What Has Speaker Done to DESERVE this??
Ask anyone who had the fortune to either know the Speaker on a personal level or had the chance of brief encounters. He comes across as a truly remarkable person, genuine, down-to-earth and likeable. A rarity among gluttonous politicians, the Speaker, generous and sincere in his efforts to relief the terrible burdens of distrust, fear, violence, death and destruction enslaving our people by continuously appealing to their better side to lay down the arms, talk and come back to our cherished faith, values and heredity.
He is like a candle, which by serving and uplifting his people shines more and gives hope where there was none, because a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. Somalia is certainly blessed to have a son as dedicated, sincere and honest in his endeavors to heal the suffering masses of his country. I saw the Sharif and do hereby bear witness to the above qualities to be true and factual.
Sharif Hassan has certainly never horded militias who pray on the defenseless, neither carried a gun in the pursuit of power, nor killed any one or gave orders to murder the innocent. He surely did not trade his country and the fate of his people for pennies. On the contrary, he has selflessly and indefatigably pursued peace and reconciliation among his warring brethren. Then, WHAT HAS THE SPEAKER DONE TO DESERVE THIS?
The only plausible explanation of these incessant, venomous attacks against the Speaker is to intimidate and coerce people forcibly onto their knees to join the bandwagon of ill conceived and inconvertibly misguided policies. It is a deliberate and calculated smear campaign by the Executive Branch of the TFG to silence dissent, to divert attention from the miserable failures of doomed policies and to hold on to a small circle of diehard supporters.
From the day of its inception, the Executive Branch, i.e., the offices of the president and the prime minister failed to grasp the enormity of the job entrusted upon them and the indispensability of a common, united approach to tackle the Herculean task of pacifying the nation if a just and lasting peace were ever to be achieved.
The Executive Office failed to call even one single formal or informal lateral brain-storming session. An open, horizontal, boundary spanning free exchange of information to develop new ideas, coordinate complex projects, and examine varying points of opinions to develop a professional working relationship among the dignitaries both in the executive and the legislative branches. Only a house in order could bring order to anarchy.
A leader is one who seeks the best for those he serves. Less than a month ago, our President stood on a stage in front of the whole wide world in the General Assembly, on the UN 60th anniversary and plead with world leaders to lift the arms embargo from Somalia so foreign forces could come and disarm the populace. Talk about pouring oil into the fire. Somalia is already awash with fire arms and weaponry and bringing in armed foreigners who hold neither sympathy nor understanding to our misfortunes can only complicate the dire situation. The Speaker and a little over half of the legislators are seriously concerned of the potential catastrophic consequences this act could have on the prospect for peace in Somalia.
From the demographics of Somalia, the worst conflicts are confined within communities of different blood lineages sharing small territorial boundary lines. There is no such widespread all-out war. It is rather sporadic and communal in nature.
Once such inter-communal peaceful co-existence materializes, it could then be further extended on a national level to deal with the remaining criminal elements in every city. This will certainly eliminate the need to lift the arms embargo and the associated foreign armed troops. Why then is the Executive Branch so adamant on their insistence on lifting the arms embargo? Wouldn’t it be wiser, far easier and more cost effective in tears, blood and in property to do it the Somali way? A sincere give and take, compromise and consultation between warring factions.
In peace, sons bury their fathers, in war, fathers bury their sons. Sharif Hassan, the Speaker, proposes dialogue and reconciliation between conflict- torn parties and is wary on lifting the arms embargo, lest it prolongs the conflict, increases the distrust or trades anarchy with absolutism. Which policy makes the better sense? You be the judge.
It is mind numbing why would the elected interim president of a federal democratic government trade the capital city of his nation knowingly for an enclave run by a notoriously sadistic warlord who slaps 70 year old grandfathers to unconsciousness, jails high ranking officials without second thoughts, intimidates and abuses parliamentarians. A man who openly repudiated in the most racist epitaphs Ambassador Francois Lounseny Fall, the special representative of UN’s Secretary General.
Sadly, today, in the vast expanses of our land, over 900 towns and 13 regions, it is a fact that our president is persona-non-grata in almost all, except in his birth place region, Bakol and Jowhar. Mogadishu, on his own will, Kismayo, Baidoa, Erigavo, Half of Galkayo, Hargeisa, Jamame, Afgoye, Marka, Beledwayn and so on and so forth, are totally off limits to him.
Rashid Yahya AliBaltimore, Maryland E-mail: Rashid_Ali_66@hotmail.com