By Dr.YusufÂ O.Al-Azhari
When the former special envoy of the UN Secretary General Ahmed Wad Abdalla was encompassed exclusively by concocting political group of a well known Somali Clan, in mid 2008, with the intention to derail the Somali Reconciliation from its real venue of a concrete all inclusive pattern, into a one Clan domination objective with canning political agenda, intended to marginalize one of the major Clans under the pretext that the previous Head of State was â€œan obstacle to peaceâ€; I and a number of other highly qualified and experienced Somali personalities, sincerely warned the UN envoy of the consequence such partial Reconciliation would broach. At that moment no one was ready to heed our denotations simply because it seemed logical to the International Community that the capital city being predominantly inhabited by the concocting Clan, after the eviction of other Somalis during the civil war; they would be the only viable group to bring peace back to Mogadishu.
Further more it was strongly presumed that the bamboozling mastermind political group would deliver every commitment they bespoke with the shortest span of time. They vowed they will end the war with in six months and round up the perpetrators from Al-Shabab and sustain peace throughout the country. It was indeed a well calculated spurious anecdote plan, presented to Wad Abdalla and the International Community, which disregarded the consternation of most Somalis who were convinced such notion was impractical and before long it would totally collapse. Many articles and debates emanated soon after the new Government was ensconced by concerned Somalis from inside the country and the Diaspora warning of the eminent upshot that would breed and nurture, a rapid strength enhancement of Al-Shabab and other adversaries due to the drastic miscalculations pursued by the few hoaxing Somali virtuosos and regrettably the hoodwinked International Community.
The removal of the previous Government from office was a blessing in disguise for the adversaries, and not losing time they have commenced to re-organize themselves by
vigorously recruiting, training and re-arming their ranks to besiege the Government to few kilometers of Mogadishu, around Vila Somalia Fortress. Thus leisurely acquiring intrepid movement in the capital city and opening the way for more foreign extremist infiltrators to join, once their Forces hemmed in their opponents.
It is apparent that Al-Shabab has surmounted any expectation of confrontation by a parallel viable Somali force that could pin them down or evict them from the capital under prevailing circumstances, due to the feebleness and lack of skillful officials in the government.
In this regard it is patent to say, the swindling Somali group, the UN and the International Community shared collective responsibility to have nurtured and cleared the way for Al-Shabab to boldly increase their power and freely acquire leverage to contemplate and effectively raid neighboring countries of which Uganda was the recent victim as they have proclaimed.
Further more it is indeed astounding to observe those who shared collective responsibility and were vigorously advocating the change of Government in 2009, to totally fail in fulfilling promises and pledges made, to unequivocal support the present Administration. The International Communities and the UN did neither provide the more than often promised financial backing, nor did the enthusiasm demonstrated by the Regional Governments, was sincerely implemented to let the infant Government properly function. Commitment proclaimed more often but never realized, is the main stream weakness of the present Government. In other words one could ruminate on that the ensconcing of the present Government was deliberately plied by certain insincere Foreign Countries and Lackadaisical International experts as escape goat, for personal interest to gain continued financial support and to safeguard their internal security rather than to assist Somalia have viable Government and live in peace and stability.
In this forgone perception, shared by many knowledgeable patriots, Somalis expect the International Communities to seriously re-examine the policy, hitherto pursued and the political trend laid down in the past to solve the ludicrous quagmire that over shadowed the country. The well gauged and scrutinized bombing in the Ugandan capital Kampala, is not but the start of long awaited and often proclaimed wave of violent terrorism intended for all the environ countries as acknowledged by Al-Shabab to be their forefront enemies.
The threat of the radical sector of Al-Shabab, in general terms is factual like in many other countries where similar extremist groups dwell. Terrorist actions are well known to target civilians to cause immense pogrom with the aim to attract International Media attention and create jittery and insecure situation with in the circles of the innocent. Somalia is becoming more dangerous place for both the indigenous inhabitants as well as for the region and beyond, if left in its present situation. However that does not mean the situation could not be reversed, if knowledgeable and well experienced in governance are
allowed to lead the Nation with proper grass root political agenda, coordinated jointly with the International Community, based entirely on a Somali – Somali solution, are encouraged to be implemented to rescue the country out of the present mess. Â In no way am I simplifying this arduous chronic political impasse that prevailed in the country for the last two decades. However with a change of the previously pursued procedure and involving wider range from the public in the decision making I believe the situation could become tenable.
Collective Incrimination of Al-Shabab and beating the drums of escalation to send unnecessary large troops would only be met with similar burgeoning resistance. Without tactfully dissecting the structure of this radical organization, it may have a strong political back lash that may hamper any future solutions in finding proper remedy when tackling the political fiasco in Somalia. We have to be prudent and charily study the internal structure and how these radical groups function to disintegrate the less radical from the intrinsic extremist before making mistakes that would benefit them.
I am aware that sizeable number of Al-Shabab followers seems to be much less innate radical than their leaders. Thus through proper contacts and negotiation they could be won back. There are those given the opportunity, ready to confront their leaders in the battle field if contacted and assured viable accommodations.
Most of these young Somalis, who joined Al-Shabab did so, not because they appreciate the philosophy of radicalism but rather they lacked other choices and are not inherent extremist fanatics. They enrolled with the militant for survival; lacking proper directives by any other organized group or capable Government that would reach out and provide them viable prospect. It is certain if matured and experienced leaders with proper political agenda are ensconced to lead a government of National Unity with clear strategic plan of firmness against the fanatics and restore reasonable accommodation scheme to the duped youngsters, the Al-Shabab structure would soon cave in.
While the main cause of Somaliaâ€™s quagmire is the failure of the State Institutions and lack of security in the country, contrarily the establishment of an alternative that would address the vital needs of the ensnared youngsters by Al-Shabab, with in 90 days of ensconcing the National Unity Government, would beyond doubt set the proper venue to retrieve and rehabilitate in order to re-inject back into the society. Providing them better alternatives in a peaceful euphonious life. To allure these less ingrained radical followers of Al-Shabab, the Government would need firm commitment and genuine partnership from the International Community and the Region.
In parallel to the above the Government of National Unity must proof beyond any doubt that it is capable of carrying out its part of the commitment which should be mainly to reach out to the Somali people; adhering to widen the participation of the various civil society groups by empowering women, the youth and the traditional leaders to have a viable role to play in pacifying the country and setting clear political agenda that will suit
the majority of the Somali population. The government should also embark on how to evict the uncompromising portion of the extremist group from the capital city, in a short time through genuine strategic plan of action and by any means possible, short of the involvement of Foreign Ground Troops.
Somalia does not need a large foreign military contingent to be sent to re-institute peace and stability. This trend has been tried for the last two decades and did not succeed. Contemplating sending foreign force to Somalia to impose their will by force, will solve the problem is entirely misguiding. Somalis by nature do not condone foreign soldiers on their soil. Given the proper incentives and sincere cooperation by the International Community, Somalis could find solutions to their problems pursuing their own traditional way. In this particular time sending more foreign troops to Somalia would only exasperate the situation to an untenable degree of contempt, dismay and disagreement among the indigenous one family Nation. In addition it would further consolidate the position of Â Â Al-Shabab and fuel the continuation of the civil war. It will also drastically hamper the already evanescing public support and would on the contrary boost and fortify their position which they are yearning for. Somalia needs more than any thing else massive food to curb famine and proper rehabilitation of its displaced large civilian population instead of troops and guns.
The best way in which the new special envoy of the UN Secretary General, could handle the situation is to commence consultations with wider public spectrum from both inside the country and the Diaspora, concentrating mainly on the Traditional Leaders, Â which should lead to the convene of an all inclusive National Unity Conference held inside the country. Somalis must be given ample chance to discuss among themselves to remedy their perilous political mess, pursuing the â€œTraditional Grass Root wayâ€, in which their Forefathers used to amicably settle their differences free from intervention or coercion. .
The writer is accomplished diplomat & veteran civil servant: Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Dr.YusufÂ O.Al-Azhari