Somalia government fell in the hands of a small religious group

Friday November 15, 2013 - 01:00:25 in Articles by Super Admin
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    Somalia government fell in the hands of a small religious group

    Somali Peoples Party says -"Falling into habits of the past, the current government fell in the hands of a small religious group who overpowered the state house at Mogadishu. The outcome; a failed UN facilitated attempt to create a democratic go

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Somali Peoples Party says -"Falling into habits of the past, the current government fell in the hands of a small religious group who overpowered the state house at Mogadishu. The outcome; a failed UN facilitated attempt to create a democratic government"

Re: International Community Misleading

The Somali People's Party is an unarmed, secular, oppositional political organization with the aim of promoting civil, democratic governance in Somalia. Our party ideology is based on centrism. Due to the current economic hardships in Somalia, we are supporting more social service delivery in order to assist in a meaningful recovery from the civil war that induced conditions of poverty and illiteracy.

In the past two decades, wealthy elites comprised of religious and clan faction leaders attempted to apply pseudo governments based on a combination of plutocratic oligarchy, theocracy, and clan monarchy. These were the desperate act of self-appointed leaders on behalf of their base constituency.

It was, in part, an outcome created by the reluctance of the international community to engage practically, by assisting and working closely with the people to reestablish a functioning Somali government in the early stages of civil suffering.

Stifled by apprehension associated with involvement in Somalia, the world community left Somali people to a destiny of poverty. As a result, increased piracy, radicalization, and atrocity became the rule of law.

Successive Somali leaderships failed, falling back on its experience with systems based on clan, religion, autocracy, piracy, and organized crimes as ameans to rule. To compound the problem, the people believed that the international community was supporting leaders that were opposed to the principles of democracy.

In response to a perceived threat of lawlessness to the Somali People as well as the international community, world leaders, led by the UN, established the current permanent Somali government in September 2012, guiding leadership through a prescribed template of government.

Falling into habits of the past, the current government fell in the hands of a small religious group who overpowered the state house at Mogadishu. The outcome; a failed UN facilitated attempt to create a democratic government.

This tyrannical minority appears to manipulate the country's political processes with the help of the international community advising them behind the scenes. All powers are vested in the hands of a non-secular, totalitarian group who are rallying in support of the current president.

The Somali people felt discontent about the first anniversary of the current regime due to lack of service delivery, not bringing back the rule of law, and being inept and corrupt. The people noticed that the government closed its doors to the concerns of public as well as political opposition. The government existed for one year; a year that was lost due to failures in security, justice and delivery of good governance, leaving the country worse than before the current regimes rise to power.

The current president is playing an unfair game of political corruption against the people. He filled parliament with allies to keep the majority on his side and exchanged their loyalty for government positions. His actions have merged parliament and the executive branch together creating a situation that will, no doubt, melt down to one big branch at state house with no transparency, accountability or reliable checks and balances.

A common fallacy in western logic, when dealing with religious sects, has been to make the mistake that some groups are better than others based on whether they are moderate or radical. Their common goal is to rule with an autocratic religious dogma and have the control over the monopoly of social, economic, and political leadership of the country.

We doubt that the current leadership will survive a vote of confidence in the near future no matter how much the international community invests in it. The people are no longer enthusiastic and lost hope for its capability of doing a good job to the best interest of common good. Soon infighting among the top government leaders will come to the surface due to governmental malpractice, leading to the failure of government leaders.

One of the basic elements of democracy is the existence of vigorous opposition within the political system. In Somalia, the government refused to open a dialogue with unarmed oppositions and to pave the way for an inclusive political reconciliation.

If the situation does not change to one of compromise and influence sharing, then the opponents will notice that the only option left is to become an armed opposition. The opposition gave the current government a year of silence and the aim was to allow the current leader the benefits of establishing a practical approach to a successful political reconciliation. A year has passed, and we see no clue of collaborative cooperation as long as the current leader and his team continue to manage government administration with totalitarian religious and clan ideologies.

The opposition is pleased to engage with the government in a constructive, comprehensive dialogue in which the political oppositions have a say in the political processes of the country, until the country elects its leaders in a fair and free popular vote.

The opposition asked the current president to step down before it is too late and give a golden opportunity to a new leader who can better handle the country's political turmoil. We disagree with his team to put the personal interest before the public one. He chooses to continue his slow moving strategy and keep conducting dysfunctional government business as status quo until the end of his term. Our concern is what could happen next and the possibility of going back to civil war if government business goes unchanged.

Al Shabaab is not exclusively made up of fundamentalists. They are the core force of that movement in the fighting, however many extreme nationalists and clan-minded men are allied on their side. The Somali people are feeling resentment toward the government for the lack of progress and equally unwelcoming of Al Shabaab because of their indiscriminate killings. Somalis see no difference between a bad government and Al Shabaab because one is looting public money and the other is killing innocent civilians as their primary objectives. Currently, it is hard to distinguish between government forces, Al Shabaab, and criminals as they are inseparable.

The presence of Ethiopian and Kenyan military forces are also creating public distrust and raising doubts about their neutrality. Most of the Somalis believe that Ethiopia and Kenya are sources of instability in Somalia by organizing client states on their borders and executing their own political agenda unilaterally.Both allied to undermine Somali's sovereignty through the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, (IGAD), with the undeniable consent of the international community. We advise Ethiopia and Kenya to withdraw their troops from Somalia as their presence creates more harm than help.

African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces have been in Somalia for about 7 years and appear to lack the capacity to defeat Al Shabaab. We have doubts about their reported troop strength, if it is real and suspect supplies and ammunitions have been sold secretly through associates of government officials and businessmen.

We understand that rights and security responsibilities for a country devastated by persistent anarchy need assistance from competent forces from countries with high ethical standards. It is ironic to endorse troops from autocratic African regimes to implement basic requirements of the principles of democracy.

Increasing AMISOM troops on the ground will not improve their capacity to defeat Al Shabaab and Somalis are unwilling to accept the unending presence of ineffective foreign troops in their soil. The international community lead by the UN has to assist Somalis without compromising their principles based on their legitimate concerns regarding neighboring African troops and AMISOM. We recommend to the world community to help Somalia establish strong national forces to be able to do the job of defending the nation and bringing back the order and the rule of law.

One aspect that troubles many citizens is bringing a federal system in the Somali constitution. Webelieve that Somalia is not ready to accept any new system at this difficult time. Somalis are mainly a nomadic society and federalism needs a complicated legal structure, strong economy and political stability. Compounding those problems, the federal system requires advancement in literacy, civility in peace, and good quality of average living standard.

Somalis experienced in the past that their society failed to adopt socialism and see now similar threats coming from the challenges ahead by forceful adoption of fundamentalism from middle east or federal system of governance from the west. A weak Somali government cannot cope simultaneously with the restoration of government institutions and to educate deeply, its citizens about the federal concepts. Federalism is not an affordable, good system for Somalia at this time and can lead to more divisions and secessions. Somalia needs today a strong central government that brings together its fragmented country and paves the way the approval of suitable decentralization within the framework of a national government.

The international community lead by the UN is assisting the Somali government to regain its ability to govern, but missing the opportunity of encouraging equally, the positive dissent of opposing civil politicians. The efforts of the international community have been seen for many as mentoring a bad government and ignoring the public discontent. The world community has to make sure that the government goes in the right direction and if that is not the case it has to deliver direct aid to the public and to be supportive to the unarmed opposition to have a say about abusive government bosses.

In the past two decades, over three million Somali people were displaced and forced to flee to foreign countries. The root cause of such massive immigration was the effect of a coercive regime and the opposing radical ideologies based on religious cults and clan factions. Likewise, the leaders of the current government are wealthy clerics and ruthless clan businessmen. It is no good sponsoring a government that has complicity in the Somali's social evils. Fighting against extremism in Somalia will not be successful as long as new generations of like-minded radicals are produced by the architects of the social structure and mentored by the current government and its allied international community.

Somalia is in a great need of secular-minded people who can reduce the effect of the singular-visioned political leadership of religious sects. We are asking the international community to support unarmed opposition willing to participate in the recovery of country's political instability and to facilitate the country to have a true multi-party system.

Giving support exclusively to the government is like externally washing a person who drinks poison. As an opposition, we want to stay active in the political system and deliver views that can bring positive changes to the social system. We are asking the international community to empower our capacity and to facilitate participating fully to our country's political developments. Our society is not in a position to appreciate funding political organizations based on secular ideology. Poverty, illiteracy, civil unrest, and self-governance have limited people's vision about the necessity of self-funding to non-secular political organizations. The current situation merely encourages clan and religious charity as people accept the arcane notion that donations to distant relatives in their clan and to those for religious purposes will return to them after death from god with blessings and lucrative rewarding payback.

Recently, I was in Somalia for three months, namely July to September 2013. The security and political situations were not encouraging as corruption and coercion became daily governance practice.

Dr. Said Mohamud

Chair of the Somali People's Party

Former candidate of the Somali's presidential election

[email protected], Maine, USA

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