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By Faisal Roble
March 21, 2005
The story of Somali collective memory is told and retold as being short and selective.   Here is another variation of such a story pertaining to the controversy about Ethiopian peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

Somalia 's Hope Should Not Remain Hostage to the Warlords

WardheerNews

Editorial

The momentum of this important occasion should not be lost at this juncture in the history of Somalia when millions of Somalis, both at home and the Diaspora anxiously await for the reestablishment of a functioning recognized government, which would occupy its rightful place in the family of nations. Despite the present challenges, this cherished goal should be within our reach sooner than later.

Warlord Yalaxow Should not be Allowed to Derail Efforts to Pacify Mogadishu

WardheerNews

Editorial

Ill-informed he is. But, fool Yalaxow is not. He intentionally fired his comments at an opportune time – when a high delegation of the government, including him, was sent to Mogadishu as part of a comprehensive fact finding mission prior to the relocation of the government to Mogadishu. Mr. Yalaxow cleverly did not speak his mind in Nairobi, Kenya, for he probably would not have gotten away with it, but waited to do so until he returned to his backyard turf – Mogadishu.

Somalia : A Time to Lead!

Ali Fatah

There are nonetheless specific reasons for their current confrontation with the TFG. These are many and varied. For one thing, Mogadishu warlords such as Qanyare, Yalaxow and Caato have vested interest in and are desperate to prolong the lawlessness that prevails in their respective domains within Mogadishu and a couple of other locales in the south under their purview.

 

 

A Commentary on   Faisal Robleh's “ Warlords Don't Love Ethiopia Any Less But Hate Yusuf More”

By: Ismail Ali Ismail
March 22 ,2005

I hasten to support and send congratulations to Faisal Robleh for a splendid article on Ethiopia and the current cries of anti-Ethiopian ( not necessarily pro-Somali ) “nationalism”. Faisal is absolutely right that the Ethiopian factor has played in the past, as it does now, a major part in Somalia 's clan politics – the clans being our real and indisputable political parties.

There was an agreement between Mengistu on the one hand and a triumvirate of Somali war-lords ( Cydiid , Tuur , and Jees ) on ther hand on how to divide Somalia after the overthrow of Siad Barre . As a matter of fact Mengistu is reported to have said just before his own debacle and after signing that agreement ,“ We would have seen the end of Somalia were it not for the pressure of the Weyanes ” or words to that effect. But, when we ourselves were united we also played a large part in destabilizing Ethiopia , and the current regime in Ethiopia owes its origin partly to Somali encouragement and support. Ethiopia , let us not forget, is now a divided country; for one thing, it has become two countries ( Eritrea and the residual Ethiopia ), for another, there are nationalisms still simmering in the present-day Ethiopia and we played a decisive role in all this.

Somalia has been a source of trouble for Ethiopia , not only because of the territorial dispute but also because we have fostered different nationalisms within Ethiopia proper thereby endangering the very existence of Ethiopia . But two of the salient differences between Ethiopia and Somalia are: (a) Somalia is homogeneous and Ethiopia is very heterogeneous; (b) Somalis are attached more to their livestock and for them unrestricted grazing is most important, whilst Ethiopians are very much attached ( almost to the point of worship ) to the land which they cultivate and live on. It was because of this latter observation that the British thought that the Somalis would not raise a voice if, upon the transfer of the Haud and Reserved Area – an area of 25,000 square miles – they would be guaranteed unrestricted transhumance. The British realized that they underestimated the reaction of the Somalis and tried unsuccessfully to rectify the situation.   That, however, is a different story.

We should understand and appreciate the fact that Ethiopia today is vastly different from the Imperial Ethiopia we knew; Ethiopian mentality has been perceptibly changing and the attitude towards Somalis has also been changing for the better since the overthrow of the Emperor.    Even in the days of Mengistu it was clearly understood that the economies of Ethiopia and Somalia were so manifestly interdependent that the two countries shared a common survival which would be endangered if they did not work together towards its maximization.   I saw these positive changes unfolding before my eyes in the course of the twenty-two years I lived in Addis Ababa , not as an Ethiopian national but as a Somali national working for the U.N.   It is regrettable, however, that our own internal divisions did not allow us to engage our Ethiopian neighbors in any useful negotiation.   On the contrary, we ourselves invited them to divide us from the moment the SSDF and SNM arrived and took up residence in Addis Ababa .

When we ourselves seek different alliances with Ethiopia , the Yemen , Egypt , Libya – and God knows who else – against each other Somali nationalism can only be found in the gutter; our situation is such that even puny Djibouti made transparent attempts to play the role of a kingmaker in Somalia . I agree with the State Department that the Somalis themselves have the means to restore their moribund state. But the means are first and foremost in the hands of those who dragged our dignity to the gutter and who are crying today that the sovereignty of Somalia is being compromised by inviting in foreign troops. Our sovereignty has been non-existent in practical terms for the last fifteen years.   How can we then raise our heads with pride and cry “sovereignty”?

I agree that there should be no need for foreign troops to make us behave ourselves, if we behave ourselves on our own.   But then if we were willing to put our house in order we would not have troubled the neighbors – and the rest of the world for that matter - with desperate pleas for help. Our capital is unsafe, our people are displaced and dispossessed, our refugees are scattered in the four corners of the globe and the nation is held hostage to the whims of the riffraff ‘generals' of ragtag militia armies who are playing havoc in the capital.   Yet, our government in exile cannot temporarily settle elsewhere in the country until we bring order and security to our national capital? A strange logic indeed!

I wish to close which a quotation which might help us reflect on our situation as Somalis:

                                      Being ourselves the sowers and the seeds,

                                      The night that covers and the lights that fade,

                                      The spear that pierces and the side that bleeds,

                                      The lips betraying and the life betrayed.

If ,as I think, Oscar Wilde's above lines truly depict our situation why do we have to complain about others, and to others to correct our own multiple follies ?

By: Ismail Ali Ismail

geeldoonia@gmail.com

 

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We welcome the submission of all articles for possible publication on WardheerNews.com. So please email your article today Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of WardheerNews

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