Friday, April 22, 2011

The Truth about Tribal Homelands and Fragmentation Issues

Somali-land an illegal entity being created by a particular clan (Isaaq) in order to serve personal interests, and as a proxy being used by foreign powers (mainly Ethiopia) in order to keep Somalia divided and weak. 
Ever since the collapse of central regime in the1990s,  Somalia descended into internecine, famine and separatist hotbed. Efforts of  the global community to rescue from self-destructive mode have been in vain. A  push for secessionist aspiration backed by politically entrenched clans and  foreign interests, though by no means alone, is one of the main factors why  Somali situation still remains in political mess. The world community and the USA  in particular or any one concerned with Somalia’s crisis need to be able to see  through a thick layer of smoke behind debates of the fragmentation issues. The  current ill-defined American “Dual Track Policy” toward Somalia is the case in  point. This is not surprising given the complexity and intertwining vested  interest actors involved in the situation. Understanding the underlining faulty  assumptions of the controversy is not only helpful to judge merits or demerits  of secessionist bide per se but it is also vital aspect to grasp the bigger  question of Somalia’s rebirth and the regional instability in the face growing  extremism, sea piracy and chronic lawlessness on the ground.
Here are a couple of recycled fallacies that need to be  dealt with, together with a more truthful and realistic explanations of Somalia’s  disintegration prospect and other security related issues. The following  pointed discussion is far being an original talking point of mine when it comes  to pro- and anti-fragmentation debate, but it is something often blurred so  much so that for the stranger or anyone who may take passing interest of the  topic left confused at best. So, let us recap what many of us already heard about  the argument once again for sake of it.
Fallacy No.1: Somaliland is at peace with self or the notion  that Somaliland region is immune to terrorism and extremism threats or at least  it could be used as a buffer zone against the menace of extremism in the medium  term.
Reality:  this is  the first line of defense for the hardcore of the split cause, but further  examination of facts shows different account.   No one is saying that all foundations of peace and order in the  territory are broken down. In fact, Somaliland experienced decades of relative  peace thanks to the traditional reconciliation methods minus foreign  intervention in which local elders led the effort into successful ceasefire  accord. Those efforts, combined with the limited number of tribe variables in  the region, saved it from much of the trouble in the south. However, the peace itself  has been under pressure from two fronts of both local and foreign nature- the  clan pettiness and religious extremism.   The immediate assault increasingly comes from inter-clan violence and  greed. These disputes are based on resources and territorial related issues  where politicians from certain clans keep fueling the violence for short gains.  Other societal factors like the crashing poverty, mass illiteracy and environ  stress also contribute to the trend. The recent crises in Kalshaale and  El-bardaale of the Sool and Awdal regions are just the tip of the iceberg of  things to come.  The rise of religious  extremism in the region is also a real threat to the precarious peace. The zealots  have extensive local and regional network of support from Al-shabab in the  south and middle-east. With or without recognition, these dark forces are  waiting in the wings and are ready to strike at the earliest opportunity. The last  year’s deadly blasts in Hargaisa that almost killed former leader, Dahir  Rayaale, is a vivid remainder of the bloody scenario.
Fallacy No.2: Somaliland is “an oasis of ideal democracy  and paragon of social equality.”
Reality: This yet another erroneous proposition touted by  some but it does not hold much water for further scrutiny. Since the unilateral  divorce two decades ago, the administration’s lopsided power sharing and  institution formula among the native clans is far from being an equitable  system. Three quarter of the parliament seats, executive portfolios and NGO  operatives are at the hand of one group. And do not even mention the monopoly  held on the leadership of the three political parties whereas forming any  different political stripe, be it nationalistic or religious is verboten.  Obviously the design of the system is inherently skewed in favor of a single  constituent at the expense of the rest and there have not been efforts to  redress the disparity issue over many years. On the contrary, the pendulum  moved even farther down with the election Silaanyo. As for the quality of the last  election, 30% of the counted votes were fraudulent according to reliable observers,  not to mention the incendiary clannish overtones of Mr. Silaanyo & co.  during the election campaign.  To its  credits, Somaliland fares much better on this issue compared to the Puntland  enclave and it deserves some high points, but still it is not anywhere near to  a semblance of institutional equity among citizens. Insisting upon international  or indigenous blessing while clinging onto the status quo is tough sell. If  nothing, it seems the proverbial cart and horse order at this point?
Fallacy No.3: a credible, free and fair referendum about  the question of secession took place in the region and thus vast majority  people in the region are in support of the secession project.
Reality: This is yet another incongruent argument cited by  the less informed and other hardcore supporters. Sure, there was a nominal  referendum conducted in the early 1990s but it was hardly a credible event in  terms of participation and minimum international standard, as should be the  case for any serious policy decision.  For one  thing, the timing and framing of the question itself (a single clause buried in  hundred pages of constitutional draft) were problematic. Likewise, no input was  solicited from groups outside of the pro core constituents in the region.  Inhabitants of the entire eastern regions of  Sool and Sanaag were left out in process out while few in parts of Awdal region  took part in the event. Therefore the notion that majority of the people of the enclave are unified for separate national entity is misleading. Even intentions  of the exercise at the time and the leader behind it were dubious. Ostensibly, Mohamed  Egal’s objectives were two fold of (1) to limit the spill-over of the prevailing  chaotic situation in the South at that time (2) to consolidate his political  powerbase while undermining threats of the SNM remnants in the region and he  succeeded in both fronts. The solution?   If need be, devising a transparent and inclusive referendum vote is the first  logical step of a healthy discussion in the future.
Fallacy No.4: unilateral secession fate in the region is  based on historical, legal, cultural or any other noteworthy of social and  religious identity and therefore Somaliland could claim de facto borders and  permanent population within.
Reality: Any one with miniscule knowledge of the tortured Somali  history needs no to be bored with repetition, but this is yet another favorite  punch line for some hardened pro folks. Somali people, like rest of African,  never had defined internal political border before the arrival of Colonial  scourge in the 19th century. Each clan occupied certain space with  imaginary lines and most had little contact with each other except with their immediate  neighbors through exo-marriages and pastoralist lifestyle. It is only after the  foreign invaders made bogus treaties with some groups that were loosely lumped  together and drawn arbitrary lines against their will. These lines cut through  even the same tribal heartlands into hopeless foreign patchwork. So, the  hypothetical question is whether such old and “token” treaties could offer a  legal, historical or identity bases among the Somalis, and especially after the  1960s independence which dissolved legality of the fraudulent treaty.  The answer to the argument is apparently  little. The point is that only nationalistic bond and the kinship, to some  extent, can offer common bond among Somali race. A claim that someone from  Buroa has more in common with Gadabursi native than his Awdalite kin across the  Ethiopian border does or someone from the south is convoluted logic. It sounds ironic,  but there is a reason to believe the current situation could get worse before  it gets better- expect more tribal homelands- and the blame falls on the shoulders  of the existing ones.
Fallacy No. 5: compared to united Somalia, a regional  secessionist path is sustainable in terms of credible socio-economic and geo-strategic  relevancy.
Reality:  This is  yet another overrated assumption given the poor economic standing of Somalia  proper in the past and the new forces of regional economic blocs that are  pulling together many parts of the world.   Somalia is a resources poor country (never mind the alleged hydrocarbon  reserves) with a fragile and social segmentation by any standard. The country  was heavily depended on foreign charities for many years. And remember that  Somalia’s breadbasket and fertile regions remain in the farther south and  whatever livestock export comes through Berbera port is mainly from the  Ethiopian regions. This left you wonder now what sort of economic future of a  lone break way Somali region could claim. Of course, clannish politicians see  things through a tribal prism and sense a tribal “Jackpot” delivered in the  form of “dead aid” and handouts but such perception cannot square with the dismal  socio-economic facts on the ground.
As for other strategic values, it is the much-cited  significance of Berebera port and its main benefactor (Ethiopia) which uses the  sea corridor for delivery of non-essential goods and food aid into the interiors.  But such geo-strategic values are over sold for two reasons of (1) Ethiopia  hasn’t give up its long-term strategic and traditional sea outlets on the  Eritrean side. It is only matter of time before Ethiopian regime  gains the lost sea outlets through either regime  changes or other mutual diplomatic venues (2)   Ethiopians  have already  unlimited access to all Somali ports from  Kismaio to Zaila regardless, and  they do  so as long Somali state remains in coma. So, all the talks of economic  sustainability and strategic importance of the region are less convincing.
Fallacy No.6: S/land factor is far removed from the  protracted mayhem of the South or other assumption that main supporters of the  separation issue (Isaqs) were the sole victims of the ex-regime’s brutal repression  and the ensuing bloodshed in the post-collapse period.
Reality: true, Somaliland has nothing or little to do  with the on going conflict and mayhem in the south or it seems so on the  surface, but that does not mean it played a holistic role in the genesis of  Somali civil strife and the subsequent collapse. The hitherto role of the SNM  militia in the affairs is a sad reminder of the point. Later, its modus operandi  amounted to obstructionist nature that made harder for every recon effort to  succeed. The vehement refusal of its rightful place in the matters without  proposing an alternative solution except insisting on unilateral divorce is  very problematic.  Instead of fishing  erratically for far-flunked corners of the earth for elusive recognition cues, why  not be at the center and front of the peace reconciliation venues thereby  ensuring a peaceful and equitable outcome for everyone concerned?  Sure, southerners have produced more than  their share of charlatan politicians but that doesn’t necessarily mean one should  abandon to fill in the patriotic vacuum altogether.
Another often-evoked card is also the injustice of bygone  era as far as hardliners are concerned. To be honest, the masses in the northern  region and the Isaqs in particular may have suffered at hands of previous  repressive regime and no one is to belittle the loss, but they  were not the only ones at the receiving end  of  the state’s security apparatus. Other  Somali clans like Majirtens have also suffered no lesser pain while folks in  the Awdal and Bay areas endured untold economic and political injustice under  the regime.  On the flip side, it is not  secret that the SNM militia reinforced by the Ethiopian regulars committed atrocities  against civilians in the north, including more than 300 people massacred in a  single day in the Awdal region. Other armed factions used similar tactics in  the south, including the genocidal famine imposed on the Rahanweyn people.  Besides, if human suffering or body counts make any difference there are tens  of thousands of others who lost their lives and limbs in the ensuing Somali war  inferno to this date. This fact by itself further complicates the whole notion  of who victimized whom and where or why.
The point here is that settling clan grievances through universal  justice and principles serves the best interest of everyone concerned in the  Somali conflict whether in the pre or post-collapse period, but such idealistic  thoughts should not be in priority list at this point. A sense of urgency  should be peace and order, reconciliation and institutional resurrection, not   vise versa. The sooner every Somali citizen or clan understands such  urgency and its orderly fashion the better.
My take on this is that Somalia does not need “ Dual Track  “ or “Multi Track“ policy from America and its allies at this juncture.  Such policies reward certain sectarian  entities at the expense of the nation as whole and will prolong the status quo  further. What Somalia needs most is a genuine reconciliation and holistic  policy initiative- a peace deal through carrot and stick approach- that takes  all local factors on the ground into account. At the very least, restrain of Ethiopian  regime from its sinister conduct in the conflict could be helpful act. Saying  all these things does not make me happy but doing in the opposite about the  controversy is a moral hazard. To those who may suspect ulterior motives  couldn’t be more wrong. I do believe that moral support of any self-styled  tribal Somali enclave should based on at least three conditions and that is (1)  peace and order among diverse community in the region (2) cross-communal of  economic and institutional justice for all (3) a holistic role in the larger  Somali peace efforts. Sadly, as long warmonger leadership cum their tribal supremacists  is busy brewing one tribal toxic plot after another and killing innocent people,  realizing such noble expectation remains an elusive dream.
Mohamed  Awale is a  Terror Free Somalia Political Analyst Email:

SOMALIA: The new semi-state within the semi-state

What a lovely couple they are
true that he is gay .lol..Somaliland Elects its First Openly Gay President !

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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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