FROM THE WEBMASTER: Online letters will be edited for purposes
of spell check, grammar and space. Full names and email addresses
withheld on request.
Last week we received a flurry
of online opinions from Somalis as far away as Australia,
New Zealand, Africa, Europe and North America regarding the
election of Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed as President of
a "New" Somalia.
Abdiqassim was elected at Arte in Djibouti we also received
emails from our visitors. In comparison last week's figure
is staggering indeed, and we decided to summarize selected
ones, filing away the profanities.
get on with it. Here we go:
normal circumstances, I might not feel to support a military
man as head of state, but this is not normal circumstances.
As you yourself said in your last Talking Point, I too believe
that the Colonel should be given the chance to prove himself.
We must welcome him with reservations. After all five years
is not a big deal.
Memphis, Tennessee (USA)
I do not
expect him to sit behind a huge desk in Mogadishu, shuffling
papers and watching his clan elders grinning after they flood
the country with truckloads of counterfeit currencies. By
the way, the Presidential palace and other state buildings,
including the parliament, is in ruins, and there's no desk
left intact. Even windows have gone. The starving inhabitants
of Mogadishu used them as firewood more than a decade ago.
Hey, why not try Baidoa where his friend Hussein Aideed used
to hole up whenever things get tough for him in Mogadishu?
Dayton, Ohio (USA)
rule and misery has been nothing new to the Somali people.
But it is common knowledge that this guy has short fuse. Anyway,
there's nothing new. It's just from Afweyneh to Afgaduud.
It's as simple as that.
The man has a real chip on his shoulder, but his election
as a President is not a surprise. For one thing the Hawiye
could not settle their hostilities long after their guerrilla
movement, the United Somali Congress (USC) toppled Siyad Barre
and form a united front with Ali Mahdi at the helm. Instead,
they decided to do something to cast mud on Abdiqassim and
Addow and gave their vote to Majerteen military man from Puntland,
where his one-man rule faced numerous obstacles from his own
clansmen. It was a wise decision for the Hawiye, notably,
the Abgal to distance themselves from Abdiqassim and Abdullahi
Addow and their greedy Habar-gedir clan. How about offering
them the Premiership?
Ali Mahdi, he was smart enough to get the hell out of the
torturous clan politics long before the spin-off began.
Thanks for your assessment of the Colonel, but I have other
things to worry about right now. Today, October 15th an immigration
judge has turned down my application for convention refugee
on the ground that Somalia has now a government of its own
and that I would be deported very soon. I belong to the Tunni
clan in Brava District who are frequently harassed and killed
by gunmen from the Central Province. I lost everything and
I vowed never to return to Somalia. My lawyer has filed an
appeal, but the chance to succeed is very slim.
It is time that writers like you to talk about people like
me who do not wish to be deported as long as insecurity prevails
in Somalia in general and Brava in particular (Roughly translated
your lawyer should remind in clear terms to the immigration
judge that Somalia is still one of the most dangerous places
on Earth, after Iraq and Afghanistan. It so dangerous that
even the new President and members of parliament will not
be able to set foot in the country, at least for the moment,
because for one thing the hard nuts are still there with guns
blazing. Good luck!
Mr. Afrah, I carry a bitter poison for those warlords and
their Mooryaans, the people who set in motion a chain of reactions
which maimed innocent victims, including members of my own
family. I only hope the Colonel will get rid of these warlords
and their gunmen once and for all. Only then there will certainly
be a sigh of relief in the Diaspora. Only then many of us
would return to the land of our forebears in order to play
an important a role in reconstruction from Ground Zero.
hundreds of things to do in order to try to resuscitate the
country. However, one place he should avoid is Mogadishu where
the warlords are entrenched, waiting in the wings to destabilize
his new government as they did to Ali Mahdi and Abdiqassim
before him. Perhaps he should make Baidoa the seat of his
government and isolate the gangs in Mogadishu. I think an
African army will not be of any help in Somalia. They may
even worsen the situation. Ask the Americans and the United
truth is that no one on earth can save Somalia from itself.
Everything is waste of time money and energy. Clearly the
stumbling blocks are the warlords and their minions.
get what you see, and that's a soldier/politician in a three-piece
suit and colourful tie. But he could be as dangerous as Siyad
Barre and the warlords. Since we have no choice, let's give
him a chance and monitor him carefully.
suits and yellow ties make him look like a statesman who can
stand among other world leaders, but I very much doubt if
he can handle the chronic problems in the South. I would advice
my Southern brothers to curb their expectations. Electing
a military man is like a car with flat tires. It will run
like a racing car during the first ten minutes, then poof,
the tires go flat suddenly, and you end up with a stranded
military dictator. Remember Siyaad Barre?
(No location given)
Tribalism and factional interests must be divorced from supporting
the new president and his government, because the people are
tired of the faction leaders whose sole interests is to enrich
themselves at the expense of the people. Given their past
record, they are clearly not interested in a stable government
To me, Abdullahi has leadership quality and we must give him
the chance to prove himself.
electing another military man is like jumping from the frying
pan into the fire (roughly: the Somali equivalent of KUT KA
GUUR EE GANJO U GUUR). Apparently money changed hands just
hours before the election and the greedy members of the parliament
have been easily bought to cast their votes for Colonel Abdullahi
Let's wait and see what happens next.
AND EDITED BY