19 May 2007 04:25


SW News
  • Title: [SW News] (IRIN) Interview With  Shatigudud
  • Posted by/on:[AMJ][Friday, Sept. 1, 2000]



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Hasan Muhammad Nur - "My men are Somalis, and I don't think they will oppose anything that is in the interests of Somalia"

IRIN Interview with Hasan Muhammad Nur "Shatigudud", military leader of the Rahanwein Resistance Army

ARTA, Djibouti, 31 August (IRIN) - Hasan Muhammad Nur "Shatigudud" (Red Shirt), the military leader of the Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA), joined the Djibouti-hosted peace talks as one of Somalia's main "warlords". "Shatigudud" - a former colonel who served in the National Security Service in northwestern Somalia - was one of the few military leaders who attended the talks, despite the fact there was no special invitation or status given to "warlords".

He managed to persuade Digil-Mirifle clan elders to accept his favoured list of candidates for parliament, thereby creating rivalry with his fellow RRA Secretary-General, Abdullah Derow Isaak. The rivalry of the two became an underlying theme at the conference, with "Shatigudud" seen as representing "warlord" demands and Derow as taking on more the role of a peace-maker.

Derow was eventually elected Speaker of Parliament in the first successful cross-clan election held by the conference on 21 August, despite last-minute manoeuvring by "Shatigudud" to sabotage the vote. "Shatigudud" then stood for president, but unexpectedly withdrew from the race and reconciled with Derow. Both men come from Baidoa.

QUESTION: Why did you decide to withdraw from the presidential elections?

ANSWER: Because the Digil-Mirifle were lucky enough to get the Speaker of Parliament. This is one of the main posts in the new government, so I decided I should withdraw my bid for the presidency.

Q: Do you really support the process?

A: I fully support it.

Q: But previously you had some reservations, and walked out. What was the problem?

A: My major concern was the number of parliamentary seats [given to the sub-clans and the military groups], but that has now been resolved.

Q: What role do you hope to play in the new government?

A: I would like to play a very important role. I would like to play a crucial part and would like to be considered for an important position in the formation of the new government.

Q: You've been seen as a potential spoiler of the process all the way through.

A: No, it's not true. I am a grown man and would not have come here if I had wanted to spoil anthing. I would have said no to what I don't want and yes to what I do. But I would not have been here at all if I had not supported the process.

Q: And what do you think should be the next step for an elected president? Should he set up in Baidoa, or Mogadishu?

A: The next step should be to form a government. Once that government is formed - well, everyone is talking about Baidoa, but it is also possible to take the government somewhere else, if that is what the government wishes.

Q: Do you think some of the regional governments have reservations about this process?

A: I believe there are no reservations. I believe that up to now they have supported the process. They have said as much, and have said they are ready to help us. I don't know what will happen later, but as of now I believe they will give that support.

Q: You have a very close relationship with Ethiopia. Through that relationship, do you have any insight into the position of Puntland leader Abdullahi Yusuf [who refused to take part, despite attempts by Ethiopia to bring him on board].

A: Yes, I do have a good relationship with Ethiopia - like many Somalis - and I do have a good relationship with Abdullahi Yusuf. And hopefully I will be able to convince him to come into the process. I urge the new government to make contact with Puntland and Somaliland, and to succeed - without any war or fighting - in winning them over.

Q: And as a military leader, what future do you see for your forces? Are they to be co-opted, or disarmed?

A: My men are Somalis, and I don't think they will oppose anything that is in the interests of Somalia. We will do what we think is in the best interests of Somalia. I think they will support the Somali government, and - unless something new develops - I don't think they will stand in the way. There are many militias in Somalia. I don't think any new government will be able to absorb all of them into a new security force. What will have to happen is, of course, that we will have to disarm them.

Once we do that we will have to find a way of finding them something to do. We have to find them alternative work to do. I think that to do this, it is very important for the international community to fully support the government that comes out of here, to give it moral and material support so it can stand on its own feet as quickly as possible so as to be able to participate in international forums and to restore the sovereign integrity of the Somali nation.

Extra items and links

Norwegian Refugee Council - Internal Displacement in Uganda: Country profile, Jul 2000

Norwegian Refugee Council - Internal Displacement in the DRC: Country profile, Jul 2000

UN System - Seminars on Strategies for Intervention in the Resettlement Process for the Population displaced by the 2000 Floods, 31 Jul 2000

Reliefweb - Mid-Term Reviews of the Consolidated Appeals, 26 Jul 2000

Reliefweb - Médecins Sans Frontières Expresses Concern Over Fate of IDPs in Angola, 26 Jul 2000

Maps and databases of Sierra Leone

Malaria: An on-line resource, Division of Laboratory Medicine, Royal Perth Hospital

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