Somalia: A Light At The End Of The Tunnel!
By Prof. Mohamoud Iman Adan (Keydmedia) – Virginia, USA – The contemporary Somalia national character is afflicted with great controversy, and the negative spiral uptrend is getting momentum day after day. The status quo of the southern regions remains unaffected as long as the political clique pursues self-interest, while the governed masses fail to rise up and demand their God given rights.
Another benign controversy is that after 21 years of lack of effective central government, the majority of Somalis run their daily businesses, including warring, the establishing of Internet and handy mobile phone available in remote villages. They eat at least two meals a day, while university education grows fast in most business centers and volunteering health service staff serve the needy people under the tree shade.
It Is Only True In Somalia
But that is not the end of stark controversy that shrouds the Somali society at large. The following highlights suffice to shade some light on certain underlying factors that makes the Somali people a stock of its own: Somalia is where warlords and rich groups dictate the issue of the day and over-rule the vote of the hostage majority, while the UNPOS accepts the stand of the few and legalizes the outcome.
It is where pastoral hands take over the functions of the government, while the professional civil servants are either subjected to flee, or intimidated to remain on the sidelines.
It is where hundreds of victims may die for a senseless cause in a single day due to cross-fire skirmishes exchanged by AMISOM, the TFG and al-Shabab. The tragic death and injury is not accountable and no one regrets about taking part of such heinous conflict. Of course, the TFG is part of the cross-fire, yet no government organization ever opens a thorough investigation to learn the roots of the conflict, and which side is attributed for the death and injury of thousands of victims. And no one ever brings the culprits to the bench of justice…!
It can only happen in the southern regions of Somalia where the UN Security Council promotes the interest of neighboring countries to interfere in Somalia’s internal affairs and turning the country into a lucrative market by exporting peacekeeping contingents to perpetuate local conflict for another decade, and always on the expenses of the masses. Instead, the UN Security Council can mandate the establishment of local security forces capable of tracking down radical elements, while employing thousands of jobless former police and military personnel who are currently languishing in the sidewalks of major cities and towns and down to village level.
It is only true in Somalia where humanitarian organizations, including UN organizations, deliver relief supplies to the graveyard of the victims died on starvation, instead of catching them up in time before they waste away. It is only true in Somalia where WFP late food shipments get into local destination to devaluate a pumper harvest crop of the season and putting resilient farmers out of business in the following years.
Somalia is the only place in the 3rd world countries where UN organizations fetch the lowest credit points according to its efforts of reconciliation and conflict resolution, delivery of timely relief supplies, restoration of social services, promotion and development of local projects vital for the reconstruction of respective regions, as well as capacity building programs that could turn over updated civil servants for the local administrations.
In order to gauge the impact of UN activities in the southern regions of Somalia, Keydmedia.net ran a local pooling research survey in March and April of 2011 in 10 cities and towns and 15 active well water points in the pastoral areas.
Questions put forward included: UN role and impact on political, social and development programs since 1991 till the current date. The respondents were one thousand urban residents and one thousand nomad groups, including both genders.
The low score of UN accomplishment in Somalia is staggering and tells whole volumes. In particular, the rural communities had very low image of how the UNDP commitments itself to help the Somali people in timely fashion. The overall assessment of the UN Organizations’ commitment to the southern regions of Somalia remains dismal. Questions asked and answers are the following:
- How do you rate UNPOS’s political reconciliation and conflict resolution efforts in the southern regions of Somalia? The dismal answer was 25%.
- How do you rate WFP delivery of humanitarian relief supplies forwarded to drought stricken masses? 95% responded utterly poor.
- How often UNICEF helped millions of children affected by malnutrition due to local conflicts and prolonged droughts that took place in many regions of Somalia since 1991? Only 18% responded sporadic.
- How about capacity building programs extended to autonomous regions of Somalia? Only 13% responded a tentative foothold.
- Do you think UN Security Council derails the unity of the Somali Nation? 87% of Somalis believe so
- Do you think UNPOS accepts EAGAD countries to patronize Somalia? 83% of Somalis believe so.
- Do you think UN Organizations misappropriate funds contributed to Somalia by the World community? 88% of Somalis believe so.
- Do you think UNPOS is in favor of backing up unpopular local politicians to rule the masses? 92% responded emphatic yes.
- Do you envision a better Somalia under the mandate of UN administration? 11% responded a miracle could happen.
Somalia is where people die of gun shoots frequently than any other diseases known to mankind, yet the villains are not apprehended from the bud. Who is responsible to prevent such heinous acts in the first place in the southern regions of Somalia? Local warlords, political antagonists, ultra-radical factions, AMISOM, UN Security Council, UNDPOS, EAGAD countries, local apathy and joblessness.
It is only true in Somalia where UN fails to promote democratic political parties to emerge in order to usher a healthy political process for the country, instead of promoting the ruling of parochial politicians bent on highjack the aspiration of the people. The southern regions of Somalia is the only place in the country where power hungry antagonists settle their political views through the barrel of the gun, instead of reconciling on power-sharing formula viable for the good of the country.
The southern regions of Somalia is only place in the country where UN regional Office recognizes petty local trades as genuine leaders of the people and groom them for top positions in the TFG establishment. It is only true in Somalia where local warlords are rewarded by powerful countries for the atrocities they have committed against the local communities in the southern regions in the past two decades and yet being paid for their heinous crimes.
The autocratic Muslim rulers in the Arab world do their part of the damage by recognizing warlords and lavishing on them hefty Zekkah charity on behalf of the Somali people. That cash is invested on personal power promotion, instead of feeding the hungry population. It is only true in Somalia where the intellectual segment of the society is hunted down or disgraced in public in order to elevate semi-illiterate rulers to take over the helm of the country, and thus aborting the hopes of the Somali people.
It is only true in Somalia where political and social criminals earn local and international stardom recognition, while getting away with their political crimes and relaying a political clout legalized by the UNPOS, as well as the protection of their respective clans. It is only true in Somalia where corruption is condoned and the corrupting politicians are invested, just to side track the culture of good governance.
It is only true in Somalia where politicians eat and sleep at daytime, while spending their nocturnal time chatting irrelevant political plots and counterplots, instead of serving the interest of the people they nominally represent. It is only true in Somalia where the truth of finding the real solution for Somalia is rarely sought in the political arena of the country, whereas falsehood campaigns take roots and upheld by a few politicians
It is only true in Somalia where the past political wrongdoing is buried under 6 feet deep and the perpetuators never get a day in the court. It is only true in Somalia where armed local militia kill innocent civilians for years in order to intimidate AMISOM contingents stationed in Mogadishu in the hope of seeing them back up and flee home next day.
It can only happen in Somalia where the leaders of the regional authorities organize and invest on pirate family enterprises and blundering seafaring vessels, while soliciting the world to invest on camouflaged project, not toeradicate piracy per se, but to better consolidate a family business for quick personal gains. It is only true in Somalia where the aspiration of the masses is high jacked by a few self-appointed politicians. As a payback, these politicians use their people as fire sticks good enough to build a bonfire whenever they deem to serve as chips of political expedient.
It is only true in Somalia where a well-known corrupted politician gets choice number one of becoming a potential cabinet member in the TFG establishment, a shortcoming act that undermines the credibility of the TFG. It is only true in Somalia not to find a single, genuine local politician in the TFG establishment, perhaps, with the exception of the current Prime Minister, who is honest enough to make a difference in his bid of fighting against all odds on the loose.
It is only true in Somalia that whatever went wrong in the country are attributed to the working of a few scheming politicians who are conflicting to outfox each other, while stumbling the destitute masses living under makeshift plastic shades built at the outskirts of their homes. It is only true in Somalia where no one believes in honesty, integrity, accountability and good governance, except, perhaps the current Prime Minster and his secretaries.
Somalia is the only place in the 3rd world countries where legislators apply for a permanent job at the legislative chamber, instead of regulating a good system for governance and promulgating laws for the land. Somalia is the only place in the planet earth where wisdom and intellect do not fetch a dime in the political landscape of the country, whereas the local political goons earn stardom position and are glorified according to the number of USD cash filled in duffle bags stacked at their bedrooms.
Somalia is the only place under the sun where sane political culture is obliterated in the past two decades in the jointed efforts of warlords, political interest groups, parochial fiefdom mentality and inter-clan conflict only to gain ethnic supremacy.
A Light At The End Of The Tunnel
The country is not as helpless as many expatriates think about it. Perpetuators of the current political blunders should not be taken for granted, and the country will not remain the present status quo for long. The current political clique may enjoy a limited time to exploit and dance on the graveyard of their war turn country, but every good game has a limited timeframe. They political dancers don’t know that there will be justice machinery in effect when culprits have a day of court. Like the remnants of Nazi operators, Somali political antagonists will be hunted down and apprehended wherever they hide. Yes, rats dance in the open at the absence of cats, but time is ticking.
The big hope is already on the horizon and on the move.
There are thousands of Somali intellectual returnees on the way back home who are ready to sacrificing life and limb in order to rebuild the country from the scratches. The 1st wave of 1,000 strong PHD holders and graduate students shall be visiting all major towns and cities in Somalia, hopefully at the end of June, 2012 (Worldwide Somali Students).
They will visit and meet the people in Kismanio, Baidoa, Garbaharey, Mogadishu, and will proceed and meet the people at Belet Weyn, Dhusa Mareb, Galkaio south and north, Garowe and Bosasso. These volunteers will visit and meet the people at Las Anod, Burao, Hargheysa, Borame and perhaps, Berbera. Similar number of volunteers or more are expected to join them year after year. They are facts finding mission, and will present a blueprint solution to the UN Security Council to endorse. The returnee professionals are part of the solution and not the problem.
They hold passports of adopted countries and form a “Mini UN Good Will Mission.” They include graduate young men and ladies from Russian universities, Chinese, Australian, New Zealand, Indian, Pakistan, Malaysian, Middle and Far Eastern countries. They include graduates from many African, European, Canadian and USA Universities. They are non- clan affiliated professional who speak most of the major languages of the globe, where some of them can hardly communicate the native language with their blood relations back at home.
They only need unhindered access to the country to meet the people and learn the firsthand situation of the country. They want to visit colleges and universities and teach different faculties as needed. They want to upgrade teachers and change the divisive character that destroys the homogenous culture of the Somali society. They only want the Secretary General to back up the “Good Will Mission” and introduce them into the well-wishing UN communities at the general Assembly so that UNOPS facilitates transition and mobility of the cream of the Somali society. They need the presence of world class mass media to come along and see the reality of the change for themselves.
The young professionals want to meet with local political actors and asking their support and unbiased cooperation. Above all, they want to meet with community leaders, both rural and urban for advice and support. They want to meet with business community to discuss how to stabilize the country, how to promote the private sector and diversify the local economy. They will meet with women organization, youth organization and religious community for their input of reconciliation the antagonistic groups of the southern regions and moving forward.
They are open and willing to meet with radical faction groups and finding viable solution to bring the country back on track. And above all, they will meet with poets of all stripes to voice out a new beginning for Somalia. These young professionals need only one thing from the local power brokers: They want the current politicians and warlords to take an early retirement and remain in the sidelines, while the new comers are stabilizing the southern regions of Somalia and putting things right.
This initiative will only lead to a success where everything else had failed in the past twenty odd years. The returnees will carry forward the aspiration of the masses and will serve the country by putting a new blood into the awareness of the wary nation affected by political and economic failures close to a quarter century. Like the legendary SYL proponents, these young intellectuals are apolitical technocrats who are there to resuscitate Somalia country. They don’t carry the culture of adhering to any given clan loyalty or regional affiliation.
In fact, one of their big assets is their ignorance of the intricate workings of the local clannish system as many of them can hardly speak the native language, let alone being affected by nepotism and regional favoritism.
The Enterprising Dynamics of Business Community
Somali Diaspora business community is going to be an added asset for the rebuilding efforts of Somalia. This is another layer of economic factors that could propel the private sector to grow into a prospective future. Currently, these mini business groups are integrated into the local markets of adopted countries, and are longing to come home and make a difference.
The Somali business groups are found almost everywhere, except South America and the polar regions of the Planet Earth: You find them in China markets to South Africa. They are in the markets of Europe, North America and Canada. You find them in Middle and Far Eastern markets to Australia and New Zealand. The nascent Somali Diaspora business groups are making headway in respective micro-economic trend of adopted local markets and are recognized as quite enterprising.
The duality of enterprising business community and the dedication of professional elite can make a big difference in Somalia in short time. The financial world will have a confidence to deal with volunteering intellectuals who are trying hard to change the country to the better. The hope is that within ten years of peace and stability, Somalia can catapult itself from the current pathetic situation into a rebounding state in the 3rd World countries.
This is where the UN can make a difference, as well. It will also serve a lesson where another segment of such troubled society can turn the homegrown conflict into a viable solution. This is unprecedented win win case.Tweet