Cycles of endless clan revenge to push Somalia into a deep grave

Drs Fatuma Lamungu Nur | All events that are remembered and preserved in some authentic form constitute historical records. In our country, Somalia, people tend to ignore the importance of history.
Article Keydmedia Online
Cycles of endless clan revenge to push Somalia into a deep grave

The great philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist, Jorge Agustín Nicolás Ruiz de Santayana y Borrás, known as George Santayana ,once said “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. In another golden quote he said “Only the dead have seen the end of war”.

Yesterday, while in power Marehan clan used government machinery and international aid to settle Ogadeni refugees in different parts of Somalia, a move that caused havoc, mistrust, animosity and injustice in the country. The settlement was done under the wrong pretext of the Somaliweyn dream (creation of Greater Somalia by invading regions belonged to Kenya, and Ethiopia such as NFD and Zone Five).

Today we have a completely different scenario, whereby a Marehan prime minister is sitting in front of the same Ogadeni refugees (Mohamed Abdi Gandi and Ahmed Mohamed known as Madobe), to discuss the fate of a Somali region (Kismayo).  This is clear evidence of the failure to the fantasy of expanding Somalia borders illegally.

Yesterday it was Abdirahman Farole of Puntland who launched a massive campaign of capturing Ogadeni ONLF members and handing them over to the Ethiopian government. And even diplomatic sources confirm that members of Farole’s clan regional administration told the international community that Ogadenis are not Somali citizens, thus , deserve to be taken back to their country, Ethiopia.

Today we have Farole using the same Ogadeni refugees to capture Kismayo and the entire Jubbaland region of southern Somalia.

Marehan vs Majerten revenge game

The clan mess that plunged the country into the current situation of chaos and mistrust is the result of the bad foundation laid soon after the independence of Somalia. The Majerten clan playing the dirty clan card succeeded to convince other Darod sub clans that Majerten was the sole agent that represented the interests of all Darod clan members.

But the reality of this theory was totally different. The real aim of Majerten was to have an upper hand in Somali politics at the expense of ignoring and despising all other Somali clans.

It was the former Somali president, Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke who created the mess that we are witnessing today in Kismayo by appointing his relative Omar Lualey from North-Eastern region (today know as Puntland) to become the first governer of Kismayo).

The aim was to make Kismayo a home for Majerten clan members. Abdirashid who was then the Somali prime minister campaigned for the construction of Mogadishu-Kismayo road to facilitate the settlement of Majerten clan members.

But his ill dream was futile, because most of the would-be immigrants from Puntland ended up in Mogadishu to enjoy the fruits of the public funds controlled by their fellow Majerten officials, who had been handpicked in nepotism. The dream was later on put into the grave by the military dictator General Mohamed Siad Barre, when he took the office in a military coup in 1969. Barre, knowing that Majerten will never give him a time to sleep came up with the idea of inviting Ogadeni clan members to come from Ethiopia and settle in Somalia. The Ogadeni refugees were settled in Somaliland, Hiiraan and mainly in Jubbaland.

In 1991 when Barre was toppled, the rivalry between Marehan and Majerten erupted in Kismayo, where many Darod sub clans fled to after the war with pro Hawiye rebel group (United Somali Congress) in Mogadishu. Majerten clan members who were always bitter to be ruled by a Marehan clan member for 21 years came up with a plan to tame the Marehan influence in Somalia politics by appointing General Adan Gabyow (Kenyan Ogadeni refugee who served as Somalia’s defence minister briefy in late 1980ties under Siyad Barre’s regime)as the chief of Darod clans alliance rebel group. But the real power behind the scene was Mohamed Said Morgan (notorious warlord who committed uncountable atrocities and massacres against innocent Somali civilians in Somaliland, central Somalia, Mogadishu, Jubbaland and many other places in the country.

Today, the clan project of Jubbaland led by two non-Somali figures Ahmed Madobe and Mohamed Abdi Gandi is completely guided and directed by Majerten clan members. The aim is to handover Jubbaland regions to Ogaden clan and to control the influence of Marehan clan in Somalia politics. Majerten clan thinks this will give them absolute chance and non-questionable ladder to ascend the power in Somalia, since they consider the Marehan as their biggest challenge in the political clan game.

The Marehan knows this conspiracy, although their ranks seem to be divided politically. It was the Majerten clan that campaigned the ousting of the former Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in 2011, and the same song is being played currently, as politicians from Majerten lobby for the removal of Abdi Farah Shirdon the current Somali premier, who hails from Marehan clan.

This kind of clan rivalry applies to many other Somali clans in a country that lacked leaders with visions to create an atmosphere of unity and harmony among the people.

Somali government and Kismayo crisis

The president of Somalia Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has made it clear that he wants an all inclusive process in Jubbaland and in all other regions in the country. Know with the failure of recent Kismayo talks between the government and clan warlords, the only option is to convene a reconciliation meeting in Mogadishu and form a transitional administration for Kismayo.

The meeting should give a chance to all Somali clans that inhabit in Jubbaland, unlike the current so called conference in Kismayo, where people from certain clans, some of them from foreign countries and other regions, gave themselves a monopoly against the others.

Clan and History of Somalia

While we express concern of the current situation, there are also challenges when it comes writing down Somalia history. The clan driven minds of many Somalis made it difficult to have reliable source of Somalia history. While some describe Sayid Mohamed Abdulle Hassan as a hero, there are many who disagree and simply term him as clan minded leader who determined to harm other peaceful Somali clans in several parts of the country. After the independence the clan politics favored only people from certain clans as the genuine heroes of the country, forgetting others, just because of their clans.

Today, we easily find history books written by some Somalis with the aim of distorting the history. In some cases you can identify the clan of the author, when you read the first pages of their work.  This has also caused confusion among foreign scholars, who fall in a trap of Somali clan politics, when they write about Somalia by quoting Somali clan scholars statements.

In this case the future generation of Somalia will be in jeopardy to know the truth of their history. Even the tampering of Somalia history has affected the literature, a crucial mass communication tool of Somali society for hundreds of years, In many cases clan division has caused people to alter or misinterpret some poems just to favor their clans.

Role of international community

Despite huge efforts to help Somalia, the international community has not yet taken a significant move to understand the clan game in Somalia. They might be aware of what is going on, but tend to ignore because of unknown reasons.

IGAD regional body that was supposed to become a mirror for the international community to understand the situation of Somalia, has become a clan promoting tool for Kenyan Ogadeni figure, Mahbub Moalim, who lobbies for Ogadeni supremacy in Jubbaland.

The Somali crisis, Jubbaland issue in particular will remain unresolved for many years, because siding with certain clans and leaving behind the others will never bear fruits, unless the real aim is to keep Somalia in an endless anarchy.
Drs Fatuma Lamungu Nur
New York, USA -

Article 21 May 2021 10:14

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.