19 May 2007 04:26

SOMALIA WATCH

 
Column
  • Title: [SW Column] ( Nuradin Aden Dirie) The call of a pretentious hypocrite
  • Posted by/on:[AAJ][30 Aug 2000]

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


The call of a pretentious hypocrite

By: Nuradin Aden Dirie: ndirie@hotmail.com 

Finally, former Siyad Bare collaborators have won the contest in Arta. Will these people who were not good enough for Somalia in the last century, be good enough for the next? The answer to that question is as clear as a crystal to many Somalis who are still suffering from the tortures of that military rule. The "civil societies" or the failed warlords in Somali definition are also practically not fully equipped to the political task in today’s Somalia. It was extraordinary to listen to all "presidential candidates" promising to rescue the country out of the current political and social turmoil. Big words, but will it be followed by big actions? It is a great insult to our intelligence, Somalis, when they claim such a gigantic task without giving the basic clues of how to achieve it. Or alternatively they might be in the myth that a single presidential order will be enough to solve all Somali's political and social turmoil. I am not surprised to discern such an attitude from former members of the military government. They were used to operate with a totalitarian system and they had the military to carry their policies through. They also had a society, which were tortured until they were not bold enough to stand up to them and voice any opposition to their policies.

Judging from their speeches and from the naive way, in which they view Somalia, could only suggest that they are still in a time loop. Their thinking mechanisms seems to be stuck in the past when they could carry any order smoothly through their tyrannical regime. Former members of the military government do anticipate that with the designated office in "exile" they are well in course to ensure smooth running of their chain of commands in Somalia. What they do not see or do not wish to acknowledge is that ironically Somalis were emboldened enough to express their opinions and feelings in the last decade. Somalia and Somalis have paid a heavy prise to achieve these fundamental human rights. These severe consequences were not meant to end up in surrendering our rights and delivering it on a silver platter to the very people who we have gained from them in the first place. There is a wide gulf between what these people knew and what is the political reality today in Somalia. It seems that every Somali apart from them do realise that the geopolitical maps in Somalia have changed massively in the last decade. The Somali people would like to question what will these people bring to Somalia?

Perhaps the question that should precede the former is what qualities did we know about these people? Did we know them to have any shred of decency when our affairs were at their stewardship? Needless to answer these questions as every one of us has a veritable feeling and a real experience about the style and the substance of their leadership. I also hear the conventional wisdom of everybody deserving a second chance. But the precondition of such a chance is for that person to admit what a terrible mistake he has made and how sorry he is. Only then we might think and decide whether that person deserves a second chance or not. But what about if that person does not have the righteousness to admit his past mistakes and appeal for forgiveness? Do we blindly trust him with our fait over and again? Somalis have a long established saying, which goes that a person is not bitten from the same hole twice. Unfortunately it seems this time round we have been bitten from the same hole more than twice.

It is hard to expect from the people who had either the short sight to anticipate the political reality on the ground or had the lack of integrity to admit that things are not going to be as easy as they would have liked, to be genuinely working for real leadership and problem solving in Somalia. Every quality of leadership that Somalia calls for today is disappointingly missing from these people. Furthermore their past history coupled with their present arrogance could only muddle Somali situation even further.

I wonder why we should be rewarding a person who was active in every cabinet of a government that committed the most grievous crimes against Somali people. Does the "president elect" believe that out of the blue the Somali problems have just came about in the last decade? Does he not realise that it was clearly orchestrated policies through the twenty-one years of military oppression and mismanagement? The twenty-one years in which he personally remained a loyal deputy to the father of that destruction? As far as I can remember I do not even think that Mr. Qassim has ever been dropped from any one cabinet of Siyad Barre's numerous governments since he has joined. This is a clear indication that he has been a loyal supporter of the policies embodied in those twenty-one years of the military regime.

As to add insult to injury, Mr. Qassim declared in his first speech and I quote;

"Walaalayaal waxaan hortiina ka cadeynayaa in aan dhowri doono axdiga kumelgaarka ah ee qaranka iyo sharciyada dalka kana hortagayo cadaalad darrada, eexda, qabyaaladda iyo wixii la halmaala. Dowladu waxey ilaalin doontaa xuquuqda qof kasta oo muwaadin ah ayadoo tixgelin gaar ahaaneed siin doonta ilaalinta xuquuqda dumarka iyo cidii kale ee dulman"

Which translates to:

"Brothers I declare in front of you that I will abide by the transitional constitution and the laws of the country and that I will confront injustice, nepotism, tribalism and the rest of it. The government will safeguard the rights of every citizen giving special consideration to the rights of women and every person who is oppressed"

Well Mr Qassim, how can you in all honestly look straight into our eyes and tell us to be confronting injustice, nepotism and tribalism when you yourself have been elected by injustice, nepotism and tribalism? And as far as safeguarding the rights of the citizen specially women and the oppressed are concerned where were those rights during the twenty-one years of military rule that you have remained a loyal supporter of that regime? And what about the rights of the women and the oppressed during the ten years of genocide that you yourself admitted you have played a role? And have you ever apologised to every citizen who has been tortured by the government which you have remained a loyal supporter and a senior member of its cabinet? Instead of answering those questions and many more that the Somali people might have, you continued to aggravate and even trouble our mourning process when you continued to say;

"Dowladdu waxey la dagaalami doontaa wax kasta oo maamul xuma ah ama musuqmaasuq ah, waxeyna ku shaqeyn doontaa nidaam cad oo mas'uul kasta lagula xisaabtami doona mas'uuliyadiisa shacbiga hortiisa"

Which translates to;

"The government will fight everything that is a mismanagement and everything that is a corruption, and will work with a clear system that every official will be held accountable for his responsibilities in front of the public".

It is so rich of a loyal member of the military regime to talk about fighting mismanagement and corruption. That military government was nothing but mismanagement and corruption by any standard. Is the "president-elect" telling us that having mastered the fine art of mismanagement and corruption he is now well positioned to fight mismanagement and corruption? Or is Mr Qassim just hasn't got a clue what he is talking about? Mr. Qassim; have you ever been held accountable for your own responsibilities in front of the public? It is also worth to remember that this is not the first time that Mr. Qassim is swearing on the name of Allah, he did so in front of the public to execute his duties faithfully, or was that different Mr president? Were your duties as per required, sorry, ordered by Siyad Barre?

I could imagine some people coming up with such defences like the man was only a minister in Siyad Barre's government and nobody could have said anything to the real dictator Siyad himself. But the question, which throws itself out is, assuming that he did secretly disagree, do we really need a weak leader this time in Somalia? A leader who could not even dared to voice his concerns and disagreements to the government of which he was a senior member? What sort of a leadership that kind of a leader will bring to present day Somalia, which calls for a very strong leader?

Watching the celebration of Mr. Qassim's oath of office was another astonishing experience to me. I could not understand one incident, which happened during those celebrations. A lady soldier from the Djibouti army brought the Somali flag to president Ismail Omar Gelle and the Djibouti president have given that Somali flag to the Somali "president-elect". Now I do not claim that I have an in-depth knowledge of such a protocol but I honestly have not seen anything like that during so many such occasions that I have watched. To me this has sent a clear signal that president Gelle is saying to Mr Qassim that "I have given you the flag not the Somali people". Such a signal will in turn constitute that I have made you the president and I can take it away from you anytime that I like. Even Mr. Gelle of Djibouti has realised what kind of a man he is dealing with. Now that Mr. Gelle has got a government labelled "made in Djibouti and processed in Arta" how perfectly that will be fitting to his grand plan of establishing a protégé Somali government?


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