Monday, 23 July 2012

Somalia needs a new leader with vision


One of the reasons why Somalia is a failed state is lack of leadership.

We have been ruled in the last 20 years by the wrong people.When a country plunges into civil war, people who should run it are either former ministers or those who played a role in the previous administration, meaning they have some experience about managing government.

To become a leader, you require certain qualities. In fact, in some countries, you need to go to special schools just to learn leadership skills. In Somalia’s case, our leaders do not have the capacity or the vision to lead the country.

;"> Here are two reasons:

First, how can you govern a country when more than half of it is controlled by your opponent?

Secondly, the Government of Somalia has had the military support of our brothers from Burundi and Uganda for more than two years, but they have been unable to secure the capital, let alone the whole country.

It is imperative that as a leader, you should have a plan of action to secure the area you are controlling.Clearly, if you don’t set the agenda, other countries and organisations will do it for you. By this I mean those countries that have interests in Somalia, as well as the United Nations and its agencies.

The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has never gained legitimacy among the Somali population and is unable to improve security or provide basic services.

In fact, frustration is mounting among Western countries due to the failure of leadership, an issue that must be addressed urgently.

I suggest that the Somali leadership take advantage of the momentum while the whole world is focusing on the country. If they do not do it, fatigue will set in among these countries.A huge number of Somalis are in refugee camps in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen. But do the leaders care about these people? I doubt it.

It should be the government’s top priority to secure the capital, Mogadishu, so that the refugees can go back home.

The other issue is that the parliamentary system is unsuitable for a country like Somalia, which does not have the resources to pay MPs’ salaries. 

What is the use of having 540 MPs when people are dying of starvation while others languish in refugee camps?
Let me propose an idea. Somalia has 17 regions, excluding Gobolka Banaadir (Mogadishu). So let us say each of the 17 regions elects five people.The total will be 85 MPs. Now what we have left is Mogadishu. The city has 16 districts.

If we elect one representative for each district, the total will be 16 MPs. That means the country will require only 101 MPs instead of 540.

As the TFG’s term expires in August, I hope we shall elect a good leader who will guide the country in the right direction.

Just to give an example of how bad the TFG is, MPs do not have anywhere to meet. The leaders did not see the need to rehabilitate Parliament buildings. What kind of government is this?
Unless the situation changes, extremist groups will continue regarding Somalia as a safe haven. Somalia does need a new leader with vision. What we have now is nothing of the kind.

Courtesy of Abdi "Kamas" Abdulle Nur (Somali - Canadian Philosopher)

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