by Ahmed Raghe Hassan
Sunday, August 19, 2007
"The moment there is suspicion about a persons motives, everything he does is tainted" - Ghandi.
Somalia desperately needs a genuine and comprehensive reconciliation attended by all the relevant parties and stakeholders nation wide. The present one in Mogadishu, organized, managed and manipulated by president Abdullahi Yusuf and his ally, Ali Mahdi Mohamed, both Ethiopian best friends and bitter enemies of the more nationalist opposition forces, is a ridiculous gambit designed to mislead.
Ali Mahdi & President Abdullahi Yusuf - Both had common enemy and therefore have common agenda
President Yusuf and Ali Mahdi were and still are the main perpetrators of the atrocities in Somalia and their claims to convene a national peace conference is both silly and preposterous. It is all about vengeance rather than reconciliation as both warlords, Yusuf and Mahdi, seek to settle old scores and destroy their civil war adversaries. They had common enemy and therefore have common agenda. That is their real motive to stage a bogus and unilateral conference in Mogadishu, a lions den where the Ethiopian occupation army and their client federal government terrorize civilians in the name of war on terror!
Since Abdullahi Yusuf, the president of the TFG had nominated Ali Mahdi to lead the mission to reconcile Somalia, violence has escalated in Mogadishu to a new pitch. Innocent children and civilians are massacred by the indiscriminate and collective bombing by the occupation army of Ethiopia and the irresponsible roadside bombs and assassinations by the insurgents. These atrocities went unchecked when Ali Mahdi pretending Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, listlessly preached a gathering of elders summoned from remote rural settlements, almost on daily basis, detached of the rampant situation.
One thoughtful participant has recently described the venue of the conference as a circus full of delusions and deception :The Agenda is always the same- peace in Somalia, a seemingly elusive goal. Most of the delegates are people who have never taken part in the conflict in Somalia, peaceful elders who have no or very little influence in stopping the carnage, restraining the insurgent forces or bringing them to the negotiation table. While the conference organizers, the committee chairman, the main speakers, the dignitaries are mostly notorious warlords- the villains who brought Somalia on its knees. They talk big, but no one listens them. The poor delegates were baffled and perplexed in such deceitful atmosphere and only stared in bewilderment or even in vacant stupidity- hearing bloody warlords preaching peace and expecting gold medals is beyond their comprehension!
On the other hand, the opposition groups- ICU, prominent parliament members and others are now bracing to hold a parallel conference in Asmara, Eritrea and there is no sign or visible hope to bring both sides to one table. The Fact that Ali Mahdi is not neutral and sides with the TFG makes him disqualified for this sensitive job, not mentioning his dubious background. A neutral mediator with clean hands is required. If Mahdi can,t help to achieve this, why not quit, one wonders.
Consequently, the US, UN, the EU, the actors of the world, should realize the gravity of the situation and inject new blood into the stalled peace conference of Somalia. A new capable mediator within or without the country, a neutral venue under the auspices of the contact group and the UN are the necessary tools to enhance peace in Somalia.
Ahmed Raghe Hassan
E-mail: [email protected]