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14916677396201372438140I have just read the new book: “A challenging transition in Somalia, a story of personal courage and conviction” by Dr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali (Gas). The 166-page book could be informative and enlightening to those who are interested in knowing what had transpired within the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia in the course of the RoadMap to get Somalia out of the Transition in the run-up to 2012 Election  – the challenges in the Constitution – making; the in-fighting within; the obstructionist role of some members of the international community to keep the status quo and the leading national and patriotic role the author played in the process as the Prime Minister of Somalia.

Of particular importance in the text is the quarrelsome relationships between the Transitional Federal Government (The Center) and Regional Administrations (The Peripheries) at the time, and important role the PM played to bring them together to agree upon completing the National Constitution and holding of election of the Parliament.

The author touches on his difficult relations with then President of Puntland, Abdirahman Farole, however he ignores the challenges and opportunities of his own election as President of Puntland in January 2014,  and the prevailing now Puntland public option on his real and perceived poor leadership,  run-away corruption and his Ivory – Tower attitude towards governance and consensus – building.

I thought Abdiweli’s take and characterization of the Somali Civil War is courageous and an accurate account.

Of particular interest in the book is the erudite use of the English language. The book is a good read for those who want to catch-up with the latest political developments in Somalia and attempts to revive, re-instate and re-institute the failed state.

Ismail Warsame

E-mail: ismailwarsame@gmail.com 

Twitter: @ismailwarsame


Many Somali writers,  political pundits, debaters, etc ignore the fundamental comparative analysis of the nature of our society. How many countries globally are similar to Somalia in terms of societal development? Let us count some of them: Yemen, Mongolia, Mauritania, Chad, perhaps, Niger, just to point out a few. What is the common livelihood? Nomadic. Are these countries relatively much better off than Somalia today with regards to socio-economic development, besides the failed state status in some? How do you explain the common backwardness they all suffer from?

We all know that there are stages in societal development from community of gatherers, hunters to settled farmers, to industrialist/ capitalists and more complicated financial services providers, bankers and multi-national corporations.

Where are we among these stages? Can we say that our society is still in the primative stage of societal development, despite cosmetic globalization impact, starting with the most recent colonial administrations of the 19th century?

As most debaters complain, can we make  a quatum leap into industrialist/capitalist society by-passing the stage of widespread settlement of the nomadic population and overnight become a sophisticated modern society of the 21st century? Are we realistic in our expectations? What are our priorities in moving forward?

Could clannism and clan politics disappear amid backwardness of thought, ideas and nomadic life suffering from continual droughts , man-made environmental degradation and natural calamities?

The Soviet ideologues used to teach that because there was a powerful Soviet Union then to help, certain developing countries could by-pass the capitalist mode of production and move on to the socialist one. We all know how it ended up.

Let us not fight each other to give excuses for our failures in understanding the nature of our society. Let us set our priorities right.




“Dad, but where is the government?”

That was a troubling question by a Somali kid to his dad in the year 2004 at Mogadishu Airport. A splinter group of then Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) members led by former Speaker, Shariif Hassan Adan, left Nairobi, Kenya, for Mogadishu. Their mission? To undermine the newly formed Somali Government (TFG) by preventing it from establishing itself in the country, and Mogadishu, in particular.

The boy, who asked his dad the strange question went with his father to the Airport for the “welcoming ceremony” for the rebel faction of TFP. The sad thing about this true story is the kid had no idea, or image about what a government look like. He saw only persons coming down from the airplane. Finally, the little boy, very disappointed, asked: “Dad, but where is the government?”

Think of Mogadishu situation in 2004 after decades of power vacuum and absence of institutions of governance as the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was then just formed.