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Somalia Expected to Have Top Legislator Next Week

Assalaamu Caleykum Mr. President: We, the members of the Pan-Somali Council for Peace and Democracy (aka ISRAACA), hereby wish to share both our vision for a new Somalia and our expectations of the new Somali government. ISRAACA is an advocacy organization established to promote justice, the de-institutionalization of clanism, equality, unity, and the peaceful co-existence of the Somali people. It was founded by Somalis from all walks of life, including professionals, intellectuals and ordinary people united by a desire to seek viable solutions to the chaotic quagmire that literally kept Somalia in the dark ages for more than a decade.

United under our banner of ISRAAC (unity) for the Somali people, our members are now spread across five continents. For the past couple of years, we have held annual conferences in cities like Toronto, Columbus (Ohio), and Washington, DC. Some of the issues addressed in those conferences include the future of our nation, the causes of our national tragedy, the role of the Somali intellectual in the formation of a new nation, and the involvement of foreign hegemonic forces, be they neighbors or those reaching from across the seas.

Mr. President, many Somalis were jubilant to learn of your election to the office of the presidency that was vacant for a decade. Your election as a president is a tribute to the will and determination of the Somali people to end the painful, decade-long period of anarchy and rampant disunity in our country. Your election is a milestone that restores some measure of dignity to Somalia and rekindles the pride of her people as bona fide members of the global community.

As a symbol of that representation, we acknowledge the choice that the Somali people have made and congratulate you on your new role as the President of the nation.

Mr. President, leading Somalia, especially in this hour of need is a burdensome task that will require rare selfless leadership qualities that will enable one to balance the often conflicting interests of our people. Many of our members strongly believe that human rights abuses have been and continue to be a main source of the misery that plagues Somalia. Make no mistake, Mr. President, without guarantees of basic human rights for ALL of our citizens, Somalia will remain in its state of despair and the world will continue to ignore it as weve seen in the recent past. Mr. President, you have a golden opportunity to rectify Somalia's recent national mistakes and to set the stage for a sustainable, peaceful and democratic future for the people of Somalia.

We believe that you were elected partly because of your demonstrated skills to build bridges and compromise with your counterparts on crucial issues facing our nation. It is such a skill that we believe will help close psychological gaps between our people and heal the wounds. To overcome Somalias recent dark history and to establish a fresh start for our desperate nation, ISRAACA urges you and your administration to undertake what we believe to be a crucial test of leadership and a basic requirement for the success of a new and credible Somali administration:

1. Fight clanism as a basis for national and local political influence and set up a meaningful timetable to achieve that goal.

2. Preclude known war criminals from serving in your government in any capacity.

3. Establish and encourage the development of a war crimes tribunal.

4. Handle the Somaliland and Puntland issues with sensitivity and seek to resolve regional issues amicably.

5. Encourage the uniform development of all of Somalia and promote meritorious appointments without regard to regional and clan affiliation.

6. Bring accountability to government by establishing an independent governmental monitoring agency, and help eradicate the prevalent culture of looting government property.

7) Work for the orderly transfer of illegally acquired private properties and farm land to their rightful owners and help eradicate any and all forms of human exploitation in Somalia.

8) Reinforce the development of inclusive regional autonomy, and restore the image of Mogadishu as a city belonging to all Somalis and as a symbol of our nationhood.

9) Promote the participation of women and minorities in the political, economic, and social affairs. Mr. President, business for Somalia should NOT be as usual.

This is a new dawn for our nation and we must learn from our past mistakes of which there are many. We pray to Allah (SWT) that you will be able to make the right choices that will help Somalia overcome her dark history and allow her to march into the new millennium as a model nation.

ISRAACA offers its solemn support and expertise to help make this daunting task possible for you and your government.

May Allah guide us all.

Board of Directors

Mr. Ali A. Fatah, Chair
Dr. Abdinur Sh. Mohamed, Vice Chair
Mr. Abukar A. Arman, Secretary Mr. Said Salah Ahmed, Co-Treasurer Mr. Mumin A. Barre, Co-Treasurer Ms. Shamsa B. Ali, Member Dr. AliNuur Mohamed, Member Dr. Abdullahi H. Mahdi, Member Dr. Hassan Mahadallah, Member Headquarters 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue N. W. Suite 300 Washington, D.C., 20004 Tel: (202)661-4653 Fax: (202)661-4699 Regional Chapters Columbus, Ohio. USA Toronto, Ontario. Canada Washington Metro, USA


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