Parameters of Success and Failures
By Abdulkadir Aden Jangeli
July 02 , 2009
The literature you are about to read is divided into several parts. Its contents are based on facts and fictions. The main players are Somalis, Ethiopians, and the international community.
All the roads leading to Erigabo are covered with fast-moving water caused by Gu’ rain. Consequently, a lot of trucks and Mark II cars were stuck in the Sarar valley. After Osman’s brand new Land Cruiser got stuck, he decided to abandon it 20 miles outside Erigabo. He was supposed to reach Hotel Dalo’ a day earlier, where he would have met with prominent politicians and intellectuals from all over Somalia. Coincidentally, Haji Salax, the grandson of Ina Dhalamuro, raises horses in the area where Osman’s car failed to operate. Haji Salax invited Osman and his driver for dinner and to spend the night at his house. Osman explained to Haji that he did not anticipate that much rain. He added that his cell phone saved his reputation of being late for this important meeting, which he organized. He emphasized how eager he is to reach Erigabo by tomorrow.
In the early morning, Haji Salax presented a white stallion to Osman, and asked if he knew how to ride a horse. Without responding to his question, Osman jumped on the horse and lashed it gently to prove his riding skills. After one round Osman directed the horse towards Erigabo, and he rode off saying he would return in two days. After riding for an hour, Osman could see the blinking silver-like aluminum roofs on the horizon. They were the roofs of the houses in the city. He was also mesmerized by the beauty of the chain of Dalo’ and Cal Madow mountains just beyond. The peaks of the mountains were covered with exhausted clouds that had been showering endlessly. This beautiful view was also seen on the reflection of the ponds outside the city. Osman only wished he could explain to the horse the difference between the London underground that he had gotten used to, and this amazing ride, open air, and striking landscape.
Finally, Osman came into Dalo’ Hotel and met his colleagues, who were not bored waiting for him because they were enjoying the eastern hospitality. Within a couple of hours the meeting started in the ballroom of the Hotel. They immediately elected Asli as a chairperson, and Ali as the secretary to take the minutes.
Asli: Thank you for your trust to chair this meeting. Now, I would like to call the secretary to read the agenda.
Ali: Our Agenda consists the following items: 1) Somalia vs. Ethiopia. 2) Mogadishu’s problems. 3) High seas piracy 4) The final solution for the Somali plight and 5) wrap up of the meeting.
Osman: I Would like start with the saying: Geed baa waxuu yiri godiney haddaan barkey gugu jirin ima goyseen (A tree spoke to an ax and said: if part of me was not in you, then you would not be able to cut me down). Although, we are different from axes and trees, our situation looks the same. Ethiopia is tearing down the Somali nationhood by using Somalis. Of course I am blaming the so-called Somali politicians who have been blinded by the hunger they have for power. They have fallen one by one by the traps that Ethiopia has set. Ironically, they never look back and analyze what happened to their predecessors.
Salax: I second that!According to the information we received from Ethiopia’s dissidents who have defected from Zenawi’s oppression, nothing will satisfy him until he reaches the Indian Ocean and the Golf of Aden. He wants to divide all of Somalia into enclaves based on clan affiliations, until the nationhood disappears.
Cige: What proof do you have of your allegations that Meles Zenawi is against Somalia’s statehood?
Asli: For the record, I would like to read what Mr. Tamrat Nega, an Ethiopian Freelance Journalist wrote: Mr. Meles Zenawi, the prime minister of Ethiopia, who is not willing to be quoted due to the sensitivity of the issue, Meles has commissioned a committee of Somali specialists early this year to come up with a strategic analysis and a menu of options with respect to Ethiopian national interest towards Somalia. The committee chaired by Ethiopia´s foremost expert on Somalia, Dr. Alemu Tekede, minister of state for foreign affairs, comprised senior officials of the ruling EPRDF, several military generals and security and intelligence officers.
According to the source, after five long months of deliberations, the committee submitted to Meles a well-thought-out "red" dossier containing confidential policy proposals in last August. The committee of experts persuasively argued that the reconstitution of Somalia to its pre-1991 status would not serve the national interest of Ethiopia. Furthermore, the committee emphasized the possibility of landlocked Ethiopia becoming "sandwiched" between two hostile countries, i.e. Eritrea in the north and Somalia in the south, underlining Ethiopia´s vulnerability to gruesome civil-war and disintegration if the current Ethiopian efforts in Somalia fail and the country falls back to the hands of ousted Islamic forces. The committee further emphasized the possibility of Ethiopian Muslims becoming influenced or radicalized by Somalia´s Islamists which could ultimately ignite a devastating religious war in the country.
The committee recommended the following propositions:
1. A two-state solution for Somalia along the pre-independence colonial boundaries. The committee suggested the Ethiopian government play a lead role in advocating for the international recognition of the breakaway republic of Somaliland.
2. Southern Somalia (former Italian Somaliland) to be divided into four federal regions in line with ethnic based Ethiopian federal system, namely, Puntland, Hawiyeland, Jubbaland and Rahanweinland.
3. The Somali region of Ethiopia to be "isolated" from the rest of Somalia, and limit to the extent possible commercial and traffic links between the Somali region and Somalia.
Cige: Are you accusing the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, who has been helping Somalia for the last two decades, just because of an article written by a freelance journalist?
Osman: No, Sir. If you look at the pattern of Mr. Zenawi’s manipulations over the Somali politicians, warlords, clan chiefs and active Sheikhs, it shows that the journalist has a coherent conclusion. If you take into consideration the following examples: Who requested the warlords not to participate in the Arta conference? Mr. Zenawi. Who organized SRRC in Ethiopia and what was the purpose of creating this organization for the warlords who refused to attend the Arta process? Who ordered Abdullahi Yusuf and Ali Mohmed Gedi not to go into Mogadishu, unless the Ethiopian troops escorted them to the gates of the capital? Mr. Zenwai did it, because he wanted to test the reaction of the Somalis when they saw Ethiopian troops in Mogadishu. Who advises the International community not to pressure Somaliland to participate in the Somali reconciliation conferences? Mr. Meles Zenawi. Why? Because he doesn’t want Somalis to talk one on one. He is afraid of any agreements between the Somalis. He believes that any solution that Somalis truly agree on for their fate is the death of the Ethiopian dream.
Asli: Now, we go by the next item of the agenda which is Mogadishu.
Dahir: It is time to be realistic. We have to change the capital city to somewhere else. Mogadishu is a cursed city and as long as we keep calling it the capital city of Somalia, we will remain in this situation.
Haji Cawil: I disagree with my brother Dahir. Mogadishu is not a cursed city, but unfortunately it has become the soft spot to destroy Somalia’s statehood. In the last two decades the regional and the international communities were parachuting pseudo governments that the Somali people had no input in at all. The members of these governments were fighting among themselves as soon as they stepped into Mogadishu. Also there were always a group of people who had ambitions, but have been ignored by the organizers of the reconciliation process so they reject the government and then fight against it. On top of all that Ethiopia knows the importance of the capital city. If they destabilize it they know that the country will bleed to death. Therefore, the residents of Mogadishu are victims of the parachuted governments while the Ethiopians continue to undermine it.
Asli: Thank you. I wish I could have given you more time. This is a very important subject and Mogadishu’s problems deserves more time to be thoroughly analyzed without prejudice. Unfortunately though, we have to stick to the allotted times for each subject, regardless. Now, the next item is Piracy.
Ali: In general piracy is wrong and it is a criminal act, but at the same time what some countries and multinational corporations were doing in our sea shores were also illegal and wrong. These young thugs who operate our seas as pirates have also protected our resources from trawlers and waste dumpsters.
Cige: Are you justifying these thugs who hijacked every ship that has passed the seas beyond the coast? You must know that these pirates didn’t intend to protect our resources, but only to get ransom money from these ships. Of course the companies who were dumping soon ended their exploits, but that was only a consequence.
Asli: And now we go to the final item, which is the solution for the Somali plight.
Osman: The problems we have been discussing like the piracy is caused by the lack of government. Furthermore, we can get a viable and legitimate government only when Somalis set an agenda and reconciliation conference inside Somalia.
Dahir: Somalia has lot of talented people who have ethics, empathy, and are capable of good governance. The international and regional communities never really give them a chance to be a part of the conferences held for Somalia. Somalia must wake up and push aside what has not worked to find what can work. It is about time that we identify the talented people and appeal to them. We need them to get together to save Somali’s nationhood. Any particular group should not be isolated or marginalized, but all the segments of Somali society should be included.
Before Asli took the floor for the conclusion of the meeting, the group discussed in length how the Somali governments, including Somaliland leaders, have not measured their success and failures. Not only government authorities, but also private and public managers, are supposed to set goals for a period of time, whether its quarterly, yearly, or within five years. And if they could not succeed in meeting their goals, they have to examine the situation and find out if it is because of human mistakes or if the project itself is even viable.
Abdulkadir Aden Jangeli
-Parameters of Success and Failures Part I By Abdikadir Jangali
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