19 May 2007 04:26

SOMALIA WATCH

 
Column
  • Title: [SW Column](abdinasir jammac Barre) Who are they fooling?
  • Posted by/on:[AAJ][17 Aug 2000]

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


Who are they fooling?

abdinasir jammac Barre

<abdi_barre@hotmail.com>

The apparent immanent failure of Djibouti hosted conference is blessing in disguise. As this seems to be the last chance for the surviving members of the siyad Barre’s regime to finally hijack Somalia’s leadership and impose their favoured centralism. Luckily Somalia’s population because of their unpleasant experience at the hands of such people have refused to buy cheap stunts such as the one put up by Mr. Ghelle and his friends.

It was exactly the same sort of trick that brought them to power thirty one years ago before some of us here today, were even born. History has taught us since, a fine lesson of the deadly consequence involved in trusting emotional individuals. You cannot build a country with emotions and slogans. A country needs logical thinking, long term plans and clear vision of the future.

Sadly the so-called "predators group"(former collaborators of Siyad’s regime) have disgracefully failed to learn the basics of logical statement that, "you cannot fool all the people all the time". It’s really amusing to see all the surviving members of Siyad Barre regime gathering in Arta, Still hopeful of leading Somalia once more, after all the hardship and destructive years they put it through, basically in-able to come up with better trick than the one they pulled in 1969. No wonder Somalis believe predators will always be back to the exact spot where they last had decent meal.

When Siyad come to power in 1969, he had no logical explanation for his action instead he resorted to emotions. He told the public that, this action was necessary in order to save Somalia from rampant corruption, interference from foreign agencies and list of other social ills.

Unfortunately most people in Somalia at the time where not qualified enough to weight the pros and cons of the Siyad’s claim. They easily believed his bluff for two reasons. First, vast majority of Somalia’s population had no idea the difference between the system he destroyed and the new system he brought in. This could well be due to lack of experience because at that time, Somalia was only independent for less than ten years. Therefore majority of the population had no idea they were giving into dictatorial regime that will put an end to diversity and tolerance. Secondly there was too much unreasonable expectation which has been hyped and created during the struggle for independence which later proved difficult to materialise. So discontent among the general public was widespread.

Looking back on their records, Siyad and his cronies never meant any of the things they promised when they come to power. They only said that stuff just because it seemed the right thing to say to people at the time. However, how they convinced people that they were against corruption, when they themselves were seeking power in fraudulent and unconstitutional manner is beyond me. They weren’t interested in saving Somalia either, in fact, they were the worst enemy Somalia had ever seen. No other group had ever brought death, destruction and hatred to Somalia to the scale they introduced.

Looking at the style, organisation and directions of the Djibouti conference. It’s difficult not to notice that the same mentality is at work here. Same old AF-miishaaro(miss-informers) are being hired to present picture full of gloom, misery and future filled with difficulties. It’s amazing to see the amount of non-sense nationalistic, xenophobic and plain racism that has been paraded in Arta, in the name of Somali national reconciliation conference. There is no doubt that this is the work of the same people, as those who built national moment for mass murders during siyad’s rule. I personally won’t be surprised if the much-talked -new national constitution is another daft trick of saying it, just because it seems the right thing to say. Mainly all these stuff is done through the Somali speaking media. Yet the reality on the ground is totally different

Somalia today is in much better position to look forward to peaceful and prosperous future than it was at the end of last decade. On the political front 8 out of the 18 regions that make up Somalia have managed to set up two local administrations. They managed to bring peace, stability as well as law and order in their respective provinces without visible support from outside world.

Law enforcement agencies, social service institutions and all the other necessary pillars of any civilised society are slowly emerging, in response to local needs and within the constraints of local resources. There are immediate plans to form two more such administrations. One in Hiiraan in central Somalia and another one in Bay & Bakool in the Southwest. Making nearly 14 the total number of regions with reasonable functioning administration.

In the areas where such administrations are formed, people from all regions are welcome to freely live, work, and settle without any fear of persecution and discrimination. Even people who belong to clans that are at each other’s throat in Mogadishu and the south are living side by side in peace and harmony. Obviously there are occasional flare-up of clan conflicts, from time to time, which Somalia has never being free off since the start of the records, but these are mainly localised and unlike during Siyad Barre’s days where many of those minor disputes were further aggravated by fabricating none-sense political dimension in order to make matter worse, nowadays these clashes are mainly seeing and reported for what they are; a disagreement over scarce resources and pointless loss of lives.

Violence is absolutely despised in Somalia especially in the north. This can be seen by studying how Puntland and Somaliland – the two existing regional administration behaved in the short period they existed. Although it’s common knowledge that there is broad political difference and dispute over who should run certain regions between them. The two administrations have never resorted to violence, which is the norm in the south wherever such difference exists. They never even emphasised their political difference, on the contrary they mainly seem to concentrate on showing their common goals. That of achieving peace and stability as well as economic development in their sphere of influence. There is even new street expression in these regions which is used whenever people see someone misbehaving which goes:"hadaad xasaraad xiiso u qabto, xamar aad" roughly meaning: " if you are in a mood for trouble, go down to Mogadishu". The tendency to restrain from violence has not actually come about as a result of the political leadership’s effort. It was mainly brought about by the general public’s dislike of violence and their collective understanding of the grave consequences involved when military solutions are applied on social and political problems. People both in Puntland and Somaliland would rather have each other alive and politically different than kill each other for the sake of settling few differences. After all what is the use of prematurely eliminating your closest competitor when you can have him/her compete with you all the time, which can take you both to new pastures and height that you never thought about before?

It’s a sign of political maturity and wiliness to accommodate difference of opinions. It’s also a move, away from the primitive solution of brutally silencing anyone who happens to possess different opinion, which very much characterised the long years of Siyad’s regime and finally crippled Somalia as a nation.

Similarly, in the south where rampant crime, robbery lawlessness and insecurity are the norm. There are signs of hope on the horizon. Large-scale clan warfare is dying down. People are getting fed up with the endless squabble and pointless wars, which in the end benefits no body. More and more people are watching developments in the north with keen interest. Warlords are gradually loosing their power and influence. Only recently there was a case, where one of the most powerful warlord’s home in Mogadishu was looting by his own militiamen. They stripped the building of all furniture, doors and windows. Giving the warlord a taste of his own medicine. Luckily they didn’t rape the warlord’s wife which otherwise would have completed the main course of his own nasty customary practice. This was in fact a prime example of how times are changing and stark warning for the other warlords in the region that soon or later people of Mogadishu will have their say. While warlord’s power is weakening responsible organisations and community-based project are thriving. So what is the bases for the grim picture painted in Djibouti? And who is behind it? Why would anyone want to impose unrepresentative government on people who are already doing their best to solve their own problems using their own ingenuity and resources? I think I will leave the answer to you.


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