by Said A. Salah
Sunday, May 27, 2007
In a recent debating program aired by SL TV owned privately and operates in Somaliland (a self declared independent region of Somalia), Mr. Feysal Ali Warabe, a leader of the opposition UCID (welfare party) angrily and vehemently declared his party's intention of committing XASUUQ- Somali term for genocide or ethnic cleansing -to fellow Somali people of the SOOL and SANAAG regions. (Ref: Somaliland.org)
Feysal Ali Warabe, Leader of UCID party - Solution for Sool & Sanaag is ethnic cleansing
A SL TV moderator asked panelists (Warabe, Silaanyo, Dualeh) the question: can you envision a way in which the traditional leaders of Sool and Sanaag could be kept in our (secessionist) fold or to hinder them from the scheduled Somali reconciliation meetings to be held in Mogadishu? Mr. Warabe said, and quotes: "Our policy of inaction made us loose these regions and Lasanood long time ago. If we are worrying about committing genocide to these people we will never be able to realize our goal to become a state", adding furthermore "on one level we are reluctant to secure our eastern borders, and at the same time we do not want to kill and maim. How can we claim to be a nation if we are hesitant to shed others blood or afraid to sacrifice our blood, like we did before?"
By publicly uttering such remarks at this age and time where the whole world is wary about extremist ideologies and the shady men behind it, Mr. Warabe may think of himself a "nationalist" and catering to his supporters, but for SOOL and SANAAG and many God fearing people on earth it is a show of inciting hatred and a call for action to commit pogrom. It is a 'fatwa' of a sort. Especially when you take in to account the tribal (clan) connotations his words carry and the political climate of the region.
The people of SOOL and SANAAG view Mr. Wraabe's sanguine remarks not simply rhetoric but an imminent threat to innocent people's life. The likes of Mr. Warabe who are bent to harm women and children for no other reason but to secede from Somalia are plenty and could possibly find a way for staging their diabolic intentions one day or the other. We ought to be pretty much concerned of the safety of another fellow Somali brothers and sisters. We ought to alert the peace loving of the world to the terror and dangers that can come from this mad man and his cohorts. At any instant Ina Warabe invectives and nefarious utterances must be condemned.
It is ironic that Mr. Warabe hails from Northwestern part of Somalia. A region that has witnessed enough suffering and bloodshed committed in the name of "protecting" a state, while the only protection taking place was shedding the blood of the innocent and people freeing themselves from the clutches of dictatorship. If it was wrong then to break up people's will of resisting compulsion and political hegemony what makes it right now.
There are those of us who believe that Somali problems arise more so of ignorance and leadership deficiency than allegiance to clan. This is the same understanding of our forefathers when they were resisting the colonial masters. They sidestepped the notion of interweaving genealogical lineages by applying phantom formulas like 4.5, instead; they put more emphasis on building the right leadership that strives for the common good. They showed prudence in seeing that clan cooperation maximizes when the circle is wide enough to include all the components and no subdivisions. That is why they succeeded in reversing colonial deceptions and forged southern part of the land with the northern part. It is sad that contemporary generations did not fully grasp the ideals of the independence generation and why it is so important to be united under one Somali state in the Horn of Africa. Our problem is not when clan X is the president clan Y suffers or vice versa. Our problem is having leaders the likes of Ali Warabe. Presidents can go, deposed or overthrown, there is a political mechanism to deal with and should be in place, but bad leaders poison the young and the fertile mind.
As it appears we have lost the ability to be united and stand tall and dignified among the twenty second century nations competing for the millennium developmental goals. We have made ourselves fools and laughing stock of the world. We have come to a point where even Ethiopia (no pun intended) came to our rescue (from one another). Whether Ethiopia sees this opportunity as an invitation for an invasion and an expression of hegemonic grandstanding, time will tell. If tempted, I don't doubt that Ethiopian suzerainty will be short lived. In any case, it is our fault that Ethiopian tanks are rolling our streets.
As of now, it is of no use to lament the past or conveniently blame others for our shortcomings. This should be the time for introspection and showing humility and to collectively start rebuilding our nation by forgiving one another and clasping hands for the sake of peace and posterity. Or else, we still remain divided by imaginary boundary lines, selfish mafia like businessmen, marauding militias and irresponsible ignorant leaders like Ali Warabe etcetera. Where is the fecund leadership? May Allah show us the right path?
Said A. Salah
Sterling , VA
E-mail: [email protected]