By Ali H. Abdulla
Monday, February 04, 2008
It is unfortunate for a nation that shares a lot to be afflicted by leaders who seek division and discord, and who fail to seek common ground in the face of the multitude of dangers facing their country. The word compromise, win-win, alternatives, and negotiation seem to be missing from the lexicon of these leaders.
The leaders of the TFG, the Asmara group, Somaliland and Puntland have several things in common: Personal vendettas and the desire to score points against those whom they perceive, rightly or wrongly, as the other side. External enemies and threats have been overshadowed by petty conflicts and the desire to hang-on to power at the risk of driving the nation into oblivion.
It seems that the collapse of the Somali government had been engineered by external forces who studied the Somalis and figured out their weaknesses. Right after the collapse of the Somali government, the American ambassador in Kenya rightly predicted that Somalia would collapse into clan fiefdoms that would never unite, and that would most likely revert to pre-colonial times: A time when a nation state was alien to the Somalis. He compared Somalia to a horse that could be brought to water but could never be forced to drink: water being the state, and the horse being the Somali clans. The past 17 years have proven him right. Such prediction can only come at the conclusion of a prolonged research and close scrutiny. The breakup of Somalia was inspired by the dangers a strong and united Somalia posed to its mostly Christian neighbors. The current visit of Janday Frazer to the break-away state of Somaliland foretells the desire of he West and the Vatican to break-up Somalia into tiny manageable pieces. The visit comes right after a group of lobbyists started working on a bill to recognize Somaliland. The bill will be presented to congress shortly.
The situation in Somalia reminds me of a Somali song in a play that was politically motivated and accurately predicted the current situation in Somalia. The play was composed many years before the collapse of the Somali government by the famous playwright Hadraawi who tried to alert the then Somali government to the dangers that lay ahead for Somalia:
"Hal la qalay raqdeed baa,
Lagu soo qamaamoo,
Ninba qurub haleeloo,
Laba waliba qaybteed,
Qorraxday ku dubatoo,
Qoloftiyo laftii baa,
Lagu leqay qalaylkee;
Qosol wuxu ka joogaa,
Weli qaba hamuuntee,
Buuraha qotada dheer,
Ka arkaaya qiiqee,
Qarka soo jafaayee"
The Somali piece above can be roughly translated as:
"A slaughtered she-camel,
was fought over by many contenders.
In the ensuing confusion,
each person got hold of a tiny piece,
and cooked it in the sun.
Even the bones and skin,
were swallowed in the dry.
What humors me most,
are those who are still left,
hungry for a share,
seeing the smoke,
from high mountains,
to reach an empty spot"
Somalia is indeed like the she-camel of Hadrawi; slaughtered, fought over, divided and disappearing slowly from the map of the earth under the very eyes of its sons who have opted to watch helplessly as it splinters into tiny pieces fought over by power-hungry clan-motivated leaders.
Rayale and his administration in Somaliland are ready to collaborate with the devil to get recognition and break away. Ex-security officers would have no place in a united Somalia: there goes a big chunk of the she-camel.
Adde Muse and his corrupt cronies are ready to sell oil and mining exploration rights to the highest bidder in the hope of getting rich quickly before a credible government stops their follies: there goes another big chunk of the camel.
The TFG may reward the invading Abyssinians with direct access to Somali ports and in the process allow millions of hungry Ethiopians to settle in the fertile deltas of the Juba and the Shabelle rivers: there goes the major chunk of the camel, the bread basket of the country.
The Asmara group including the fanatic Shabab desire the establishment of an Islamic State that would allow millions of fellow Muslims to settle in Somalia in the name of Islamic brotherhood. Their influence in the South is gaining momentum: there goes the final chunk.
So what is left for other Somalis, the ones described by Hadrawi as clambering down the mountains trying to reach the smoke still smoldering over the remains of the camel? You guessed right, very little indeed.
I hope Hadrawi would start composing again and help Somalis salvage what is left of the she-camel before it vanishes completely.
Ali H. Abdulla
E-mail: [email protected]