w w w . S o m a l i T a l k . c o m

Perhaps an unjust peace is better than a just war.

"waayadii hore soohdinta Itoobiya badda ayay ku sinnayd, hase ahaatee kolkii ay weydey awood ku filan oo ay wax isaga caabbido, xoogagga kiristaanka ahina ay wax kaalmo ah taaran waayeen ayay soohdimahayagii badda gaarsiisnaan jirey waxay u gacan-galeen quwado muslin ah"
Menelek II: April 10, 1891... Akhri...

Xuseen Maxamed Faarax Ceydiid Ra'iisul-wasaare K/xigeenka ahna Wasiirka Arrimaha Gudaha DFKMG ee lagu soo dhisay Nairobi oo Magaalada Muqdisho dhawr maalmood kadib markii ay qabsadeen ciidamada Ethiopia kula hadalyey odayaal dhaqameedyo ayaa  sheegay in la baabi'inayo Xadka Soomaaliya oo lala midaynayo Ethiopia, oo Hal Ciidan ay yeelanayaan, Hal dhaqaale yeelanayaan, hal Baasaboor ay qaadanayaan Soomaalida iyo Itoobiyaanku.
Xuseen Caydiid: Jan 2, 2006... Akhri..

Ciidamo Itoobiyaan ah oo harsanaya Geed-hindi;  Muqdisho Jan 4, 2007.  AFP

abdirsaqQoraalkii  uu C/Risaaq Xaaji Xuseen  2002  Ka Qoray Faragelinta ay Itoobiya Ku Hayso Arrimaha Gudaha ee Soomaaliya, kaas oo ku aadan arrimaha Maanta taagan.. Akhri

Meles Zenawi: Hadalkii Diinaari ee Sarbeebta ahaa oo aan Soomaalidu fahmin iyo Xuseen Caydiid oo ah fikirka Saxda ah iyo Qorshaha/Hindisaha/Aragtida ama VISION-ka dhabta ah ee Dawladda... Akhri...

Maxamud Muse Tarey (

As we have witnessed over the past 16 years, the development of the political spectrum in Somalia has been a constant turbulent and ever shifting and therefore extremely difficult to predict events and any possible outcomes or directions. However, if your predictions become true, some people might consider themselves as saint or intellectual (awliyo amase indheergarad), conversely, the best defendable argument must be that I was right in this particular issue and my opponent were wrong. What I tend to say is the following:  In my long and much read essay titled

“Is this the end of the warlords’ era or the end of the Somali republic? Published among others on this website, considered the political reality on the ground at that time, when UIC kicked out the most hated and notorious warlords from Mogadishu, I put forward some advices for both parties with the aim of averting a new political turmoil and loss of lives and properties. I firmly believe that would those advices haven’t fallen into deaf ears, as many sacred lives would have been saved by now and politically the country would have been better off. Just to refresh my honorable readers’ memories, here are those aforementioned suggestions: 

For the government as the central point, I recommended them the following points.

  1. To engage in a constructive dialogue with the Union of the Islamic Courts.
  2. Both parties should accept all-inclusive or power sharing government considering the new reality on the ground.
  3. Should do everything possible to avoid anything that could lead to an armed confrontation with the UIC.
  4. Both the TFG and UIC need to respect the will and determination of the people as they were the ones who defeated the warlords.
  5. The both parties should be flexible and understandable in all negotiations and follow a solution-oriented policy.
  6. Both parties need to understand the disastrous consequences of a war if they opt for confrontation.
  7. Both parties should be serious and committed implementing their part of the deal and understand the exhaustion of their people and the dangers the country is facing to.  For the sake of the national sovereignty they are under public scrutiny and therefore expected political maturity, compromising, national pride and putting the national interest above everything else.

For the UIC leaders I urged them to consider carefully the following points:

1.      Islamic courts should avoid instigating anything that could rekindle the civil war and show flexibility and adopt constructive approach in all matters relating to reconciliation process and restoring law and order.  

2.      Islamic Courts should avoid committing strategic errors. For instance, quick fixed policy, self overestimating, nominating top posts to the people included in the list of wanted people, expanding their control very quickly, degrading the national flag, prisoners killed due to their tribe were few but concerned a lot. 

Unequivocally, understanding its significance you agree with me, if those advices and many others tendered by the Somali peace lovers would have been listened to; the country wouldn’t have been in the current political limbo.    

Now the UIC seems to have been defeated at least by now, to avoid that the country slides into a new wave of violence and lawlessness, many will depend on how quick and “adequate” the government fills the power vacuum and to adopt strategy in order to deal with the post UIC era? Lots of questions are flowing into the minds of the Somali people who’re very much concerned about their country’s fate. Just to recall some of those concerns/questions which I myself consider them vital. How quick the government re-establishes peace and security and also resumes the badly needed public services?  How they convince the public that they are competent and serving for the national interest? Is the TFG totally in charge of the nation’s destiny? When are the Ethiopian forces going to leave from the country? To what extent will Ethiopia control or influence our domestic and natural resources in the years to come?  To what extend are being bargained away our sovereignty and territorial integrity? Time and history will most certainly determine the answers of these questions. But as a Somali citizen and indeed concerned about my country’s future which is in a very dangerous-decisive crossroads, I am obliged at least not to take the backseat and be in silence.  

At the end of something is always the start of something else. Perhaps this implies clearly to the status quo of the Somalia and its political landscape.

Nevertheless, as it stands now, two weeks ago; the very powerful UIC is militarily defeated. Six months under their rule, the safety and security have improved significantly. Moreover, the law and order was restored and the badly needed public services were gradually reinstates. They kicked out the notorious warlords and created sense of unity, security, ownership and national pride. Now they either abandoned their strongholds or forced to flee, many are worried and upset to see the return of those infamous and defeated warlords in their former fiefdoms. Returning those warlords with their notorious practices (road blocks, dividing the city into fiefdoms, imposing people on money, constant fighting) is indeed a matter of great concern, which means going back to the dubious circle experienced over the past 15 years, unless others wise the TFG fills the power vacuum and addresses the public concern accordingly . However, the burning question in most Somalis mind is: what’s next or where do we go from here? Taking into the account of those concerns, the uncertainty and the current political environment in the country, in this short essay I will endeavour to illustrate some possible circumstances in which we can see ourselves in a due course of time. 

There might be various scenarios:

1-     The defeated UIC concedes its defeat and denounces the violence and peace settlement is reached: In the mean time, the government will be able to restore law and order. In this case, Ethiopian troops can withdraw from the country (at least to the border for standby). General pardons for ICs leaders & fighters can be significant and decisive factor to end the war; bolster peace and reconciliation process and regain the public trust. We all bet for this scenario, which would have led to ending the hostility and finally bring about peace and stability in this trouble country, reopens new pages of hope for its destitute-suffering people but also remembered president Yusuf and his PM in the history as national heroes.   

2-     UIC engage a gorilla war style and constant regrouping and capturing areas. This is like what we’re witnessing in Iraq, Afghanistan. This will be the worst scenario. It can be reviving of the civil war; it can prompt new wave of violence, destructions, IDP and refugees. In such a situation, Ethiopia will benefit the most. The governments 2 1/2 years left in its mandate will end up with frustration, backs and froths, gorilla war, internal disputes and thus makes more security dependent on Ethiopian military presence. Again, Ethiopia will get excuses to stay in Somalia (will leave when mission is accomplished) and also more important to influence or better to say to determine the daily operations and the outcome of the next elections in her favors. However; it’s very essential to comprehend that the longer Ethiopians stay in Somalia; it will most certainly trigger problems/ national resistance with its far reaching effect. 

Moral and conscious deficiencies or discrediting a genuine friend?

History has taught us when a country has strategic and security interest into other country and sends its troops whatever the reason might be, they never leave voluntarily. When there are historical – territorial disputes or ideological differences like Somalia and Ethiopia, it might be very naïve to believe it will happen smoothly.

Just to glance back in to the history, USSR invaded East European countries during the 2nd WW for security reasons. Handful of these countries gained their independence after Berlin Wall collapsed in 1989. Others are forced to stay in Russian Federation simply for strategic considerations. Syria under the patronage of the Arab league send its troops to Lebanon in 1979 to bring to the end the civil war in that country. Under huge Western pressure Syria was forced to leave Lebanon in 2005 after the assassination of former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri 14 February same year.

US forces set their feet first time in the Gulf States in 1991 when they came there to liberate Kuwait from Sadam Hussein.  U.S has since then more than 5 big military bases through the oil rich Gulf States under the slogan “defending from possible threats.”  Can you figure out which countries or enemy they have to be defended from? It’s very important to note that none of these countries is today in a position to demand US government to dismantle its bases and leave. Together Gulf States and Iraq US has today more than 10 complex and “ever lasting” military bases. 

Just few recollections from Africa, South Africa invaded and occupied Namibia and Angola under the pretext of its own national security. Morocco took over West Sahara from Spain and kept under its reign until the present day.     

The long lasted civil war in Uganda and Congo and many parts of Africa are exacerbated by the neighboring countries which due their own interest send their troops and supported warring factions, while at the same time claiming “we’re here to help”. I would like to ask you as a respectable reader what about Somalia and to what extend have our neighbors contributed or benefited from our absurd civil war?  

Have you seen President A. Karzai of Afghanistan wiping off the tears trickling down from his eyes as the result of more than 3000 civilian killing only in 2006 under the motto “war on Taliban and Al Qaeda”. No one was held accountable for these massacres nor a single compensation was paid to the families of those love ones. Doesn’t this indicates or obviates that President Karzai is not fully in charge his country’s sovereignty and national security?  Many Somalis are skeptical whether anyone would shed tears for any maltreatment against Somali civilians let alone to do anything about it. 

Now in the Somali political arena especially during the mayhem period; as you are all know, General Omar Haji and his SNF leaders in 1996 implored Ethiopia to help them eradicate their arch foe enemy of Al-Itihad Al-Islamia from Gedo region. Ethiopia responded generously and Itihad was ultimately annihilated. In British Broadcasting Corporation interview, Gen. Massalle bluntly said “Ethiopia is our friend and we have same enemy.”  During the first days of the war, when SNF and Ethiopian troops gained territories I personally interviewed Con. Abdirisak Bihi (current MP) who came on that day to Beled-hawa with Ethiopian helicopter from Ethiopia. He said the same as Gen.Massalle. Couple of months later due to internal disputes SNF leaders who invited Ethiopia into the region were either arrested (Hassan-Deer, currently MP) or politically incapacitated and forced to flee from the region. As you are aware of, it followed the worst and the longest interwar ever recorded in the history  between Marehans themselves. But the worst of all was due to the Ethiopian meddling with the clan’s internal affairs, constant intimidation and divide and rule tactics the Marehan elders and politicians couldn’t hammer out a deal until 2004. It’s essential to note that up to the present day, Ethiopia does not only virtually control the three cities near the border (i.e Lug, Dolow and Beled-hawo), but there’s not yet real peace and harmony among the Marehans in Gedo. These are among others the reasons why it can be fairly understandable that the Somali people are skeptical; mistrusted and rightly opposing the Ethiopian presence in their soil. Equally it is dangerous and unacceptable the constant influences-interferences of Ethiopians in our domestic affairs.

TFG leaders, who portray or proclaim the opposite, are expected to address the public concern immediately and accordingly. Understanding the history and analyzing the events on the ground carefully plus the indiscreet and outlandish revelations of Mr Husein Aydid (2nd jan.2007) what many perceived as “waxa uurkaaga ku jira ayaa afkaagu xadaa” many Somalis would not surprise to see their flag be lowered and the Ethiopian’s be hoisted or the two hovering equally side by side in their soil?  

For many the Ethiopian incursions in Somalia is unfortunate; certainly illegal and even in breach of the last UNSC resolution which forbids or excludes Ethiopia and other frontline states to participate the proposed African peace keeper’s forces into Somalia in order to strengthen the TFG. Ethiopia backed by US and some Western countries claims that she’s supporting the internationally recognized weak TFG, but according to many the reality is in contrary. Ethiopia’s main aim is to wrap off its long colonial and unfinished dream to reach the Somali coast lines once and for all. People who oppose the invasions consider that TFG was used in this process and actually unable to stop it.  A close sources to the President A.Yusuf, confirmed me that he was in principle ready to negotiate seriously with the UIC and actually in favor of forming power sharing government with them, but was turned down by Premier Gedi backed by the Ethiopia. In addition; there are strong consensus among the people that those who legitimize or advocate by saying Ethiopia is our “sister”, just came to help us or not more our enemy have most certainly moral and conscious deficiencies. Is this a genuine concern or are these people over reacting and discrediting –disowning undisputable friend? I leave the answer to you and the history.  

My respectable reader, you will not misinterpret this article as smear campaign against Ethiopian and I paranoid or opposing any possible cooperation and peaceful coexistent between the two nations. On contrary, as I highlighted in my earlier article I strongly believe that there are strong mutual interest for both countries and therefore advocated to stop enmity and establish close economical cooperation. However, no one should compromise or bargain away whatever qui pro quo our sovereignty, national interest and territorial integrity.  

Finally; considering the current political status quo and the dangers the country is descending into and necessity to unite and reach political compromise, I would like to appeal my fellow citizens including the remnants of UIC and other political dissenters to bury their differences –put their arms down for the sake of the country’s future. An unjust peace is better than a just war. Continuation of the war with its current form or with any other form can totally disintegrate the country with its adverse and disastrous effect.  Such a situation, it will give Ethiopia excuses or carte blanche to stay longer in the country. In that sense, since it will not serve the nation’s interest, I dissuade driving a never ending war enterprise which turns to country into the Iraq or Afghanistan style. 

On the governments part; it’s very indispensable that she comes up quickly with a clear and holistic policy strategy to bring back peace and stability into the country. Committing strategic errors in this stage can be lethal and thus must be avoided. TFG must take the publics concerns (i.e. Ethiopian presence, returning warlords, and incompetent management) serious and address them accordingly. Furthermore, yes it’s very challenging considering the situation, but it’s up to the government to regain the public trust by addressing their concern, restoring the public services, showing transparence and good governance practices and putting the national interest above everything else. Government is indeed under huge public scrutiny and thus its trumpet depends on its performance. The general amnesty offered by the TFG to the remnants of UIC fighters was good step towards the right direction, though I would urge the government to widen that crucial offer so that everyone can make use of it. It’s very important to remember the Nelson Mandela’s amnesty to the white apartheid rulers in South Africa for centuries. At the end of the day, the government is reconciliatory one and therefore expected to show its mercy to its people. My honorable President and Premier, you will indeed harvest later what you cultivate now. Please, don’t underestimate, the road ahead is very long and morass/rough, the soil is eroded, and therefore requires you an immense skills to maneuver. Moreover, don’t forget there are very long waiting list as we all and the generations to come want also to cultivate and harvest without difficulties. 

Mahamud Muse Tarey (

Afeef: Aragtida qoraalkan waxaa leh qoraaga ku saxiixan

Faafin: | Jan 21, 2007


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