19 May 2007 04:20


  • Title: [SW Column] ( Dr Ali Barkhadle ) Truth, Justice and Trust: The Triple Antigen for Somalia’s Ills
  • Posted by/on:[AAJ][25 April 2001]

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

Truth, Justice and Trust: The Triple Antigen for Somalia’s Ills

The Author, Dr. Ali A.M Barkhadle can be contacted at amsali@hotmail.com or

Brothers, Countrymen, Comrades lend me your minds. From Algeria to
Afghanistan, from Sudan to Somalia we are all at our throats, killing each
other. Lawlessness, corruption, nepotism, poverty are at large, why are we
in this state? Because we do not practice what we preach, mainly, truth,
justice and trust are commodities that are very rare in our society today,

Coming to the Somali dilemma, without truth, there can be no reconciliation
in Somalia. We need to observe and study at what happened in South Africa to
take a cue from. First, the truth and reconciliation commission was set-up
not to witch-hunt former members of the apartheid era but to send a clear
warning signal to all past, present and would-be politicians that the law
will come after them for the offenses they have committed. And secondly, to
prevent future reoccurrence of past crimes.

I think we need a truth and reconciliation commission in Somalia that has
teeth, to fact-find what happened in the past before we can even think of a
transitional national government. All Somalis should welcome the recent
appointment of Mr.Abdirahman Ali Al-Numeiri by EGAD to find a solution to
the political crisis that is facing Somalia.

When we find and know the truth, can the true process of healing,
repatriation of property and reconstruction begin! The prophet (S.A.W) said
anyone who does not speak the truth is not of my people.  So why don’t we
start at ourselves! Why say, we are a Transitional National Government
(TNG), when in actual fact it is just a collection of corrupt failed leaders
of the dictatorial regime of Siad Barre and does not represent all Somalis. 
We should not blame other countries when in actual fact the problem is of
our own making and short sightedness; we are cheating ourselves dear

Justice delayed is justice denied, if we do not bring to book all those that
have been involved in any sort of crime then we are again cheating
ourselves. Justice is the corner stone of any civilized society, but when I
side with my brother for his mistakes it will ultimately come to haunt me.
We should also differentiate the individual from the clan and administer
justice to the individual who commits the crime. This is the main cause of
clan conflict in Somalia where the blame falls on the clan instead of the
individual who later walks away after the clan pays compensation on his
behalf (Magg).  Forgive me for being too utopian  here.

An allegory is in position here that, one day a girl asked her father
whether he could buy her new clothing for a coming festivities, he relied, “
my dearest daughter we have not had a compensation (Magg) for sometime, and
I cannot afford to buy you any new clothes”.  This is a clear indication of
abuse of law and justice when we succumb to our own greed and become a
litigious society.

Trust this is an asset, which has run out in the world today. And remember
that trust is the cornerstone of trade and commerce, the recent loss of
trust in the Somali Shilling will give you a good example of trust gone
amok. It was plainly offered to the Heavens, the Earth, and the Mountains,
but they declined to take that offer which was foolishly taken by Man
(Koran: 33:72). When we cannot trust our leaders, our judicature then things
will fall apart, and the world will laugh at us again. We should be cautious
of unelected, unrepresentative governments and megalomaniacs who want to
take us back to a fresh civil war in Somalia.

The longer a truth and reconciliation commission is postponed, the more
profound the maladjustments will become. So, why has it been so difficult
for us Somalis to find our way out of this morass? Why have we felt so
perplexed and impotent? And lastly why have we behaved for so long like a
primitive society faced with an inexplicable natural disaster? Even now no
one is quite sure where to begin and how long the reconciliation will take.
Prisoners of our cultural inheritance: Clanism (Tribalism). We are still
looking for a magic solution, a miracle.

The Author, Dr. Ali A.M Barkhadle can be contacted at amsali@hotmail.com or


Copyright 1999 by somaliawatch.org.  All Rights Reserved.  Revised:  19 May 2007 05:08 AM. Webmaster HomePage