tribalBy Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud

27 July 2014


Somalia, a domicile of inferno, analytically corrupt, where immoral and ethical dishonest are all on primed. A home of piracy and a self-haven of International Terrorism, all at once this Failed State procures admiration, veneration and respect from the most Liberal States of the world, such as the United States and Britain. Beyond belief, after twenty three years of antagonistic, intimidating and nerve–racking hostilities between Southern Somali clans. America recognised the most alienated Federal Government of Somalia, where its senior representatives such as the President and the Speaker of the Parliament were came into power through corruption, enticement and deception, which marks them purely illegitimate.

The US recognition to the illegitimate so called Federal Government of Somalia precipitated eternally sizeable concern of resentments between the Somali people. This rowdy took in a full swing when the US Government nosedived to understand the nature of the Somali problem. US engrossment was nothing more than to patronage a dual clan policy, specifically the 14 years of Democrats diktat. The pure evidence on this matter is, since when the recognised administration of Mogadishu received the colossal support from Brussels, London and Washington, in one hand, the dead toll of the civilians augmented, a constant explosions of both parliamentarian and senior officials tripled.

In addition to this, the House of the Parliament, the Presidential Palace and the Supreme Court besieged several times by Al-Shabab Terrorism Network, who were closely working and receiving required information from officials within the Somali government. And on the other hand, a humanitarian catastrophe has taken place, such as crimes against humanity, land grabbing, and ethnic cleansing to the most vulnerable people who live the fertile and utmost productive areas of the country. This two deleterious prodigy signposts that, to some extent any support in which the Liberal States delivered to the dual clan administration in Mogadishu, harmed innocent people and deteriorated the situation from bad to worse.




The Deleterious International Backing

The issue of legitimacy and political stability has its own meaning here in the Western World. It indicates the rightfulness of a regime or a system of rule, which starts from moral obligations, and based on people’s obedience to the State, this is what gone astray and completely lost in Somalia. Contrariwise, United States of America, United Kingdom and the European Union buoyed the illegitimate Federal Government of Somalia and provided technical and financial assistance. Whilst, ignoring peaceful, democratic, legitimate State of Somaliland that declared independence from the Failed State of Somalia after the collapse of their union twenty three years ago.

This demonstrates the opposite of what the Liberal States stands for, which are; peace and stability, economic security, freedom, democracy, free market, rule of law and the self-determination. Somaliland is the only State in Africa that prospered all of the above without receiving International Assistance. Whilst Mogadishu has not yet achieved even the minimum scale of peace, despite the fact that in the last 23 years it was only the International Succour what pays all costs, including the salaries from its soldiers and subordinate staffs as well as the Parliamentarians, the Cabinet of Ministers and the President himself.

In other words, the taxpayers’ money from citizens of Europe, US and UK has ruined the lives of the most vulnerable people in Somalia, because of the contradictory dual clan policy in the South Somalia. For the reason that in Kismayo, a clan of one district has overrode and took priority over three main regions of 12 Districts, simply because the International Community are supporting them. Meanwhile, the clan of the President himself are expanding further more terrestrial areas of land in the resourceful regions of the South Somalia by utilising and exploiting the International efforts of rebuilding Somalia. Therefore, the more that International Community upkeeps the Federal Government of Somalia, the more it promotes injustice, massacre, corruption, land grabbing and all sorts of crimes against humanity.

There are certain indications that shows a peaceful Federal Somali Republic is hard to form if not impossible, and under the circumstance of the International Support things will get much worse than ever. Simply because the nature of the Somali politics, which is a tribal based political phenomenon. Here are irreproachable patterns of why the International Support exacerbated the situation of Somalia in general. When the dictatorship regime of Siyad Barre has vehemently vanished under the barrel of a gun, the Northern part of the country professed withdrawal of its independence soon after when the South started war within power struggle. At this point, America and its allies persuaded the UN to send troops to Mogadishu in order to support the feeblest political group, this caused the death of eighteen American soldiers and lot more of other UN troops, and finally this compelled the extraction of all foreign troops. It also instigated a long endless civil war between the Somali clans, which resulted a large displacement of women and children, starvation, malnutrition as well as gang formation and the creation of child soldier.

The International Community does not seem like giving up to reiterate the same prejudiced engagements yet again, because Abdilahi Yousuf, another Somali Warlord has been sponsored and backed. The perseverance was to stabilise the country but theoretically it has been miscalculated. This gives the impression that the International Intelligence failed to discover the reality on the ground. During the long years of civil war, the Italian Somalia compered the most horrifying elements of International Terrorism, Piracy, Criminals and Lawbreakers as per crimes against humanity, torture, which later turned into one of the nastiest world atrocities to reach its peak and uttermost. We all witnessed when the Islamic Courts Union took control after defeating the Warlords, they soon started to threaten the peace in the region. The Ethiopian invasion was not only to pre-empt extremism from its terrain but also to lessen a future threats and intimidations from a potent Somali government, which they previously disputed territorial claims where the Martial Somali Republic occupied Eastern regions of Ethiopia in 1977.

After the defeat of the Islamic Courts Union, the International Community supported once more, by insisting the failed policy to the whitewashed and debilitated group led by Sheikh Sharif Ahmed. The main reason was to implement the formation of Federal States of Somalia, and the creation of National Constitution. No questions been asked the possibilities of Somali Federal State, no chance of referendum has been given to the Somali people in order to think through or contemplate how they want their State to look alike. It was the authoritarian regime of Siyad Barre, which added ten more regions to the existed previous eight regions when the two countries united? And the reason was nothing but tribal affiliated nepotism to create supremacy and hegemony to specific coterie. The substantiation is, a very few of these regions can self-reliantly run their overheads in a revenue and tax collection wise, no enough resources available and the deficient population wise, it was impossible to propose even to a districts let along the blind nomination of these villages into regions.

The Statehood and the Tribal stumbling block

There are several problems that are hard to solve, which tackled the creation of Federalism in Somalia. Firstly, the problem of the Somalis is not the system of government whether Federal or Unitary. The disquiet lies with tribal attentiveness between the clans of Hawiye and Darod. This ominous situation started a long ago when the South was under the rule of the Italian colony. Because the Italians bequeathed the superior hand and power to their cohorts of Majeerteen sub-clan of Darod that inhabited Bari and part of Mudug. This regions are the most cursed land of infertile, unproductive, famine and have fieriest temperature of the country. The reason was to dominate and control most of the main political and economic positions of the country by their Majeerteen admirers. Majeerteen has the same mass of Haber-Gidir of Hawiye sub-clan when it comes to population wise, but with this powers from their Colonial Master and the Darodism Military Regime of Siyad Barre, they politically seemed stronger and more resilient enough to command the governing system of the South in those years.

Secondly, Hawiye is the main Somali clan that subjugated the country’s internal governments of Mogadishu for the last 23 years. After when they defeated Darod in the war after the collapse of Darod Regime, and later dominated economically and strategically by land, because, they are the inhabitants of Mogadishu and the surrounding areas, and by number Hawiye is larger Clan in Somalia according to Darod. But unfortunately, they have not yet crushed them politically. And it is still Darod that politically overpowered Hawiye for the same 23 years, both in the International Arena and the Domestic Politics. Because the only stable part of the South of Somalia are the two and half regions of Puntland, which declared as a Regional State. The political strategy of Puntland is always to see Somalia of a weak Central Government in Mogadishu but have a strong Federal System based on the 18 regions of the vanished Somali Republic.

In other words, a Darod dominated Somalia not by population wise but simply by administration wise. It seems that they have already got ahead their political consignment internationally when US backed Road Map of Garowe one and two. But the difficult part of their mission is the domestic one, which still seems that the International Community do not understand the Somali Tribal Politics in the South. In the real world one good example shows that in Juba-Land Darod only became the majority of those regions twice in the Somali history, in 1993 when Belgium forces invaded Kismayo and backed them to rule the task, and secondly off course when Kenya occupied the regions to preclude Al-Shabab terrorism activities to Kenya. Therefore, literally by magnitude and by resource in the Internal Politics and Power Hawiye can downfall Darod, while at the same time in vice-versa Darod can disgrace Hawiye in the International Arena, and this is the problem that the world still did not apprehended.

The third factor that ruined the stability of Somalia is the approach in which the outside world demands the solution of the Somali problem. I have mentioned above that the International Community always supports diplomatically the weakest political group. For instance, in 1991 they supported Ali Mahdi rather than General Eideed, and then Abdulahi Yousuf who was Warlord and from sensitive sub-clan of Darod for the first time, since the collapse of the State, and this recalled the lost memories of pain and hatred between the Somalis. It was also the main reason that empowered religious extremism of Al-Shabab, because another Darod dictator came back to Mogadishu. This was one of the main slipups, which the International Community dyed-in-the-wool by supporting one clan to defeat the other.

The Potential Hazard on Lifted Arm Embargo

And now finally, the world is providing the highest scale of support to the most corrupted, tainted, contaminated and cannibalistic regime, which ever appeared from the South. In a briefing details, the International Community is assisting a very hazardous mission where the incumbent authority of Mogadishu is incomplete, because the Somali National troops are from one clan. In March 2013 the Security Council Resolution 2093 amended the restrictions related to arms supplies to the Federal Government of Somalia. In the same year, a 2111 Resolution from the Security Council in July clarified the former 2093 Resolution and lifted the light weaponry military equipment to Mogadishu Administration.

The world has witnessed in the same year that the Federal Government of Mogadishu disclosed that the arsenal, which provided to Somalia to secure the country and sustain law and order as well as to combat against Al-Shabab forces has been stolen twice from the Presidential Palace to an unknown group of militias. The general public ruminates that the weapons might gone to the wrong hands, such as Al-Shabab, but the fact is different beyond belief. The President handed over this weapons to the contemporary Somali National Army, which consist of one clan called Hawiye, the approximate number is between 15,000 to 20,000 Uniformed Personnel. Their mission is to grab land and evacuate the indigenous farming communities in the fertile lands of the South.

There are two political reasons behind this stratagem, the first one is, as Somalia turned into a Federal System Hawiye needs more than one Regional State so as to dominate the Somali politics. If this political strategy becomes real it will stamp out the Darodism strategy in Somalia, which based on Federalism States dominated by Darod. Although Darod seems to have two States (Garowe and Kismayo) most of their domains remain mostly infertile, unproductive and scorching areas of land. Hence, economically they can be weaken and in population wise they can easily be defeated when it comes to voting and election. Because the population of Mogadishu and the surrounding areas alone are five times greater than the entire population of Puntland. Secondly, if the country remains a Unitary Republic as Hawiye prefers the most, Mogadishu will centralise the Somali economy, and by socially and politically they will remain very powerful, which allows them to benefit the maximum, while others accept as a second class citizens in terms of the economy and in politics.

Inopportunely, the prospects of the dual clan policy in Somalia, and their opposing get-up-and-go political strategy is hard to be achieved by both sides. Because of the major element of power that exists, which is irrefutable and incontrovertible clan of Digil and Mirifle. This is a main clan in the Southern regions of Somalia that is very powerful in the areas of politics and socioeconomic issues. Predominantly, this clan has crossable army forces who are loyal to their leaders than any other clan in the South, they are the inhabitants of a very strategic, resourceful land.

Digil and Mirifle, played a decent role in the Somali politics for the last two decades, they stood to defend their people from bellicosities of Hawiye clan in the years of land grabbing. Although the political strategy of this clan based on wait and see dogmatic approach for so many years, it now changed its own course completely after the realisation of their hidden powers of population size and territorial mass. Digil and Mirifle, are now privileged in Somali politics, their elites together with their loyal population are ready to overtake Hawiye and Darod clans. If this possibility turns into reality the dual clan policy in the Italian Somalia will be vanished.

But the thought-provoking part of this story is; Darod is healthily cognisant about this phenomenon of political change, and they are ready to be flexible in order to follow the streams of the political storms, as they are always looking for a new allies, after the loss of Abgaal of Hawiye sub-clan. They already understood that the ball is on the court and it ical player understood that the ball is on the court and its just a matter of time that Digil and Mirifle becomes the key polits just a matter of time that Digil and Mirifle becomes the key political player in Somalia. Meanwhile other major clans of the South such as Dir and all supplementary tribal members who were hardly hit by Hawiye in the 23 years of the inferno will automatically join with Digil and Mirifle’s political coalition to create a major political ally of Hawiye isolation.

In conclusion, on this scenario, Hawiye will never allow these coalition to take place on their watch. As we already have witnessed, they are not good at political pre-emptive dialogue but a military assault strategy, and this is why Hawiye government in Mogadishu accumulating weapons from the International World by exploiting the lift of the Security Council arm embargo in Somalia. Above and beyond, these tough unresolvable problems in Somalia, and the monotonous blunders and inaccuracies that the International Community still continuously attempting will aggravate the situation of Somalia.

And if this action keep running, the problems of Somalia will directly affect the entire peace and stability of the region. The war in Somalia will continue, people of Somalia will suffer, humanitarian crisis will be in place, the parasites of piracy and extremism will exist under the interminable and undying instability of the opposing tribal politics of Federalism or Unitary in Somalia. The International Community involvement and the approach of the neighbouring countries will vitiate the case. As a final point, as the problem of the Somali Republic started the War between the North and the South in the late 80s. And any further efforts to keep politically Somalia and Somaliland amalgamated will encourage another bloody civil war in which the world and the neighbouring countries will never catch for an answer.


Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud a Political Scientist and a Social Researcher, and an author of Academic Articles in East Africa. Department of Political Science. The University of Warwick. Email: Or


By Mohamed Hagi Mohamoud