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Somalia: Squeezing Blood out of a Turnip
25/07/2012
Somalia is a mess with little or no hope for a positive change in the near future. As a close observer of the Somali politics, it is apparent that the difficulties in the implementation of the roadmap has to do with the lack of transparency, the unwillingness to move beyond “what is in it for me” and monopolization of the process. One major problem in Somalia is the existence of one single industry that provides job, money and power and this industry is the government.
 
A majority of the public whether educated or uneducated are fixated on running for an office at any cost. This in turn led many ambitious, but incompetent individuals to fight for the power. Indeed, there is wide spread of a psychological syndrome which many term it as”Mar lee Madaxweyne I Dheh”, literally meaning “just call me one time a president” that has affected many individuals in our society.  It is this syndrome that led the formation of many regional states (sprouting like mushrooms) with many presidents in each tiny little state. It is also this syndrome that triggered more than 50 presidential candidates announcing their candidacy for August 2012.

Moreover, joining politics is seen as an easy ride to a career life that doesn’t require knowledge, years of experience and competency. It is also this view that motivates incompetent and losers to run for power. Nevertheless there are genuine individuals who want to contribute positively and save the country from the current chaos. Because of the tough working environment and the wide spread culture of corruptions, unfortunately their endeavors remain unnoticed.

After several years of chaos and lack of law and orders, political opportunists took advantage from the existing power vacuum, jumped on the ship as a scavenger jumps on a dead animal.  It must however be illuminated, a scavengerplays a unique role in theecosystemby consuming the dead animal and plant material contrary to the Somali political opportunists who are there to destroy “HOPE” and drain out the resources and the country’s revenue.

In the current political situation, there are many hurdles hindering the roadmap process designed to end over a decade of a transitional period.

The conference to adapt the current constitution has been postponed several times mainly due technical reasons as stated by the government. To his defense the prime minister has tried hard to move things forward, but there is a powerful mafia team headed by powerful individuals who are there to dismantle and oppose everything that threatens their interest. In the past few days the prime minister and his constitution minister have met with arbitration committee and reiterated the urgent need of resolving the irregularities that took place in the selection of the elders to give the process legitimacy. Within less than 24 hours from the meeting, $10,000 US dollars were paid to members of the arbitration committee from Digil/Mirifle (D/M) to deliver a verdict stating very clearly that there are no contested issues in their respective clans, thus denying the rights of genuine elders to represent their clans. The clique has also dispatched the interior minister and his director general (DG) at the arbitration meeting on July 23, 2012 to stop the arbitration. Make no mistakes; this is all about winning the election. Having more loyal MPs in the new parliament is the game of the town.  With all the public and the international outrage, nothing is done to fix the fraudulent process. The interior minister and his DG were there for specific mission to assure that loyalists of the President remain untouched.

Likewise, Sharif Hassan has handpicked the D/M clan elders, which gives him the power to pick and choose the new MPs from this constituency. He controls the D/M with an iron fist; anyone against him does not survive in politics. A good example is Mr. Madoobe Nuunow (a member of D/M) who legally deposed Sharif Hassan in the winter of 20111 as a speaker. In revenge Mr. Madoobe Nuunow will not be in the list of the new parliamentarians. This is not a joke, but a fact and should fairly come out pretty soon. Sharif Hassan will have a majority lead at the first round of the presidential election because he will bring with him 61 loyal votes from the D/M, at least 15 votes from the so-called 0.5 clans and a few votes from Hawiye, Darood and Dir clans.

All these maneuvers and corruptions are happening in the eyes of AMISOM, UN and international community, but nothing has been done to stop the chaos. Although UNPOS and the international community have requested for transparency and accountability, but their demand is entirely ignored as they managed to deceive them. Both the president and the speaker know that time is an important component of their strategy. The closer it gets the most likely they will have things left as they desired because no one wants to see the process to fail. Indeed their tactical formula seems to be working well; with less 20 working days left, the choice is to close an eye and let it go. That is exactly where the process is heading as the constitutional assembly meeting is scheduled to start tomorrow, thus allowing the fake clan elders to legitimately nominate the future representations of many clans.

It is clear that Somalia is heading to more years of chaos. This is a deceitful process that will benefit only corrupt leaders. The outcome of the final days to end the transition is clear; the days of Sheikh Sharif and Sharif Hassan are far from being over.

My fellow citizens prepare to ride the ship with both Sharif Hassan and Sheikh Sharif in the next 4 years and fast your seatbelt as they drag Somalia to the ditch. Expecting a positive outcome from this transitional period without stopping the clear meddling of both the president and the deposed speaker is like squeezing blood out of a turnip.

Ramadan Karim

Sheiknor Abucar Qassim
Somali InstituteofPeace Research(SIPR)

sheiknor@hotmail.com



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