POINT: THE RISE OF A FACTION LEADER
By M.M. Afrah
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of Mogadishu's newest faction leader gave Ethiopia, Somalia's
ancient enemy, great opportunity to farther polarize the Somalis,
already weary of war and polarization since 1990. Muse Sudi
Yalahow sounded "radical" and "tougher" to the Ethiopians
than the other warlords in fighting spirit, leaving a catalogue
of death and injuries in his wake.
the victims are non-combatant civilians, mostly women, children
and the elderly who stay in their flimsy dwellings. And Muse
needed two things Addis Ababa had plenty of: guns to derail
the national transitional government and guidance on how to
tarnish the image of the Arta Group with their vacillating
president, prime minister and a parliament chaired by a man
who is at a loss to understand how to handle rowdy members.
the President, his Prime Minister and the speaker of the parliament
are at loggerhead, accusing each other of causing all the
new evils in the country, including embezzlement of public
funds. The only good thing about these tug-of-war is that
the Somalis are watching and listening top leaders going at
each other's throat for the first time since General Siyad
Barre took over the country in a military and police coup
in October 1969. No such scenario would have taken place during
Siyad Barre's heydays.
word was: "toe the revolutionary line or else…" Of course
with the famous song: "Caynaanka hay. Weligaa hay." And everybody,
including the old man and his minions, was happy - at least
on the surface. Just scratch the surface and you will hear
a lot of grumbling against the revolutionary regime. We all
pretended to believe that everything was hanky dory and the
old man can not make a mistake.
this background, Mogadishu once again became a battlefield
with everybody blaming everybody else for starting the war.
But Muse, who had no military training, as the other generals
and colonels-turned-warlords, led his forces to the most sanguine
battle field since the late General Aideed fought a relentless
bloody war against forces loyal to Ali Mahdi until he was
killed in action during an offensive.
supporters, taking a leaf from Stalinist Russia, insisted
for three days in a row that their leader had died from heart
attack "while carrying out national duty." (Mohamed Farah
Juma'ale and Abdi Haji Gobdoon: where are you now?)
wrongly believed that General Aideed's death clears the way
for a peaceful conference, which he hoped the international
community will help to convene.
his supporters when they decide to replace him, might choose
a person that will choose the peace process," he told reporters.
But that prophesy did not materialize as the General's son,
a 34 year-old US Marine corporal and Africa's youngest warlord,
vowed to avenge his father's death. He said the clan war must
go on unabated. It was back to square one!
is the man of the moment, but the other warlords refused to
send reinforcements, because they had second thoughts. They
virtually ignored his adventures and kept their distance.
"Let the Hawiye eliminate each other, Mafia gangland style."
They would say. They were skittish about him, so they all
retreated to their shrinking strongholds and never uttered
a favourable word about Muse and his wars against the Arta
group. He took their point, but followed his own course of
action. And pronto! He is in the limelight again.
other hand Ethiopia continued to smear the transitional national
government in Mogadishu with grotesque caricature of a terrorist
in the pay roll of Osama bin Laden. The Addis Ababa newspapers
are having a field day, depicting the Tigrean regime of Meles
Zenawi as the first authentic anti international terrorism
in Africa, muting Daniel arap Moi's rhetoric who hoped to
earn that honour from the Americans. As usual the American
CIA is playing a guessing game before implicating Abdiqassim
for his alleged link with Al-Islaah organization. Anyway they're
busy over the skies of Afghanistan "to smoke out" Osama bin
Laden and his Qa'eda network. Qa'eda means The Base in Arabic,
but the bombers are so far unable to pinpoint the base at
the time of writing this article.
flop in the Horn of Africa underscored once more that Somalia's
misery has the hands of foreign powers. The irony of the fact
is that Muse relentlessly tried to justify his recent flare-ups
in Mogadishu as defending his fiefdom from what he calls Mooryaan
(Predators) from the Central Province headed by Abdiqassim
Salad Hassan and his Afar Jeeblehyaal, (literal translation:
people with four pockets, i.e. merchants). He often reiterates
that non-Abgal clans SHOULD pack up their things and go back
to their provinces. Rightly or wrongly, he pledges to restore
the Banadir Region and its environments to its original inhabitants,
i.e. the Abgal and the Rer Hamar. He believes it was the true
path towards a federal state. The other warlords say it is
regionalism and smacks of tribalism and a recipe for farther
fragmentation of the country. Hence their refusal to cooperate.
like ordering non-Romans to leave Rome en mass!" one of the
"original" warlords exclaimed.
the justification for the loss of dozens of lives? The destruction
of newly rebuilt infrastructures? The displacement of thousands
of people? The revitalization of the economy, starting from
A CONCLUSIVE SOLUTION
the Transitional National Government, still holed up in Hotel
Ramadhan, actually feels responsible, they should open a dialogue
with those who oppose it, Including Muse;
IMMEDIATELY put an end to the billions of fake currency flooding
the country, causing immense suffering to the ordinary Somali;
Somali people have suffered enough from wars, hunger, disease,
man-made famine and the disintegration of their country, it
is a high time that the slide into farther anarchy was stopped;
foreign interference and arms trafficking must be stopped
once and for all. Countries must adhere to the arms embargo
imposed by the UN Security Council on Somalia since 1991 (if
you believe in UN arms embargo).
Somalis now need to come together, sit together to settle
their differences peacefully, because the international community,
including the African Union, the Arab League, the Islamic
Conference Organization, the United Nations and IGADD, woefully
failed to foster peace in that Horn of Africa country. The
onus is now on the Somalis themselves. No one in the world
gives damn about Somalis killing Somalis.
a young man in downtown Toronto told me that it is not too
late to save what was left of the country from sliding into
a new Stone Age. He was right. But the thorny question is