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Opening Speech by Abdurahman Abdullahi

Opening Speech by Abdurahman Abdullahi

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Opening Speech by Abdurahman M. Abdullahi
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Mogadishu University in the Seminar on War Economy in Mogadishu, held in Oslo 03/05/2007
Opening Speech by Abdurahman M. Abdullahi
Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Mogadishu University in the Seminar on War Economy in Mogadishu, held in Oslo 03/05/2007

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Published by: Dr. Abdurahman M. Abdullahi ( baadiyow) on Jul 05, 2010
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11/21/2010

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Seminar on War Economy in Mogadishu
Opening Speech by Abdurahman M. AbdullahiChairman of the Board of Trustees of Mogadishu University abdurahmanba@yahoo.com03/05/2007, Oslo, Norway  Jeg onsker dere alle velkommen til dette seminaret!!!Bismi Allah Al-rahman Al-rahiim!!! Assalaamu aleykum wa raxmatu Allah!!!
On behalf of Mogadishu University, let me first express our gratitude tothe government of Norway in supporting this research project. Specialthank goes to Mogadishu University research team coordinatorProfessor Yahya Haji Ibrahim, the dean of the faculty of economics andmanagement and his colleague Dr. Stig Hansen from Norway. Thisresearch was conducted in a very dangerous environment wheresecurity concerns were the priority of the research team. Let me alsothank all of you for your keen interest in Somalia. The research teamwill present their findings in the war economy in Mogadishu. My rolewill be limited to give short background on the current situation of Somalia.As you are aware, Somalia is a classical example of a collapsed state.Since 1991 it has been without an efficient government and remainsone of the hot spots in the world news of conflicts, civil wars andhuman suffering. Somali ethnic being part of four horn of Africanstates, namely Somalia, Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya, it is natural andinevitable that any major conflict and crisis occurring in Somaliaproliferates to the other three countries and vice versa. On other
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hand, Somalia belongs to both African Union and Arab League and bothregional blocks mostly pull Somali issue into different directions.Moreover, Europeans represented by the former colony of Italy and UK are not always in agreement with the US hegemonic and unilateralpolicies in Somalia. Therefore, Somali conflict is so complex thatinvolves not only divided Somalis but also many divided regional andinternational actors. Not aware of that complexity, many people,particularly, the Somalis are upset why homogeneous Somalis so muchunited in their common language, religion and aspirations fail toreconcile and reconstitute their collapsed state.Because of that complexity, successive regional attempts inreconstituting Somali state in the last two decades in holdingnumerous reconciliation conferences failed to solve the conflict.Approaches used in these process were swinging from the warlorddriven (1991-1999) to the civil society driven (2000) in Djibouti and tothe warlord dominated (2003) in Kenya. Almost, three years havepassed since current transitional government was formed;nevertheless, the TFG remains dysfunctional and Somali peoplecontinue to be divided not only politically and socially, but also in theinterpretation of the Islam and its role in the state.Historically, two major internal conflicts and rebellions against theSomali state had been observed: rebellion based on clan sentimentand rebellion in the name of Islam. Evidently, since the collapse of thestate in 1991, most people resorted to take refuge and solace in Islamand protection from their clans. Consequently, Islam and clandeveloped into undisputed position in the society that should bereckoned and respected in any power configuration in Somalia. Inunderstanding Somali debacle, it is important to look into state-societyrelations. Let me briefly comment into those relations.
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1. Clans vs. the State: Conflict and accommodation
Clans began their armed rebellion during socialist regime when someclans had dissented power sharing modality among different clans. Inthe course of the Somali history, the state was consistently striving tosuppress clan sentiments through variety of legislations and harshpolicies. Yet, policies and approaches used during military regime hadnurtured clan polarization and radicalization. As a result, clan basedfactions were formed one after another as follows: Somali SalvationDemocratic Front (SSDF) in 1978, Somali National Movement (SNM) in1981, United Somali Congress (USC) in 1986, and United SomaliPatriotic (USP) in 1989. These armed factions has gradually weakenedthe Somali state and finally succeeded to topple the regime and thestate in 1991. In the absence of the national state, armed factionsdisagreed on the modality for transitional political arrangement. In thesouthern regions, Somalia remained in turmoil and as fiefdoms in thehands of different warlords. On other hand, Somaliland and Puntland,succeeded to abolish armed factions and established peaceful andthriving administrations on the basis of clan based power sharing. Thischange of paradigm and official recognition of the role of clan leadersin the state formation has saved these communities.After 10 years of more that 11 failed reconciliation conferencesparticipated by the leaders of the armed clan militia in the south, newapproach was set into motion in the Djibouti Peace initiative in 2000. This conference had adopted clan based power sharing formula basedon 4.5. This quota offers equal shares to the four big clans, namely,Darood, Hawiye, Dir and Digil & Mirifle. It also gives association of allother minority clans half of the quota. In this conference, clan factorwas recognized, accepted and affirmed in the Transitional National
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