Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more ➡
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Add note
Save to My Library
Sync to mobile
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
×
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Reflecting on Professor Ahmed Samatar's experience as a Somali presidential candidate and member of the federal parliament!

Reflecting on Professor Ahmed Samatar's experience as a Somali presidential candidate and member of the federal parliament!

Ratings: (0)|Views: 217|Likes:
Published by Hussein Samatar
On Saturday December 15, 2012, Ahmed Samatar told a Somali-Minnesotan crowd in Minneapolis that he left the Somali Federal parliament without permission to return prematurely from his sabbatical at one the shining gem of higher learning that is Macalester College. He also said he felt like a stranger in his own native land. I can understand and appreciate his sentiment.
On Saturday December 15, 2012, Ahmed Samatar told a Somali-Minnesotan crowd in Minneapolis that he left the Somali Federal parliament without permission to return prematurely from his sabbatical at one the shining gem of higher learning that is Macalester College. He also said he felt like a stranger in his own native land. I can understand and appreciate his sentiment.

More info:

Published by: Hussein Samatar on Dec 20, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, DOC, TXT or read online from Scribd
See More
See less

12/20/2012

pdf

text

original

 
Reflecting on Professor Ahmed Samatar’s Experience asSomali Presidential Candidate and Member of the FederalParliament
Written by Hussein Samatar Hussein@husseinsamatar.com
On Saturday December 15, 2012, Ahmed Samatar told a Somali-Minnesotancrowd in Minneapolis that he left the Somali Federal parliament withoutpermission to return prematurely from his sabbatical at one the shining gemof higher learning that isMacalester College. He also said he felt like astranger in his own native land. I can understand and appreciate hissentiment.Who wouldn’t, in their right frame of mind, leave a parliament that, so far,seems to do very little, especially in addressing the challenges of thecountry? Of course, I concede that the parliament will need little bit moretime before a verdict can be made on its effectiveness, and parliamentarianswill need the benefit of the doubt, as well as our support. This is a follow up piece to thearticleI wrote on May 14, 2012 - about the HiilQaran Party’s impact during this political cycle, and the prospects of AhmedSamatar becoming Somalia’s next president by being selected to the currentparliament in September of this year.In that article I presented my take on the political reality on the ground in thesouthern regions of Somalia, and the prospects of a northern candidatebeing elected President. I saw this as very difficult without the country beingunified again, and essentially, Somaliland not being in the fold. Also it wasabout the political and social effectiveness of a new party such asHiil Qaran to make any significant difference anytime soon in southern part of thecountry. This was not based on any notion that the Hiil Qaran party isexclusively or inherently bad or different than other parties that were formedleading into the presidential race. For me, it was more about the corrupt andbankrupt nature of Somalia’s political power sharing machination that iscentered on a 4.5 clan system that creates a country fragmented alongregions and by clan supremacy based on nothing. To be sure I had (and to some extent still have) issues with Ahmed Samatar.For one, I thought his analysis about Somali-Minnesotans to be harsh,especially without knowing about the totality of the community. That beingsaid, I do share some of his concerns about the future of our community herein Minnesota. We all need to step up and help one another make a new lifehere in Minnesota. I also feel Ahmed Samatar comes across at times asarrogant and impatient, and he never held a political office anywhere beforehe ran for the presidency. Nobody is perfect, including me. Only Allah knows
 
how many flaws that I have. Therefore, I am in his camp and here is why:Upon reflecting on my earlier piece and listening carefully to his message forSomalia, I could not help but truly admire Ahmed Samatar for his courage togo back to the country and attempt to do something about the currentsituation. Nobody will ever love Somalia more than Somalis! And nobodycurrently comes close to Ahmed Samatar in articulating a unified vision forSomalia.My biggest mistake in writing that earlier piece was to come across with thebelief that Ahmed Samatar could not be a Somali president because of hiskinship or clan affiliation. I want to apologize profoundly even if one personwalked away understanding and believing that was my message.Somalia is in big trouble because it cannot overcome political clan structure,and struggles tremendously on how to move forward with the new federalsystem, whereby the regions have the local authority to govern themselveswhile leaving the Somali-Federal government to mind the defense and theforeign affairs of the country. The civil war has been unkind to Somaliseverywhere, the international community does not seem to care, andregional and neighboring countries often take advantage of the weak anddivided Somalia. Al-Shabaab left behind death and destruction and ruinedpeaceful Islam in Somalia in the process.Ahmed Samatar hails from Somaliland, and I was almost certain that hewould be told that, when push came to shove, he is northern and hiskinsmen are not on the table – therefore, he should cheer on the sidelines, orwrite about our dysfunction from afar and hope we will restore the dignityand the glory of Somalia. Ahmed Samatar articulated this point at the end of the session in Minneapolis on Saturday, December 15
th
. What a dynamic andhonest speaker he was that night!I am from the southernmost city of Somalia – Kismayo. I went to high schoolin Mogadishu and graduated from the now defunct Somali NationalUniversity just four days before the civil war broke out in Mogadishu. I’mproud to say that my Alma matter has so far produced two prime ministers:Prime Minister Abdiweli Ali, and the current Prime Minister Abdi Farah. I havenever met either men, and they graduated years before I did. They are bothqualified to be Somalia’s prime ministers, and I believe Abdiweli Ali waseffective as the first Prime Minister, but felt he too had no chance of winningthe presidency. I hope Prime Minister Abdi Farah will lead Somalia’sgovernment to a better place.Although both of these men were qualified and capable to lead Somalia’sgovernment, they were selected precisely because of the outrageous andconvoluted 4.5 power-sharing formula. This system has plagued Somalia
 
ever since its independence, elevating to new heights after the Arta in 2000.No wonder Somaliland wants its own state! I am for a unified Somalia, but Ido understand running away from mayhem. The last twelve years havecontinuously become more bizarre, as all but one of the Presidents (all men)came from one kin group, and all of the prime ministers (also all men) fromanother. Yet, Somalia has nothing tangible to show for it.In order to break this vicious cycle, and get Somalis the public services thatthey deserve, we need a new formula to govern the country. Without this,Somalia will be stuck for many generations to come, and internally andexternally displaced Somali refugees will be waiting and crying for help. These social challenges will be multiplying by the day.So what is the new formula you might ask?1-Mogadishu needs to be the capital for all. Every Somali child, no matterwhere she or he was born, has to have the dream and the chance tolead the country regardless of their kin affiliation, or the region theyare from. Mogadishu will not be rebuilt fully if all Somalis and non-Somalis who want to live there cannot call it home and know theirprivate property will be protected by law. Individuals will not freelyinvest in Mogadishu until they know her/his return of investment willmaterialize in a reasonable time frame and predictable manner.Cosmopolitan Mogadishu is the only way for the city to retain its gloryand its status of being the undisputed, beloved, and lovely capital cityof Somalia. Otherwise, it will lie in ruins and be home for internallydisplaced people for many years to come.2-The new president, his prime minister, the cabinet, and above all thenew parliament need to lead the way to flush out the new rules forSomalia’s federal system with the honest consultation of all regions -with Somaliland and Puntland being on the top of the list. Puntlandactually is a regional state of Somalia, and has the most land currentlyunder one rule in Somalia. So Ignoring Puntland is peril for every leaderof the country. Puntland needs, as it did before, to help the Somali-Federal government to create the new constitution based on powersharing between regional states and the federal government. All otheraspiring regional states should get the help they need to governthemselves without interference or manipulation by regionalneighboring counties and others actors in Somalia.3-The Somali Diaspora holds promise for Somalia. But first we need tosettle wherever we find refuge and make it a better for place for ourfamily and the community. Then, it is our obligation to challenge thestatus quo and hold others accountable, starting with our own kinpeople’s assumptions about other Somalis. Also, we need to supportgood governance across the board. Institutions make a difference - notindividuals!

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->