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By M. M. Afrah©
Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA)

Leadership, diplomacy, courage and energy are the desired characteristics for a candidate seeking public office. For progress to occur, a candidate must also possess the ability to transcend tribal lines. He/she must possess thorough knowledge of countrywide issues and understand the pressing problems facing the country and the people.

Many well-meaning people at home and abroad feel that the current petty politicians in Mogadishu and Jowhar woefully failed to bring the people together and get things done and end gridlock and bickering over where to base the Transitional Federal Government. This is yet another example of pervasive gridlock in petty politics.

It is already more than three years and the childish drama hasn’t subsided. It is a simple problem: skilled communicators tackle a situation that requires saying difficult things. Apparently there is enough cowardice, greed and bad judgment going around to justify finding a new crop of decent and transparent leaders.

What is clear is that I can’t see people welcome again a bunch of clowns who deceived them for more than a decade and half. “No-speaking,” policy won’t mend rift. It will not put the fragmented country back to the map again.

The Prime Minister takes the blame for the troublesome whims of his boss, but his eagerness to please his boss puts him in the service of shadowy stakeholders, which threatens to shake the already shaky foundation of the peace and reconciliation talks in Kenya. The Prime Minister has many critics who say the President is using him. Any President who made such decisions in a civilized society would be impeached.

On the other hand the Mogadishu based warlords-turned-Cabinet Ministers-MPs said over and over that they would dismantle the illegal roadblocks in the capital’s cramped and squalid streets. Several months have elapsed and the illegal barricades are still there, thriving and bringing in a lot of revenue for the same warlords who put them there in the first place. These barricades would also provide fields of fire should the weary population take to the streets, pundits say.

The simple truth is that Mogadishu remains the capital of Somalia, and according to the constitution the Transitional Federal Government should be based there, instead of holding court in a small town. Clearly public faith in the TFG is fading away. People have never been more cynical.

It has now emerged that the Mogadishu-based faction agreed to ditch their “Not-Speaking” policy and say they would meet the Jowhar-based faction “inside the country any where any time ” Obviously, they are tired of sticking their heads in the sand, churning out the “No-Speaking” policy day in and day out. Some say that they only wanted to score a political point.

The dam to correct past mistakes is about to open, and it takes courage and perseverance to take advantage of it. The people’s patience is stretched to the limit; in fact it is already overstretched.


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