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ALI MAHDI FOR PRESIDENT


Published By:

Dr. Abdi Ulusso
Executive Director
Somali Council for Refugees
(416) - 249 4553
dr.ulusso@attcanada.net

Ali Mahdi was a successful businessman, owner of a high class Hotel, owner of one of the largest import and exports companies for food stuff and building materials; and run biggest spare parts store in the capital.

He finished High School and received two years Public Health Diploma from Egypt. He worked in the Ministry of Health in the Mosquito Eradication Project (Anti-malaria) and latter became Director of the Department.

He was elected to Somali parliament in 1968 and became its youngest member. In addition, he was a member of the Mogadishu Manifest, a political document, initiated by the well-known lawyer and human rights activist the Dr. Ismail Giumale (sub-clan-Mudulood) that laid the groundwork the first internal political opposition group in the country.

Ali Mahdi belongs to Mudulood (Hawiye), sub-clan Abgaal one of the larger sub-clans in Somalia if not the largest. Mudulood comprises a confederation of Abgaal Cismaan, Moobleyn Cismaan, Wacdaan Cismaan, Ujeejeen, Hilibi and Elaawaay Cismaan. Mudulood scattered dwellings extent along the coast up to Kismaayo area, but its recognized communal land extends from Jasiira about 20 Kilometers south of Mogadishu up to Faax east of Xaradheere district in Mudug.

With coastal line over 500 Kilometers and an irrigated land of 200 kilometers along both banks of Shabeele River from north of Afgooye district up to Fiidoow north of Mahadaay district. Mudulood is the only Hawiye sub-clan never dominated by other forces, while Habergedir, Sheekhaal and Murusade were under Majeerteen (Darood-Harti) domination of Cali Yuusuf based in Hobyo; whom did Mudulood at GEED GAALAMADOOW eventually defeat. Habergedir and others were freed from Ali Yuusuf's rule. Whereas, Xawaadle, Gugundhabe and Gaal-jecel were under the control of Cagadhiig based in Belet-weyn who was representing Syaid Moxamed Cabdulle Xassan.

This is the source of inspiration for Mudulood that defeated external forces all the time and no major national event has happened without its active participation. The contemporary notable Mudulood individuals include: the first Somali President Aden Abdulle Osman, the first Commander of the armed forces Gen. Daud Abdulle Hersi, a decorated war hero and the architect of 21st October Revolution Gen. Salad Gaveire Kadie, Gen. Hussein Kulmie Afrah, the man behind the social and economic success of Siad Barre's regime and Dr. Ismail Giumale Ossoble, a human rights lawyer.

During the struggle against Siyaad Barre's regime a scattered resistance has erupted throughout the country in 1977, SNM in the north, SSDF in the central regions and SPM in the far south. However, none of them has succeeded in ousting the dictator and only then when Mudulood led the Mogadishu uprising in 1990 and comprised 9 of the attacking frontlines in the city out of 12 combatants, was crushed the military machine of Siad Barre in 30 days. It is a historical fact that, the first the three successive USC commanders in exile were Mudulood; including Col. Muhidin Moallim (Muxidiin Badar) the man who started the armed uprising of Hawiye and as a result most of Mudulood territory was freed six months before the central regions. In reminiscing their victory against Siyaad Barre in their traditional Somali Shirib Mudulood said, "ADOO KOR SAARAN KAARA WEYN MA KAAGA TUURAY KARABIIN".

Whereas, the elusive General Mohamed Farah Aideed (Habergedir-Hawiye) arrived in Mogadishu along 14 people as a staff after 5 days when Siad Barre has already fled the city. Mudulood did not only bore the brunt of the uprising, the decisive battle against Siad taking place in the Capital and the outskirts inhabited them, but have financed the war and paid the expenses of then incoming Hawiye gunmen who latter joined the fight and couldn't sustain their own expenses or look after their wounded Furthermore, during Siad Barre's campaign in the north, Mudulood rejected the drafting of armies intended for the replenishment and deployment to northern war front.

And even, Mudulood pilots best in Somalia refused to drop bombs fleeing Isaaq civilians in the north and some fled their planes to the neighboring country in protest. The Mudulood denounced Siad Barre's brutal and mass massacre and destruction meted out to the people of Isaaq and said," DALKAAGA DAAFAC DIIDIMAA ISAAQSE KU DUUL DOONIMA". On January 27, 1991 the United Somali Congress (USC), which drew mainly its support largely from Hawiye successfully ousted Siad Barre and promised multi-party democracy, free elections and form of regional, district clan autonomy.

As result, the USC appointed a caretaker government, headed by Ali Mahdi, one of its members, who heavily financed the group during the struggle and long time opponent of Siad Barre as President to fill the power vacuum. Soon after his appointment Ali Mahdi has taken impressive steps to bring together all Somali people for common cause. He invited all the opposition groups and leaders to achieve national unity and to participate in establishing a true democratic consultation and arranging the restoration of democratically elected government. Latter that year, in July 15-21, 1991 conference held in Djibouti, was participated by all major Clans in Somalia and has agreed unanimously to elect Mr. Ali Mahdi as interim President for two years.

However, SNM did not participate because Ali Mahdi in his first public speech he didn't give them credit for their struggle to oust Siad Barre from north. General Aideed (Habergedir) through clan compromise became USC faction leader and soon after withdraws support from an accord to end disputes among Hawiye Clan that he signed previously before its implementation.

It became unavoidable for Mudulood to defend two governments formed in Djibouti and agreed by the majority of all Somali Clans. Unfortunately, all Hawiye sub-clans, and many other sub-clans of Darood, Isaaq, and Digil & Mirifle (with the exception of Mareexaan) sided with General Aideed and attacked Mudulood but couldn't defeat and drive them out of Mogadishu. His dream for control of the country, particularly the capital city of Mogadishu led to economic breakdown and collapse of governmental authority in the country.

Ever since the General's sub-clan became the most important source of instability in Somalia, killing millions either by bullet or by starving; as well destruction of the infrastructure and looting of public and private properties. Despite the bad blood between them Ali Mahdi never tried to take revenge on him but only contained Gen. Aideed assuring his defeat in all endeavors.

Ali Mahdi said no to genocide against Darood Clan, risked his own live to save Gen. Mohamed Abshir from USC hand in Kismaayo and helped the defeat of Gen. Aideed when he became impossible in Lower Jubba and Gedo. In addition, Ali Mahdi provided safe haven, even though they were still at war with Mudulood the women, children and elderly of Murusade and Hawadle when the Gen.

Aideed attacked them without provocation, but never joined them in the fight. In addition, Ali Mahdi never stopped to speak out about Habergedir and their illegal occupation and subjugation of other clans, but always refused to take advantage of Habergedir in many occasions and resisted to wage a war against them. The current Djibouti Peace Process did not address the issue of whether to reinstate Mr. Ali Mahdi as a President or not, since the Clans participating the conference in Djibouti have previously elected him and this was a big mistake.

He has the qualities of a leader, always showing restraint, and measured response when needed and not angry and revengeful. He alone can establish democratic justice, freedom, equality, dialogue and rule of law. He has a deep interest in peace and national reconciliation and all Somalis owed to him to elect as their President. It will be a good will gesture on their part and would facilitate lasting peace, reconciliation and restoration of national unity and stability in Somalia It is incumbent upon Hawiye and in particular Habergidir sub-clan to endorse Mr. Ali Mahdi for the Presidency, since they are solely responsible for the demise of his government. He is also the most qualified of the current want to be "Presidents" whether they are remnants of Siad Barre's regime or born again Moslems.

He was the first faction leader to attend the Djibouti Peace Conference and encouraged all Somali people to rally their support for unity and stability. He also, sought their public positive response and blessing the initiative and efforts of Hon: Ismail Omer Ghelle, the President of Djibouti. Of the forty and over candidates, the most surprising is Abdiqaasim Salada, a born again Moslem, the longest serving member of Siad Barre's regime and who has close family ties with those who are flooding illegal counterfeit money in the country. Maybe he can buy votes with counterfeit money to reap rewards as a means to gain popularity.

He was the last Minister of Interior of Siad Barre and most of the atrocities committed by the regime were under his watch and Isaaq mass graves are still fresh. He even called USC fighters bunch of thugs and thieves and fought against them. I urge Hawiye and especially Habergidir sub-clan to give up their race for the Presidency and relinquish their ambitions and rally behind Mr. Ali Mahdi who made it possible for them to attend the Djibouti Peace Conference. No one Somali is willing to reward aggression and easily forget the excesses of Habergedir.

I am afraid there will be a big question mark at the Djibouti conference, whether Mudulood will accept if Habergidir is elected President and this could pose a real threat to the whole peace process as we all know and many months of " negotiations" will go up in flames.

 

 


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