Farmaajo: We Have No One Else to Blame
In order to drum up his diplomatic push of fostering democratic process in the country, he has to uproot the existing traditional values of homegrown democracy and empowering a handpicked clique in the TFG establishment as a tool of rubber stamp.
The TFG leaders have nothing to do with good governance and are unpalatable to the taste of the majority of Somalis. The following shortcomings outweigh the good side of the ambassador:
Take the case of Sharif Hassan-Mahiga’s classical protégée- Because of abusing the governing rules of the parliament procedure, Sharif Hassan has been democratically voted out of office with over 300 legislators out 450 present members at the time.
By doing so, the due process of democratic system has been served. Sharif Hassan missed the base of his authority-to be the speaker of the parliament and not to become the uncontested, erratic ruler of the legislative body.
There were two contended issues that became instrumental of Sharif Hassan’s political fall:
a) He closed the doors of the people’s house for four consecutive months and thus putting the legislators out of business.
b) He also failed to deliver the Road Map draft document to the parliament to be reviewed and adopted by the legislators. Mahiga did not intervene to work out the logjam between the legislators and the house speaker, but encouraged Sharif Hassan to remain steadfast in his position.
Firing Sharif Hassan and electing his placement followed the rule of the parliament procedure, which is the law of the land. As far as the majority of Somalis see it, Sharif Hassan is politically dead as house speaker, no matter how long Ambassador Mahiga carries him on his shoulders as his best trophy.
Why Mahiga keeps Sharif Hassan so close to his heart? The answer is simple. Mahiga uses Sharif Hassan as a decoy speaker of the parliament and one of the team that cocooned the infamous Road Map design in Kampala with the blessing of Museveni.
Although most of the so called Road Map principals do not reflect the aspiration of the Somali masses, and certainly not fostering the genuine interest of the country, its success could reflect the zenith point of Mahiga’s diplomatic brownness, and Sharif Hassan’s survival in the political arena of the country.
AMISOM contingents are mainly on defensive side and spend most of their routine days either to spending time in their foxholes or lobbing cannon shells to presumed al-Shabaab targets within the civilian quarters. In terms of fighting capability, AMISOM has an awesome military gear, and could be as many as three-four times the strength al-Shabaab ragtag foot soldiers.
AMISOM may come out of their barricades and pushes al-Shabaab out of their strongholds only to pulling back into their bases the next day. If the will is there, AMISOM is capable of tracking down al-Shabaab insurgents and decimating them wherever they are located. Instead, AMISOM wants to stay put in Somalia and coexists with al-Shabaab, which is ultimately their over-riding interest.
Ambassador Mahiga has similar design with respective sides, because that prolongs his mandate.
Local community leaders have a strong say in the local affairs of Somali social life, and if enlisted their support, social clout and sense of steadfastness, the ambassador could have achieved an easy way of reconciling any political disagreement in the country. Even though the elders tried to reach him in many occasions and tried to share his political views and concerns of outstanding local problems, the ambassador ignored their standing profile and dismissed their genuine efforts.
We acknowledge that Mr. Mahiga had missed a valuable political asset that could have catapulted him onto a safe ground. Again, the traditional leaders voiced their frustration with Mahiga views, but he never reached them and worked out the contested issues with them. There, the Ambassador had lost a valuable tool of alliance and endorsement.
The ambassador did not take into account of his role as the highest political and humanitarian agent dealing with the Somali problem. As a son of African descent, he knows the consequence of shortages of food and water in rural lands that provide nothing else to fallback after three years of prolonged droughts, and thus devastating 6 regions of the country known as the food basket belt of the country.
Mahiga’s timely call for humanitarian relief supplies could have saved the death toll of over 300 thousands victims, 75% of them being children under 6 years of age. Mr. Mahiga did not give any thought about the looming natural calamity and failed to act out in good time to head off the disaster by soliciting urgent help from the world community.
Certainly, he knows that he was not accountable of easing any natural disaster because he wears the mantle of the UN.
Any UN envoy that flirts with scheming local politicians or expediting clan favoritism is bound to fail. Mr. Farole made his way of baggy bagging with the influence of the good office of Ambassador Mahiga that made him an intransigent leader who carves bigger slices out of the federal pie.
In a 3rd world country, it is a bad policy to put up a given clan or party to an advantageous position, and most of time to the expense of others. Farole enjoys the sweetheart deal provided by Ambassador Mahiga, but the euphoria could undermine the partiality of the diplomat and may discredit his credentials.
Bringing back home of about one million refugees languishing in Kenyan and Ethiopian camps is a key element for the normalization process of the Somali society. The majority of these refugees hail from agricultural and pastoral regions of southern Somalia where they can contribute for the local economy.
Soliciting resettlement funds and stepping up mobilization process would have given a leg up diplomatic success to the ambassador.
Mr. Mahiga is well informed about the extensive nuclear and toxic dumping in our seas that deplete the marine resources of the country.
He is also aware of aggressive foreign fishing fleets that destroy the richest fishing grounds along the territorial coastline by trawling ships that destroy the habitat and the ecosystem of marine life.
Yet the Ambassador never raised his voice of rallying the support of the Secretary General of the UN, or the Security Council for adopting resolution(s) that can save our marine resources.
Keydmedia Editorial Desk
I read your article on Foreign Policy with keen eyes and interest. While whining from public officials does not deserve response from any sensible citizen of the Republic of Somalia, I felt compelled to counter false narrative with more objective analysis.