Sunday April 26, 2015
We all know the miserable state our
country has been in for over a quarter century. Somalia is an intractable place.
Years of civil war and famine have annihilated thousands of vulnerable people
and internally displaced even more. The
luckier ones escaped with their lives but suffered the fate of becoming
refugees and second-rate citizens in foreign lands.
Those of us who were able to leave Somalia
with our lives now helplessly watch how organizations like Al-Shabaab further
rape our beautiful Somalia as they spread their terror through mass slaughter, suicide
bombings, and assassinations. The chaos had finally caught the attention of the
international community at large and in their attempts to help Somalia they
encouraged the development of a solid government and brought together 20, 000 African
peace-keeping forces. Somalia has been
forced to accept these shameful violations in her sovereignty, so that we may be
lead back to stability but instead of being helpful these African
“peace-keeping forces” have in reality only caused more harm than good. The
Ethiopians conquered Somalia’s Southern part from Galkacyo to Raskanboni. The Kenyans
annexed the coastal city of Kismaayo and much of the lower Jubba areas. In their pursuit of Al-shabaab and keeping the
“peace”, they have instead killed hundreds of Somalis in Mogadishu and border
Today Somalia is at a painful
crossroads, balkanized with no effective government and sovereignty; unity
seemingly lost, perhaps forever. Even the remote parts of Somalia are just as lawless
as Mogadishu. They are either already in Al-Shabaab’s control, have simply been
claimed as nonexistent Federal States, or are impenetrable clan enclaves.
Ethiopia has become the de-facto ruler of all these regional territories. So now let’s get real; Vision 2016 and these
nepotism filled, rigged elections are all delusions. If we are willing to face
the music we’d see things for what they are and not what we’d like them to be.
A successful Somali Parliament and a constitution that is valued and adhered to
are for now all pipedreams. None of these institutions are capable of providing
the services and security the Somali people need. How can you secure your land
and people, when the President, the Speaker, and the Prime Minister are all protected
by the AMISON? If Somalia wants to truly exorcise her demons, it must first
start with ridding herself of the corruption and radical terrorism that’s
crippled her for so long. Western
Libertarians claim that nations can exist without state and tax collection and
they get the resounding response to take…”Somalia as an example and whoever
aspires to be in this utopian existence can move to Somalia.” It’s ludicrous to
assume effective goods and services can be provided without taxation. Where we
got this notion confounds me even more.
Elections, & Federalism : Not a
Viable Option For Somalia at This Juncture
Unlike some of my compatriots, I’m
extremely skeptical of the current political process. When you remember the
grim history that has lead Somalia and her people into the disarray we see now,
it is not unimaginable to assume that our nation’s worst afflictions are yet to
come. It is incredible that we refuse to learn from the past and chose not to
take heed in regards to the direction we’re headed. Let no one tell you this
path is unfamiliar. A house built without a strong foundation is doomed to
collapse. Let’s face it you can’t be a sustainable government when you’re
working with an incomplete constitution with the credence of something just
scribbled on a notepad and an inherently flawed parliament, with no obvious
sense of transparency, and a palpable disregard of all that is good governance.
First and foremost, are we united in building a state in which we all share its
benefits and responsibilities? The answer is simple, we do not. We’re far more
interested in personal gain or what’s in it for the clan. All the while, we are
dumbfounded at how we keep failing as a state and never quite relate it back to
the fact that any effective form of government requires participation and
investment from its people. We need taxpayers for our institutions; we need
proper sanctions and regulations in order to provide goods and services to our
people. But of utmost importance is our need to remember what it means to love
one’s country and mean it. Instead imagine a national army with no national
allegiance but instead functions based on clan loyalties? Is that the kind of protection we seek? The
first prerequisite for us to become a successful society is to bury the hatchet
and to genuinely reconcile our differences in order to live side by side in a
peaceful manner. If we can’t even come together for some basic conflict
resolution, then how can we think of creating a fully functioning and reliable
government? In a quarter of century we’ve gone through 14 reconciliation
conferences and have had both transitional and permanent administrations yet
none have yielded a good result. These should have been lessons learned, but
instead we rinse and repeat the process, hoping against hope that this time it
will produce a different outcome. Albert
Einstein said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting
a different result.” Let that be a poignant reminder that we have to take a
different path if we want this repeat-scenario to chance.
Why we failed?
- Current FGS are leaders whose main intention is
to stay in power at any cost, whether it is paying bribes or using
assassination squads; they manipulate their supporters with their ill-gotten
- Hungry traditional elders willing to support or
nominate the highest bidder – they don’t represent anyone other than their
The Diaspora who claim they want to save the
country, but are really jostling for position of power.
Islamists disguised as men of great faith; they
use suicide bombings to terrorize the public. They are more concerned with
wealth and power just like the other players and little with God.
Parliamentarians, notorious for their immoral
acts, willing to give their vote to anyone even for a small amount of money.
Ex-warlords waiting on the side for opportunity
to come back, create chaos, and instill fear.
African peace-keeping forces, mainly from Uganda
and Ethiopia willing to fight with Al-shabaab for a few hundred dollars. You
also have African leaders like Museveni who want to pocket the money paid by
the USA in the name of war on terror; he diverted the attention of his army and
population to this peace-keeping mission, so that he can stay in power longer.
United Nations and Non-government agencies
benefitting from the hardship and chaotic situation of Somalia by spending
billions of dollars that never reaches the needy and the suffering people.
Ninety five percent of the money allocated to Somalia’s humanitarian and
development projects goes back to the expatriates for their luxury hotels,
residences and vacation homes.
Western countries particularly the USA spend
close to a billion dollar a year to cover the costs of the peacekeeping forces
while aiming to fight a proxy war with Al-qaeda affiliated islamists. They have
no intention of nation building and as long their purpose is served on their
behalf, it is well and good.
The invention of half a dozen of State
Governments that doesn’t exist, but in name are fighting for a piece of the pie
and are falsely claiming they represent the aspirations of their people and
defending their rights.
The silent majority in the refugee camps,
displaced by the war and famine are victimized for the past two decades – they
are hopeless and only wish to see peace and rule of law come back one day.
Search for a Good
Wherever Somalis are, they should take the responsibility to
search for a leader who can save this country and return it to its rightful
glory. The leader should have the qualities of a leader like Paul Kagame. The Rwandan Genocide was an atrocity so huge
that one would think no country could socially or economically recover from,
but Rwanda has. Under the right leadership it has found itself thriving and its
people getting on and repairing themselves from the hurts of the past. In contrast, Somalia has a huge
advantage. We are a homogenous nation of
10 million, with one language, religion, and culture and yet we can’t reconcile
even after 25 long years. Let us find someone that possesses the qualities we
value in a good neighbor or good merchant for example. Let us look for someone
that’s transparent, impartial, and interested in the general welfare of his
people. Who is concerned with their nourishment and seeks to bring about the
nationalism and innocence we have lost for so long.
Build a 5,000
Strong Military Police Force
The leader will spearhead assembling together a 5,000 strong
police force brought across all clans and regions. The funds will be generated from
the Mogadishu international ports; prefabricated housing will be built for
these security forces and 100 used pickup cars will be bought from Dubai each
costing no more than $10,000 – guns will be mounted on top. The force will be
well trained, well-fed, and housed with their families. Prisons and courts will
also be maintained in these garrisons. Mogadishu will be divided into three
jurisdictions-South, Central, and the North zones. In six months full peace should return to the
city with this police force in place. Guns will only belong to state and be
operated by undivided forces. Now that peace has been reestablished those who
have fled during the civil war can return and claim and rebuild their
properties. A committee for property dispute resolution will be formulated and
any unresolved dispute will become public property. Mogadishu will be considered
as place with no particular affiliation to any clan, a cosmopolitan city as we
knew it back in the 60’s and 70’s. We can rejoice again in the splendor of our
Finally, the new administration
will commence the public services like schools and health services; similar
programs of security and public services will be implemented in all of the
other Somali regions. When peace is consolidated, AMISON forces will return to
their original countries and in less than two years, the leader will convene a
consultative meeting formed by all of society’s sectors and discuss how we can
best build a state with a balance of power (Judiciary, Executive, and Parliament).
This might look to you as abstract and insurmountable, but with the right
leader it’s doable and completely in reach. Unless of course you believe that
there is something inherently wrong with us as a people and this simply cannot
be achieved. It’s long held beliefs like this that have crippled us. Instead
please ask yourself this: are we no different than the citizens of fellow
continents like Rwanda that have managed to rise from the ashes when all odds
were against them? Can we not do the same? Questions like these seem far more
productive if you ask me.
Ashburn – Virginia (USA)