Mr. Gosh’s Article Represents an Old Disease

Posted on 17/06/2010


Dr. Mohamed Abbas
Thursday, April 01, 2010

The era of Somali warlords has ended, but sadly, another dimension of warlordism has began to emerge: a new generation of warlords who are armed, not with guns, but with poisonous pens full of venom and whose aim is to spread secessionism and an archetype of disintegration among the Somali people. And this brings me to Bashir Gosh’s article entitled: “Somaliland: America’s underestimated friend”, currently posted on Hiiraan Online and Wardheernews respectively. The title of Mr. Goth’s article is very attractive, but the downhill slope of his writing is steep and quick. From the first few lines, it was already messy and abusive. If I were asked to revise its title, I would put it as: “Somaliland: Ethiopia’s Underestimated Friend”.

Writing purely from a secessionist point of view and with a great influence of tribe loyalty in its negative perspective, Mr. Gosh has insulted 16 out of 18 provinces that form the Somali Republic as a sovereign nation. He praised the two north-west regions of Somalia on tribal basis. He based his abusive criticism against Somalia on certain problems that are obvious and already known to everyone such as piracy, religious extremism, lawlessness, a weak government and so forth. The man has denied mentioning that similar problems can also be found in the two regions that he gloried blindly. He also intentionally ignored to underscore that the leaders of Alshabab group have made their way from the North to create chaos in the South and to prolong the civil war and political anarchy that have afflicted and still bedevil in the southern part of the country. Alshabab’s misguided interpretation of Islam has finally taken them to destroy the graves of some of Somalia’s most prominent clerics of the last century. When you read his recent article, you will understand how deep the man hates Somalia except his hometown. His biased comparison is only a small part of what he believes about the rest of Somalia. Who knows what he says over the tea and during the “fadhi ku dirir” sessions.  Mr. Goth’s rhetoric and fallacious words reveal that the man wishes to see Somalia remains where it is today. What a fake dream from a secessionist man! 

Previously, Mr. Goth has written many fascinating articles that attracted many readers. He should use his pen to unite his people instead of using it to propagate secessionism. One may ask the motive behind this ridiculous article. Is he seeking a political post in Hargeisa or the man is just desperate to get attention? I don’t know the answer. All I know is that Mr. Goth is contradicting himself and his writing is quite confusing! Why confusing?

 Because the man who is insulting Somalia today is the same man who was defending Somalia with his pen when the Kenyan lawyer Mr. Donald B. Kipkorir has made a call to annex Somalia and divide it between Ethiopia and Kenya. In his response to the Kenyan Lawyer, Mr. Goth wrote a wonderful article entitled: “Mr. Kipkorir: Annexing and dividing Somalia is a call for balkanization of Horn of Africa”. In this article which was posted on Hiiraan Online on October 5, 2008, you will find the following statements:  

“Remember Mr.Kipkorir, it is these people that you call rag-tag army of semi naked men that stood against the British and Italian armies for 20 years in one of the longest drawn out African rebellions against foreign occupation. It was the dervish movement led by the Somali hero Mohammed Abdulla Hassan, known in history as the Mad Mullah, the derogative name given to him by the British, that the Royal army failed to defeat until it used military aircraft against them in the first aerial bombardment ever used by a European power in Africa, even before the Italian air bombardment of Libya.”

In his recent article, he described Somalia as a land of pirates and terrorists, but in his previous article in 2008, he denied all these. He wrote and I quote:

“Somalia was not a haven for terrorists and pirates as you tried to paint it but as you know Somalia had the strongest and best disciplined army in the 70s. It was Somalia that negotiated a peace deal between the neighboring countries of Nyerere’s Tanzania and Idi Amin’s Uganda”.

When the guns fall silent, Somalia will get its old glory: 

It is possible that Mr. Goth despises Somalia just because of the chaotic turbulence that the country is going through at the moment. But one should love his country in thin and thick times. There is an Italian proverb that says: “defeat is an orphan, victory has hundred fathers”, meaning to say: when there is a defeat, nobody wants to be part of the team, but when there is a victory, everybody wants to be part of the team. This is really true as there are certain people who have a “socio-pathological distance-taking manner” who prefer to deny their own country in times of deep crisis. Just imagine seeing a stable Somalia, a peaceful Mogadishu where law and order are in place, kids going to school, it economy having a double digit growth, and its people living in harmony and peace. I wonder if Bashir Goth would still be having the same distance-taking behavior that he is displaying today!.    

The Extradition of a Grandma to Ethiopia: Oops! Where is the judiciary system?

It was just a month ago when Bishaaro Wacdi, a 50 years old grandmother was kidnapped from her house in Hargeisa and was handed over to Ethiopia. She was not taken to the court, nor was she allowed to have access to a lawyer. So, where is the judiciary system that Mr. Bashir Goth is talking about? We all know that in Somali culture, women enjoy a great deal of respect in the society. For instance, if a woman does something wrong to a man, the man will never take revenge on her. Instead, he will look for any male to whom the woman is related to. And even according to the modern nation-state system, an extradition can only take place between two sovereign states. A world of nation-states implies an international system of pure sovereign entities, relating to each other legally as equals.

Today, it is very sad to see that the basic principles and values have changed so much in our Somali society. The extradition of a grandmother was extremely shocking. Somalis began to ask themselves: what is the threat that an old woman can impose on Hargeisa or Ethiopia?!  This is an unprecedented act of betrayal and the first of its kind in Somali history? What a shame!

Somalis believe the woman became a target because: (1) She belongs to the Ogaden clan that constitutes the backbone of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) who is fighting to create an independent homeland for the population dwelling in the Ogaden region in eastern Ethiopia; (2) Authorities in Hargeisa wants to showcase their unquestioning obedience and loyalty to Ethiopia, that they will do everything for Ethiopia including the extradition of a grandmother, if need be.

In my opinion, it was better for Bishaaro Wacdi to live in her homeland Jig-Jiga than in Hargeisa. Perhaps she made a miscalculation assuming that the city of Hargeisa will be a safety net for her. She may forgot that it was Ethiopia – the country of Bilal Al-Habshi –  where our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace from Allah be upon him) asked his companions to emigrate to in order to escape the torture, killings, and the oppression imposed on them by the pagans of Makkah.

Hargeisa Airport: Who is in-charge, please?

Few years back when Dahir Riyale wanted to fly out of Hargeisa, the only choice available was an Ethiopian aircraft. When the “president” wanted to board, the Ethiopian security officers stopped him. They told him that they need to check him and his luggage, in which failure to do so will lead him to miss the flight. After some quarrels and arguments that took some time, the “president” was screened by foreigners in his own city. What a humiliation!   

Is this the country that gained its independence from Britain in 1960 and has become a full member of the United Nations, as Mr Bashir Goth claims?!.

In my judgment, Mr. Goth’s article is not worthy of reading. His arguments are baseless and beyond rationality. The disgusting description that he gave Somalia is an insult. The way that he glorified his hometown is not more than a fake dream that exists only in his fantasy. As a final point, Somali intellectuals are convinced beyond a shadow of doubt that in a globalized world, believing in tribal allegiance and secession is an old disease, and indeed this is what Mr Goth’s article represents.

Dr. Mohamed Abbas


Posted in: African papers