By M. M. Afrah©
own vocabulary of Armageddon is limited, but I can reasonably
predict more bloodshed flowing in the streets of the ruined
capital as the sound of war drums is heard both at home
was crystal clear that Abdullahi Yusuf and his opponents
in Mogadishu were not destined to be easy partners in
history. The back-biting and the chronic divergence between
the two factions is deep rooted and could not be diagnosed
by the African Union, IGADD, the United Nations, the European
Union or the Arab League. But the symptoms or the warning
signs were already in El-Doret, the first venue of the
long fatigued peace talks more than three years ago. But
the facilitators of the conference failed to detect them,
and pretended that everything was running with good grace.
their failure to compromise is a clear sign that their
conflict over where the government should be based, and
who will have prerogative to nominate provincial governors,
including the capital is the thorny issue.
recall a reader of this column saying in his email that
he had what he called the final solution-airlift the warlords
to the notorious Devil's Island, thousands of miles away,
or better still cart them off to a war crimes tribunal
for the heinous crimes they had committed against unarmed
civilians instead of entertaining them at 5-Star hotels
in Nairobi. He said the people will sort out their problems
without the gun culture.
other day former US Marine Corporal and son of the late
faction leader General Mohamed Farah Aideed, now Minister
of the Interior in the Transitional Federal Government
of Somalia spoke the need for dialogue and understanding
between the two opposing wings of the government, ending
with a note, quote that it was not Ethiopia that has been
derailing the reconciliation process but some elements
among us, unquote.
Aideed Junior, it was an admirably delivered talk and
quite appropriate to the occasion. You had assured the
long- suffering people of Somalia with your pledge to
"forge vibrant" links between Mogadishu and
Jowhar. You didn't even flinch when you publicly admitted
that you had sided with the Jowhar-based wing against
your former comrades-in-arms holed up in Mogadishu, but
promised that you will try to avert a volcano eruption.
The lingering question is: can you reconcile the two groups
where others had failed? For a starter, disarm your own
supporters and clansmen in order to demonstrate that you
are honest broker and peacemaker.
is clear that the Mogadishu-based wing, among them former
drivers, street vendors, office messengers, Jinni Boqorre
(the devil king), Gacma-dheere (the man with the long
arms) and petty politicians, led by a wealthy business
tycoon refuse to admit that Mogadishu is one of the most
dangerous places on earth, after today's Baghdad, but
acknowledged that their pacification process is going
at snail's pace despite endless unproductive meetings
at the former party headquarters. Major-General Mohamed
Siyad Barre must have been turning in his grave!
fact is that the issue of the roadblocks had become so
disappointing that the civic societies, particularly the
brave women of Mogadishu pleaded with the former warlords
to take drastic measures against those who refuse to comply
with the schedule. They want things done, not "acted
on" for media hype and photo prop. These women can
absorb great deal of suffering and abuse without showing
it, but now they are made to suffer even more grievously
by the very people who mercilessly massacred their loved
ones and destroyed their city. Undoubtedly, they are made
of sterner stuff. During their 15-year-old ordeal many
of them maintained the most correct bearing. Other women
in other countries might have given in to emotions, but
not the Somali women.
But now their high expectation for peace and stability
had evaporated into thin air.
now it had become obvious that some of these faction leaders
had their own hidden agenda from the very beginning, hence
the very slow progress and half-measure to pacify the
Galkayo, Abdullahi Yusuf was quoted as saying: "
I am not going to start a war, but if it was war they
wanted I would give them one." His supporters, however,
say that quotation was out of context, and I will leave
it to the reader.
is my own latest quip on ARMAGEDDON DAY: "Perhaps
Abdullahi Yusuf and his opponents are going to need a
crystal ball reader to explain why they are still alive
when everyone else is not."
Articles written by well-meaning Somalis abroad were not
getting read, because they were not getting through to
the President. A reliable source says that one of Abdullahi
Yusuf's inner circles directs the flow of articles in
the Internet to his political adviser and never sees the
light of day again. I spare myself recounting the details
of how those scathing articles are classified and subsequently
kept in a "deep freezer."
is time for cool heads to prevail.
M. M. Afrah©2005