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Oodweyne

Damul-Jadiid: The Much Ignored Culprit In The Somali Crisis.

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Oodweyne   

"....Looking back at the last one year and few months, what’s striking is how wrong all observers were about future political developments in Somalia...."

 

The current Somali government has failed politically and it is a self-inflicted crisis. This might not be revelatory rather a reinforcing assertion. The tragedy is though the most organised forces in today’s Somalia are both covert sects and secret cliques than openly structured political groups with transparent political agendas. It is not encouraging at all to learn that Damul-Jadiid in Mogadishu and Amniyat within Al-Shabaab have preponderant positions at both ends.

 

The Real Scoundrel Around.

 

The Somali government, so it seemed when it was established, is at an auspicious turning point in the country’s history of state and peace building. Thanks to the success of the African Force, AMISOM and armies from neighbouring countries in the past two years and grave mistakes of the main insurgent group al-Shaabab, the Somali government led by Hassan Sheikh Mohamud had an unprecedented opportunity to end the crisis within a generation.

 

It is fair to mention here that Africa in general and the armies of neighbouring countries deserve some respect. Critics may decry neighbouring countries, Kenya and Ethiopia, for having a hidden agenda, or fret that their intervention might have turned this crisis rugged and impoverished country into an incubator of jihadist terror. Some cite other ills like supporting clan forces, such as in Jubaland, the Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a or the Rahanween. Yet Ethiopia and Kenya’s will to fight Al-Shabaab and stabilise Somalia is clearly formidable. Their commitment and endurance for this end goal is an achievement in itself. That being said, such a determination prepared the ground for the smooth take off of the new Somali government and the widespread optimism associated with its inauguration.

 

No wonder, Somalis inside and the Diaspora were hopeful the establishment of the new government in September 2012 would be a game changer and the country would change course. There was a great deal of optimism that the new leaders will deliver. The international community had hoped that Somalia would soon stabilize. However, the new Somali government had dismally failed to live up to the expectations. Its failure is self inflicted mainly political and a problem of governance than the lack of internal and external support or obstacles created by Al-Shabaab.

 

This is not to say that the insurgent group has been fully defeated. The recent attack on a UN compound, among others, shows that the security situation is still precarious and the terrorist militia al-Shabaab is still active. Nonetheless, the main obstacle to the speedy stabilization of Somalia remains to be the misguided and erroneous political strategy of the group that controls the current Somali government in Mogadishu. This might seem a paradox, but it is real.

 

I might argue that the new Somali government’s political formula, a set of practices for domination (and not negotiation) based on narrow and partisan interests that began with the internal takeover of the government by a group known as Damul Jadiid or ‘New Blood’ is the real villain in the continued political crisis in Somalia and, needs to be recognised as such and dealt with decisively if Somalia is to achieve peace and security. Evidently, the first contention of this piece is that the current Somali government has failed politically and it is in a self-inflicted crisis.

 

This might not be revelatory but rather a reinforcing assertion. Nonetheless, the policies pursued so far are revelatory of the new governments’ modus operandi, of the tragic weakness of its leadership, and of the extent to which the Somali people, neighbouring countries and international stakeholders were misled by the inner circle of the group residing in Mogadishu.

 

The new leaders were not ‘new’ as we would have liked to believe. Their political strategy was defunct and redundant it is almost impossible to differentiate them from previous crisis-laden projects. For both narrow clan and ideological reasons they pursued a failed strategy of state and nation building. Theirs has become a failed project. The new Somali government has been unable or unwilling or both to reach an understanding with the disparate clan and regional forces in the country.

 

This is not to underestimate the challenges faced by any government in Somalia to bring together hostile and disparate entities. It’s a hard world out there and local differences as well as policy contradictions are not easily avoided; sometimes influence has to be bought, negotiated or even coerced. And the process can well be messy and protracted. This being generally true, looking from all angles, Damul-Jadiid’s political formula remains to be the main culprit. It made futile and I must say provocative attempts to establish preponderance over different regions of Somalia.

 

This paper is not concerned with revealing Damul-Jadiid’s past. The idea is simple: to underscore the point on how the mind and physical fitness of the Somali government helped not only to perpetuate old problems but create new ones. Its policies helped to antagonize most of the political and armed forces in the country. A case in point is its antagonistic posture towards the politico-military actors in Galmuudug, Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a Jubaland and the Puntland Administration.

 

In many cases, it tried to act like a strong government, if not an empire, wanting to cynically exploit clan differences and dictate terms rather than realistically seeking negotiation and compromise. The ‘new’ government is far from new, credible, legitimate or representative. Its composition, character and approach only led to the loss of optimism and the progressive polarization of political forces. All its policies show how much little it has learned from distant and recent history of the country. No wonder the government exists only in Mogadishu and has no influence in other areas of the country.

 

The Somali government is weak and unable to mobilise support among the major clans and regional administrations. It lacks both the political framework and military capacity to stabilise and transform Somalia’s two decades long civil war. Hence, it is unable to protect its population and indeed unable to protect itself. Its main asset is international dimension and support. It is crucial that the central government should have tried to extend its authority, mainly to the regions, through political means only by creating consensus and behaving less belligerent.

 

The ‘new’ Somali government seems to have forgotten the hard lesson that stabilizing Somalia and establishing a strong government requires consensus building among the major clan and regional-political forces in the country. The tragedy is that there is no consensus and agreement among the three major clan affiliations on how to structure the Somali state and govern the country. The ‘new’ government aggravated the mutual suspicions making a workable political framework as distant as it can be.

 

The second contention of this paper is that almost all the promises provided and policies designed at the outset didn’t pass the test of time. The contents of the so-called road map were misdirected, ignored or gutted by the top leadership itself. The problem has reached a point where the government will not be able to change course and repair the damage. Whether by deafault or design the small clique at the helm of the government have mismanaged the whole process and frustrated the opportunity opened a year ago.

 

The origin and ideological inclination of the so-called Damul-Jadiid is beside the point. The group has never entertained new ideas and strategies as the name implies; quite to the contrary it exhibited obsolete and less transparent agendas. The facts so far show that the group belongs to another era of conducting business and politics.

 

The tragedy is though the most organised forces in today’s Somalia are both covert sects and secret cliques than openly structured political groups with transparent political agendas. It is not encouraging at all to learn that Damul-Jadiid in Mogadishu and Amniyat within Al-Shabaab have preponderant positions at both ends. Paradoxically both groups have little support in both camps. Probably this is the third contention that needs to be taken into account while measuring progress or the lack of it in Somalia. Given the situation in the ground and the political agendas of the Somali government it is fair to suggest that Somalia could again lapse into anarchy and instability rolling back the achievements achieved in recent years.

 

However, two things stand out clearly as major accomplishments in the last year or so. The successful targeting of al-Qaeda linked leadership within al-shaabab by US drones and Navy Seals and most importantly the dramatic decline in piracy on the coast of Somalia. It is not a surprise then that whatever progress is made so far has to do with the determination of external players.

 

Continues on the following page.....

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Oodweyne   

Part II,..

 

Another contention could be the lack of synergy between international support and internal political progress. The two projects are not helping each-other; rather they are increasingly becoming contradictory and antagonistic to each-other. The military front has been quite successful while the political front remains stuck or heading backwards.

 

In fact, the genuine and effective support by external players has been assaulted by the Somali government. While the much needed external support in the military front has advanced the political front is lagging behind threatening to derail the sacrifices made so far.

 

The war against al-Shaabab has greatly advanced and piracy has significantly declined. However, the political project of the ‘new’ Somali government has failed to do a catch up; indeed it threatens the collective effort to stabilize Somalia.

 

Looking back at the last year and few months, what’s striking is how wrong all observers were about future political developments in Somalia. This is largely true of Western diplomats. For many years all their errors seemed to have been on the side of over optimism, especially on the peace processes and formation of governments in Mogadishu.

 

Source Currentanalyst

 

***********************

 

Source:- http://qarannews.com/?p=32725

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Oodweyne   

Hello Folks,

 

This Damul-Jadiid clique really remind me of the ever secretive and shadowy clique at the top of the deposed Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, particularly the way the organs of structure of the state is essentially superfluous to their day-today working.

 

For example, Mr. Morsi may have been the "elected president" of the nation, but all of the important decision of the state was essentially affair conducted by "shadowy clique" at the top of the Muslim Brotherhood's hierarchy, and therefore, the parliament, the cabinet, and all of the other apparatus of the state, were basically there as a "façade" or "fig-leaf" (if you like) to which to "cover" that pre-ordained decisions.

 

And, it seems this "Damul-Jadiid's clique" seems to have "borrowed" a leaf from the play-book of the shadowy's characters (all in prison now!) who used to call the shot in the Egyptians Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Hence, that means, the federal parliament of Somalia, the budding (or absent) constitutional court, and "soon-to-be-fired-PM Saacid" and his "divided-cabinet" are basically there, to a man and to a woman, to give a fig-leaf of "institutional legitimacy" to a "prior decision", in whose, their debate and formulation, they were strangers to it, indeed.

 

Consequently, the pity of it, is that, this "scam of a government" has lasted this long before others had cottoned on to their "real agenda", or the penny had dropped on them. And, of course, we must collectively thank Ms Yussur Abraar in here, since she seems to have played a blinder of a game in exposing the "internal wiring" of this ever-shadowy-and-up-to-no-good-clique, who are in power in Mogadishu.

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YoniZ   

Oday, after reading this painfully long verbose. I came out in dark about the basics of the topic:

 

Who are Damul-Jadiid?

What do they stand for?

Who founded them?

Who are the leaders?

Where do they operate?

What kind of organisational structure do they have?

How do they spread their message?

 

......and many more questions that need to be answered before going to their sinister shadowy political positions.

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Baashi   

Pretty decent article! I think the author was spot on in pointing out the golden opportunity Hassan's admin had to advance the ball handed to him by the previous transitional entity and the goodwill folks (both domestic and foreign) have shown in the wake of his presidency. What an opportunity that was! To say he fumbled is understatement. The fumble was spectacular and early in his presidency. The author enumarated his shortcomings in the post. Can he recover and change gears in midflight? -- that remains to be seen.

 

I wouldn't equate Egypt's MB with DJ either. MB in Egypt is well known and well respected institution. You could disagree with them as much as you like but that they are principled party with sound ideological footing is not in dispute.

 

I am not sure I know what DJ really is and what it stands for. I thought and still think that the term is a term coined in the fadhi-ku-dirrir marfishes and has no ideological or political substance to its name.

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You are lamenting Dam-ul-Jadiid as this shadow government in lieu of the real government. Brother, that is how power works. In Somalia's case, it is THE ONLY WAY it can work. You may have drawn a distinction between power and governance, but that would be a misguided distinction. Despite what you may believe, every ruler in the world has a clique around him. The real agenda in often not what the public policy suggests but what deepens the group's hold on power--what furthers their individual and collective goals. Power operates in secrecy and, often, the key decision makers are not the policy makers nor are the key decisions ones of policy.

 

Dam-ul-Jadiid are a commendable cast of characters. It is impressive how they have abandoned clan allegiances to form this apparatus that is infiltrating each sector of political life. They are dragging Somalia into the 21st century politics. Welcome, they say, to political favoritism and cronyism based not on clan but on allegiance to 'group political vision.' We should not berate them, we should emulate them.

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Oodweyne   

Yoniz,

 

Damul-Jadiid (DJ) like most Islamist-inclined political grouping, are essentially the latest manifestation of an attempt in "using” a political Islam as a "vehicle" to win power and retain power in Southern Somalia. And, it’s same silly game that has been going on ever since Sheikh Dahir Aweys tried his "Al-Itaxaad" game in early 1990s, as well as his last attempt in using the then ICU to win power and retain power in 2005, particularly on the flimsiest leg of using a pious pronouncement for ulterior agenda.

 

Of course, it goes without saying that then ICU have failed spectacularly when they have refused to settle with the then Western-supported Col. Yey’s TFG and therefore decided to "wage" war. Similarly, it's same silly game Sheikh Hotel was desperately trying to cobbled together so that he can retained power second term around in post-TFG, with his "Al-Shariif" groupings.

 

Hence, although the "characters" who used political Islam as a "vehicle" to get to power seemed to change (From Al-Itaxaad, to Al-Islax, to Al-Shariif, to this new lot "Damul-Jadiid), but what never change is the underlying "play-book" they all seemed to hark back on.

 

And, that book is basically that of creating a "Pan-Somali Islamist party", that looks like as if it has wider support across the Somali people, but, in truth, basically, it was "designed" to deliver the political agenda of those who "concocted it". And, those who concocted it, invariably, and always without fail, hail from Mogadishu and her environment.

 

And, in that sense, one can say that Mr Carl von Clausewitz memorable "political dictum" that was: "War is the continuation of politics by other means" can apply in here. And therefore in that sense one can say, in the hands of our brethren of Southern Somalia (namely the old USC groupings) the attempt to make a "political Islam" a platform in Somalia's future, is but "Continuation of an old agenda by other means". And that "old agenda" is of course, our old friend of one trying in "ruling" Somalia, in one's own clannish interests.

 

So, as you can see, this "Damul-Jadiid clique" are as linear in their thinking as they are of the same low-intelligence in calibre of those bygone political Islamists groupings, who thought that with sufficient pious intoning of several Koranic verses as well as fashionably well-groomed-beard, they in turn could win the jack-pot of power in Somalia.

 

And, the only difference is that, this time around (unlike the previous attempts) the west in general and the Americans in particular, have decided out of their own interests to "support" these clique in power in Mogadishu. But, still, they are basically, the "old devil" we knew his silly game of trying to win power with "borrowed garb of convenient" call "Political Islam".

 

And, in that context, they are no more intellectually challenging to understand, than if you get your old and now defunct cadres of the ICUs and dressed them up with decent European's suits and teach them a "few NGO's verbal guff" about how to talk a good game of nation-building and what have you, to the ever receptive ears of the west.

 

Hence, if you were to do that, you get as close as possible in understanding this "Damul-Jadiid's clique", particularly their "agenda", modus-operandi" and the likely root they will take in their attempt of fashioning a Somali empire they can rule it from Mogadishu.

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Dalmar1   

Gar_maqaate;986587 wrote:
What an absolute load of tripe!. Nothing but a longwinded gibberish conspiracy written in arcane english. Painful read!

100+

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Oodweyne   

Gar-Maqaate,

 

The American's author, Emerson, once said of another man: "The lauder he protested his innocence the quicker we counted our teaspoons". Or at least he said words to that effect.

 

Hence, reading your "laud protestation" I was minded to quickly count the number of ways the argument was so much of a clincher that it didn't needed to be reiterated in here. :D

 

But, anyway, this is a public forum, and we all purchase our take of any argument with a measure of what manner of "prejudice", "political sensibility", "clannish allegiance" and even the "innate intelligence", we all born with.

 

Hence, I won't hold it against you, particularly if in your estimation this argument is as you say a "load of tripe". But, still, pray, I would say, that certain Emerson, wasn't having in mind, a "character" like you when he "coined" that memorable line... :D

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Dalmar1   

^^^^^– As i myself was struggling in counting my spoons fast enough to keep up with your daily enigmatic rant of divertissement,i realised in a spark of moment that the actual the quote of Raplho Waldo was “The more he talked of his honor the faster we counted our spoons.”, bearing in mind that he referred this statement to those ignorant dullard of individuals who do all the fancy talks in the name of blustering but lacked clear initiative as follow up :D!,....

 

Nevertheless its clear to all of us that the character Emerson had in mind when coining this famous quote is none other than you the scrabble player of words.

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Oodweyne;986591 wrote:
Gar-Maqaate
,

 

The American's author,
Emerson
, once said of another man:
"The lauder he protested his innocence the quicker we counted our teaspoons"
. Or at least he said words to that effect.

 

Hence, reading your "laud protestation" I was minded to quickly count the number of ways the argument was so much of a clincher that it didn't needed to be reiterated in here.
:D

 

But, anyway, this is a public forum, and we all purchase our take of any argument with a measure of what manner of "prejudice", "political sensibility", "clannish allegiance" and even the "innate intelligence", we all born with.

 

Hence, I won't hold it against you, particularly if in your estimation this argument is as you say a "load of tripe". But, still, pray, I would say, that certain Emerson, wasn't having in mind, a "character" like you when he
"coined"
that memorable line...
:D

Oodweyne,

With your above comments in mind I have now read your previous comments again and I must admit, sir I owe you an apology. I now have much more appreciation for your scathing and gleaming essays, as well your immense intellectual prowess, your insightful analytical skills and your masterful command of the english language. Splendid! Thank you sir.

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Dalmar1;986598 wrote:
^^^^^– As i myself was struggling in counting my spoons fast enough to keep up with your daily enigmatic rant of divertissement,i realised in a spark of moment that the actual the quote of Raplho Waldo was
“The more he talked of his honor the faster we counted our spoons.”
, bearing in mind that he referred this statement to those ignorant dullard of individuals who do all the fancy talks in the name of blustering but lacked clear initiative as follow up
:D
!,....

 

Nevertheless its clear to all of us that the character Emerson had in mind when coining this famous quote is none other than you the scrabble player of words.

He thinks his usage of arcane words, pedantic and encrypted quotes ( often missed used) and proverbial jargons make him some how enlightened and intellectual. Little does he realise his rants are often unintelligible, tiresome and incredible boring.

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