The North, South and Everything in Between: Somalia.

Posted on 11/07/2010


As Sh. Sheriff pleads with political leaders, at a summit hosted by his once archenemy Meles Zenawi, Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke continues to write pleading with international donors to ignore the Council on Foreign Relations report on ‘Constructive Disengagement’ from Somalia. In the meantime, Mogadishu sets ablaze with government officials barricading themselves in palaces and villas; incapable of serving the public that they claim to represent. Some hours away in Galkacyo, billions of dollars in counterfeit shillings are on the verge of entering the economy- resulting in an obvious destruction of financial security for an already insecure marketplace. In Puntland, the vice President returns from Dire Dawa where he agreed to battle Al-Shabbab (for obvious reasons) and Ogeden National Liberation Front (in an unfortunate attempt to appease Ethiopia). Up North, Somaliland welcomes a new leader; Mr. Silanyo prepares to assume full responsibility for Mr. Riyales irresponsible years in power. Away from land, piracy has become an international problem as France’s leader urges Puntland to steer away from corruption and instead prosecute pirates accordingly.
This is a brief glimpse of the Somali situation. However, there is a need to understand the root cause of certain conflicts that are impacting Somalia.
The Prime Minister of Somalia, Mr. Sharmarke, compares the Taliban in Afghanistan to savages for destroying ancient Buddhist temples in a desperate, yet pitiful, attempt to gain western support against Al-Shabbab. He states “The world has seen this kind of savagery before, when the Taliban destroyed ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan”. It is not the destruction of temples that I support, but the lack of recognizing the other side of the spectrum; dozens of Mosques that have been destroyed through the war on Global Terrorism. Hence, Mr. Sharmarke’s entire article is reoccurring sentences with a fundamental foundation of deliberate begging and pleading for international aid and assistance.
The meeting that recently occurred in Dire Dawa, with the presence of Somali National Regional State and Puntland State, concluded in both parties agreeing to co-operate with Ethiopia in intelligience and securty. Nevertheless, Al-Shabbab should be the only concern for both states. Yet somehow, in their memorandum, the Ogeden National Liberation Front (which is condemned by the Ethiopian government as a terrorist organization) has also been adopted by both Somali States as enemies. Since when did Ogedenia have anything to do with Puntland or Somali National Regional State? If Meles has enemies, does that necessarily mean that Somalia must adopt these same enemies? Was it not just October 9th, 2009 when Puntland condemned Ethiopia for invading Puntland on a military mission to capture persons of interest?
First, Meles is leading the IGAD conference and Prime Minister Sharmarke is pleading in public outlets for personal funds and now both (SNRS and PS) are forming Somali articulation agreements on foreign soil (Ethiopia). Is it just me or does something not seem right in this equation? Ethiopia keeps on controlling the outcome of various political processes and policy’s that are fundamentally of Somali concern.
Which brings me to my final question.
Mr. Silaanyo, when will you visit Ethiopia?
It only seems logical, and somewhat expected, of Mr. Silaanyo to visit Ethiopia within the first month of his presidency. Consequently, it is of Somaliland’s primary concern to receive international recognition. Therefore, I fear the extent in which Somaliland’s leadership will go to obtain such international legitimacy. Will Mr. Silaanyo support non-Islamic institutions for the trade-off of gaining Western recognition? Or is Ethiopia to assume dominant roles in Somaliland’s political affairs, and in return Ethiopia would argue for Somaliland’s legitimacy?
There is no unity in Somalia any more. States, which are barely stable, are following Somaliland’s pursuit. And in such a pursuit, or in any Somali political agenda- Ethiopia is present for ‘moderaton’. There is an imminent need for Somali’s to not request assistance in resolving our issues from Ethiopia, but instead we must find means within our own nation to tap into the historical presence of our tribal leaders and religious figures to engage in political processes. The current dilemma, of involving countries that have mixed agendas (Ethiopia) in our political processes is that itwill never solve any problem. Furthermore, it is the agenda of certain foreign states (Ethiopia) that we never solve our problems!
 If Puntland and Somali National Regional State could go to Dire Dawa and pledge to hand over other Somali’s (ONLF) to Ethiopian troops at the border- we have not learned from Abdullahi Yusufs invitation of Ethiopian military forces or the current AMISOM disaster. We, as Somali’s, must rid this notion that foreigners have the capability of solving our own complex problems. It is in our complexity as Somali’s, that will enable only us to reach a solution.
May Allah unite us all!


Posted in: African papers