Somalia is the only country in the world that's frequently
described as a failed state, and one cannot help wondering
why faction leaders/warlords could not reach a consensus
to end the impasse after scores of aborted peace talks
were aborted simply because some of the warlords think
that they are more important than others and have
the exclusive right to derail any peace overture or
plan, which in turn subjects the people to more suffering.
As a result the country has been spinning out of control
for so long that many people at home and abroad gave
up hope for the return of the rule of law.
Africa and the rest of the world community afford
the luxury of seeing Somalia remain in the doldrums
forever? It is difficult to applaud when a war criminal
stands up as a presidential candidate of a country
he had destroyed and in the process massacred innocent
people. I don't mean to be rude, but would it also
be wise to elect a young man who promoted himself
from petrol station attendant, corporal in the US
Marine Corps, warlord in Somalia and now a jailbird
in a Nairobi overcrowded, urine sticking jailhouse,
where hardcore convicts play havoc among the prison
the question that bugs me: is why arrest young Hussein
at this crucial stage when the third and final phase
of the talks was on the table? Since this was a civil
case, borrowing money from a Kenyan Asian and failing
to pay it in time was a civil case, unless he fleeced
the man. I am not a lawyer, but I believe the criminal
court had no jurisdiction over this case because it
pertains to unpaid debt, which according to the Law
Society of Kenya Handbook is a civil case that should
be settled out of civil courts. Besides, the young
man is a guest of the Kenya Government, he should
have been given the chance to consult a lawyer.
would describe it as miscarriage of justice.
smells of a conspiracy to remove the young man from
the scene, Mafia-style, at least temporarily, until
a parliament and a president is elected following
the approval of the charter. I would describe as miscarriage
a Nairobi judge released him, there's no guarantee
that this will not happen again. Here is a fatherly,
or better still grandfatherly advice to the young
man: "My dear young man, don't waste the spring
time of your life in a country that has been in an
Intensive Care Unit (ICU) long before your Dad took
up weapons to try and subdue his arch rival, Ali Mahdi.
As the Americans say 'Get the Hell out of that damn
place" and rejoin the Marine Corps. In polite
English, just part company with those who thrive on
killing their fellow countrymen, women and children.
Never mind even if George W. Bush sends you to Iraq.
At least you will die as a martyr and the Star &
Stripes would be wrapped around your coffin, or body
bag. In short, as an American citizen with bright
future in the engineering world and to get a piece
of the American pie in the process, Somalia was a
bad choice for you in the first place, my dear boy".
the key question is: What had happened to the erstwhile
civic leaders and intellectuals who had initially
fought so hard to snatch the peace talks from the
warlords? Our message to them is: Don't sit on the
fence, fight for the rights of the long-suffering
people. Somalia is your country and if you do not
like to accept your responsibility for looking after
this country, the bad guys shall claim ownership of
it and declare Somalia to be their property, and then
sell it to the devil. I have said before and I am
saying it again that we must allow the traditional
elders to advise us, even though they did not have
formal school education, but they have brains-many
of them are even better than some of us who had formal
school education. As our forefathers used to say:
"Growing old is wisdom". They believed in
consensus in clan conflicts in the tested centuries
old traditional Somali Xeer. Even the colonial administrators
had admired and accepted the outcome of the Somali
Xeer without question.
to you , Professor Gandhi--you and your team in the
if to give clout to a bunch of warlords, the facilitators
of the Mbagathi talks have been pleading with those
who habitually walk out of the talks for one flimsy
reason or another, throwing compromise to the dogs.
It is sad that a few power hungry petty politicians
and war criminals in the pay roll of certain stakeholders
are frustrating the interests of a whole nation.
is an act of extreme hypocrisy, dishonest and betrayal
on the part of the facilitators to play games with
people who do not have the interest of the Somali
people at heart, because the constitution of a country
is bigger than a gang of anti-peace individuals and
their goons, a. k. a Mooryaans.
to those who overwhelmingly voted for my Talking Points.
But there were few people, who in their comments called
me Wanla-weyn. One commentator went as far as saying:
(MM Afrah) "was Wanla-weyn and he is and will
be always (sic). Another one said: "(he (MM Afrah)
supports Hawiye people only."
Now, I'll skip the Hawiye and other outdated clan
business for another article in the pipeline, but
I have got an issue with the one who said that I am
Wanla-weyn and will always be a Wanla-weyn
I'll try to explain the meaning of the word Wanla-weyn.
Wanle in the Maay Maay vernacular denotes Milk in
the English language and Caano in standard Somali,
and Weyn means plentiful. In other words, Milk is
Plentiful (in that district). Hence the name Wanla-weyn.
Wanla-weyn is a fertile farming and pastoralist district
southwest of Mogadishu with a population of few thousands
hardworking God-fearing non-Waryaa souls. It was the
Northerners (or Somalilanders) who contemptuously
called every Southerner a Wanla-weyn, no matter which
part of the South he hails from. The reason for this
name-calling started during parliament election before
General Barre came to power in a military and police
coup in October 1969. The result of the ballots cast
in that small district with only few thousands inhabitants
was staggering. It exceeded several hundred thousands
votes cast for the incumbent candidate. As always
during the successive civilian regimes vote rigging
was the order of the day, because for one thing there
were no independent observers or monitors in the country,
and as a result many candidates from the North and
Southern underdogs have been defeated in elections.
So the Northerners coined the name Wanla-weyn.
the other hand the Southerners too had a name for
anyone from the North. And that was "Somali Qaldaan".
For some unknown reason the repulsive name stuck and
proliferated all over the South, like bush fire.
of ballot boxes, I thank from the bottom of my heart
the overwhelming majority who supported and encouraged
me to keep the ball rolling and deliver the message
without fear or favour. Thank you very much. I will
try my very best to expose the antics of the bad guys
whether in the Diaspora or back home. I only hope
they are reading your stimulating comments and the
result of the ballot!
M. M. Afrah©2004