By Avv. Abdiwahid Abdullahi Warsame
“Iyana waxaan kaga gudbaa gobey liicoo ka jabin” by Hassan Ganey
I tend to be quiet about the Somali politics. Unfortunately, it does not stay silent in my mind; the brain divulges my sense of frustration that can be read on my face. It is not one incident that bothers me, but the entire historical making of my nation has been tumultuous. I do not recount many prideful days, but I do remember many unpleasant times, most notably the outbreak of the civil war in 1991. The failure of Somali nation meant individually we have all failed. The probable state of our nation is the reflection of who we are individually.
What brought my attention now is the recent article in the Somalia Star on March 30th 2019 that has been circulating social media titled “The U.S. can’t integrate irreconcilable ethnicities in Horn of Africa region. It’s a no-brainer”. The article recalled historical events from the European scramble of Africa, up to war between Somalia and Ethiopia in 1977. These events are fact. However, the article allegedly accused that the American ambassador Mr. Yamamoto has been undermining the national Sovereignty of Somali by attempting secretly for Somalia to confederate with Ethiopia.
We know that Somalia faces many internal and external challenges, however the notion that US is attempting to put Somalia under the tutelage of Ethiopia is completely false and throws our national interest into distraction. The article may reflect our political paranoia, which has always been part of our political life. Unfortunately, this paranoia has distanced us from ourselves and kept allies away. Somalia and Ethiopia have had a bitter relationship which consumed many human lives and resources. Ethiopia is a 3rd world country with a massive population and huge poverty, within a great landmass. After 1991 Ethiopia initiated political openness and economic development, while we descended into civil war. It may be unpleasant to see that the trajectory of both nations is in polar opposite but give credit to the Ethiopian elites for salvaging their country out of the ashes of the Derg regime.
We should not be intimidated, but we should see as an opportunity the appointment of Ambassador Yamamoto, a career diplomat who has extensive knowledge of the horn of Africa. With his experience and knowledge of the region, it would be in our interest to welcome and work with him to strengthen the relationships between Somalia and USA. Any ambassador represents the interest of his/her country first and foremost. Instead of engaging and soliciting the US for help, it’s our best interest not to accuse other foreign entities for aiding in our misfortunes .The USA has never supported the secession of northern region of Somalia, Somaliland, which claims to be independent country. Individuals like Michael Rubin who writes unforgivingly about the wide spread corruption, lack of coordinated policy between the Federal Government of Somalia and the different regional states, while praising Somaliland for their relative peace. They may need deep understanding the political and tribal policies of Somalia. In my view, Mr. Rubin, who sounds as intellectual power house would more useful by supporting negotiated settlement between Somali South and Somaliland.
I am not advocating for the interest of the USA, but I am here advocating on behalf of my Somali people to have the wisdom and the courage to reach out to the USA and the West to end the suffering and haste the building of Somali Government institutions by injecting needed resources. I cannot substantiate the individuals and groups that have been systematically circulating the fear that Somalia is going under the tutelage of Ethiopia, but they must be parties that failed to lead the nation and lost. They want to create fear, uncertainty, and keep Somalia in a dark place where it never gets out. I strongly believe it is the interest of the Somali people to have a close relationship with the USA. It is the only superpower that has the means and resources which can allow us to utilize our own natural resources.
There may be reason to fear Ethiopia but see them as a neighbor that would like to reconcile our old enmity for both of us to thrive and prosper. The sullen tension and rancor apparently destroyed us physically, mentally and socially. We are divided by the barriers of tribe and religious factionalism. Instead of analyzing the intent of others let us cleanse our troubled conscience gauged by normal standard in every culture and civilization.
Avv. Abdiwahid Abdullahi Warsame
Email: [email protected]
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