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01-02-2012 - Dr Aweys O. Mohamoud Founder of Gobannimo Institute* With contributions from Fmr President Ali Mahdi Mohamed, Fmr President Abdiqasim Salad Hassan, & Fmr PM Abdirazak Haji Hussein - 0 comments

 

  

Table of Contents

 

Dedication................................................................................................. 3

Acknowledgments....................................................................................... 4

Foreword.................................................................................................. 5

Executive Summary..................................................................................... 8

 

Gobannimo: A manifesto for conflict transformation in Somalia, A work in progress

Aweys O. Mohamoud.................................................................................. 15

An open letter by Fmr Prime Minister Abdirazak Haji Hussen dated March 14, 2004,

translated by Aweys O. Mohamoud, Nov. 14, 2011............................................ 34

A long distance telephone conversation with Former Prime Minister Abdirazak Haji

Hussen.................................................................................................... 40

A supplement to Fmr Prime Minister Abdirazak Haji Hussen's 30th November telephone

statement................................................................................................ 46

A long distance telephone conversation with Fmr President Ali Mahdi Mohamed on

Hindisaha Gobannimo................................................................................. 49

A long distance telephone conversation with Fmr President Abdiqasim Salad Hassan on

Hindisaha Gobannimo................................................................................. 58

Conclusion............................................................................................... 64

Appendix A Comments on Gobannimo's youtube channel.................................... 65

Appendix C List of Somali Organizations* at home and abroad who've pledged their support for Gobannimo        To be added to the full Report

Appendix D List of Somali professional & trade associations who've pledged their support for Gobannimo To be added to the full Report

Appendix E List of Somali student associations who've pledged their support for Gobannimo          To be added to the full Report

Appendix F List of Somali educated professionals who've pledged their support for Gobannimo      To be added to the full Report

Appendix G List of Somali Islamic scholars who've pledged their support for the cause of Gobannimo        To be added to the full Report

Appendix H List of Somali politicians, past and present, and other IPs who've pledged their support for Gobannimo       To be added to the full Report

* These may include business, civic, educational, media, political, and religious organizations, etc.

Dedication

 To the hundreds of thousands of Somali dead and wounded, to their families, and to the entire Somali Nation - all victims of tragic and diabolical civil war, famine, and foreign intervention.

Acknowledgements

 I owe a debt of gratitude to many friends and colleagues. I would like to thank Fmr PM Abdirazak Haji Hussen for his continued support and affection for the idea of gobannimo from the beginning. I am very glad, mudane Abdirazak, that our conversations about gobannimo and the best way to address the present difficult situation in our homeland will now have a broader audience. I also thank the other two leaders, Fmr President Ali Mahdi Mohamed & Fmr President Abdiqasim Salad Hassan, whose frank discussions about the timely need for clans to renounce power at the very top is the mainstay of the arguments presented in this document. I owe special thanks to many friends and supporters of gobannimo in the UK, Somalia and elsewhere who lent me a hand during the course of my testing or evaluating these ideas, researching and writing. Thanks to you all; you are truly the founders of gobannimo. Please rest assured that you will rightly be acknowledged in our full report, which will be published long before the big day in August 2012. Finally, a special note of gratitude goes to my wife Hawalin H. Elmi, my elderly mother Ahado Tohow, and my children for their endless support and understanding.

Foreword

Sporting a sky blue tie and white shirt, the colours of the Somali flag, the British Prime Minister David Cameron hosted the London Conference on Somalia at Lancaster House on 23rd February 2012. The final communiqué from the conference, which was attended by fifty-five delegations from Somalia itself and the international community, stressed that decisions on Somalia's future rests with the Somali people. The international community's role is to facilitate Somalia's progress and development on core issues, including political, security and justice, piracy, terrorism, stability and recovery, humanitarian, and the international coordination of these complex issues.

 

We argue in this paper that it is the human dimension of fractured Somali interrelationships that perpetuates this long-running conflict. As the conference rightly concluded, the international community can help facilitate core issues, but it is for us the Somali people to overcome clan rivalry, hatred, envy, and self-ambition, and to start rebuilding trust, cooperation and goodwill among our people. Our idea, gobannimo, addresses these negative elemental forces and the clan cultures of intolerance at the heart of this conflict.

Gobannimo is the product of many years of out-of-the-box thinking about the disaster that befell the Somali people. Long before the British Prime Minister David Cameron, in his speech to the Lord Mayor's banquet on 14 November 2011, announced that the UK will host a conference in London on Somalia to pull together international effort, I was working, with the support of few friends, on this much humbler idea which essentially called on the Somali people to, in that timeworn phrase, 'get back to basics' to achieve peace in their country. Indeed, peace has eluded Somalia for a very long time. The country has been at war for almost thirty years. Hundreds of thousands of people have died, millions have become refugees, and the conflict resisted every attempt to resolve it constructively.

At the core of this conflict is clan power struggle. Gobannimo calls on Somali clans to re-examine and transform their prevailing assumptions and approaches to power so that they can begin to negotiate peace and end the war in their country. Specifically, it calls on the 'majority' clans to renounce their claim to the three topmost offices of the state (the President, the PM, and the Parliamentary Speaker) of their own volition for the sake of peace in their country, and to support the creation of an effective national government led by individuals from the minority groups who are elected to office on account of their achievement and personal qualities. In our view, the Somali people stand a better chance of ending the war and negotiating peace if the TFG is replaced in August 2012 by a minority-led government (i.e., non-clan political leadership) tasked with completing the essential work of ending the transition, including tackling security, constitution-making, fostering reconciliation, peace-building, and good governance.

When destructive conflicts persist for long periods of time and resist every attempt to resolve them constructively, they can appear to take on a life of their own, and become intractable. The Somali conflict fits this description. It is a deep seated clan conflict arising out of history of oppression, enduring cycles of violence, injustice and victimization, clan segmentation and polarized identities, fractured relationships, and over the past 21 years, clan rivalry and power struggles, sustained civil war and unending insurgencies, all complicated by the absence of a genuine government.

This precarious situation demands, more than anything else, a genuine moral and psychological reconciliation between the clans whose rivalry and antagonism brought about this state of affairs. And that cannot and will not happen as long as they are engaged in this endless clan contest for power and supremacy. The London Conference called for "broader and more representative" political processes to foster legitimacy in the TFG in August 2012. We ought to say here that this is the umpteenth internationally sponsored conference on Somalia where such formulaic ideas of clan representation were put forward, and signed by Somali leaders. Yet all that they produced was more clan power struggles, more rivalry, more clan paranoia, and hence more grievances.

Gobannimo is a credible alternative that is not just morally attractive but practically feasible. A political process aimed at resolving core differences and addressing legitimate grievances will require Somali leadership and commitment that are seen to be above clan politics. Non-clan leaders have much better chances of transforming clan hostilities across Somali society by dialogue, reconciliation, and trust-building. Non-clan leaders can better define conflicting interests as a mutual problem to be solved by collaborative efforts, helping the clan leaders to recognize the legitimacy of each other's interests and the necessity to search for a solution to the needs of all. And non-clan leaders can create a feeling of agreement between the elites, and a rebirth of a sense of basic similarity in beliefs and values among the wider Somali nation. 

Let us not forget that Somalia has already earned the dubious distinction of being the world's foremost graveyard of externally sponsored state-building initiatives. These earlier initiatives did not succeed partly because of their 'failure to utilize traditional Somali reconciliation methods'. We can incorporate new ideas into these traditional mechanisms, such as our own gobannimo which aims to transform the negative aspects of clan culture, and that in our view is where the space for effective action is nearly boundless. The role of the international community in this context, I would argue, is to support Somali-driven conflict transformation initiatives that have the potential to change the internal political dynamics of the clans to advance peace in Somalia. 

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