By Abdulkadir Mohamud
Sunday, December 02, 2007
In November 2002, Delegates from Transitional National Government (TNG), Somali Reconciliation and Restoration Council (SRRC), sub-clans’ chiefs and freelance warlords reached into Eldoret, Kenya. Also members of the civil society including Scholars, prominent politician and expatriates arrived in Eldoret to participate in the reconciliation conference. Minister Zirrow was so nervous about the number of Somalis who arrived in Eldoret to attend the conference. He called Asfaum, Berhanu and Wolde for consultation, who were in Kenya monitoring the preparation and attendees of the conference. Mr. Zirrow sent Girgis to wait for them at the airport to bring them into his office upon their arrival. On their way from the airport to Zirrow’s office they chatted a little.
Asfaum: Brother Girgis, are we in trouble? Why has the Minister called us back into Addis? Aren’t you aware of how busy we could be with the IGAD representatives, conference preparations, guidelines and coaching our good guys?
Girgis: He is angry that there is a high number of Somali delegates in Eldoret…. but wait maybe I am wrong.
Minister Zirrow received his advisors with a depressed face.
Zirrow: How can you let the Kenyans issue permits for two thousand Somalis to attend the Conference? Is it possible to induce all these folks?
Berhanu: Mr. Minister, you have to recognize how the Kenyans and the Somalis are. They are often exchanging deals and their transactions occur in the blink of an eye.
Zirrow: Are you saying Somalis who have been displaced for years have more money than us?
Berhanu: No Sir, but they are more clever than us in that regard. They have better skills for approaching Kenyans.
Wold: Mr. Minister, please be patient, we are working hard to sort out the viable good guys and we will share with you the short list when it is ready.
Zirrow: Be patient?! With all the clan chiefs in Eldoret…what do they call them?
Zirrow: According to this document, which Asfaum faxed to me the other day, the Europeans who finance the conference circulated that Issimo will exclusively select the members of the parliament.
Asfaum: Calm down Mr. Minister, it is too early to be anxious about the selection of the parliament. As Wolde explained, you will not be disappointed on how we are going to manage the process. IGAD has the final say, not the Europeans, and we control IGAD.
Wolde: We instructed Kenyans to change both the location and the chairman. The venue must be in Nairobi or its suburbs because we prepared 39 of our intelligence officers and diplomats to be involved in the selection of the parliament members and the government.
Girgis: What is wrong with Eldoret?
Wolde: With this large number we can be easily noticed in a far-flung town like Eldoret.
Zirrow: I don’t trust Europeans and they may force the chairmen to stick with their proposals.
Berhanu: Don’t worry Mr. Minister, we have already discussed with SRRC the protocol for preventing the inputs of Issimo when it comes to the selection of the MP.
Zirrow: Could you guarantee me that?
Barhanu: We promise you the best outcome you ever had from any Somali reconciliation conference.
Girgis: Mr. Minister, I never doubted how great these gentlemen were operating for the future of Ethiopia and the destruction of Somalia. Please, let them handle this, and give them the funding they need in commissioning their activities.
Zirrow: You will be given all your requests including money, and in return I need only good guys to be selected as the future government of Somalia.
Asfaum: Thank you Sir.
Zirrow: Good luck!
On December 9, 2002 President George W. Bush met President Daniel arap Moi and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi in Washington DC. They discussed East African terrorism and Somali issues. Mr. Bush gave a blank check to Ethiopia and Kenya so they could deal with Somalia however they pleased. Unfortunately, Mr. Bush had no clue about the history between Somalia and these two countries. Also he did not take into consideration how honest they would be in reporting back about Somali matter.
While these leaders were in the US, Mr. Daniel arap Moi visited a navy academy in the suburbs of Washington DC. There he confessed that Kenya and Ethiopia decided not to accept any process leading to a viable and strong government in Somalia. Ironically, on that same day in Kenya, Mr. Moi was hosting thousands of Somalis for the conference intended to establish a strong government. Maybe it was because of his age he could not keep the secret between him and Mr. Zenawi or he was genuinely giving a tip to Somalis who were still believing in that Ethiopia and Kenya were attempting to solve their plight. Nevertheless, Mr. Moi proved what Farah Maallim of the SAFINA party (Kenya) was advocating for years, that Kenya and Ethiopia have planned to obliterate Somalia and they have never been honest about the reconciliation conferences.
Mr. Zirrow called a follow up meeting..
Girgis: Mr. Minister have you heard what Daniel arap Moi said while you were in the USA.
Girgis: You were right when you explained to us that he is getting old and he can’t keep the secrets. He said “We, Kenyans and Ethiopians will never accept a viable government to emerge in the Somali peninsula”.
Wolde: And Farah Maallim promptly requested to be interviewed by BBC to prove his claims about our dishonesty.
Girgis: What? We are not dishonest! It is an honest deed to find a way to get our own sea ports. If the Somalis want to survive as a tribe they are welcome to be an extension of Kelli5, but as a nation state they are doomed. By the way who is Farah Maallim?
Wolde: He is a former MP from NFD, Kenya.
Girgis: He is too loud, why haven’t we silenced him?
Girgis: Easy, the Minister will instruct Mr. Moi to deal with him in either the Robert Ouko’s way, or put him in jail.
Asfaum: If you try to silence Farah Maallim you will create ten new Farah Maallims. Unlike us, Kenyans have free press, independent judiciary and relatively fair elections, so it is difficult to silence somebody for good.
Girgis: This is contradicting what the Minister informed us. “What ever we want from the Kenyan leaders, they will carry out regardless.” Isn’t that your quote Mr. Minster?
Asfaum: The Minister was talking only about the strategy we planned for Somalia, not changing the Kenyan way of life, like freedom of opinion which is more valuable for them than the sea ports we are looking to gain from Somalia.
Zirrow: Stop .. Stop guys, I did not call you to listen to your argument about who is shouting here or there. I am only interested in the development of the Eldoret conference.
Asfaum: Mr. Minister, we changed the venue into Imbegati, Nairobi and our officers and diplomats are all in full operations for identifying the future parliamentarians, so we are in good shape.
Wolde: We instructed AU and convinced EU the best way that Somalia can have a strong and solid government is if SRRC and freelance warlords, who were waging the inter-clan fights for the last decade, select the members of the parliaments. Otherwise, the new government will end up like the one from Arta. We completely dismissed the European notion, which was empowering the Issimo for the parliament selection.
Zirrow: Any resistance from your suggestions?
Wolde: Of course some Somalis complained about our idea, especially the civil society. They rejected our proposal and they will call for a boycott if the international community endorses our plan.
Zirrow: As long as we convince EU and we have the blessings of Mr. Bush, we should not worry about Somalis or Eritrea and Djibouti’s objections. Now, you may have as much money as you want for the selections/elections of the MPs and for the officials from other countries who resist on our campaign. I congratulate you for the good work and God Bless you.
At Islee, Nairobi the tea shop named “ Yeelkadaa” is very popular for fadhikudirir chatting. Iftiin, Xiif, Murad, Qablan and Taagane prefer to sit at the far left corner of the shop. They avoid to chat with the guys who have symptoms of Isbuufis (depression). Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: who sometimes leads the prayers at the nearest Mosque approached their seating area.
Murad: Welcome Sheikh and have a seat, please!
Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: Thank you.
Taagane: Let me grab a cup of tea for you or do you prefer something else?
Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: Orange Juice, please!
Ifiin: Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan, is it a given name by your parents or did you give it to yourself?
Qabalan: Iftiin, please don’t criticize the Sheikh’s name.
Ifiin: I am sorry Sheikh, I am so curious about these new names Abu Bilal, Abu Al-Cattas, Abu…Abu... which are not part of our culture and are probably not Kittabi names.
Qablan: Sheikhuna, please don’t answer this inappropriate question.
Iftiin: Sheikh, forget about these names, I would like to ask you a meaningful question: How do you see the conference going on in Imbegati?
Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: It seems as though it is more of an Ethiopian conference than one of a Somali reconciliation conference.
Xiif: Sheikh, have you seen Ethiopians sitting in the conference hall?
Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: You will see the outcome in couple of years, so you don’t need my answer now.
Iftiin: Good, I like you sheikh, even though I don’t like your name.
Xiif: Sheikh, she is obsessed with Ethiopians and she believes they want to own Somalia. And all of a sudden, she likes you, because you supported her gossip about our Good Samaritan Ethiopian brothers.
Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: She has a good judgment and it is enough for me.
Xiif: What? Sheikh, she is here with us, chatting in public all day with men… she does not cover her head as required by our religion …..she does not even stand for Salat, yet she impressed you?!
Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: That is between her and Allah, but we have a common understanding about Somalia vis-à-vis Ethiopia and I like her common sense regardless of your assertions.
Taagane: Sheikh, is she from your clan?
Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: I am not sure about her clan and I don’t see the relevance when we are talking about Ethiopia’s plan for our self-destruction.
Xiif: That is the most controversial statement I have ever heard. You are calling this self-destruction and you are holding Ethiopians responsible ?
Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: Yes, from 1993 Ethiopia was directly or indirectly supporting these warlords, both when they were fighting against each other or reconciling with each other.
Taagane: Ethiopia was helping the Somali people and in return you blame them for our problems : Ciirtaa dhamaa caydaa yaqaan.(He, who consumes your milk curses you the most)
Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: Well, have you ever heard the saying: baadida nin-baa kula day-dayin daalna kaa badane oo aan dooneyn in heshana daa-in abidkaaye. ( There is a man who shows enormous effort to help you find your lost animals, yet he does not want you to ever find them).
Iftiin: That is a good response Shiekh! By the way, did you all hear what Daniel arap Moi said the other day?
Qablan: What did he say?
Iftiin: He supported what Farah Maallim and other Politicians from NFD were saying for years.
Murad: What about the thousands of civil servants, politicians, military officers, diplomats, and scholars who were originally from Kelli5 and fled to Ethiopia after the civil war erupted? We never really hear their voices. Now, most of them have good positions in the Ethiopian government, but they never say a word about Somalia’s problem, while the Somali-Kenyans (NFD) never stop raising their voices about Somali issues.
Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: How do you expect to hear their voices when they can’t even talk about the atrocity and the crimes going on in Kelli5?
Tagaane: Maybe they are waiting for our help.
Iftiin: It is a cultural matter. Most of them came from Ethiopia during the era of Haile Selessie and Mengistu Haile Mariam, and “emancipated” in Somalia during the time of Siad Barre. They were never given the opportunity in Ethiopia or Somalia to express their opinion freely. They have always been in a situation of kud ka guur oo qanje u guur (fleeing from a badly infected area, only to land in an even worse place) Unlike Ethiopia and Somalia, Kenyans have always had free press and independent judiciary.
Murad: Iftiin, are you saying that any country which has no free press and independent judiciary will fail sooner or later
Iftii: Absolutely. And I am warning all Somalis to respect these two institutions otherwise their days will be numbered and their legacy will be a disaster. You have to understand that citizens will express their opinion either by pen and microphone, or by gun and violence. If the leaders choose to silence their citizens they will warrant the end of their leadership and a tragedy for their country.
Sheikh Abu Al-Burhaan: Bravo Iftiin, I like you very much, even though you don’t cover your hair. Now, I have to run to the Mosque. It is Salaat time. Thank you all for the lovely conversation.
After two years of negotiation and re-negotiation, the members of the new parliament has been selected by SRRC and freelance warlords; and as a result, all the warring faction become parliamentarians. Ethiopia could not succeed their good guy to be the speaker of the parliament, but Sharif Hassan has been elected instead.
Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed who was sworn in on October 14, 2004 as President of TFG, flew immediately before he appointed the prime minister to Addis Ababa. And he requesting to AU an army of 20.000 to 30.000 to restore the security of Somalia, particularly in Mogadishu. The AU representative for Somalia reconciliation responded that AU would not waste their time for two years of reconciliation on the warring factions if they were providing an army of that size for restoring the security of Somalia. Also Somali parliament could not agree with the president on the issue of sending troops into their country, particularly troops coming from neighboring countries. In later time Mr. Meles Zanewi stated in Abuja, Nigeria that his country is not interested in sending troops to Somalia.
An assessment meeting:
Asfaum: Mr. Minister, we have been in a hectic period, but over all we are very pleased with the outcome of the Somali conference. We could not succeed in avoiding a couple of strident individuals for the selection/election as parliamentarians. Now, the TFG has to depart from Kenya to Somalia, but there is some confusion among the good guys regarding the seat in government, so they are waiting for our instructions.
Zirrow: Didn’t they negotiate and agree that the government seat would be in Mogadishu?
Asfaum: Yes, but some of the good guys are rejecting this idea now. Do you remember those who were objecting to Mogadishu being the capital city in the first place?
Zirrow: Yes, what about them?
Asfaum: At that time we instructed them to accept Mogadishu as the capitol for the sake of the process. We ordered them to sign the agreement, and now they are the leading group for the opposition of Mogadishu seating.
Zirrow: SRRC members?
Asfaum: Yes sir, both groups are spearheaded by SRRC members.
Girgis: That is the best news I ever heard. Who can deny God’s ways of helping some people and putting an end to others. Please give an unfaltering confirmation to every group to run TFG the way they desire in the city they desire.
Zirrow: I agree with Girgis. But tell me how many groups have they split up into?
Asfaum: Two main groups: Mogadishians and Jowharians. There are few who prefer Baidoa or Kismayo.
Zirrow: Give my blessings to all of them and instruct each group to stand for their preferred city for the government seat. No other options are allowed and no one should yield to any one.
Girgis: That is perfect. After five years they will return to their starting point….eheheeheheh. God loves us.
Over two years the Members of TFG were squabbling for the seat of the government, which has been finalized and agreed in Imbegati during the reconciliation process. The main group of the new disagreement are the members of SRRC Sponsored by Ethiopia, and Ethiopia never tried to mediate between the Mogadishu group and Jowhar group. Instead of implementing programs that they agreed to do during the reconciliation and the rebuilding of national institutions, the TFG were criticizing and condemning each other through BBC for years. The Jowhar group could not hold together and president Abdullahi Yusuf made a deal with the speaker Sharif Hassan to moved to Baidoa.
In 2005 Some high ranking of Bush Administration, intelligence and think tanks met in Boston at Harvard University to discuss about Somali issues. They proposed not to favor the TFG because they viewed as a very weak government and it would be cheaper for USA to deal directly with the warlords regarding Somali matter. In Connection to that the State Department outsourced the warlords in Mogadishu to capture three suspected terrorists hiding among Union of Islamic Courts. After an intense war, the UIC won in June 2006 the battle in Mogadishu and they controlled most of Southern part of Somalia for six Months. They opened the Mogadishu airport and seaport which were closed for 16 years. And finally, many Somalis were happy to have some kind of law and order in their neighborhoods. Soon after, the UIC were divided between the moderates and the hardliners.
Union of Islamic Courts:
Sheikh Warsame, Sheikh Abu Waqaas, Sheikh Abu Alxildiid, Sheikh Daahir and Sheikh Omar have been selected by the council of UIC to prepare the guiding principles and the strategy of restoring the Somali nation-state.
Sheikh Abu Waqaas: Our first strategy is to reach every corner of Somalia and kick out all the warlords from every city and town as soon as possible.
Sheikh Warsame: I don’t agree with you. Strategy number one is a call for peace, which our people is hungry for. Strategy number two is PEACE and no more killings among our people. We have to be humble to our people and enlighten everyone including the warlords, because they are part of our society. Also, instead of being hostile towards them, we should extend a friendly hand and open rehabilitation centers for them.
Sheikh Omar: Strategy number one is to stop drinking Khamro (alcohol), smoking cigarettes, chewing Khat, playing all kind of games, and watching movies and TV. This society is full of fusuq (corruption) and we have to purify them.
Sheikh Abu Alxildiid: Ya akhwaani (borthers) so far non of you have addressed our mandate. Our first strategy is to liberate all Somalis under non-Muslim rulers regardless of the ruler’s faith. Then we have to go all over the world and convert every human being on to our faith, the right faith, the Islam faith.
Sheikh Warsame: Haddigleyso Burco!! Dawacadii waxay tiri” Walle reer aan ogahay ma guuro” (Let Burco beat the drums!! A jackal sworn that a certain family would not move from their place). Basically, what your saying would not lead us anywhere. You need to see the movie titled Burn (original title ‘Queimada’) that was directed by Gillo Pontecorvo and acted by Marlon Brando, which was released in 1969.
Sheik Omar: What?
To be Continued ……….Part IV-b with proposal.
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