Somalia’s costly habit of losing momentum

Published: July 22, 2010

By Abdullahi Dool
Somalia’s woes are multiplying and the threat from extremists is growing and spilling over to the region and further afield. The 11 July 2010 attacks of football revelers in Kampala, Uganda are part of ongoing plots and evil mongering by groups which threaten not only Somalia but humanity in general.
On another front there is a small yet promising progress. Steps are afoot to solve piracy once and for all from the shores of Somalia. Puntland administrators too are doing their part to stop former fishermen and youngsters from lost generations to take to the seas to engage in piracy which is making marine insurance costly and which in turn make commodities beyond the reach of the ordinary people. Even in the two territories of self-administering Somalis, the ordinary people fend for themselves and toil under difficult circumstances. However, Somalia’s crises boil down to one issue: the absence of a national government which can take care of its people and its nation’s affairs.
Each time of the three attempts a transitional government has been established for Somalia, a lot of national and international goodwill, support and the momentum to rebuild Somalia has been wasted. We know why Somalia’s statelessness crises remain unresolved and why mistakes are being repeated time and again. Somalia’s curse which keeps coming is the use of power as a prize sought after for selfish ends not a tool to accomplish for the nation.
In the face of the biggest challenges to Somalia’s security and recovery; division is rife within the transitional government which wasted 18 months and failed the nation miserably. Nonetheless, attempts are being made to plaster such divisions through newly established relationships within higher officials. Nevertheless, the preparation of a coalition of similar individuals in the next government will not bring respite but squander more precious time and meagre resources of the beleaguered nation.
The region and the wider world should not take the threat growing in Somalia lightly but addressed unwaveringly. There is a need for short term and long term strategy to resolve Somalia’s crises.  The short term solution may include our neighbours and the world coming to the aid of Somalia to combat the evil which is being manufactured and exported to the region and the wider world.  No matter how futile the transitional government in Somalia there can be only one government at a time. In the immediate term the world should help the TG to combat the menace which is spilling over to the region and the wider world.
However, to resolve Somalia’s unending crises emanating from its statelessness, it is time the Somali public and the world which wishes Somalia to stand on her feet identify the problem why Somalia remains ungovernable and a source of insecurity no matter who comes to power.
Somalia’s problem is obvious and no amount of burying the head in the sand would make it go away. No matter what number of factions are brought into coalition or what number of transitional governments are established the obstacle of Somalia remains the same. Somalia shall remain what it has become until there is a fundamental shift from the way transitional governments are formed. And Somalia shall continue to harm itself, its people, the region and the wider world. Somalia’s obstacle to govern itself needs to be addressed. Self-interest driven individuals who seek power to end up in transitional administrations which were supposed to resolve Somalia’s crises cannot pull the nation out of its crises.
Our neighbours may have security concerns which oblige them to involve themselves in the affairs of Somalia but the answer is not mollycoddling selfish individuals who court governments.  It is time everyone neighbour, region or the wider world comprehend that the way transitional governments are facilitated to land power and putting selfish individuals in position will not make the problem of Somalia go away.
Nonetheless there are pressing and immediate priorities. First there is the need to understand the nature of the threat incubating and growing in Somalia. The menace has nothing to do with religion but it is evil ideology which is threatening humanity in general. In the immediate term our neighbours and the world should help Somalia address the growing threat to the region and the world. Somalia should not be allowed to fall in the hands of those who threaten humanity.
No man is more motivated than the one who drives his own self interest. A culture of self-interest in politics cannot help any nation let alone pull a nation out of its deepest crises. Somalia is in a vicious cycle created by individuals who enter politics with the sole aim to further their self-interest and the formation of a number of transitional governments in Somalia by such individuals could not go anywhere other than fold up like cardboard.
Mollycoddling same or similar individuals will not end Somalia’s crises is not. What Somalia is crying for is the establishment of a proper government which can look after its nation. Our neighbours should have no concern from the establishment of a proper government in Somalia. Modern times require cooperation not confrontation.
We need our neighbours one another to grow and prosper. For that reason what Somalia needs is a government which can take charge of the destiny of its nation and only the Somali people can ensure the formation of such a government. To tackle their nation’s crises it should be up to them whoever they wish to entrust the affairs and interests of their nation.
As the time allocated the Transitional Government is coming to end without an iota of achievement, our neighbours, the region and the world community should help the Somali people entrust the responsibility to lead our nation out of its mess in whoever they wish. Of course, the unjust 4.5 based system can never be part of the solution.
A functioning and truly inclusive government can only be established by a competent leadership which knows what it is doing. After three failed attempts to establish a functioning government for Somalia, probably the best way to end the crises of Somalia is by helping the Somali people to assemble when the time approaches our nation’s intellectuals who have been watching matters from the sideline.
Through such gathering of intellectuals and nation loving citizens probably Somalia may have a better chance to come up with a leadership which knows what it is doing and which has the interests of our nation at heart. That way Somalia will not once again lose much needed and precious momentum but use it to rebuild itself.
By Abdullahi Dool

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