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Somalia: Contemporary Politics – verses – Yester Years.

By Dr.Yusuf O. Al-Azhari

Every Society in this Universe of ours, frequently plaudits, how people of the past generations had better moral integrity, juxtaposing the social conduct of those of yester year’s with the present time. Often our predecessors are portrayed to have been more matured more responsible and with more self-effacement in their demeanor within their guild. It apprises us of how frugal, respectable and decorum they were in appreciating each other with great harmony and adoration. A phenomenon that does not exist any more and most probably, we do not expect to return for some time to come.

Even Somalis who lived prior to nineteen ninety were, some how, more valorous than those we are witnessing now a days. Among other factors the decadency of moral values and National culture, eroded veneration and discipline in the Somali Society particularly among the younger generation inside the country who lost contacts with their families due to the pro-longed civil war. The non-coaching of families to their children to grow up in good responsible manners which always was carefully maintained within the society has drastically deteriorated. This factor has been lacking because of the displacements of many families and the many orphaned children who lost their parents through the civil war. The absence of feasible authentic government particularly for those inside the country added to the dilemma of the enhancement of anarchism with in the ranks of younger folks whose ages are less than thirty. Unlike those fortunate families, who fled from the civil war with their entire families members, seeking viable safe heaven areas to educate and raising their children to be more conscience patriots, who are expected to contribute, one day, for the revival of their ruined country to stand ones again on its feet and take its rightful place among the Nations of the world.

It is a well known stanchion that in 1960 when Somalia attained independence, the adopted Constitution was to a great part incompatible with the indigenous cultural system. It was hard to comprehend by many due its sophistication and in many ways contradicted application to the Somali way of life which brought about the Military coup-data just after eight years of democracy. As a result one has to question with sincerity why we always allow alien people to prepare for us a document that would interpret our basic legal system and is certain to become unsuitable to the way of life of the Somalis. Regrettably since independence the Somali Constitution has been changed three times and each time it failed to fulfill the purpose it was made for because alien perceptions were inculcated. The first Constitution on independence was drafted by the Italians, the second was forcefully imposed by the Military Regime stemming out of the then Soviet Union which emanated the total collapse of the State of Somalia; and the third was a Charter drafted in Kenya which is causing the present havoc and instability in the country.

Knowing the failure of all these three foreign orchestrated documents, I do not see the logic of preparing a hasty constitution for a country that became a failed State due to the wrongly imposed past Constitutions and Charter that was not compatible with their way of life and culture; and could lead the country to the same venue of violence, destructions and lawlessness. Regardless of the participation of some highly qualified selected Somali legal elite individuals whose knowledge on the subject is undisputable, in the drafting of the new Constitution, it would still be considered by many as an alien document not well digested by the indigenous people who has all the right to participate from the inception of the drafting and base their own culture, rules and regulation which is their heritage, called (XEER), and to a greater part intrinsic on our divine religion and behavior. Why not wait till we liberate the country from the foreign Terrorists and insurgents; heal the atrocities inflicted on the Somali people, establish the proper concerned Somali Institutions and then assemble a National Somali Council from all walks of life which will include all the sectors of the civil societies such as elders, women, theologians, the youth, the Armed Forces and the Intellectuals to draft a comprehensive well scrutinized document based on democratic principals and acceptable to all? And if the need arises invite selected qualified experienced individuals from the International bodies to over see its composition.

One of the main factor of surveillance by societies is the subsistence of moral values, cultural character, discipline and above all the apropos of individuals towards the others. Than the eloquence, affluence and flamboyant expressions by many advanced countries. Because no society or a Nation could develop in an honest manner without cultural integrity and moral ethics that bears discipline, dedicated hard work and loyalty to its National causes. Any alien Laws or regulations that are lacking such basic cultural ingredient would be incompatible with National traditions and would never last long. Most of the stable countries are those which preserve and inculcate their traditional way of life in their Constitution based on their inherited rules and regulation. We often witness countries with less moral ethics deteriorate or stagnate to advance than those with better cultural value standard and solid respect among themselves. Regardless of how qualified or advanced people or a Nation may be, they are mostly unsecured to reach better social standard than those with moral values. A concrete example that exposes itself is the Asian countries which kept high standard of moral ethics and preserved their culture in comparison to those highly advanced technological countries. Though progressive know how and experiences are well established in those countries, nevertheless the Asians seem to be catching up due to the discipline, hard work and the social integrity they maintain. Thus if a Nation loses moral values the first thing that crumples is the unity and trust among its Nationals like what has happened in Somalia. And it is because of that Somalia has been multiplying more rogue younger generations with in its society since 1991, because the social chain of moral integrity crumpled and discipline and respect to wards each other vanished with it.

Somalia was one of the first few African countries that attained independence in the sixties with the most commendable Democratic Institutions which demonstrated the capacity to implement democratic procedures by electing the first and second President of the Republic through competitive suffrage and a peaceful transfer of power which was precedence to any African country at the time. Prior to 1960 and after independence, the Somali Nation was unparalleled to any contemporary African country that obtained sovereignty juxtaposing its unity and the respect among its National, strictly adhering to law and order. The Somali people used to live together in the most harmonious reverence regardless of their Clan difference or educational back ground; all aiming only on how to preserve National Unity and maintain peace. These noble phenomenons were gained as the result of years of struggle for independence which molded their mind and focused their priorities to target the aggrandizer to free the country from the yoke of colonization. People were gauged on the purity of their integrity and Nationalism and never reckoned on Clan or personal favors. Persons were appreciated on personal ability and humility among the stake holders. Those with solid faith who pursuing the instruction of Allah as stipulated in our revered holly Qur’an which is, “Love for other what you love for yourself….”, were the most venerated and considered to be the pillars for stability.

There were in fact a number of individuals who were highly qualified and were selected for leadership posts but out of courtesy and self-effacement declined in favor of others whom they thought could do better. A phenomenon that we witness no more in our present time. To day incapable rogues would rather kill or maim any better or qualified person than them if selected for a leadership post. Personal egoism spread like a deadly virus that has shattered our integrity, reverences and National Unity. It is obvious now a days that prominence is achieved by those Clans who promulgate motivated contempt and denigrating others due to prolonged shoddy feeling they have which engendered and consolidated mental incapacitation within them, which reversed to destructive evil rooted aims, detracting them from the sacred intention of what tribalism stood for; which is simply for recognizing each other and live together in harmony as brothers. It did rather, ludicrously, mesmerized illusion beliefs in them, of grandness and to disdain the others.

One has to be fare in clarifying that this evil tribal evolution of the Somalis did not contaminate all the Somali community. There are very few Clans and sub-Clans who have been digressed from the right intention and misuse Clan power to intimidate others in a barmy manner while they are the weakest in the Somali Society. Mostly such people suffer from inferiority complex and they seem irrational in their actions. They are not a threat only to those distant tribes they antagonize but they are even dangerous to one another within the same Clan, because they are frilled and feel in secured. As such human life becomes to them frivolous and unimportant if killed. The only salvation for such people is to allow them live with others for their salvation and not to be segregated, for fear that they may eventually terminate themselves to be considered a viable Clan if left at the present rate of self destruction and death they are under going.

These attitude of “me first or nothing”, by such Clans have been the main reason that plagued the country not to move forward and establish any viable authentic government that may lift the country out of the present bloody quagmire. Such unique human propensity not to allow selection of a person on merit, qualification and sincerity, but rather on tribal or pilfering group interest bases, has totally ruined the country’s integrity and demeaned the noble character of the Somali Nation. This is one of the main elements among others, which emboldened the eagerness of foreign Terrorist renegades to seek a

strong foothold in Somalia which engendered radicalism among the weak sector of the society and consolidated elements like Al Shabab and other Terrorists in our midst

Despite this despairing episode, major hope is vested on the most elites and men and women of wisdom, in the Somali society to re-invigorate the lost political structure of their country and modernize the system of government institution to coeval to any trendy Nation which advanced in scientific technology in this economically enhanced world. The main obstacle that faces Somalia to day are; (a) how to find authentic responsible experienced teem of Leadership that would lead the Nation out of its present political dilemma; (b) how to extirpate the present alien sponsored insurgent madness and (c) how to rehabilitate the lost generation of young Somalis inside the country to become good law abiding and responsible citizens, (d) how to finally establishment a democratic good government that belongs to all Somalis, with human right values that is accountable, transparent and firmly keeps law and order.

To gate out of this nagging political nightmare, Somalia needs prominent experienced Personalities that possess the following specific Leadership characteristics if the country is to succeed:-

–   A Creative honest President with firm decisions that acts as coordinator and is willing

to listen and share and not to dictate

There must be an awareness of unity of purpose among same political team members.

There must be interpersonal relationship, cooperation and trust among the members.

Members must have a chance to contribute, learn from and work with one another.

The members must have the ability to act together toward a common goal and vision.

–   Members must be free from personal interest of get rich quickly and be devoted and

“HONEST” to serve the Nation.

It is therefore absolutely intrinsic that we join our efforts adhering to the above Characteristic to find an urgent sincere solution to end this tribal division fiasco which focuses mainly on how to pilfer public fund and instead improve services to alleviating the suffering of our people. I am sure if we attune to the well known proverb which states “where there is a will there is a way” we could easily over come this despairing cohesive element of public fund purloin for personal gains. Concerned Somalis should combine their intellect with commitment and come out with ingenuous intentions that could save what remained of the Somali Nation. If Somalis of like minded genuinely organize themselves shifting from the infamous brazen faulty power politic sharing of four point five proportionate divisions, I am sure we could stand a much better chance to solve our chronic and dismaying political problems by putting the right man at the right place and successfully rebuild a democratic Nation that belong to all Somalis.

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The writer is a veteran civil servant and career diplomat, Email:geeska23@yahoo.com

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