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Everything posted by Taleexi

  1. I wonder if somalis' will ever recover from clan syndrome :confused: , "a rapist is a rapist" period. If there is a speculation on what to do with the rapist just in case one of us is somewhat related to him is an open debate but for God's sake let us not rape the justice .
  2. Ignorance is the Enemy of Love, (1937) entitled in Somali “Aqoondarro waa U nacab jacayl†Faarax M. J. Cawl Translated from the Somali, with Introduction and Notes, by B.W. Andrzejewski. London: Zed books, 1984. Contents 1. The Childhood and Youth of Cawrala and Calimaax 2. The Voyage by Sailing Ship and the Meeting of Cawrala and Calimaax 3. Cawrala and the Growth of Her Love 4. The Red Sea Offensive of the Dervishes 5. Calimaax is Injured and Recovers 6. Cawrala in Misery and Distress 7. The Wedding Feast of Cawrala and Geelle 8. The Death of Cawrala: Calimaax’s Grief and his Prayers for Her Editors’ Note: Not only was this the first novel published in the Somali language since the standard script was adopted in 1972, but it is also significant because it engenders an adaptation of Somalia’s rich oral tradition. The novel, which is set in 1915, is the love story of a Dervish fighter named Calimaax who rescues a woman (Cawrala) from a sinking ship. The couple are soon afterwards separated, because of the Dervish struggle, with Cawrala eventually expressing her love for Calimaax in a letter. Both die before they are able to be reunited. Reviewed by Andrzejewski Historical and Social Background The story told here is a true one, even though it is presented in a fictionalized form. The hero, Cali Maxamed Xasan, popularly known as Calimaax, ‘Cali the Seafarer’, and the heroine, Cawrala Barre, were real people, and the memory of what happened in their lives is still preserved among older people in the Sanaag region of Somalia. The author has used material from their oral testimonies in his novel, constructing on this basic framework his own fabric of invented detail and dialogue. The plot unfolds against the background of Somali national history in the first quarter of this century, when members of a Muslim Brotherhood, who called themselves “Dervishesâ€, were fighting against the foreign powers which had partitioned the Somali territories, and against those of their compatriots who had accepted colonial rule. The struggle was led by Maxamed Cabdule Xasan (1898-1921), who was a Muslim revivalist reformed as ell as a nationalist leader. The title Sayid, “Masterâ€, was usually applied to him, though his enemies coined for him the pejorative epithet of “Mad Mullahâ€. He was a man of outstanding gifts as an organizer, politician and strategist, and among his achievements were an efficient network of military intelligence and a well-organized army with appropriate logistic support; he was masterly in his use of the element of surprise in warfare. As an astute politician he manipulated the network of interclan alliances and hostilities, while at the same time aiming at the unification of all Somalis. Although he appears in the novel in only one scene, his plan to attack the British garrison in Aden is of pivotal importance to the plot, affecting as it does the lives of the hero and heroine. The account of these historical events, like the personal story of Cawrala and Calimaax, is based on oral tradition rather than documentary materials. These two sources of information are to a great extent in agreement, though not always in matters of detail: as far as I have been able to ascertain there is no confirmation from British documentary sources, such as colonial and military correspondence and records, that a plan to attack Aden existed, but on the other hand there is nothing in them to contradict it. It would certainly have been in keeping with the astuteness and inventiveness of the Sayid as a strategist, especially since Aden was very close to the outposts of the Ottoman Empire, a Muslim power at that time at war with Great Britain, and research into Turkish state documents about Somalia, which I do not think has ever been undertaken, would very likely through light on the matter. The authors’ interest in political history is equaled by his feeling for authentic period detail and social history. He is very careful to be accurate in providing information about methods of transport and communication, about clothes, habitations and dietary habits, and about survival techniques on land and sea, as well as bout various supernatural beliefs which were strongly held in those days. One aspect of that life at that time assumes special prominence, for it is crucial to the plot: this is the method of sending and letters in a country where there were postal, telephone or telegraph services to the public, and where in any case the majority of the people were illiterate. The main means of communication was the oral message carried by travelers or special messengers, but when letters were sent or received those who could not read or write had to rely on help from others who could. No privacy of correspondence was possible. The Use of Poetry The facet of life depicted in the novel which is most likely to strike the foreign reader as unusual is the use of oral poetry as a medium of communication in everyday life, and he may well wonder, as the characters address one another in verse, whether the author is indulging in some sort of avant-garde literary experimentation. To the Somali reader, however, the dialogue in poetic form gives an impression of period authenticity, for it is still a matter of common knowledge, even in urban Somalia, that in traditional life poetry was the main medium of artistic expression and wall all-pervasive. A narrative set in the period in question would therefore appear odd and unrealistic if there were no poetic inserts. Before the Second World War oral poetry was used in interclan and national politics as a weapon of propaganda and to bring peace where there was conflict; it was used in forging new alliances and reviving old ones; it was used to praise or criticize friends and opponents. Poetry also provided entertainment, especially when it involved exchanges in verse between different poets. Such poetic combats were conducted either at specially convened assemblies or through travelers, who often covered great distances and might pass to and fro between warring clans with their marriages. But poetry was not restricted to the public forum. It was used within a clan or family, between spouses friends, whether in conflict or concord. By custom, opinion expressed in verse could be much sharper in tone than anything said in ordinary language. Exchanges of banter could be extremely aggressive without incurring censure, and praise could be showered on someone, even on oneself, which otherwise might be embarrassing to utter. The social changes which have taken place in Somali since the Second World War have eroded the position poetry used to occupy in private life, and to some extent in public life, with the ceasing of interclan warfare. It might be thought that the vision of a golden age when poetry could be heart at every turn is an illusory idealization of the past, to which every society is prone. But there is now a great deal of evidence, both published and unpublished, from both Somali and foreign research and critical evaluation, of the role of poetry in the not-so-distant past: what the ordinary Somali regards as a matter of common knowledge is in fact true. In particular, considerable research has been done on the use of poems by Sayid Maxamed Cabdulle, himself a leading oral poet, as part of his propaganda campaign. Many of the poems of those who opposed him have also been preserved, and the dovetailing of evidence in these exchanges adds weight to their historical validity as well. In the novel, the majority of the poems have been composed in the traditional style by the author himself, but some are taken from other poets, and these he acknowledges in footnotes to his text. In the present volume these footnotes have been transferred to the Notes, since they usually need further annotation to be meaningful to the foreign reader. There are also a few poems which are said to have been composed by the originals of Cawrala, Calimaax, and their minor characters Nuur Ciise and Dalmar Barre, and though these not identified specifically by the author they too have been accounted for in the Notes. The novel’s Reformist Message Ignorance is the Enemy of Love appeared in 1974, and was the first full-scale Somali novel to be published; it was preceded only by two much shorter ones printed in booklet form. Its publication coincided with the beginning of mass urban and rural literacy campaigns, and with the rapid Somalization of the school system, and although the novel is historical, its attack on the evils of illiteracy and ignorance had topical relevance at that time. In fact, its popularity among the numbers of newly literate people surely contributed to the success of the campaigns, giving them something to read that was aesthetically satisfying and was based firmly in their own culture. The success of Faarax M.J. Cawl, who won nationwide acclaim, has encouraged other talented Somali writers, and in the few years since the introduction of an official orthography there have been substantial achievements both in poetry and prose. The reformist zeal of Faarax M.J. Cawl is not limited to the advocacy of literacy, and in his novel he presents a very sympathetic picture of Somali women which by implication shows his total support for their emancipation. This again coincides with the views of the government which came into power in 1969; at the time of the publication of the book it was preparing family law legislation which was to be strongly opposed by some traditionalist opinion. It must be observed at this point that the lot of Somali women, even before this time, was probably somewhat better in many other male-dominated societies, and their difficulties arose more from abuse of the system than from cruelties inherent in it. For instance, women did not have to be veiled, except by tradition among members of a small number of families in some of the towns, and everywhere they had considerable freedom of movement, as can be seen from the women in the novel are traveling independently from Aden to Somalia. Somali men usually feel great reverence and affection for their mothers, and consequently many women of ability and character had a strong influence on family matters and even, by manipulating their menfolk, on public affairs. Marriages were normally arranged by the families concerned, but often enough after the young people had already met and initiated the process, and the custom did not necessarily present any problems. In any case, elopement was a recognized method by which young people could get their own way. Although they would usually be pursued by their families, if they managed to get beyond a certain distance before being caught they were allowed to marry, and this explains the hope that Cawrala, the heroine of the novel, has that Calimaax will rescue her from the situation she is in. The system of bride-wealth payment to a girl’s family was not as degrading as it might seem, for the transaction involved mutual social obligations between the two families, and since a part of the payment was returned to the husband after all had gone well for some time, it acted as a deposit, as it were, to secure his good behaviour. In addition the amount of bridewealth reflected prestige not only on the families involved but on the girl herself. The real abuses of the old customs arose when, through poverty or greed, girls were given in marriage against their will to old, brutal or repulsive men who could give a tempting bridewealth in exchange. It is this situation – based on real happenings, it must be remembered – which is depicted in the novel, and in his emotive treatment of the subject, Faarax M.J. Cawl reflects the feelings of many Somali men and women of the younger generation, who support the pro-feminist reforms introduced by the government. The author does not neglect, either, to support another cause, which is of importance to the economic development of his country. He makes his hero protest against the prejudice which many Somalis have against the eating of fish, for in spite of the very long coastline the country possesses, fish has generally been regarded as a very inferior food compared to the meat eaten by the majority of the rural population. The government is trying to overcome the problems of malnutrition by persuading them to the contrary, through the mass media and education. The dedication with which Faarax M.J. Cawl precedes his novel is addressed to the coming generations of Somalis. It is to be seen in the context of the great changes which were taking place at the time, when a great obstacle to progress was removed by the introduction of written Somali. The use of foreign languages had created political difficulties in almost every sphere of life, depriving the majority of the population of the chance of becoming literate and preventing those endowed with creative talent from writing for their own people in their mother tongue. The new generation to whom the author offers his book will have no such problems. Nowadays, when the whole system of pre-university education uses Somali as the medium of instruction, and young people learn higher mathematics and science in their own language, they may not even be fully aware of the sufferings that illiteracy brought to their forefathers, unless reminded by history and by novels like Ignorance is the Enemy of Love. The Author Like Most Somali writers, Faarax Maxamed Jaamac Cawl is [ was, ‘rest him in peace’] not a professional writer. Born in 1937, he was first educated at Hargeisa Trade School in Somalia and then obtained a scholarship to study at the Chelsea College of Aeronautical and Automobile Engineering in London (1959-62). On his return he first worked as a technical instructor and then in 1964 joined the Somali Police Force, where he was responsible for motor transport and reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. The Somali Police, incidentally, have [had] a strong tradition of public service over and above their ordinary duties, and are frequently involved in community welfare and development schemes. In 1979, Faarax M.J. Cawl was seconded to the National Transport Agency and is its General Manager. In spite of all his responsibilities he has found time to write a second novel, Garbaduubkii gumeysiga (‘the shcackles of Colonialism’), published in Mogadishu in 1978, in which he develops further his technique of poetic inserts and makes extensive use of oral history, a subject in which he takes great interest both through private research and through his contacts with the scholars of the Somali Academy of Arts and Sciences in Mogadishu. Whenever he finds an opportunity he gets away to the rural interior of the country, where the oral poetry and the traditions have suffered the least degree of erosion. Translation and Elucidation of the Text The translation aims at a high degree of fidelity to the text: no unwarranted liberties have been taken with it, even where this might have made the translation easier to read, or made it conform to some imagined standard of what is expected of a novel written in the English language. In particular, care has been taken to preserve the imagery of poetry, though without attempting to imitate he system of alliteration, still les the scansion patters, of the original. The divergence between the phonology and syntactic structure of English and Somali is so great that such an imitation could not be achieved without creating a bizarre effect and imposing impossible constraints on the choice and order of words. The reader may be surprised by a few aspects of the writing, particularly, for example, by the didactic note of the first chapter, with its dry enumeration of the names of mountain ranges; and there are several other passages where the author turns teacher for a while. But he was aiming to reach the widest possible reading public in the Somali-speaking territories, many of whom would not have any background knowledge of the region where the action takes place; nor would the younger generation of those brought up in towns be familiar with many of the old customs. The reader may nevertheless sometimes wonder whether Faarax M.J. Cawl is addressing a foreign audience, when he introduces proverbs with the words, “We Somalis sayâ€, or “There is a Somali proverb which saysâ€. But these are merely traditional formulae, which incidentally illustrate very well the typical Somali consciousness of and pride in their own cultural heritage. I Acknowledgements In the difficult task of translation I was greatly assisted by two friends and colleagues, Cumar Aw Nuux and Maxamed Cabdillahi Riraash who spent many hours clarifying with me various difficult or obscure points in the lexicon and in the historical and social background. Both were well qualified to help me: Cumar Aw Nuux is a distinguished folklorist and the former Secretary of the Somali Language Commission at the Ministry of Higher Education and Culture, and Maxamed Cabdillaahi Riiraash is a member of the Curriculum Department of the Ministry of Education and a specialist in Somali history. Without their help I would not have felt sufficiently confident to offer my translation to the public. I also benefited very much from three interviews which the author of the novel was kind enough to grant me in Mogadishu, and I was greatly assisted in my study of the text by the truly pioneering work on traditional astronomy and astrology of my friend, mentor and colleague, the late Muuse Xaaji Ismaaciil Galaal, a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in Mogadishu. I owe much to the cooperation of my wife, Sheila, with whom I discussed the work at every stage, and on whose native insights into English I have relied at many points. She also typed all the successive versions of the translation. B.W. Andrzejewski UNESCO Collection of Representative Works Africa Series This book has been accepted in the African Series of the Translation Collection of the United Nations, Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Original Work :Faarax M.J. Cawl English Translation Unesco 1981 Translated from the Somali by B.W. Andrzejewski Other works of the author Faarax M.J. Cawl Garbaduubkii gumeysiga, Mogadishu, 1978. [Reviewed, with a summary of the contents, in Northeast African Studies, 1, 1 (1979), 79-81.] Author Cawl, Faarax M. J., 1937- Title Aqoondarro waa u nacab jacayl. English Ignorance is the enemy of love / Faarax M.J. Cawl ; translated from the Somali, with introduction and notes, by B.W. Andrzejewski To Find it in AMAZON store Source: JSTOR
  3. Very interesting article indeed, from a veteran who worked over three decades for the BBC Somali Service. Without harassing anyone he shed light on the whole saga behind the establishment of the BBC Somali Section and the likes. Read the article on wardheernews.com http://wardheernews.com/Articles_06/Jan/04_british_motives.html
  4. Back to Africa 2 January 2005= With Europe shutting its door on immigration, Africa should return to its Dark Continent status= IN THE face of the current xenophobia in Europe against immigration and the mass movement of Africans, the unsuspecting observer may sympathise with the Europeans, justify their angst and look with apathy at the hordes of African immigrants whose dead bodies are washed ashore every day on the beaches of the Mediterranean sea. Looking from such a distance, Europe’s view of the Africans as invading marauders who bring with them nothing but economic burden, primitive culture, crime, diseases, black magic and stinky bodies may seem palatable. Even the stock accusation of Africans being a lazy race who come in their thousands to Europe only to eat, defecate and procreate, does not seem farfetched to the readers schooled in the language of the Western media. However, a quick and contemplative look at history may turn the picture upside down and show that Europe is behaving like a selfish child who refuses to share his new toys with his unfortunate playmates who shared theirs with them when they had better times. It was only a little over 200 years when the Europeans descended on our African continent like locust. We Africans lived in our dark, inaccessible continent, content with our fruits, our bushes, our animals, and our primitive weapons and wooden utensils. The Europeans came to us without permission. We let them settle on our soil and prosper. They milked our continent dry; took our mineral resources, taught us to kill our wildlife to satisfy their greed for fur and ivory. They cleared our forests and converted them into cash crop producing fields for their markets and for their pockets. One may remember the movie, Out of Africa, a woman who owned a large estate, a farm and dozens of servants and farm workers. They came to Africa as paupers and returned to Europe strapped with cash, dripping with honey, sporting leather jackets and ivory jewellery and glamorous titles as explorers, governors, writers and historians of eminence on exotic Africa. We Africans were lean people, always running, hunting, gathering fruits and fleshy roots, our women travelling miles to fetch water and firewood, our children looking after livestock in valleys and mountains and surviving the whole day on wild fruits. The Europeans taught us to build villages, and towns and permanent farms and adapt to a sedentary life. Our men became lazy; they got used to sitting in the white man’s offices all day and forgot about walking and running. Our women learned to sit in four-walled houses and forgot about the laborious, calorie burning daily trips to distant wells and woods. In the process we gained weight. We were happy; we thought we had finally learned the European ways. We frowned on our lean brothers and sisters. We took thin children to shamans and doctors and began giving them vitamins to fatten them. Then the Europeans who hate to be associated with the African look told us fatness was a sign of poor nutrition and less activity. They started adopting our habits of running, walking and jogging. However, in Africa we were running to earn our living but the Europeans are running in order to recover their health, the health they saw in Africa and deprived us. Now, they tell us their thinness is healthiness, while our thinness is sickness. In Africa, our clans fought over water, pasture, and ownership of animals, but we knew also how to reconcile and make peace between us. Our elders were experts in making peace. A council of elders from both clans met under a tree and resolved all issues. Now Europe has turned our wars and our reconciliation process into a profit making industry. The Africans can no longer reconcile among themselves, the white-man has to do it for them. Well, how else will all the thousands of Europeans who work for the UN bodies and NGOs find employment if their governments do not outsource African wars. In the old days, we used our traditional weapons and the most prolific fighter could kill only few persons in a battle. A battle that lasted for weeks including night raids claimed not more than two dozens of dead. Now with the AK machine guns and rocket propelled grenades mounted on fast running trucks, one man can kill hundreds in a day. In our Dark Continent days, we mostly died of natural causes. Famines, droughts, and diseases had checked our continent’s population. We didn’t see these calamities as enemies. Malaria was just a natural thing that happened to people like rain, sun and night. We had our remedies to treat our sick. But if one of us died of malaria, killed by a lion or struck by a lightening, it was just a natural death. This is why our continent’s population remained lean for thousands of years and resources were abundant. The Europeans, however, brought us medicine. They taught us that disease was not a natural phenomenon and we had to fight it. We believed them and gave medicines to our sick ones. They prolonged our life span, our populations increased. But our resources decreased not only because we now had more people to feed but also because Europeans had robbed our continent of all good things and when they left us they left their umbilical cords intact; some cash crops such as cocoa, coffee, diamond other mining businesses that fatten their pockets, confectionary shops and beauty parlours. With resources dwindling and population increasing, Africans resorted to one of their old habits of survival "following the rain and greener pastures". But when they reached the shores of Europe they were surprised that the white man that they had hosted over hundred years in their countries, that has taken everything on their soil in plenty and still takes it, refused to accept them. In Africa, if a girl loses her virginity in a rape, the rapist has to take her as his bride or has to compensate her family handsomely. Africa has lost its virginity to Europe and expected to be taken home as a bride or be compensated for her shattered pride, but the Europeans saw her as a whore who allowed a stranger to have his way with her so willingly. Forlorn and heart broken by the white man’s ingratitude, we Africans may have only one option available to us; to shut our gates and stop European tourism, and peacekeeping regiments pouring into our borders. We have to reclaim our Dark Continent’s old ways and status. Granted diseases like malaria and European brought plagues like Aids and even TB will kill millions but our population will be less, the land will regain its greenery and beauty, trees will bear fruits again, rains will be plenty; and with leaner population, we will have sufficient resources and we will be at peace with our wildlife. We will no longer fight for European markets and will throw away the modern beads of slavery such us cell phones, television sets and other luxuries. We will remove all the white man’s vestiges such as borders and land ownership; and just like the old days, we will move around the continent and let our animals graze wherever the rain falls and pastures abound. We will die and be buried in our soil and our bloated bodies will no longer be washed on foreign beaches. Bashir Goth Bashir Goth is an African journalist based in Abu Dhabi. He can be reached at bsogoth@yahoo.com www.wardheernews.com
  5. This is just a tip of the iceberg we need more of the likes to be exposed
  6. Where the Ignorant Rule, the Masses Agonize WardheerNews Editorial December 31, 2005 It would have been nice (wacnaan lahaydaa) to end the year with a positive note and to wish us all a good start and a Happy New Year’s. At least that is the customary way to end the passing year and welcome the new one with all its unknowns. However, reality in Somalia dictates otherwise; most of the news headlines were dominated by death, destruction and hunger. News worthy is what happens daily in the lives of the average Somali citizen and what those who rule them do in the public domain. In the North, everyone was shell shocked by the rape and torture of Zamzam Duale, a teenage Somali girl who had traveled to Hargeysa to visit her relatives and the unnecessary loss of life in the clashes at Adhi Adeeye. In Mogadishu, the multiple kidnappings of innocent religious figures, the ceaseless conflict and the ever-deteriorating conditions of the now rubble-reduced spy-ring city, was omnipresent. In Puntland, the incessant and obsessive hang up on the question of media freedom and wanton incarceration of journalists had dominated the news. The Nairobi scuffles and the ensuing brawl, which took place among newly chosen MPs, who disagreed on policy matters and the slapping of another MP inside the house of representatives in Hargeysa, topped Somalis’ embarrassing behavior in 2005. And finally, the complete onslaught on Somalia’s environment and natural resources by some of the southern warlords had awakened us to our own “tragedy of the commons.†This year, 2005, finally came to a close with two embarrassing incidents for all Somalis: one was the comment made by the Vice President of Somaliland, Ahmed Yusuf, as a result of a conflict in Hargaisa, on December, 24, 2005, where two people were killed and seven were wounded. The second news worthy event happened as a result of what Mohamed Dheere of Jawhar said about the people in the North. There is not much dispute that the rulers of Somalia’s multiple enclaves are united only in one thing -- their fearless ignorance in their rule. Ahmed Yusuf Yassin - V.P. of Somaliland First thing first: In a report to the council of ministers of the Somaliland administration, the Vice President, Ahmed Yusuf Yassin, explained the conflict in Hargeysa as one that involved government forces and the family or clan of an individual who was murdered over a land dispute and blamed it all on what he called foreign legions. Somaliland.Org, a Somali-language website in Hargeysa reported the vice President’s reaction to the incident: “Madaxweyne ku Xigeenku wuxuu yidhi waxaa masuul ka ah dad rabshado wadayaal ah oo qaddiyadda Somaliland lidi ku ah, isagoo sheegay in loo qabqabtay waa sida uu yidhiye falkii shalay dad ajaanib ah oo bililiqaysanaayey Hantida Cisbitaalka Guud ee magaalada Hargeysa ….†He said: “the conflict was instigated by foreigners who are against Somaliland.†One wonders who these foreign rioters are? We know, though, the conflict started over a land dispute between two individuals from two Sa’ad Muse sub clans (rer-Samatar of the Hussien Abokor versus rer Yonis of the Jibriil Abokor.), as reported by several websites. Under what technicality did these sub clans become foreign legions? We don’t know except to suspect that the Vice President’s outburst is based on xenophobic ideology of blaming everything bad on “foreigners.†Ironically the president of his administration Mr. Dahir Rayale Kahin was born in Gogta, a small vilage in the Somali Region of Ethiopia. It is common knowledge that members of these sub clans inhabit both in Somalia and Ethiopia. If so, it appears as if the Vice President were alluding to the notion that these sub clans are foreigners. This is not the first time the Hargeysa administration labeled indigenous clans as foreigners. In the past, Somalia nationals who only by clan association are affiliated with the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia were labeled as foreigners and were subjected to unnecessary harassments and arbitrary imprisonments. Also, Jama Mohammed Qaalib, a former Minister and a seasoned politician, was deprived of his citizenship due to his political beliefs. All these were done because of extreme and hate ideology. And, hate, as an ideology, does have only a starting point but has no limit. This latest incident against people who have earlier positively contributed to the development of the region, not to mention that they belong to the dominant clan in the area, have became the newest victims of the hate ideology that has lately been the mantra of Hargeysa’s rulers. The Vice President's farcical explanation of what had happened in Hargeysa reminds us of what Rakiya Omar had said in a recent interview with a Netherlands Radio reporter. She said that whenever the government in Somaliland wants to stifle debate on the misuse of public funds, or manipulate other political issues, it tends to label those who differ with it as anti Somaliland, or say, they will embarrass Somaliland and we won’t get recognized. Lately, blaming “foreigners†for all Somaliland’s ills plus those who want to destroy it has emerged as a leading strategy to deflect the public attention. The Vice President’s language, as offensive as it may, shows the degree of his ignorance and his myopic behavior. Mohamed Dheere _ The self appointed Gov. of Middle Shabelle Region The same can be said of another similar offensive language used by none other than Mohamed Dheere, the self appointed ruler of Jawhar and host to the TFG. In his recent radio interview with Radio Golis, based in Toronto, Canada, Mohamed Dheere was asked about his stand on the question of Somalialnd’s secession. This is a political question by all means and needs to be addressed accordingly. His answer was unfortunately the following: “Hore ayay dulsaar noogu ahayeen. Haddii ay la guurayaan dulsaarka hago'do hadday rabto Somaliland. Markii horeba culays ayay nagu hayeen. Marka haddii ay goosanayan aniga talo ahaan waxaan kusoo jeedinayaa in ay Soomaalidu aqbasho.†He said: “to begin with, Somaliland was a parasitic dependent on us, the south. If they want to secede and take with them their parasitic dependency, let them go.†The words of the self-appointed Governor of the Middle Shabelle Region, Mohamed Dheere, sounded like he was saying that the North is poor, starving and has been subsidized by his region, the South. It was a replay of the deep-seated bias, which some Southerners had harbored for the North. Again, this is not what one should expect from an informed citizen, especially at a time when the rest of Somalis are still reeling from the marginalization and most recent massacre, which the North registers as its grievance against the South. Nobody has shown any tangible evidence whether the North depended on the South, or whether the South subsidized the North. Of course, Somalia’s rivers and agriculture resources are all located in the South. But the North is also blessed with innovative and entrepreneur community and a better human resources as well as more cohesive communities. If and when Somalia’s intractable governance issues are settled one way or another, the North could be as dynamic as their brethren in the South. Somalis must be aware of these reckless ignoramus leaders and the damage that they can inflict on the society. In Jawhar, President Abdulahi Yusuf and his Transitional Federal Government must watch out for the danger that the host, Mohamed Dheere, may have in store, or his damaging, free-for-all comments. A case in point is his inflammatory and derogatory language against Abdalla Derow ***** and the entire Somali minority clans and others. The words used by this fearless fascistic ruler of Middle Shablelle are too sensitive for our readers to print them here. This must be, however, viewed as an early warning sign. Mohamed Dheere reportedly incarcerates members of the international NGOs based in Jawhar and officers of the TFG at will. The scenario of Mahamed Dhere arresting or threatening President Abdulahi Yusuf or Prime Minster Mohamed Geedi to leave Jawhar is not unthinkable, and would make an ugly scene. Somalia has become a land where the ignorant, fanatic and fascistic warlords rule, thus the masses unfortunately suffer. Therefore, both Hargeysa’s administration and the TFG have a lot to grind with. The reality of living under the authorities of these fascist characters is unsettling for all and the consequences of their actions in the coming years are as unpredictable as they are irreparable. Although it would have been nice to be upbeat about the unfolding New Year’s promises, and celebrate it with a collective rhyming of Mohammed Sulayman’s “Each Year has it blessings ...,†(Sannad Waliba Hoodo iyo wuxuu hadimo leeyahay ...), the reality in Somalia sings otherwise. Nonetheless, we can’t loose hope. We shall still wish everyone, including our own Ignoramus rulers, a better and peaceful year, or as the Somali adage goes “Nabad iyo Caano.†Send your Comments to: WardheerNews Editorial Board
  7. A Dutch citizen, Mr. Adrian Baldwin a self declared advocator of the present BBC Somali service warlord By Ali Osman Samater Assuming that Mr. Baldwin is a Dutch citizen who worked and intensively traveled to Somalia as he claims between 1994 and 1998, the BBC Somali service was perhaps or at that time not under the present “chief editor†as he titled him. However and at that same time, Mr. Baldwin admits that he met the “chief editor†of the BBC Somali section sometime in 2003 perhaps during the Somali peace and reconciliation conference in Kenya, Nairobi. It is very logic and understandable that Mr. Baldwin developed like many other European experts a close relationship with the Somali people and the country where he worked 4 years long. Apart from the time differences in world, it is also true that Somalis listen to the BBC Somali service since the beginning of the Somali services in the BBC. This is because the BBC was known to the Somalis as a liberal and independent Radio but since your favorite editor is responsible for the Somali section in the BBC things has changed dramatically. The BBC Somali section became a propaganda section for the criminal warlords of Mogadishu. This can proofed by the daily propaganda news that the BBC Somali section fabricates without any journalistic ethic. Every genuine Somali know today that the BBC Somali service is literally part of the Somali conflict. They create problems through their Bias, irresponsible and manipulated reports about the Somali conflict. However I was surprised to read that our Dutch European expert stands and defends someone who simply told him his version about the huge and nation wise protest against the warlord in the BBC Somali service. That is far beyond the well known critical thinking of a Western citizen because to make a fair judgment on a given subject one must make an intensive research on the different side of the issue and that is categorically missing in the article of Mr. Adrian alias Baldwin. In the contrary and strange enough Mr. Baldwin is attacking some Somali Webs and insults Somalis whom he might not even know and perhaps never talked to about their parment criticism on the BBC propaganda as a clan motivated internet warlords. In addition to that and surprisingly Mr. Baldwin is saying without scruple that the major target of the critics is to turn the BBC Somali service into Abdullah Yusuf Propaganda center. Following that, that statement implies that our Dutch citizen understands the Somali language, the Somali conflicting clan diversity as well as its conflicting contradictions. If not so, the crucial question is who explains or translates our world citizen Mr. Baldwin all the BBC news and all other manipulated live field reports of the BBC propaganda Somali section. I assume that Mr. Baldwin is either misinformed or his statement has certain private opportunistic back ground because as Dutch citizen he must know that even in the Nederland people sometimes democratically protest against a TV report or documentation no matter how right or wrong but nobody insult them for their personal view. As a genuine Somali from Awdal Region and all other Somalis who criticize the BBC ethic free Somali service have every right to do so with out being insulted. For your information and those who are carrying the real responsibility of the BBC, this is the first in the history of the BBC Somali service that thousands and thousands of genuine Somalis are protesting against the civil war creating propaganda machinery of the BBC Somali services in Bush House. Again for your general information, the very recent and impudent Chapter of the BBC propaganda is the newly nominated 64 so-called Banadir Council. Couple of months ago the TFG Mogadishu Warlord fraction launched a campaign packed by the BBC Somali service to remove all barricades from the streets of the ex-Somali capital so that the TFG as whole can operate in Mogadishu. Nevertheless, day in day out the BBC Somali section reported about that perverse show and Mogadishu remained today the biggest obstacle of the Somali peace. Without asking any critical question to the warlords, the BBC is again part of the new cheap political maneuver of the Mogadishu warlords. The BBC Somali section warlord gives unlimited propaganda air time to those who are not totally interested in finding peace solution for the Somali people and our people are undisputable severing under the criminal law of the war lords in Mogadishu. Mr. Baldwin I fully agree with you as you fantastically expressed that “clan fanaticism is the lowest point a human being can reach†sorry to say this. Your favorite and BBC Somali services editing warlord is literally honorable member of that spices. He became an Editor of the BBC Somali service in the darkest days of our nation and he could have become a Somali hero (For example, instead of Good morning Vietnam he could have said good morning Somalia) but instead of that he preferred to become what you called correctly a primitive clan fanatic. Advice to you and your fellow Editor, Please Mr. Baldwin inform yourself about the Somali drama from all sides and do not mix your perhaps personal interest and the national interest of the severing Somali people. That is not fair .To your fellow friend and BBC Somali service editing warlord, many Somalis are lead today by their clan warlords and are seriously severing a destructive clan virus infection, therefore it could be a liberal and progressive BBC Somali services that can contribute to the healing of our poor people and the sick intelligencer of the nation. Otherwise it is time and advisable that the Directors of the BBC Somali service makes the way free for a new start in the interest of their Somali listeners and the peace in Somalia. Ali Osman Samater E-mail: Osmansamater@Yahoo.com
  8. BRAVO: The BBC Somali Service Team By Adrian Baldwin I’m a Dutch national who worked and extensively traveled throughout Somalia, South to North, between 1994 and 1998. During my residence, I made many good friends, some of whom I still maintain regular contacts through the Internet. I have developed a hobby and nostalgia to browse Somali websites to update myself of the progresses made in the town and villages I once worked. At that time, I realized how vital the BBC Somali Service was to the lives of the Somali people. I observed men throng at teashops around 5:30 p.m. to catch their daily dose of local and world news, from their favorite and, of course, only reliable source. Somalis recognize the significance of keeping this important service and had previously appealed against a decision to close the Service. However, I’m baffled by the continued attack, somewhat personal in nature, on the BBC Somali Service team and particularly its chief editor by few Somali websites, most notably Allpuntland, Wardheernews, Allwadani, and Idamaale. It is hard to digest the daily slanders heavily rained on its editor, a man I personally met and have a great respect for; a man who is genuine and sincere and has taken the Service into a commendable level appreciated by those who really depend on their daily world news. I have met Mr. Garad in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2003 and we had a very good conversation. There are things he talked about which included improving the Service even higher to make one of the best African programmes in the BBC World Service. I was stunned to read statements like: “close the BBC relay antennas in Puntlandâ€, and begging others to follow suit to close down all BBC relay centers in that country. I asked myself the question of who will lose if the antennas are brought down. I understand that the webmasters of the afore-mentioned websites reside in Europe or North America. I also recognize that these webmasters have the luxury to choose between hundreds of radios and television stations anytime of the day or night and that they don’t need the thirty minute news time that the masses in Somalia cherish to listen. The losers in this case will be the millions living in remote villages and towns in a country that doesn’t have proper mass media such as radios and television. Then I took the trouble to investigate why these websites where so critical of this marvelous man and his team? My findings of the reason behind the continuous insults, some of which are dehumanizing, against the chief editor and his team is beyond belief. First, I established the fact that ALL the above-mentioned websites are either edited or owned by people from Puntland. Secondly, I also found out that ALL these websites are pro-Abdullahi Yusuf government. Here is then where the problem lies: These webmasters wished the BBC to be the mouth piece of the interim president’s government and promote his policies. Unfortunately, when the chief editor asserted the neutrality and independence of the Service from the Somali politics, they decided to destroy his character and dedicated team that work so hard in the most difficult of circumstances. Their motive is to tarnish Mr. Garad’s character in order to persuade the World Service programme editors to dismiss him or demote him. Their means are to continually publish articles, interviews and lies against this good man and his team. And their objective is to get away with murder by knowingly lying and discrediting this highly professional individual and seeking his head. The World Service understands your motives and may not replace Mr. Garad with one of your kin. At least in the West, it doesn’t work that way. It is worth mentioning that this act is not part of Somali culture or puritan Islamic code of conduct. It is as I understand, after research and years of experience in Somalia, based purely on clan difference and hatred. These are accusations intended to cause maximum damage not only to character assassinate the lead editor but the good men and women who so tirelessly provide unbiased first hand news from the world’s leading news agency, The World Service. Behold! Clan loyalty in Somali is so sacred that one will not hesitate to kill or hurt fellow citizen without giving a thought in its name. The clan is the Satan that the Somalis worship and where Satan rules, humans are subjugated to perform every undignified act without asking questions. No amount of reason will explain why these websites are so obsessed to dehumanizing a fellow human being. Clan fanaticism is the lowest points a human being can reach. A piece of advice to these websites, please don’t attack, insult or humiliate someone or some people who are so dedicated to serving your community. Please stop seeking the destruction of the Somali Service, because millions depend on it. Please understand that the Service is an independent entity and no one can influence how it works. Please stop acting as INTERNET WARLORDS who terrorize their victims in every home and internet café. Please stop the continual character assassination of the highly qualified chief editor, who as many Somalis put it, is considered the best ever editor the Somali Service has ever had. Finally, I would like to strongly commend on the excellent job that the Somali Service team is doing. I congratulate you all for the professionalism, reliability and accuracy of the news that you provide to Somali populations who rely solely on your hard work and dedication. Very well done all! Adrian Baldwin The Hague, Netherlands E-mail: adrian.baldwin@yahoo.com source:hiiraan.com
  9. Somalia: A Nation of careless people Abdirizak Muse December 28, 2005 I recall when in early eighties a Somali soldier, a tank operator wanted to run errands in down town Berbera, instead of taking some form of public transportation or a private vehicle of his own to haul himself, he decided to commute with the same tank that he operated from the military base to the core of the city. The road that connected the seaport to the city was in good condition. However, the tank operator did not care about the splendor or the quality of the road and the reason behind erecting such magnificent road, which was vital to import and export goods at the Berbera port, as well as other public use. He drove the heavily armored combat vehicle, which moves on caterpillar threads rather than rubber wheels, along the road carelessly, speeding on it until its iron threads ruined the paved surface of the tarmac road. The careless soldier caused such a great disruption and damage. He was detained and court marshaled. People in Berbera still remember that incident and treasure it as part of their contemporary tales. Another Somali folk tale, which contains the mundane traditions of everyday nomadic life, traces back to two hundred years ago. The story teaches us about the concept of ethical responsibility of group’s (here means sub-clan) indemnity protection. Two Somali nomad boys (with the same sub-clan) fought over a scarce resource, drinking water from a well; and one ends up killing the other. Consequently, the incident generated community gathering in which the elders made a peace truce between the two sides of the sub-clans, by passing a sentence of reinstituting the victims side one hundred camels (mag or dia money) for the injury suffered on the other side. Usually, the Somali custom dictates that any sub-clan (usually a handful of families) shares the payment of the mag in an equitable manner. However, in this case, the killer’s father refused to pay his share, worth one camel, of the restitution for the injury suffered on the other side. His reason was because he had only one hundred camels and had desired to keep all hundred intact to keep his wealth rather than forgo some to pay for the mag. What has happened next was the obvious!! A long, bitter war was fought between the two sides. The war expanded from sub-clan to clan warfare, claiming more than 6,000 lives from both sides. The Old man who refused to pay his share of mag and refused the peace deal was fatally injured, and before he died, he lamented with the phrase “Aduun I khatal†Ethnic Somalis inhabit the Horn of Africa, mainly dominating what is now known as the Somali Peninsula. The topography of the peninsula is diverse: from semi-arid of the north to the fertile lands of the south. In the north, most Somalis practice nomadic pastoralism; while in the south, there are a substantial number of agrarians. Most of the Somalis share common language, customs, and the Islamic faith. Precisely the homogeneity that other African nations envy, one language, one ethnic group, one religion and traditional practices that adhere to the goodness of humanity, which are mostly unnoticed by Somalis. In recent demographic surveys, Somalis in the Horn of Africa are estimated roughly between 10 to 15 million people, occupying territories that include the present Somalia proper, Ethiopia (Somali Regional State of Ethiopia), Kenya (Northeastern Region), and Djibouti (former French Somaliland). Currently, Somali population growth is threatened by prolonged civil wars of their own making that were caused mainly by politicized clan conflicts. Few “elite†or “clan-leaders†whose political and economic interests depend on brute force and brutality often create clan conflicts. Thus, Somalis of today mainly suffer due to the problems created by their fellow Somali leaders – i.e. the Somali crisis are mainly the product of indigenous-ills. A grave catastrophic mistake is that the majority of the populace are simply standing at the receiving end of the crisis, simply watching their leaders organize their next wave of destruction, like the Tsunami that just hit the peninsula late last year. The Somali masses are known for their indifference to the tragic situation that they are in and just sit back quietly, or blindly siding with their clan. However, what is needed now is to break this silence and indifference; Somalis have to try to change their circumstances and reflect on the lessons learned from the past. As our religion teaches us, “God does not change the condition of a people until they change that which is within themâ€. Somalis have to know that just few warlords and their gangs, in various parts of country, cannot dictate their destiny forever and turn them to stand against each other. These thugs have to be told that it is time to recuperate and heal from clan-based anarchy and butchery. The fifteen-year old clan-warfare have already cost Somalis dearly. More than a million Somalis lost their lives from fighting, hunger, diseases, rape, and kidnappings. Many Somalis also perished on flight by the long trek, walking on landmines and swimming on the shark-infested seas of East Africa. Children are being born and raised in hostile and clannish conditions for generation to come. Education and other social service are non-existent. Despite all these problems, Somalis claim to strictly adhere to the Islamic faith, although this ultimately is a lip service since all the horrible actions that are being committed against their own are unislamic and inhumane. Many hide behind tribal names, a smokescreen for the unspeakable mass murders, thievery, and drug trafficking done in their name against other Muslims; their Somali brethren. Ironically, the same groups that are committing grave inhumane practices against their own express outrage with the Guantanamo Bay detainees while they ignore the plight of their own as if they care more about other people than themselves. This reminds me the old Somali saying: “ninkii tiisa daryeela ayaa tu kale ku daraâ€. Somalis are true camel herders who do not know much about governing or government institutions. From the foundation of the Somali nation-state, Somali leaders inherited somewhat sound modern institutions from the British and Italian Colonial administrations. However, Somali leaders hastily used their offices to enrich themselves and misuse the little resources of the newly-born nation-state. Such self serving tactics are present until today where the same thinking of filling their bellies to the max while others starve is engraved with the so called current leaders and warlords as they view the public good as their own personal property– their hashii maandeeq camel. This mentality led to the collapse of the Somali State in 1991, after a series of clan warfare erupted in all regions of Somalia. Since then, numerous warlords occupied the seat of Somali leadership, acting as representatives of the Somali people. The neighboring countries arranged negotiations, and peace agreements among these warring warlords with little or no success. Unfortunately, for more than a decade, Somali warlords gathered on more than 14 occasions and agreed not to a single lasting peace deal. However, late last year, Somali Warlords have finally concluded an agreement and formed a transitional five-year government, in which all the prominent warlords were given a cabinet portfolio. The world is now watching these same warlords trying to undo the last hope of the Somali people. While each of the recalcitrant warlords fight to hold onto the millions he has illegally amassed for the past fifteen years and the national assets of the nation (airports, ports etc), those around them die from the simplest ailments. While the same government that was tasked to help the millions that are to perish from drought, disease and abject starvation sits ineffectively, the warlords-turned Ministers are busy traveling to various countries to line their pockets from the international aid that is meant for the citizens of the country. The whole saga of the Somali situation speaks volumes of the collective ignorance and careless attitude of the masses. The-don’t-care notion where the plight of the victims are blinded by mere clan support. The disgust of how Somalis sit around while their country is being wasted says something about the individual Somali who holds nothing but contempt and hate for his brethren, based on nothing more than than thier clan background. The self serving actions of the tank operator in Berbera (or as Togane reported about a conversation between President Clinton and some supporters of the late General Aidid, “there are hundreds and thousands of Aidids†) reside inside each and every one of us who will not act in the name of the nation but rather will watch stealthily the destruction caused his own clan and their unreasonable demands. Unfortunately such unpatriotic actions are noticeable from Somalis of all walks of life. Abdirizak Muse, California, USA E-Mail:Gedi_3@hotmail.com source: wardheernews.com
  10. A Nation Without A Voice Or Face: Is The Time Ripe For Media-Freedom In Somalia? Ali Bahar December 27, 2005 remember there was once in Somalia two government-controlled Radio Stations, Radio Hargeisa and Radio Mogadishu; needless to say that the claim on ownership of these infamous radio stations have since changed hands, just as countless other State-run and community owned properties have fallen into the wrong hands in today’s Somalia. The BBC and, to lesser degree, the Voice of America (VOA), were the other two radio transmitters where you would find the average Somali men huddling around at 5:30 PM in front of most teashops or in their individual Qaat-chewing settings everywhere in Somalia. Not surprisingly, nonetheless, the warlords and tribal enclaves that dominated the current Somali society control today’s media. Ironically, to the dismay of many and equally outrageous to many other Somalis, unfortunately, even the BBC of today is accused of having lost its uniqueness and luster; the fairness and the quality of programming that Somalis came to expect from the 5:30 PM-BBC for decades. A good number of its own BBC-expatriates and retirees are outraged by some of the obvious bias engineered by the current head of the BBC African and Middle East Regions, Mr. Yussuf Garaad. Many Somalis expressed their accusatory charge on Mr. Yussuf Garaad; an accusation that, among many other things, includes the existence of some suspected special arrangements of favoritism and a valued shifting alliance that Mr. Yussuf Garad made with today’s strong Mogadishu warlords. In essence, Mr Yussuf Garaad is accused of either intentionally limiting, or totally eliminating the BBC’s efforts to provide a balanced broadcasting that many Somalis grew up to hearing from the BBC. Instead, he promotes warlordism and their propaganda, dominance and economic interests to prolonging control and power in the region. The following is an excerpt from one of the many articles posted on some Somali websites by frustrated Somalis intellectuals expressing their outrage and the disappointment that they had with Yusuf Garaad. “The lowest point of the Service is marked by its uneven-handed coverage of the visits of the President of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and the Speaker of the Transitional Federal Parliament, Sharif Hassan. The President was the only [official] invitee to the General Assembly, and that was the prime news-making event. Speaker Hassan was invited by a non-governmental body, Association of World Parliaments, and was practically on his own. The Service should have given a prime coverage to the president. It once again, deliberately erred by totally ignoring to cover the President's [official] and historic visit, while it spent many news hours on covering minute details of the Speaker's multi-track trip. Worse, the BBC continues to insist on addressing Mr. Abdillahi Mohamud Jama “ Sifir †as the deputy prime minister, despite the removal of “ Sifir †from that post earlier this year by the prime minister. This represents present-day rather activist, albeit unwarranted face of the Service! Or, consider the time - this past summer to be exact - when Mr. Abdullahi Yusuf visited London and the decision maker of the Service, probably Mr. Yusuf Garad , who is currently the program Editor rendered it non-newsworthy! They only interviewed the president only after he paid a visit to Bush House to be heard. Strangely enough the BBC often provides a platform for the junior players who are either in Mogadishu or are affiliated with the Mogadishu-based sectarian wing of the TFG through interviews and coverage of their minor eventsâ€. – WardheerNews Editorial. The once popular Hargeisa Radio station is today a government-owned news media, I assume, which operates under the eyeful watch of Rayaale’s government. Whether it adequately services the public or maximizes its usefulness for the good of the community is not for me to judge, however, it is evident that Rayaale is nervously on the guard and allows a very limited community-owned and operated radio stations in the region. This is a clear indication --- of government-controlled freedom of expression and speech. A western-educated minister in Somaliland once justified his ill-advised decision to deny demonstrating people in Hargeisa the right to express their grievances and their displeasure with Rayaale’s government by saying something to the effect that the Somaliland government was not yet ready for such a thing, ---- freedom of speech. It was clearly a government official over reacting nervously and defending his actions when the question of transparency and fair media coverage become public issues, while ignoring or deliberately trampling on human rights and the right to freedom of expression. Sounds to me like what it is: a monopoly of ownership of the media where the government is the de facto editor and allows people to hear only what the government prescribes to them. It all depends on how one perceives the balance between freedom, democracy and exercise of power and how to keep law and order in check, at the same time, without compromising human rights, all which, at times, seem incompatible and present disputing stark challenges to meet for the State. However, the salient point to all this is the concern of suffocating media control that we are witnessing in today’s media coverage in the country, including the BBC, where misplaced actions of educated men and warlords who, when traveling or living in the free world, fooled us into believing that they are for freedom of speech and fair media coverage. However, when entrusted with the responsibilities and the leadership of their own people, failed to resist their inherent bias, as implicit or as subtle it may be, to emerge from their subconscious and obscure their egalitarian judgment and the valued human rights that they seem to embrace and even demand for themselves when living in the free world. A self-fulfilling prophecy that caters not to the interest of the general good will, but rather leads to troubling consequences, including the mistreatment of those who would want to report the news the way they see it and as it happens. May be the adage that “freedom of the press is for those who own one†is appropriate in here, however, this troubling hostility towards freedom in media reporting, whether it is a perceived and presumptuous, or whether this is a new deliberate strategy for media control of a agenda-setting process adopted by the BBC-Somali Language, as many viewers stated, will only promote bias in the BBC- programming at best, or worse, may foster reciprocation by those who felt let down and belittled by Mr. Yussuf Garaad. In Bernard Cohen's words, “the media should not tell us what to think, but tell us what to think aboutâ€. In such desperate situation and lawlessness, just in this year, many journalists in the country have lost their lives; harassed; attacked but fortunately escaped; imprisoned or wrongfully abused; (See CPJ, Cases 2005: Africa). The list is long but to mention just a few, Kate of BBC was shot in broad day light in Mogadishu; Mohamed Halane of Horn Africa and Nuradin Mualin of Baydhabo.com were badly injured in Mogadishu Stadium, a blast that claimed the death of 15 other people during the first assassination attempt to kill Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi. In another incident, a veteran journalist of the Somali Journalists Network (SOJON), Abdallah Nurdin Ahmed, received a terrible wound when someone fired at him in close range. Radio Journalists, Dunya Muhyadin Nur of Capital Voice in Mogadishu, was shot point blank and killed in Afgoi while covering breaking news of drivers protesting against the roadblocks, Isbarato, that finance the Mogadishu warlords. Abdillahi Kulmiye Adow, a reporter of local radio station, Horn Afrika, in Mogadishu was imprisoned in Jowhar by Mohamed Dheere. He was released later without charges. Likewise, Indhacadde, a strong warlord in Merca, who was accused of importing illegal arms, disregarding the U.N. arms embargo, recently jailed Ahmed Mohamed Aden, a reporter for Gedonet Online-Jubba FM Radio in Kismayo. In Hargeisa, Ahmed Suleyman Dhuhul and Hoodo Ahmed, two reporters of Radio Hargeisa, were Harassed and illegally detained by the minister of information in Somaliland and accused of working for a clandestine radio station, Horyaal radio. Also the editor of Hatuf newspaper in Hargeisa was reported to have had his share of countless occasional harassment by the Somaliland authorities. In Puntland, the premises of Shacab, a weekly newspaper in Garowe, was attacked by the information ministry the and employees of newspaper, Adirahman Qoransey and Abdi Farah were harassed, illegally retained and forced to shutdown their newspaper; Sheekh Aduun, a director of a local radio in Bossasso, an affiliate of a private network (STN), were Harassed by the Puntland authorities, who also arrested the staff of STN Network ( Aduun, Awale and Ilke Ase) for the same unknown charges. All these and many more happened to the media people in the country in the span of just one year. In this continuously shifting sand of alliances, presentation of naked clan ideology as representatives of the Somali public at large, and the often globally oriented biased media coverage in our present day of BBC-programming, it is the interest of the new Somali government, being hosted in Jowhar, to encourage and even finance fair media coverage in the nation. Most people know by now that neither President Yussuf nor Prime Minister Gedi are gorged with great oratory skills nor with spirited charismatic natural gift with which they could captivate their audiences. The public, nonetheless, including the staunch supporters of this government, have yet to see and is patiently waiting for the emergence of a strong voice that entails what the government’s agendas for this nation are. What is missing is a freedom of media coverage, including radio, local newspapers or even TV; a must-to-have means of communication for this government to deliver its message, hopefully the right message, to the insatiable awaiting public appetite longing to hear better media coverage and protection of the media people. In this current monopoly ownership and competing influences of the media, including even the BBC, by the strong warlords, this government must and should play the good guy for the public and try to alleviate the burden of this over oppressed media in the country, and give the Somalia public a room to breathe to air their grievances. This would not only aid the government to reinforce the legitimization of its emerging influence and its presence in the country, but would also be an uplifting spirit for the public, who has long surrendered to the feeling of defeatism. Otherwise, the Gedi’s government would be fooling herself if she continues to underestimate the importance of having fair and free press coverage both in the nation and abroad. The new Somali government has an opportunity to change the current existing pattern of exclusive media ownership and control dominated by the warlords and the tribal enclaves that constantly intimidate and harass those who are taking risks to report the news in the region. The government should start speaking up against the maltreatment of the newsmen and women in the country, as evident from the mighty power these news media are facing today. The government has a ministry of information, whose job is to establish broadcasting service and government satellite operations, issuing licenses in radio and TV broadcasting and publishing, and even, if possible, incorporate many of the existing radio stations and create an ideology-receptive atmosphere where the presentation of journalistic activities and media reporting are protected; differing opinions are welcomed, and the narrowness of the political discourse in the country is saved from the current strangulation. This would provide us with media coverage and voices for communities that would address issues relevant to their local areas and their lives. This doesn’t mean that the government should control or shut down existing media, but rather set an environment where competing ideas and opinions are given equal share in the air, where both quality and quantity of news reporting swell, and the newsmen and women are protected and provided with the security that they need to face the humiliation and life threatening machinery that already caused many of them to lose their precious lives; lives that today, in our struggle for justices in our society, inspire us with courage and enlighten us with a rare symbolism of conviction and determination to report injustices and inherent evils in our society; lives that took risks in order to expose and to constantly awaken the rest of us, an attempt to link the world around us to the depth of sufferings and humiliation that our society endured too long. I am not a communication specialist, I admit, but my guess, however, is that the government could easily do this with little money, far less than what Sheriff Hassan has already spent while aimlessly wandering around the world, and with the help of few knowledgeable Somali people. There are many experienced, cheap labor among the Somalis, both in the Diaspora and within the country, that are able to publish and broadcast efficiently. It is a call that the present government should heed effectively and show her willingness to change the course of the present situation in the country for the better. Ali Bahar E-Mail:aib_1@yahoo.com source: wardheernews.com
  11. REVIVING SOMALIA'S RUINED EDUCATION SYSTEM By Dr. Mahamud M. Yahye December 25, 2005 Introduction In a recent report released by the United Nations Development Programme, it was revealed that Somalia currently has the lowest enrollment of pupils at the primary education level in the entire world. This sad news motivated me to write the present article. (I would also like to write it in memory of the late Prof. Ibrahim Mahamud Abyan, former Dean of the now defunct Somali Institute of Development Administration and Management (SIDAM), Mogadishu. Mr. Abyan, a U.S. trained educationist, who was regarded by many as one of the most courageous Somali intellectuals and cleanest civil servants, was unfortunately murdered in cold-blood at the start of the Somali civil war in early 1991. His Crime? He just belonged to the wrong clan). But the UNDP’s finding is not surprising, because Somalia is one of the poorest countries in the whole world -- a situation aggravated by a seemingly intractable civil war and the absence of a functioning central government for almost 15 years now. This devastating civil war has also dealt a crushing blow to the Somali economy, which is now in a limbo, and has caused all kinds of political, social and humanitarian crises to our people. This multi-faceted tragedy also reminds me about the great English bard, William Shakespeare, who wrote in his famous play, Hamlet-I: "When sorrows come, they come not as single spies, but in battalions!" Likewise, Somalia’s senseless civil strife has certainly caused enormous problems in almost every aspect of our country’s life, as if we are a nation cursed by the divine power. Destruction and Historical Background To appreciate the magnitude of the destruction that has befallen Somalia's education system, it is worth mentioning that at one point in the 1980s, the country had around 1,400 primary schools with about 3,370 teachers. Mogadishu alone had tens of schools (both at the primary and secondary levels). Unfortunately, during the civil war, 90% of the schools were reported to have been completely destroyed or seriously damaged. (For the first couple of years, after the breakout of the civil war, there were no schools in the country, for all intents and purposes). The few that were spared are now being utilized as either camps for the warring militias or living quarters for the destitute, the down-trodden and internally displaced families. In this context, the previous Somali administrations – both civilian and military – could be faulted with many things, but one cannot deny that they had accomplished a great deal in terms of developing the country’s educational system. Siad Barre’s regime, in particular, is credited with introducing in 1972 a written Somali language for the first time in the history of our nation. That regime had also devised a unified curriculum for all the country’s primary and secondary levels, with strong emphasis on math and science, and Somali became the main medium of instruction. Here, the numerous literacy campaigns - in which I had the honor and privilege of participating – were believed to have substantially contributed to the reduction of adult illiteracy among our people. Moreover, this last functioning government enlarged the country’s then single institution of higher education, i.e., National University of Somalia (NUS), situated in the heart of Mogadishu. At the peak of its existence, it comprised 15 faculties (or departments), including medicine, agriculture and engineering, 7,000 full-time students and 600 teaching staff, both nationals and expatriates. (Incidentally, I used to be critical of Siad Barre’s regime and was persecuted and imprisoned by them when they were in power, but I have, today, to give the devil his dues, as the saying goes. I firmly believe that any fair-minded Somali will admit that the crazy, selfish and unpatriotic warlords who followed him were much worse than Siad Barre and his dictatorial military/socialist regime). However, as a result of the comprehensive and wanton destruction of its education system – something which one scholar aptly termed as de-development of the country - Somalia now boasts one of the lowest educational achievements in the entire world. For instance, according to the latest statistical data from the World Bank, Somalia recorded in 1995, the last year for which information was available, a mere 10% of gross enrollment at the primary level. Compare this to the ratios of 95% and 99%, which were recorded by 2003 by Sub-Saharan Africa and Low Income Countries of the world, respectively. Taking into consideration the serious gender disparity and the fact that the majority of our people are roaming nomads, with no fixed abode and no schools and other social services available in their neighborhoods, the picture becomes bleaker and much graver. Under such circumstances, the overwhelming majority of school population is presently threatened to remain illiterate and innumerate due to the appalling lack of educational facilities. In my rough estimation, a child who started his/her elementary schooling in late 1990, when the ruinous, senseless civil war erupted in Somalia, could by now have graduated from university! When we had peace and a functioning national government, Somalia's basic education consisted of two main cycles totaling 12 years (primary: 8 years and secondary: 4 years). This was followed by a 4-year undergraduate, university education (to be preceded by a 1-year national community service). In addition to that, the system had primary teacher and vocational training of two years each, after completing primary schooling. The beauty of Somalia’s old educational system was that it was totally free, from elementary till university. Thus, every Somali child, no matter how humble his or her family’s economic background might have been, could aspire to get an equal chance for a good modern education, and then land a decent job – provided he/she had sufficient motivation, discipline and worked equally hard. Not anymore these days. At that time, there was an expansive scholarship programme whereby friendly foreign governments in: Great Britain, Italy, the Ex-Soviet Union, USA, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Ex-Eastern Europe, and even far away China, would award hundreds of full scholarships to Somali students through their central, recognized government. That is how the overwhelming majority of educated Somalis of my generation got a chance to complete their tertiary education. In other words, almost all of us were educated with the help of our Somali State and not by support from our clans or even families, who were mostly too poor to send us abroad for getting educated. But with the advent of the disastrous civil war, the majority of these countries stopped giving scholarships to Somalis since there was no functioning national government to deal with in Somalia. Incidentally, some of these foreign governments, especially in the Arab world, and even Pakistan, still allocate scores of seats at their universities to Somali students. However, due to the dire financial conditions of our embassies overseas, and the fact that none of their staff has received a dime as a salary in the past 15 years, it is an open secret that these scholarships are sold by our diplomats to the highest bidder. So, only kids from well to do families, particularly in the Diaspora, can now afford to obtain real educational opportunities. Somalia’s old educational system also contained a good number of specialized technical and vocational training schools – at the secondary level – where young men and women could learn a useful trade or a technical specialization in such diverse fields as accounting, agriculture, commerce, and industry. These specialized schools were very important because they would teach practical skills that were badly needed by the local labor market or even our neighboring oil-rich countries of the Arabian Gulf. Moreover, our previous Somali administrations had realized that we had to create jobs to our ever-increasing youth to avoid serious socio-economic and political problems later. They also understood that not every student was willing or able to go to college, nor did we have at our single university the capacity to accommodate all needs of secondary school leavers, even if they all aspired for college education. The thorny issue of educational facilities reminds me about a sad story which an American journalist had written about the sorry state of the famous College of Education, situated in a small village near Afgoi (around 30 km to the west of Mogadishu). This college, which I believe was established in the early 1960s with the help of the American Government – and is better known locally as Lafoole - used to be the best teacher training center in the whole country. Thousands of qualified Somali teachers graduated from it over the years. But in his disheartening essay, titled "Letter from Mogadishu", and published by the new Yorker in March, 1995, W. Finnegan wrote about the current terrible conditions of Lafoole “The low-rise, modern looking building of the former College of Education is now a displaced persons' camp. The classrooms and dormitories were full of families; the walls were blackened by cooking fire…The library was a world of dust. Books were piled everywhere, on sagging shelves, on toppling heaps… The dust was so deep that it was as though the desert itself was creeping through the walls, burying the books in fine sandâ€. This occurred more than 10 years ago and most probably the situation has, in the meantime, deteriorated much more seriously. And the rest of the campuses of Somalia's historical, single university (NUS), which used to be mostly funded and manned by the Italians, did not fare any better. In their report of 2003 on "Somalia's Economic Recovery, Institution Building and Resource Mobilization", a special panel of experts pointed out that apart from the terrible destruction of Somalia's educational infrastructure, its system presently suffers from other serious impediments. These include: (i) Physical facilities which are generally poor and require extensive rehabilitation and modernization; (ii) Inadequate textbooks; (iii) Concentration of schools in urban centers; (iv) Shortage of qualified teachers and the absence of teacher training (many of these educators were either killed - as happened to Prof. Abyan, as indicated earlier - left the country for security reasons, are internally displaced within the country or have changed jobs, because of the usually very low salary and hard work normally associated with the teaching profession); (v) Absence of educational policy, proper and unified curriculum and low management capacity; and (vi) Gender disparity (male vs. female), especially with regards to higher grades, and the positions of teachers and headmasters of schools. Another serious shortcoming of Somalia’s current rudimentary, privately funded education systems is that it does not produce a sufficient number of people with technical skills and specialties that the local labor market actually needs. The above cited report also indicated that the penniless Somali Government would need at least US $20 million to effect basic rehabilitation of the nation’s shattered educational facilities. Some Recent Positive Developments Despite this very gloomy picture, there were some positive developments which have taken place in Somalia’s education system in recent years, especially in relatively peaceful regions, thanks mostly to the initiatives of local communities and the help as well as the risk taken the private sector. Consequently, scores of schools, particularly at the primary and secondary levels, have been established or rehabilitated with the assistance of some Islamic charitable entities, international NGOs, the U.N. and the European Union. In my opinion and in the view of many observers of the Somali socio-economic scene, these developments were most remarkable in the tertiary (or university) level whereby at least four different universities have opened their doors in various regions of the country. The first among these higher education entities was Amoud University in Awdal Region (in Self-declared Somaliland) which was established in the late 1990s. This was followed by the universities of Mogadishu, Hargeisa and East Africa (in Bossaso). The construction of three campuses of the newly created State University of Puntland have either been completed or are still underway in Bossaso, Growe and Galcaio, while several fund-raising functions have recently been organized for the purpose of launching the new University of Hiiraan. I share the opinion of those who believe that the creation of different universities in the major regional capitals is an excellent idea. It is one of the bitter lessons that we have learned from the mistakes of the previous Somali administrations whereby all developmental efforts were concentrated in one city, namely, Mogadishu, the capital. Consequently, when the ruinous and senseless civil war flared up, we lost the single higher education entity we had, i.e., the National University of Somalia and nearly all the major secondary schools in that city due to this misguided policy of paying disproportional attention to Mogadishu. Had we not put all our eggs in one basket in that fashion, and had we distributed the main faculties (or departments) of NUS over several major cities, such as, Amoud, Baidoa, Belet Weyn, Bossaso, Burao, Galcaio, Hargeisa, Kismayo, Marka, etc., perhaps a good number of these faculties may have been saved. As such, they would have been very useful to us today as we are dealing with the daunting task of reviving Somalia’s ruined education system. Almost all the newly created schools and universities charge rather high fees, by local standards, for their courses. This is so, because these educational centers, especially in the South, are mostly funded by private businessmen; and in an economically ruined country like Somalia, where very few avenues for lawful, decent jobs are presently open, education becomes a profession to be engaged in by anybody irrespective of his/her qualifications and a commodity to be sold at the highest price possible. For instance, the tuition for enrolling at Mogadishu University is US $400 per year. This is in a country where the per capital gross domestic product (GDP) is a mere $100 at present (as compared to $900 for Djibouti) and 43% of its population currently live below the extreme poverty line, i.e., less than one US dollar per day, according to the latest U.N. reports. As such, it was reported that 63% of secondary school leavers in Hargeisa during the 2002/2003, for instance, could not pursue further their university education. On the other hand, the foreign “philanthropic†or charitable entities and international NGOs who come to Somalia are not driven by lofty humanistic ideals alone. But from our past experience with foreign experts, we know that most of the money they have lobbied for in their Western countries, in the name of saving the “starving, unlucky Somalisâ€, ultimately go back to them or to their places of origin in the form of very high salaries, “hardship allowances†and other benefits in addition to the purchase of expensive – and at times unnecessary – equipment and/or hardware from their respective countries. Needless to say that a Western professional who can get a good job in, say, Britain, France, Italy, Scandinavia or USA, would most probably not venture to work in lawless Somalia. Moreover, setting up “madrassas†(or religious schools), by some of the Islamic NGOs, in a country with very meager opportunities for education, may produce numerous hard-line Muslim fundamentalists who could later pose serious security problems for Somalia’s future. Conclusions and Recommendations Regarding the rebuilding of Somalia’s seriously damaged education system, many experts on Somali affairs believe that priority number one should be accorded to the restoration of peace and the rule of law. Next, the new Somali government should order the evacuation within, say, one month, of all public education premises currently occupied by warlords, armed militias, destitute families or even high ranking officials of local administrations; it should then immediately start the rehabilitating as much of these educational facilities as possible, hopefully with financial support from international organizations, friendly governments and other donors. If that is achieved many qualified Somali teachers and real foreign experts, both for the university level and below, will come to the country. In this connection, in a new article currently posted on the Hiiraan website, under the title of “Students Defy Anarchy at Mogadishu Universityâ€, Reuters News Agency reported the following sad episode: “Students and lecturers are sometimes forced to lie down in between lectures and even during examinations as rival factions exchange fire.†It went on to say: “ For security reasons, the foreign lecturers [from India and Kenya] hardly ever see central Mogadishu, where militia fighters sometimes in trucks mounted with anti-tank machine guns, patrol dirty streets lined with pock-marked buildings.†What kind of useful learning or teaching can one obtain in a terrifying atmosphere like that? It is a measure of the intensity and irrationality of tribal animosity in present day Somalia that an entity like Mogadishu University, or any other regional educational institution for that matter, would go all the way to India to recruit foreign lecturers, but would not consider hiring equally qualified Somalis from other regions of the country, and at a much lower cost, because they could turn out to be from undesirable tribes! Secondly, the question of the illiterate, armed militias has to be satisfactorily addressed. At present, there are thousands upon thousands of ex-nomadic young men who were brought from the countryside (baadiye) by the notorious and unscrupulous Somali warlords to wipe out other Somali clans and, thus, power and privilege. These thugs do not possess any practical skill, except the firing of their Klashnikovs, and mainly use their guns as a means of livelihood. They are normally too old and too primitive to be enrolled in elementary schools and cannot go back to their nomadic, very harsh environments. But without taking care of these armed militias and finding an appropriate source of livelihood and an abode for them, peace and stability will not return to our homeland. The country’s new Ministry of Education should, therefore, address this thorny issue by teaching some useful skills of, say, 6-12 months duration, on carpentry, electric jobs, masonry, mechanics, plumbing, etc., to these young men. Alternatively, they could be engaged in the re-construction of Somalia’s dilapidated infrastructure (particularly roads) and other public works or “Work for Peace†programmes in agriculture and similar activities, as the World Labor Organization and other UN agencies have occasionally been doing in southern Somalia. Thirdly, the rehabilitation and enlargement of the old technical schools and vocational training centers should be given enough attention. Such schools could play an important role in absorbing idle intermediate (or junior high) school leavers who could not further continue with traditional education system. Hopefully, they will also create job opportunities for this youth both at home and abroad. Even the newly created universities have to focus more on teaching technical and professional subjects that the country badly needs, like veterinary and animal husbandry, agriculture, engineering (including computers), medicine, business administration etc., and not mostly offering courses on arts, languages, literature and social sciences. It would also be wiser and more cost-effective if these new universities could coordinate their activities and avoid duplication of the courses they offer. Fourthly, great emphasis should be put on the rehabilitation and enhancement of primary education in Somalia. This will enable us to save the next generation of Somali kids, because it is now too late for the preceding generation. Ensuring a seat in the classroom for every Somali child, who is now around 6 years old, may be a very daunting challenge for penniless Somalia without massive donations from friendly foreign governments. Perhaps we will not also be able to achieve the UN’s well-publicized millennium development goals (MDGs), foremost among them being universal or 100% primary enrollment by 2015 in all developing countries. Nonetheless, we have to start somewhere, if we wish to save our unlucky country from further disasters in this day and age of internet and cyber highways. Obviously, without imparting proper education and training to your citizens, you cannot make any meaningful progress or aim for peace and prosperity in this globalized world. In this connection, I think it would be quite fitting to end this article by the words of Mr. Mohamed Hashi, a former army officer, who at the age of 62 has recently enrolled in business administration at Mogadishu University. He said he does not mind the bullets, because he believes that education is the only way Somalia can lift itself out of ruin. “Knowledge is power, and I am happy to seek it at this old age,†said Hashi whose daughter is reported to have graduated from the same university in 2000. “I urge my fellow students to work harder, and call upon the world to support education [in this country], because ignorance is the source of chaos in Somalia.†But I only wish to add to this profound wisdom that modern education also instills independence, self-confidence, and worthiness as a human being, together with a sufficient level of morality. These good personal traits would presumably prevent a citizen from taking law into his own hands and waging a brutal, suicidal/genocidal and senseless tribal war against his own countrymen and fellow Muslims. Mahamud M. Yahye, Ph.D. Jeddah, Saudi Arabia E-mail: mm2yahya@yahoo.com References (1) Abdi, Ali A., "Education in Somalia: History, Destruction and Calls for Reconstruction,†Comparative Education, Vol. 34, Issue e, Nov. 1998, p. 340. (2) Retamal, Gonzalo and Devadoss, M. "Rehabilitating Education Sector in Somalia: the Role of UNESCO." (UNESCO, February, 1994). [Mr. Retmal and Devadoss were Education Adviser and Education Officer, UNESCO-Somalia, respectively] (3) "U.N. Somalia Theme Group on Education: Proposed Strategy Framework for MDG-2 [Millennium Development Goals-2]." (A U.N. Report, November 2004, to be accessed through the internet). (4) "Country Studies: Somalia, Education." U.S. Library of Congress [undated] (http:/countrystudies.us/Somalia/1.htm) (5) "Somalia's Education." United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), undated. []www.unicef.org.somalia/education] (6) "Amoud University, Bossaso University (a.k.a. East Africa University), Hargeisa, University and Mogadishu University". [browse their respective websites] (7) "Ceremony for the Establishment of Hiiraan University." Hiiraan Website []www.hiiraan.com/2005/aug/HU.htm] (8) "Project for the Preparation and Development of Education Curriculum in Arabic for the Somali Republic [in Arabic]". World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY, Saudi Arabia). [A pamphlet prepared by WAMY for collecting donations from the general Saudi public and published in 2005] (9) "Somalia, Education: Country Profile, 2005." The Economist Intelligence Unit, EIU, London, United Kingdom, p.15. (10) Yahya, Mahmud M., "Management Education & Training in Somalia: The Case of Somali Institute of Development Administration & Management (SIDAM). [unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles, USA, 1984] (11) Simmons, John, The Education Dilemma (Brogamon Press, NY, USA, 1980) (12) "Country Brief for Somalia." United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), July 2005, pp.5-12. [To be accessed in the internet, through Google, under that title]. (13) "Somalia's Economic Recovery, Institutional Building and Resource Mobilization", 2nd Draft Report, February 2003. [uNDP Office for Somalia, Nairobi, Kenya] (14) "Conflict in Somalia: Drivers and Dynamics." The World Bank, Washington, DC, USA, January 2005. [To be accessed in the internet, through their website] (15) Omar, Mohamed O., The Road to Zero: Somalia’s Self-destruction (Haan Associates, London, 1992) source : wardheernews.com
  12. NGOs: A BOOMING BUSINESS Ismail Ali Ismail December 24, 2005 Origin The term "Non-Governmental Organizations" (NGOs) is self-explanatory only up to a point, for it does not include private businesses and other organizations which are in pursuit of profits. By 'profits' I mean 'pecuniary gains' because a person, or an establishment for that matter, can profit in many other ways. NGOs are, therefore, by definition non-profit-making organizations. They serve or profess to serve much nobler aims and should on this score draw the support, nay the admiration, of the rest of us. Although the UN is given credit for their origin (vide Chapter 10 of the UN Charter) NGOs have actually been in existence for the last two centuries and the best known - and perhaps the oldest - NGO which is the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) came into being as early as 1863. NGOs therefore pre-date the UN which itself was established as late as 1945. Be that as it may, most of us heard about or became familiar with NGOs only two or three decades ago. I have served the UN for 26 years before I retired and there was but a scant mention of them until the 1990s when circumstances forced them upon us and, willy-nilly, they featured prominently in our development programme. Coming upon the Development Scene NGOs have mushroomed so exponentially that we are now all struck with awe by their ubiquity: it is scarcely likely for anyone to take a step in any direction without coming face to face with an NGO of one sort or another. But there are reasons - and valid ones at that - why NGOs are so many and so varied, for they are international and local; multi-purpose and single-purpose; countrywide and limited catchment area. One of the main reasons for their existence is, without doubt, the disillusionment of donor countries and organizations with governments characterized by lack of probity, lack of honesty, and lack of accountability - qualities which vitiated the intended effects of what is known as ODA (Official Development Assistance). Africa, in particular, has become the 'graveyard of foreign aid'. But things deteriorated even further and the continent (always South of the Sahara) became associated with nauseating pictures of drought and famine; emaciated bodies of children; disease; scenes of massacres; and, inevitably, mass migrations of walking skeletons seeking refuge in neighbouring countries some of whom actually fell and died while being filmed. Those pictures - too graphic to look at - invaded the privacy of relatively rich people in the developed world while watching television in their quiet living rooms and shook their conscience to its foundation. I remember the BBC (World Service) recounting the story of an old Scottish couple who upon seeing such pictures from Ethiopia in 1978 were so affected that they sold their house and furniture and donated the proceeds to charity. It is because of such pictures coming on television screens almost on a yearly basis that there are so many NGOs (of which Oxfam is the most famous) that are based on charity. The frequency of such tragedies has earned African governments such outrageously, but deservedly, insulting sobriquets as " rogue states" or " rogue governments". But African governments had lost their compunction long before and had long learnt how to develop - and indeed have developed - thick skin even to the most excoriating of criticisms. Some of the African states, like ours, have, as a result become "failed states" - a term which is applied only to where the state itself has been wiped out by moral asphyxiation. I believe, however, that a state which exists only in name because it has ceased to fulfill its basic functions to its citizenry should also be pronounced a "failed state". The situation of African states being beyond redemption, aid was channeled through NGOs and this gave incentives to create more of them in an attempt to fill a void left by the states. But, NGOs also proliferated because there was so much money around (from ODA and from generous voluntary contributions) which could be channeled through them because they were mobile and were, owing to their relative size, unencumbered by bureaucratic red tape; they could also be brought to account and controlled unlike governments which were sovereign and did not entirely depend on bilateral funding. It may seem that I veered away from my subject, which is NGOs, into issues of Governance. But it is also in Governance, not only in development, that NGOs are asked to play a role within the context of "Civil Society" - that term which has so far eluded definition. NGOs are part of a complex network which we call "Civil Society Organizations" (CSOs for short). But, what is "Civil Society"? I have participated in a number of international fora on the role 'Civil Society' should play in Governance but participants never agreed on a definition. I still vividly recall an encounter I had with a young Latin American lady in 1996 in an international symposium on Local Governance which we had in Gothenburg (Sweden) and I was asked to serve as a resource person for the Working Group on Civil Society. In the middle of the discussion a lady from Latvia said that there was no civil society in her country when it was part of the Soviet Union. I have always held the view, as I still do, that "Civil Society" is a term which can only be defined by what it is not. When you exclude the government, public services and the military what remains is what we call 'Civil Society'. The Latin American young lady who was a colleague from a UNDP country office ( I have since forgotten which country) vehemently disagreed with my definition but could not come up with one of her own. She simply insisted that NGOs, farmers associations, community organizations, women's organizations and other PVOs (Private Voluntary Associations) were what is meant by 'Civil Society'. I replied that NGOs and PVOs were 'Civil Society Organizations'. She agreed, but then I asked: if you remove the organizations are we not then left with 'Civil Society'? My contention was that 'Civil Society' irrespective of being organized or not is always there. The young lady stood her ground and would not budge; and we left it at that. However, although the controversy still lingers in UN and other fora my definition approximates the kind of 'Civil Society' Antonio Gramsci (the man who first came up with the concept of 'Civl Society) had in mind. Gramsci was a contemporary and a class-mate of Palmiro Togliati, the illustrious Secretary-General of the Italian Communist Party of the sixties and father of 'Polycentrism' which represented then a new line in communist thought. In our National Reconciliation Conference at Nairobi some critics, most of whom were academics, contended that the " Civil Society" was deliberately and unfairly left out. By 'Civil Society' they clearly meant civil society organizations of which the NGOs are obviously the most prominent. I heard and appreciated a reply given over the BBC by Hussein Aideed. He hit the hammer on the nail when he said words to the effect that: " This is a conference of clans and in which all clans are represented. I have never heard of a clan called 'civil society' but private individuals cannot be admitted into the Conference under that label; they belong to clans and should come through their respective clans." I could not agree more. But if civil society organizations are politicized the noble purposes for which they had been established will be lost as their leaders become politicians. In fact, the trade unions of the United Kingdom (which are, of course civil society organizations) established the Labour Party which is now ruling that country. Incidentally, we did have in our own country "Civil Society Organizations" represented, albeit nominally, in our regional and district councils at the time we were toying with "Scientific Socialism". But such an arrangement which is integral to what is called a 'comprehensive system of local government', flies in the face of the role Gramsci visualized for "Civil Society"; for his purpose of advocating 'Civil Society' was to have a countervailing force to the State - a 'Civil Society' which would exert pressure on the state from time to time and thus keep it always on its toes. That, of course, is the best contribution the 'Civil Society' can make to Good Governance. Gramsci did not want a 'Civil Society' which would be subsumed in the State. The position of those who were advocating a role for civil society in the Somali Reconciliation Conference was for all intents and purposes a negation of Gramsci's original idea. Performance Record I asked a colleague who was retiring several years ago as to what his plans were for 'life after retirement'. He told me he would open his own NGO and that would be his post-retirement business venture. As he showed me the detailed plan of what he had in mind I realized that he was not joking. But, curiously enough, all of us who were there laughed about it. Opening an NGO in countries where control mechanisms do not function is very easy and it is also easy to fake the mechanisms, such as a Board of Directors, which international donors or international NGOs (who sub-contract) stipulate. Procedures, processes, and accounting systems can beautifully be laid on paper without applying them at all; they are just for the eyes of visitors. Such is the situation of the local NGOs which are privately owned and privately run. It should not be surprising as local NGOs can never become oases of propriety and virtuous management in a mileu full of corruption, clanism and greed. I fully agree that people who are responsible for the management of an NGO should be given an agreed remuneration but to misappropriate the funds or material or ration intended to help poor people is utterly nauseating. The NGOs of course do not make profits because they are supposedly altruistic; it is the individuals who run them that profit and grow fat and relatively rich on resources meant for the neediest of people. Naturally, NGOs have to show some ocular evidence for the funds they receive in order to ensure the flow of more funds. They show therefore, a clinic here, a well there, a school building here, a dirt road there and they, of course, exaggerate the costs. There is little doubt, if any, that the private business which we call 'NGOs' is really booming. How else can we explain the ever increasing proliferation of NGOs? I must admit I have not researched this matter but impressions are important and there is a lot of literature which is highly critical of NGOs - not only the local but also international. What is surely needed is an investigation to expose the culprits and close their NGOs. I do not know how many NGOs we have but they are certainly in the hundreds if not thousands and I believe that if all of them were working properly and at full capacity they would have been able to transform the country. The international NGOs, on the other hand, are of course better managed and better controlled. Because their rich governments trust them they manage huge amounts of money. I was looking at some old statistics and the figures I see are startling. The aid channeled through international NGOs dramatically increased from $2.7bn in 1970 to 7.2bn. in 1990. The OECD estimated that Northern (international) NGOs spend $9-10bn. annually. I conjecture, for I am no longer au courant, that the current levels of expenditure have risen to even dizzier heights. But, those who are interested can of course make a little research and find the latest figures. International NGOs have also been severely criticized. Much of the money they receive is spent on administrative overheads and the comfort of their international staff, and only a trickle of it percolates to the ground where the bulk of the money was supposed to be spent. Nevertheless, all these billions of dollars are classified as aid money. The result is that international NGOs also fail miserably on the ground and blame it on the local people and local conditions. Conclusion With all their imperfections most of the NGOs play a useful part, however small, in development. With so many of them around I am sure that they serve to alleviate that terrible problem of unemployment. And I agree that many of their shortcomings can be blamed on corrupt individuals, on the donors themselves whose control is too elastic, on the educated class who do not lift a voice in defense of the intended beneficiaries, on the press and websites which are not even aware that they can play a role, and, last but not least, on a population which is not vigilant and is largely unaware and uneducated. I do not doubt for one moment, however, when - rather than if - we achieve good government those NGOs will be regulated and held accountable. Until then we can only observe and comment. It is my considered view that someone adept at field research should take the role of the NGOs seriously and provide us a cost-benefit analysis in concrete facts and figures; I suppose it is a rich field for Ph.D dissertations. Ismail Ali Ismail E-Mail:geeldoonia@gmail.com source : wardheernews.com
  13. Puntland: IsBedal Haa, Laakiin Mid Noocee ah? Maxamed A Cali December 25, 2005 Arar Sidii hogol kalliileed, cirka ayaa u curan is-bedal nidaam iyo maamul oo ka hirgala Puntland. Su'aasha mudan in la is weydiiyaa waxaa ay tahay is-bedal noocee ah ayaa loo baahan yahay? Aan dawliska ceelka u rita e, waxaa muuqda harraad ba’an oo is-bedal haykal siyaasadeed (political framework), hannaan maamul oo ku salaysan axsaab siyaasadeed (multiparty political system), dhiirigelin xiwaar siyaasadeed oo hufan (body politik), ka tallow nidaamka qabaliga ah (clan structure), ku kalsoonaan hay’adaha dawliga ah (state institutions), iyo xulasho hawlwadeeno dawladeed oo intuba ku salaysan mabda’ siyaasadeed ka qoto dheer kan laga yaabo in ay ku hammiyayaan madaxda maamulka Puntland. Waa mid sahan dheer iyo tacab badan mudan, dawna ay tahay in si haboon loo saafo, kana fac weyn isku shaandhayn lagu qanciyo dhaayaha qubanaha iyada oo aan loo degin ubucda xaajada. Sidaa darteed, aniga oo taa ka duulaya ayaan jeclaa in aan qoorteeyo sida iyo waxa ay ila tahay in ay la gudboon tahay maamulka Puntland ee ay caynaanka u hayaan Cadde, Afqudhac & Dalmar (M/Weyne, M/Weyne ku Xigeen & Af-hayeen Baarlamaan sida ay u kala horeeyaan). Si dadban ayaan u bidhaamin doonaa halka ay Puntland joogto maanta, iyo halka ay tahay in ay hiigsato saadambe aniga oo tusaalayn doonaa waxa la gudboon madaxda Puntland. Bidhaan Horumarka ummadeed ee dhan maamul, dhaqan-dhaqaale iyo xadaaradeed waxaa uu ka soo arooraa garawsi guuldaro lagala kulmay hannaan loo hanweynaa, lagu soo jid madhay, daltabyo iyo ceelalyow badan lagala soo kulmay, ceebse la yimi markii la doogsaday. Ubud-dhigayaasha bulsho ayaa laga sugaa in ay u jidbixiyaan, kalana doortaan surimada badan ee isa soo wada asla, isuna wada muunadda eg, kalase qaayaha ah. Tubta ugu sahlan, aalaabana aan u baahnayn fikir qoto dheer oo loo xishaa, cawaaqib xumo ayaa ay dhaxalsiisaa ummaddeed. Tubta ugu toosan, aalaabana u muuqata in aanay suurtgal ahayn in lagu dhiiradaa, baraare ayaa ay solonsiisaa ummaddeed. Taas waxaan uga golleeyahay in haddii aan si toolmoon layliga loo arumin, caynkana loo qabadsiin saxansaxada bedal-doon ee dul hoganaysa Puntland, in ay ku hungoobi doonaan maamulka iyo ummaduba, gaboodfal xunna lagala kulmi doono mustaqbalka. Haddii aan dib u yara milicsado, nidaamka qabaliga ah oo saldhig u ahaa aasaaskii Puntland ayaa dhab ahaan laga dheefay manfac weyn, lagagana soo gudbay caqabado badan oo la’aantii halligi kari lahaa ummadda. Waxaa uu u sahlay ummadda in la unko nidaam ku yimi rabitaanka madax dhaqameedyada bulshada, sidaa darteedna la odhan karaa rabitaanka bulshada, dhiirigaliyey koboc garaad bulsho, dhisme hay’ado ugub oio dawli ah, horumar nidaam dawli ah, sugitaan amni, iyo loollan siyaasadeed, haba koobnaada e, oo bad qaba. Taas oo jirta ayaa waxaa hadda soo ifbaxay iimo badan oo uu leeyahay oo uu kala mid yahay nidaamyo kale oo isaga ka horeeyey oo hore loo tijaabiyey, balse u cuntami waayey ummadihii hindisay, deetana sidaa lagu rawixiyey. Waxaa muuqata in nidaamka qabaliga ah la soo gaadhay xilligii looga gudbi lahaa nidaam dawli ah oo ka mug iyo qiro weyn si loo dhayo ceebaha uu la yimi, looguna gudbo nidaam asali ah oo u cuntama bulshada. Aan xoodaamiyo e, sida ay qabaan badi dadka darsa culuumta siyaasadda, maamulka, hoggaanka, iyo horumarka bulsho inta la xuso nidaamka keliya ee illaa hadda la isku raacay in uu ugu hufan yahay waa nidaamka dimoqraadiga ah (tala-wadaag) ee ay ka manaafacaadsadeen bulshooyinka hore u maray. Tajriib iyo kufaa-dhac badan kadib ayaa uu nidaamkaasi ku yimid, kuna noqday kan ugu dhaw ee unugyada bulsho ay raali ka wada noqon karaan, ku kalsoonaan karaan, una arki karaan nidaam ay amnigooda, danahooda, mustaqbalkooda, iyo jiritaankooda ku aaminaan. Waa nidaam isaga naf ahaantiisu leh iimo u gaar ah, khaasatan marka lagu dalqiyo ummad aan u qaangaadhin hanashada madhaxiisa, miiddiisa, iyo haykalkiisa siyaasadeed iyo maamul, balse marka loo eego dhigiis cilladihiisu aanay sidaa u xag jidhin. Sifaha toolmoon ee nidaamka dimoqraadiga ahi uu kaga duwan yahay dhigiisa ee mudan in la xusaa ayaa waxaa ka mid ah isaga oo u sahla ummadi in ay aaminto hay’adaha dawliga ah, ayna ku kalsoonaato dadka hoggaanka u haya. Hay’adaha ayaa ah kuwa xaqsoor bulsheed ku dhisan, waxqabadkoodu aanay ka dahsoonayn bulshada, una siman bulshada, halka haddii dadka la doortaa ay ka soo dhallaali waayaan xilalka lagu aaminay si sahlan loo ruqseeyo. Waxaa uu leeyahay haykal sahla in qaladaadka dhaca si sahlan lagu saxo – haddii shakhsi ama xukuumadi ay qaladaad ka gasho dalka iyo dadka, waxaa la arkaa in si sahlan loo arko qaladaadkaa, deetana la turxaan bixiyo. Waxaa uu leeyahay xisaabtan, sidaa darteed waa dhif iyo nadir in xisbi, koox ama ashkhaasi ay ku takri falaan mustaqbalka bulsho, aanan lala xisaabtamid. Ma jiro nidaam kale oo inta la xuso taa suurtageliya, waana sababaha wadamada qaatay, kuna dhabakhay qaybo ka mid ah hab dhaqan-dhaqaaleedkooda bulsho ay uga horumarsan yihiin ummadaha kale. Ma muuqato xilligan la joogo sabab aanay Puntland u hirgalin karin hay’ado dawli ah oo ku salaysan nidaam iyo maamul dimoqraadi ah, aan ka ahayn karti darri ay muujiyaan garwadeenada maamulku. Sida ugu haboon ee taa lagu hanan karaa waa maamulka talada haya ee M/weyne Cadde oo la yimaada straatiijiyad siyaasadeed oo ay ku hawlgasho labada (2) sanno ee soo socda. Aan hoos u daadago e, sida keliya ee is-bedel baahsan lagu gaadhi karaa waa iyada oo xukuumadda M/Weyne Cadde ay hadda u hawlgasho is-bedal nidaam oo rasmi ah, oo ka qoto dheer wasiir jago laga qaaday, mid kalena loo magacaabay. Marka xays da’o, oo ramas baxo, oo geella, adhiga iyo lo’oduna ay maqliyaan xareed muguc ahina ay balliyada wadhan tahay, oo ciirta iyo caanuhu ay barriga wadhan yihiin, oo gaaraa-bidhoodku wiligtaa hayo baalalaydu ay raynrayn wiiqdaa hayso, geeljirka indheergaradka ahi waxaa uu u toog hayaa kaliil daba dheer oo aan la maagi doonin. Sahan, odoros, iyo carro-rogasho ayaana uu markaa tabaabushadeed galaa. Mitaalkaas waxaa ka dhigan madaxda Puntland oo muddo ku jiray majiirasho ramas gu’, oo ay tahay in ay la yimaadaan istiraatiijiyad dhaafsiisan sannad iyo laba, ayna hadda la gudboon tahay in ay ka tabaabushaystaan kalliil daba dheer oo aan la isa seegi doonin – gooray ahaataba. Waxaa lama huraan ah in laga tashado sida ugu haboon ee lagu hirgalin karo dhawr unug oo tiir dhexaad u ah nidaam-bulsheed dawli ah, bad qaba, wadaagna ah. Dhiirigelin xiwaar bulsho Waxaan lama huraan ah boorinta xiwaar bulsho oo dhinacyo badan oo lagu gorfeeyo arrimaha sida tooska ah ama dadban u saameeya bulshada iyada oo la adeegsanayo saxaafadda qaybaheeda kala duwan sida jaraa’idka, raadiyayaasha iyo telefishinka. Matalan, gabadana ku kowsaday Widhwidh, ku barbaaray Garacad, ku baaluqay Sunajiif, iyo kuwa ku cirraystay Dhahar waxaa jira dareen ay ka siman yihiin oo ah u boholyow xiwaar-bulsheed bad qaba oo si caqliyan ah u muquurta shu’uun ummadeedka haadaanta qarka u saaran. In ay afkaarta is weydaarsadaan, isuna war hayaan waa lama huraan. Saxaafadda oo ku dhalliilan in aanay kaalinteeda ka soo dhalaalin, sababo ay ka mid yihiin garaad yari, da’a yari, khibrad yari, iyo anshax iyo shuruuc hagta oo aanay lahayn, ayaa looga fadhiyaa in ay ka hadasho arrimaha bulshada sida dhabta ah u saameeyaa, ee aanay hawsheeda ku ekayn tebinta dhacdo-maalmeedka oo qudha. Wacyigelin dadweyne Madaxda Puntland waa in ay si daacad ah ugu xog waramaan bulshada, si bulshadu ay uga kaaftoonto been abuurka iyo xaalad abuurka bah dila ummadda, iskana hor keena madaxda iyo bulshada. Mar kasta oo xaaladi soo cusboonaato in bulshada la wargeliyaa waxaa ay sahashaa is faham dhexmara bulshada iyo madaxdeeda, waxaana ay meesha ka saartaa qareeno is-qorro ah oo u kala dab qaada ummadda iyo madaxdooda. Mar kale, adeegsiga saxaafadda ayaa ay taasi ku hirgeli kartaa. Guddi Doorasho Waxaan laga fursan doonin in la unko guddi doorasho (electorate commission) oo madax bannaan, ayna hawshiisa tahay hirgelinta iyo u diyaarinta ummadda ee nidaam dawli, dimoqraadi ah lehna axsaab ku loolama hogaanka Puntland. Dhismaha guddi doorasho, qaacidada loo raacayo, xubnaha uu ka koobnaan karo, qeexidda hawlihiisa, iyo kaalintiisa in la cayimaa waa sahal, waxaana si fudud ku hirgelin kara maamulka oo la kaashada hay’ado caalami ah oo diyaar u ah in ay gacan farsamo iyo mid dhaqaaleba ka siiyaan maamulka Puntland - waase in laga arkaa maamulka, madaxda maamulkuna ay codsataa taageero noocaas ah. Axsaab siyaasadeed Rukunta ugu muhiimsan ee haykal nidaam dimoqraadi ahi uu ka soo askumaa waa axsaab siyaasadeed oo si siman ugu baratama hogaanka ummadda. Qormadan kuma soo koobi karo faa’iidooyinka axsaabta siyaasadeed u leeyihiin maamulka dawliga ah, waxaase xusid mudan in maamul aan lahayn axsaab kamisha heenka gaawaha, ningax u noqota waysada garwadeenada xaajo, gufaysa goldaloolooyinka soo ifbaxa, farta ku fiiqda iimaha maamul, feertana ka laaca dawliska dharaar ceel u joog, aanu noqon karin mid taabagal ah, ummadina ay ku diirsato. Sidaa darteed ansixinta axsaab siyaasadeed, dajinta qawaaniin lagu hago, iyo ogolaansho loollan siyaasadeed waa talo mudan in sida ugu dhakhsaha badan loo xeeriyo. Dariiqada loo maro, hirgelinta iyo la tacaamulka hirarka axsaabta siyaasadeed la yimaadaan waxaa maamulka gacan ka siin kara hay’ado caalami ah oo u bisil, diyaarna u ah in ay gacan farsamo iyo dhaqaale ka siiyaan maamulka Puntland – waase in laga arkaa maamulka, madaxda maamulkuna ay codsataa taageero noocaas ah. Bulshada rayadka ah Rukun kale oo muhiim ah, inta badanna aan la fahmin qaayiha uu u leeyahay ummad, xitaa haddii lagu daro ashkhaasta ku hadasha magaca hay’adaha bulshada rayadka ah, ayaa ah kaalinta ay ku leeyihiin wacyigleinta, tababarka iyo u diyaarinta bulsho ee xiwaar iyo xadaarad madani ah. Dhiirgileinta hay’adaha aan dawliga ahayn, iyo ururada rayadka ahi dheef ay la yimaadaan ma ahe, dhibkood ma badna. Gunaanad Sidii aan hore u xusay, waa ay ii sahlan tahay, ilayn bukaan ninba mar u taliyaye, in aan taxo sida ay ila tahay in xal lagu gaaro, hase ahaatee kaalintayda waxaan ku koobayaa tusaalayn iyo iclaamin baahida muuqata, aniga oo ku kalsoon in madaxda maamulku ay ka wabaxsan tahay sida ugu haboon ee hayaanka nidaam lagu hanan karo. Waxaan ku boorin lahaa M/Weyne Cadde in uu si hufan uga baaraan dego arrinka, uu la yeesho wadatashi unugyada bulshada, madax dhaqameedyada, golayaasha dawladda, indheergaradka, iyo qubanaha, lafagur dheer kadibna uu faraska heensaysto, ubada biyaysto, seefta afaysto, deetana bogga iyo baalka isla haleelo. Waxaa la arkaa in wadiiqada loo maro hirgelinta nidaam dawli ah oo wadaag ahi ay gocondho miidhan tahay, ayna u muuqato in aan loo hollan karin, balse sida inta badan dhacda ay iyadu ka toosan tahay wadiiqooyinka kale ee marar badan u muuqda in ay ka sahlan yihiin. Nin aan is hubin iyo fule ayuun bay la dheer tahay, macaluul iyo oonna cidla la habsada inta aan laysba gaadhin – kase dhaw. Waxaan ku dhiirigelin lahaa M/Weyne Cadde, ku Xigeenkiisa Afqudhac, & Guddoomiyaha Golaha Wakiilada Dalmar in ay si wada jir ah isaga kaashadaan hirgelinta maamul u cuntama ummadda, bilaabaan wacyigelin bulsho, dhiirigeliyaan xiwaar bulsho iyo mid siyaasadeed, muujiyaan dulqaad siyaasadeed, la yimaadaan kalsooni iyo bisayl siyaasadeed, una hawlgalaan hirgelinta nidaam wadaag ah oo bad qaba. Maxamed A Cali E-Mail:gorayocawl@yahoo.com source: wardheernews.com
  14. In spite of Hargeisa possessing somewhat functioning system, the likelihood a sporadic dispute pops up here and there is high, however, as they done it before I believe this will also be contained before it spreads out.
  15. In spite of Hargeisa possessing somewhat functioning system, the likelihood a sporadic dispute pops up here and there is high, however, as they done it before I believe this will be contained before it spreads out.
  16. Shedding Crocodile Tears for Unity: A response Mohsin Mahad December 23, 2005 In an article carrying the above title, Ibrahim Hassan Gagale has dwelt at length on the injustices inflicted on the North by the South since the two parts united in July 1960 and gave these grievances as the justification for the secession of the North from Somalia. Ibrahim then adduced all sorts of convoluted reasoning to assert the legitimacy of Somaliland’s independence without providing the legal basis for it, whether national or international. Normally, one would ignore Ibrahim’s antics. But since this is shared by almost all secessionists, it is worthwhile to respond to him and debunk the fallacies which the secessionists have naively come to believe as matter of truth. My response to Ibrahim is aimed at two levels. First, it is to take him to task from the outset for his presumptuous claim to be speaking in the name of the people who inhabit in the North West region of Somalia which he calls the North and at other times Somaliland. Speaking in our name as he does is to take liberties with the rights of the majority of the people in that area who do not share his complaints nor subscribe to their treacherous secession. Secondly, I will also argue that that the targets of his complaints are misplaced and that his legitimization of the secession rests on make-believes and wishful thinking. The first injustice mentioned by Ibrahim is what he calls the raw deal meted out to the North in the allocation of the top union posts. Ibrahim has a point here. The North, as it was known at independence, and I speak as one of them, did not get a fair share of the key union posts even when you grant that the South was always entitled to a lion’s share given its superior geographical and population size. But if the leaders of the South at the time did not give the post of prime minister to the North, having taken the presidency, the blame lies not with them. Ibrahim should instead blame his own leader at the time, Mr. Egal, from his own clan, who, as Prime Minister of the government of the newly born independent country of Somaliland, had led his entire government and all parliamentarians to Mogadishu and who on our behalf accepted the union happily and unconditionally. No one can say they were under duress. At the time, it was the union that mattered and everything else was of no importance. After 45 years since the act of unification, we now face some born-malcontents, who are now raking the past and complain about something that almost every one in Hargeisa has at the time applauded with open arms and heart. If the South has been somewhat mean initially after the act of union, this was in no time rectified in other ways. As those of us old enough will remember, the Northerners, irrespective of their clans, had come to dominate the civil service from the time when Mr. Abdurazak Haji Hussein was Prime Minister during the presidency of Aden Abdulle Osman. The high-water mark in the North’s ascendancy was when the late president Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke named Mr. Egal as his Prime Minister in 1967. And finally, the last prime Minister we had under Siyad Barre was again from the North. In this regard, Northerners had held the post of prime minister twice between 1960 and 1991, both times from the ***** clan. Those of us from non-secessionist regions in the North had only to contend at the best of times with one or two low ranking ministries and even for that we were always most appreciative.. The union and Somaliweyn were all that mattered to us, something now derided by the secessionists in Hargeisa. If any clans can complain of unfair treatment in Somalia, these are the Digil and Mirifle, the Gabooye and others who remain the have-nots up to the present time. Ibrahim’s other complaint is the atrocities against the Isaaqs by the regime of Siyad Barre. Needless to say, almost all Somalis of goodwill have abhorred these crimes as they equally decried similar crimes committed against other clans who also suffered under the dictatorial regime. Where Ibrahim and like-minded secessionists are wrong is to shift the blame from the dictator and his regime and conveniently condemn the people of the South as collectively guilty because the dictator came from South (to be precise, he comes from the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia). If that logic were to be followed, then other clans in the North would hold the Isaaqs guilty as a whole for the crimes committed by the SNM in Borama and other non-***** areas in the North. And within Southern Somalia, the Hawiyes would be held responsible for the massacres and ethnic-cleansing committed by their fellow warlords in Mogadishu against other clans. It is one thing to accuse those who are quilty of crimes against humanity but it is madness to seek retribution from innocent civilians who themselves had suffered under the former dictator or under the current warlords who rendered Somalia lawless, destitute, and impoverished. On the basis of his grievances, Ibrahim goes on to make tendentious assertions as support for the legitimacy of the secession of the North. I will list assertions and then respond to them Assertion 1 (Southerners) abuse the word "sacred unity†The unity between Somaliland, Djibouti and Somalia is never sacred, it is of choice, but the national and territorial unity within each country of these three is sacred and inviolable. This assertion is correct in so far as it applies to Somalia and Djibouti but not Somaliland. When Djibouti gained its independence in 1977, it chose not to unite with Somalia. That choice was accepted by Somalia and today Djibouti is a separate, independent Somali-speaking territory that is recognized by the international community, including Somalia. The case of former British Somaliland is different. It chose, unlike Djibouti, to give up its independence from first July 1960 when its government and people freely chose to unite with Italian Somaliland and formed present-day Somalia. This union has been recognized by the international community. Somaliland has hence ceased to exist. A non-existing country therefore cannot have national and territorial unity as Ibrahim would have us believe. It is Somalia that has national and territorial unity which includes the North West region. Somalia’s unity and territorial integrity is annually reaffirmed by the Security Council, the African Union, the League of Arab States, IGAD and the Organization of Islamic Conference. The colonial borders of that former British colony are now a matter of history. Only the secessionists delude themselves in believing that they can put the clock back and undo what cannot be undon. Assertion 2 Somaliland has legitimacy for independence because it is one of the countries that achieved indpendence in 1960. The fact that those other counteries achieved their independence in 1960 does not confer any legitimacy for the restitution of former British Somaliland which ceased to exist as a separate country from first July 1960. It now exists as an integral part of Somalia. Assertion 3 Somaliland has legitimacy for international recognition because it has recognized borders with Somalia and Djibouti. The border passing between Somaliland and Somalia is not different from that between Kenya and Tanzania.... Ibrahim must live in a world of self-delusion when he asserts that Somaliland has recognized boundaries with Somalia and Djibouti. Recognized by who, apart from the secessionists? For the rest of the World, Djibouti has borders only with Somalia. A non-existent country recognized by no government cannot have recognized boundaries with any country no matter how often the secessionists knock their heads against the wall. Assertion 4 The independence and international recognition of each of the 54 African counteries are based on the colonial borders and Somaliland is not different from them. Somaliland would have been a separate independent country with its former colonial borders, like Djibouti and other African countries maintaining, if it did not join Somalia in 1960. Since it did join Somalia, it has thereby ceased to exist to have boundaries. It cannot be compared to the 54 African countries that retained their independence and are members of the UN. It is not only Somali unionists but the whole international community which supports Somalia’s unity and territorial integrity. One cannot revive the dead and Somaliland is dead as a separate country. Assertion 5 Speaking the same language and sharing the same religion and colour are not the absolute to determine unity. The 18 Arab countries would be united today if language, religion and colour determine unity.†I agree with Ibrahim. But the geographical and historical situation of Somalia cannot be compared to the Arab world whose member countries spread over two continents and have never shared one common homeland before the European colonization of Arab countries. The Somali homeland in the Horn of Africa on the other hand should be compared to one single Arab country. No Arab or country was divided like the Somali homeland. A better comparison than the Arab world would be the division of Germany after the Second World War into West and East Germany. Thanks to the collapse of the USSR, Germany was able to reunite again. It was the same thing with the Somalis. As the colonial powers of Britain and Italy gave up their colonies, the Somalis, like the Germans, came together once again as one country as they were before colonization. Unlike anywhere else, the Europeans came to a territory inhabited by one homogenous people and then divided them into five parts, arbitrarily forcing clans into their separate ambits. Clans found themselves on both sides of artificial boundaries. Those clans in the British area had no special bonds among them that distinquished them from other clans in the other colonized Somali territories. Indeed some of the clans in former British Somaliland had far stronger blood ties with clans across the border in Southern Somalia and the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia than they had, or now have, with their neighbouring clans in the North. Even at the height of the British colonial rule in British Somaliland, the regions of Sool, Eastern Sanaag and Cayn had rarely been part of the British colony except on paper. Having fought the British for 21 years under the leadership of Sayed Mohamed Abdalla Hassan, the British had one solitary district commissioner in the area whose presence was rarely felt by the inhabitants. Otherwise, they had wisely left these areas to their own devices with the Garaads responsible for much of their affairs.This strong nationalist background puts these people poles apart from those in Hargeisa who were imbibed in the virtues of loyalties and service to British colonialism and who nostalgically look back to those times as their golden era. It is ironic to see how these secessionists have copied the gun-boat habits of their former colonial masters and think they can bring the Darwish homeland to its knees by invading their territory. Little do they know that those who resisted the mighty British forces for so long will have even less to fear from their later-day copy cats. With 45 years since independence, there have even less attachment today to the North in Sool, Eastern Sanaag and Cayn regions. Almost 90 percent of the people in these regions were born after independence and have no special link with the North. Their hearts and minds are not towards Hargeisa but Mogadishu, their capital. And for now, as we await the revival of Somalia, they are part of the Puntland Regional administration. Almost all economic links are with Puntland as Boosaaso has replaced Berbera. The same thing can be said, perhaps to a lesser degree, abuot other non-secessionist clans in the North West region. The Issa clans tend to gravitate towards Djibouti in the absence of a Somali government. The Awdalites, aware of the massacres committed by the SNM, are for the time being subjugated but they have not surrendered, and above all they have not been converted to the secession. With Riyale as the president, more by fate than choice, a handful of Awdalites are cashing on it while the going is good. Come an effective Somali government, and the secessionists will find all appearances of public support for their secession drain away overnight everywhere.. If future Somali governments and parliament were to agree to a referendum for letting the secessionists breakaway (a highly improbable proposition), a plebiscite in which all Somalis of voting age will participate, Ibrahim should be in no doubt that it is not the whole North that would be given this choice to break from Somalia but only those areas that want to secede. It will not include other regions in the North which want to be part of Somalia like Sool, Eastern Sanaag and Cayn. You cannot also count on the Issa and Awdalite regions. It could well be that even among the secessionist heartland, some clans, who are presently lukewarm about the secession, may choose to throw their lot with Somalia. While the secessionists are conspiring to destroy our unity, it is ironic to remember that the support for our unity predates our independence and goes back to the time when the UN was establishied. It was after all the former British Foregn Secretary, Ernest Bevin, who proposed to the UN in 1945, after the end of the second World War, that all the four Somali territories under their administration (namely Italian Somaliland, British Somaliland, the ******, and NFD) be united. Unfortunately, it was the USA and the USSR who opposed the idea fearing that Great Britain was motivated more by imperial aggrandisment rather than an honest desire for Somali unity. It is sad that when people like Ernest Bevin or the present-day international community are tirelessly supporting Somali unity, you have Ibrahim and his co-secessionists who are bent on destroying it. I believe they will fail, and from the ashes we all created, a new nationalism will be born - hopefully sooner rather than later. It is never too late for Ibrahim and his like-minded secessionists to repent and redeem themselves. Mohsin Mahad E-Mail:mohsinmahad@yahoo.co.uk source: wardheernews.com
  17. Ismail Buubaa: Somaliland remains part and parcel of Somalia Awdalnews Network Monitoring Service= Jeddah, 21 Dec. 2005--A senior official of Somalia's transitional federal government, TFG, today affirmed that Somaliland was part and parcel of Somalia and that the disintegration of Somalia into smaller entities would pose a great threat to the peace and security of the whole region. In an extensive interview with the London-based Saudi pan-Arab newspaper Al Hayat published on 21st December 2005, Ismail Mohammed Hurre, TFG deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, said that Somaliland's separatist groups couldn't so far obtain regional, international or even local support for their secessionist project. He noted that all resolutions by the Security Council and regional organizations such as the African Unity, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conference, all underlined the unity and sovereignty of Somalia. Answering a question on whether the TFG constitution supports such view, Buubaa said: "The constitution on which the TFG is based endorses Somaliland as part and parcel of the Somali Republic but within a framework of a federal political environment where the Somaliland people can form their own political and judicial systems and run their own affairs. This, however, has to be done under the umbrella of national unity where legitimate citizenship is respected and free choice is given to every group such as Somaliland and Puntland to have their own self-rule." He said that Somaliland and Puntland as well as other political entities in other regions would have their own local governments, local parliaments and parliament speakers, noting that such arrangement was not in contradiction with the existence of a unity government but on the contrary would give more strength to the constitutional federal government. "The federal government will consist of several local states such as Somaliland, Puntland and other four states where each one of them will have a parliamentary system and an elected president but within the framework of the national federation," Buubaa said. He cited the fact that Abdullah Yusuf Ahmed, TFG President, was a former president of one of these states was a positive development as many of the American presidents used to be former governors of their home states. Answering a question on why Mogadishu was still lawless while peace and stability prevailed in Somaliland, Buubaa said: "First let me commend the peace and stability in Somaliland. It is a source of pride for us. I am also a native of Hargeisa and have personally contributed to the restoration of the peace and stability in Somaliland and will make every effort to consolidate such peace and stability. "The TFG also has also declared that it will not do anything that disturbs the security and stability of Somaliland, but my personal view is that it is the interest of the Somali people as a whole to stay united as the disintegration of the country will not be to anybody's benefit, neither the South nor the North, and it will pose a great threat to the region's security." On a question that many people see Abdillahi Yusuf's government as a prototype of Siyad Barre's regime, Buubaa said that the TFG was working to change the Somali political landscape in many ways, particularly in its ties with neighboring countries in the Horn of Africa as Somalia's peace and security was linked to that of the region. "The TFG is different from Siyad Barre's regime because Siyad Barre's government contributed to the tension of relations with Ethiopia and Kenya. Even the way it handled the independence of Djibouti was not to the satisfaction of the Somali people," Buubaa said. He cited that the fact that the TFG refused to move to Mogadishu showed its seriousness and desire to end the state of chaos and to disarm the militias. On the UN's rejection to lift the arms ban on Somalia, Buubaa said that the TFG started to create a security force and "it will be very strange for the international community to demands us to establish peace and stability and deny us to have the mechanism that will help us to do so." "The arms ban is contrary to the existence of a Somali government as the government should import arms in order to establish peace and stability. How can the world will demand us to secure the unstable regions while our forces are without arms," he concluded.
  18. Pr. Adde was sick won't be excuse I think, let us be honest to ourselves, since when Cadde has been sick?, doesn't Cadde have the authority to hand pick who will or will not be in his cabinet?, doesn't the responsibility of the region rest on his shoulders?, do you guys aware of the number of leaders in the world who are more severe than Pr. Cadde's situation yet their governments run superbly?, it is about time we should evaluate the person on his/her merit rather than reer hebelnimadiisa. Remember power comes with responsibility, and if it neglected on God's sake we should on consensus bases point out where the criticism is due to. All in all, I think Pr. Cadde has still enough time left in his tenure to change the living conditions of his people for the better, in the rest I am in line with xiinfiniin's motto of "let us wait and see scheme"
  19. THE DIASPORA MUST THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX Nur Bahal December 22, 2005 At this critical juncture in the history of Somalia, the potential for a lasting peace is subservient to a new breed of tribal politics driven by opportunistic warlords. The momentum of this ravenous wildfire has lately been gaining strength in the Diaspora too. The current TFG, despite its lack of accomplishment, is singular in making limited but serious stabs at establishing a functioning government, despite her conspicuous deficiencies,. She is making headways in a variety of international stages; it is getting the ears of nations and international organizations that can have an effect on the stability of Somalia but still lacks the overwhelming support of Somalis especially the Diaspora. Tribalism is the major factor impeding the Diaspora’s unanimous endorsement of the TFG. The idiosyncrasies of individuals in the TFG with a track record of excessive abuse of trust and warlord ism, newcomers who are currently inventing themselves to garner wealth and power is another factor that does not appeal to a sizable number of people. Nevertheless, the flickers of hope to reawaken the long-lost stability of Somalia spawned a sense of emergency in the warlords who ruthlessly preside over Mogadishu and the Southern Regions. A stable government would mean they will no longer take pleasure in an uninhibited abuse of human rights and unrestrained exploitation and destruction of national resources. It means an end to the evil and voracious appetite of warlords devoid of conscience and morals. Afraid that their gluttonous subjugation of peaceful communities is coming to an end, they mounted a campaign to appeal to the vegetative conscience of the Diaspora. Blind allegiance to tribe caused much pain and suffering to the Somalis and the current events are not any different. We have lately seen a storm of political maneuvers from these warlords; envoys on extended overseas visits, a barrage of communiques to sway the thinking of the international community; and a volley of communication with the Diaspora in an effort to appeal to their subconscious tribal instincts. For the last 15 years, these warlords practiced indiscriminate killing; they looted, maimed, burned, raped and subjected the people of the Southern Regions, to unparalleled acts of inhumanity and enslavement. Apart from some lone voices, the silence of the Diaspora on this issue seems to be an indication of endorsement of these morally repugnant acts which are usually wrapped in a shroud of tribalism and religious charlatanism. The Diaspora has an obligation to understand the full impact of these warlords’ devastation. Notwithstanding the perpetuation of social unrest and the intrinsic evils it connotes, they have also irreversibly obliterated the environment. It is equally a bolt from the blue to see that the TFG is in collusion with the warlords to continue the abnegation of the humanity of the people in the fertile triangle of Somalia who have borne the brunt of the civil chaos. The TFG willingly agreed to proceed with the Joint Needs Assessment, in the absence and without the consultation of the millions who suffer daily under the merciless hand of inhuman “Alien Warlordsâ€. I call them alien because of the treatment they deliver to their fellow Somalis; I call them alien because they are the cause of armed enmasse migration to the Southern Regions with the sole intention to occupy land by force, subjugate communities by force and gain economically as a result of that forced occupation. Could it be that the TFG is in the process of solidifying the eternalness of the warlords’ foot on the backs of those they have trampled on for a decade and a half? The TFG is not in a position to guarantee the required social justice and does not have mechanisms to ensure that social inequalities do not engender an endless cycle of civil war. She, then, has no choice but to refrain from acknowledging and solidifying their stranglehold on the lives millions of our fellow Somalis. In a speech in 4/6/2004 to WIDER Development Conference, Helsinki, the President of the Crisis Management Institute, Martti Ahtisaari alluded to the dangers of institutional weakness, social disparity and scarcity in national conflicts: “The causes of conflict are often manifold, and attempts to point to one determining factor are generally not successful. We have, however, in recent years seen the emergence of certain trends suggesting strong linkages between scarcity, inequality and institutional weaknesses in societies and their abilities to ensure peace and securityâ€. Environmental issues prevalent in the central regions of Somalia, tribalism and the peaceful nature of the people in the Fertile Triangle conspired against them. The constant cycle of flood and famine in Somalia had severe impact on the human and animal life. Famine recurrance in the central regions and the subsequent desertifcation had the biggest impact. Even before the civil war, migration from these regions into the cities, and especially Mogadishu, has been a notable feature of social movement. After the civil war, an opportunity arose whereby large numbers of armed militias forcefully occupied both private and public land. Dr. Adekeye Adebajo summarized it beautifully in one of his research papers Economic Agendas in Civil Wars: A Conference Summary, April 1999 when he said that: “It is crucial for policymakers to understand the economic agendas of belligerents before they can build structures of incentives and disincentives to achieve peace. A small group of well-organized political elites often have powerful interests in sustaining civil conflicts due to the enormous profits which accrue to such groups through their control of territory and the means of violenceâ€. The parallels drawn by Dr. Adebajo between his search and the actual situation in South Somalia are amazing. Warlords who have acquired large cache of weapons and supported by tribal militia forcefully settled in the Southern Regions. Of course, they are entitled to peaceful settlement anywhere in Somaia, but because that has not happened, it is only precautionary on my part to mention it in case someone is wondering. The need to sustain control of this part of Somalia entails the establishment of economic infrastructure. The labour force required for such a build up comes from the communities whose farms and property were taken by force. It is natural and real that these communities will always keep their eyes on securing their humanity and protecting their lives and property. And as a result, the outcome; perpetuation of violence for generations to come; which is part of the consequences of our own deafness to hear the voices of suffering, will continue to haunt us for along time. The Diaspora needs to realize that there are specific features of national destruction besides the dehumanization. Man-made environmental destruction and deforestation is occuring at an alarming and an unprecedented scale as entire forests are being burned down for charcoal exportation. The resulting disaster is the desertification of the Southern Regions which are about the only part of Somalia that has some hope of being rescued environmentally. There is no question that this has an immense potential for a continued cycle of violence. Social upheavals have to be nipped in the butt before they get out of hand. The Diaspora should exercise caution and be aware of getting hijacked by appeals to defunct sentiments. Let us look at concrete plans by both parties to deal with the suffering of the most vulnerable segments of our people. Let us hold them accountable for each party’s role in this suffering and until and unless we do that we continue to be part of the problem. The Diaspora is outside the box, it is time it thinks that way! Nur Bahal nurb@rom.on.ca Toronto, Canada
  20. Let it be remembered whenever you see adorable achievement, someone or group of people are working hard 24/7 behind the scenes therefore let us pray for those who strife always for the common good of their communities. Congrats on the new graduates from EAU, my best regards goes also to the grads of Amoud University, Mogadishu University and the likes
  21. Olol, If Somali unity bothers you, that is your choice but for God's sake don't be hindrance to the peace process and reconciliation which are in progression
  22. First,your implication of this has detrimental effect as I think, secondly, are we really free for persuing our lifes as we please?
  23. I guess I have the right to remain silent because anything I say, will be used against me in due course
  24. Attencion! Nomads, before I declare my position on this issue, reasonable question would be, what criteria do we value the person, his/her practice of Islam and our culture or the beauty, wealthy or his/her origin?