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The struggle against the political domination and the ill-stricken government

By Mustafa Sharif

December 22, 2012


Some of the common issues that have precipitated the civil war in Somalia that divided its people and the country so deep can be conveniently classified as struggle for political domination, control over the economic resources and power over control of territories. For instance, the government of Somalia has long been regarded as a source of spoils for members of the politically dominant clan, thus, becoming one of the most corrupt nations on the planet.

The conflict and the political game in Somalia is not a matter of building the capacity of the state to respond the society’s problems and building nationalism and unity among the Somali clans and sub-clans, or protecting the borders and the interest of the country, but rather of gaining control of the government apparatus.

For the most part since Somalia won its independence, a single clan or two has gained control most of the government institutions and used that power to channel the welfares and benefits available from the government to members of its own sub-clans. This has occurred multiple occasions under the leadership of the previous governments, the TFG, as well as the current federal government. This concept of rule by the few has prompted the longest civil war for the past 22 years that has devastated in all levels of the Somali society, from local neighborhoods to the regional territories.

One of the main purposes of the establishment of the Transitional Federal Government and the "Road Map" was to end this long and dreadful civil war conflict between competitive Somali Clans by reconciling their clan interests and ultimately forming a legitimate government that will enable them to coexist in peace.

However, since its existence this contested concept of 4.5 has only mobilized few sub-clans whose members controlled the government apparatus particularly the office of the presidency and the prime minster. The Intellectuals and leaders of these clans or sub-clans have cultivated influential personalities among some of the elite members of the International community particularly the Neighboring States, and corrupt oil companies who often exercised an indirect rule over Somalia and without due diligence; they have endorsed the leaders of these Sub-clan to execute a limited authority and tasked them to produce a constitution filled with ambiguity that favors their clienteles and transform the country into a gate keeper state.

In exchange they were given a "road map" (road block indeed!!) in which its leaders invented a weak Federal Government with unequal representation, opportunities available to other clans in order to create a dominate status for their sub-clans. As a result, they have subordinated, excluded and limited other tribal communities by rejecting and denying their rights and opportunities to have fair representation in the Somali Federal Government (SFG) while authorizing their sub-clans to get more than their share, particularly among the members of the parliament and the cabinet.

For example, both the previous and current government has blindly ignored and deprived the Geri Koombe clan their rightly entitlement of at least 12 representative in the parliament as part of 60 members allocated for the Darood clans under the 4.5 system in which 27 of the 60 Darood parliamentary seats were allocated to the koombe family and it was to be divided between Geri koombe & Harti Koombe.

However, During the "road map" process, the prime minster of the Former TFG Abdiwali Mohamed Ali Gas and the governor of Puntland, Cabdiraxman Faroole (two of the Signatories of the road map) has given all the 27 seats to the Harti Koombe clan, and they belligerently blocked for the Geri koombe elders to be part of the council of elders to appoint members of their parliamentarian. The abuses become as brazen as he and the Puntland President, Cabdiraxman Faroole issued threats and even tried to arrest them when the elders of the Geri koombe raised their concerns and complaints because their sub-clan (Majerteen, sub-clan of Harti Koombe) was the beneficiary of the system. In other words, our closest cousins from whom we expected fraternal support and cooperation has become an open enemy indeed.

The current administration under the prime mister of Cabdi Farax Shirdoon has also failed to deliver its promise. As a result, the Geri Koombe clan has totally been excluded from the federal government; not even a single seat of the parliamentary nor a minster was allocated to them. This was an arbitrary decision; it is fundamentally wrong and unacceptable, having taken away their legitimate share of 12 seats in the Parliament and the current administration’s failure to appoint even one minster, a major segment of the Darood have been denied their fundamental human rights. It is an unprecedented development in the history of Darood Clan in Somalia. A disaster indeed!!!

The Geri koombe has a glorious past and constitutes a significant proportion of the Somali population. In fact, the Geri clan live in many countries in the east Africa including Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somaliland and their predominantly locations in Somalia are Juba Land, Bay regions as well as Puntland. Historically, Geri played a significant role in Somalia’s liberation struggle. For instance, during the 15th century the Garad of the Geri acted as the Grand supreme leader of the Somali forces against Ethiopia’s Libnadhingle.

According to Fatuhalhabas, Many Somalis including “Habar Magad, Harti, Absame and Hawiye” contingents of the forces that made Ahmed Guray’s army were led and commanded by the Geri Garad and his General Matan. Also, Geri Koombe played a major role in the national movement of SYL and actively participated in the anti-colonial struggle. Indeed, the Geri people has paid a heavy price in the conflicts situation in the Juba land during the early 90s and even today the Geri clan continue to be engaged in a common struggle to defend the rights and interest of its people in this important and prosperous Region of Somalia.

The subsequent appeals to resolve this problem by the Geri Koombe Intellectuals and its elders to resolve this problem politically fell on deaf ears. Therefore, the problems addressed herein are imminent and the current Federal Government has left no choice for the Geri Community except to continue their struggle in all means necessary until their rights are fully restored and justice is served.
For these and many other reasons, the members of the Geri koombe Community shall not recognize this ill-stricken government that has failed its purpose to end this long and dreadful civil war between competitive Somali Clans to reconcile their clan interest and has failed to form a legitimate government that would have enabled them to coexist in peace.

Finally, this concept of 4.5 may qualify the most sordid system ever tried to govern a nation and its people. Simply, it undermines democracy and prevents the rebuilding of stronger state. It is a concept that created a system of government with unequal representation, opportunities available to other clans and a government with no accountability and transparency which permits its leaders to treat the resources of the government as their personal property and to use the public money for their political purposes and to distribute the spoils to the members of their clans.

In other words, no matter how enlightened or educated these leaders may become, it is unlikely that they will give equal attention to any interest that their clan members and clienteles do not share. Therefore, Somalia shall never be a sovereign, democratic or independent state as long as this injustice system prevails. It is time for all the sub-clans of the Geri koombe, its leaders and intellectuals to unite and with due diligence articulate their goals, strategies, and tactics to guide the struggle and mobilize its members to support the cause of defending and advancing the vital interests of the community particularly in the countries of Somalia, Ethiopia Kenya and Somaliland.

Note: I will discuss the other two factors that have also triggered the Somali’s civil war (the control over economic resources and territories) in different articles in the future.

Mustafa Sharif

Political Scientist and Public Administrator
Degree of Bachelor of Science of Public Administration &
Bachelor of Art of International Political Science
Phone: 507-271-9254    

The opinions contained in this article are solely those of the writer, and it does not represent the editorial opinions of kacadeey online


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