By Dr Aweys Omar Mohamoud
The clock is ticking for Somali leaders of every political hue and the international community to come together at once to confront Mr. Farmaajo in order to prevent the return of the sounds, smells, depredations, and the scenes of inhuman acts that were commonplace in the streets of Mogadishu back in the 1990s. The Council of the Union of Presidential Candidates have called on all political actors and international partners in Somalia to recognize Mr. Farmaajo as a spoiler who is intent on undermining the electoral process. I completely concur with them. As I will show in my forthcoming evidence in parts 2 and 3, Mr. Farmaajo is a total spoiler whose intentions, motivations, and commitment are to undermine the constitutional framework of the Federal Government of Somalia. He suffers from pathological tendencies contrary to the pragmatism necessary for compromise and mutual concession in our state and peace-building process.
‘Gen.’ Nuurani’s words below, captured in an audio widely shared through social media over the past few days, represent the thoughts of Mr. Farmaajo who is clearly a divisive and power-hungry despot. They are also truly an unappealing throwback to the late 1980s and could spell disaster for a peaceful transition of power in Somalia.
Here’s a full verbatim transcription of his undated oral statement:
“Assalaamu aleykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhi, this is Gen. Nuurani. Greetings to you all [background noise of women and children]. I want to give you an update tonight on the situation although some people from the Arabs [members of the clan living in Arab countries] call me to say ‘Hey, Nuurani! What is the matter with you? Are you divulging government secrets to the clan? Some people say this to me. Even some other people also … (goes off on a tangent): a while ago, when two of our boys [soldiers] were killed at the Elite Hotel [in Liido Beach, Mogadishu]; two of our young men were killed there.
At that point I started to give lessons to the family [meaning the clan he’s sharing with his audio] about how IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) can be overcome; how many types there are, and many more things, and you all remember about it. Even then, men [from the clan] used to call me to say: ‘have you gone mad?’ Why are you teaching the family [the clan] about IEDs and how they can be safe from them, etc.? Many people said this to me, and I was astonished to hear them say that.
If you are not told the truth, then [what do you want?]. Do you want to experience the same things that had happened in 1991 when one morning those who were going to school, those who were going to work, those who went home [were caught unawares] by fighting in Mogadishu? The position then was [what to do?]. You can’t go to the sky; you can’t stay on the ground; people have not prepared themselves at all; there’s no car; there’s no petrol for your car; there’s nowhere to flee to; people have not come together and deliberated about it [what was coming] before it happened.
That is what happened to us in 1991. So we do not want the same thing to happen [to us] again, and that is the reason why I’m telling you about the real situation that exists [in the country/Mogadishu], and you yourselves say something and express your views about it. A very small group of people say to me: do not talk about these things and hide them from the people. Don’t tell the family [the clan] the risks that exist. But I don’t listen to them, and I tell them that it is not a crime for me to inform the family [the clan] about the risks that exist about the situation [in the country]. It is not a crime.
I am not against the government. Remember that my mother is even from reer Dalal, [a lineage of] reer Diini subclan [of the Marehan clan]. The President of Somalia and my mother come from the same lineage and are very close. The President thus is my maternal uncle. So I am not a man who is against the President. But one of the two Presidents that preceded him was given a one-year extension whereas the other one was given a six-month extension. He [the President] still has two more months to go, and yet the Hawiye are becoming a completely unruly [class of] people. They are gathering weapons for war; displaying arrogance and superiority; and [we also see] a union of Presidential Candidates who all of them are of one clan, etc.
I must warn you about these things, and I see it as my responsibility to tell you where things are? [Talking about] the situation and about the latest information, as I told you before, all members of the first Battalion of the Somali National Army (SNA) are from the Abgal clan. They have a lot of armoured personnel carriers (APCs), technicals (four-wheel drive vehicle mounting all sorts of guns) and huge amounts of weapons. One company of that battalion is led by a man called Saney Cabdulle (pronounced as Saney Abdulle). He is a lieutenant Colonel. This man, Saney Cabdulle, has brought into the city technicals and fighting vehicles last night, especially in the neighbourhoods where the Abgal clan members are prominent such as Kaaraan and Yaaq-Shiid, and they are getting ready [for war]. He [Saney Abdulle] comes from the same sub-clan as Sheikh Shariif.
Even the Commander of the SNA is from Abgal, but he comes from a small and outnumbered lineage [uses the Somali word Laangaab, literally meaning short-boned, and is considered offensive. The opposite of Laangaab is Laandheer, literally meaning long-boned and is considered highly respectful]. This boy whose name is Saney Abdulle is more long-boned. He comes from Agoonyar which are the sub-clan of Sheikh Shariif. Even Hassan Sheikh comes from Wacaysle (pronounced as Wa’aysle). They [too] are short-boned!
When you talk about the Abgal as to who has more fighting muscle, it is the Harti-Abgal who are long-boned! He comes from those men. This man, Saney Abdulle, on the occasions when he’s traveling inside the city of Mogadishu with his armoured fighting vehicles and arrives at a checkpoint, if the soldiers manning the checkpoint do not lift up the metal barrier for him and his entourage very quickly, he even murders the soldiers and makes off with their guns. He has always been a very arrogant and overbearingly proud young man and he’s even more so nowadays.
A little while ago, there was a [serious] disagreement between the government and [Sen.] Muuse Suude. [Saney Abdulle’s] response was to take out 640 men [soldiers] from the frontline and settle them in Bal’ad [town just outside Mogadishu to the north]. He also brought some of these men into Mogadishu. A government delegation consisting of the Minister of Interior who is from the Habargidir clan and the Minister of Security who is of Abgal clan, senior police officers and others were sent to him. He firstly got them off their bullet-proof vehicles, disarmed them, and then said to them ‘you talk to me in your [subdued] state now. Otherwise, I’m going to open fire on all of you’. They caved in to his whims by giving up their weapons.
He then talked to them and said: ‘In Mogadishu, 5 soldiers of my company who were just going through the city were stopped at gun point by the police and then took away their weapons. Unless those 5 guns are given back to me right now and right here, he said ‘both the Minister of Interior and Saadaq John who is a General [of the police!] and comes from the Saleebaan [sub-clan of Habargidir], their machine-guns and all their weapons will be detained here. He said he was even going to detain the Minister of Interior! [the delegation] then started begging him not to do that. The Minister of Security who is a fellow Abgal with him also begged him to say ‘you are putting us to shame, [please] don’t do this! If you have taken all the machine-guns and weapons of the Minister of Interior and the Benaadir Regional Police Chief and disarmed them at gunpoint, please cousin do not put us to even more shame! He was even called [to plead with him] by phone from Mogadishu. Bal’ad [town] is where they are at that point. There are 30 KMs between Bal’ad and Mogadishu.
The Minister of Interior then called [his officials in] Mogadishu and instructed them to send 5 new guns in their packaging as they were brought from … [naming a country] on a vehicle very urgently. The 5 new guns were then brought to him. The boxes were opened right in front of his [Saney Abdulle’s] eyes. ‘Here are your 5 guns which the police took from your men in Mogadishu’, they said to him. So please release these men that you have detained here, to which he replied ‘yes, you can leave now’.
So this boy is a person with stupendous arrogance and high handedness. His name is Saney Abdulle, and he is a lieutenant colonel. I myself remember the time when the [al-Shabaab] enemy captured Boondheere [a district of Mogadishu]. I was with the troops fighting the enemy there. I was second in command of the first battalion. We pushed back the enemy to afarta jardiino [a main junction in north Mogadishu called the four gardens]. We then unloaded boxes of munitions from the vehicles. The boxes were opened. The munitions are normally given out to the soldiers by the commander. Otherwise, they will get stolen and sold out.
As I was giving out the munitions, the Saney Abdulle guy came and put his foot on top of the box that contained the munitions. He said no munitions will be given out. Just remember that I am his commander, second in command of the battalion, and he is a commander of a company. He then said to me ‘give me the munitions for my sub-clan’. I said to him, I don’t give out munitions on the basis of sub-clan. The munitions are given on the basis of companies and sub-companies, etc. I know the company you command, their number [number of troops], and I’ve got their list. I will give you the munitions they were allocated to fight for the day, and the allowance is 120 bullets for each man. [I also said to him] we’re still in the midst of engaging the enemy and the firing goes on; we’ve got to give out the munitions to the troops very quickly; the guys in the front will be running out of munitions. We’re in afarta jardiino junction, and we want to capture Suuq Bacaad [a main market place slightly ahead]. I said to him ‘young man, please calm down’.
An Abgal man who was my friend and a real military officer who went through proper military training and was highly accomplished [intervened]. This Saney Abdulle has never been to a war or military college and knows nothing about the military or anything else. He is just a militia [fighter] who was given the rank of lieutenant colonel. The Abgal friend who hails from the same sub-clan as him [Saney Abdulle] has waded and said to him ‘Hey you, take your foot off the box’. He came up on top of the man, training his gun on him, and said pointing at me ‘this man is very meek. I am not going to kill him. But if you speak one more time, I will kill you’. I feared that he might kill the Abgal man, so I said to him ‘please excuse me man; what is the number of your sub-clan?’ He mentioned a figure. I gave him munitions equal to the number of the men he mentioned so that we’ll continue with the fight. Otherwise, my forces would have been routed.
So that is Saney Abdulle for you. He is that type of man. He is the same sub-clan as Sheikh Shariif. Last night, people are saying that he brought into Mogadishu up to 25 to 50 technicals and fighting vehicles and are ready for him as his first weapons of war in the city. A war that only God knows when [it will happen], but he’s preparing for it. That is the situation of the city.
Let’s get ready and be prepared. Those people who are not doing much here, who are not working in Mogadishu, must leave. Let them head home to [our] land. There is nothing here in Mogadishu now. It is election time. Whoever was going to school, schools are now closed. Even my children’s school has been closed. They were given 15 days holiday. If you have got children [and families], you can even send them away. Take out all those who have no need to stay in the city. They’d later say, ‘no we weren’t warned’. To those who believe that we shouldn’t tell the family [the clan] about the situation, not even the least bit of information will be withheld from them. Every drop of information will be given to you so that you can prepared. We need to be prepared. War is all about readiness. Still the issue is clan [conflict].
What did I tell you just now? A young man said to the Minister of Interior: ‘I will put you in shackles and keep you here unless my five guns which are illegal [are returned to me]. It is against the law that these weapons are carried through the city and the police [were right to seize them]. [For the sake of the five men] from his sub-clan who were carrying these guns through the city [whose weapons were seized], he disarmed both the Minister of Interior who is Habargidir and the Commander of the Police [Benadir regional] Division who is of Saleebaan sub-clan. That is the level of haughtiness and arrogance by the man Saney Abdulle. That is where things are now. That is the most dangerous man [in the city] at the present, and he’s the man that Sheikh Shariif is counting on his support. He is the biggest threat that is coming from the Hawiye now. You’d think that the Habargidir are currently satisfied as a result of having the Prime Minister. When the Prime Minister went to Dhuusamareeb recently, he promised building of roads and airports and other things for them. You’d think that they [the Habargidir] have watered down their [ambition] and that they are accepting the position of the Prime Minister, and their role in the government and their Premiership.
But the areas where the Presidential candidates live and were surrounded by the military yesterday are entirely inhabited by the Cayr [pronounced as Ayr] and Saleebaan [both Habargidir subclans]. If there would have been violence yesterday in those areas by those residents picking up their guns, none of the military would have come back safely. They would have been routed. This was a very dangerous area. The entire zone, from Zoobe up to the near side of Medina [the inhabitants are from these subclans]. The far side of Medina is where the Daauud [a subclan of the Abgal] inhabits. These are Omar Filish’s (Benadir Regional Governor/Mayor of Mogadishu) people. All the entire territory before that, including all the areas surrounding the airport, all the villas surrounding the airport, all of those were captured by the Cayr, including the houses built for the banking staff. All of those are occupied by Cayr and Saleebaan. So if there would have been hostilities yesterday, it would have been very dangerous. It is just a matter of taking a gamble with what’s happening in the city. So that is the latest for you. Wa aleykuma salaam wa-rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu.”
I shall present my analysis of ‘Gen.’ Nuurani’s oral statement in parts 2 and 3, which will be forthcoming very shortly.
Dr Aweys Omar Mohamoud
For more info visit : Dr. Aweys’ Presidential Bid for 2021
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