good news from Mogadishu is that the price of guns has halved
for the first time in more than a decade. This, according
to Reuters news dispatch from Mogadishu, is due to the election
of Colonel Abdullahi Yusuf as president of the transitional
federal government of Somalia. Not a bad deal under the circumstances.
After more than a decade of lawlessness, bloodshed and anarchy
the people needed an authoritarian career military-man.
I have healthy suspicion of military rule. It takes years
for the pain and misery for the pain of military dictatorship
to fade, and, as with most things in life, you're living with
the bad memories.
early to measure what his performances, as a president of
a country in turmoil would look like. One man who knows the
Colonel intimately (we were only nodding friends) says he
runs his tight enclave, Puntland, with military style discipline.
He dresses sharply, is thoroughly professional in all aspects,
and maintains regular work schedule. He expects nothing less
from his ministers and staff. No beards or moustaches in his
General Barre was ousted the idea of electing another military
officer would have been unthinkable, even laughable, and yet,
here we have another soldier/politician at the helm again.
The capital is buzzing over the Colonel's election and he
knows he would soon inherit a docket that's begging for a
problem is Mogadishu where an estimated 60,000 militia gunmen
and freelance gang of robbers and kidnappers are waiting in
the wings for a repeat performances after Abdiqassim was elected
at Arte. Evidently, the same thugs will be after him. But
his supporters compare notes about the Colonel's no-nonsense
performances in Puntland, and unlike Abdiqassim will prevail.
But this is not Puntland, where everybody knows everybody.
to rehash what I wrote years ago on this website, but since
it's vital under the present circumstances, I'm recycling
it for the benefit of those who had missed it.
to say, some of the problems to tackle include:
1 food and clean drinking water and health care;
2 shelter for the displaced, dispossessed and disabled;
3 a workable design for national reconciliation and cessation
of all hostilities, verbal, physical or otherwise;
4 rehabilitate the thousands of drug-addicted child soldiers
in the capital, and
5.respect for human rights and press freedom.
THE CHILD SOLDIER
from being drug-addicted, the huge arsenal in the hands of
these youngsters is a recipe for stiff resistance and more
bloodshed. If the new government does not come up with resettlement
and employment program for these now-armed youngsters it will
fail in its cleaning up program. The question that naturally
comes up is: who is going to foot the bill?
amusing to see these gun-boys and their masters cowering in
fear en mass, and not only selling their guns at rock-bottom
prices, but sit and wait for hours and days to see what would
befall on them as well as their bleak future.
it will be impossible for any new government to absorb the
young militia boys, as the majority have no skills of their
own and are numerically too many to accommodate in a new national
army. Perhaps the newly elected President, who said he is
a man of peace during the swearing-in ceremony, should put
our begging bowl in front of the international community.
I am sure no one will flinch or raise an eyebrow because we
are among some of the world's greatest panhandlers.
no longer trust leaders whose only claim to the position they
occupy is the ability to keep their respective clan elders
grinning, well satisfied on national loot and flooding the
country with trillions of counterfeit currencies.
Colonel Abdullahi is the man of the hour these last few days
(his photo appears almost every day in the Western media),
I can predict precisely what's about to happen to the clones
with guns in the streets of the capital. It will be ugly.
I won't have much to say on this score at the moment.
it is time to stop nitpicking and give the Colonel a break
and see what happens.