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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pursuit and Profile for the Next Somali President

from Royale Somalia by Banaadir

The pursuit and profile for the next Somali presidentThe resignation of the last warlord president of Somalia from office creates both an opportunity for alternative leadership and sadly a perceived power vacuum risk. Within 30 days or so, a new president must be elected by a bigger and blown-up parliament probably by inclusive power-sharing government.

That is very perplexing by just considering the low standards of Somali politics and the customary slow adherences to set time frames of Somalis.The nuisance of spoilers could cause a blow to the power sharing stipulated in the recent Djibouti agreement between the transitional government and the moderate Islamist and hence, create the perceived power vacuum risk.

  • The recent Sufi Vs Shabaab sectarian infighting could be a precursor to future descent to more anarchy and violence in Somalia.
  • There are those who equate this new sectarian struggle as the Somali version of The Iraqi Anbar Awakening and rejection of the revolting extremism of the Shabaab insurgents.
  • One thing is for sure, the Sufis are not the sons of Somalia as there are evidences suggestive of them sleeping with the enemy (Ethiopian occupation army) and with discredited warlords.
  • Likewise it is suffice enough to say that Shabaab are not the saviors of Somalia and their extreme sins of grave-scrapping and shrine demolitions should be shunned.

For the moment, let us hope that the situation in Somalia to not worsen than it is now and that it might not spiral down to more splits and blood splitting.

Somalia has abundance of petty politicians, mostly male, incompetent and somewhat tainted in clan rivalries. Even worse’ some have blood on their hands.

Warlords and their cohorts – who came to prominence by the barrel of the gun - are members of the parliament. I am assuming that we all know who they are and that we are all witnesses to the terror and destructions they created in past 18 years.

The men vying for power are part of the transitional government or would join the ranks soon. Some of them are rather incompetent or are beholden to foreign interests. Somalis need to learn from history and never put up with any faction leader or fanatic; or anyone that would bear resemblance of the last warlord president.

The history and the character of last president and his warlord clique are at fault here. He was a rebel, faction leader, stubborn, clannish, and above all a warlord. We still have the warlords in abundance and in circles of power and they are selfishly vying for power.

Wisdom and experience should dictate their isolation.What kind of president Somalia needs and what is the job waiting for the president?Before we answer that question we need to reminisce our past and the first time Somalia had a president. We had a great president and his name was Aden Adde, may Allah bless his soul.

Almost every Somali I know or met adores him and respects him. Adde was not a soldier, or a warlord, or a murderer. He didn’t ascend to power because he led a clan or had clan militias. He was not a religious scholar, fanatic or charlatan.

He was ordinary man who loved his people and country, not his particular clan or town or sect. Maybe we need a man/women like him to lead us out of this misery. Is there anyone like Adde around now?

We have this opportunity that we can’t waste. Almost two decades of mayhem and misery should teach us that we should get rid of all these awful men who were part of the civil war and our suffering. A new blood of leaders, clean of any war crimes, immune to the clannish curse, is needed.

We need leaders, who are capable to unite a divided, starving and warring people, a leader who is conscious that Somalia’s image of failed state and basket case nation is disgrace and intolerable, a leader who can reconcile people and rebuild alliances for the common good, a leader who is above petty personal clashes, a leader who can restore law and order without resorting to shelling on civilian residences or displacing people out of their homes, a leader who doesn’t need clan militias to protect him, a leader who doesn’t have a clan advisors or spokespersons, a leader who doesn’t declare Jihad on Muslims and non-Muslims.

We need a president who can lead a government that can form an environment to promote peace, stability, education , employment and not a warlord secular dictatorship or Taliban-like terror theocracy.

It is easier to catalog these noble but difficult responsibilities than to carry them out. Anyone who dares to volunteer for such onerous tasks must be courageous, and above all exceptionally qualified. Let us try to jot down some of the credentials and qualifications that are needed from such brave leader.

First thing first, the ideal leader would be a god-fearing person endowed with a sound judgment, education and unconditional patriotism to the nation of SOMALIA. The last warlord president and the other warlords around have few of these qualities. Clannish sycophants surround us and we let them dominate us and pave the fate of our people for the worse. Their only ambition is to pursue selfish personal and clannish agendas. Their intellectual capacities and judgments are questionable. We need to exclude these guys and designate them like the pariahs they are.

Somalis are generous to assigning bogus scholarly accolades to people who either have dubious diplomas, apprentices or credentials. Just look at our so-called leaders. Every one of them is undeservedly a doctor, engineer or Sheikh without anything to show off for such venerable titles.

Somalia needs a leader who is educated and went through schooling at higher institutions of learning.

Secondly, we need experienced leader that we can all agree of his/her proven track record in terms of leadership, cooperation and coalition building.

Thirdly we need a leader who can unify our people and can rise above the clan and sectarian divisions that is destructively plaguing us now.

Fourthly, Somalia needs a leader who can abide the constitution and is not above the law. The president must know his/her limits and must respect the balances of power and other branches of government. The leader must practice tenets of democracy, which are as simple as not limiting the freedom of expression, association and individual liberty. The leader must be sophisticated, world-savvy, not someone who shuns other systems or civilizations.There are many detailed and known leadership qualities that can be listed but would needs pages to write them down so I am going to spare of you or taking you back you to ideals and fantasy world of leadership and decision-making.

Who could that Somali leader or president be? And where we can find a Somali with such characteristics who is ready and qualified enough to take the helm of leadership in chaotic and poor Somalia?

Making the right decision is imperative to the survival of Somalia and its restoration as a viable nation-state. Let us be very careful and not repeat the past mistakes. Let us find the right person/persons to lead us of this mess with Allah’s help and blessing. If we mess this opportunity up like we used to do in the past, the consequences would be irremediable.

Abdulkadir Mohamed -

The Rest @ The New Somlia Blogspot

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