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Mogadishu: A Clan Capital or a Nation Capital?

By Hassan Zaylai

A nation's capital holds primary importance, and is undoubtedly the most important institution, for a nation as it is the seat of power representing in unity people of many differences! It is sacred ground for all it represents within a sovereign state! Show me a national capital city desecrated, therefore, and I will show you a nation in peril!

I posit with clear conviction, and evidence to back it up, that Somalia's festering political ills stem from its capital city, which has long been hijacked by the very clan for whom Mogadishu and its surrounding area is ancestral ground!

I will speak bluntly and in the old Somali clan-constitution vernacular laden with generalities; granted, that there are exceptions abound to any rule! That said, ever since the dictator Mohammed Siad Barre fled the capital city of Somalia, Mogadishu, the rule there has been ( and continues to this day) chaos, which has completely pulverized Somalia as a functioning sovereign state! If at the onset of Somalia's decline, of which Mogadishu was and still is the epicenter, was one initiated with looting, indiscriminate killings of civilians, raping of grandmothers, occupying public and private property ( to this day), lawlessness, and inter-clan war, today it is the same chaos by other means!

This past April, clan Hawiye has, once again, held its annual "greater Hawiye clan conference" in (guess where?) Mogadishu! At the front row sat former Somalia national presidents, prime ministers, current and former MPs, and ministers of the same clan!

As far as I know, no other Somali clan big or small has ever held all clan conferences of any clan in the history of Somali people! Yet, my issue with this conference is where it is being held again and again! This is yet another desecration of sacred national ground, which a nation's capital should be! This is giving the middle finger to the rest of Somalis.

This clan conference, it gets worse, has not confined itself in deliberating clan domestic issues. It imposed itself on national issues, which are for all Somali clans to decide! Clearly, Somalia is still under the 4.5 clans power-sharing formula, but that is through the representation of clan-selected MPs and others to voice local or national issues on behalf of their respective clans, regions, and for the whole country!

After the Puntland regional assembly voted against the term extension of the federal government, the 2 Hawiye clan regional governments of Gulmusdug and Hisrshabeelle sat on the sidelines by not following suit Puntland! As a way of amplifying a gathering domestic and international rejection of the "term extension," Hawiye political aspirants to hold Villa Somalia again or anew shamelessly used, in an unprecedented way, their clan as leverage to further their careers! 

As usual, the Hawiye clan unfortunately is never satisfied with making mere statements! They had to show clan-based physical force and, especially, in their clan area, which sadly a nation's capital happens! The Hawiye presidential hopefuls and MPs had to make the call to their fellow clan former warlord Indhacade and active duty XDS and other armed forces officers and rank who, on a moment's notice, abandoned their stations to run to the capital on behalf of their clan politicians!

Make no mistake about it, that was Mooryanism 101! Those active-duty officers and rank had committed treason against the state in favor of their clan by violating their oaths to not be loyal to the clan! They have no business in being part of the nation's defense forces!

For Somalis, it is easy to look tough and badass in their respective clan-infested areas! How hard could it be for any clan, whether in Baydhabo, Djibouti, Garowe, Jigjiga, Mogadishu or Kismayu, to flex muscle and threaten anyone or thing without the clan involved in its ancestral locality!

Somali clan code of honor is what usually makes Somali clans not cross boundaries! No other clan has done with their ancestral clan metropolises, in which many Somalis of different clans live, as the Hawiye has in Mogadishu! In this last April, marauding Hawiye gangs of AWAL XDS and warlord militias went door to door telling people to flee or be killed to simulate a large number of civilian flights to induce a politically desired outcome!

An intellectual, Mayu Angelu, once said: "when someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time."African-American stateswoman, an educator, a poet, and a highly respected

Hawiye's early on incapability to govern one city, Mogadishu, right after Siad Barre was ejected from power--not to mention the utter disaster that ensued there and for decades afterward, which makes the standing up Somalia state difficult still-- should have been all the incontrovertible proof for the rest of Somalis that their most important symbol of unity, the seat of their "Qarran," does not belong there!

Keep Mogadishu as your capital city, keep Somalia in perpetual turmoil, therefore!

Hassan A Zaylai
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