Minnesota Panel Discussion on Somalia and its Rulers

Two weeks ago there was a panel discussion on Somalia, panelist included U.S. State department official on African Affairs, Somali government UN representative. Professor of Politics Ali Galaydh, and Senator Norm Coleman. The meeting was held at the University of Minnesota. After the meeting former Prime Minister of Somalia Abdirisak H. Hussein did not sense any policy change toward Somalia, but then again who expected that anyway?

What I found novel, was Norman Coleman statement: Washington has a lot of issues but few priorities, eluding that he has got what it takes to make our issue(s) a priority. I truly believe we Somali Americans should jump at this opportunity, to recruit educate and vote as a block for any Washington politician that is willing to frame policies that make our lives here better and help our mother country. Dont you agree it is time the Senators statements are put to the test?

Rulers

I hope I dont come over to you as someone having a tribal slant, as I always try to take the side of the Somali people.

At the meeting, I was somewhat surprised that the as we all know Somalia which mainly imploded from within, the professor of politics knew a way to blame it on Ethiopia, it maybe true, however it is not clear, how can such a statement benefit the people of Somalia?

After 15 year of pointless civil or tribal warfare, which devastated Somalia, the only point Somalia elite groups have proved is that whenever one group of elites are pushed over by other people, then the new elite group does exactly what the group that preceded was doing. This includes the following

1- Point out repeatedly how bad and corrupt the previous regime was

2- Steal even more public resources to fund the continuity of their rule

3- Instigate violence to secure and expand their rule

4- Blame the world or the wadaado for the bad consequences

All Somali people are descendants from one man (and of course a woman), and his name was Somali, we dont need any more divisions or clannish garbage after that. You would think this is obvious but when you see people with prestigious titles loving to fish in such a swamp you cant help but stress the fact that we are all brothers and sisters anybody calling for divisions is no different than the enemy. Of course a camel herder in the heartland should be exempted but not professors!

I grew up in Mogadishu in the seventies and eighties, and one message the ruling elite made sure every Somali understood was how corrupt the previous group was, now I know what they were NOT telling the public: their incompetence. These days when I hear new elite groups like they have in Hargeisa wasting no opportunity to point out that Somali military was misused against the very people they were suppose to protect, a legitimate question one should ask is: what is it that they are NOT telling the public?

The irony here is although there was devastation, it lasted for two years (for most people) look at south Somalia and particularly Mogadishu, and it goes on for 15 years and counting! Let me also set the record straight, on Somalias fiefdoms, the Hargeisa elite stands head and shoulders above the rest hands down. I also wish Somalia would grow a new generation of elite groups that are results driven. I am more for saving life and property then pursuing a greater Somalia initiative. Somalilands recognition will be a great windfall for the ruling elite because they would be able to appoint themselves to (wasteful) diplomat positions, and put even more burden on already meager public resources.

Somali Parliament:

These guys are in my opinion pitiable, they scored 4.5 out of 100, and I dont know if we should expect them to deliver anytime soon. But this or any other parliamentary democracy cant depend on the President, the Prime Minister and the whole gang of Male ministers traveling the world begging for money.

Italia has again come around to show support the Somali people in its hour of dire need; I hope some day people in Somalia will be able to repay Italy and its people.

About the fiefdoms of southern Somalia, all the people of Somalia should appeal to guys like Barre Hiiraale and Indhacadde or anyone near the fence who is willing to deal with the new administration, to give up all their revenues to Parliament, which in turn should hand it to the Prime Minister, Parliament should also continuously monitor how resources are allocated to ensure public resources are not wasted, misused or misappropriated. It is prudent for them to be mindful of the fact that unchecked power corrupts.


I am not part of the group that calls for the violent removal of these and many other warlord carved fiefdoms, when anyone pitches to me such a concept, my radar goes off, what is the agenda here? Are we trying to help the people of Somalia or we are about to be making another new warlord.oh..wait maybe he wants it for his tribe but since a tribe is bound to breakdown, he ultimately wants it for himself .

Take care!

Ali Antoni is a Software Engineer, and lives in Minneapolis, MN

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