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A leader who never was! | Ali Sharif

A leader who never was!

A childless lady who has passed the age of child bearing discovered that by way of miracle, she gave birth to a baby boy and instead of thanking to Allah for given her a son, she run off of the house and shouted ‘I have got a baby boy, I have got a baby boy’. None the less, when she returned to the house, the miracle baby was nowhere to be found.

By the same logic, it was in the year 2006 when a hardly known Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was heard as the leader of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) in southern Somalia from the media channels. Mr. Ahmed had unidentified record of accomplishment within modern Islamist groups, i.e. Al-Islah and Al-Itahad al-Islam that dominated Islamizing nation’s citizens in the past 30 years and so. On the contrary, he was said to be an aid to warlords Ali Mahdi then Mohamed Omar Habeeb (Mohamed Dheere). His appointment to the post was rather a lot more to do with local political arrangements than any meritocratic or previous leadership skills. Nevertheless, war-weary population, who have known only murderous warlords have welcomed the seemingly charismatic young leader who has been making right noises.

The defeat of the UIC by means of the hands of Ethiopian forces led the remnants of the UIC and their families including small children to flee into the forest of Dhoobley, the South-end of Somalia. During this epoch, amalgamations of Ethiopian armies, America’s Special Forces as well as the aerial bombardment from USA’s Apache helicopters were hunting down UIC’s loose ends on the ground. Like this situations, the job of a true leader would have been to lead his troops to either victory or defeat or to negotiate their safe passage or even to surrender. Instead, he hitchhiked en route to a five star Nairobi hotel with the very same American Copra Helicopter gunship, which has been gunning down his men in the forest of Dhoobley. Leaving behind everyone, including women and children, where some of them have been rendered to the torture champers of Ethiopia’s prisons, as part of American ‘War on Terror’. Hence, according to human rights organizations they were tortured endlessly in the Ethiopia’s persecuting camps.

Many have questioned at time whether Mr. Ahmed was a sleeper cell within the Courts, working for foreign intelligence services. Even though some refused anything to do with him after that, bizarrely however, that was not the end of his leadership or political life. In September 2007 at Asmara, he and his supporters who have been known as the campaigners of clan politics in the past 17 years mostly from Europe did everything possible for him to be elected as leader for the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS). In this time around, it was an opportunity for him to rethink and to thank Somali people, particularly, his associates at UIC, explaining himself and asking them; what they wanted him to do, but like the lady who gave the birth to miracle child. He could not remember anyone except those whispering on his ears; telling him that he was a chosen leader. He forgot he was an actor in a play representing a cause, which those who supported him cared for.

As the situation on ground became tense and resistance against Ethiopian occupation toughened, those who have masterminded the downfall of the UIC tried to find for someone to take the blame of their miscalculations. The Ethiopian man, Ali Mohamed Geedi, was sacked and parachuted in his position to another ‘yes man’. Furthermore, the UN envoy for Somalia, who has been making for his living out of Africa’s mis- fortunes in the recent past has been instructed to put together a plan of: ‘how best to divide the Asmara based political wing of the resistance’. A job, he found doing it much easier than he had anticipated himself, I am sure. Let us wait that, when he publishes his memo not far distance future, I would hope.

He travelled to Asmara to meet ARS leaders. This meeting was the first serious contact from the outside world since the establishment of the organization in September in 2007. Hence, as the result, it turns out in ARS sending a delegation to Kenya. None other than Mr. Ahmed himself, accompanied by Sharif Hassan, Ibbi, Sheikh Omar Iman, General Jama Mohamed Qalib and others, led the delegation. It is the role and responsibility of a person in charge to find a political way out while the struggle is still on. Thus, ARS was right to explore a political dialogue with her adversary and those who were in a position to influence Ethiopia to withdraw its forces from Somalia.

Nonetheless, he squandered this excellent opportunity once again. It happened when he and others in his entourage held a meeting with the United States Ambassador to Kenya. Still valid reason to meet the Ambassador, but what followed next was scandalous.

He signed a letter or memorandum of understanding expressing among other things that, he was willing to reach an agreement with Ethiopia and TFG. Still I see that being within the leader’s rights to entertain the possibility of making up with his opponent, but where he went wrong was that when he returned to his group, and so he mentioned none of it. This was sign of political immaturity or dishonest on his part. When he was pressed on about the existent of any such agreement, he stuck with his denial and said nothing was signed on that meeting, only verbal discussions have taken place.

Few weeks later, signed documents from the said meeting have landed on a desk of his colleagues in Asmara. When he was confronted about his ostensible deceit, he fled to Djibouti and first renounced the government of Eritrea accusing her obstructing peace in Somalia. Consequently, he said ‘she (Eritrea) wants the war in Somalia to continue’. Eritrea was the only nation in the world, which opens her doors to ARS, when everyone else had refused to allow her to have a political office in her country. The poor man was so ungrateful to that extent, he could not even remember, the generosity of impoverished nation for providing his multiple wives and their uncountable children for a comfortable living condition that most Eritrean would not dream of having it in their own country. Please, do not get me wrong that I have nothing against for a man to have more than one wife in principle, as long as he is the provider. A real leader would have tried to sell the deal and persuade his group to come along with him. Instead, he jumped the first opportunity and runaway from his troops as he did in Dhoobley. For instance, if you are familiar in the Northern Irish politics like I do. Thus, imagine Gerry Adams and Martin McGuiness, the leaders of Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army political wing, would have signed, the Good Friday Agreement with British government and Unionist political leaders without first selling the idea to their supporters and convincing to the leaders of Army wings of IRA? Today, Northern Ireland would not have enjoyed the peace and prosperity it has after more than 30 years of sectarian conflicts with a community calls her small land at home. But the poor man lacks the experiences and leadership skills similar to those men. Hence, he thought the approval of Ambassador Ould Abdallah alone will do the job for him.

As a result, he went on to make claim of; a very few former ARS individuals have stayed in Asmara, therefore, he had the mandate to reach an agreement with TFG, and like as of the childless lady, he fancied that Somalia people will believe him and identify him as their golden times leader. Not realizing that, the shoes that he was wearing on was never his in the first place. The ‘chosen leader’ signed a paper, in Djibouti, with TFG, agreeing to renounce the resistant against Ethiopia and pledging to disown any group which continues the fight against Ethiopia.

In January 2009, Mr. Ahmed was rewarded his deception and he was aided replacing former warlord and leader of TFG1, with a 550 ‘parliamentarians’, a larger in number than that of India. The motive of external actors for replacing previous players of TFG1 to TFG2 was they hoped that the new group would have the energy and strength to take on against the ever powerful insurgency against Ethiopia. As I have argued my piece in July 2008 dividing the so called Islamist would have weaken and taken them to manageable position. But again it seems as if someone who was in charge of the phase three of ‘War on Terror in Somalia has overrated the guy’. Convicting, his superior empowerment would somehow result former insurgency groups being divided, and yet fight against one another. But that has not happened. On the contrary, today with the protection of AMISOM, TFG2 is caged in Villa Somalia. Far from dividing their opponent; to qualify a bodyguard post, even former UIC who are serving inside ministerial post in his administrations (few of them in number) requires to be someone who does not perform regular Muslim prayers. Otherwise he cannot be trusted, just in case; he turns his gun on them. That is how far he and his associates are far from their former supporters. After his appointment to the post of TFG2 leader, he showed up briefly in Mogadishu on the side of, none other than General Gabre, a man who was commanding the Ethiopian occupation forces in Somalia in previous two years. On the other hand he wasted a valuable time; travelling around world capitals, while his most closest two lieutenants, former warlord late Omar Hashi and former Courts official, Janaqow were trying old tricks of clannish with help of media warlords, by telling the local population in Mogadishu, the ones who are opposing them, ‘came from other regions’ like Bay, North Eastern and North Western Somalia, a claim which fall apart as soon as Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aways return to Mogadishu.

Within watchers of Somali affairs, as soon as he started imitating the leaders of TFG1, He become a laughing stock by accusing his opponent as part of Al-Qaeda plot and calling the neighbouring countries, namely Ethiopia to come for his defence. He recently gave an interview with Aljazeera TV, where he declared Ethiopia government as being friend of Somali people. He said she (Ethiopia) is doing everything, and so, she can help seeing peaceful Somalia, whereas, Eritrea is branded as ‘an enemy’ who is, according to him, destabilizing the country. His administration, has recently signed the deal, selling Somali sea waters to the Kenyan government, for the mere reportedly few Million dollars of kickbacks for him and few other close associates. The question many Somalis are asking therefore is whether the guy is aware of ‘what he is expects from the Somali people, setting aside, his lack of skills to do the tasks ahead of him? Answer seems to be unfortunately no. He doesn’t. And to prove that, you only need to look back, no further than, his recent meeting with the United States, Secretary of State Mrs. Clinton. The meeting took place the American Embassy in Nairobi Kenya, where according to reliable source that was part of his entourage, Ahmed, alone was taken to the meeting room, to meet the American officials, who informed the rest of the delegates to wait the reception area, including his foreign minister, and other aids. It is against international norms and diplomacy for a head of state, on his official capacity to have a meeting with foreign government, without present of his aids and minders, who would act as his advisors and recorder of what was discussed (taking minutes of the meeting). He has been alone with them in that meeting for one hour! Somalis are in the dark of what was discussed, what he has agreed to do for them. The only actions anyone can remember regarding that event, was his glowing face and shaking hand with Lady Clinton, Secretary of State. ‘The Amirul Mumineen’, the implementer of Shariah law in Somalia, (Islamic penal Code); have exercised it in very public in that press conference room. Talking of shaking a ladies hand, I am pleading guilty myself but unlike hypocrite two faced like him, I don’t pretend to be otherwise.

The ‘leader’ who never was has failed to lead. He betrayed the nation, his old comrades in arm, traditional clan elders and last the Islamic scholars who tried to mediate the opposing groups. Even his backers, are losing interest in him because, he is not useful for them anymore. Reliable sources are reporting from the region, that western security agencies in Nairobi have been bypassing his administration lately and have established a direct contact with former Mooryaan, (warlord) and one time Courts official, Yusuf Indhocade. It means his days are numbered and they are preparing the next warlord after his departure. He is ruining around the capitals of the world like a headless chicken,begging for a cash.

He has never been a leader but a sample for the misfortunes of our nation.

Ali Sharif Ahmed
London UK.

Disclaimer: Opinion expressed here are those of the auther.

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2 Jawaabood " A leader who never was! | Ali Sharif "

  1. sister amiiro says:

    walaalo ali did you use to be these so call somali warlords? it seems you know all their names and you live in london how come? i try to know what is going on somalia i could not keep up with their new leadres everyday there is new name? how did you get your information? i am trying to write a report about somalia for a course work and i am looking for information thereis so much inthe internet but don’t know what is truth and what is not please brother let me know if i can e-mail you to ask you more.

  2. omar says:

    well said bro expose these house slaves who are two faced if nothing happens to them in this world they will pay 4 it in da next life haa