Somalia’s Elections: Failed illegal power usurpation and the way forward
Background of the Discord Well Water
It has been said that the story of the Discord Well is as stormy and twisted as the political web of the Southern Regions of Somalia. It has been said also that SYL prisoners dug this polemic well with picks and chisels for two consecutive years prior the independence in 1960. The foreign guards dumped the fallen heroes died of starvation in fox holes dug by themselves nearby the well, and irrespective of honoring the local burial traditional, and dusted off their hands. It was a way of thinning out the political gains of the nationalist party by putting their prominent personalities behind the bars, and then sending them off to dig the well, and eventually die. The brackish water of the well became a phenomena that served the political ambition of the Italian authority led by the Fiduciary Trust-ship Administration overseen by the United Nations. Any one who drunk the water of the well turned into an intrepid and cunning political savvy overnight. The Italian administrators had a vision- beef up the political profile of the pro-Italian lobbyists by letting them drink enough water for years to come in order to enhance them to become prominent political muscle that could erode the SYL political gains, and then taking part in the interim government prior the independence. In the other hand, the lobbyists would have served to bridge the Italian influence over the indigenous colony, even years after independence. The plan worked, but remained a top secret until the early years after independence. It was hard to conceal the effect of such water in a time when every jobless man wanted to be staffed in the local administration; but the nascent government refilled the well with rocks and sand to the brim, and that was the end of it for years to come.
However, after the death of the democratically elected President in 1969, a score of former pro-Italians lobbyists re-dig the well and hit the water bed in less than 24 hours. It was a stressful work in short notice, but it was necessary to draw scoops of water in secret in order to re-boast their dream of landing on the top leadership. But before they took the first sip of the water, a platoon of military police dispersed them and took possession of the well that turned to remain an exclusive property for a close trusting military circle more than two decades. The general public new nothing about the existence of such well and its stimulating effects it had on political aspirants until the collapse of the military regime in 1991.
Again, the genie got out of the bottle, and the well became a public domain contended among political functions ever since. The possession of the well changed hands several times since its inception in 1950 and still remains a contending bone for political antagonists. Needless to say that those who owned big guns took more advantage of the water of the well than the ill-equipped rivals. The local scholars maintain that the effect of the water is unique on the planet and quite tempting that drove some curious foreigners to come there and have a try and led to political disaster, such as: Poutrus P. Ghali, then Secretary General of United Nations, UN regional authorities in East Africa, as well as some leaders of the neighboring IGAD countries. Mr. Robert Oakley, the last USA ambassador to Somalia avoided to do anything with such local nonsense.
Life of Peace-Makers in the Filed
It was an early evening of mid August, the time local staple crops get ready for harvesting and other tropical fruits mellow into optimum maturity and fall from the trees, such as mango, guava, papaya, citric lime, graves and other sorts, an important supplementary seasonal food for the people, birds, livestock and other wildlife alike. Also, it was late in time, when cool monsoon winds blow constantly from the east and pick up some intensity, while covering a blanket of damp moisture in the air, quite chilling at nighttime in the open countryside, unless one is dressed strong outfit with thick blanket on good enough in open camping.
After two days of trekking from the last failed peace conference, the team stopped for a brief break under thick canopy in an early evening. They huddled under the concealed spot by the main tarmac road artery that links Afgoye with Mogadishu, the capital of the Somalia, where the next reconciliation convention is due to be held within the next day. Was there any understanding shared among the functions groups in the previous meeting, however marginal? No. As usual, there were a lot of recriminations, name calling and outright fist shaking that led all participants to depart without the formal goodbyes. The convention was wrapped up in haste and short of resulting in open cross-fire between rival function groups. However, the leading function participants made their different arguments afterwards, blaming each other why it has failed and not compromising on some important points, and then rolling over that for the forthcoming meetings.
A 1/4 moon light will soon fade away awhile that called the nocturnal wildlife to emerge for food, and perhaps bothering the uninvited new guests. Ebla, Da'ad's mother, never liked to sleep under the stars of unruly ground at nighttime, where jackals and hyenas howl until daybreak and owls hoot in overhead trees; but her tired body had taken a toll on her and she fell fast asleep until an unexpected development happened an hour later that caught the attention of every body, while her son Da'ad and Dulmidiid lingered long to thrash out some comments about the attitude of Nabad-diid and the failed meeting.
Part 3 13.08.2010
By Prof. Mohamoud Iman Adan ( email@example.com ) - keydmedia.net Correspondent
The current Somali government, whose mandate ended, came to power with the expectations of massive reforms in institutional and development settings. President Farmajo completed his term in office without paving the way for consensus-based elections; instead, he messed up the growing Somali institutions and the trust-building processes.