Thursday, August 16, 2018
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Divergent Notions of Somali Nation

By Kassim Mohamed 

At present there is an urgency to transition the Somali government out of its current state of subdivided clan-bound enclaves into a cohesive nation state. Federalism in its current form is not politically and socially sustainable solution for the Somalia problems. It fosters clan enclaves, impowers clannism hegemony, and clannist misuse against other clans and sub-clans. Somalis are running out of options to effectively run the Somali Nation.

Critiques of current Somali Federalism asserted (a) divergent clan-based federalism or (b) converging political process. Either choice has set forth implications that may shape the future of the nation. For instance, maintaining divergent clan-based form of federalism means to accept current status quo. It maintains the Nation weak, which is politically and socially subdivided. It is system which upholds clan-based boarders and clan-based regional enclaves. It empower clan hostility and invites institutionalized clan warfare. It leads no nation building but the dislodgement of the nations from the map. On the other hand, opting convergent political process will lead to set a nation state, which is strong, integrated, and independent. It builds a sense confident among communities of this nation, which helps the sovereignty lost during civil war. In contrasting perspectives, each notion presented here articulates what it takes to achieve or lose the common good of Somalia and Somalis.

Divergent Clan-based Federalism:

Staying on the course of current clan-bound federalism maintains the perpetuation of “current status quo” or the clan-bound federalism, which can lead the demise of sovereign state of Somalia. The current form of federalism, is indeed a great impasse to the national aspiration and sovereignty of the nation, it is an invitation to obstruct national interest internally and externally:

a) Internally: It promotes and builds a clan-based political system that represents clan interests only. It unnecessarily invites extremism and extremist hot spots both in old forms and new forms, increases clan vulnerability by alienating socially and politically, and it is an economical drain that encourages recurrence of famine. It is a dysfunctional social pattern of political disintegration, and generates an unconventionally lower culture both politically and socially. It imposes culture of dependency, lack of self-satisfaction. It also promotes an environment in which nonprofit organizations compete to set zones for their own interests at the expense of national interest and sovereignty.

b) Externally: The internal vulnerability and the vacuum of national authority invites foreign institutions and influences. As such, foreign interference is a constant threat. For instance, it can come as the form of aid supporting to the destitute groups of community, under the guise of peacekeeping, flashing out of the extremists; reconciliation and mediation of clan hostilities. International nonprofits and their local auxiliary chapter organizations substitute as public authorities that disenfranchise (economically and politically) the reliability and representation of the public institutions, emerging as multifaceted power foreign organizations. Somalia geographical strategic location and potentiality in natural resources attract the attention of many countries in the region and outside of the region. They want to take the advantages of lack of strong central government. Some of these countries are in flagrant opposition to Somalia’s constitution, posing a real threat to Somalia’s statehood and economic existence.

Convergent Political Process:

To organize a dutiful representation of the national aspiration of her citizens, uniting behind a narrative to maintain our national ambition and independence, this is initiative is owned and driven by Somalis gracefully through combination of three strategic leadership styles:

a) Participatory Leadership Policy: Empowering the democratic ideals, increasing the contribution of citizens as the ultimate stakeholders of their nation and avoiding localization of dictatorship through clannism, unfavorable social norms, and dysfunctional federalism.

b) Transformational Leadership Style: Embracing the changes, accepting outlying ideals, forwarding and inspiring national stakeholders. National leader including feral regions should leveraging listening both conformist and catalyst voices. Empowering the powerless citizen to emancipate themselves out of clan shadows. This leadership style demands leaders to transform their constituents and national citizens enabling to elect their leaders based on their honesty, integrity, and capacity. to build independent and sovereign nation state that can alternatively transform the policies and boarders of federalism from dysfunctional clan-based federalism to reliably sustainable federal system the can better serve the national interests.

c) Commanding Leadership Strategy: Accepting that participation by the citizenry includes empowering the state, as opposed to nation disillusionment by delegating power. So, in sense we should enact a commanding leadership strategy which prevents the nation from disintegrating social participation and transformational leadership style; but at the same time, helps citizens to fully participate in their political system, including as decision-making stakeholders. As such, the commanding leadership leads the nation from the back, center, and the front. It upholds the legal system of the nation and fortifies the governing of leaders and followers alike. It holds leadership firmly through the process of participatory and transformation of the mass populous. It consciously mitigates and facilitates the vision of the national ambitions through a safe and conducive environment free from any form or extent of manipulation.

In summary

Somalis in Somalia are in a dangerous crossroads about the governance of their nation, where the options are desperate and thinning.  Clannism and clan-bound federalism will never serve the national interest of Somalis. Therefore, the current form of the Somali federalism prohibitively exacerbates a disintegration that cannot be mended. Those whose efforts support building clan-based mini-nations are contributors to national disintegration. As a result, Somalis should act within the scant of time they may still have and better coordinate a better option of Federal System

Kassim Mohamed M.Ed., MPA

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