is about the examples you set and the legacy you leave."
"War is dirty, politics is dirtier
itch to become a President of tattered Somalia by a bunch
of war criminals meeting in Mbgathi made my head spin
and every drop of blood in my veins tingles with indignity
and unpleasant aftertaste in my mouth.
division of the transitional parliament on tribal basis
truly left many Somalis betrayed. Though it was meant
to forge an all-inclusive national government, as the
facilitators put it, but a government based on clan system
does not guarantee that there will be a national unity.
It's the recipe for more fragmentation and bloody internecine
never seen before.
where does that leave us? As Somalis, we have all the
more to feel betrayed since we are going to suffer the
most. Many well-meaning civic leaders announced at the
very beginning of the Kenya talks as waste of time, money
and energy. Views as these were naturally seen in many
quarters as representing an irritating weakness and subservience
to the wishes of a certain stakeholder (s) in the region.
result is that ours is highly demonized country, where
warlordism, murder, rape, pillaging and kidnapping have
become fulltime occupation while the serious business
of bringing peace and stability are left to a bunch of
war criminals, the very people who destroyed the country
and massacred unarmed civilians.
man in particular, Ali Mahdi Mohamed, who walked out of
the talks when it was only a few days old, was vociferous
in his complaints on the way the conference was conducted,
when he returned home. These complaints were to find a
ready hearing, not only civic leaders, but among large
section of the public as well.
OF THE MAIN PROBLEMS DISREGARDED
troublesome of nationwide disarmament, the return of expropriated
assets to their owners, opening the main airport and seaport,
the provision of food and clean drinking water, and what
to do with the thousands of drug-addicted teenagers in
the streets, etc. were put on a back seat for a new government
to tackle, a Herculean effort. Even the international
task force spearheaded by the United States and the United
Nations woefully failed to face this formidable task,
let alone an infant regime or a few soldiers from the
African Union, who might be infected with the deadly HIV/Aids
virus. According to statistics an estimated 30 million
assault rifles and an equal number of heavy artillery
pieces and mortars, bazookas and RPGs are in the hands
of the population, a constant lethal companion in the
peoples' daily lives.
basic assumption that ignoring these crucial subjects
shows that the war criminals as the self-appointed central
figures at the Nairobi Talks proved to be the real enemies
of peace and stability in Somalia. It quickly become apparent
that they also monopolized every subject discussed, and
making all manners of noise about all manners of issues
and non-issues from day one of the talks, while people
at home have been hostage to the gun since 1991.
Mandela was in prison for 10,000 days breaking rocks under
the barrel of the gun. It was another hell on earth Ask
Somali warlord seems to have confirmed preconceived notions
of a typical Somali warlord to be a trusted man with an
equivocal smile on his face and something quite different
in his heart, the itch to become a president at all costs.
Not only that. He regularly rushes to the nearest "wholesome"
place to say his evening prayers. And when he returns
to the conference table he appeared to be reading from
a script prepared by somebody else. This absurd and creepy
process has been going on unabated since day one at Eldoret,
the first venue of the parley, two years ago.
FIT TO LEAD A NATION? HOPE IN THE WIND
kind of president do we want?
nearly 14 years of never ending chaos and bloodshed, a
new president's first priority is:
a) To keep petty politicians out of sinister intrigues
over fragmented society;
b) He has no immediate reason to feel threatened,
not by the mainstream, which are wary of anarchy and bloodshed.
The peoples' choice is to carry on.
c) He must strictly control his emotions;
d) He should not lose his mind brazenly to challenge
rumours against his regime. It's a waste of time to grouse
on rumours. In most cases the opposition in politics are
on a fishing expedition. They are simply scrounging around
in the hope that they might find something to impeach
the president of the day;
e) He must be a man of statue with contact at every
level of society, and avoid misinformation made-up by
Afminsharis (political brokers) about the situation in
f) Somalis, by nature fancy nicknames. It must
be remembered that the late military dictator had earned
the nickname Afweyne (Big Mouth) at the parade grounds
during his days as army instructor, but no one called
that on his face. The new man should put up with a nickname
g) Most of all, the new president should resist
the temptation of cronyism, nepotism, corruption, embezzlement
of public funds and Afminsharism. Caution should be his
repertoire. He is symbol to hold the people together.
h) Once combat begins, it's almost impossible to
determine who started, what and who's at fault. In Somalia
wars have a way of sucking everyone in. The new president
must try hard to curb those who tend to cause internecine
in the country;
i) Last but not least, he must be properly versed
with the lies of the diplomats. If a diplomat tells you
to go to hell, he will tell you in such a way you'd actually
look forward to the trip!
I believe without these qualities, one can't lead others.
The long-suffering people know the antics of the villains
and should hand them their own medicines. They are now
fully aware of their paranoia-driven hunger to cling to
power, their clandestine meetings with the enemies of
Somalia, the predawn pillaging, and the dangerous pursuit
to shed more blood.
message to the Somalis in the Diaspora: If you think you
are qualified for the job of a new President of resuscitated
Somalia, welcome aboard to the bandwagon to join the 70
presidential hopefuls vying for the same job. But remember,
this job is like a revolving door that swings and swings
before you know it.
people should stop worrying where the candidate's umbilical
cord was buried. Let the people usher in a new era and
shade the country's image as a failed state and "a
haven for international terrorism," dragging it back
to the Middle Ages.
M. M. Afrah©2004
from the Webmaster: Please click
here for photographs of M. M. Afrah's book
signing event in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) and questions
and answers from members of the Somali Community who warmly
welcomed him during his short visit in the US State of