Warlords and government struggleSomalia: a playground of foreign patrons [Archives:2003/691/Opinion]

December 4 2003

By Sadat Mahamed Yusuf
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Somalia is a country with heavy social build up and very primitive tribal devotions which is almost revengeful. Offensive nomads who feel that they have immediate knowledge for everything and rule of the law is a hostile which is customary attained from a 14 century way of imposing wills of authoritarian to others.
Tribes in Somalia has a chief which is well known to the rules of giving evidence unfairly and appears hostile to any other tribe. Sometimes amongst his own clansmen the chiefs would not either demonstrate corrections not would they preserve peace. Rather they prefer war for their own advantage those socio-cultural and socio-economic linkage between kinship in Somalia are mostly primitive.
Although individuals own their camels, they must pay per person for the compensation of the killed person from outside tribes or between them and also defend the pasturelands for grazing and wells for watering their animals.
The poets say their words to erect the starting points, which lack ending points. Nevertheless, the progress of a society is evolutionary. During the civil war Somalia witnessed one of the most vengeful war between the tribes. It was the era of the tribes fighting between them after that free for all war ended the balance between the tribes came into effect, although the enlarged civil war in Somalia, brought many changes like social order, social behavior.
It changed religion doctrines from Sufism to al-Wahabism, the ways of chiefdoms where maintained showing some split between a single tribesmen while we witness faction leader, the political wing of a given tribe the changes from those factions now had formed alliances with other function united with common aims and interests.
This means precedent creating methods during any reconciliation conference, when a faction has felt threatened, and usually those alliances disintegrate after the conference failed to produce an agreement.
We would not expect for ever national strongman which can bring the country under his controls. We know the contradictions and strife on the ground were created the fair play of the warlords wracked by infighting between them. Victory will not emerge or a degree of order will not restored by the ruthless warlords.
They never agreed and will not agree on anything. After ten years of warlords rule in pursuing each other, where they imposed a deathly peace in Somalia. President of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Gele, proposed a peace conference. When the Arab world supported Gele's initiatives, they eventually produced an interim government after the fall of Mohamed Said.
That government did not work. Why? It's not easy to answer considering the turmoil in the country and clan rivalries, and other destabilizing factors. For example Ethiopia is heavily in favor of the warlords because there is balance between them and obsessed with countering the existence of the interim government. The latest explosion was the ongoing conference in Nairobi after Djibouti ambassador withdrew and accused certain circles without naming are undermining the initiatives to settle Somali disputes.
Because of Ethiopian hardliners' offer for the conference, it dampened the conference's hopes to unify the interim government and the warlords. Rather it split the interim government on one hand, and the warlords on the other.
Then some key warlords and the interim president withdrew from the conference after more than a year of negotiation in Nairobi, Kenya. Every body knows that the bedrock principle of Ethiopian policy towards Somalia is not even to create a puppet government.
Nevertheless Ethiopia's romantic hopes are likely to meet frustration and spreading the fire to the peace and stabilized cities of Ethiopia, while fire is inherited by ash only it would be better for that country to devote her energies to something more realistic and more accurate than wasting efforts to let the ungovernable not to be governed.