Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sideedaba Khayaanada Mabanaana

Been sheeg wax halagu siiye, waa arrin aad uculus. Qurbajooga Soomaalida, siiba kuwa kunool waddamada Galbeedka, waxaa laga dhadhansaday dhaqamo lid ku ah hab dhaqankii soojireenka ahaa ee qofka Soomaaliga ahi lagu yaqiin, waxaana kamid ah been aan lahayn geed loogu gabbado. Beentano kuqotonta halkudhegii ahaa 'wax badso waxay leedahay wax beel'. Hunguri iyo damac waa waxyaabaha qofka/qofta Muslimka/Muslimadda ahi looga baahanyahay in ay iska ilaaliyaan waayo waxaa dabasocda ceeb aan layska meydhi karin. Xariifnimada iyo xeeldheerida waa in ay xad lahaadaan haddii kalese waxaaba dhici karta in ay qar kaa tuuraan. Waa arrin cajiib ah in qofka wax doonaya laga waayo wax sarriig ah ama xishood ah.

Waddamada barwaaqada badan waxaa lagu yaqaan inay shacabkooda aan dhaqaale kufilan lahayn siiyaan lacago iyo raashiin ay noloshooda kumeelmariyaan kuna kabaan baahida baahsan ee aysan dabooli karin maadaama mushaharada ay qaataan kufileyn isu dheelitirka noloshooda guud. Dhaqaalahan dadka saboolka ah lasiinaaya waa canshuurta ay bixiyaan shaqaalaha iyo ganacsatada soo gala dakhli culus.

Haddaba waxaad arkeysa rag iyo dumar isqaba oo leh carruur isla markaana dafiraya inay isqabaan sifa loo siiyo xoogaa lacago ah oo ay danahooda kufushadaan. Sabanadan waxaa soo ifbaxay halqabsi ama kalimad loo yaqaan 'separate' taaso loola jeedo labo isqabay oo kala tegay ama aan hadda isla nooleyn. Xafiisyada arrimaha qoyska iyo bulshada qaarkood markay gorfeyn waayeen arrimaha noocaasi ah ayey weydiisteen culimada Islaamka bal inay wax kayiraahdaan jawaabtuna waxay noqotay mid iska bayaan ah oo ah in aysan jirin oraahda 'separate' ama kala noolaanshaha aysana banaaneyn ama habooneyn in lagu dhaqmo.

Haddiiba laguu ogolyahay dhaqaale kufilan nolol maalmeedkaaga, maxaa keenay inaad been sheegto ood tiraahdo isma qabno? Ma haboontahay inaad khayaanto qof ku aaminay? Waa lawada ogsoonyahay Soomalida debedaha kunool inay biilaan eheladooda jooga Afrika iyo meelo kale. Haddaba maxaa udiiday qofka inuu shaqeysto oo uu muruqiiso maalo sifa uu uhelo maal xalaal ah? Taasi jawaabteeda waxaa weeye, 'maal bilaash ah ayaaban arkaaye, maxaan kufali shaqo'.

Haddiiba qofka curyaan yahay, ama indhool yahay, ama hayo cudur uusan kakici karin, ama ay tahay hooyo carruur haysatoo keligeed nool, waa arrin lagaran kara una baahan qaddarin waayo giddigoodba haddii aynu eegno diiniyan iyo mabda'iyanba waxay ubaahanyihiin taakuleyn bani'aadminimo. Laakiin labada isqaba haddana beenta ku abtirsanaya waa arrin hadhowto loo heli doono waddo lagaga taqalusi doono. Way jiraan kuwo badano ladabagalay lana ogaaday inay kunoolaayeen been iyo quraafaad. Maantana waa ayaga shalaayaya markii lagu xukumay inay soo celshaan lacagihii ay hore ucuneen oo gaaraya kumanaan kun oo doolar ma yuro ah.

Haddaba waxaa nala habboon Soomaali haddeynu nahay inaan isbarno daacadnimda iyo run sheega. Waxaa kaloon ubaahanahay inaan kudhaqano diinteena suuban sifa aan ummadaha nala diinta ahayn ugu noqono hogaan ama hormuud. Beenta sideedab inaad naftaada kudaafaceyso mooyaane, waa ka mamnuuc qofka Muslimka ahi. Calooshaada kurid wax xaaraan ah waa shey aad uqurmuun badan. Sideedaba, khayaanada ma banaana ee shaqeyso shafka beele.

Ama Bar ama Baro Yaan Lagaa Badine


'Aqoon la'aan waa iftiin la'aan' waa halqabsi Soomaaliyeedo tilmaamaya faa'idada ama muhiimada ay leedahay waxbarashada. Tan iyo intii dawladii kacaanka laga eryay xukunka, Soomaaliya waxaa soomaray mugdi xagga tacliinta maadaama dugsyadii iyo ilihii waxbarasho burbureen ayadoo ummaddii noqotay wax debedaha uhayaama iyo wax kutabaaleysan gudaha dalka. Tiro badan ayaa kunool xeryo qaxooti oo aysan ulaheyn madaxbanaani maadama danohooda ay fuliyaan dawlado shisheeye ama dad aan daneyn diintooda, dhaqankooda, iyo aaya katalintooda intuba.

Kacaankii utalin jirey dalka ma ahayn mid utafaxeyda kobcinta waxbarashada iyo dhaqaalaha bulshada maadaama uu ahaa mid militeri oo danihiisa kusaleysnaa inuu xoog kumuquuniyo wax kasto keeni lahaa horumar iyo isku filaan. Kumanaan kun oo ahaa mutacalimiin ayaa isaga cararay dalka markay heli waayeen dhaqaale kufilan. Qaar kalena waxay u adkeysan waayeen handadaad iyo cagojugleyn maadaama ay lahaayeen mabaadi' kaduwan tan kacaanka. Culuntii iyo khibradii ay debedaha latageen waxay ufaa'ideysay ardo badano ajnebi ah. Waxaa waddankii kuso haray tiro yaro macallimiin ah oo tabanayey dhibaatooyiin faro badano aan laso koobi karin.

Soomaaliya ilaa maanta waxay leedahay dad badano wax bartay kuwaaso kala ah borofesooro kadhiga jaamacado qadiimi ah, ha ahaadaan kuwo kuyaal Mareykanka, Ingiriiska, Yurubta Galbeed, Aasiya, Bariga Dhexe, iyo weliba waddamo kaloo Afrikaan ah. Waxaa kaloo intaasi sii dheer dhakhaatiirta ilkaha iyo caafimaadka, injineerada, kalkaaliyaasha caafimaadka ee sida ba'an looga baahanyahay isbitaalada waddamada horey umaray sifa sare ugu qaadaan caafimaadka shacabkooda, iyo laamaha kala duwan ee maanta lagu tartamo dunida sida kombiyuutarada, iyo iwm.

Wax kasto bilow lihi, wuxuu leeyahay dhammaad, dagaalada Soomaaliya kasocdana waa ay dhammaan doonaan goortey noqotaba. Waxaa haddaba looga baahanyahay cidda hanan doonta xukunka waddankani burburay sidii looga bixin lahaa ummadda Soomaaliyed jahliga, tuhunka iyo kalashakiga, nacaybka, iyo qabyaalada soo jireenka ahi. Dabcan, waad maqasheen dawlado badano dagaalo hore usoo galay maantana aysan kamuuqan wax colaad ah. Waddamada maanta loo yaqaan 'kuwa horumaray' ee ay kamidka yihiin Reer Galbeedka sida Mareykana, Kanadha, Ingiriiska iyo Yurubta Galbeed, Ostaraaliya, iyo Jabaan, dhaamaantood waxaa hore usoo baaba'shay dagaalo shisheeye iyo kuwo gudaha ah maatana waxaabad moodaa in aysan dagaal gelin abidkood. Waa waddamada ugu hodansan taasina waxay kugaareen kobcinta dhaqaalahooda iyo sare uqaadida waxbarashada bulshadooda.

Soomaaliya maanta waxaa kajira jaammacado faro badan kuwaaso kukala yaala gobolada Bari, Woqooyi, iyo Muqdisho. Weliba waxaa mudnaan mudan Jaammacadda Muqdisho oo gashay kaalintii 100aad ee jaammacadaha Afrika ugu fiican. Waa mid kafajicisay dadka ukuurgala waxbarashada caalamka. Waxaana layaab leh sida geesinimada ay kudheehantahy ee ay muujiyeen macalimiinta kadhiga ee isugu jira Soomaali iyo ajaanib intuba. Waxaa kalo Soomaaliya kajira kuuliyado, dugsiyo dhexe iyo sare inkasto ayan isku manaahij ahayn. Qaar waxaa lagu barta luuqadda carabiga, qaarna afafka qalaad oo ay ugu horeyso luuqadda ingiriiska.

Walwalka ugu weyn ee ardeyga Afrikaanka ahi haysta ayaa wuxuu yahay sidii uu kuheli lahaa kuuliyad ama jaamacad udhow tuulada ama magaalada uu kaga soo qalinjebiyay dugsigiisa sare maadaama culuunta sare oo dhammi laysugu geeyo inta badan caasimadaha. Xukuumadaha Afrika ayaa waxaa lagu yaqaan in xukuunkooda yahay mid laga furdaamiyo dawladda dhexe oo inta badan saldhigyadooda yahay caasimmadaha. Marka, haddii ardeygu kaqalinjebiyo tuulo kafog caasimadda, waxay qasab kunoqonaysa inuu safar dheer galo sidii uu kutegi lahaa jaamacadda oo kutaal caasimadda.

Akhristow, nabadu waa ay soo bidhaameysa, Soomaaliyaana way degi doonta ee waxaa lagaaga baahanyahay inaad qeyb lixaad leh kaqaadato waxbarashada dadkaaga iyo dalkaaga si hagar la'aan ah. Haddii aadan hore wax ubarana, hadda udhabagal maadaama aqoon la'aani tahay iftiin la'aan. Jahliga kabax hadda.

Friday, June 27, 2008

What is Leadership?


Robert Mugabe has once again, through the use of force and intimidation, declared himself Zimbabwe's unanimously constitutionally elected President in an election repeat the international community described as sham. A previous election held this year gave Morgan Tsvangirai of the opposition a landslide victory over Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF, the ruling party that has been in power since Zimbabwe's declaration of independenc from white-minority rule in 1980 .

South Africa, a neighbor of Zimbabwe and also a victim of violence caused by xenophobic attacks, has at last issued a strongly worded press release condeming Robert Mugabe's use of force against the oppostion. Ironically, South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki who has been calm about violence against poor African immigrants by marauding black South African youths in his own cities and townships has now come up with courage by condeming his comrade and veteran neighbor Mugabe. African Statesman and leader Nelson Mandela has been quoted as blaming Mugabe for the ills facing Zimbabwe.

On the other hand, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change or MDC, has sought refuge inside his own country, in his own city, in the Dutch Embassy, in the capital Harare (formerly Salisbury) for fear of being killed by the forces of his opponent, Robert Mugabe. Now my dear reader, tell me, is this effective leadership or an outright African dictatorship? Zimbabwe has obviously joined the ranks of failed states by becoming a laughing stork in the world.

An effective leader is the one who portrays challenging strengths, motivates, practices institutional collectivism, is assertive, shuns ethnocentrism, is unprejudiced, is goal-oriented, is results-driven, is competent, is principled, is encouraging, is collaborative, enables others to act, and is transforming. Mugabe has none of these qualities; he doesn't allow others to act; he is not open to challenges or criticisms; he is a man who wants to shine alone in every field. He is selfish and self-centered.

In clusters of world cultures, we find that Africans are generally a concerned people who are sensitive to others and that "concern for family and friends is more important than concern for self" (Northouse). Africans are known to express high scores on humane orientation. This is not the case with Mugabe who has transformed in to a hyena in a sheep skin. He has no concern for the welfare of his people; many Zimbabwean professionals have left the country causing tremendoulsy painful brain-drain on the welfare of the society; the economy is stagnated; people are hungry and angry, and that the country is headed for a genocide akin to what happened in Rwanda in 1994. Remember, the West did not care the least about the killings in Rwanda because they saw everything as a tribal war. At that time, the main concern for the West was the ethnic wars in the Balkans-Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia that were at war-a religious war between Christians and Muslims.

Tell me, what interest has the West in Zimbabwe? The answer is nothing. Zimbabwe is not in a strategic position in the world map; it is a poor landlocked, black African country that has nothing much to lure the West. It is painful that an octogenarian who has been on the helm since 1980 continues to hold his people ransom for the sake of lust for power. Let us not forget that genocide can happen anytime because Zimbabwe is a land of several tribes. They could all be categorized as Bantoid, but the fact of the matter is that there is a power struggle between the Ndebele and the Shona.

Both Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangiai are Shona though Tsvangirai has considerable political support from Matabeleland-the land of the Ndebele-an offshoot of the Zulu of South Africa. The Ndebele split from Shaka Zulu in 1820s when they rallied behind Mzilikazi who was a former General in Shaka's army. Upon the death of Mzilikazi in 1868, his son Lobengula assummed power. Cecil Rhodes negotiated with them in 1888 in order for the British to have exclusive mining rights in their territories which included lands along the Limpopo and Zambezi rivers. This treaty also prohibited the Boers (Dutch settlers) from laying claim to Matabeleland. A notable Ndebele is Joshua Nkomo who was one time Vice-President of Zimbabwe under Mugabe. The Shona have always dominated Zimbabwe politics, are thought to number nine million, and are the most populous.

What boggles the mind is how the opposition leaders and their supporters have become scapegoats of Mugabe's vulturous regime as they are often branded "terrorists, weeds, and traitors" or things of that nature. The ruling ZANU-PF has mobilized thousands of unemployed youths to scare away the opposition from laying claim to the presidency. These young men and women who would have been an asset to the nation are rewarded with cash to buy mind-altering drugs, alcohol, and other dangerous hallucinogens to rough up the opposition and their supporters.

Regardless of how monstrous Mugabe and his cliches have become and no matter how long this dictatorial regime continues to intimidate peace loving Zimbabweans, one thing is for certain: the spiral of violence will continue to flare up until the opposition lay claim to the presidency of Zimbabwe so as to bring back its lost image and glory in the world.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Ogaden Shall be Free


Africa has been through rough times including slavery and slave trade, European colonialism, neo-colonialism and dictatorship. Currently it is experiencing economic slavery, African slavery and oppression of select societies who are struggling for self-determination, religious freedom, and political involvement. A case in point is the oil and natural resources rich Niger Delta of Nigeria inhabited by the Ogoni people who have been denied a share of the national cake. The Government of Nigeria has underdeveloped the Ogoni people by denying them their inalienable rights. This part of Nigeria has become a forgotten region yet it is where Nigeria's 'Black Gold' is extracted. Discuss indepth with Ogonis in the Diaspora and you will be amazed by the strange stories they narrate. Followers of Africa's events will recall the hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa who was an academic, writer, poet, politician, and a businessman by Sani Abacha's regime on a trumped up crime in the morning of November 10, 1995. "The blood of Ken Saro Wiwa will stain the name of Shell..." was a statement given by Greenpeace on learning the death of this great man. He was a man who fought for ecological and social justice for his people. Surprisingly, there is no armed liberation struggle in Ogoni land except a few armed groups who wish to highlight their plight to the world through abductions and blowing up of pipelines that have adverse effects on the economy of Nigeria and other fuel-dependent nations.

Now let's come back to the beautiful Horn of Africa and have a quick look at the Ogaden region in Ethiopia. The Ogaden is dominated by Somalis, was given to Ethiopia by the European colonial powers in the aftermath of the Scramble for Africa, and has remained underdeveloped ever since. The region has been an issue of contention between Somalia and Ethiopia for a long time and yet no nation in the international community has ever bothered to intervene. The inhabitants of this region have been victims of successive Ethiopian expansionist emperors and dictators with killings and imprisonment, rape and abductions, burning of villages and towns, underdevelopment and isolation and other inhuman means of torture being the methods used by the state machinery to silence dissent. Somalia and Ethiopia went to war over this territory several times; the most recent being the 1977-1978 war that saw Ethiopia getting material and moral support from the former USSR, Cuba, and communist Yemen while Somalia stood alone in her endeavors to reclaim it.

Ethiopia has always denied commiting human rights violations against the people of this region yet recent satellite images taken from razed villages and towns reveal the contrary. Towns and villages that were intact and thriving a couple of years ago have been found razed to the ground, thanks to modern human technological advances in the space sciences. The Ogaden region has experienced the worst natural disasters including flooding of rivers that devastate crops and livestock that is the only means of survival for its impoverished pastoralist society. The region lacks schools, hospitals, roads, and viable infrastructure. The Ethiopian Government employs stooges from the region to advance its propaganda and political constipation.

A quick search on the name 'Ogaden' in the internet search engines reveal tons of information on the cultural, historical, and political struggle of the Ogaden people. Some document daily atrocities and incidents as they evolve. Intenational organizations carrying out humanitarian activities in this region have been suppressed by successive Ethiopian governments with some facing expulsions for voicing their concerns. The government is using relief supplies as a tool to garner support from its oppressed inhabitants.

The discovery of oil in this region has increased tension and competition among energy-starved powers most notably China that has a big stake in Ethiopia's oil drilling and mineral exploration. The storming of an oil installation manned by a Chinese firm by the Ogaden National Liberation Front ONLF) and the subsequent killing of many of its workers contracted to the drilling and extraction of this precious element a few years ago brought the world media to attention. This incident made the world aware of the prevailing inhuman conditions and the treasures in the Ogaden.

Despite the huddles of getting access to the region because of government restrictions on travel and stringent visa procedures coupled with media censorship, several media houses were able to penetrate the region's most affected parts relaying credible information that could be used to indict those suspected of commiting human rights violations and genocide. Al-jazera televion, often referred to as the 'CNN of the Middle East', in an exclusive documentary on the Ogaden region, showed harrowing images of destitution and suffering that were visible on the faces of many it was able to interview.

Ironically, successive Ethiopian governments have used inhuman methods to underdevelop this region including:
(1) unequal distribution of wealth
(2) Misuse of donor funds meant for the Ogaden and other impoverished regions
(3) Ogaden region represented by select members from the Tigrei community
(4) Relief aid diverted for military use
(5) High illiteracy, high unemployment, and high mortality rate
(6) Amharic language forced on to the people
(7) Lack of veterinary services for livestock
(8) Poor farming techniques contribute to poor crop yield
(9) Biased state media
(10) Somali-Ogaden civilians conscripted in to Ethiopian army to fight wars
(11) Print and electronic media in Amharic and censorship of Somali speaking media

Ethiopia's involvement in many wars has given the ONLF the will to expand its influence in the region. ONLF is now a much bigger force than it was before as it boasts political representations in many foreign countries garnering support from the Diaspora and sympathizers for its just struggle against black colonialism. In this era of communication and globalization, it is aboslutely impossible for oppressive governments to conceal deliberate inhuman acts from the glare of publicity. The election irregularities that led to the subsequent arrest and extra-jucicial killigs of opposition figures and university students in the streets of Addis Ababa, the capital city, in 2005, still echo in the minds of Ethiopia's bitter multi-cultural societies seeking abrupt regime change.

For now, the international community knows very well aware of the human rights violations being committed by Meles Zenawi's regime in the Ogaden and in other parts of Ethiopia, though, to the surprise of the people of Ogaden and their sympathizers, none among the world powers in the forefront for universal suffrage campaign, not even the UN, the world governing body, is willing to see further fragmentation of landlocked Ethiopia since Eritrea's legal divorce in 1991.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Education: An Important Key to Somalia's Future


Someone once predicted about the endgame of Somalia's current quagmire with past historical references in the following words: "Seyyid Mohamed Abdille Hassan fought for twenty years; Mohamed Siyad Barre's rule lasted for twenty years; thence the current social upheaval will last twenty years, when finally there will be peace and prosperity to last for a long time to come". Lord, Let it be so, we pray! Since that has a beginning has an end, one important question that comes to mind is: what will be the best applicable tool to resuscitate an entirely failed state? As proposed by foreign and domestic writers, it all lies with the implementation of a marshal plan akin to the one initiated by the allied powers after World War II ended. Well, not bad ideas as long as donor nations hold to their good intentions and promises of injecting the ravaged nation with the required resources for developmental projects. On the other hand, anyone holding the reins of power in Somalia will have to ensure political correctness and accountability to flourish so as to avoid embezzlement of state coffers and social wealth.

Likewise, for ignorance and illiteracy to be sentenced to death or to hang by the rope until pronounced dead, dedication to the revitalization of the collapsed state educational institutions, formulating a nationally accepted curriculum with well-rehearsed syllabi, and dispersing pedagogues of higher integrity to calibrate the two-decade stagnation, will be the best applicable tool to replenish Somalia's lost image in the international arena.

Somalis in the Diaspora returning home with good educational backgrounds who are voluntarily and willingly ready to display exceptional expertise in the organization, education, and progress of their nation, must be lured with handsome payments so as to divorce them from any perceived foreign paymasters. Any Diaspora member arriving home with an employer should be left to dispense his/her duties as per contractual terms and agreements with the associated employer.

Failure to observe and fulfill the terms, declarations, and agreements entered with international institutions financing such massive undertakings may lead to absolute collapse as withholding of funds and garnishments will be unbearable for a nation in a state of infancy. Careful measures must be taken when demanding huge payments for massive projects or else transgressing loan repayments may drag the nation into a prolonged and difficult situation that will be hard to resolve and endure in the long run.

In the meantime, while many of us turn our hands heavenwards in prayer with the expectation the current reconciliation conference in Djibouti turns into a complete reality that will sort out our differences, on the other hand and undoubtedly, an imaginary long arduous journey whose finishing line is preceded by natural and artificial hurdles and impediments curved out of our own failures, await us.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

What is Leadership?


So what is wrong with Somali leadership? Is there a leadership problem in the country? Yes, Somalis have leadership problems and it is time we realize the enormity of this problem. Somalis are confused as to the type of leadership style befitting them. Perhaps, the best leadership styles Somalia experienced in the past are the examples set by the first President Aden Abdille Osman who left the political scene with dignity after the end of his presidential term and that of Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed who mobilized and united eleven loose courts under one umbrella that led to the historical defeat of the hateful warlords in 2006.

Since gaining independence in 1960, Somalia has been through various stages and confusing types of political metamorphoses that led to its initial collapse. There were several attempted coups and guerilla incursions into Somali soil when Siyad Barre was in power. Abdirahman Tuur, Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess, General Mohamed Farah Aidid, and the current transitional President, Colonel Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed, have been recorded in history for opposing the regime of Siyad Barre through the use of force. None of these men can be credited with having the conceptual and human skills expected of a leader. The sad state inherited from them is with the Somali people to this day.

Successive Somali leadership styles carried no blessings except blame, blemishes, shame, and family/tribal divisions. Ali Mahdi Mohamed, despite beng elected President, did not last long; General Aidid stepped in as a replacement only to fail miserably; Abdikassim Salad Hassan left humiliated, and now it is Colonel Abdullahi Yussuf Ahmed who has enemies on all fronts. What is wrong with Somali leadership?

Past leaders and the heinous warlords had been corrupt, shameless, and disgusting. And that is why Somalis remain divided, hateful, and warlike to this day. Take the case of the fallen junta of Siyad Barre. He was a soldier who understood nothing about leadership concepts. He ruled by force; by the barrel of the gun through a strong army commanded by ruthless, uneducated generals who were promoted on the grounds they please their boss-the President.

There're two tpes of leadership styles: supportive and directive. Both styles entail helping group members achieve a goal. Somali leadership styles direct and support only close relations beginning with family members who reap a bigger share in any gain and then leading to sub-clan, clan, and finally the rest of the tribal framework and close memebers who pledge loyalty or allegiance. Directive task behaviors of modern leadership styles is concerned with helping group members accomplish their goals by showing directions, achieving goals and ways of evaluation, setting timelines, defining roles, and showing how the goals are to be reached. As for supportive leadership style, it is intended to assist members feel assured about themselves, their co-workers, and the the general situation.

A leader must have general cognitive abilities and general processing skills; must be creative and divergent ; must display crystallized cognitive abilities, must be motivated about his leadership and must be socially willing to dominate his subordinates through developmental skills. Now tell me; do the colonels brandishing AK 47s and the vulturous warlords who possess no formal education have the above attributes? How can a man who has been in the bush for three decades, who seizes power through dubious means, display any of the styles and skills described above? How can a nation that has been through divisions and political prostitutions accept the leadership styles of inept colonels and warlords whose mode of leadership styles are contrary to modern styles of human governance?

A leader must have the brain to effectively solve problems in a logical, unique, and effective style or way that go beyond given information. The performance of a leader raises productivity and also elevates level of allegiance of those under his command. The ineffective performance of a leader has been shown to produce disastrous effects and lead to repurcussions that are detrimental to the overall management of any kind of organization. A leader is a role model who sets examples to be followed by those under him/her.

An effective leader must have human and conceptual skills. Leaders must be task motivated and relationship motivated so as to reach a goal by developing close interpersonal relationship. Leader-member relations create confidence, loyalty, and attraction between the leader and the follower. A leader must also set a task structure to be followed with clearly spelled out requirements for the sake of reward and punishment outlined in what is referred to as 'position power'.

Opportunism, for the purpose of personal advancement, has been an impediment to Somali social governing. The fallen junta imposed a totalitarian ideology on a naturally born egalitarian society. It used much of its budget on strengthening the military to deter dissent. Thus, other sectors including the infrastructure, social services, health and education, water and sanitation received less attention. This method of leadership that had roots in communism and applied by the military regime, was neither the right practical management nor the elegant theoritical leadership apparel acceptable to Somalia's yesteryear.

On the other hand, the warlords main concern was defending the fiefdoms that strengthened their illegal trading opportunities. To them, lawlessness meant self-elevation, individual popularity, honor and prestige, monetary gains and personal enrichment. Their general mode of comunication was one directed only at the master who supplied the arms shipments and the subordinates tasked with extermination operations. This form of leadership carried no credible traits and approach. It was cause for further Somali fragmentation and disintegraion.

In conclusion and to cut a whole story short, the Union of Islamic Courts, despite its pitfalls, created an atmosphere of peace for Southern Somalia for the six-months it was in power. It brought unity and coherence to a portion of the Somali nation that had suffered enormously for almost sixteen years by rehabilitating the sea ports and airport and opening the nation to the outside world; law and order returned; schools and businesses reopened; roadblocks disappeared-all as a result of leadership competency in problem-solvig skills, applicable knowledge, and social judgement.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Soomaalaay giddigiin guntadoo kakaca

Hay'adaha samafalka ee kahowlgala konfurta Soomaaliya waxay noo sheegayaan in tiro dhan 600,000 oo qof ay kutabaaleysanyihiin xeryo qaxooti ah oon daryeel lahayn ayagoo kaso hayaamay guryahoodi kadib markii ay kanabadgeli waayeen daryaanka rasaasta ay isweydaarsanayaan ciidamada dawladda KMG ah iyo kuwa ciidamada guumeysiga Itoobiya oo dhinac ah iyo dhalinta Al-shabaab ee xaq udirirka ah oo iskood isku uruursaday. Runtii, tiradaasi ma aha tiro yar waxaana kuu muuqanaya sawir aad ufool xun oo kamuuqda wejiyada dadka laga barakiciyay guryahooda haddana ladhacay hantidii yarayd ee ay isku waardiyeynayeen.

Sida ay qoreen shabakadaha sida caanka ah looga qiimeeyo adduunka, waxaa soo baxaya warar sheegaya in ciidamada Itoobiya iyo kuwa dawladda KMG ee Soomaaliyeed laga awood roonaaday ayagoo si ba'an ugu jabay dagaalka ay wadaan dhallinta lamagacbaxay Al-shabab ee isku uruursaday inay jebiyaan wax allaale wixii lid ku ah hanaanka iyo hor usocodka iyo inay dib usooceliyaan qarankii Soomaaliyeed ee baaba'sanaa muddo 17 sannadood inkasto quwado shisheeye ku loolamayaan sidii ay uhantiyi lahaayeen istaraatejiyada ay leedahay Soomaliya tan iyo marki xukunkii Maxamed Siyaad Barre lariday.

Riyadii Itoobiya tan iyo boqortooyadii Miniliq ee ahayd in Soomaliya kamid noqoto kilil kamid ah Itoobiya ayaa dhicisoobay una muuqda mid saameyn weyn kuyeelan doonto Itoobiya lafa ahaanteeda waayo waxay qarka kuhaysa burbur burbur hor leh. Dabcan, waxaa soo labakacleeyay dirirtii qarnigii 15aad iyo kii 18aad ee ay kala hogaaminayeen Axmed Gurey iyo Seyid Maxamed Cabdulle Xasan oo labaduba ladagaalamay Imbiritooriyadii Xabashida, Boortuqiiska, Talyaaniga, iyo Ingiriiska intaba.

Isweydiin malaha in dagaaladaasi hore udhacay iyo kuwa maanta daryaamaya ay door weyn kacaayaareen calooshood ushaqeystayaal wata summad Soomaaliyeed. Hase ahaatee, Soomaalidu waxay hore ugu maahmaahday 'dantiisa mooge maro duug horteedu dhammaadaa'. Qaxarka iyo dhibaatada Soomali kuhabsaday waxaa ka mas'uul ah rag Soomaaliyeedo damac xukun halakeeyay. Sideedaba, waa rag ayan kamuuqan qiiro waddaninimo kana fog qadiidada Islaamka waayo waxay xigsadeen oy lasafteen cadow soo jireen ah kaaso muruq iyo maal, har iyo habeen kuhowlan sidii uu udabargoyn lahaa cid kasto sheegata Soomaalinimo.

Qabyaaladda oo ay diinteena inoo sheegeyso in laysku aqoonsado keliya ayey Soomaalidu kadhigatay diin iyo mabda' lagu xakameeyo jiritaanka qaranka, qabiilka, iyo qoyska. Maanta caalamka waxaa kayaabshey sida ba'an ee ay Soomaalidu ugu dhaqanto qabyaaladda. Xitaa kuwii nasiibka uyeeshay inay kasamatabaxaan duulaanka dagaal oogaha iyo madaafiicda goobta ee Xabashida ayaa weli kakaaftoomi la' qabyaaladda iyo wixii lahalmaala ee lagu abtirsada.

Jaahwareerka Soomaaliya ma ahan wax muddo kooban lagu abaabulay ee waa dabin laqoolaayey muddo dheer una baahan in laysla meel dhigo wixii lagu daweyn lahaa. Waxaa marag madoonto ah in rag Soomaaliyeed ay hawdka noogu gabanayeen ilaa iyo toddobaatameeyadii ayagoo inoo qoolahaye dabinta aan maanta kujidhno. Horaa loo yidhi 'illeyn doqoni dab kama kacdo' ee waxaa ila gudboon Soomaali inay danaheeda katashato soona ceshato qarankeedi baaba'ay.

Maxaynu kayeeli doona dagaal oogayaasheena?


Wax kasto billow lihi, wuxuu leeyahay dhammaad. Soomaaliya waxay soo martay marxalado aad ukhadhaadh 17kii sannadood ee aynu soo daafnay. Dagaaladii ahliga ahaa waxaa kunafwaayay kumanaan kun; malaayiin ayaa kaqaxay guryahoodi; tiro aan laqiyaasi karina waa ay ku dhaawacmeen. Waxaaso dhammi waxaa usabab ahaa rag Soomaaliyeed oo weli nool hammiyayana inay weli wax gumaadaan oo maatada sii laayaan. Teeda kale, waxaa kasi daran markay kuso hogaamiyeen geyiga Soomaaliyeed cadow soo jireen ah kaaso sii cidhibtiray intii yarayd ee kuhadhay caasimmaddeeni quruxda badneyd siina baabi'iyay daarihii yaraa ee badbaaday. Waxaa arrin laga murugooda ah sidii ay wuxuushtani ugu sii dhexnoolaan lahayd ummadda Soomaaliyeed ee soo ay horey usoo ciqaabeen. Haddaba akhristow, waxaa iga su'aal ah: sidee laga yeeli doona kuwa noo horseeday dagaalka socday 17 sannadood? Mala saamaxaya, mise waxaa lahorkeeni maxkammad caalami ah ama mid qaran sifa ay uga jawaabaan dhibaatadii ay ugeysteen qarankii Soomaaliyeed?

Dabcan dhibkii soo maray Konfur Afrika waa kaduwanyahay kan Soomaaliya. Markuu madowga qabsaday xukunkii Konfur Afrika, waxaa lasameeyay baaritaan iyo dib uheshiisiin lahaa qaab maxkammadeed inkastoon dad badano caddaan ahi loo xidhxidhin. Sidoo kale, waddanka Ruwaandha wuxuu soo maray dagaal dhexmaray labada qabaa'il ee kala ah Hutu iyo Tutsi kaaso sababay dhimmasho gaareysa ilaa iyo hal malyuun oo qof ayadoo qoyska lalaayay ubadnaa kan Tutsi-ga haddana waxaa socda ilaa iyo maanta maxkammad caalami ahi taaso had iyo jeer soo taagta maxkammad eedeysane hor leh.

Mala odhan karaa waxa Soomaaliya kudhacay waa musiibo mise waa wax dad kaskooda uyeelay ayagoo katarjumayey danahooda gaar ahaaneed? Maxay kudhacday qof sheeganaya Islaanimo inuu ugeysto dad walaalihiisa ah oo ladiin ah, la dhaqan ah, la af ah, la deegaan ah, ayna wadaagaan xilo iyo xoolo ciqaabta socotay muddada intaasi la'eg? Sidee laga yeeli raggii dafiray aayadihii Ilaahey nafaray ee ahaa in aynu isku xukuno caddaalad? Haddii ay naf gooyeen, sowma aha in ayagana ladilo?

Haddaba akhristow, haddii lagaa dhigo xakiim ama laguu dhiibo darajo sare marka lahelo nabad iyo kala dambeyn, waxaa mudan inaad raadisid jahadii lagu soo taagi lahaa raggan dhiigyacabka ah maxkammad loona marin lahaa ciqaab daran, waayo, haddii aadan saasi yeelin, ogow waxaa adigana kuu laaban cadaab aduunyo, mid qabri, iyo mid aakhiro intuba. Diinteena muqadaska ah sharciyadeeda waa kafogyahay kuwa kale ee aadanaha kale soo dhodhoobtay. Waa diin Alle oo mudan in loogu dhaqmo sida ay tahay. Mana banaana in laleeleexiyo. Waxaan sugnaaba, waa sidii laga yeeli lahaa kuwii nabaaba'shay 17kii sannadood ee laso dhaafay.

Eedeysanow, eedeysanow
waa lagu ogyahay
eedeysanow
waa lagu abaal marin

Ethiopia: Eyeing an outlet to Sea


When Eritrea was part of Ethiopia, the strategic ports of Massawa and Assab handled the bulk of import and export for Ethiopia and also served as replenishment centers for international shipping. These two ports served as naval bases to counter threats from the sea and also as tourist resorts. Today, Eritrea is a sovereign nation recognized globally with a strong mechanized army that can defend its territorial integrity and any other forms of foreign aggression on its soil. Since 1991 when it declared independence from Ethiopia, Eritrea has been keeping a keen eye on Ethiopia's expansionist intentions and repeated border incursions over Zalambessa and Badme towns that took considerable lives and property.

Having lost the war with Eritrea, Ethiopia's heinous regime saw a plan to exploit Somalia's beleaguered situation by arming a dozen warlords and in the end signing a treaty with the otiose Transitional Federal Government (TFG) on the pretext of stabilizing her neighbor by creating an atmosphere of peace and assured security which would lead to the formation of a fragile Somali administration with leanings towards Addis Ababa's hideous aims and ambitions.

The moral behind Ethiopia's occupation are multi-faceted though the most important objective of Meles Zenawi's regime was to secure and exploit Somalia's 3300 km coastline-the longest in Africa with access to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean-a project whose ultimate end turned out to be worthless and futile. The TFG, as it turned out, became the sacrificial lamb of Meles Zenawi thus igniting General Somali resentment.

Meles has done more harm than good to the shaky relations that existed between Ethiopia and Somalia to an extreme level that will be hard to mend for generations to come. The evolvement of Al-shabab, a reincarnation of the dervishes of 'Mad Mullah', means Somalia's future will be determined by a more volatile force that will stand up for the repulsion of any perceived meddling by Ethiopia and others. On the other hand, finding a way to secure Eritrean sea ports might not sound a great idea for Ethiopia, an impoverished nation already showing signs of disintegration due to internal strife, drought, guerilla movements, and political dissent.

The World Must Stop Zenawi's Atrocities


Someone somewhere is happily financing, arming, and providing every available logistical and strategic support to fuel the atrocities being committed by Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia's monstrous Prime Minister, against the innocent civilians of Somalia, the people of Ogaden, and Oromia. This is setting a wrong precedent and a very excruciatingly painful future for the Horn of Africa.

Somalis and Oromos have been at war with past Abyssinian kingdoms for centuries not over politics but over land. Every time the two won a war against the Abyssinian murderers, a foreign force intervened in favor of the oppressive Abyssinian kingdoms.
A prime example is the 15th century war between the gallant forces of Ahmed Gurei alias 'gran' or the 'left handed' who fought with such valor that the ruling Abyssinian Emperor called for Portuguese help.

Also, Seyyid Mohamed Abdille Hassan alias 'Mad Mullah', a Somali nationalist, poet, and hero, despite ferociously fighting for twenty uninterrupted years against joint British, Italian, and Habasha forces, and having found himself weakened and surrounded by enemy power on all fronts, disbanded so as to retire to his native Ogaden region where he met his final death in the village of Iimeey.

The 1997-1998 war between Somalia and Ethiopia over the Ogaden region took many innocent lives. Despite conquering almost ninety percent of this region from Mengistu's red terror regime, Somalia's armed forces had no other option but to retreat after combined Russian, Cuban, and Yemeni forces sided with Ethiopia. The destruction caused on both sides by this war, is to be felt to this day as hatred, suspicion, and poor neighborliness remain visible on the faces of the warring parties.

What is transpiring today is a repeat of the old tactics applied by Somali and Oromo enemies. Some foreign powers are fully engaged at ensuring Ethiopia continues with her irredentist mentalities and territorial usurpations. Ethiopia has been left to raze, burn, and dislodge its citizens who see to it for protection and guidance. Satellite images taken from thriving villages that were intact a few years ago, today depict different gloomy pictures with indiscriminate bombardments of these same villages by the Ethiopian army clearly visible to the naked human eye.

Killings, rape, and plunder has been used by Ethiopian forces as a means to win wars of any nature. Assimmilation and integration, power sharing and political parties are major factors that don't work in this country of over 70 million where a fair share of the cake always goes to the clan in power and to the stooges that support it loudly. Yesterday, it was the Amhara, and today it is their blood relative, the Tigrayans, led by Meles Zenawi, who live in complete luxury while the rest either have to sing the regime's desiderata to survive or live in ignominy or starve to death.

Meles Zenawi's atrocities seem to have been ignored by the world. Perhaps, humankind is not mature enough to understand the concept of human rights. Human rights violations and cases of genocide are pretty much rife in Ethiopia. It is the creation of human greed and jostling for power that has left millions dead, maimed, and homeless in this beautiful Horn of Africa. The best the internatinal community can do is to stop Meles Zenawi's atrocities for the time being and come with a strategy for the good of this region in turmoil.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Withdrawal or Humiliating Defeat? Ethiopian Army Ready to Leave Somalia


They came in droves on cargo planes and on land in high spirits from Ethiopia. Some were well equipped and some barefooted with a select few Tigreyan officers leading them at the invitation of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of Somalia (as they claimed) in December of 2006, the most blessed month of their calendar, when they learnt the alarmingly sword-wielding Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) that swept aside the merciless warlords that terrorized Somalia since the fall of Major General Mohamed Siyad Barre's junta in 1991 was about to declare an Islamic Jihadi state.

With their crusader banner flying high, they dispersed the ICU , and with no stone unturned, swept up to the Southern tip of Somalia. They indiscriminately shelled residential areas, bombarded villages, slaughtered women, children, and the elderly. They raided commercial markets taking with them everything in their path. Many got instantly rich sending home looted cars, television sets, jewelry, microwaves, dishwashers and driers, electric ranges, and undetermined amounts of hard currency.
Somalia became a governorate whose affairs was administered in Addis Ababa and debated in the Ethiopian Parliament. There was rejoicing in the streets of Ethiopian cities, towns, and villages with Meles mentioned in folklore dances and theatrical performances. He became the reincarnation of Menelik.

To their dismay, ICU regrouped and embarked on modern 21st century guerilla tactics. They destroyed tanks, shot down helicopter gunships, burnt down armored vehicles, and strategically employed novel fighting tactics that forced the enemy to retreat to the baracks. The number of dead soldiers in body bags arriving Ethiopia alarmed the public causing an outcry even in the divided parliament. The Prime Minister, Meles Zenawi, refuted all sorts of allegations and international condemnations. To him 'everything was under control' and that he would pacify Somalia whatever it takes.

Now, after heavy casualties, they are ready to leave because they have been defeated and that even the TFG that invited them no longer needs their assistance. Many of them are dead, buried in cemetries in Godey in the Ogaden region, many are in body bags ready to be transported back home after relatives are notified, many suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) caged on to ramshackle beds in poorly maintaned mental institutions hidden from the eyes of desperate relatives, and an unaccountable number have been crippled or maimed. This is a heavy loss and a terrible defeat for the 'Lion of Africa' and the 'Lion of Judah'. They have been humiliated by a few poorly armed youths in the suburbs of Mogadishu. They were denied sleep, food, and peace and always lived in suspense. They may have killed thousands of innocent unarmed civilians, but the end result is that the residents of Mogadishu will return to their respective homes in jubilation while they (Ethiopian soldiers) return home knowing that the next battle will be fought over the Ogaden region and the land of Oromia.

After the dust settles, Somalis will debate over the fate of those who attempted to sell their land and peoples to Ethiopia; Meles Zenawi will be held accountable by his people for the death of Ethiopian soldiers; he will have to be tried for the atrocities committed in Somalia and; and perhaps in the end, the entire world will watch the break up of Ethiopia into cantons divided along tribal lines. The departure of Ethiopian soldiers from Somalia will open the eyes of the world as the international community now knows very well that there're people living under oppression inside Ethiopia. Also, mindful investigators will get the chance to review the nature of destruction caused by the retreating Ethiopian Army. On the other hand, this cowardly departure will elevate the moral stength of the formidable forces of Eritrea who wish to see the return of their lands in Ethiopian hands.

Sooner or later, many warlords, Meles Zenawi and his cohorts in the TFG included, will be arraigned before internationally supervised tribunals to be tried for human rights violations and mass genocide in Somalia . The airing of 'Warlords next door' by UKs 'Channel Four' should be a signal to those oxymorons who think they will forever escape the noose. Perhaps, Charles Taylor and a few other war criminals from Rwanda and Serbia are eagerly waiting for new cellmates from the Horn of Africa.

Predictably, the tribunal will be a reality because 'Somalis never forgive nor forget' incidents of such enormity. Regardless of how well protected a warlord may be, upon the formation of a legitimate unity government, some day, a hearing will kick off either in Somalia or abroad to determine the nature of punsihment for these criminals who butchered and humiliated an entire nation. Anyone who misappropriated funds, stole national treasuries, allowed dumpig of toxic wastes, caught in the act of signing illegal mining and fishing contracts, will have to face the full force of the law.

Since the reconciliation conference going on in Djibouti is to be extended to include those missing parties, my hope is that it will be an all-inclusive one. No armed entity should be excluded whatsoever. For Meles and other cliches of like mind, Somalis have a message for you: never again meddle in Somali affairs and get ready to hand over Oromia and Ogaden unconditionally.

Baidoa's 'Couch Potatoes'


Ever wondered what the so-called parliamentarians are doing in Baidoa? Rather than intermingling with their constituents and listening to their problems they have chosen to sit infront of satellite televions and watch useless programs that are of no benefit to the welfare of the people they are supposed to serve with dignity and unreserved energy. These are men and women who have sworn by the Holy Qur'an to uphold the constitution of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and to work tirelessly for the nation yet from the day they were sworn in, the situation in Somalia has gotten to worse with killings, plunder, maiming, and displacement becoming the norm while they sit leisurely like couch potatoes in luxurious hotels surrounded by Ethiopian tanks and artillery that are meant to protect them from the people they are supposed to serve with dignity and without fear.

On the other hand, they are busy munching the nutritiously stimulating herb (qaad)like cows with widely spread out robotic body parts listening to propaganda radios and spreading lies while at the same time breathing vituperations on cellphones directing secret militias. These couch potatoes have become a disgrace to the Somali nation and to the international community that has spent millions of dollars for 18 years in pursuit of peace for Somalia.

Ironically, someone somewhere is making payments in wages for their monthly upkeep without knowing the evil in their mindsets. It is a disgrace to make remittances to people who don't perspire or don't do any kind of work. These men are fortunate in that they are paid to stay healthy, eat well, and shower daily. They don't have to worry about their clothing, towels and napkins, soap and toiletries, and even their daily Qaad chewing sessions. In modern democracies, one has to be disabled or have mental problems to get government assistance. Retirees get paid their lifetime savings in sequences until they are gone.

Of course there are the good and the bad in these army of evil in Baidoa, but the truth of the matter is, warlords-turned-parliamentarians being fed with a silver spoon is a bad idea. They must be conspiring day and night to scuttle the peace efforts for Somalia. They are experts with 18 years of experince on how to divide-and-rule the people through the use of monstrous young men wielding AK 47s and afew other corroded Soviet-era armaments that are always at hand.

Alas! some of them can be seen shuttling between Baidoa, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, and Dubai without worries of any sort even after all those killings that are well documented and well known to humanitarian agencies and human rights organizations. Why can't they be apprehended and kept behind bars so the remittances they collect can be used to feed those they displaced?

That has a beginning has an end. There is no doubt Somalis will free themselves of these dirty men and one day, after all these 'couch potatoes' are gone, those of you fortunate enough to live will reflect the past and avoid a repeat of past mistakes. God willing, Somalia shall be free of warlords soon.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tanzania and Nyerere


I wish the people of the Horn of Africa could live in peace and harmony like their fellow brothers and sisters of the Republic of Tanzania. Tanzania has been through the worst times in its struggle for independence. It fought German occupation, Arab domination, and outside influence through unity and coherence. The unification of the Islands of Pemba and Zanzibar with mainland Tanganyika created what we know today as Tanzania. Mwalimu Julius Kabarage Nyerere, 'Baba wa Taifa' or 'Father of the Nation', strived hard to unite the people of this lovely country through wisdom and artistic leadership. The two major wars Tanzania had been through are the Hehe and Maji Maji rebellions of 1894 and 1907 that took conisderable lives and property. Today Tanzania is considered an 'ocean of peace' in a volatile continent.

Tanzania had been at the mercy of Omani Arabs for centuries mainly in the days of the spice trade when cloves was the major sustainer of Zanbibar's economy. 'The land of the Zenj' as it was called, Zanzibar was the seat of powerful Omani Arabs who traded in slaves with European powers of those days. In fact, Zanzibar had the biggest slave market in East Africa. Here originated millions of African slaves destined for the trans-Atlantic voyage. Pemba, a sister Island of Zanzibar, had her own slave market and carries immense historical treasures to this day.

The beautiful and bustling capital city of Dar es Salam, lived through tough times. Upon taking the reins of power, Mwalimu Nyerere preached peace and unity making Dar es Salam his seat of power and influence. Meaning 'Haven of Peace' and derived from the Arabic language, Dar es Salam is a blend of African and Arab cultures and has been much influenced by Islamic traditions and Christian missionary activities that continued for several centuries. Old Portuguese architecture and ancient Arabisque foundations dot its coastal plains with the main port still displaying the hallmarks of monsoon winds trade dhows.

The city of Arusha is much remebered for the historic 'Arusha Declaration' created by Nyerere. "The Arusha Declaration was made by Tanzanian President Julius Nyerere on 5 February 1967, outlining the principles of Ujamaa (Nyerere's vision of socialism) to develop the nation's economy. The declaration called for an overhaul of the economic system, through African socialism and self-reliance in locally administered villages through a villagization program. The villagization program, implemented in 1973-76, sought to transform the pattern of rural settlement by congregating the rural population-which previously had been resident predominantly on dispersed family smallholdings-in nucleated villages of sufficient size to be efficient (in bureaucratic terms) units for the delivery of services. Involved in this plan was the idea that the new villages could also become the basis for a socialist system of production." (wikipedia)

Nyerere played a big role in creating the East African Cooperation (EAC) between the nations of East Africa-a cooperation that elevated the lives of millions of Africans that had just come out of the shadows of colonialism. The nations of Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania formed this cooperation with a view to reaching economic prosperity. The East Railways and Harbors, East Africans Customs and Excise, and the East African Airways were amongst the only existing big corporations of those days. Ironically, the East African Cooperation did not augur well with Uganda's strongman, Al- Haji Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada, President of Uganda at that time. It was indefinitely dissolved and resources distributed among member states. Furthermore, Idi Amin's Uganda suffered the most because of being a landlocked country with no access to the sea. Despite its dissolution, the East African Community has been revived by mindful leaders now that Idi Amin is no longer in the political spectrum. In fact, there is an East African Parliament at present with legislature drawn from erudite politicians from Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania.

Mwalimu Nyerere was the mastermind of Idi Amin's removal from power. With assistance from Uganda's liberation forces, Tanzania's Defense Force meticulously deposed Idi Amin sending him into exile in Saudi Arabia, his final death bed. With the exception of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) that is wrecking havoc in some parts of the 'Land of Kabaka', the people of Uganda have felt a sigh of relief under Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the current leader who is playing peace maker and statesman in the international arena. Museveni has peace keeping troops in beleagured, impoverished, and war-ravaged Somalia and also in the Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire).

A few Somalis took part in the social, military, and political institutions of Tanzania though individual biographical accounts demand strenuous research. Ever heard of Ahmed Hassan Diria?. He was a Somali whose father migrated from Somalia. Ahmed was born in Tanzania and rose to become a leader, politician, and diplomat in his own right. A garduate of the College of Philosophy in Ghana (attended 1958 to 1961), Diria held several diplomatic posts including Tanzania's ambassador to Zaire, India, Egypt, and other countries. From 1990 to 1993, he was Tanzania's Foreign Minsiter and was known to be a great 'friend of the press' and 'defender of press freedom'. He died in Germany.

Tanzania has produced talented leaders who shone in the international limelight since attainment of independence. Amongst them is Salim Ahmed Salim, former Secretary General of the Organization of African Unity (now African Union), a man who has six doctoral degrees to his credit. Another political giant is Abdirahman Kinana, a former Minister for Defense and currently a member of the East African Parliament. Having these brilliant men and others at his side is what made Nyerere's presidency a reality.

Nyerere boosted tourism though not to the required standards. The preservation of the Serengeti national park and other tented camps, agressive archaeological research conducted by the Leakey family et.al, and tour of the towering Kilimanjaro mountain brought in the much needed hard currency from foreign tourists craving for curiosity and change of scenery. Increased ocean trade with Arab merchants driven by Monsoon winds injected relief to a few sectors of the economy. Coffee, grown in the highlands of the hardworking Chagga tribe and much treasured in the West, was another major earner. Diamonds mined at Shinyanga mines, was a source of income for the state treasury. Regardless of the effects of Nyerere's tainted ideology, Tanzanians have always been less dependent on foreign handouts.

Under Nyerere, Tanzania's system of education in the primary and secodary levels were no much for neighboring Kenya and Uganda whose medium of instruction was english. A closer look at the profiles of prominent Tanzanian educators and administrators reveal that most had their higher education from the prestigious Makerere University of Uganda that had the hallmarks of Britain's Oxford University. On the other hand, Kenya's Lenana and Alliance High Schools were used as gateways to Makerere. Nyerere elevated Kiswahili to a level it has become the lingua franca of East and Central Africa making it intelligible in some parts of Southern Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, Burundi, and Zaire. According to estimates, it is spoken by 60 million people in Africa.

Every man has his own weaknesses. The major weakness of Nyerere was socialism, an ideology almost akin to communism. With his unchallengeable Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM)party at the helm, Neyerere consolidated power such that political opposition evolved only after his departure. The unification of the Afro-Shirazi Party and the Tanzania African National Union (TANU), gave birth to CCM. The ruthlessness of the dreaded Fanya Fujo Uone (FFU) security apparatus that he heavily relied upon for national security, was no different from Nazi Germany's Geheime Staats Polizei (Secret State Police) also known as Gestapo. Despite the ruthlessness of the state security, Tanzania, till this day, remains a beacon of peace in Africa.

Unlike many African leaders who use the strength and size of their tribes to hold on to power, Nyerere hailed from a minority tribe. He was son of the chief of the Zanaki tribe. Knowledge, integrity, determination, sociability, strength, courage, conceptualism, competency, and various other traits coupled with love for his people and nation and having honest, reliable, and willing assistants helped him achieve his goals.

Nyerere was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and the first Tanzanian to study at a British university. Upon returning home, he took teaching as a profession and that is why he was referred to as 'Mwalimu' which means 'teacher' in Kiswahili-a language that evolved as a result of a mixture of Arabic and local tongues. He is credited with writing several books, translations, and essays that are still in print. For sure he was not a millionaire in his presidency nor did he and his family extravagantly misuse state treasuries. Upon retiring from politics, Nyerere was succeeded by Hassan Ali Mwinyi. Septuagenarian Nyerere coninued to lambast Mwinyi's leadership styles until his death in London in 1999 at the feeble age of 77. Had he been a bad leader, Nyerere would have prepared a son or daughter succeed him.

What is leadership?

Is there a leadership problem in the Horn of African nations of Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Djibouti? Does good leadership call for meddling, dismembering, killing, displacing, and looting? I don't think so. Then, what is leadership in the real sense? Peter G. Northouse (ph.D., University of Denver) who is professor of communication in the School of Communication at Western Michigan University best describes the meaning of leadership. Here is how he describes it: "Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal". Again, he tells us that "leadership involves influence; leadership occurs in groups; leadership includes attention to goals".

Poor leaders don't do things right and are hardly adored by their subjects. Good leaders do things perfectly and are loved by their subordinates. I prefer not to mention the dead men of the Horn of Africa who left behind bad legacies. Instead, let's carefully divulge into the leadership traits of the living. It doesn't matter to me if a leader is a cripple, mono-eyed, ugly or short. Tell me, what is wrong with Meles Zenawi, Abdullahi Yussuf, Issaias Afewerki and Ismail Omar Gelle? Why have they turned the Horn of Africa into a bleeding mess? Eritrea and Djibouti are at war; Ethiopia and Eritrea have border problems; Somalia is in a mess because of the three meddling in its affairs; millions of the Horn of African peoples are either internally displaced, refugees, or hungry. The problem we have, my dear reader, is poor leadership. The four countries have natural resources that have not been tapped; yet poverty is biting hard to an extent all these countries are dependent on foreign handouts.

Anyone who has not seen the beauty of Ethiopia and the nature of desperation on the faces of its people needs to do a little reasearch or buy a ticket so as to see the mighty Nile that has been a source of inspiration to the pharaohs of Egypt and past Abyssinian empires. Also, trek through the Ethiopian highlands and thereafter canoe on Lake Tana then reflect the hunger on the faces of those who inhabit this blessed region of antiquity. Go see the beauty of Eritrea with its lush green vegetation; swin in the Red Sea and then tell me the colony of fish species you have seen. Endeavor to conquer Somali territory when there is peace so you can take a voyage along the longest coastline in Africa. Take a closer look at the marine species off the coasts of Somalia. You will obviously see the much-loved lobsters, mackerel, tuna, and what have you. Djibouti's semi desert areas should not deceive your eyes. It could be small but harbors a wealth of resources.

Leadership and power are inter-related because both are part of the what is called 'influence process' and both have the potential to influence. Doctors, miniters, coaches, and teachers have the potential to influence people. How do the leaders of the Horn of Africa influence those they lead? Do killings, displacements, division, starving or bickering over petty issues have the potential to influence people who are hungry, sick and homeless in any way?

There're two types of major powers in organizations: position power and personal power. The capacity of a leader having higher status or rank than his/her followers is described as position power. Vice Presidents and heads of organizations or departments have more power than their staff, which, if used legitimately, elevates them to position power . Thus, this type of power includes legitimate, reward, and coercive power. Leadership and management deal with people. These four Less Developed Countries (LDC) have leadership and management problems. Their offices are riddled with corruption of the greatest magnitude. Furthermore, they have come to lead not by the will of the people but through forceful illegitimate means. We know their political history.

Personal power is the process by which a leader influences his subjects because he is likable and knowledgeable. He is knowledgeable, highly competent, and considerate. He treats his staff equally without regard to race, creed, color, religion, national origin and age. He does not dominate others but leads them, guides them, and is observant of his weaknessess. Power power leads us to two faces: referent and expert power.

Let's look at "The Bases of Social Power".

Referent power: A school teacher who is adored by her students has referent power.

Expert power: A tour guide who is knowledgeable about a foreign country has expert power.

Legitimate power: A judge who administers sentences in the courtroom exhibits legitimate power.

Reward power: A supervisor who gives rewards to employees who work hard is using reward power.

Coercive power: A coach who sits players on the bench for being late to practice is using coercive power.(J.R. French Jr. and B. Raven, 1962).

From what we have read above, we see that these leaders who hold the power to Africa's most strategic location do not exercise any form of the above-mentioned powers. Giving a higher position to your relative is not reward power; punishing those wo do not belong to your clan/tribe is not legitimate power; starving those who disagree with your mode of administration is far from being coercive power; practising misleading ideology is not expert power, and finally, to be adored only by your henchmen and 'bootlickers' is not referent power.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The monster that is Mugabe


Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, came to power in 1980 when the white-minority rule paved way for Zimbabwe's independence after a bitter armed struggle with ZANU-PF-the liberation movement that fought for Zimbabwe's independence. Mugabe, now 80, was by then considered the most educated of all African presidents because he was credited with four degrees from presigious institutions of higher education. Since 1980, Mugabe is in power and has transfomed in to a monster that has overcome all odds challenging internal dissents and international condemnations.

He has been re-elected and re-elected many times untill last month when the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) headed by Morgan Tsvangirai jumped on the bandwagon to challenge Mugabe's despotism and the legitimacy of his presidency. According to election observers and foreign missions stationed in the capital city Harare (formerly Salisbury), the oppostion won most of the parliamentary seats and also the presidency though Mugabe's state apparatus used irregular methods to retain the presidency and renounce the opposition's claims of victory to be null and void.

Even with the economy in shambles and dissent increasing, Mugabe feels all is well. The country has suffered brain drain with most doctors, professionals, and engineers seeking greener pastures in developed countries. Schools are empty because teachers are not paid enough to sustain a decent living and parents refuse to send their children to classes on empty stomachs.

The state apparatus has flexed its muscles. The country is now under the mercy of a dictator like the many to be found in the rest of Africa. Zimbabwe's leadership processes have collapsed and those with leaderhip traits are unable to come forward for fear of retribution from the dreaded police force.

A repeat election is scheduled for next month though the ruling ZANU-PF party has made it clear that it won't entertain any form of defeat by the opposition. Those seeking the presidency risk assassinations or arrest without warrant. Zimbabwe is in a mess and ready to explode any time soon. The world must act now to salvage it!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

South Africa up in flames: ‘the Birth of New Black Apartheid Mentality’


For the past few weeks, parts of South Africa’s beautiful cities of Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town, and Johannesburg were are up in flames-not because they were attacked by an external invading force-but because irate black South African youths with seditious agendas yet to be deciphered by their state intelligence took up arms against black outsiders who have sought refuge in this economically prosperous country known for exclusive kraals, beautiful sceneries, extensive Velds, unique click languages, rigorous historical struggle against minority rule, and racial diversity. Earlier this week, nationals of Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, and Somalia were targeted by angry black South Africans who felt foreigners were taking up their jobs and business opportunities. Using crude weapons of all shapes and sizes including machetes, knobkerries (wooden clubs), bottles, hammers, and swords, deranged youths poured in to the streets of major cities in droves with the intention of driving out fellow Africans seeking refuge in their country. South Africa, a rich and prosperous nation that just came out of the shadows of apartheid has been described as having the highest crime rate in the world. In the meantime, it is not just about crime-it is-as one influential religious figure put it: “the birth of new black apartheid mentality”. Harrowing incidents of innocent migrant victims doused in paraffin and set ablaze and the indiscriminate torching of their businesses kept the world gazing at what triggered such impulsive mayhem in Africa’s only hope and emerging economic power. Within days of the violence, 40 people died and thousands sought shelter in churches and in police stations.

Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd: Architect of Apartheid

South Africa’s ‘architect of apartheid’ was none other than [1]Hendrik Frensch Verwoerd. Born in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, in 1901, he moved with his parents to South Africa at age two. In his childhood, Verwoerd lived in Bulawayo in the former Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) where, in 1913, he enrolled in the famous Milton High School. In 1917, his family moved to the Orange Free State settling in Brandfort. The devastating Spanish flu epidemic delayed his matriculation exams until 1919. Later on, he attended the University of Stellenbosch where he excelled in class and graduated with honors. A very bright student, Verwoerd completed his masters’ degree in 1922 and was conferred on with a doctorate in 1924. He is credited with writing several works that are still available at the University of Stellenbosch. In 1925, after completion of his doctoral studies, Verwoerd left for Germany where he visited the universities of Hamburg, Berlin, and Leipzig. It was while in Germany that he was joined by his fiancée, Betsie Schoombie, consequently marrying her on the 7th of January, 1927.

Upon returning to South Africa in 1928 with his new wife, Verwoerd became professor of psychology at the University of Stellenbosch while at the same time playing a great role in the re-shaping of the ruling National Party where he became editor of its sole newspaper, Die Transvaler, in 1937.

In 1950, Frederick Malan, who was then Prime Minister, appointed him Minister of Native affairs. Prime Minister Malan’s retirement from politics in 1953 opened a political path for Verwoerd. Following the death of National Party leader J.G. Strijdom in 1958, he was appointed Governor-General. Verwoerd’s predecessors and successors may have died of natural causes but what cut short his life at the mere age of 65 while holding the nation’s Premiership, may be hard to swallow. On the 6th of September, 1966, after wrapping up a historical political talk with Chief Leabua Jonathan of Lesotho at the Union Building in Pretoria, Verwoerd entered the House of Assembly at 2:15 PM where a deranged ‘dark-skinned’ (colored) Assembly Clerk of Mozambican origin, Dimitri Tsafendas, who had instructions from a large worm in his stomach, stabbed Verwoerd four times in the chest only to be pronounced dead upon arrival at Groote Schuur Hospital.

Former Black Homelands (Bantustans) during Apartheid Era

During the apartheid era, there were a total of ten self-governing black homelands for different black ethnic groups and all were re-incorporated into South Africa on the 27th of April, 1994, when Nelson Mandela became President. They included Bophuthatswana, Ciskei, Gazankulu, KaNgwane, KwaNdebele, KwaZulu, Lebowa, Qwaqwa, Transkei, and Venda. Lack of resources in these homelands has forced millions of various ethnic groups to migrate to major cities within South Africa where resources are available. This population explosion has caused friction and scramble for space between different communities. With most cultivable land still in the hands of former white settlers, black communities are short of the physiological and agricultural density required for ample sustenance which has direct impact on the Malthusian theory of population increase and shortage of food supplies. The current increased migrations have risen out of economic push and pull factors. Had it not been due to intervening obstacles, South Africa would have been by now the most populated country in Africa. Many migrants’ prospected journeys to South Africa are hindered by rough and dangerous situations.

Prior to the end of the white 'Afrikaner' minority rule in 1994, black South Africans lived in abject poverty, had lower educational standards than whites, owned fewer resources, and relied primarily on other African countries for military and financial support and for strategic and political guidance. Today, Black South Africans, despite regaining their freedom and democracy, desolately live in the same squalid conditions inherited from past apartheid regimes-if not worse. Thus, the recent spate of violence directed against African immigrants who are part of the many fibers rejuvenating the South African economy, is nothing but a lame excuse to advance a hidden agenda that is open to government scrutiny. It is a known secret that many economic powers of our modern world have been built on the strength of immigrants.

Nelson Mandela, the first President of post apartheid South Africa, was a political prisoner for the apartheid regime for twenty eight years mainly in the horrifying Robben Island (Dutch for seal Island) Maximum Security Prison, Pollsmoor Prison in Cape Town, and the Victor Verster Prison near Paarl where he was finally released on February 11, 1990 by F.W. De Klerk, South Africa's last white ruler. [2] “His statement from the dock in the Rivonia Trial ends with these words: I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die”.

Author of 'Long Walk to Freedom', Nelson Mandela is revered in the world as a Statesman and Peacemaker. Today, the freedom Mandela fought for is no longer in place because a few thousand jealous thugs have hijacked the nation and taken the law in to their own hands. “Remember the horror from which we come from”, Mandela reminded his fellow South Africans this week. His former wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela had this to say: “We are sorry. It is not South African to do this”. What inspired the mayhem is a subject of media coverage and a source of discussion almost in every corner of the world.

Killing other African migrants with gusto did not start at once as it had been slowly creeping from city to city for several years hence the ratio of premeditated brutality tragically skyrocketed recently with killed refugees from Somalia alone thought to number several hundreds. South Africa's foreign refugees who have been victimized relate stories of collusion and inaction by the police who often record such incidents as 'criminal' rather than 'xenophobia'. It was recently revealed by a woman minister at a hastily and unconventional meeting aimed at curbing xenophobia that the police imprudently displayed ineptitude and weakness and that they should have instead applied more lethal force to combat crime against foreigners.

Foreigners, especially black migrants have been raped, robbed, attacked, and killed in Cape Town, George, Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, Pretoria, and Durban and also in the slums and ghettos concurrently and in isolated forms for many years with a few or hardly any perpetrators arrested. One wonders what went wrong with the South African judicial system and the application of law and why it has taken such a long time for the state security to mobilize forces before things got out of control. President Thabo Mbeki, who is known to have initiated and chaired several international conferences on peace and security in Africa and the world over, must now have a burning agenda on his table as his nation descends in to unfathomable social turmoil that has roots in the mismanagement of a giant economy that refuses to cater for the millions who lack jobs and social amenities. A man described as a lame duck has no one else to blame but his own flaws.

Obviously, black South Africans are violent and volatile as they had been immersed in centuries of misrule and chauvinism by a succession of white minority regimes that owned and operated the country with iron fist such that blacks are up to this day restricted to a few Bantustans that cannot sustain them in all aspects. The proliferation of shanty towns due to scarcity of housing for blacks has constituted to a drastic increase in crime, disease, and starvation. Unemployment and social discrimination should be a national concern as major corporations and other business conglomerations still remain in the hands of a few apartheid sympathizers.

A more aggressive political figure to reckon with who would have placed a lid over the national crime escalation is the current President of the African National Congress (ANC) and former Vice-President, Jacob Zuma- ‘a 100% Zulu boy’ and a President-in-waiting. He is a political doyen with incredible energy and drive, whose political career has been shrouded by allegations of sexual abuse and misappropriation of funds for some time in the past often becoming a victim of his own conscience. Jacob Zuma's Presidential ambitions are picking up now that Thabo Mbeki has been deemed inept at bringing about solid security and social prosperity South Africans long for. Unlike Mbeki who is Xhosa, Jacob Zuma hails from South Africa’s largest tribe and also Africa’s largest, the Zulu (people of heaven), thought to number 10-11 million, who fiercely fought the Boer-British domination of KwaZulu-Natal in the 18th Century.

Thus, the current spate of unrestrained violence against non-South African blacks could be a harbinger for a sudden change in Pretoria’s political scene where we could perhaps see the battle of the Armageddon in which the Zulu, rallying behind Chief Gatsha Mangosuthu Buthelezi, a brave and charismatic leader who initiated the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) in 1975, could shake Xhosa hierarchy regardless of post apartheid constitutional declarations, agreements, and political pacts. From 1994-2004, Chief Buthelezi was the erstwhile Minister for Home Affairs-a post if left to him to this day would dissuade South Africans from violently attacking black migrants streaming in to their country. Buthelezi is a strong proponent of Ubuntu which stands for African humanism.

Furthermore, Human Rights Watch, a global organization committed to ‘protecting human rights worldwide’ has been very critical of how the South African immigration officials, police, and border patrols treat migrant workers awaiting deportation to country of origin. [3]“Police, immigration officials, and military border patrols in South Africa often seriously abuse undocumented migrants when they arrest them”, said Georgette Gagnon, deputy Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Undocumented migrants awaiting deportation are locked up with criminal suspects or even convicts, while migrant children are often held alongside adults.”

[4]“Most troubling for the authorities is the fact that the hot spots of anti-immigrant violence are some of the same townships that had been the furnaces of anti-apartheid violence. A little more than a decade after the end of apartheid, the new government is sending the same riot police in the same armored trucks into those same townships to suppress mob violence against immigrants. Although the latest wave of xenophobic violence has targeted immigrant communities in Johannesburg, last year the Somali community in Cape Town and Port Elizabeth came under attack (Time).” While the governments of Mozambique and Malawi have started evacuating their nationals, affected Zimbabweans have started streaming back to their country at various exit points at their own expenses because, the country’s veteran leader, Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF, is locked in an election stand-off with Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)-a stand-off whose validity will be determined on July 27th when a well supervised Presidential election kicks off across the country though there is a well founded fear of discrepancies that may emerge from the ruling party’s application of heavy handedness. The current violence in South Africa has claimed the lives of 40 Zimbabweans which Tsvangirai “directly attributed” to “Mugabe’s failed policies of intolerance and repression”.

Somalis arriving South Africa in the last decade brought diverse business ventures visible in many towns and cities while neighboring Zimbabweans brought with them professionals including doctors, nurses, teachers, and much needed engineers. Rather than being grateful for such unparalleled services, a few disgruntled politicians with apartheid era inclinations have chosen to finance a few malevolent thugs with arms, drugs, and alcohol for the deliberate disintegration of the ‘Rainbow Nation’ whose formation would have been impossible without the support of the same people they wish to drive out or out rightly exterminate.

Despite President Thabo Mbeki’s order to deploy the army to quell civil disobediences, killings and lootings remain as intense as before. A nation that prides to have the best economy in black Africa; a nation that has to its credit several Nobel Prize winners for peace and literature; a state that once amassed nuclear arsenals of immense destruction; a nation with unrivalled infrastructure in the African continent has descended in to chaos in a matter of days with political analysts guessing it to be headed the ways of Rwanda, Somalia, and Sierra Leone. The new ‘Rainbow Nation’ may never be the same again because of the birth of a new black apartheid.



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[1] http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hendrik_Verwoerd

[2] http://www.onlineuniversity.net/history/nelson-mandela/

[3] http://htw.org/english/docs/2007/02/27/safric15423.htm

[4] http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1808016,00.html

Monday, June 2, 2008

The battle of the big cats and the hovering of the eagle


Once upon a time, Ethiopia’s older flag was represented by the mighty crowned lion carrying a cross and that is why it was referred to as ‘the Lion of Judah’ though lately depicted as ‘the Lion of Africa’. To Rastafarians, ‘Lion of Judah’ represents Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia (1892-1975), who ruled from 1930 to1974 as the “conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings of Ethiopia, and Elect of God”. Haile Selassie was born from parents of the three main Ethiopian ethnicities of Oromo, Amhara, and Gurage. ‘For over 3,000 years, Ethiopia, formerly known as Abyssinia in antiquity, has never been colonized with the exception of a five-year occupation by the forces of Benito Mussolini of Italy at the height of WWII at the battle of Adwa. Thus, the lion has endured all odds.

On the other hand, Ethiopia’s immediate southern neighbor, Somalia, is represented by two graceful spotted African jungle leopards on its Coat of Arms which was adopted October 10, 1956. The leopards were also adopted by the Italian colonial administration. Perhaps, Somalis chose the leopard because of its adaptability, behavior, magnificence, and profusion in the wild. In Somali myths and verse, it is a much talked about carnivore that is preferred over the devastating lion known for homestead invasion and livestock devouring. A much celebrated theatrical drama received with wide enthusiastic response is ‘shabeel naagood’, translated in to English by Professor B.W. Andrzejewski, a Polish immigrant. The elegant leopard is ready to devour an animal twice its size; and because it has a spotted skin, it can hide from other predators and also it can climb up a tree with its kill far from the menace of the lion and the eagle.

Somalia’s southern neighbor, the Republic of Kenya, has its two vicious lions and a ‘jogoo’ or the crowing rooster on its Coat of Arms elegantly holding two Maasai spears. Despite having a border dispute with Somalia over the former Northern Frontier Districts (NFD), the cockerel has been more peaceful than the cunning lion that is Ethiopia. It shelters hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees who have injected the Kenyan economy with millions of dollars from the land of the eagle (USA). Unfortunately, there has been insecurity last spring for a while in the land of ‘jogoo’ over election irregularities almost entangling poor Somali refugees in a political quagmire and social unrest.

In contrast, the United States, the only remaining super power in the world, has to its credit the brilliantly hovering eagle symbolic of peace and representing the inimitable US air force. Squadrons of complicated aircraft assisted by sophisticated sonar and reconnaissance radars unsuspectingly catapult from far in the Pacific Ocean and in Germany and from near distances in Djibouti, and from warships in the Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and even on the shores of Somalia and Kenya unleashing devastating precision guided bombs that are hard to spot and evade. Such expensive military endeavors by the US will be hard to maintain given the state of its declining economy and skyrocketing of gas prices. Also, the uncertainty of the United States’ political transition in 2009 after President Bush’s term expires is another option that is open for debate now that the Democratic Party is seemingly favored in the political spectrum. Once the wingspan of the endangered bald eagle fails to catapult due to lack of energy (oil), its net consequence will be to nest until further harvest (oil) is found. Such is the dilemma faced by the ferocious eagle that wrecked havoc on Somalia’s life and property since its collapse in 199.

The people of Eritrea, known for their resolve and courage, and having fought Ethiopia for 30 years, must have the muscle to sustain the Ethiopian opposition through their dromedary that has been described as the ‘ship of the desert’. This is an animal that can nourish its breeder for almost a month without water as long as a few acacia trees are around and if all hell broke loose, the water content in its abdomen can be sacrificed to quench the thirst of a group of fighters while its enormous size become sufficient to feed a village.

The UN, Arab Union, and the African Union are no more than toothless domesticated tigers with lowly agendas. The Arabs and the UN may play the role of providing humanitarian relief assistance to the thousands of refugees and the rest displaced by the rivalry here and there. If these three forces were of any significance, their decrees, communiqués, and legal redresses would have been enough to bring the chaos to an end. Having changed camouflage from OAU to AU, the current African Union, according to Somalis struggling to liberate their land from foreign occupation and political meddling, is nothing but a replica of the old guard wearing the same detested paraphernalia, treading the same route, and dwelling in the same house-Addis Ababa, the home of the lion they wish to slay.

As for the United Nations, the departure of Kofi Anan has brought in a tiger in dentures. At least, to put it right, Kofi Anan did intervene in Somalia by ordering massive humanitarian relief operations and directed the deployment of multinational forces.

Today, in volatile Somalia, what we are seeing is the fight of the big fissiparous cats, a dromedary, a few toothless tigers, and a viciously hovering eagle all replicating audaciously in the form of rebel movements, occupation forces, democratic governance, Islamic Sheria, and dissimilar confusing ideological foundations that sprang from miscalculated illusionary necromancy and rapaciously weird oneiromancy. Actually, Somalia has become a battle ground for nine conflicting forces: Ethiopia, the African Union, Al-shabaab, the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia, Eritrea, The U.S., the U.N., Arab Union, and the Asmara group. Since too many cooks are negligently simmering the much desired political hot pot, the right taste of the potential culinary recipe will be pretty hard to weigh up. The solution to the long standing conflict lies squarely with the rightful owners of the land in dispute. Somalia should be left to the Somali people.

The current Somali struggle for the re-liberation of their motherland from Ethiopian occupation began in earnest in 2007 when rebel parliamentarians who were previously part of the broader Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) broke away and assembled in Asmara, Eritrea, at the behest of President Issaias Afewerki, a man known to be a bitter rival of the current Ethiopian leadership headed by his maternal cousin, Atto Meles Zenawi. Likewise, members representing the scattered forces of the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) re-appeared in Asmara-this time standing shoulder to shoulder with the rebel parliamentarians while subsequently declaring the formation of a larger group identified as the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia (ARS). Since then, several conferences meant to reconcile the ARS and the TFG have been held in various locations most notably in Djibouti and Yemen. The UN has Ould Abdullah as its diplomat, representative, and peace maker for volatile Somalia though nothing has changed for the better since his appointment as new skirmishes and human displacements continue unabated especially in the south of the country.

Ironically, Issaias Afewerki of Eritrea long thought by many Somalis as a man who has them at heart, has amassed troops along the Djibouti-Eritrean border suddenly transforming in to an alarming screw driver in the Horn of African conflict. Those who know him well, regard him as the genesis of all wars and political division. His malevolent proposal of dividing the Asmara group in to two splinter groups has taken many Somalis and their sympathizers by surprise. Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed had been quoted lambasting the Eritrean government’s hidden agenda of dividing the Asmara Group. Some within this group, who are pleased with the division, have been heard giving Afewerki the credit he deserves most.

Somali resistance groups are now stronger than ever. Where they get their weapons is a hard nut to crack. Despite an arms embargo on the country, arms proliferation seems to be getting out of control. Neighboring countries are in confusion and politically shaky as their securities deteriorate internally and externally. Members of Al-shabab have been reported to have infiltrated Kenya border yesterday in pursuit of foreign members arrested by the Kenya police. They were able to free them inside Kenya territory and to have escaped with the police vehicles to ferry their freed members in to Somalia without the slightest harm. This must be a worrying trend for the government of Kenya.

Right now, a reconciliation conference has gotten off the ground in Djibouti under the auspices of the UN. There had been some misunderstandings on the agenda with members of the Asmara group storming out of the conference venue though such a snag is to be resolved at the intervention of some powers with a stake in the affairs of Somalia. The President of the TFG, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, escaped unhurt the previous day as he headed for the conference in Djibouti. Members of Al-shabab bombarded his retinue of Ugandan convoys with mortars and rocket propelled grenades as he prepared to leave Mogadishu international airport. Several casualties were reported. In other parts of Somalia, the war between the insurgents and the Ethiopians has gotten to worse. The atmosphere is getting shoddier as the two sides continue to displace millions out of their homes in to desolate refugee camps.

In conclusion, Somalia’s civil protracted war is getting worse everyday and the future of this country is hard to determine. The TFG seems to have lost its grip on to power and that the Ethiopian army is in a delicate balance because the insurgents have become a power to reckon with. The Ethiopian army is desperately searching for a strategic exit. For now, no Western power will bother to assist. The insurgents’ leopards have won with a technical knock out.