Somalia’s Elections: Failed illegal power usurpation and the way forward
(Profile of the Peace Core Staff)
Da'ad was a conservative judge, who put justice beyond the realm of friendship, government payback favors and clan loyalty. He never solicited for lucrative office position or accepted contract kickbacks. Unlike his judicial circle who had their homes built by government contracts less than three months, it took Da'ad for three years to finish construction of his modest three bedroom house out of his tight salary. Whatever balance of his pay he managed to put aside, he handed out to support his large extended family members. Da'ad was always early for work on foot three miles away, unless a friend gave him a ride. Unlike his junior brothers, Da'ad is now a past middle-aged bachelor who gave up the luxury of marrying and raising a family. He vowed to operate on a neutral grounds and work for peace and stability in the country.
Assessing the current political aspiration and the mental frame of the warring forces, however, Da'ad had acquired enough experience that nothing had worked for bipartisan co-operation, unless someone crossed the line, or bought his way to highly contended leadership. He knows also that brokering peace on consensus bases is the hardest proposition one happens to expect in such chaotic circumstance. In fact, all the national conferences he took part since the past twenty years gave Da'ad amble experience of predicting the outcome of any future political convention outside of the country. But Da'ad is a future optimist, too, and believes that the dwindling hope of the downtrodden masses in the Southern Regions pin their hopes to see him and his Peace Core group to succeed in their quest for peace and stability that is conductive to the establishment of a stable government born from the ashes of tragedy and without the interference of foreign influence.
Dulmiddid hails from a different background. He is a former public civil service officer in the Ministry of health in the previous governments. He is a clean cut guy who never tolerated injustice and harassment taking place among the workforce under his department, and was frequently lauded in labor organizations and applauded by his subordinates for his transparency and sense of fairness. He is a nationalist oriented person teaming up with the Peace Core group who wants to save the identity of the nation in his humble capacity as a social activist and without political ambition attached.
Ali Bidaar is a senior military hero trained to defend the country with his life. He is a valiant officer who led his military subordinates in front line during enemy engagements and got injured and decorated in his attempt of saving two trapped comrades in the thick of the fight. He is a man of transparent character who holds contempt about the truthfulness of warlords and politicians, including his elder brother who is currently a member of the parliament. Now his countrymen need his standing and guidance, and that's why he want to stay with the Peace Core and work for a change.
Shamso and Awrala are former civil service employees at the Ministry of livestock and Animal Husbandry prior the collapse of the military regime in 1991.
Both women are Diaspora returnees who left behind families and easy life of the adapted country only to come back to the native country and help displaced communities stranded outside of their destroyed neighborhood in Mogadishu. Their main goal is to help their former neighbors, friends and old co-workers who are currently sheltering under acacia trees and thorny bushes as makeshift shelters. The new returnees found life hard and unpredictable by dodging raining mortars and risking life and limb as they operate in highly contested zone. In most cases, they wonder who is firing at them and why they are targeted along with other innocent civilians who die of unfortunate war. Their husbands and children gave up hope of persuading them to come back home alive in time before things change to the worst. Deep in their heart, however, Shamso and Awrala stand on high moral ground to heeding to the plight of the people that need help now more than anytime before.
On daily bases, Shamso and Awrala witness many victims dying of gun wounds and mortar shrapnels, and many more suffering of snake and mosquito bites, while others were greatly affected by diarrhea and malnutrition, specially underage children. Why? Because some politicians and warlords fight for a position of leadership and opt out to resolve their ambitions with the barrel of the gun. The tragic ending is that there's no winner of the day and no one is accountable for the dead and the destruction. As the rest of the homeless civilians stranded outside of Mogadishu, Shamso and Awrala were wedged between political stalemate and suffering masses. They had a dilemma, either to back off and return home or dig heals and stay put and helping people no matter what, and they opted out the last.
Ebla and Isniino are registered nurses who had actively worked in the battlefield, nursing the injured and helping bury the dead. They had no more tears left in them as they had witnessed the escalating massacre of civilian death of all ages. They witness the cost of fratricidal war that was not supposed to happen in the first place, let alone reconciling now when so many negative factors had polarized the political landscape and undermined any peace settlement. They know that the vicious circle of death and destruction is the work of a handful of local interest groups that fight for wealthy and political supremacy. The sacrosanct voting right of the people became irrelevant in a land infested with endless waring conflicts; where the masses are reduced to destitute bystanders in search of basic necessities, such as: Peace, protection and stability, food, water, shelter, medicine, clothing and the right to live. Joining the Peace Core gave Ebla and Isniino the hope of working for a radical change.
Suubban is a social worker, a senior position she held in the women organization more than a quarter of a century. She has a vision that united women resurgence may pick up the broken pieces of the country and put together where men failed to make any positive difference more than a quarter of century. Some feminist supporters believe that Suubban's quest for women awareness is a long shout dream, but feasible in the long run. She wants to be an agent of change, and being part of the Peace Core is the only viable tool she has, and with that, she wants to realize her dream.
Jamca was a humble staffer in the former Ministry of Interior in her capacity as assistant manager of refugees from the Western regions, a Somali ethnic population struggling under the Ethiopia occupation since 1945. The manslaughter carried on by the ruthless Ethiopian forces uprooted millions of civilian Somalis who had abandoned their homeland since the British colonial office sliced it from the greater Somalia in early19th century. Ironically, the British Foreign Colonial Office designated these regions as “The Reserve Land” when its residents lived there centuries before the advent of Middle Ages in Europe. Jamca managed refugee centers for ten years and served displaced people in pathetic living conditions prior the collapse of the military regime in 1991. Now she is serving thousands of internally displaced families aggregated in the outskirts of Mogadishu- about ten miles away from their destroyed homes. The living condition of the displaced people holed at the outskirts of Mogadishu is the replica of her previous service, only this is compounded lack of security fought by conflicting armed thugs at each other's throat. “Every day is as hopeless and tragic as yesterday,” Jamca admits. No matter of the armament embargo imposed by the UN Security Council, the contending parties do not run short of firearm supplies and ammunitions, as well as financial back up pipelined by the neighboring governments, who are cultivating the conflicting parties- not to see one contender win the war and crush the opponent- but to prolong the fratricidal conflict to the core and bleed the people and the country to death. The outcome is clear- putting more firewood on already aflame fire- and the world remains in the sidelines. The protégées clique don't mind to kill, mime, injure or destroy others' property, as long as they are rewarded for their crimes. They don't care about people and country, as long as they have the back up of clan loyalty, as well as the opportunity of lining up their pockets and enjoying the assurances of their financiers.
By Prof. Mohamoud Iman Adan ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) - 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.