Thursday, November 3, 2011

Somalia: Threat of Clan Politics and Colonial Demarcations

Somalia is sinking deeper into the morass of clan hegemony.  Clan fiefdoms that ensued the fall of the state remain to be ignoble threats to peace and stability.  Twenty years of violence and eccentric religiosity in the south is product of tribalism and clan rivalry on behest of ruthless warlords. Violence that is likely to escalate into ethnic cleansing is imminent in the relatively stable regions in the north due to contentions precipitated by clan power struggle.  British colonial demarcation in the 20th century is the centre of the dispute. 
Somaliland and Puntland are clan-based quasi administrations instigated by relative serenity in the north.  Both administrations brag about dubious democracy. Democracy is just a claim and justice is out of question.   Dominant tribes exploit meagre resources, dominate leadership, and dictate the fate of people through corruption, intimidation or violence at times.  Administrations are beset by cronyism and nepotism, provide no tangible services, and literally serve to be cash cows for corrupt clan politicians.  Security is handled by clan structures on basis of customary laws. These administrations as well as other hatching clan administrations functions as offshoot of Zenawi’s autocratic Ethiopia.  With healthy leadership, the serenity in the north could have been utilized as a steppingstone to lasting peace in Somalia, unfortunately that is not feasible now.
Geographically, Somaliland refers to north-western regions colonized by Britain (used to be known as British Somaliland), while Puntland comprises of north-eastern and part of central regions. Politically, the major difference between the two is that Puntland embraces sovereignty of Somalia while Somaliland disowns it in a bid to break away.  There is no political fissure between clans in Puntland, while separation is a litigious political issue among Somaliland clans.  Somaliland’s secession does not appeal to feasible economic, ideological, or political significance other than being political gambit for clan politicians who play ducks and drakes with illiterate masses. In addition to that, because colonialism and its demarcations were brutal injustice that millions of Somalis are still struggling with, the issue has been a bone of contention in Somaliland and very unpopular in the rest of the country.
As Somalia’s regions are populated by diverse clans, Somaliland is predominantly inhabited by Isaq (dominant in Hargeisa and Togdheer), Gadibursi (in Awdal) and Harti  (in Sool and Sanag).  Harti is also among the dominant clans in Puntland.  Both Gadibursi and Harti are predominantly proponents of unified Somalia and adamantly oppose fragmentation of the country on clan lines.  Harti clans in Sool and Sanag were among the founders of Puntland Administration established in 1998; predominantly these clans are politically affiliated to Pundland than they are to Somaliland.  Besides security risks, breaking up Somalia on the basis of colonial demarcations raises serious ethical dilemmas.  As Jesus (pbuh) said, “no man can serve two masters “, many people in the intellectual and religious circles within Isaq clans are also against the secessionist idea.  People see it as a despicable agenda striving to keep Somalia disadvantaged under Ethiop’s domination.  
But the pressure from Hargeisa to subjugate clans not in favour of its delusional separation has been problematic.  In 2004, Somaliland’s militia marched into the biggest city in Sool, Las’anood.  Many people were killed in the attack and hundreds displaced.  The takeover left a big rift between Somaliland and Puntland. Subsequently, local resistance (SSC) not affiliated to Puntland, with the intent to prevent Hargeisa’s expansionism has emerged. The SSC is a new clan administration with armed militia to protect its territory.  Skirmishes between SSC and Somaliland militias have never stopped since.   
 In the past, the international community was cognizant of the risks related to supports given to tribal administrations beyond humanitarian limits.  But the failure of the Transitional Federal Government in Mogadishu and swelling piracy in the waters of Somalia seem to have stimulated a shift of US policy towards Somalia.  Washington started to endorse more support to Somaliland and Putnland.  European countries and particularly Britain responded with financial aid to Somaliland.  The stipend meant to Hargeisa a full support of its secessionist campaign and a green light to use force in order to have full control of the land it is claiming as ex British Somaliland.  Hargeisa immediately mobilized its militias with the intent to torment peaceful inhabitants. 
Reliable sources have reported that Hargeisa had used big portion of the European aid to purchase military hardware.  The report added that Dahab Shiil (a money transfer business) that Somalis in Diaspora use its services is financing the carnage against civilians, and is collecting donations from Diaspora communities. The mobilization unleashed the recent attacks on Maygaagle and Kalshaale in Sool where civilians were savagely killed, maimed and driven from their homes.  The local people were able to fend off the attacks and forced Hargeisa militia to retreat.  But the dispute is far from over as long as the shibboleth that a separate state named Somaliland is embellished as a legitimate cause to fight for, and Britain continues to support it in commemoration of  its colonial history.  If attacks from Hargeisa resume, there is no doubt that the violence will engulf the whole region, and neither Somaliland nor Puntland would claim anymore stability.
Somalis are already devastated by the atrocities in the south and the threat of piracy on its coastal shores. If things continue this way, Somalia will be a history.  It is fall from grace to just point fingers to other people while we (Somalis) have not done enough to protect our people and our country from our own sick and mad people.  A saving grace of this nation is its strong belief of God, and God does not permit the humiliation of a nation unless they chose the humiliation for themselves.  It is time to say no to humiliation and stand up to protect our people and beloved country.    
Abdirahman Alas
We welcome the submission of all articles for possible publication on terror free Somalia
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of terror free Somalia

It is time for every one to notice the doubleface of the Somaliland entity and the dangerous activities of its leaders

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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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