Center for Peace and Democracy (CPD)

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Are the donor countries serious about reinstating the new Somali nation state?

This question and the question I posed to the Somali people sometime ago regarding the conspiracy of the Mogadishu warlords, are all members in some sense of the same family, but specifically they represent in very different directions. Because, this question is less to do with the warlords, but more to do with the disinclination of the Intergovernmental Western Countries for funding the new Somali Transactional Federal Government (TFG). Before trying to answer the question, this paper will briefly go over history of the state and its incremental achievements for the past eight hundred years. It will also underline that in many ways the state and society are intimately bound to each other. Afterwards, I shall endeavour to find out the key elements that are believed to have perpetuated the fact of Somali people being stateless for more than decade. The paper will move further by noting the donor countries that they had previously neglected and left Somalia in this disturbed time, while they were actively resolving the plights of other African countries, such as Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Liberia etc. And yet, there is a clear perception that donor countries do not have a strong desire to provide the necessary financial and political support to assist the new Somali government so as to reinstitute its law enforcement bodies.

Before attempting to illustrate their reluctance to this matter, let me begin with my deep gratitude to the Kenyan Government for chairing the two years of the Somali Reconciliation Conference in Nairobi, where the new ‘inclusive’ government was ultimately formed. In the same way, I accept as true that Somali delegates were mandated to seek a solution for Somalia as long as they reinstated the Somali state, despite that there remains much more to be done to develop a lasting peace and sustainable government. Having said that, as it is known there has recently been and there still is an acrimonious dispute and political infighting within the government including around half of the MPs. Regrettably, such open conflict undermines the reconciliation efforts; in spite of some truces of common sense can be found in the government to handle the conflict.

In the political discourse, the creation of the state needs tolerance, compromise and adequate resources as the Greek outstanding thinkers, like Aristotle and Plato had made clear centuries ago. If we briefly look back to the 13th century, there were stateless societies, who had a very strong attitude towards the concept of the state and held that coercive power lodged in the state is the primary cause of human misery. They lived with no formal rules, no civil service and no police, no military forces and no courts, nonetheless at any rate of their sizes they had unwritten customary laws that were binding on all members of the community. This was the only viable way to solve certain conflicts. Meanwhile, such forms of rule demonstrated that force was not absent, but it was running along different channels within which those societies were able to make collective decisions usually in a peaceful fashion. In the late part of the same century, the state was created in the image of the empire through the principle of Roman law and corporation theory, but was not utilized till the 16th century.

The Greek theorist Aristotle had indicated that the best way to take decisions and to improve standard lives of the people is to define the idea of the polis as a state.

The key issue was to establish public power that was formally above ruler and ruled. According to Thomas Hobbes, “the process was meant to spend billions of pounds” so as to get away from the stateless situation and to dominate those, who hardly tried to maximize the influence of a small community to live under informal rule. Lastly, the state procedures had experienced several stages until it achieved the ability to provide universal public welfare for its citizens to meet their minimum needs, such as healthcare, housing, education system, jobs and security several hundred years later.

Flash-forward to the end of the 20th century by which time the Somali people became stateless society for a number of reasons. The first two serious mistakes that caused anarchy and the currant political mayhem were (a) the rival factions and the unholy warlords, who have carved up the country into fiefdoms, since the Somali state collapsed in 1990. And (b) since the UN failed to initiate a delicate diplomatic process to bring the Somali politicians together in the early 1990 the world has turned out its lights, closed the doors and has completely forgotten about the place, leaving Somalia in total chaos following the most serious disaster in its foreign policy. Another drawback could have been (in my view) though the Somali people have strong sentiments of national esteem, yet they tend to guard secrets of their ant-sovereignty culture, which is slightly similar to the pre-state society’s culture. Realistically, this traditional culture is based on trust-less and enjoys criticising any government with no good reason. That's why; almost each and every civilized society on earth assumes that if the Somali people would have been politically flexible enough they would never have been a stateless society in the 21st century. As, well-known author Christopher Clapham said in his book “the Somali people are proudly independent, aggressive and wary of outside influences, while they have no traditional ethos and mores to respect the majority when it comes to solve of their differences” All of these indications and many more I may have omitted guided the Somali people to become stateless society 44 years after their independence. Even as their colonial masters forgot its colonial responsibility to cope with the situation before matters became incontrollable.

Notwithstanding, the UN operation in Mozambique started immediately after the symptoms of the Mozambique situation were sharply highlighted by the western countries in 1992-3. The processes of the new national army and demobilisation schemes were simultaneously established shortly after the Frelimo and Renamo signed peace accord. The International Organisation Migration (IOM) and International Labour Organisation (ILO) were also set up. The first organisation transported ex-militias to their preferred destinations all over the World. The second organisation had to arrange for vocational kits, consisting of agricultural tools, needs and food to be given to the militiamen when they left their assembly areas. Similarly, the six months of demobilisation paid off with the creation of an occupational skills development program were provided for them. At the same time, reintegration programmes contain a range of activities; such as football matches and general information about the nature of the peace process and future opportunity were daily addressed through radio broadcasts and lectures. According to Chris Alden, “the donor countries granted the Mozambique government more than $500 million dollars, approximately one million a day to transform every armed party into a political party”. Simply, because they were very keen to set a firm foundation towards the goals of greater peace, democracy and development. Not only Mozambique, but also several other war torn countries, like Sierra Leone and Liberia have benefited from the World’s active engagement to end their long-running conflict. Evidently, such a course of action was crucial to maintaining the process in Mozambique, whereas the donor countries are now treating the Somali government as if it does not deserve to be given the allocation of aid resources. For instance, since the new government went back to its soil four months ago these countries have imposed on it so many impossible conditions. Such as, initiating substantive negotiation with the opponents without having any support mechanism to secure sources of avenue. Similarly, they have demanded the restoration of law and order throughout the country otherwise no assistance will be granted to the government. The fundamental questions this article is raising are. (a) Can such a weak government instigate the reconciliation process and bring back durable peace, while at the same time the donor countries continue to decline its appeals? And (b) why were they pouring massive resources, including money and materials into the two year marathon peace talks in Kenya if they are not ready to invest in the government once it has been established. Thus, it is very important to demonstrate that their unsustainable demands along with their ‘wait and see manner’ are indicating that the donor countries are not willing to provide direct or indirect budgetary support to the Somali government in order to stand on its feet. It is pitiable, however, and very sad for these countries to show the Somali people such indifferences and their indecisive conduct to provide any support, which this new institution urgently needs.

All in all, the Somali government gave out clear proposals and coherent alternatives to re-establish a secure environment to commence direct dialogue with its people. Nonetheless, without external resources it cannot continue in most cases to promote national reconciliation and political dialogue. Subsequently, it will be unlikely to have the capacity to restore law and order and reach in the foreseeable future unless the world keeps a close eye on it. In other words, having administrative expenditure is the key instrument to bring peace, stability and territorial integrity throughout the country as President Yusuf stated in the UN general assembly on September 17, 2005.

Finally, the donor countries have no intention in living up to their pledges they made during the reconciliation process. Hence, the rest of their speech begins to wobble and in fact there are reasons to doubt what they say as long as there is no point in bemoaning the failure to achieve what is impossible. So that, I do not think that it would be foolish to assume or ask the Somali people whether these countries are eroding or enhancing the building of the new Somali nation state.

Ismail Jumale Alasow.
Politics and Development Studies
SOAS University of London
The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "the Center for Peace and Democracy in Somalia (CPD)"

Reflecting on Our Roles as Fathers and Husbands

Ramadan is that time of year when we engage in a month-long process of introspection, repentance, and self-renewal. It is not only a time when we are to increase our commitment to performing various acts of worship such as fasting and prayer, but it should also be a time for re-evaluating all aspects of our lives. As Muslim men, this process should include room for assessing our performance as both husbands and fathers.

For most people around the world, these are indeed strange and trying times. For Muslims, not much else needs to be said along these lines. Perhaps it is only knowing that this world is the realm of testing and that in one way or another in our lifetimes we will all be tested, that allows us to get up every day and face the outside world. For many family men, however, rigor and severity are not a reality only on the outside, but inside the home as well. For such individuals and their families, the abode of peace that the home is supposed to be is anything but. Many such families are living quiet lives of sadness, desperation, and rancor due to family relationships that are simply not working.

Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in a very well-known hadith was recorded as saying that marriage was equal to half of the deen [of Islam]. This profound statement by our master has spurred volumes of scholarly commentary over the centuries and from a layman’s perspective, the hadith is monumental in its meaning and importance for those who have embraced the way of marriage and family. Only through deep reflection on our lives as husbands and fathers can we begin to understand the essence of the Messenger’s (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) words and why marriage is awarded the weight of half of our lives as Muslims.

The life partnership and commitment that marriage entail should be approached as a spiritual undertaking that can be an important facilitator of individual spiritual development. Just as we are essentially spiritual beings in a human existence, marriage is a journey that—if approached as such—can be a rich source of learning and personal development for both spouses. As Muslim men, much of what we are taught about family life pertains to our roles and responsibilities as husbands, i.e., the X’s and O’s of marriage and family life. However, too often the spirit of marriage is ignored or missed. Too often, in the course of trying to “manage” our families, we completely overlook the nuances that make marriage and family so important a human experience. Often we overlook the patience, sacrifice, compromise, love, understanding, humility, strength, and so many other inputs that are needed to be a good husband and father. These are the fruits of the dedication and hard work that go into family life that help us to develop into better and more universal human beings.

Though certainly there is no magic formula for achieving a “successful” marriage and family life, selflessness, love, and service are a few key principles from the teachings of our tradition that, when applied, can have remarkable transformational qualities on our roles as husbands and fathers and subsequently, our families in general.

Giving Without Expectation of Reward

One of the most important themes in the life of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is the notion of meeting the needs and fulfilling the rights of others without any expectation of reciprocity. It is well known that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) actively participated in household duties such as sewing, cooking, serving his guests, and cleaning. The modern world often teaches us to expect reward for our work, time, and efforts. Even as Muslims, it often seems as though we take these same expectations into our home lives. It is common to hear about Muslim husbands and fathers demanding to be treated like kings in their homes with their wives and children expected to act like servants rather than loved ones. This phenomenon, despite going against the spirit of love and service that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) brought to the world, has many negative effects on families. For one, the “distant father” syndrome prevents children from fulfilling their divine role as a source of love and inspiration to their parents.

As is commonly understood from the famous hadith that all children are born in a state of Islam, our scholars have told us that the greater meaning of this hadith is that children come into this world pure, and it is only what they learn from their parents and societies (i.e., the world) that turns them from this pure state. This purity of heart means that they are essentially beacons of mercy and love, a reminder of the endless blessings of the All-Merciful. However, the “distant father,” the one who would be king in his own home and God-knows-what outside of it, himself a product of rejection, is not open to this divine blessing sent in the form of his children. The child, in turn, learns rejection early on and internalizes it, eventually manifesting his frustration in a multitude of ways including acting out, rebelliousness, mental illness, oppression, or simply the inability to open up to others—the feeling of separation that typically goes hand in hand with illnesses such as depression and severe anxiety.

As Muslim men, we are supposed to be servants of Allah. A servant is one who does not expect anything from anyone, for a servant knows that he is in no position to do so. A servant understands and accepts the fact that he is totally reliant and bonded to his master, and as such, is in no position to play king. A willing servant is also one who is always looking to give, to do, to provide, and to love. This is the way of Allah Himself, Who gives and provides for all His creation without fail, even those that turn away from Him. Thus, if to give without expectation of reward is the way of the King, what then for a lowly servant and recipient of the King’s endless bounty and mercy? The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was known to spend his nights in prayer to the extent that his feet would swell. When asked why he went to such lengths to please his Lord after knowing that he would be pardoned for all his sins, his answer was simply “Shall I not be a grateful slave?” This story exemplifies so many of the Prophet’s beautiful traits and his perfect servantship. It also highlights the concept of selfless giving—of giving out of love and gratitude without any desire for anything in return. If we as Muslim husbands and fathers truly love our families, does it not make sense that we should be selfless givers to them? Should we not be servants of Allah by serving those who are closest to us and thereby fulfilling our amanah (trust) by showing mercy, kindness, and love to them? Who are we to claim servantship and then expect others to serve and wait on us as if we were the King Himself? It’s something worth pondering over this Ramadan.

Living Is Modeling Is Teaching

The Muslim family should be based on the goal, practice, and teaching of surrendering the heart and subsequently all of one’s affairs in life to Allah. In practice, this translates into more than just blind obedience to rules. This begins with a real and living desire to be conscious of Allah and the way of His Messenger at all times.

Many parenting experts say that one of the most important aspects of being a good parent is self-awareness. Not only must we be aware of ourselves in the sight of Allah, but we must know and realize that our children see and learn from everything that we do. Often, I am blown away by the level of detail to which my own daughter mimics my actions and comments. Particularly when children are young, it is important to be conscious of ourselves because the most powerful teaching lessons are our everyday actions. Everything a young child experiences is an input into his or her development. Children are like sponges that soak up the entire world as it unfolds around them. As such, the gift of remembrance in this context is that by remembering Allah, we become aware of ourselves and our conduct. This, in turn, will be observed or picked up by our children as well as by our spouses and other family members. Remembrance settles the heart and brings peace of mind. The “vibe” this creates then spreads around the home and family allowing positive transformation to occur.

As the father is the leader of the home in Islam, it is his responsibility to set the social and emotional tone for the home and family. Leadership in Islam goes far beyond financial responsibility. If the leader is emotionally distant, perpetually angry, or closed off, chances are this will resonate throughout the rest of the family. Thus, the role of the father and husband as a “tone-setter” is a key element in the leadership of the household. I notice in my own home that when I am engaged in prayer or reading, my daughter will take interest and want to join me in her own way. Rather than get upset at her for interrupting me, I will usually try to include her in what I am doing in a way that is playful and educational. This allows her to take an interest in it as well, increasing the bond and emotional connection between us.

On the other hand, if we push our children away and become annoyed when they want to share in our activities, they will learn this as a form of rejection. Looking at this from the perspective of Islamic practice, if our children observe us to be angry with them every time they interrupt our prayer, dhikr or other religious practices, they will equate that reaction—and the religious practice—with rejection and hurt. We know from the Prophet’s blessed life (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) that he was well known for kissing, hugging, and playing with his grandchildren, Hassan and Hussein (may Allah be pleased with them). The Prophet would also accommodate them even during his salah (prayer), when they would climb on his back and play with his garments. The lesson he taught us was to accommodate our children, particularly during religious practices, so they will be endeared to them and not associate rejection or anything unpleasant with them. I cannot help but think that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was setting an example for us of how to teach children to love Islam the same way he did.

“Fatimah Is a Piece of Me” — Seeing Our Children as a Reflection of Ourselves

When we read about the Prophet’s love and care for his daughter Fatimah (may Allah be pleased with her), about whom he said “Fatimah is a piece of me, whosoever tortures her has tortured me, and whoever pleases her has pleased me,” it is easy to understand the special place that children are meant to have in the lives of parents. In blessing us with children, the All-Merciful has given us each a human mirror. These little mirrors, in their role as learners, reflect back to us what they see, hear, and understand from us. As such, to be in tune with our children and their many ways of communicating, we are more able to understand ourselves and what we are “projecting” onto the world around us. Any parent who takes a minute to observe their child knows this to be true. From the perspective of living Islam, however, we should also understand this to be an opportunity from Allah to examine ourselves. In so doing, our children, in another one of their roles as a mercy to parents, become allies for our own self-growth and purification. We help them as parents and they help us to better understand ourselves. The key to profiting on their gift is to be conscious of our every word and every action when we are around them. Of course this is a tall order for most us; however, when we understand the importance of every moment we share with our children, we can begin to appreciate them in a whole new way.

This Ramadan, all of us as Muslim fathers and husbands should take time to reflect on our lives with our families. We should use the blessing of Ramadan to look at ourselves with sincere and honest eyes, and take stock. Aside from meeting our material and financial responsibilities, are we really fulfilling the amanah that Allah has given us in the form of our families? Are we teaching and modeling mercy, love, and forgiveness, or do we just see our families as our personal slaves? When we begin to open our hearts and look at things with a different set of eyes, we may not like what we see. Nevertheless, Ramadan is the perfect time to begin this all-important and difficult work of struggling with ourselves to clear our hearts of all but Allah. As the saying goes, there is no better time than the present.

How do we resolve Somalia's problem?

I ask the above question not in pursuit of blaming anyone person, tribe, or organization in particular but to suggest a solution to our Somali dilemma. And though I contribute much of our problem to colonial era, lack of education, self-interest driven individuals and organizations, I think there is a solution and a simple one: A two party democratic system.

I suggest the TFG, especially the Honorable Speaker of Parliament, to take the necessary leadership to put into process the instantiation of a two party system where the people’s focus will be on the parties rather than individuals on the bases of tribe.

To understand the wisdom in the party system, look around the developed world, including Russia. The difference within those countries is not in the size of their natural wealth but the civil-structures that have been put in place and how early in the country’s birth those structures were put into place. For instance, the United States has a two party system that was put in place early enough and which conforms to the will of the people while the Russian are now coming to realize the need put such a system in place. Russia, with its vast natural resources, is the least economically developed of the G8 countries and with a quality of life that is far below most of the developing countries, simply because it has yet to put into place a free and democratic two party system.

And of the G8 countries, the United States is obviously the most advanced in all categories of progress because it has, at its inception, realized 1) the power of a union and 2) the power of a multi-party democratic system where the people are the authority and the government is elected by the people -- both at the local level and the federal level -- and with the two forms of governments enjoying separations of powers as mandated by the federal courts and constitution – separations of powers being absolutely necessary to ensure no one government, whether Federal, State or Local infringes in on the rights of any of the other two. In this form of governing, the United States realized, a two-party system is the best rather than a countless number of parties that lead to unstable governments as is most often the case with some of the G8 countries such as Italy, which has encountered well over 20 government administrations since World War II. In addition to the above, the US constitution has been amended so that no administration serves more than two-terms of four years each. What this leads to is the administration working excessively in its first term, all in an effort to get re-elected the following term. If and when this re-election effort is achieved, the administration works around the clock to insure its party wins the next term, thus, passing the torch of approval of confidence in the party, by the voting public, to the stars of its party.

Now, the challenge for you, Mr. President, Mr. Prime Minister and Mr. Speaker, is to ensure the TFG sets the nation on course to the right path; we have been put on such a path before with Presidents Adan Cade and Cabdirashid C. Sharmarke only to have been victimized by the Somali National Military Force under the leadership of Siad Barre.

I am convinced, however, we may be on the right path because, though the “division” within the TFG has been overplayed by the International Community (IC), I think it is in fact not harmful but healthy for the people and nation since neither of you will tolerate the other unjustly. In fact, I think the “difference” of views should be cemented into the two party system even while the current governing body of the Gedi Adminstration has members of both parties for this term and until the country is on its feet again. However, during this Transitional period, the State and Local government candidates SHOULD campaign on party platforms rather than being appointed by the Gedi Transitional Administration –- we need to safeguard separations of powers between the State and Federal governments. Peaceful and democratic competition at the local levels will bring the public into the government, thus, effectively reducing the influence of tribal loyalty and the ‘pre-war’ rhetoric coming from all sides.

Mr. Speaker, as you have witnessed during your journey to the Diaspora, most of the Somalis who have been and are your most loyal supporters are not based on tribal affiliations with you but rather on principal alliance with you. This, I think, should be more than enough evidence to convince you, Mr. Speaker, to convene the TFG Parliamentarians and mandate the instantiation of the two party democratic system. As soon as this is done and the public is permitted to vote, thus enabling them to elect their State and Local governments, the public will have active role in the government since all State and Local government political leaders will have to be worn by election rather than being appointed by the current TFG Administration of PM Gedi. The ONLY non-executive positions the TFG Administration should appoint, I think, is regional military commanders who will help set the environment for elections to be held at the regional levels.

This process of electing Local and State officials will, I think, help ease the tension that surrounds the various members of the TFG and the members of the current Gedi Administration.

Furthermore, I am certain the International Community – made up of African, Middle Eastern, Western and Asian countries – will welcome this idea to have the Somali public elect their Local and State governments as is evident in the cases of Puntland and Somaliland. The only remaining regions where this Local and State elections will need to be held are the Banadir, Bay, Bakool, Shabelle and Jubba Valleys. And to carryout these local elections, the current members of the TFG parliament from the various regions to elect should have significant hand in establishing the grounds for election. For example, I think ONLY residents with physical homes in those regions should be allowed to elect Local and State leaders. In addition, since men are prone to instigate corruption, I think the Somali Women Organizations should be given the sole responsibility to carryout those regional elections.

I believe, the election processes in the State and Local levels will accomplish the following: 1—significantly increase the public participation in the TFG and future stability of the country since the election process, in and of itself, will be an educational experience for the mentally enslaved members of the larger society; 2—comfort those of different views from the Gedi Administration in that local officials will not necessarily be loyalists to Gedi but to the public and the Federal State since election demands accountability and fair-play; 3—lead us to avoid repeating the past mistakes of the Barre regime which used to appoint local leaders who were not for the interest of the people but of the regime, and which lead to the abhorable acts of the late 70’s and 80’s where the regime used excessive force against the Somali public; and 4—it will lead to the Banadir, Bay, Bakool, Shabelle and Jubba Valleys catching up to the administrational levels of Puntland and Somaliland, thus completing the formation of the State governments in the Federal Republic.

For those who may prefer to accuse me of being bias towards or against any group over another in the TFG, please note, I am solely committed to giving my honest and unbiased advice in the memory of my sister – Ayaan Carte, 11years old – who was a victim of the mayhem in the civil war. I thank His Excellence, the President, for his contribution to the establishment of the Puntland governing structure and his commitment now, well over 70years of age, to do the same for the rest of Somalia.

Finally, I will suggest that the constitution be ratified(amended) so that A) immediately after the TFG mandate ends, the positions of the Federal Ministries of Defense, Finance, and Commerce are elect-able positions – elected by the people along with the Presidential elections and report to both the parliament and the executive branch of the government. What this will do is help us forever prevent the likes of the sad acts of the late regime of Siyad Barre on the Somali people. We must make those three ministerial positions elect-able rather than appointed by the head of the executive branch -- even when the leader is elected -- to deter threats and corruption in the hands of such ministries.
For instance, what if the Defense Minister decides to conduct a de coup with the support of his military commanding officers? Or what if the Finance Minster gets along well with the boss, and “cooks” the accounting books while money is stashed away somewhere on a foreign soil? Or what if the commerce minister deals dirty deals with foreign institutions while the boss looks away for the purposes of preferential treatment of tribe? Therefore, unless we make those three positions elect-able rather than appointed, we will always be victims of power, greed, and corruption. In addition, the benefits to electing to those positions are 1—the public will feel included in selecting who is in charge of their arm forces, financial and economical institutions; and 2—the records of those seeking election will be examined with all the expandable energy available in political campaigns.

Mr. Speaker, please note, you are an elected official and besides comforting words, you have not significantly taken major steps to stabilize the Federal Government or pass constructive legislations while on Somali soil. We demand that you urgently a) plant the seeds to safeguard the country and people from blind Federal Ministries, b) set up the two party system, c) carryout the election process for all the local governments in non-Puntland and non-Somaliland territories, and d) clearly spell-out the difference between the State, Local and Federal governments and jurisdictions.

Lastly, Mr. Speaker, the presence of the President, the Prime Minister, and/or any member of the TFG in Jowhar does not decapitate the TFG. Remember, Mr. Speaker, the fall of the TNG under the leadership of Mr. President Abdiqasim and Prime Minister Galeyr started as soon as they moved into Muqadisho. Had they remained in Baidoa as was agreed, they could have been able to live to a mature and a productive government.

Now, why is that you are in such a rush to force the TFG to choke with Muqadisho at its throat? If anyone’s response is that the TNG was worried the Ethiopia government would have attacked, I doubt that is a valid reason or an act that would have been carried out by the Ethiopian government in a direct-to-direct conflict. Now, no one, especially Ethiopia, is interested in attacking the TFG in Jowhar or Muqadisho, and therefore there is no reason to rush the TFG members in Jowhar to move to Muqadisho. Besides, Jowhar is part of the Federal State, and therefore, since the Federal government is the sole authority over the Federal Republic, there should be no issue over the presence of the TFG in Jowhar, temporarily. However, if you are determined to use the Muqadisho issue as a smoke screen to any lack of ability to get the Federal Parliament to be an active and effective body of the TFG inside Muqadisho, then, I think time may not be on your side. Besides, if Muqadisho has not conformed to your request since you are the real legislative power of the Federal Republic, what makes you think it will conform to the wishes of the President who has many political foes inside Muqadisho, some of them religious fanatics rather than religious scholars? Have you ever wondered why there exist so many armed factions in Muqadisho, some of them current members of the TFG? Reason: Because not a single one of them could manage to rule over all the others. Now, until discoveries such as the ones I suggest in this document are made, and implemented, what makes you think the TFG can peacefully operate out of Muqadisho?

With some ministries speaking out of “imminent attacks on Jowhar if the President lands there”, as was done by Mr. Qanyare Afrah while the PR was visiting Puntland, and the most resent act of Balcad where Mr. Qanyare spoke against the government, insisting he is ready to use force and wants to use force as a means to resolving differences of views, what makes you think, the armed factions in Muqadisho are people of reasonable minds? And what assurances can you give the President that people like Qanyare won’t attack him if he relocates to Muqadisho now?

While you insist ‘no force should be used against the armed populations of Muqadisho’, and you can’t insure the safety of the un-armed Executive branch of the TFG, you insist every one must come to Muqadisho. How? Or even sounder, what is your contribution to the effort to bring the Executive branch of the TFG to Muqadisho where it wouldn’t be forced to use force to disarm the armed factions? And what is it that you couldn’t do in Muqadisho that the Executive Branch could do in Muqadisho? Use force against the armed factions?
Arte Moalin III

The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and in no way, form or shape represent the editorial opinions of "the Center for Peace and Democracy in Somalia (CPD)"