG then not now when Somalis tasted their short lived peace after so many years of anarchy and fighting.
Sadly, the Somalis are still confined by invisible tribal boundary and are blinded from the reality so their enemies are still using a century old tactic of divide and rule. The TFG should question - why America all of the sudden is in bed with them and must remember, that only a few months ago when CIA chief was in Mogadishu distributing blood money to warlords, TFG were marginalized then, by passed and not consulted at the time, instead the chief gave money to warlords to do their dirty job. We all remember how that back fired and it’s an expected consequence and we don’t see any change of course from Bush Administration today. Whether we like it or not America cares less about the peace and prosperity of Somali people and to this day is continuing their covert operations in Somalia. AC-130 gunship continues to cruise around Mogadishu sky at night and no one listens as senior Mogadishu residents complain the noise of AC-130 gunship. What these senior Somalis don’t realize is that TFG recently asked America a military aid and gave them the green light to fly freely over Somali sky and also to rendition people of interest. Just as the Ethiopians are flying people of interest to Adis we should also expect the number of Somali detainees in Gitmo to increase.
Every one knows the 40 million Ethiopian Muslims and peace loving Ethiopians have no conflict with Somalis and don’t want to fight with their Somali brothers and its worth mentioning that this anarchy civil war period of Somali history Ethiopian people welcomed Somalis in their country since the start of Somali civil war unlike some frontline countries (safka hore) in the region. As Somalis we should recognize and thank Ethiopia’s good nighbourhood (deris wanaag) since 1991 and must be united in our opposition to dictator Meles and his current invasion.
In a short history Somalia defeated Ethiopia in two wars both in 1977 and in early 1960’s and Ethiopia still holds Somali territory Ogaden which was handed to Ethiopia in 1954 by the British. It also worth mentioning that Meles used to live in Mogadishu and organized his Tigre movement inside Somali territory and will not allow OLF - Orama Libration Front leaders to freely operate in Somalia. Meles knows if he let’s them it would be only a matter of time before OLF or similar movements will catch up with his regime.
So the reason Meles is destabilizing Somalia, Ethiopia and the region is not as some claim access to water but rather his survival to stay power in Ethiopia. Unfortunately it is the beginning of a dark time in Ethiopian politics, a period of another dictatorship. It’s sad that most African leaders once they taste power they will never let it go even when their people vote them out of office. And in that mentality is why Somalis are reluctant to support TFG and don’t want this government to succeed in Somalia. No one is expecting TFG to fulfill their mandated tasks and rescue Somalia the country and its people. But they will rather be working hard so they could stay put way beyond 2009 currently mandated. Meles will help them stay put and in return help himself, so that America and the West will see him the power broker of the region as he destroys his country and the region. The true regional leaders that emerged in these conflicts are Eritrean president Isaias Afewerke and Sheikh Sharif of Somalia. Both leaders enjoy highest popular support of their people and are truly loved even in exile as for the Sheikh.
Sheikh Sharif once said one word that healed and united Somalis ‘There’s no tribe worth more than any other tribe…’ a not only his words but his vision for Somalia and demeanor in general not to mention his true sincerity to help resolve and lead Somalia is a lesson Meles and Yusuf need to learn from the Sheikh.
Let’s go back and revisit how TFG come to power. Transitional Federal Government just like Transitional National Government came to existing with the architect of Somali tribes men and dagaal ogayaal and was divided by the Somali tribal rule of 4.5 Let’s first examine how many of former warlords are currently in TFG and are content with what they have been offered: to this day with the exception of Mr. Yusuf former warlord and current TFG president there is not even one warlord happily participating with this government. Hussein Aideed recently lost his number 2 position and the powerful interior ministry position is the only former warlord who currently holds a buul wasiir position and if you talk to Mr. Aideed today he’ll tell you not only he is disappointed but he’ll say that he has been cheated. Okay! That is the fade of one warlord but where are the other former warlords today? Almost all of them are still waiting their position in this government and some of these warlords include: Mohamed Dheere, Muse Sudi, Osman Ato, Abdi Qaybdiid, Bashir Rage, Mohamed Qanyare and Omar Finish IWM. All these seven warlords have one thing in common they all happen to be Hawiye, so not to bring them to TFG they initiated is not only stupid but dangerous. Most Somalis detest these men because of their past history, but a lot of people will identify with them as their tribes men and leaders if TFG goes after them harshly as they recently did in Dayniile. TFG doesn’t know how to deal with these leaders and are handing them a power they have been stripped by the Islamic Courts and they're loving it.
On the other hand the Somali tribes men believe TFG has broken the basic principle of Somali tribal rule. This is the rule that the parliament was divided and TFG came to existence. The agreed parliament of 275 individuals has now shrunk to less than 200 individuals and the tribes that lost seats are unsuccessful to replace their seats and the balance is now tilted. Recently, the new parliament leader Aadan Madoobe with no constitutional legitimacy barred more than 41 members and is expect to run the parliament as he is commanded by Mr. Yusuf and doesn’t understand the independence of the parliament. Because of the recent Somali history of tribal conflict the parliament must not break the Somali tribal rule and must demonstrate its opposition where TFG side steps its mandated tasks and must consult with Somali tribal leaders or else this parliament will be seen as part of the problem and it’ll contribute to the raging conflicts…
TFG should connect the dots and salvage the country - this is their opportunity to shine and resolve Somali issues, but if TFG cannot safe the country with the help of Ethiopian or AU soldiers then they must not take Somalia back to square one. The honorable thing to do here is to kick Ethiopians out of the country and both Yusuf and Gedi must resign so that a new care taker government could start to govern. Somalis must not wait 2009 while the country disintegrates in their watch and the peace and prosperity is completely lost, please say it with us " Xasbuna ALLAH wa nicmal wakiil".
TFG should not occupy herself who to nominate for the open ambassador positions but should rather work hard to accomplish their mandated tasks before time runs out. TFG must build consensus with the residence of Mogadishu and must understand that piece can only be achieved through accords and compromises and not through bombardment or using foreign troops whether Ethiopians or AU soldiers which Somalis will not differentiate. Finally TFG must change course and start healing Somalis and stops shelling Mogadishu resident and starts working on reconciliation tasks mandated for this government and if things don’t improve in the next 90 days then they must go back to Baydhabo and hand Mogadishu back to Sheikh Sharif while they still can.
Eng.Mahmoud Dahir Adani
Eng. Adani is a Somali scholar and can be reached at [email protected]