19 May 2007 04:18

SOMALIA WATCH

 
Column
  • Title: [SW Column] ( Mohamed Urdoh) Brother Gelleh, wake up and smell the "xoorka Geela!"
  • From:[]
  • Date :[26 Jun 2000]

 

"....Given the foregoing picture, Mr. Gelleh ought to reverse his hostile stand against Somaliland. Indeed,  it is in his best interest to seek the goodwill of that country's citizens. As a first step to such a goal, he should understand that the direction the Arta conference has been taking so far does not inspire them to do anything with him not only now but also in the future.
Surely, this is the only sensible course open to him. Unfortunately, judged by his political behaviour, the man is anything else but a fan of commonsense and reason. Add to this the fact that he is completely blinded by his deep-seated hatred against his neighbourly brothers and sisters....."  MU 26 Jun 00


Opinions expressed in this column are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of SW.


 

Brother Gelleh, wake up and smell the "xoorka Geela!"

By Mohamed Urdoh

 

At a time when Djibouti President Ismail Omer Gelleh is facing accusation for alleged involvement in the assassination of a French judge, the people of Ceergaabo, Somaliland, unleashed a demonstration to stand up for the rights of a male foreigner murdered in their city by one of their own.

According to the local media, things came to a head after the regional governor and the city's mayor arbitrarily  released the alleged murderer despite the protestation of the area's Chief  Justice and Attorney-General. It is added that the police in the jurisdiction were angered by the move.

Although further details of the circumstance surrounding the event is unavailable,  subsequent police attempt to arrest the man once again was reportedly marred through violence by the suspect's relatives. This last development appears to have touched the sensibilities of many people who poured down to the streets to show their consternation  to the governor and the mayor.

This laudable reaction on the part of the people and the lawmen of Ceergaabo is, in effect, the sign of changing times. We have to remember that the area in question used to be one of the worst battlefields during those painful days when Somalilanders were relentlessly fighting for their freedom.

 Human nature being what it is, prolonged brutality only bequeaths to the victim the fixation of seeking vengeance. And that is the recipe for future persistent waves of violence. The ongoing unrest in Kosovo and  the former Lebanon "security zone," which has just been evacuated by Israel after occupying it for more than two decades, is an eloquent testimony to the fact that once oppression rears its ugly head, the chances to bring  to halt it's deadly aftermath are next to nil.

So, one  would have expected the Ceergaabons - most of whom severely suffered in the hands of the military dictatorship for a long time during the war of liberation - to continue  harbouring  grudge against yesteryear's enemies. By the appearance of things that isn't the case. On the contrary, no sooner had the dictatorship crumbled than local clans whose relationship was poisoned by the dictatorship came together and buried the hatchet. Since then, peace, harmony, and undiluted respect for law and order has been the norm.

Against this backdrop, the inhabitants of the area have, by ironic twist, learned from their past tribulations how to turn tragedy into unparalleled package of good neighbourliness, compassion and the desire to respect human life as the best manna from Heaven. Evidently, that is why they  came out to the streets in droves to ensure that the commendable efforts of their lawmen to apprehend the alleged murderer should not be in vain.

The above-mentioned situation, Unfortunately,  does not tally with the day-to-day realities of some Horn of African countries - principally Djibouti - due to the lack of fair administration  of justice and respect for basic human rights. Consequently, many a dangerous criminal gets away with his hideous crimes and, in the process, keeps on haunting his victims. This is  why it is advisable for Mr. Gelleh to borrow a leave from Ceergaabo's denizens.

Doing so will undoubtedly enhance his chances to enable his crisis-ridden country to attain the level of  stability  Somaliland is currently enjoying. It will also boost his effort to help our southerly brothers and sisters to dig themselves out of the abyss they have been languishing in for more than two decades.

It is highly unlikely that the Djibouti President will heed this wise council given his mean spirited attitude to wards the people in the new republic who, despite his unyielding drive to subvert their very existence, are praying for him to be absolved by the Paris inquiry. There is hardly anything surprising about the noble gesture on the part of Somalilanders. After all, the man hailed from a Somali clan although his tendency to trivialize the chronic problems facing the Somali nation are, to say the least, un-Somali.

There is nothing new about Mr. Gelleh's hatred against Somaliland. But he has gone way overboard by flagrantly including Somaliland - where its people don't hesitate to take to task their leaders if they are wrong - in the list of troubled spots in the Horn of Africa while the opposite is true. It is high time he realized that Somaliland does not need his pontificating on how to reinstate peace. Let us face it, peace is more deeply entrenched in Berbera, Hargeisa, Laascaanood and Borama than it is in the gulag archipelago he is ruling with iron hand.

Given the foregoing picture, Mr. Gelleh ought to reverse his hostile stand against Somaliland. Indeed,  it is in his best interest to seek the goodwill of that country's citizens. As a first step to such a goal, he should understand that the direction the Arta conference has been taking so far does not inspire them to do anything with him not only now but also in the future.

Surely, this is the only sensible course open to him. Unfortunately, judged by his political behaviour, the man is anything else but a fan of commonsense and reason. Add to this the fact that he is completely blinded by his deep-seated hatred against his neighbourly brothers and sisters.

This is born out by the ill-advised, unrealistic, two-tier approach the conference of the traditional elders handpicked by him came up with in their bid to invite Hargeisa to join them in that God- forsaken, extremely hot, little inferno called Arta. On the one hand, the elders upheld the "unity of the Somali nation" as "sacred." On the other, they decided to send a goodwill mission to persuade Somaliland to attend the conference.

This is contradiction in terms which adds insult to injury. By inviting Somaliland to the conference after calling for the unity of the Somali nation,  they have sent the outrageous message that nothing untoward happened to the people of Somaliland. They also indicate that they have not been taking seriously the unwavering resolve of the people in the republic to wave bye to the unholy marriage with the south. Thus, right from the word go, the elders inflicted an irremediable wound on their cause.

Anyone with modicum of wisdom knows that luring someone to a political or religious belief is tantamount to walking on a knife-edge. Therefore, if one ventures to tread in these precarious territories, one ought to be both diplomatic and tactful even if the potential convert is  susceptible to one's influences .

However, when the gap between the suitor and the wooed  is unbridgeable, the entire courtship inevitably turns into a wild goose chase. The Somali nation's  " new Millennium guru" failed to grasp this simple principle. Against this back drop, one is left with nothing to say except: Brother Gelleh wake up and smell the "xoorka Geela!"


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