Opinion By Dr Abdishakur Jowhar
Those who read my writings are fully aware that I am committed to the concept of Somaliland independence. I remain more so today than ever before. I am fully convinced that the people of Somaliland could only survive as people if they hold on to the Somaliland state. The concepts of Khaatumo, Awdal, Zeila, Maakhir , SSC and SNM is nothing but the invasion of tribal chaos from Somalia. Such an invasion and deliberate destabilization happens with every Somali Reconciliation Conference. Somaliland has survived 14 invasions of a similar nature and it will survive this one as well. Somaliland needs to free its people from the deadly epidemic of the ideology of tribal disintegration by offering more peace, more democracy, more transparency and a full measure of dignity for every citizen in place of the death, war, famine and displacement peddled by tribal hatemongers and merchants of death who love the comfort of their heated homes in the diaspora and who spend their vacations inciting Somali nomads to massacre each other just as they are about to die of starvation. Disgusting Diasopra!
And I have a full understanding of this: The social organization of Somali society has degenerated to its pre-colonial state of wild tribes in frenzy of social self-immolation. Somalia is a nation of brilliant individuals living in a society developmentally arrested at 1000 BC. A sick society; sick in an ancient way; sick in a terminal manner. The best of Somali poetry is now driven by the lust of the Somali tribe for blood. Music has become an instrument of tribal debauchery. This ritual will not end as long as there is one Somali left standing. Somaliland should help free the Somali people at large from being strangulated and murdered by the tribal nature of their society. Somaliland should do this for its own self-preservation for whatsoever kills Somalia will not spare it either.
London Conference in a Nutshell
It is a conference on Somalia not for Somalia. It is a conference that will be limited by Somali intransigence and divisiveness and by the ambitions of its neighbors. It is conference rich in good will and poor in imagination and reach. Here is the outcome. It is not my prediction only my summary of what is already written and said by its authors.
- For Somalia: The Road Map a bit enhanced and made more representative: Security will be provided by invigorated, funded and mandated AMISOM in the center of the country and by Kenya and Ethiopia in the periphery together with whatever Somali tribes they arm with the blessing of the international community
- For Somaliland: The Status Quo
- For Ethiopia and Kenya: Opportunity to shape a political dispensation in Somalia that is consistent with their national interest after they tame the wild tribes of Somalia.
- For the international community a mechanism just good enough and cheap enough to curb piracy and contain Al Shabaab.
On should know that Somalis have no proposals about their future on the table. Yes there are some thoughts on the matter from the TFG, from the Group of Signatories (this is by the way the new political force in Somalia) and from Somaliland. But these are thoughts that will be listened to in the conference, and these are thoughts that will most likely be disregarded.
The Grand Somali Compromise
It is not too late as yet to bring a native Somali Solution to the table. My proposal is based on the premise that the Somali is capable of acting as a rational and free citizen who is willing to determine his destiny and not merely a tribal wild card stuck in a prehistoric mental cave. And so nomad, give this proposal some thought and give it a public feedback for this may be the very last time you will have a chance of this magnitude of influencing the developments in Somalia.
Somalia Political Transition
A) Somalia and Somaliland will form the Somali Confederation composed of the two units that made up the nation in July 1, 1960
a. Somaliland :
i. Somaliland will be recognized within its colonial borders as one of two units of a Somali Confederation (Somaliland and Somalia)
ii. Somaliland will continue to be governed by its current system of Democratic Governance
iii. Somaliland will be offered a UN supervised and approved referendum in 5 years. The results of that referendum will be binding for all sides.
i. Somalia Will follow the Road Map and Garowe process as defined by the Signatories
ii. 4.5 will be allowed to die NOW. Tribalism will cease to be the basis of power sharing and of legitimacy
iii. The basis of governance and legitimacy will now become the free Somali citizen with the right of democratically electing his leaders on the basis of one man one vote.
iv. The creation of a small number of Somali Political Parties that could show support among multiple tribes and regions in Somalia.
v. The role of the Garowe signatories will be to prepare the nation for elections (including the approval of political parties) in all of the stabilized and liberated areas of Somalia within 2 years. The Signatories will come up with a rational and legitimate approach of representing those parts of the country that are still under the control of Alshabaab
vi. The constituent assembly will be delayed to accommodate the Somali Grand Comprise.
B) Security: Somalis should be disabused of the notion that others will come, die for them, and save their nation for them without a price. And the price will be re-colonization. This dear nomad is the nature of things.
a. The Somali National Army should be reconstituted.
i. Its training facility and HQ will be temporarily placed in Somaliland
ii. It will draw volunteers from established regional armies and it will create for itself a new identity free of tribes. Support for training will be sought primarily from Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya. Other members of the international community who have forces in the region may be solicited for this purpose.
iii. A Somali National Army should be financed by Somaliland and Puntland Governments until the Somali Confederation has sufficient revenues to meet its obligation.
iv. The Somali National Army will have the immediate responsibility of taking over the responsibility for security all newly liberated parts of Somalia.
b. AMISOM will not be expanded. AMISOM will continue to hold Mogadishu and must relinquish it to a reconstituted Somali army in one to two years
c. Ethiopia and Kenya will continue their support for the birth of the Somali state by turning over any armed Somali troops they have created to be absorbed into the Somali army and thus prevent the appearance of multiple armed groups and the inevitable permanent tribal wars that such a scenario generates.
d. Alshbaab: Should be engaged in a serious attempt at negotiating a non-violent resolution of the Somali crisis and this will include their right to form nonviolent political parties that can seek the acceptance of the Somali people of their agenda. Al Shabaab should be heartened by the experiences in Egypt and Tunis and Libya and must trust democracy not as an enemy but as a friend that can legitimately bring them to power. Of course they will have to become Somali and not international jihadists to achieve this goal. The alternative will be war with all other Somalis and the rest of the region.
C) Ethiopia and Kenya: The fate of these two neighboring states is intricately intertwined with that of Somalia. The solution of the Somali problem must entail a mechanism that can guarantee these two countries that there will be a mutual recognition of all colonial borders and that there will be permanent peace in the Horn of Africa. One must keep in mind that the aggressive these two countries becomes the stronger Alshabaab and and the more inevitable a backlash against these two countries of one type or the other will become.
End of the Grand Somali Compromise
Note: I have drafted this compromise independently. I have not spoken to Somali or Somaliland officials on this issue. The document arises from my reading of what Somalis and others are doing, writing and saying about the London Conference of Feb 23, 2012.
Dr Abdishakur Jowhar