What do the three top Commanders in Somalia have in Common?

What do President Abdullahi Yusuf his Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein of Somalia and the UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah have in common?-

Have you ever wondered what do the two top leaders of Somalia and the UN Special Representative for Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah have in common? Well, you might be surprised to find that they have similarities when it comes to searching a solution to the Somali political mayhem. To begin with, three of them are old, all three of them are muslim and African, all three want to bring peace supposedly but above all they all are at the wrong side of the equation to find a political solution to our unfortunate country and people.

Now, try to think about what they don’t have in common. I leave it to you to make your own list. But as for myself, I made up a list that contains two items only. 1) They don’t have the same vision of peace in Somalia; 2) they don’t share the strategic tactics to achieve a sustainable peace in our beleaguered country. My list might be small in terms of numbers but they are just as deadly as those militias that are killing our people because their divisions – though not out in the public – are a contributory factor for the murdering of innocent people in Mogadishu and other parts of the country by the extremists.

Let us examine very closely what I believe they differ:

 In terms of the UN Special Representative Mr. Ahmedou his vision for peace in Somalia is simple. He wishes to see a lasting peace in the country that he feels associated with in terms religious belief and ethnicity. His tactical strategy to achieve the peace is also basic that is get all the various warring parties to a round table and create an environment conducive for a dialogue between them and if the talking gets heated blow your whistle and calm the delegates by reminding them that it is their show and they have everything to loose.

As for the Prime Minister, his vision for peace in our country is the usual such as that everyone should live side by side with his or her fellow citizens in the country. His deeper thoughts on respect for human rights, law and order and upholding the rule of law are mainly influenced by his long time involvement with the law enforcement agencies during the brutal regime of the late dictator Siyad Barre. As for his tactical strategies, at times they appear to be naïve but practicable and other times dubious. Where his tactical seem naïve but practical is when he says he is following the transitional federal charter i.e. starting with the peace and the reconciliation process, drafting of the constitution and holding elections. To make the connection, where he appears to be dubious is when he insists on the following strictly the transitional federal charter (TFC) why because he sounds like a prime minister for the international community rather than for the Somali people. The reasons he sounds like that is because the TFC is not a charter by the Somalis for the Somalis – though so called Somali leaders signed in Kenya- but it is rather a charter for the Somalis by the international community especially donors/NGOs. The Prime Minister is either clever or dim by playing along with the game of the International Community which one is it only time will tell. For the Prime Minister to stick to the TFC agreement he is taking a dead end road. Why? Because among other reasons, the demands under the TFC needs resources that the government has not got.

Furthermore, the international community have created subtly a culture of dependence in the country through their funding of the various branches of the government such as putting the parliamentarians on their payroll, paying for travel expenses of government officials including the president and the ministers. In this way not only have the TFG learnt to depend on the international community but also lost their spirit and souls to the international community.

As for the presidents vision of peace, his visions, due to his age, centres around traditional tribal territory but through modern federal system of government. So far so good, however, where he plunders is in his strategies of achieving that goal. His statesmanship as the head of the state and his style of running the business of government is completely at odds. For instances, his culture of mudugism – central Somalia regions culture where people are hyperactive and opportunists and nepotism is a norm – take precedent over his positions as a president. His mudugism style of conducting government business is evidenced by the proportion of government posts given to his fellow clansmen during the premiership of the previous prime minister.

So what does future hold for the poor people of our country? Certainly, future looks bleak but as the saying goes when there is life there is a way. One thing is for sure, that is out of the artificial government there will surely be a good one in the long run. Well, we already have seen a one good sign that is the public disagreement in Djibouti peace conference of the members of the remaining union of Islamic courts that turned into an opposition group in order to survive. This change points towards the beginning of the end of the illusion that once the re-liberation group and the TFG agree then peace can be achieved.

Any agreement between the re-liberation group and the TFG will only be a scratch on the surface of the real difficulties of achieving a lasting peace in our country. Unless the issues of land confiscation, resources, cultural dominance, abuse of power and most important of all, the perception of having a political position as a licence to make money is reversed a real lasting peace is galaxy away.