Sunday, January 31, 2010

Somaliland Political Strategy Needs a New Paradigm Shift

It’s quite obvious that every success lies behind a leader and every leader is subjected to make mistakes; only those who do not work or lead makes no mistakes. Mistakes made must not be an stumbling block for all your future undertakings but rather, they must be learnt from them and should not be repeated again in the longer run. Mistakes are flying all around us and could strike at every now and then between every living creature, event the closest organs like the tongue and teeth. In other words, mistakes are God’s gift honored to us as a human. Allaah (SWT) only is the One Who never makes a mistake and can do whatever He wishes due to His omnipotence. In contrast__ a simple mistake can lead a nation to an irreparable annihilation as a result of conflict, the resolution of which could never be achieved. Deep contemplations, however, and weighting up your thoughts and ideas before being verbally uttered or physically performed is the best ways you can put the effect of your erroneous actions/words at minimal.

The situation of Somaliland to day seems to be silently sliding into lawlessness as far as the current political entanglement is concerned. During the last several years one ever one political standoff is solved through a consensus or other traditional dispute resolutions in the form of (Guurti), another, yet more complicated one unfolds. This is depicting how the Somaliland government's political composition is weak, yet poor in terms of quality and quite naïve and gullible over running with the entire system as an authority. Many ministers, vice ministers, MPs of the two Houses and members of local councils are neither legally illegible nor academically qualified for their positions, but rather were selected through clan favouritism. This is why most of them use their power as a one stop-shop-service that let them defame the dignity and integrity of the nation in Toto. Believe me__ there is a direct correlation between the ignorance and tribalism and until one of which does exist in a community the other will grow much stronger than ever before. The wisdoms “Tribalism provides no shelter but, severe destruction” which means in Somali (Dugsi ma leh qabyaaladi waxay dumiso mooyaane) and “Paucity of knowledge makes you more prone to risks” (kabbashada cilmiga gaaban waa lagu kadeedmaa) of the prominent Somali Poetries the late Abdullahi Suldan (Timacade) and Musa Ali Farur (a living figure) respectively are the best examples we can take in this regard.

Mission of mine behind inking this piece of writing is not to point out the repeated mistakes of the Somaliland bodies at the helm but, to articulate the inability of the entire system as a government to build up political strategic outlook based on knowledge and democracy.

Destructive Political rhetoric:

Politics are the norms, activities and mechanisms through which the people preserve, make and abide by the rule of law under which they live. Although, the definition of politics is understood differently by different thinkers and developers; the very essence of its meaning is the sum total of ways through which conflict resolution is found by the help of the collective collaboration of the society. As such, it is essentially a social activity inextricably linked to the diversity and conflict on one hand, and the willingness to co-operate and act collectively on the other. Once the real politician should bear all these qualities, are you a real politician sir__ Mr. ‘X’?

I really do feel an intense embarrassment when I recall the politicized words uttered by President Reyale, the Information Minister and Vice-foreign Minister of his government on Mr. Silanyo and what he believed before Somaliland sovereignty came into terms in 1991. If you have honestly listened to his interview, speaking about his political believes prior to the inception of the Democratic Republic of Somaliland, he mentioned that he had the few of federalism. He did never say now__ I do believe in federalism as the ultimatum solution of mega Somalia and Somaliland government. President Riyale and his ministers exercising the so-called political propaganda techniques have dressed Mr. Silanyo’s statement in black rather than in white and shamelessly tried to slander his political credibility and his lifetime achievement as SNM martyr. To become a politician does not mean to utter slander words at someone of your peer- in- politics; it does not mean to lie to the people; it does not mean to turn the people against each other; it does not mean to provoke negatively and create stand-offs among the different government institutions; it does not mean to suppress the freedom of expression; it does not mean to remain in office for ever; it does not, it does not!!

As a real politician you must be transparent, accountable and patriotic by nature. You must be honest to your people, soil and sovereignty. You must qualify your governance capacity and capability. Good governance is said to be dependent on transparency, accountability and equality in ways that are responsive to the needs of people. It is composed of the mechanisms, processes and institutions through which citizens and groups can articulate their interests, exercise their legal rights, meet their obligations and mediate their differences. Good governance is very well beyond the divide and rule policy. Taking this point as an important opportunity to communicate with every politician back home, I would like to urge all those who are not well educated to boost up the level of their knowledge and quality to serve the nation in accordance with the rule of law of the country.

Elders’ imbroglio:

As we all know, the parliament of Somaliland has two chambers i.e. the Upper House and the House of Parliament. The House of Elders (Golaha Guurtida) with 82 members is composed of traditional leaders derived from the very fabrics of the country’s tribes. This (Guurti) as has been said__ was established in June 1988 at Adarosh (a small village in the remote area). The main reason behind its establishment was to launch and perpetuate the moral and logistical support for SNM forces to get their noble jobs accomplished. In 1991__ when the Somaliland sovereignty reclamation was formally announced, the (Guurti) extended their role in SNM a lot more superior as the country was in a delicate mood and needed a swift action to restructure from zero. By the grace of Allaah (SWT) they did!!!

A question may therefore be asked, are we still in where we were in 1991? Is not this time the time to make a change and replace the tradition based (Guurti) who are mostly political neophytes into a more sophisticated political gamesmanships with Knowledge, qualification, and experience?

According to my point of evaluation__ yes, it is the time to move traditional (Guurti) back to its culture. I do believe that (Guurti) is the only political arena in Somaliland to day where tribalism is formally traded in the form of clan mongering. If you observe it in a broader way, you could see that (Guurti) has gone beyond its mandatory fashions and took the form of a small monarchy with hereditary rights in an unknown world .When Selaiman Nur was elected as the speaker of the upper house, many argued if he could make himself comfortable with the (Guurti) political quagmire. In fact, it is difficult for him and for anybody else of his caliber. If we need to make the (Guurti) quite productive they must be replaced with new (Guurti) capable of policy making__ with new (Guurti) that money can not buy__ with new (Guurti) characterized by Knowledge and experience. If we find that kind of (Guuri) their repetitive imbroglios would soon fade out.

Single Party Political Tendency:

A single-party political monopoly is absolutely against the principles of the country’s National Constitution which is clearly supportive to the multi-party political system. Domination of a single party or president over the others is incompatible with the genuine confederation and power inclusiveness of the country’s people. However, president Rayale and his party (UDUP) must know that their pledge on holding free and fair elections is under the world’s microscope to day. If the nation says that they have wisely tested UDUP’s leadership for eight consecutive years, they have the right to let them test the other parties’ systems (UCID and KULMIYE). This is why many people believe in that the country’s Political Strategy needs to take a new but modern paradigm shift compatible with and responsive to the needs of the nation and the country.

By: Khadar Hanan
Doha, Qatar

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