Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
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The New Breed of Pen-warlords

By Mohamed Habeen

The typical Somali warlord is an ambitious man who uses his clan connections as a stepping stone to curve up a fiefdom, supposedly, to protect or advance clan interests. But, in reality, a warlord is preoccupied only with
self-enrichment and self-aggrandizement, and, therefore, in the end becomes menace on his own clansmen. The best known Somali warlords were Mohamed Farah Aidid, Abdulahi Yusuf, and the Mogadishu warlords, all of whom eventually tormented and terrorized their own clansmen.

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Parallel to the usual warlords are the Pen-warlords.  This group, the pen-warlords, exist in all of Somali regions, but they are mainly found in large numbers on the three main regions of the country: the south,
especially Mogadishu, Puntland and Somaliland.

Pen-warlords rise and fall with the causes and warlords they support or act as their mouth piece.  During the rise of Aidid and Mogadishu warlords, some Mogadishu pen-warlords came to prominence primarily to justify the killing of innocent Somalis whose only crime was belonging to wrong clans.  And in fact one such pen-warlord actually published a book in which he claimed, among other things, if my memory service me  well, that Sayid Mohamed Abdille Hassan’s statue was sacked and sold as scrap pieces because it represented as symbol of oppression, for his clansmen.  Abdi-Qani Hirad, a prominent contributor to both soc.culture.Somalia and the SAPD, embarrassed the said pen-warlord by asking  “What about the statues of Dhagah-tour and Hawo Tako?  What about the scrapping of Mogadishu’s water pipes and electricity polls?”  Since the star of Mogadishu warlords declined and is now finished completely, the Mogadishu pen-warlords are also in the dust-pin of history.

Somaliland pen-warlords are essentially the secession pen-warlords, and they have been around for more than a decade, or perhaps since the declaration of the secession.  From day one, this group built its craft on two components: scare tactics and vilification.  On the first, they directed at the people of Somaliland, and on the latter directed at southern Somalia, or perhaps at the rest of Somalis.  But since scare tactic and hatred can never become a vision or achieve progress, Somaliland pen-warlords are stalled in the first square of their game!  True, they bought some pen-mercenaries here and there such as the awfully superficial Dr. Pham, but, in the grand scheme of things, the plot never catched on!  And now their sacred scheme of perpetual
vilification of southern Somalia is to be undone, because the people of Somaliland are now, thankfully, tired of these ridiculous tactics. Therefore it appears the end is not far of for the secession pen-warlords.

The third pen-warlords are the supporters of TFG and particularly the supporters of Abdulahi Yusuf.  This is the group that I call ‘the new breed of pen-warlords’, for out of the woods they came, and now they are everywhere!  Since this group insists that the TFG is here for the good of the Somali people, and Ethiopia came just to help the TFG, I will pose to them this direct question:

If Ethiopia invaded Somalia to help us and support the TFG, why on earth it didn’t invade Mogadishu in the almost two years the TFG was desperate for help, and was holed up in Jowhar and Baydhaba and practically terrorized by Mogadishu warlords?

The reason Ethiopia didn’t invade Mogadishu when the warlords were in control and were humiliating the government is that by undermining the TFG and by aborting all the reconciliation efforts, the Mogadishu warlords were, themselves, doing Ethiopia’s dirty work.  Therefore Ethiopia need not worry about Somalia!  It was only when the hated warlords were crushed and kicked out and peace and stability restored, and the call of brotherhood and reconciliation spread from Mogadishu all the way to Borama and beyond, when
Ethiopia started worrying, hatched its plans, and invaded the country!

In other words, when we, Somalis, tear ourselves apart, Ethiopia is content to give money and weapons to whoever is doing the ACT of tearing the Somalis apart!  However when we regain our senses, and come together and settle our differences, and try to move forward, Ethiopia, seeing her proxies failed and no longer up to the job, will decisively roll in and do the ACT of tearing the Somalis apart, herself.  As it just did.

It is that Ethiopia which through its history, through its actions and through its wicked designs has shown, time and again, to be the worst and the eternal enemy of the Somali people that has been portrayed, unconvincingly, as our sole sister and new savior!

These new pen-warlords have the misfortune and in fact the shame on two critical points:

1—      Those whom they chose to oppose and they are out to destroy are not the usual run of the mill Somali warlords, obsessed with self-enrichment and thievery, but the best, the most competent and the most inspiring leadership the Somali people have seen in many years and decades!

2—      By opposing the UIC, the only patriotic front, that unlike all others stood up to Ethiopia, these new pen warlords have, on the one hand, helped to deprive the Somali people a capable leadership that would have moved the country forward, and on the other hand, the pen warlords have found themselves in
the unenviable position of ending up in bed with Ethiopia, their people’s and their nation’s worst enemy!

Against the UIC, two specific charges were making the rounds, and they are:

a—The UIC and its leaders are the old warlords with religious clothes, and they can never be trusted.
b—The UIC leadership is entirely made up of one clan, and does not represent the interests of all Somalis.

These two charges however do not stand to critical scrutiny.  On the first charge of the UIC being the old warlords is often made by the new pen warlords, and to them I say:

To take under your wings the real warlords and the true “umulo dooxs” such as Abdi Qaybdid, Hussein Aidid, Sudi Yalahow, Qanyare and the rest of the Mogadishu gangs, who openly murdered innocent Somali men, women and children for simply belonging to wrong clans, and the same time point the finger at Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aways, and Sheikh Sharif, whom no one ever accused of killing a Somali person for clanist reasons, reeks of your hypocrisy and dishonesty!

About the second charge, or the accusation that nearly all the leadership of the UIC belongs to one clan is true!  But the charge itself is missing the point.  The problem with the Somali leadership was never which clan they belonged to, but what divisive and destructive policies they pursued.

So the appropriate question for us Somalis is not which clan our leaders belong to, (since we will never find leaders who don’t belong to some clan or another) but what have our leaders achieved during their leadership?  And in that department, the achievements of the UIC and its leaders have been phenomenal, for they have surpassed all and everyone’s expectations!  Had the UIC existed, say, for ten years, and deliberately denied and prevented the leaders from other clans to hold the top ranks of the movement, this accusation would have made sense and would have been damaging.  But how long did the UIC existed?  Not even one year, but just six months!  And even in that short period, the UIC leaders have demonstrated how truly inclusive they were!

Besides, it was not really unusual that nearly all UIC belonged to one clan. Throughout history, in every society and wherever a reform or a revolutionary movement occurred, those who fill the top ranks of the
movement or the revolution were always determined by the time and by the LOCALE from which the movement or the revolution started rolling!

In our own Somali history the parallel between the UIC and the Darawish Movement is so compelling and remarkable.  For instance, the entire leadership of the Darawish Movement not just the Sayid, but all the top
ranks, and all the commanders of the Darawish’s Armed Units from Ismail Mire to Abshir Dhorre were all from one clan!!

Does that fact diminish the significance of the Darawish Movement or its glorious role in Somali history?  Not at all!  The same is true for the UIC and its leadership.

The views of the new pen warlords come in varieties and different titles, but they have one common theme: Let us forget what happened and support the TFG…The interest of the Somalis lies in supporting the TFG….The best way to get rid of the Ethiopia’s occupation is to support the TFG (I read someone
claiming this in Somali language!)

The problem with these assertions and pleadings by the new pen warlords is that their logic seems to be intended for children, rather than for grown up and thinking people. First, you don’t help the enemy to invade the country and kill thousands of its people, and then pretend as though nothing happened.  It is not that

Second, how can a corrupt and Ethiopia imposed regime that reached Mogadishu through Ethiopian tanks, and over the bodies of dead Somalis, be beneficial to Somalia?  It will NEVER be!

In conclusion, without a doubt, of all the Somali pen-warlords, this new breed is, by far, the most pitiful!  While the Ethiopian tanks were mowing down the UIC men on the ground, and the Ethiopian fighter jets were mercilessly bombing them from the air, these new pen-warlords started falling over themselves to finish off their brother who was down and wounded!!

History will record this, and the Somali people will never forget it!  That is the reason why the new pen warlord’s apologies for Ethiopia and their smear against the UIC is so repulsive and nauseating!

Ugu dambayn, adduunku wuu is badali,  oo Ethiopia waa la jabin!(mark my words!) Ee ragoow wax ha lays kula hadho!

   By Mohamed Habeen
   Email: [email protected]

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