heydays of the Cold War an African editorial writer for
Kenya’s Daily Nation said that Somalia is a small plaything
of the big and powerful nations of the World, giving an
example of the political immaturity of the then Somali
how fistfights in Eldoret and more recently Abdullahi Deerow
using a chair as a weapon during a disagreement in a Nairobi
hotel between him and his deputy, Mohamed Abdi Yusuf in the
Interim Parliament, hit the headlines. The Kenyan newspapers
said these acts are comparable to those of bullies at school
that Deerow declared himself as a presidential candidate,
joining a handful of wannabe presidents of Somalia.
of those petty politicians attending the talks is a constant
invitation and a constant encouragement to the big powers to
subdivide the country once again with impunity.
differences in policies, which now exist between the faction
leaders, are the result of the long bloody internecine. These
bloody clan wars have had an influence on the present
situation, which cannot be ignored. But the only viable
solution is that we have to accept our differences and
accommodate them instead of prolonging the stalemate.
a single clan or tribe will accept hegemony by conquest. In
the past battles were fought by different clans over
livestock, grassing rights, water-wells and forfeited dowries.
Usually these hostilities were not serious compared to the
present day massacre of innocent civilians; a few young men on
both sides were killed and the stolen livestock recovered.
clan wars are not like that. They mean widespread misery, and
complete destruction of livelihood for all the clans involved,
except of course the warlords, who usually thrive on
How are we
fighting today? Not with spears and arrows but with deadly
weaponry given to us by foreigners in one form of foreign aid
and which is easy to get from big the powers’ armament
industries. Why? Because they welcome the prospect of a
brother fighting against brother in one of those countries
they dubbed as banana republics and Badlands.
these same arms traffickers spend thousands of dollars on
talking together on how they can stop arms trafficking.
Example, the five permanent members of the UN Security Council
passed an arms embargo resolution in 1992 against Somalia. To
this day, the members of the UN Security Council failed to
honour their own resolution, despite compelling and
unmitigated evidence that weapons regularly pour into Somalia
across the border nonstop.
that resolution is gathering dusty at the UN Headquarters in
On to you, Mr.
ROLE OF THE SOMALI MEDIA
represents one of the most powerful institutions in a
democratic society. The Somali media is no exemption. It is
the key instrument by which its deals are produced and
disseminated. It is time both the reflection and action on the
part of the fletching Somali print and electronic media. It is
time for media organizations to begin to take a hard look at
their own professional and personal ideologies, clan
interests, or organizational norms and values, and the ways in
which these elements influence the way in which news and
programming is constructed and communicated.
media should vigorously investigate and expose those who think
they have the exclusive right to rule the country, or what was
left of it. By the same token they should expose those shady
merchants who frequently flood the country with counterfeit
currency, causing enormous hardship to the average person.
say their priority is to inform and educate the masses about
the evils of clan worshipping, corruption, nepotism and
hatred, among other evils that besieged our society for
DISAGREEMENTS AT THE TALKS IN KENYA
disagreement cropped up last week at the talks. It’s the
question of who would be included in the future interim
parliament and the number of MPs. Many people suggested that
traditional elders should be included in the new parliament.
As an elder myself who has gone through the mills since
independence in 1960, I believe that the elders are great
asset to the Somali people. An example to be emulated is the Guurtida
of Somaliland who have been doing a spectacular task of
cooling down over-heated tempers in the Somali tradition.
not be difficult to comprehend. Elders advise us to do this or
that even though they have no formal education. It might be
true that I am educated; but how can this mean that I am more
intelligent than the person who is older than me, even in
matters of Government? In most cases it transpires that this
older man knows more about state affairs than I do. Because he
too has gone through the mills of frustration and injustice
and wishes that Somalia must not repeat its past mistakes.
But a question
arises in Mbagathi; would these elders (many of them
illiterates or semi-illiterates) be able to grasp the
sensitive foreign policy, national security, the defense and
the economic committees of the future National Assembly? I
leave this question to my readers.
The number of
MPs could be from 250 to 300 individuals with higher
educational standards, transparency and clean track records,
answerable only to the mainstream Somali people and not their
for the interim federal parliament. But when a nation-wide
election is kicked off at a future date the effort would be
colossal and the financial and organizational input very high
in terms of appointing election supervisors, their movements
to the constituencies they are going to cover, the arrangement
of transport, accommodation and subsistence allowances for
hundreds of people in all parts of the country.
only the beginning. Millions of ballot papers would have to be
printed and distributed to the appropriate polling stations
with transparent (see through) boxes; millions of Election
Manifestos should be printed, edited and distributed to the
constituencies, thousands of polling stations would have to be
manned by security forces. But the most crucial aspect of the
whole exercises is disarming the population, without which no
peaceful and fair election would ever take place in an armed
It would be a
drop in a sea of turbulence and shorthand for more bloodshed.
By M. M.
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