by Abdulhafid Mohamoud Jama
Somalia has gone through a tumultuous period from civil war to a complete state failure, impacting on our sovereignty, peace, harmony and dignity as people.
Despite many challenges ahead, we are beginning to see a gradual recovery through the help of the international community and our current leaders who are dealing with local and international challenges/threats facing Somalia. To fully comprehend where we are today, you just have to refer back to the political turmoil and traumas Somalia has gone through in the last 27 years. We come so far, but there is much more to do.
The election of Hon Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo brought back a period of optimism, political hope and sense of dignity for the Somali people. The new government face many challenges internally and externally, and with that, mistakes are inevitable under the pressure of governing.
When mistakes are made and governments loses focus, it helps to show a degree of contrition and commitment to reform and delivery. The Government must re-focus and work towards their political promises of security and stability and good governance. This is what the Somali public expects from their Government and I hope our leaders take heed to this much needed and timely advice.
While saying that, what is clear to me is that we have young leaders who have their heart in the right place for Somalia. They champion a much needed care and compassion for the vulnerable in our society and see their role beyond a salvaging mission for Somalia, but the restoration of Somalia’s dignity locally and internationally. For them is about the people of Somalia rather the bureaucracy they control. Under enormous political challenges, their central message is about the tomato seller, to the innocent child growing up and learning with an empty stomach.
They see the huge potential Somalia has and what that could mean for these vulnerable citizens, if the right political stability and peace is finally achieved in Somalia. This is a sea change for Somalia’s politics, but only if we all help this vision to materialise for our common good and future prospects.
When the political and security challenges are huge, the last thing Somalia needs is the emergence of state sponsored political spoilers and opportunistics to derail the journey of the ongoing gradual progress.
These are disgruntled political opportunists who emphatically lost the Presidential elections because they lacked the leadership and ideas to take Somalia Forward. When this happens to politicians, you would think they would go to the political wilderness and re- think or re-focus. Not these politicians – are a breed of unashamed political spies on hire for other states.
After Alshabaab, our second enemy of Somalia has become some of our own politicians who are working to further the strategic interest of other countries rather than their own people. They have allegedly looted (open secret) Somalia to the teeth and are now in the process of dismantling the little progress we are making/made to further their own pockets again.
Among the front runners of these common spoilers or politicians is our former Prime Minister, Senator Omar Abdirashid Sharmake. These are the people who sold our seas to Kenya, prompting a legal maritime dispute between the state of Somalia and Kenya at the ICC in The Hague. Our lawyers and legal teams have done a sterling work in winning the first phase of the legal battle against the bogus legal claims made by Kenya for their strategic economic interest. It is unfortunate set of circumstances but we really do not need another enemy from abroad when our own serving politicians are publicly stealing our public assets for the interest of other nations.
These same politicians are now in the process of advancing the state of UAE’s interest having been paid large amounts of money to destabilise Somalia, attempting to force our Government’s hand to support UAE and Saudi Arabia alliance in their dispute with Qatar. Given the fact that they have sold Somalia’s seas to (open secret) to Kenya, I am amazed they even have the audacity to face the Somali public. This gives you an idea of their inner character and political convictions. Furthermore, our former Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmake is not your usual politician. He is the son of the second President of the Somali Republic, the late Abdirshashid Ali Sharmake. To have Omar Abdirashid Sharmake actively working to destabilise Somalia for financial gain is an insult to his father’s legacy. If such individual who has grown up in Villa Somalia in a well established family is behaving like this, what do we expect from other politicians? The late President must be spinning in his grave.
These politicians have become a taxi on hire and unashamedly see their work as a badge of honour. Yet, they have been sworn in with the Holy Qur,aan to serve the interest/dignity of their people. In the last Government, they have conspired to sell our seas and are now engaged in selling the dignity and our lands to the UAE/KSA.
They have become lobbyist on hire. They have, therefore, become the second enemy of Somalia after Al-shabaab. Our people should know the enemy within, especially Omar Abdirashid Sharmake and his cohorts who are proud and open about their mischief against the state and the people of Somalia.
The position taken by the Government in regards to Arab dispute is legally, politically sound, and is in line with international law. It’s a sensible neutral position that invites dialogue and reconciliation – an extension of our Islamic values to promote peace and dialogue between our Muslims brothers/sisters.
If we even entertain the idea of siding with the KSA position, one has to ask what has Saudi Arabia and UAE ever done for Somalia strategically other than watch the demise of the Somali state in 1991 from a far distance.
Once you compare that to Ethiopia, which suffered a bloodless coup in 1991, they had none other than James Baker, US Secretary of State in Addis Ababa to defuse military/ political tensions and help avert full blown civil war between the Ethiopian people. This was our hour of need and KSA Alliance miserably failed Somalia and left us to our own. To make matters worse, they have even refused our refugees fleeing the civil war while Europe and North America showed compassion and humanitarian leadership, opening their doors for millions of Somali people.
KSA and UAE are our brothers/ sisters – but politically and strategically we can respectively take a different course, taking our political future into our own hands. These countries must also realise the arch of history in Somalia is bending further to patriotism (Wadanimo) and Somalia’s people and it’s politicians will no longer stand for hired political spoilers with no credibility among the Somalia public.
Such countries will be better advised to negotiate and find a workable settlement with the Somali government rather than resort to destabilisation as means to an end.
The international community (if they are serious about Somalia) must also consistently adhere to the principles agreed at the 2012 London Somali Conference led by the United Kingdom Government where there was a political commitment to sanction political spoilers on Somalia’s politics and stability. The last thing Somalia needs is a Cold War from other nations who are supposedly part of the international community supporting Somalia’s recovery.
Although there are security challenges in Somalia, the international community in Somalia is not only in Somalia for securing stability and humanitarian aid – they see Somalia as a strategically rich country – containing one of the last untouched natural resources left in the world. The Somali public must come to realise their turmoil will be over soon if we unite and assist our young government by deterring political spoilers on hire.
To put it simply, Senator Omar Abdrashid Sharmake and his cohorts are the unacceptable face of Somalia’s politics, available and on hire to sell the dignity and the stability of Somalia for a financial gain. Let’s all be mindful and clean the Swamp within our midst.