By Mohamed M. Bakayr
Abdullahi Yuusuf will go into history books as the first Somalia’s president whose government brought Ethiopia, Somalia’s historic enemy, into the country’s heartland-- and whose government approved American carried out bombardments that massacred scores of innocent, nomad Somalis in remote parts of the country; but if Abdullah’s regime backed by Ethiopia succeeds in stabilizing Somalia and bringing its conflict and civil war stricken peoples together, he will also go into the history books as the first president who put Somalia together after sixteen years of lawlessness and bloodshed.
Somalia is going through an unprecedented era in its multifaceted history. It is the first time in history that Ethiopia is wading through Somalia’s regions, thereby painting a new picture and reality with regard to the two country’s relationship and history. But nobody knows whether the two countries will get closer to each other or drift apart, despite the fact that the countries’ leaders are embracing each other and congratulating one another on achieving shared goals.
After the Islamic courts union had defeated American sponsored Counter-Terrorism Alliance and led Mogadishu out of lawlessness and desperation, they slammed head on into the transitional federal government(TNG) backed by Ethiopia. Although the courts instilled hope in the hearts of Mogadishu’s population and other parts of the country--the Islamic courts behaved pompously and belittled the nature of their Somali society, a society whose misery and failures are deeply rooted in tribalism. In addition, the courts did not only ignore the nature of their society, but they miscalculated the might of Ethiopia. Their rhetoric and repetitive media releases revolved around unproved assumptions which asserted that the whole Somali population would come to the defense of their country and prevent Ethiopian invasion from dominating Somalia. However, a week and a half long war culminated in the defeat of the Islamic courts union. Ethiopia and its independent transitional federal government defeated the courts after many days of heavy fighting in numerous parts of the country. The Islamic courts, which for a period of six months normalized the situation in Mogadishu, blended in the general public to escape prosecution, with the exception of the courts leadership who has gone into hiding.
Ethiopia backed by both the TNG and America vowed to hunt the Islamic courts remnants. Hatred overcome American jet planes, hunting foreign individuals allegedly linked to Alqaeda and perceived to be hiding in Somalia, bombed Somali towns populated by innocent civilians--who have got nothing to do with what has taken place between the courts and their rival transitional federal government backed by Ethiopia.
The American planes haphazardly dropped their bombs on drought afflicted population, whose sufferings have been compounded by a prolonged time of negligence and statelessness. Hundred of innocent residents from Lower Jubba region are documented to have perished in the bombardments approved by the uncaring TNG. As the planes were dropping their bombs, they were unable to tell whether they were exterminating their foes (Alqaeda) or annihilating blameless civilians.
Instead of the government speaking for the inhumanely massacred civilians and condemning the bombardments, it seems to be putting so many efforts into pleasing America and urging it to continue the bombardments whenever they become necessary. As strange as it sounds, foreign countries have criticized America for its barbaric actions inflicted on the residents of the Lower Jubba region, while the transitional federal government has been mute regarding this awful carnage.
Abdullahi Yuusuf, 73, is not likely to govern Somalia for an extended period of time. Because of his tenure’s limit and age, he will not be able to rule Somalia for many years. But whatever happens in Somalia over the course of his tenure will go into the history books and remain to be his regime’s legacy. If the TNG paves the way for proper reconciliation and powerful Somalia, the TNG will definitely go into the history books as the regime that put Somalis together after many years of bloodshed and lawlessness.
Mohamed M. Bakayr, B.A., is a Freelance Journalist and can be reached at [email protected]