By Mohamed Doli
Somalia’s nation-state, collapsed and disintegrated in 1991, following an armed political violence between opposition groups and the then military dictator, Bare’s regime, which in turn degenerated, into inter-clan political violence, that is largely responsible for the Balkanization of Tribal Regional Administrations, which are currently, semi-autonomous regional governments, that forms the present “Federal Republic of Somalia”, that has also been a failed state in the last 30 years.
Following the collapse of Bare’s regime, significant efforts has been taken to resuscitate Somalia’s nation-state without a tangible progress since 2000. Successive Governments have been built on Tribal consensus and power sharing formular, since 2000, to address some of the inequalities perpetuated during the Bare regime, which had contributed to the collapse of the nation-state. Notwithstanding, local, and international efforts, to resuscitate and reconstruct, Somalia’s nation-state, the nation is still flat on its belly, and is, being on the verge of, further disintegration, likely to slipping into intra-clan violence, both on the micro and macro level. In this article, the author will examine the reasons why the overly totted or ambitious political progress, anticipated by the Somali population had stalled. The author does not claim to have all the answers that had stalled political stability and peace building in Somalia, notwithstanding the overwhelming resilience and desire of the Somali population to live in a democratic society and peaceful nation.
Among other things, incompetent, inept, corrupt, inexperienced, leadership at many levels of regional and federal governance, have stalled political progress and peace initiatives. In addition to the foregoing, a new crop of politicians serving interests of foreign governments (“political mercenaries”) is taking root in Somalia – whereof top echelons in the regional and federal governments serve the interests of foreign governments, bent to undermining Somalia’s national Security, and by extension, its stability. A case in point, President Farmajo, and his Security Adviser, the former NISA director, are believed to be agents of a foreign country. A recent public interview by former Prime Minister of Qatar, expressly intimated that Qatar has agents and informers, that are newly elected to the Somali Federal Parliament. Why would Qatar spend so much money in Somalia and plant agents in key government institutions?
Moreover, vast majority of Somalia’s leadership at every level of governance had pursued their limited self-interests to the exclusion of the collective national interests. The Somali leadership, at all levels of governance, including but not limited to the generality of Presidential level, Parliamentary level, Ministerial level, Departmental level, have by and large, pursued narrow personal interests to accumulate wealth or political power at the peril of the national security. Corruption and cronyism have been strategically entrenched and institutionalized in Somalia. Transparency International, has dubbed, Somalia, as the “most” corrupt country in the world. This damning indictment is in the public domain, and no one gives a quack about this destructive and fatal economic and social malaise.
Furthermore, where there is no accountability under the rule of law or fear of being held accountable, you bet the evil in man rules the day. Somali politicians have deliberately and intentionally ensured the constitution, the rule of law, and the courts remain out of reach in order for them to continue committing crimes with impunity.
The failure in Somalia, is also, an indictment of the competency or genuineness of the international partners, who have either encouraged corruption or turned a blind eye, regarding grand abuse of office, by Somali officials, who are largely, funded by international partners. The international partners have a responsibility to their taxpayers and the Somali people to reign corruption and abuse of human rights violation by state apparatus, in Somalia. The international partners have failed Somalia and their taxpayers. Its time for them to go back to the drawing board and deploy a strategy to accomplish a win-win outcome for both their taxpayers and Somali citizens.
Lastly but not the least, today Somalia, is at crossroads – it can leap forward to be the next Singapore of Africa within the next 10 years or slip back into chaos and anarchy. Somalia’s survival, as a viable nation, is in the hands of the new Somali parliamentarians and its international partners. Should the new parliamentarians, choose to elect incompetent, inept, corrupt, political demagogues, like President Farmajo, and Speaker Mursal, such an election outcome is an assurance for Somalia’s demise – a slip into chaos and anarchy. The new parliament can choose to take down Somalia, and go down with it, or take back the country from the grip of political mercenaries, who are hell bent to burn it down. Somalia needs visionary, wise and selfless leadership, who would strive to unite the country – only then would the nation be extricated from its quack mire!
Mohamed Doli, Juris Doctor, is a lawyer in Canada. He can be reached at email@example.com