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Cursory Look At Southern Somali Politics And How It Pits Against SL Independence
By Mowliid Magare, Seattle
Ever since the UIC won control of Mogadishu over the cohort of warlords, who reined peace in Mogadishu for the last 16years, it has become hard for ordinary Southern Somali to see where the path to Democracy and away from the precipice lies. Yet there can be no doubt the incessant endeavors of UIC to restore peace and security needed to all the territories under their control, though this peace did not come without a cost, which spawned controversy – that sees it unfertile in the pastures of a liberal Somali culture known for its personal freedom.
UIC momentum has made Southern Somalis left wondering whether they are witnessing just one more phase of their familiar political ‘Facet, ’ coated with radical ideology of Islam “Wahabbism” to pull them out of the mayhem, or whether this time the political facet is about to be serrated deeply spurning them buried again dead into its crevices. The political razzle-dazzle of Southern Somalis has taken a new turn – Islamism as a political tool. Though majority of Mogadishu-city dwellers whom UIC tobogganed to overrun the warlords, rated it higher in their support ranting that all but drowned out opposition voices, leaving them to sputter in impotence, contrastingly UIC has shown less of the ethereal qualities its supporters had in mind. Much to their chagrin, it has, so far, shown the propensity of becoming adept only at infringing individual freedom, martyr zing the death, muzzling the free media, and girding for war against all neighboring countries with the aim of footing Somali Caliphate State in the Horn Of Africa.
Subsequently Southern Somalis disillusionment now with UIC hard line practices suggest that they might have trusted their destiny in the wrong hands.
While TFG with its political eunuch, holed up in Baidoa town, pose an even bigger disaster after cloistering with Ethiopia (Somali arch enemy) to stay wishfully as government in power as well as conniving with it to defeat the more forceful UIC.
UIC ascent to Power
Southern Somalia remained under the grip of warlords for the longer period since the tyrant Siyad was ousted from power. Under warlords, peace became fictitious; life was in every moment dangerous and vagary; death was ubiquitous and a daily ration meted out to those who saw the warlord’s feat an act of devil; news from Mogadishu was not euphonious; hope was moribund and people in Mogadishu expressed skepticism of ever having normalcy again in their daily life in the city. People were in dire need of creativity – in desperate antidotes to lift them out of this misery.
It was at this moment of public despondency that UIC mullahs, using Islamic slogan, finagled the way to power promising to be ‘saviors’ of the Somali nation. And whatever inscrutable motives UIC mullahs had in mind, they succeeded to woo the public with their pep talk and ‘claimed’ clairvoyance and spearheaded public uprising against warlords. At a time when people’s confidence was at its lowest possible ebb and a nationalist Somali leader hardly comes by, Mogadishu-city dwellers took UIC to their heart hoping that this time around might bring an end to their misery. People hopes revived that the good old days might come back. Hope was running before reality.
Thereof, in June 2005, warlords’ ‘struggle for survival’ against UIC became patent failure that scuttled in the face of their self-grandiose and hubris, making them receded into past tense.
Southern Political Saga
Bewildered by the overwhelming support received from public and swift gain to power concomitant with no contingent plan in hand, UIC acted floundering as to the likes of an octopus running around in circle not knowing which way to go. UIC insatiable eagerness for control and power compromised its rational cogitation. Under this expose` of abnormal thinking, it undertook first and preferentially so any action that provided grist for its mill ostensibly to entrench in power and control over the people, instead of contriving ways to tackle the more pressing needs for their strife torn society.
Soon after UIC established itself at the helm of power, it faced the need for financial support to continue survive in the face of TFG that was molded in foreign hands and has international communities support. A steady source of revenue became of the essence thus prompting UIC to prep, not altruistically, both the port and the airport for operation and for public use in order to generate revenue that was aimed primarily to foot its operational bill in addition to any handouts received from oil rich Arab states.
An encouraging step soon followed; at which UIC expressed its willingness to engage in negotiation with the puny TFG to hammer out an agreement to set up an acceptable government to both sides. Though a feeble work-relation was forged between UIC and TFG in the first leg of the negotiations, constant undercurrent of ideas infused by foreign countries, however, bamboozled both parties willingness to reach an agreement of a sort in subsequent stages of the negotiation and ultimately turned the negotiation to farcical. Leaders of both UIC and TFG in the negotiation started orienting in a way that could be described as ‘off the wind’ rather than ‘on the wind’ to foreigners’ ulterior motives. By taking such stance, both party leaders disavowed their responsibility of finding genuine solution to the melancholy situation in Southern Somalia in the end, exposing exceptionally their myopic view to the plight of their strife torn society. UIC, soon after the second leg of the negotiation, was accused of faulting with breach to the covenant– to restrain their contemplation of flexing their muscles and control to regions beyond Benadir, signed by both parties. Incensed by UIC move to Kismayo, TFG invited Ethiopian troops to come to Baidoa in a bid to help them quell any attempt from UIC to invade Baidoa, the base of TFG. Negotiation between the two parties, both being foreign stooges, was not in essence for accomplishment but to baffle Southern Somali politics further. Finally the two parties have fallen out as the negotiation was encumbered by a lack of trust and foreign entanglement and meddling in the Southern Somali politics.
With UN now approved the draft of lifting up the arms embargo and no resume of continued negotiation between the two parties in the offing, the political impasse could sooner play out to foment an all-out war that draws in more regional states, cause unprecedented exodus of Southern Somali refugees to neighboring countries and a further destruction to an already devastated place.
To be continued