From: Berhane Habtemariam (Berhane.Habtemariam@gmx.de)
Date: Fri Nov 28 2008 - 07:59:29 EST
Somalia: The Djibouti Agreement: A prime example of Insanity
Nov 28, 2008 - 7:46:24 PM
Dr. Ali Said Faqi
The Djibouti agreement signed between the opposition and the TFG on November 26, 2008 is nothing but another catastrophe in the making. This agreement paves the way for another five or more year of instability. It seems more like a joke as it cannot be absolutely a real document compiled by normal goodwill thinking human beings. The agreement details that both the opposition and the TFG will equally share power on a formula that will expand the current number of MPs to 550. This number is equivalent to that of the Indian parliament which has 552 MPs with a population of 1,147,995,904 (one billion, one hundred forty seven million, nine hundred ninety five thousands and nine hundred ninety five- estimate of 2008 census).
Let us for a moment discount whether the country could afford paying the salaries of all these MPs which will roughly come to about $20 million a year, and analyze the outcome as it is. One thing becomes very clear and that is none of those involved in the preparation of this document care a whiff about Somalia and the Somali people no matter which political affiliations they belong to. This is a disgraceful document that has not taken into consideration the problems the country and the people of Somalia are facing at this very difficult time. It does not address the current priorities of the country but illustrates the lack of political will from all groups involved in the Somali conflict. The country is facing dangers of great magnitude, from piracy, human displacement of great proportion, desertification and religious radicals with foreign patrons flocking into the conflict. It does not also address the grievances of the oppressed peoples of Southern Somalia whose land and habitat became the stomping ground for the two major clans who have shed lots of blood over power to inflict pain and suffering on the indigenous people and then deprive them of their resources forcefully. As expected, these groups that gathered in Djibouti seemingly ignored the crucial issues facing the country, but remain focused over sharing the spoils of the civil war.
The Djibouti conference is presided by two clans whose anarchic vision will not produce a viable government and as a matter of fact few nations in the world with similar clan structures as Somalia are rendered unstable for over many decades. All the dysfunctional states in the world including Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia have nomads in the conflicts. The main root of the Somali conflict is tribal disputes over the control of the resources of southern Somalia- who will milk the lower Shabelle and Juba land cow is all they dream. This nomadic doctrine neglects the basic rights of other people and encourages the looting of the country's resources by the members of the tribe in the power, thus creating mistrust and animosity in the society.
The Djibouti agreement should be a major victory for these two anarchist tribes as it will lead to many years of instability and bloodshed. Let us not forget that these groups gathering in Djibouti were the same groups that have been holding Somalia hostage for the last 20 years. They all act like a hungry hyena waiting for the right moment to attack the prey. If those in the decision making can't foresee the danger of a failed nation, the country's future will be shifted to another direction with new thirsty actors joining the conflict.
By now I believe we Somalis should be ashamed of ourselves. Look at those at the table in Djibouti and you can almost deduce that they are bereft of nationalism and human decency not by listening at what they said or agreed upon but what items that have not been said or discussed at the table. No mention of human rights; no mention of the population displacement; no mention of the continuous killings, and no mention about the piracy that has become a stain on the Somali people. Moreover, how can you honestly hold a reconciliation conference where the victims of violence and oppression for the past 18 years; the indigenous peoples of southern Somalia are not present at the table?
In the last two decades Somali history has been very embarrassing and these embarrassments were mainly caused by the so-called Somali leaders from the two culprit clans, the Hawiye and the Darod, On several occasions politicians from members of these two clans have shown an irrational unwillingness to resolve the continuing crises in the country and this newly baptized agreement is clearly intended for a failure.
To come to the specifics of this fiasco, it is same-old-same. It is very clear that those who orchestrated this deal had one common intention which is to de-legitimize the TFG institution, a rather apt nomadic instinct. Apparently, the Somali prime minister didn't like that his days in power were counted; instead of allowing a smooth transfer of power to guarantee stability, he opted to destroy the whole process. Well, this is typical for the anarchist tradition mentioned above and Mr. Nur Adde showed that he is not an exception.
The addition of another 275 conflict prone MPs to the Somali parliament will not work as this will only deteriorate the parliamentary functions. It is very true that Somali president, Mr. Yusuf and the parliament failed miserably to deliver any viable solution to the country. It must also be emphasized that Mr. Yusuf and the MPs are not the right people to lift this country from the current situation. Likewise, the members of the opposition group are not expected to be different from the TFG as they all share a common goal of destroying and looting the country.
There should be a plan to replace current parliament and the President. Prior to that; however, there should be some acceptable mechanisms to warranty continuity. The dilemma facing Somalia as a nation is the leadership which lacks the nature of moral consciousness and love to the country. Changing the guards does not necessarily bring the changes needed to stabilize the country. Unless Somalia embarks a real social justice, the bloodshed and the misery of the Somali nation will continue for ever.
The Djibouti agreement is a fiasco for all groups involved including the UN. For Somali politicians the proposed continuing conference as part of the signed agreement is a victory as it will allow them to stay in free hotels in Djibouti for many months to come.
For the UN and Djibouti government, it is way of collecting large portions of the money designated for expenses of the process and for the Somali people; it is additional death sentences condemned to thousands of its citizens. It is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and always expecting different results. This agreement represents a prime example of Insanity.
Dr. Ali Said Faqi
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