9/22/2018
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Somali Government Shot Itself in the Foot

Said Salah
Monday September 18, 2017

Somali Media is reporting that Somali government, in a recent unwarranted move and wobbly decision captured, jailed and parceled a Somali citizen to Ethiopian authorities seeking vengeance against him.  

The captive is Abdulkarim Sheikh Musa, AKA “Qalbi Dhgax”. Military record shows that he is a veteran officer of the Somali Army. He is no stranger to many Somalis who laud him for his spirit of endurance against the odds and the enormous impact of his victory. 

The report stirred up some turmoil in the Somali landscape. The report has, however, also stirred up some political passions.  It exhausted the government of president Farmajo and Prime Minister Khayre, and stirred up discord within the parliament. Perhaps most telling was the reaction from a substantial lot of the public; the mood was different, angrier and more suspicious.

A number of factors may have contributed the public uproar. 1- A quasi resurgent Somali nationalism 2- Public image of the president as a reliable nationalist opposed to foreign meddling-especially Ethiopia and Kenya. 3- Ethiopia discerning its interest and influence weakening under this government, flexing muscle and turning over a new leaf.

In essence, ‘Qalbi Dhgax” finds himself marooned at the feet of his tormentors,conveniently delivered by none else than a government sworn for his protection- say a governmentapparently insensitive to the concerns of its people! Remarkably the first and only object of good governmentis the care of human life and happiness and not their destruction.

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On the other hand, it is hard to overstate what a sweeping defeat and humiliation this was for the Somali government or for Somali people at large. Once again, Ethiopian authorities managed toshowcase their unbridled grip on weak Somali governments. This time, however, Ethiopia’s onslaughtbecomes a cause celebre for the Somali people.

The fallout from this incident persists and shows no sign of abating. Farmajo ignited the most serious controversy over Ethiopian Interest since his election, with some parliamentarians, civic leaders, media and the public all denouncing him after his government initially kept moot and said little or equivocated when spoke.

As the public discourse is heated, the government employed what can only be described as ridiculous defense.  The government claimed that the order was lawful, given an extradition agreement, in situ, between the two countries. However, this assertion turned out ringing hollow. Former government officialsattributed to initiating a draftingof a sort say otherwise.  And; no parliamentary ratification took effect.

The government also argued that the order of banishment applies to noncitizens and the aggrieved is not a Somali citizen. Somalis by and large scolded the government on this point. Certainly this explanation has no merit or leg to stand. Nothing limits the government from treasuring ALL Somali born individuals as fully established citizens. Let alone someone professed as a hero.  It is franklybizarre that the government’s other lame defense was enigmatically labeling ‘ONLF’ a terrorist organization. How come? Even the United States and the United Nations defy doing so. 

This was a humiliating loss for the administration, and principally the president, by virtue of the merit Somali people bequeathed on him establish asafety net against foreign meddling in its internal affairs.

No amount of frothing at the mouth from the administration will lessen the blow from its ill-advised feat-reductio ad absurdum.  It can try to charm a priori or an ad hoc security arrangement between regional parties; it would rather do well to rethink ways and means reversing the entire undertaking.

Moreover, on account of what happened, one is tempted to ask what’s wrong with the President or Prime Minister. 



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