Confusion, lack of clarification, vicious daily wrangling jostling for a spot on the limelight by some wannabe warlords with their garbled messages to the media and behind-the-scene machinations by some IGADD members to derail the peace talks for their own vested interests prevails in Eldoret. More confusion.
Now, the question is: How is it that the Kenyan host, Mr. Elijah Mwangale, has suddenly become tongue-tied when it become so clear to him and his technical committee that some shady characters at the talks are responsible for all the altercations and war of words from day one? Was Ali Mahdi right when he said that the whole shenanigan in Eldoret was merely a waste of time and non-cooperation? Many people at home and in the Diaspora believe that Ali was right. But I believe that the man should have stayed put, state his own case plainly and let the chips fall where they may. At least people will know where he stood, instead of making a statement to the BBC’s Focus on Africa program.
In a way, it is like cutting a hole in your own lifeboat in the middle of the turbulent Indian Ocean.
As a concerned citizen, I cannot stop asking myself –what’s going on in Eldoret? Would someone, somewhere please tell me why it takes three or even four months and in the process spend hundreds of thousands of Dollars or Euros just to form a broad-based national government in Somalia?
I know there is someone out there who is going to say, “Well, we are trying to set up government based on Somalia’s intricate clan system. We are trying to please every clan in the country. The theories that a broad-based national government or technocrats will not be able to work in a fragmented country like Somalia where clan loyalty is paramount.”
Yet, there are still grumbling in many parts of the country and even renewed fighting emanating from wannabe warlords who feel their clans have been left out in the clan quotas and are eager to make their presence felt. There are also reactionary elements who are opposed to peace and stability, or those who are being used as catspaw by foreign powers.
Few days ago there were bloody fighting in what is locally known as Bermuda in the heart of the devastated capital. These fighting’s are engineered by criminal plotters whose aim was to undermine the ceasefire recently signed in Eldoret by all the participants. There were similar disturbances in Northeast of the country, specifically Sool and Sanaag. Only in Somalia the stronger clan blots out the weaker clan, until there are no smaller clan to shove out. The blotting out was only not yet complete. An old African proverb says, “When two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers.” In Somalia it is always the defenseless and unarmed civilians who suffer.
On the other hand many of us who have Somalia’s best interest at heart are bewildered and bamboozled by the way the clan quotas were endorsed by those who committed a catalogue of crimes against innocent civilians in the name of their clans during the past 12 years. Common sense dictates that the names of these hoodlums should have been put top on the list of war criminals and the global war against terrorism. Only then we would have peace of mind and soul.
The Somali people are tired of wars, lootings, rape and arson and are hungry for peace and human dignity. We are by now fully aware that the best service the militia can render their warlords is to execute as many unarmed civilians as possible—often skeleton-looking mothers, their emaciated babies and starving elderly people from a rival clan.
We have now come to a period when a true patriot would tower above clan leaders, warlords and self-seekers. These are the times when men and women with stamina and conviction would stand out and say NO to the faction leaders. We must prove the stuff we were made of, for these are times of great trial.
Admittedly, the situation is still complex and volatile, but we are not completely washed out. Not yet.
By M. M. Afrah©