Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Mr. President, Turn it Around

President Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud
When President Hassan Mahmoud took office in Sept 2012, like most of us, I thought finally Somalia will solve at least its most pressing issues: The lack of an accountable government, security, Somalia’s global image, and the economic problem in the country. Of course I wasn’t naïve to believe that these problems will be solved in fifteen-months or in that case in two years; however, I had the cautionary understanding and expectation that at least the president will put the foundation for a successful government, and strengthen the government’s reach. But today it seems like the president is slowly losing everything that his predecessors fought hard to create, let alone President Hassan strengthening and building the foundation of a successful country, and I say that as a concerned citizen.
Have you heard of Fetridge’s infuriating law or Murphy’s law? Well, let’s see what these laws state. Fetridge’s law states: everything that is supposed to happen wouldn’t happen when you need them the most. On other hand, Murphy’s law says: everything that could go wrong will go wrong at the worst moment. Combine these two laws and you will have a pretty good picture of what’s happening now in Somalia: everything that we hoped to happen isn’t happening, and everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong in the country.
Take for example Al-Shabaab’s resurgence in Mogadishu. The group has resumed its nighttime mortar shelling of the city which has been absent since Sheikh Sharif was the president and the group withdrew from the city. It has also increased its day light roadside or suicide attacks since President Hassan took office. Moreover, the city of Mogadishu has no Internet connection because Al-Shabaab disconnected the Internet network from the city and other parts of the country. It seems like Al-Shabaab is micromanaging the city.
Then there’s the corruption allegations: since this president took office two central bank governors had resigned from the office because of corruption, and the government of Somalia did not investigate these cases. Even the president went to say, according to an interview that he gave to the Financial Times, that he doesn’t understand why the donor nations are worried about “this thing” of central bank when corruption allegations became a public knowledge. In fact this has forced Turkey, which used to give the government $4 million every month, to reconsider this direct funding at the end of last year. Probably the president and his advisers underestimated the corruption allegations that they were facing, and thus failed to be proactive and engage public relations to shape the message. In the world of mass media and information war, public perception is the reality regardless if those allegations are unfounded.
Moreover, there’s the name calling. I mean what the diplomats, the spymasters, and opinion makers are saying about President Hassan’s leadership. The director of National Security Agency (NSA) of the U.S. called the president of Somalia “weak” leader not long ago. Remember that the NSA’s director has in his disposal the most sophisticated spy organization in the world to monitor whoever he wishes. The British parliament thinks the president isn’t doing enough, and both Somali opinion makers and non-Somalis think the president is losing the control of his government and his message. If you think I am exaggerating this statement look how far the President went to calm down rumors in the media that said last week that the president was “dead,” after senior government official told the world that the president of Somalia went to Turkey to get a medical check-up and to see his family.
And then there’s everything else: there’s this group that say the president is centralizing all power around his office: “technocrats including enthusiastic diaspora who have returned to help rebuild their country regularly complain that even low-ranking donor officials go over their heads and refuse to deal with anyone but the president, undermining efforts to build the very institutions donors say they want to exist,” wrote the Financial Times; there’s the political infighting; the lack of economic recovery and plan; still using the 4.5 tribe based political system; a huge cabinet; lack of finances; regional political conflicts; floods, droughts, and drones.
These are all substantial allegations and facts that can’t be ignored. In fact, all of these shortcomings have the potential to destruct this president’s government, make him one term president, and one of the worst presidents that Somalia had unless he makes immediate changes that shift instantly and turn around the direction that the country is moving.
These changes should start in the president’s palace. Start firing close advisors that have emotional attachment to the president including public relations people. The president should also fire presidential appointees that head the security apparatus of the country who failed to keep Mogadishu safe and systematically hunt Al-Shabaab. He should ask the prime minister to reduce the 52 ministerial positions to a manageable size focusing more on merit, efficiency and less on tribal demands.
The president should appoint, sincerely, an independent group to investigate corruption allegations, appoint independent central bank governor, and trust the prime minister and his government to do their job by empowering them. He should also cut his abroad travels and focus more on domestic issues such as security, writing the constitution and preparing the country for a national election, minting the Somalia Shilling, and build other governmental institutions.
Most importantly, strong accountability—more public engagement, transparency, proactive governing—and open diplomacy to all nations should accompany these changes. The president should attract people in his inner circle who have diverse views, experiences, educational background, less emotional attachment to his presidency, and care more about moving this country forward. One last thought, it would be imperative the president to act as a referee instead of a player in Somalia politics since he’s the President.
Hassan Mire is a political strategist and writes about Somalia politics, economics, governance and security. He has BA in Economics and Global Studies (politics).

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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

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