Thursday, December 31, 2009

Alternative Approaches to Pacifying Mogadishu

For the last twenty years, Somalis have hoped, and so we expressed in these pages of WardheerNews, that each prospective year would be decidedly different.  Although peace and development has sustainably improved with each passing year in the Horn of Africa region, things have gotten so sour for the Somali people that the otherwise hope-instilling "Happy New Year" cliché became rather an empty phrase.
Mogadishu Warlords
Former hawiye  warlords and members of the now defunct CIA-funded Alliance for Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism
With the help of well-wishing, but impatiently hasty world community, only one model - a top down approach - to re-establish the Somali state has been repeatedly tried.  However, that model keeps failing.  To say the least, enormous political capital and human life have been spent on faulty solutions to Somalia's intractable problems, all of which have been centred on the question of Mogadishu. 

It was not that long ago when ruthless warlords, aided and abetted by the Bush administration, promised to bring peace to Mogadishu; but they caused more devastation to the already devastated city.  The Abdullahi Yusuf-Geeddi and, later on Abdullahi Yusuf –Nur Cadde Transitional Federal Government (TFG1), did not either grow beyond the sandy beaches of this troubled City.  The chaotic but short and tranquil period of the Islamic Courts Union ended up eroding all civil liberties to give way to several fundamentalist splinter groups that are now threatening what is left of the Somali fabric. And the current Sheriff - Sharmarke feeble administration is sadly confined to the besieged presidential palace of Villa Somalia (The New Yorker, December, 2009). 

After all is said and done, the only two things that had  consistently flourished in Southern Somalia (Mogadishu area) in the last 20 years are a culture of violence and an uneducated and corrupt leadership who seek phantom power at the expense of their devastated community.

Meanwhile, the two regional governments of Puntland in the northeast and Somaliland in the northwest have been registering gainful cultures of peace and functioning administrations, notwithstanding challenges in capacity building.  It is this contrast between the culture of violence in Mogadishu versus the evolving peaceful civic cultural life in Puntland and Somaliland that forces us to question the model so far utilized. 

We loudly wonder how Mogadishu would bring peace to any other region in Somalia when it is not at peace with itself!   Would it be asking too much to suggest that Puntland and Somaliland are rather in a better position to bring peace to Mogadihu?
Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed Sh. Shariif
Former PM Geeddi PM Sharma'arke
Somalia's worsening political violence, including the Al Qaida inspired suicidal killings, are confined to Mogadishu and its environs. On the contrary, regional governments in Puntland and Somaliland have steadfastly moved into a sustained civic culture, thanks to an earlier wise investment in bottom up approaches to peace-building and comprehensive reconciliation, where traditional infrastructures such as elders, local intellectuals and moderate religious leaders are effectively employed.

With similar internal debate raging among the Somali community, WardheerNews spoke to Said Samatar, an expert on Somalia, whose forthcoming book is addressing this very debate.  Mr. Samatar is of the opinion that in order to foster comprehensive peace in Somalia, it is imperative that Mogadishu be treated as nothing more than a mere region in the tribal web of Somalia, thus forcing Mogadishu to first seek solutions for its own problems from within. 

After all, that is what other regions, particularly Puntland and Somaliland, first did to secure their own peace and governance.  They successfully utilized their own devises to foster local peace before moving into helping others.  With the hope that Mogadishu would change course and follow suit, we urge belligerent groups in Southern Somalia to tackle their problems on regional basis, thereby trying to first secure the peace and order for Mogadishu from bottom up. 

To attain a peaceful southern Somalia, the following steps must be taken:
·  
That International community desist from further attempts to establish a Mogadishu-centred centralized national government for all Somalia's regions.  This model - a top down approach - has repeatedly failed despite massive political investment by the United Nations Organization and the African Union.
·  
Like Puntland and Somaliland, Mogadishu and the rest of Southern Somalia commence a grass roots based peace-building through their traditional elders and moderate religious leaders.
·   
All non-Southern political operatives in the Mogadishu-based Unity Transitional Federal Government of Sheikh Sheriff Ahmed vacate their positions and begin in an orderly manner to return to their home regions or any other peaceful region of their choice in the country.
·  
Both Puntland and Somaliland administrations should begin to give moral and material support to the afore-mentioned grass roots based peace and reconciliation efforts between groups/clans in Mogadishu.
·  
After proven and tested peace culture is established in Mogadishu and full pacification is achieved among the competing interests in Southern Somalia, the administrations of Puntland and Somaliland shall open up talks with a united Mogadishu-based administration on ways to establish a united federal structure for all Somalia.  Somalia’s frontline states must in the interim respect Somalia’s territorial integrity and assist these entities in developing integrated economies and capacities to ward-off threats emanating from Al-Shabab terrorist group.
Somalia
We believe this approach is consistent with the original comprehensive reconciliation and peace building enunciated by the United Nation in its so-called "building blocks," where Somalia was divided into five peace building blocks, whose final product was to be culminated in an all inclusive federal structure.  By employing this original vision, the world would (1) extend due appreciation to the positive deeds so far done in Puntland and Somaliland; (2) give a tangible role to the true stakeholders in the question of Mogadishu without undue interference by other politicians who do not belong to this region and its intricate conflict; and (3) begin to treat Mogadishu as a region equal to other comparable regions by requiring of it to first solve its own conflict with its own means.

After twenty years of employing futile and faulty models with grandiose goals, there is a lot to gain by going back to the basics, articulate a vision that endorses that wise motto of "small is beautiful," and take baby steps to get to the big goal of pacifying Mogadishu.  In the interest of Somalia, a grass roots based approach to pacifying violent Mogadishu is one alternative that deserves due consideration.  
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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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The threat is from violent extremists who are a small minority of the world's 1.3 billion Muslims, the threat is real. They distort Islam. They kill man, woman and child; Christian and Hindu, Jew and Muslim. They seek to create a repressive caliphate. To defeat this enemy, we must understand who we are fighting against, and what we are fighting for.

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