NEWS 2005


At the core of every problem in Somalia is clan

Kenya Times
16. June 2005

Today every Somali living abroad though educated are divided thanks to this satanic system of tribalism. Apart from their financial aid to ignite violence in the country, they take part their prayers in different mosques belonging to sub clans, writes Mohamud Abdisamad Gure

WHY in this date and time Somalis continue to have their world defined by tribe and clan is impossible to fathom.

The way our people have conducted their affairs since 1960 have made us the laughing stock of the world. We should even admit that independence in 1960 may have come too soon since it appears that we were not ready for what self-rule entailed.

The year 1960 may have found few scattered Somali intellectuals but these were bereft of requisite experience on how to run government.

Looking back, perhaps we need to concede that our education system was not only totally different but apparently also defective and inadequate compared to neighbouring countries whose education history dates back to 1880s.

The Italian administration in Somalia had been reluctant to grant independence to Somalia when it did but it could not stand the UN pressure of ending the mandate of disengaging after the World War II just like her ally the Germans.

The problems of inadequacy which today shackles Somalia are traceable, at least in part to the colonial masters. Italy has been playing a trick in order to retain influence in Somalia. It should be clear to all and sundry that Somali “house boys” who served their Italian masters were given priority to join in the police and the new military forces of Somalia in 1950s and later on some of these “house boys” became ministers in the new Somali government.

During that period of Italian administration in Somalia, if Italian master wanted to employ a security guard or a gardener, he directly contacted to his house boy to bring somebody to fill such positions and Somalis always called their brothers or relatives to benefit from such chances.

As house boys promoted to ministers in 1960s, the tradition of recruiting top governmental posts based in nepotism continued as these ministers thought they still worked in Italian houses for Italian bosses.

This was the genesis of early nepotism in the new Somali administration and precipitated the coup led by army Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre.

Although Barre improved some social services like the beginning of writing the Somali language and others, nepotism was left intact and indeed flourished and so every minister, director general or governor saw their offices as stations to staff with close relatives.

The international community gets astounded that we fully embrace and worship tribalism instead of Islamic religion which we believe in 100%.

If you should opt to address yourself to religious issues, few people will be interested but once you start talking about tribalism, those who were standing will sit, and those sitting will stand up ready to join the debate.

Traditionally Somali people appear averse to depending upon what they earn legally and instead prefer using short cuts like corruption, bribery or begging for money from relatives. This is called Shaxaad and explains why even intellectuals are fixated with clans.

Another problem which continues to undermine the well being of Somalis is the fact that not enough attention is paid to education. Few Somalis attach requisite importance to education such that every standard four or standard eight drop out believe they are fit enough to be a president or prime minister.

A Somali man who has never been to school but has learned a foreign language will not bat an eye lid as they pass off as doctor or engineer.

There are people who have taken advantage of the fact that Somali history is not broadly researched to falsify our history based on clan differences. For example while the international community believes that the population of Somalia is about 7 to 10 million, you can see these so called Somali writers each inflating the population of their clans ultimately blowing the national population to something like 25 million which is too far from the truth.

After the country fell in to the civil war all of Somali clans involved in atrocities in beach of Islam yet we all believe that we are right.

Today Somalis have formed a government based on tribalism and leaders instead of believing in some political principals or ideologies, are stuck to tribalism. And every debate which Somali MPs discuss is pegged to tribalism.

Today every Somali living abroad though educated are divided thanks to this satanic system of tribalism. Apart from their financial aid to ignite violence in the country, they take part their prayers in different mosques belonging to sub clans.

Somali media houses convey hostile messages to the people dictated by clan loyalty. There are more than 40 radios, websites and newspapers which all involve in this unfortunate misuse of media whether in Somalia or outside.

In my opinion, the only solution for the international community specially the UN to get Somali on her feet is to take the following steps:

  1. Occupy Somalia and start a new administration run by the UN for about 40 years.

  2. Using of foreign forces to restore law and order.

  3. Teach the people modern ways by non- Somali teachers.

  4. Prepare a new generation to rule Somalia after the 40 years. This generation must be children born after 2000 and not before that date.

  5. This new generation will then hopefully produce new Somali politicians, soldiers, teachers and civil servants.

  6. The UN will subsequently grant Somalia a local authority after 40 years after being satisfied that Somalia deserves such administration.

  7. After 15 years of local authority the UN will then look into the possibility of giving a full independence to Somalia, if the above programmes go well.

Every Somali would be well advised to recognize this opportunity as the last chance which can bring back the Somali nation to the world stage.