Somalia: Running Out of Options

Somalia: Running Out of Options


by Dr. Ali Said Faqi Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Somali chaos is a mosaic structure in which there are no realistic tools for alignment and superposition that allow careful understanding of the situation in a more logical way, especially for someone who is foreign to Somalia. It can only be characterized as a “chaos of a chaos”. Chaotic behavior manifests in several natural systems, such as the weather, tumor growth and can be forecasted using a chaotic mathematical model.  We should also admit that the base of chaos is human behavior; chaotic systems are unstable and human behavior is unstable as well. But destructive behavior is not in the general norms of human being. I fail to understand the lack of anguish when one continuously stabs a knife in his/her stomach and is bleeding to death. I fail to understand how much of a damage can Somalia still endures as we continue to lose our sovereignty.   I fail to understand where is the human dignity? How do we expect the world to treat us if our actions are incomprehensible? Because of our unrealistic and anecdotal superiority which at the end arises out of a deep sense of inferiority, we became staunch enemies to each other consequently our behavior is simply outrageous. Our logical thinking employs a simple formula that is opposition to one another where jealousy and hatred dominates our political life.  This is an unending cycle which will continue forever unless a paradigm shift in political maturity is made. A Somali neighbor will always be the neighbor; understanding the reality, respecting the differences, if any and accepting each other as citizens under one flag is the truth that we must accept.  Somalis have lived together as neighbors for centauries, but unfortunately ambitious and incompetent politicians have torn them a part for at least the past half centaury.

Ethiopia is a neighbor country; it is in the interest of both Ethiopia and Somalia to build a friendly relationship based on mutual respect. But Ethiopia’s action towards Somalia is nothing to be desired. It has shown over and over that it is not ready to accept a stabile Somalia. The Ethiopian’s policy towards Somalia is based on humiliating the central government of Somalia. It constantly deals with border tribes rather than establishing a concrete relationship with the Somali government on policy and security matters of the boarder between the two countries.  Ethiopia deeply understands that there are Somali tribes that would rather chose Ethiopia over other Somali tribes; it is therefore, clear that it does not have a reasonable motivation to help alleviate Somalia, and quite frankly this is not unreasonable. Although a stable Somalia is good for Ethiopia, Kenya and the entire East African communities, yet the frontline states will continue to exploit our internal mistrust and may never be satisfied to see the re-birth of a united Somalia. A divided nation cannot stand and thrive particularly when the interest of stronger neighbors is to keep the nation divided. We have no one to blame, but us as we entrusted the solution to our problems to Kenya and Ethiopia.  As a nation we are in constant denial because we tend to pinpoint the blame elsewhere instead of looking ourselves and seeking a real solution to the real problems. The current government faces major problems as it inherited nothing positive from the previous transitional governments. There is no national army and police forces that can secure the safety of the country. They inherited a divided country with several regional administrations each feeling threatened by a revival of the central government. Building a national army must be number one priority. This is not a rocket science and should not take that long. Equally, engaging the existing and the emerging regional states must also be a priority.


On the other side the government failed to grasp that Somali solution demands a holistic approach. Similarly, the government failed to communicate its policies to the public in and outside of the country.  Any political ideas should be out for debate. Yes, the situation in Somalia is precarious; however, the government should save the country from falling further apart by seeking public support.   The prime minister’s visit to Puntland, Galmadug and Kismayu was the right step to the right direction. Likewise, the regional leaders must accept that with leadership comes responsibility and accountability. Somalia’s final chapter is on the horizon, unless Somalis realize that failure is not an option.   No progress towards democratization of Somalia can be achieved without having peace, a unified national army, and an effective judiciary system. It must be understood that every problem has a solution; it is the responsibility of the leadership to formulate a solution plan that is inclusive, transparent and based on real justice.
I like to borrow this famous quote from Martin Luther King “Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think”. As a nation we always seek a half-backed solution. Federalism as the future model of government for Somalia was a half-backed solution that Somali warlords agreed in 2004 as the way to move forward.  I must say this is the cancer that will ultimately kill Somalia.  Federalism is not a bad system of government per se; it is the way it will play in the Somali politics.

The country is at cross roads and the way out will not be simple. However, the choice is very clear; it is between gaining our dignity back and accepting the status quo. It is between living in peace and prosperity and living in chaos. It is between gaining our country back and losing it forever. It is between serving our country and becoming servitude to our neighboring countries. It is between choosing to be a human being and remaining stinky dead carcass. It is between joining the international community and remaining excluded. It is between becoming law abiding citizens or remaining terrorists and pirates.  Pick up you own choices as the country is running out of options.

May Allah bless Somalia- Amen?