Friday, August 30, 2013

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Somalia strikes deal with former Islamist over port city

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Somalia's Sheikh Ahmed Madobe is seen at the main seaport of Somalia's port city of Kismayu, October …
By Aaron Maasho and Richard Lough
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - Somalia's central government agreed on Wednesday to recognise a former Islamist commander as the interim leader of the southern Juba region, a deal that could help end months of clan fighting and cement plans for a federal nation.
Diplomats said the pact signed in Ethiopia's capital, after days of talks and delays, was a significant step towards stabilising Somalia as it seeks to create devolved government, and could become a blueprint for sharing power in other areas.
An official from Mogadishu's government signed the deal with Sheikh Ahmed Madobe, who has been vying for control of Jubaland's port city of Kismayu and its hinterland against a clan warlord widely seen as backed by Mogadishu.
"We are hopeful that this process will be a starting point for Somalia to be a federal state," Madobe said at the signing, through a translator. "There will be people who won't be happy, but the fundamental issue is the interest of the Somali people."
At the heart of the tussle over Kismayu has been control of the area's economic resources, in particular its lucrative port.
The fate of Somalia's second biggest city has been seen as a litmus test for the future of the Horn of Africa nation as it rebuilds from the ruins of war and anchors a wobbly peace.
That quest has been hampered by the central government's weakness outside the capital and its troubled relations with provinces seeking more autonomy than it has been ready to cede.
"This is really a breakthrough in a problem that has dogged the country for at least a year now," said Nick Kay, the U.N. special representative for Somalia, who was in Addis Ababa.
"It opens the door now for political progress across the whole of Somalia," he said.
Under the terms of Wednesday's deal, Madobe will be leader of the interim Juba Administration for a period of two years.
The authority under his control will manage the port for six months after which control will shift to the federal government, although revenues will pay for services in Jubaland.
The deal will be a relief to Somalia's neighbours and the West which fear any renewed fighting could strengthen al Shabaab Islamist rebels, who have been pushed out of major urban areas but still threaten stability in East Africa and beyond.
Somali politicians in other breakaway or more autonomous regions have continued to voice scepticism about the central government's commitment to a federation, accusing Mogadishu of trying to hog power. The government says it is ready to share.
"This deal is the beginning of a long journey for peace building, reconciliation, and for building a viable permanent administrations in these regions," Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir, Somalia's State Minister for the Presidency, told Reuters.
Madobe is a former governor of Kismayu and one-time Islamist commander under an administration crushed by Ethiopian forces sent into Somalia between 2006 and 2009 with tacit U.S. backing.
He was held in Ethiopia for two years. After his release, Madobe and his powerful Ras Kamboni militia sided with Kenyan troops against al Shabaab from late 2011, flushing the rebels out of their strongholds in the south of the country.
"The mere fact, given the nature of politics and the constituencies in Somalia, that the two sides should have decided to override factionalism and find a deal is for me absolutely fundamental," Alexander Rondos, the European Union's special representative to the Horn of Africa, said by telephone.
Riding on a wave of international support after his election in September last year, some analysts say President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has appeared reluctant to decentralise power.
Diplomats say Mohamud has lost political capital internally over his handling of Kismayu and another region, Puntland, which broke off ties with Mogadishu this month, accusing the government of failing to respect the federal structure.
Mogadishu's Abdulkadir said building such a structure needed time. "Federation requires a legal framework that is not existing and we did not inherit one. It also needs institutional capacity that is not available," he said.

Sheriff Obama takes on Syria

Spero News
“Congress doesn’t have a whole lot of core responsibilities,” said Barack Obama last week in an astonishing remark.
For in the Constitution, Congress appears as the first branch of government. And among its enumerated powers are the power to tax, coin money, create courts, provide for the common defense, raise and support an army, maintain a navy and declare war.
But, then, perhaps Obama’s contempt is justified.
For consider Congress’ broad assent to news that Obama has decided to attack Syria, a nation that has not attacked us and against which Congress has never authorized a war.
Why is Obama making plans to launch cruise missiles on Syria?
According to a “senior administration official … who insisted on anonymity,” President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on his own people last week in the two-year-old Syrian civil war.
But who deputized the United States to walk the streets of the world pistol-whipping bad actors. Where does our imperial president come off drawing “red lines” and ordering nations not to cross them?
Neither the Security Council nor Congress nor NATO nor the Arab League has authorized war on Syria.
Who made Barack Obama the Wyatt Earp of the Global Village?
Moreover, where is the evidence that WMDs were used and that it had to be Assad who ordered them? Such an attack makes no sense.
Firing a few shells of gas at Syrian civilians was not going to advance Assad’s cause but, rather, was certain to bring universal condemnation on his regime and deal cards to the War Party which wants a U.S. war on Syria as the back door to war on Iran.
Why did the United States so swiftly dismiss Assad’s offer to have U.N. inspectors — already in Damascus investigating old charges he or the rebels used poison gas — go to the site of the latest incident?
Do we not want to know the truth?
Are we fearful the facts may turn out, as did the facts on the ground in Iraq, to contradict our latest claims about WMDs? Are we afraid that it was rebel elements or rogue Syrian soldiers who fired the gas shells to stampede us into fighting this war?
With U.S. ships moving toward Syria’s coast and the McCainiacs assuring us we can smash Syria from offshore without serious injury to ourselves, why has Congress not come back to debate war?
Lest we forget, Ronald Reagan was sold the same bill of goods the War Party is selling today — that we can intervene decisively in a Mideast civil war at little or no cost to ourselves.
Reagan listened and ordered our Marines into the middle of Lebanon’s civil war. And he was there when they brought home the 241 dead from the Beirut barracks and our dead diplomats from the Beirut embassy.
The only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history. Congress should cut short its five-week vacation, come back, debate and decide by recorded vote whether Obama can take us into yet another Middle East war.
The questions to which Congress needs answers:
—Do we have incontrovertible proof that Bashar Assad ordered chemical weapons be used on his own people? And if he did not, who did?
—What kind of reprisals might we expect if we launch cruise missiles at Syria, which is allied with Hezbollah and Iran?
—If we attack, and Syria or its allies attack U.S. military or diplomatic missions in the Middle East or here in the United States, are we prepared for the wider war we will have started?
—Assuming Syria responds with a counterstrike, how far are we prepared to go up the escalator to regional war? If we intervene, are we prepared for the possible defeat of the side we have chosen, which would then be seen as a strategic defeat for the United States?
—If stung and bleeding from retaliation, are we prepared to go all the way, boots on the ground, to bring down Assad? Are we prepared to occupy Syria to prevent its falling to the Al-Nusra Front, which it may if Assad falls and we do not intervene?
The basic question that needs to be asked about this horrific attack on civilians, which appears to be gas related, is: Cui bono?
To whose benefit would the use of nerve gas on Syrian women and children redound? Certainly not Assad’s, as we can see from the furor and threats against him that the use of gas has produced.
The sole beneficiary of this apparent use of poison gas against civilians in rebel-held territory appears to be the rebels, who have long sought to have us come in and fight their war.
Perhaps Congress cannot defund Obamacare. But at least they can come back to Washington and tell Obama, sinking poll numbers aside, he has no authority to drag us into another war. His Libyan adventure, which gave us the Benghazi massacre and cover-up, was his last hurrah as war president.
Patrick J. Buchanan is a conservative political commentator and syndicated columnist and author of several books, including Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?.

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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Electric car without Battery invented - Government killed inventor!

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ogaalka dunida 2aad

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Hunting khat tree - Geed jaad ah oo somali rifayso lol


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Saudi deadline for pact on Indonesia maids

Saudi Arabia has given Indonesia two months to approve an agreement between the two countries to lift a ban on the travel of Indonesian housemaids to the Gulf Kingdom under new work terms, a Saudi newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Okaz said Saudi Arabia, the largest Middle East base for Asian domestic workers, reached an agreement with Jakarta early this year for the recruitment of Indonesian housemaids following tough negotiations of several months.

The agreement sets new terms for the maids’ work including higher salary, a one-day weekly holiday, good treatment of maids by employers and other conditions.

“Saudi Arabia has given Indonesia two months until November to approve the new agreement and lift a ban on sending maids from that country to the Kingdom,” the Arabic language daily said, quoting labour sources.
Indonesia stopped sending maids to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and demanded new work terms for them following reports of massive abuse by their Saudi employers.

The new agreement stipulates maids are paid a monthly salary of at least SR1,200 and given a weekly holiday on Friday besides health insurance and other terms.

A copy of a new contract for Indonesian maids published in Saudi newspapers stressed that employers must pay domestic workers on time at the end of every month and must not demand that their maids do jobs other than those specified in the contract.

 “Maids must also be entitled for a break of at least eight hours every work day while they must not be separated from their husbands in case they work for the same employer…they should also be allowed to make regular contacts with their families at home and the employers must not be allowed to see the letters and other messages between their employees,” the report said.

 “The proposed contract also stipulates that employers must mention their address, type of house, size and number of floors, family income and a picture showing all members of that family….the contract, a copy of which must be sent to the Indonesian embassy, should also include a certificate of good conduct for the employers and other family members as well as a statement pledging to treat their workers nicely, refrain from any violence and respect human rights.”

More than 1.5 million housemaids from the Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and other Asian and African nations work in Saudi Arabia.

The Kingdom has been under fire from local and foreign human rights groups over the death of some housemaids, who have been reportedly killed by their employers. Pressure mounted in late 2010 following news that an Indonesian housemaid was severely tortured by its female employer.

Somalia: Three Killed in Mudug Clan Revenge Attack

Garowe Online (Garowe)

Galkayo — Three people were reportedly killed and two others were wounded after armed militiamen attacked Qaydare vicinity which situates 90 KMs northeast of Mudug regional capital of Galkayo on Monday afternoon, Garowe Online reports.
The attack on Qaydare relates to along running bitter feud between two clans who fought each other over the killing of men belonging to one of them.
Galmudug authorities in Barahley neighborhood of Galkayo city said efforts to defuse the tensions are underway.
Galkayo is a town connecting Puntland's vast northern side to south Galkayo where Galmudug authority operates. Puntland Government officials say following a massive security operations by Puntland forces, Galkayo is secure and the level of violent crimes reduced effectively.

Somalia: Heavy Fighting in Kismayu,Lower Juba Region

Kismayu — A heavy fighting occurred in Kismayu, lower Juba region of Somalia. War broke up between Alshabab fighters and the Raskamboni militia aided by Kenyan troops at the Kismayu airport which acts as a base for the Kenyan troops.
The war started when armed Alshabab fighters attacked the Kenyan troops at the airport base. Few minutes later, the Alshabab fighters attacked another military base owned by the Kismayu University. Eyewitness said that heavy artillery was used against each other and deafening sounds caused by the fighting was heard in the entire city and its surrounding. The Kenyan officials together with the Raskamboni have not yet talked or comment about last nights fightings.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dhagayso Beesha Sheeqaal oo Baaq Culus u Dirtay Raaskanbooni Kana Digay ...


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Monday, August 26, 2013

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Sunday, August 25, 2013

WARKA 25 08 2013 M Siilaanyo oo maanta booqasho ku tagay xarunta ladagaa...

Low cost greenhouse farming

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وزير الخارجية الكندي: الإخوان مسئولين عن الإرهاب ومصر تواجه الإرهاب

الاهرام الجديد ورقيا

جون بيرد
جون بيرد
قال جون بيرد، وزير الخارجية الكندى، أن بمسئولية العنف الذى شهدته مصر خلال الأسابيع الماضية، تقع علي عاتق جماعة الإخوان المسلمين، قائلا، “نعتقد أن الحكومة المصرية تتعامل مع بعض العناصر الإرهابية فى البلاد، وكثير من هذه العناصر يقودها قيادات كبيرة فى الإخوان المسلمين”.
وأكد بيرد، فى تصريحات للصحفيين أمس الجمعة، نقلتها صحيفة “أوتاوا سيتزن” الكندية، أن الرئيس المعزول محمد مرسى أصبح مستبداً ولم يرغب فى بناء مجتمع سلمى شامل، مشددا، “بالتأكيد نحن لا ندعو لاستعادته إلى السلطة”.
وأشار بيرد، عقب لقائه بقادة الكنيسة القبطية فى أوتاوا، إلى دعم كندا لإجراء مفاوضات بين الحكومة والسلميين من الإخوان، والعودة إلى مسار الانتخابات، بمجرد أن يتم كبح جماح العنف. وأعرب عن قلقه حيال العنف الدينى الذى تشهده مصر، مؤكدا تضامن بلاده مع الأقباط فى مصر.
وقال الأب جورج ميخائيل، كاهن كنيسة القديسين جورج وأنطونيوس فى أوتاوا، إنه لا ينبغى على كندا أن تعلق المساعدات الخارجية لمصر إذا كان سيتم استخدام هذه الأموال لمساعدة أولئك الذين يتعرضون للعنف.
وبينما دعت بلدان مثل الولايات المتحدة وفرنسا وبريطانيا، إلى إعادة الرئيس المنتخب للسلطة، فإن كندا لم تؤيد عودته، بل دافعت عن المفاوضات بين طرفى النزاع فى مصر ووضع حد للعنف

Saturday, August 24, 2013

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Lebanon Caught in Middle Of Iranian-Saudi 'Cold War'


A woman cries at the site of an explosion in Beirut's southern suburbs, Aug. 15, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Mahmoud Kheir)

Lebanese officials are holding their breath in worried anticipation of what might befall their country in the near future. The security and political situations already suggest that this small country may not be able to safely skirt the repercussions of events engulfing the region. It is now believed that Lebanon is not only being buffeted by the Syrian crisis, but also by the sectarian fighting in Iraq, which itself is now connected to events in Syria. The country is also being affected by the sometimes discreet, oftentimes open, and always wide-ranging tug-of-war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

About This Article

Summary :
Lebanon’s unique position in the Arab Levant means it has been inevitably caught up in the back and forth of Iran and Saudi Arabia’s proxy war in the region.
Original Title:
Lebanon at the Center of an Iranian-Saudi Cold War in the Levant
Author: An Al-Monitor Correspondent in Beirut
Posted on: August 22 2013
Translated by: Kamal Fayad
A new conviction seems also to be making its way through the corridors of political power in Lebanon, according to which the country will not succeed in averting a fall into the looming precipice — unless an Iranian-Saudi agreement were to be reached in this regard. Current political realities do not, however, point to such an eventuality in the near term, as the Iranian-Saudi conflict appears to be at a peak, with international and regional circumstances colluding to prolong it.
The conflict’s most dangerous aspect, as far as Lebanon is concerned, revolves around Tehran and Riyadh both having chosen, so it seems, to use the Levant as their battleground, while they endeavor to safeguard the Gulf from the repercussions there. Any damage to Gulf security will directly affect their domestic situations at the geopolitical, security and economic levels.
The chronicles of the conflict in the Levant — from Iraq across Syria and Lebanon to Palestine — confirm that both the Saudis and Iranians are immersed in a cold war-style confrontation. In Iraq, for example, the Saudis are encouraging the Sunni community to rise up against the government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, an Iranian ally. In the meantime, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is backing Maliki’s war against his opponents in Iraq’s Sunni triangle.
In Syria, Iran’s support and arming of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime is equaled in intensity by Saudi Arabia’s sponsorship of the Syrian Sunni opposition, composed of an amalgam of Salafists and defecting officers who have joined the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the most prominent among the defectors being its chief of staff, Gen. Salim Idriss.
In Lebanon, Saudi Arabia has also decided to unequivocally declare its animosity toward Hezbollah, viewing it as Iran’s most important strategic ally in the Levant. With Hezbollah undertaking the currently most dangerous proxy mission for Iran — namely, bolstering Assad’s regime against Syrian opposition forces and the will of the Sunni Gulf states — Saudi Arabia has decided to treat the organization as an “enemy” and one of Riyadh's most prominent targets in its Levant war with Iran. The Saudis have now adopted a strategy in Lebanon of isolating Hezbollah internally, as well as increasing pressure on the party to force it out of Syria.
On the Palestinian front, Iran, in its confrontation with Riyadh and Washington, holds two cards: Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Following the Syrian crisis, Hamas’ bias toward the opposition there transformed it into a dubious ally as far as Iran was concerned. Nevertheless, in time, Tehran chose not to terminate its relationship with the movement and continues to carefully work toward establishing a new form of alliance with Hamas unaffected by their disagreement over Syria.
Iran would have never accepted this turn of events if it were not keen on maintaining a Palestinian card with which to put pressure on Riyadh and Washington, both of which are striving for a successful outcome to the latest negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis, without the participation of Hamas. The Iranians hope to bring Hamas back into the fold by exploiting its sense of feeling of isolation as a result of Mohammed Morsi’s fall in Egypt, Saudi Arabia’s confirmed “political jihad” against the Muslim Brotherhood across the region and Hamas’ exclusion from the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations. In this regard, Iran has achieved limited — albeit adequate — success, which it exploits to demonstrate that it still has an important say in Palestinian affairs.
The Iranian-Saudi cold war is expected to rage for a long time still, with the Arab Levant as their battleground. Lebanon's internal fortitude has begun to show signs of not being able to withstand the consequences.
At times, Al-Monitor withholds the bylines of our correspondents for the protection of our authors. Different authors may have written the individual stories identified on this page.

Somalia gunmen kill two, wound Swedish woman in likely kidnap attempt


MOGADISHU | Wed Aug 21, 2013 10:25am EDT
(Reuters) - Gunmen killed two men and wounded two women, including a Swede, in Somalia's capital Mogadishu on Wednesday when they ambushed a car in what police believe may have been an attempted kidnap.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility. However, al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants have kept up guerrilla-style attacks and kidnappings in the city despite being largely pushed out by Somali and African forces two years ago.
Witnesses said the Swede going back to her hotel after giving a speech at the University of Somalia when the gunmen struck near the Turkish embassy.
Student Ahmed Dek said the Swedish woman flung open the rear door of the car and ran under a hail of bullets towards the university. She was bleeding badly from her left side, he said.
A police officer guarding the Swedish woman and a Somali man said to be her translator were killed, police said. A Somali woman from Sweden was also wounded.
Bile Ibrahim, of the criminal investigation department, said police were investigating a possible attempted kidnap.
The Swedish Foreign Ministry confirmed a Swedish woman had been shot and injured and said it was investigating the circumstances of the attack.
The ministry said preparations were under way to move her to Kenya after treatment in Mogadishu. A spokesman for the U.N. hospital there said her wounds were not life threatening.
Somalia has a new elected government that has been in charge for about a year and is attempting to rebuild itself after two decades of civil war and lawlessness, triggered by the overthrow of president Siad Barre in 1991.
Last week, a medical charity that was a lifeline for hundreds of thousands of Somalis announced it was pulling out of the country, saying the threat of deadly violence had become intolerable.
(Additional reporting by Anna Ringstrom in Stockholm; Writing by James Macharia; Editing by Alison Williams)

Related Topics

NEWS ANALYSIS: Somalia seems stuck with its basket-case image

BD Live

by Peter Martell, August 23 2013, 13:03
CARNAGE: Troops of the African Union mission in Somalia secure the scene of a suicide bomb attack outside the United Nations compound in Mogadishu on Wednesday. Picture: REUTERS
CARNAGE: Troops of the African Union mission in Somalia secure the scene of a suicide bomb attack outside the United Nations compound in Mogadishu on June 19. Picture: REUTERS
NAIROBI — Hope that Somalia may soon turn the page on decades of anarchy has been dealt a string of blows, giving the internationally backed government little to cheer as it marks its first birthday.
Al-Qaeda-inspired fighters, breakaway regions, rival clans and a climate of rampant insecurity have conspired to ensure the Horn of Africa nation remains saddled with its basket-case image.
The new government was the first to be given global recognition since the collapse of the hardline regime in 1991, and billions in foreign aid has been poured in.
But in a major blow in August, Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières, also known as MSF) — an aid agency used to working in the world’s most dangerous places — pulled out after two decades in the country.
The agency said it could no longer put up with a "barrage of attacks", including kidnappings, threats, lootings and murder.
"It came at a moment when world leaders, for the first time in decades, began making positive noises about a country on the road to recovery and with a stable government," said MSF president Unni Karunakara.
"For them, the timing of our decision could not have been worse." Somalia has taken steps forward, particularly in the coastal capital of Mogadishu — now busy with labourers rebuilding after Islamist al-Shabaab fighters fled their city trenches two years ago.
But the situation elsewhere remains bleak.
"Rarely has it been so important to bear in mind the old maxim: Mogadishu is not Somalia," argues Matt Bryden, in a report for the Centre for Strategic and International Studies.
"The stream of returnees, investors, aid workers and diplomats to Mogadishu has not been replicated elsewhere in the country, creating an artificial, almost surreal bubble of optimism." Mogadishu’s government, selected in a UN-backed process in August 2012, was hailed as offering the best chance for peace in a generation.
British Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking in May 2013 ahead of an international conference on Somalia in London, said then that the steps forward had "exceeded all expectations".
But the South African-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS) noted that progress has been "painstakingly slow".
"The failure of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s administration to consolidate power beyond Mogadishu and the general lawlessness in many parts of the country, remain stark reminders of the huge challenges to lasting peace in Somalia," the ISS added.
Outside the city, the weak central government has little influence, with much of the country fractured into autonomous regions, including the self-declared and fiercely independent northern Somaliland.
The northeast Puntland region cut ties with central government in a furious row earlier in August, while in the far south self-declared leaders of the Jubaland region defy Mogadishu’s authority.
The al-Shabaab too remain powerful, despite losing a string of key towns and leaders carrying out bloody purges of rivals.
Suicide attacks on a United Nations (UN) compound in June demonstrated al-Shabaab’s ability to strike at the heart of the capital’s most secure areas.
UN monitoring group reports in July estimated the al-Shabaab is still about 5,000 strong, and remains the "principal threat to peace and security to Somalia".
Multiple armies fight for control of southern Somalia, including rival warlords, Islamist extremists and a rag-tag national army backed by the 17,700-strong African Union (AU) force.
Aid workers are struggling to contain a dangerous outbreak of the crippling polio virus, with the UN warning that while more than 100 cases have been recorded there are "probably thousands more with the virus".
Compounding the problem is an almost impossible environment for aid workers.
"Acceptance of violence against health workers has permeated Somali society," Mr Karunakara said.
"This acceptance is now shared by many armed groups and many levels of civilian government, from clan elders to district commissioners to the federal Somali government." Over 1-million Somalis are refugees in surrounding nations and another million are displaced inside the country, often in terrible conditions, with the UN warning of "pervasive" sexual violence.
Investigations were launched last week after a Somali woman alleged she was gang-raped by AU troops and Somali soldiers.
Progress in Somalia is relative, but steps forward have been taken since the 2011 famine that struck large parts of the south of the country, including in camps in the capital.
"The gains are fragile, however, and the magnitude of the crisis remains enormous," UN humanitarian co-ordinator Philippe Lazzarini said, adding that more than 2.7-million Somalis were still dependent on aid.

Somaliland:Samatar: Ready to Build a Nation; Somaliland; A Nation Unwilling to be Built


News headlines from Somaliland, Somalia and the world.



This report was compiled from the lectures of Professor Ahmed I. Samatar in Somaliland universities during his visit to Somaliland from June 2 through July 2013. He received a rock star welcome and his ideas struck a chord with the public.
Professor Ahmed Ismail Samatar toured various regions of Somaliland in June-July of 2013 to gather public opinion, provide an assessment of what he saw, and determine how Somaliland could be an inclusive place for all “Somalis” living there. His trip to Somaliland took place after an unsuccessful attempt to run for president of Somalia in 2012. He was unsuccessful because the president was chosen by members of parliament representing Somali tribal groups in the absence of nation wide elections. A national election for the presidency was not held because of population displacement, security concerns and tension among regional factions. Professor Samatar did not receive enough votes from members of parliament to win the presidency because his party was against bribing members of parliament in order to win their votes. Any effort to purchase the presidency was contrary to his party’s plan to usher in a new government free from corruption and tribal nepotism. At the time of his unsuccessful bid for the presidency, members of parliament sold their votes to candidates with the largest amount of money. They were eager to fill their pockets, acquire seats in government for their tribes, and forge personally beneficial alliances with other tribes. The wheeling and dealing was given greater importance than working together in an attempt to mend and heal a country that is in complete disarray.
Against the formidable odds of corruption, nepotism and tribalism, Mr. Samatar made his best effort to win the presidency. He addressed parliament about the horrific state of affairs, and outlined ways to rescue Somalia. Members of parliament were impressed with his speech and with his concrete plans to restore Somalia. He received lengthy, non-stop applause and a standing ovation. Sadly, that same parliament at the end of the day surrendered to the “call of tribalism” rather than to the salvaging of Somalia. Professor Samatar realized that the two arch rivals and feuding tribes (Darod and Hawiye) had taken over a monopoly of the Somali state, leaving no room for anyone else. Ironically, this was welcome news for Somaliland—a separate state, run largely by Isaks, that has been trying to secede from Somalia for some time. They made every effort to make sure that Samatar would not be elected president of Somalia. He ardently fought against secession as it would lead to the break-up of the Somali state into smaller, feuding, tribal states.
After failing to win the election, Samatar shifted his political focus to northern Somalia [Somaliland] to see if he could strengthen a fragile state with symptoms very similar to those in Southern Somalia. He was hoping that the political leadership and tribes in Somaliland would be more mature, cohesive, and committed to sharing the common identity of “Somaliland.” As part of his assessment he interacted with university students, civic organizations and traditional tribal elders. He taught them lessons about statehood, leadership, education and development in an effort to instill good citizenship and avoid the trivial tribal matters so common to them all. The professor said that he would make earnest assessments of Somaliland before casting judgment.
Somaliland did not issue any formal statement about what they want out of Samatar, but opened a dialogue that he has wanted to have with Somaliland since 1991. He has been consistently telling Somaliland that secession is not the right course of action. After he lost the election in the South he learned that the South is not serious about a political dialogue or sharing power with the north. He also learned that the upper echelons in the South are confined to Hawiye and Darod tribes. Somaliland wants to capitalize on this fact, and to use the professor’s academic credentials and influence to acquire recognition for Somaliland by hiding its own flaws. What Samatar wants out of Somaliland is fair and equitable power sharing among the people of Somaliland regardless of tribe. He aptly said to officials of Somaliland that “Government is not a place where tribal interests are conducted but rather a place to serve all citizens.” This represents a reality check for Somaliland as it, too, is dominated by one family. That family is reluctant and hesitant to give independent positions of authority to anyone outside of their kinsmen. If Somaliland officials do give positions of leadership to those outside the family, they also make sure that some of their kinsmen are always present “behind the curtain.”
Hargeisa and Admas Universities: (Hargeisa)
Ahmed Ismail Samatar, a Somali scholar and former Somali presidential candidate returned to Somaliland after receiving a formal invitation from Ahmed Mohamud (Siilaanyo). The government of Somaliland appointed a welcoming committee comprised of ministers, elders and chiefs led by Abdillahi Jama Osman (Geel Jire). When Samatar got off the plane he briefly shook hands and hugged officials, friends, and relatives; and kissed the tarmac of Berbera airport to demonstrate his love for his homeland after an absence of fifteen years.
After a brief stay, Samatar was taken on a small regional plane from Berbera to Hargeisa, where a large crowd of people had gathered at the airport. Tribal elders and chiefs lined up to get a glimpse of the professor. People held up his picture and waved fresh leaves cut from local trees as they stood on walls, cars, and other objects while waving joyfully to welcome the visitor. A soccer team even came to the airport and lined up to shake the professor’s hand. Posters with his full name and picture were posted along both sides of the road carrying the message, “Welcome to your land.” As he walked out of the airport he briefly spoke to the media. He said, “I came to Somaliland to listen, to understand, and to see the accomplishments and ambitions of the people of Somaliland.” He announced that what he came for was much bigger than personal interest. He reminded the crowds that he was well informed about what was happening in Somaliland but wanted to meet its people in person. He went on to assert that he was on a fact finding mission to assess conditions in the country; and to share his views and experiences with the people of Somaliland.
Samatar was taken to Hargeisa University where he gave a lesson on leadership. Before beginning his lecture he reminded students and others present for the lecture that he would defend and support everything that the people of Somaliland had accomplished to date. Samatar reminded the audience that leadership requires compromise, understanding and patience. Capacity building is a never-ending process that requires fairness and justice, especially in difficult times. The professor confirmed that good leadership is based on vision and competence. Great leadership helps society expand like an elastic band—reaching its full limits without breaking. He reminded Somalis that tribalism is not a criterion for either a nation or its leader. Citizens should choose a leader who has the vision to show them what lies ahead and warns them about potential pitfalls. Samatar noted that Abdillahi Suldan (Timma’ade) was a visionary poet who foresaw the abysmal conditions in which Somali society currently finds itself.
Samatar also stressed that good vision must be accompanied by good moral character and mutual respect. Good moral character prohibits violation of the rights of individuals or any group or groups of people within a nation. Samatar gave the analogy of a guitar whose strings have become loose over time. A guitar with such strings will not generate the same beautiful sound that it would be able to produce if the strings were tightened. In regard to the issue of fair and open discussion, Samatar noted that “if we share this country (Somaliland) we must have broad legitimate discussions about its future.” A great leader should be able to galvanize the national vision so that society will remember, and remain committed to that vision generation after generation.
Samatar also touched on the issue of development, reminding students that it is an ongoing process that requires perpetual maintenance and up-keep. Without these, society falls apart when people abandon the work and choose rather to sit around and have a good time. Both mind and matter require constant maintenance and development. Everything will eventually cease to exist without proper upkeep and careful maintenance.
Timma’ade University: (Gabiley and Dilla):
Samatar’s message gathered steam and momentum as he headed to Gabiley, the place of his birth. It is a town established by his grandfathers on the eve of World War Two. He was the first student to be enrolled in school at a time when Somalis where skeptical of enrolling their children in a school established by British colonial authorities for fear of being proselytized. His father—in defiance of community opinion—confirmed that his son would be the first to go the school. Sixty-one years later this very school became the University of Timmacadde, which is currently in its infancy.
As Samatar entered his home town, crowds in cars and on horseback waved and cheered. People hung flowers on his head and beat drums in celebration. The professor stood on a car waving both hands at the people. Abib Nur Diriye, Minister of Information for Somaliland and a member of the welcoming committee said, “I have never witnessed this kind of public joy and gathering.” Samatar alluded to what happened to Gabiley during the civil war, reminding the public of the uniqueness of the city. He noted that this city, unlike many other places in the country, is a mixture of different Somali clans who live, inter-marry and work together for the common good of the people. The city has long been known for competing in education and sports tournaments. He reminded the spectators that he was proud to see that the city had named the university after Abdillahi Suldan (Timmacadde), a Somali poet who so forcefully condemned tribalism. He also forecasted that Somalis would eventually succumb to self-affliction unless they maintained and defended justice and fairness. He reminded the people they must strive to live by his words; and donated books of his poetry to the university library for students to really dig into and understand the substance of his poetry.
Samatar went to Dilla the following morning on his way to Borama. He arrived in Dilla where thousands of people—the size of the crowd unheard of up to this time—stormed the streets. Both young and old were overjoyed to see him. The cars in his delegation were not even able to pass through the audience. Samatar addressed the audience briefly about the purpose of his trip and thanked them for their welcome. From here and all along the way to Borama he was submerged within a sea of people, mostly young men. As he entered Borama the entire city came out to see him. Many of them had never seen him before, but had heard of him through debates and discussions in the media. As his car inched its way through the crowd he spoke in the public arena—telling the throngs that he could not thank them enough for the undeserved public support. He assured the people it was something that he would remember until he died. He reminded the audience that the “People of the west [in-reference to western Somaliland] need to help build a united and cohesive Somaliland.” That is much easier said than done as the leadership of the ruling tribe in Somaliland flagrantly displays single family ownership and control of resources. Furthermore, a vast portion of the eastern part of Somaliland is under the control of the Khatumo state—a largely Dhulbahanta territory whose goal is to be part of a regional autonomous state in compliance with the new Somali federal constitution, but separate from the rest of Somaliland.
ADMAS University:
Samatar was invited to ADMAS University College in Hargeisa where he lectured on development and education. He told students that education begins with the individual expanding his/her knowledge, including expansion of the intellect and personal enlightenment. As part of the enlightenment one must begin to ask critical questions that require carefully considered answers. There are many questions for society in general, but each generation has a few central questions to answer. Individuals must help define and delineate what the central questions are for each society. He told students that the critical questions must be clearly and succinctly articulated rather than rambling about vague issues. Most Somalis have not yet learned how to formulate and articulate critical questions.
Samatar stressed that knowledge begins with a good question. “If there is no question there is no point in knowing or exploring anything.” The question must shed light on a dark spot, explain the unknown or help untangle complex issues or dilemmas. Knowledge based on thoughtful intellectual investigation helps provide new understanding. In other words, knowledge is comprised of learning how to ask good questions; how to explore and investigate the questions and issues posed; and how to produce tangible answers or resolutions to the questions or dilemmas being investigated.
Methods of exploration include statistical and historical research; and detailed interviews with knowledgeable sources. People who are able to produce new, empirical knowledge (geniuses) are extremely rare and limited. Most academicians either refine or add to existing knowledge. All people learn, generate new ideas, and increase the total sum of knowledge by building on what others have already explored, investigated, and shared with the world.
Samatar said that the acquisition of knowledge requires at least three steps. The first step is to critique what already exists and point out what is good about it. The purpose of the critique is to improve, enhance or perfect something that you love. The second step is to discover what is missing from existing knowledge—liabilities and limitations. The third step is to identify and articulate how to improve what already exists—how to remove or overcome its liabilities and limitations.
Good education must lead to ideas that help individuals take care of themselves, their families, and the country in which they live. If they are starving, their education is inadequate. The biggest role of education is to improve civic life—everything that is shared by all members of the community. A community that does not have intellectual capital can not move forward. Societies with the greatest collective intellectual capital are the societies that progress at the greatest pace. Members of societies that have no intellectual capital are bound to have backward lives and be afflicted with numerous problems.
The great Danish philosopher Kirkagard said, “You can only understand life backwards but the only way in which a person can live is forward.” Societies without intellectual capital do not understand history–and what limited history they do have is inaccurate and can be easily challenged. Intellectual capital within a culture is used to examine existing cultural values and insights, and if necessary or beneficial, to produce new values. Instead of saying, “We use to be like that” the question to ask is, “What shall we become?”
Intellectual capital also helps a society or nation learn how to build its economy. Samatar stressed that Somaliland should not just be a consumer society. Somaliland must have a system of local production that takes advantage of locally available resources. Buying what others produce and sell is not a good way to build a country or its economy. Commerce and trade should focus on products that can be proudly stamped with “made in Somaliland.” Building the economy requires knowledge of science. The reason why countries in the developing world are not building their economies is that they do not have sufficient scientific knowledge. They can not compete with countries where science is given a high priority.
Developed nations that have eradicated poverty and developed employment for their citizens generation after generation have done three important things. There is a cycle of poverty and hardship in countries that have failed to do these things. The first thing is to conceptualize new ideas. Nations that conceptualize new ideas and create new products control the world. The rest of the world borrows the concepts that have been generated by forward thinking nations. These nations fund and fully support research centers and centers of learning where new concepts are generated and developed.
The second key to economic success is to selectively borrow and skillfully build on the concepts and good ideas already developed by others. Samatar cited the example of Japan. He recalled that as a young boy growing up in Somalia, Japanese products were so fragile that Somalis would call them “Qosol ku jab.” That was a way of saying that the quality was so poor and the products so fragile that if you laughed out loud they would fall apart. Today, however, Japan has reached a stage where the quality and standard of its products are superior and sought after.
The third key to economic success is the development of networks and connections. Even if a country has neither creative concepts nor competence, it can bring people together and establish trade connections by building good ports, airports and other facilities—in essence, becoming a “broker” of services. Singapore is an example of such a country. It is a central point between the east and the west—and has wisely created a hub through which vast quantities of commodities flow from all over the world. As a result of this trade connection Singaporeans have the highest living standard and the richest per capita income in the region. For Somaliland to be economically successful as a nation it must implement these methods of development that have been proven to be effective.
Samatar’s lecture concluded with a reminder that development is a never-ending task. Development is not building something and then abandoning what was built. Nothing can be used or enjoyed over time without maintenance and upkeep. Structures that are abandoned quickly decay. Professor Samatar referred to the second law of thermo dynamics, which states that in order to survive, any organ that produces energy (entropy—energy going out) must create counter entropy (return of energy). Created structures are not capable of maintaining themselves. The professor used the road connecting Kalabaydh and Borama which he traversed on his way to Borama as an example. He said the road was full of pot holes and some areas washed away by rain. The driver was constantly avoiding them by driving through adjacent farms. He asserted that Somalis are not good at maintaining roads and homes; or more importantly, at taking care of the environment and the ecology. He noted that during his trip to Zeila he witnessed soil erosion, desertification and looming environmental catastrophes. Without an effective environmental protection policy the land and the country’s fragile ecological systems will be destroyed.
Development requires a collective effort to continuously improve the economy, maintain effective governance and preserve cultural integrity. Samatar reminded his audience that development is not appointing one’s kinsman to an office to hang out in the morning and disappear in the afternoon for kat chewing (narcotic plant). Development of the economy is based on job creation, democracy, constitutionally guaranteed rights, and civic guidelines to which all citizens are subject. This type of development is sustainable and will benefit every generation.
Samatar confirmed that young people have told him that previous generations have left them nothing to build on. His response countered that allegation. He asserted that many things have been left for them, even though a lot has been destroyed. He reminded his audience that young people have the time, energy and the intellect to build the country and should not be relying on older people to do the “heavy lifting.” He urged the government of Somaliland and the country’s business community to resolve the massive unemployment problem (eighty percent unemployment) by creating jobs for youth; and by establishing infrastructure and developing the technology required to harness whatever resources are available in the country.
Ammoud University and Eelo Universities (Borama)
Professor Samatar visited and lectured at Amoud University—an older educational institution that has been converted to a University. This is where he went to intermediate school as a young boy. Here the professor lectured a hall filled with promising young men and women about statehood, democracy and development. He told them that the state is the focal point where shared governance (collective power) is established by a group of people who bring all power elements of the country together. In the prelude to his lecture, the professor said that both God and animals are independent of politics, but human beings need political structures to govern themselves. The professor asserted that the state encompasses civil society, with all its leadership and administrative organs. The state manifests itself through physical, economic and cultural power supported by effective law enforcement. In the broader sense, caring for the economy includes taking care of society and its cultural values; as well as the religion(s), art, literature, and language(s) of the country. Depending on how a state uses its power, the lives of its citizens can either be greatly improved or greatly harmed.
Before he pointed out what type of state Somaliland is, Samatar gave the audience a description of the various forms and phases in the development of a state. He said some states are fully developed. Fully developed states have already developed all organs of the state; they have in place and operational all necessary means to take care of their societies, including the military, the police, all components of economic infrastructure, and an effective educational system.
The second form of state the professor described is the partially developed state. Countries in this category are rising up to build political and economic power; and striving to improve the supply and quantity of daily necessities. Such states are attempting to catch up with the developed world.
The third type of state is called less developed. It has some resources such as oil or other minerals that outsiders are able to exploit. Less developed states use their share of the proceeds of foreign exploitation of internal resources to purchase food and other commodities to feed their populations.
The last form of state is the predator state. It has little or no natural resources, survives by consuming goods and services produced outside of the state; and ends up devouring its own people. The state itself can be said to “die,” as in the case of Somalia. Ultimately all states are either well developed, in the process of developing, declining or dying. The professor’s appraisal of Somaliland is that it is in the developmental stage. In regard to state building, Somaliland was categorized by Professor Samatar as a state in the developing stage.
Good states are recognized by three things. Firstly, legitimate states have an inclusive citizenry. Their citizens share a common destiny, and are guided by a fair and just constitution. There is no room for tribal or clan favoritism. Secondly, the leadership of a good state has vision. Leaders are able to look ahead and determine what issues need immediate attention, and what needs to be avoided. The leadership knows how to gets thing done. Finally, the leadership of a good state is competent and cooperative. The leaders understand each other and come together to accomplish the common good. They work hard to eradicate poverty and improve the lives of their citizens in every conceivable way. They steer clear of inflicting harm or causing internal division.
For the first time in Somaliland’s history, Samatar provided the people of Somaliland with lessons in, and examples of good and bad governance in their native tongue. He was both eloquent and a gifted orator. His lectures were vivid and practical in providing guidance and insight into what each citizen needs to do in order to insure good governance. He helped the people of Somaliland understand what they need to do to get the job done. He warned emphatically about that horrible tribal system that has plagued development of the Somali people. He emphasized that without fairness, sharing of common interests and full civic engagement, state building is not possible. Sadly, even before Samatar left Somaliland the very leaders who invited him to assess the situation within the country slipped back into their old habits of shuffling and reshuffling government ministerial officials along tribal lines. They failed to recognize that the very top leader—the individual responsible for all the reshuffling—is the one who needs to be removed. As is all too common in Somalia, the leader is always right and the people below him are wrong. Furthermore, the public in general has an ambivalent relationship with tribalism. They, too, need to understand that you can not have good leadership if you continue to put as many of your tribal members as you can into all the important government positions—regardless of qualifications for the job. The state—instead of hiring civil servants based on the criteria of vision and competence set by Samatar—becomes a place to appoint tribe and sub-tribe members who are willing to pick up arms against the state. In effect, the state is bullied into rewarding trouble-makers with government positions—and peace-makers wind up with nothing.
Samatar’s message struck a cord with the general public, who seemed to accept that it would be possible to create a sense of common identity for the people of Somaliland. That common identity would encompass the five primary tribes plus others that reside in Somaliland. This could be a galvanizing point if there is a genuine consensus within Somaliland. Samatar reminded his followers that “we in Somaliland must find a way to unify and strengthen our people in order to build a better Somaliland.” The further Somaliland drifts away from internal harmony and genuinely equitable representation the less likely it can remain intact as one independent state outside of Somalia. Samatar wants to see a Somaliland that is cohesive and strong enough to negotiate with Southern Somalia. If this does not happen, Somaliland’s unhappy tribes will ditch Somaliland—either by allying with the deeply divided Southern Somalia; or by declaring their own tribal mini-state. Going to the South doesn’t mean things will be better. It is simply a way for disgruntled tribes to stand up to Somaliland (a case in point is Khatumo State).
Samatar has an enormous following in Awdal region. Ultimately how he utilizes his popular support to accomplish the political ambitions of the region is what counts. So far he has decided to work with Somaliland to reinforce and strengthen the country. Samatar needs to realize that whatever steps he takes as a political leader in Somaliland he must stay within the goals and ambitions of the people of Awdal. For now the people of Awdal and Samatar are largely on the same page as far as unifying Somaliland—as long as it leaders continue to govern with genuine “civic” involvement rather than with tribe or sub-tribe favoritism. He has expressed these views to the ruling administration of Somaliland. In the absence of a truly unifying party in Somaliland he has to establish a political party that can articulate and demonstrate all the qualities of good leadership. Joining existing political parties in Somaliland is not an acceptable option for him as the parties are tribal-based, and have a history of nepotism in the upper echelons. Key positions of power, authority and decision making are all held by exclusive tribes and sub-tribes. He was not able to persuade the tribes in the south to set aside long-standing rivalry. Feuds over the allocation of resources and key positions in government along tribal lines continue to exist in Somaliland. Somaliland would be much wiser to make a better choice. If Somaliland doesn’t make the choice to build the country collectively then each tribal fiefdom will be left to go its own away.
Samatar must realize that he must be a strong leader and Somaliland must be a committed partner in order to accomplish what he has proposed for the country. He has to set aside his personal goal of being offered a position in the government. In the past Somaliland has silenced political figures who challenged its leadership by offering them government positions. In his negotiating efforts with Somaliland Samatar must not settle for simply the realization of personal ambitions. He must uphold the ideas, reforms, and leadership with competence and vision that he would like to see implemented. With Somaliland he can play either the tribal card or the unifying card—and that is dependent at least partially on whether or not there is a real and genuine partner in Hargeisa. It is clear that Somaliland has to make the choice—whether to continue building a state exclusively run by one tribe; or a state run collaboratively by a collection of all tribes. Everyone is waiting to see how Samatar navigates the swamp of tribal interests and the pursuit of the ideal state with a common destiny. It is hoped that he will choose to establish a Somaliland that is run by a legitimate, competent, inclusive group of people representing all tribes. Up until now, Somaliland has clung stubbornly to tribal interests with no serious political program transcending tribal interests. To date it has provided neither equality nor equal opportunity for its citizenry.
Jaafar M Sh Jama

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