Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Struggle for Kismayo and Clan-Based Islamist Warlordism

A closed source on the ground in south-central Somalia reports on the financial dimension and motivation of the current conflict in Somalia's far sourthern Jubba regions between Harakat al-Shabaab Mujihideen (H.S.M.) and Hizbul Islam (H.I.), the two major armed Islamist opposition groups to the internationally recognized and ineffective Transitional Federal Government (T.F.G.) that control and have set up administrations in those regions. The source centers the conflict in a dispute over revenues from the port of Kismayo, south-central Somalia's second largest city and the economic and political hub of the deep southern regions. The source says that revenues are currently running at US$1 million per month, of which H.S.M. has been taking ninety percent, driving H.I. to try to force H.S.M. to alter the proportions. The source goes on to say that the antagonists are currently playing a waiting game to find out "who gets money in first." H.I., says the source, now has a faction that is ready to join the T.F.G. if the latter receives sufficient infusions of foreign aid. Meanwhile, the source reports, H.S.M. has been leading in the contest for donations from Somali businessmen in Nairobi. Significance The significance of the intelligence resides in its diagnosing the conflict as a case of economic motivation. Independent monitoring confirms that neither H.S.M. nor H.I. has raised any ideological or strategic issues in the conflict. There has been no controversy over H.S.M.'s transnational Islamism and H.I.'s Islamist nationalism, and H.S.M.'s severe interpretation of Shari'a law and H.I.'s presumably less punitive take on Shari'a. There has been no controversy about contrasting strategies for achieving the Islamic emirate/state that they both claim is their goal. Instead, the conflict has been over control of the administration of Kismayo pure and simple - who gets what - and has been increasingly fought on a sub-clan basdis. The conflict began last August when H.S.M. refused to honor an agreeement with H.I. that it would turn the administration over to the latter, according to a schedule of rotation among the coalition partners. By late September, H.S.M. had succeeded in ousting H.I. from Kismayo and announced that it was forming an administration of its own, excluding all other factions, and was linking that administration to the wider H.S.M. administration of the Jubba regions. Since then, H.S.M. and H.I. have fought a series of indecisive skirmishes in towns around Kismayo, with H.I. maintaining its stronghold in Afmadow. With H.S.M. holding Kismayo, fissures have surfaced in H.I. As the conflict over Kismayo has proceeded, its clan dimension has become conspicuous. Vulnerability to sub-clan rivalries was built into H.I., which is an amalgam of Islamist resistance groups that is represented in the Jubba regions by Harakat Ras Kamboni (H.R.K.) and Anole, both of which are rooted in southern sub-clans of the ***** clan family. H.S.M., which proclaims itself to be trans-clan was forced to rely on other ***** sub-clans when H.I. challenged it. On October 8, Sh. Hassan al-Turki, the leader of R.K.B., said that the conflict had "become tribal." Local media were quick to see parallels between the current conflict and the naked southern ***** sub-clan struggle over Kismayo between warlords Barre Hirale of the ******* and Gen Morgan leading the others that occurred before the 2006 Islamic Courts revolution. At present, by relying on the *******, H.S.M is playing Hirale's role and H.I. Gen. Morgan's. Hirale himself is reportedly mobilizing his militias in Kenya, with the aim of restoring his pre-Courts Jubba Valley Alliance. Clan-Based Islamist Warlordism Putting together the source's report that the conflict in the Jubba regions is primarily financially motivated, the absence in the conflict of appeals to ideology and strategy, and the sub-clan character of the conflict, a picture emerges of an incipient clan-based Islamist warlordism. Warlordism is familiar to Somalia observers as the dominant form of political organization in the south-central regions after the fall of Siad Barre in the early 1990s. As it developed in Somalia, warlordism became a practice of economic predation carried out by a strongman with local and sometimes regional ambitions whose base of support was sub-clan militieas and their members' dependents, and intimidated or favored businessmen. This conventional warlordism was particularistic (based on clan and personalistic identification rather than commitment to program or principle) and played out as a struggle over spoils and extortion or protection rackets. Its administrations were self-dealing and its justice, if one could call it that, was arbitrary and biassed; it was gangsterism in the name of sub-clan protection - the last social refuge in a disintegrated political community. Always a balance between public function and private interest, politics - in the form of warlordism - tips the balance overwhelmingly in favor of the latter. Where warlordism is pervasive, the population is beholden to it, because the dynamics of fear and mistrust have cut so deeply that they are nearly impossible to overcome - social entropy ensues. The conventional warlordism of the post-Barre period was broken by the 2006 Islamic Courts revolution, which proposed to unify Somalia according to a political formula based on the creation of an Islamic national state based on the practice of Shari'a law and governed by clerics. When the Courts were dispersed by the Ethiopian invasion and occupation of south-central Somalia at the end of 2006, Islamist resistance to the occupation, which dislodged the Ethiopians two years later, differentiated into the armed opposition groups to the T.F.G. that are present today and that held uneasily to tactical cooperation until that was shattered by the Kismayo conflict, which appears to be ushering in a new Islamist warlordism. Like conventional warlordism, the Islamist variety is clan-based, local and oriented toward economic gain. It adds, however, an Islamist ideology or at least identity to the conventional type, as an overlay. The Courts revolution had the formula of Islam+clan; the new warlordism has the formula Clan+Islam. This is not to say that the Islamist overlay is merely rhetorical or simply an after-thought; when Shari'a courts are operative, as they are throughout the regions controlled by the Islamists, they provide at least a semblance of legal order, whereas that cannot be said for conventional warlords. Clan-based Islamist warlordism presents the prospect of localized power centers dominated by military leaders with clerical claims who preside over Shari'a courts in the name of sub-clan identification. The conflict in Kismayo, regardless of the eventual balance of power that results from it, portends that outcome. The same tendency has appeared in most of the other south-central regions without the same level of violent conflict, perhaps because the prize is not as great elsewhere. It is plausible to judge that the energy of an Islamist political formula for Somalia has been spent, and that the entropy of defensive sub-clan identity has set in. Conclusion Expanding on the source's report to produce a picture of an incipient clan-based Islamist warlordism helps to explain why the extreme scenarios presented in the media and by domestic political actors have not materialized. On one side, fueled by statements to that effect from H.I., there were predictions of all-out war between H.S.M. and H.I. On the other, fueled by the hopes of the T.F.G. and its ally of convenience, the armed Sufi Ahlu Sunna Wal-Jama'a (A.S.W.J.) movement, there were predictions that the Islamists would self-destruct, leaving the path open to the T.F.G. to exert control over the south-central regions. Neither scenario has eventuated; instead, the Kismayo conflict has remained localized, as have the conflicts in the central and southwestern regions, indicating an assimilation of Islamism into sub-clan - neither explosion nor implosion, but a form of social grafting. Indeed, the Islamic Courts originated within sub-clans and for a brief period seemed to transcend them. Should the current pattern persist, clan-based and personalistic factional splits are likely to continue to occur within armed opposition groups. There have been reports that officials of H.S.M. from the ****** clan family have distanced themselves from or quit the group because they do not want to be part of an intra-***** fight. There is greater evidence that H.I. has split into factions supporting Sh. Adan Madobe's militant stance on taking Kismayo by force and factions seeking conciliation or, as the source reports, ready to go over to the T.F.G. if the deal is sweet enough. Another reported split in H.I. is between its chair, Sh. Hasan Dahir Aweys, and its former chair, Dr. Omar Iman, whom Aweys has supposedly accused of leaning too far toward H.S.M. and who is reportedly trying to mediate between H.S.M. and H.I. On October 14, Sh. Abdirahman Odawa, H.I.'s military commander in Elasha Biyaha - Aweys' base in the Lower Shabelle region just south of Mogadishu - defected to the T.F.G. with some of his fighters because he was dissatisfied with H.I.'s investigation of the assassination of his brother Ahmad Talibani. None of these tensions, of course, spells self-destruction, but only fragmentation and realignment along the lines of calculations of positional advantage by the myriad actors. One must remember that the T.F.G. is also seriously split, as it has been from its beginning in 2004, by factions allied with its president, now Sh. Sharif Sh. Ahmad from the ******, and its prime minister, now Omar Abdirahman Ali Sharmarke from the *****, who are currently contesting the composition of a new cabinet that Sharmarke is expected to name under pressure from donor powers. In the Jubba regions, the waiting game to see who gets the money if it comes, when they get it, how much they get and with whom they are ready to share it remains in play. That is what one would expect from warlords. Sub-clan loyalties are hard to break when conflict feeds on itself.
 
Report Drafted By: Dr. Michael A. Weinstein, Professor of Political Science, Purdue University weinstem@purdue.edu©2009 All rights reserved.
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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic
Somalia

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