22-02-2021 - - 0 comments

Presented below is a verbatim transcription of a viral video containing a statement by a traditional elder and Nabadoon (peacemaker) of the Marehan clan in Gedo region, Maxamad Cabdullaahi Xirsi (pronounced as Mahamed Abdullahi Hirsi). The statement is so relevant to Mr. Farmaaja's revival of militarism and his roguish behaviour everywhere that I decided to fully transcribe it, word for word. It was part of a series that was published a while ago under a different title, but I reproduce it here because it is highly relevant in the context of the serious harm that was visited on Mogadishu over the past 48 hours by the expired Farmaaja regime. 

"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful: This afternoon, I want to talk about three things. The first point I want to make is to send a clear and final message to President Farmaajo. 'Mr. Mohamed Abdullaahi Farmaajo: you know how the Somali people elected you in the first place, and how much they wanted you. Somalia wanted/desired you 100 per cent. And you see where you are today. And what is needed is that the person [the leader] has to think through many things, including what he has learnt or read [about] history and his/her experience, etc. There were men who ruled this country before you, especially ones that were your close relatives.

It is not good for you to leave behind an abominable history. I'm your relative, your cousin, as both of us are men from the Marehan clan. It troubles me and puts fear in me to see that you're leaving behind an abominable history. We [our clan] want to be leaders in Somalia again. There are hundreds [among our clansmen] who are more educated than you; hundreds who are more intelligent and more skillful than you. We hope that in the future leaders for Somalia [of our clan background] will emerge from amongst all of those capable people. But if you leave behind an abominable history, people will not want us again, and we'll end up being excluded by the Somali people.

Today, you have not spared anyone (any community). You have not spared the Hawiye people who are your power base. Rather, you decimated them. You've not spared your home [region], Gedo, which is your second power base. You've not spared Kablalax (the main Daarood grouping which includes the Absame and the Harti among others). You've not spared Dir (one of the 4 main clans in Somalia). You've not spared the 12 Kufiya's, the light-skinned (Benaadiri) people. There is no Somali clan today who will be willing to save you or save us as a clan [if the going gets tough].

I want to say to the Somali people that the Marehan clan does not harbour a grudge or the bad [hateful] ideas that Mr. Farmaajo harbours. We don't share with him. They [the ideas] are his alone. You are our brothers, and we love you. We loved you yesterday, and we love you today.

I want to hugely thank the Hawiye clan, especially the Muddulood clan where the Somali people's power base is located, who are the mother of the Somali people which is Mogadishu. We very much request them to excuse the problems caused to them by Mr. Farmaajo, and the ones he might be intending to visit upon them in the future.

What Farmaajo wants to do is [something] similar to the aircraft (the remains of the Mig fighter bomber displayed) in Hargeisa which they say was used against them by Siyad Barre with the consequence that Somaliland cannot be returned to the fold [to become part of Somalia again].* He wants to do something similar to the Hawiye people and to the Daarood people.

If Farmaajo knew anything about [the principle of] gratitude or was critically aware of history, [he would know that] the men of the Ogaden clan, against whom he's now transgressing, have never held the position of Regional Governor in Kismaayo except when [one of their number] Ilyas Beddel Gabboose became a governor. [Other than that], they have never held that position in kismaayo, and throughout the period, they were always running after [being dutiful to] the Marehan clan. They were always helpful and supportive of the position of the Marehan clan. He just could not stomach that they run the regional government for a term of five years! Mr. Farmaajo, you are a monster of ingratitude! We are not like you, Mr. Farmaajo. We will be grateful for what they have done for us. They are our brothers. They have always supported us. They have always given Siyad Barre a great big hand and a round of applause to the point whereby any Ogadeni man above the age of 50 has scars on the palms of his hands today. Do you not understand that? Do you understand things? They even birthed you because your maternal grandfather comes from them. Have you no affection or care? Have you no honour or reverence [for your people]?   

Gedo is the region where you call home and you claim to have hailed from it. You have divided the people of Gedo and armed one against the other. The troubles that are ongoing in Gedo today are far bigger than those that are taking place ... [naming a neigbouring country with its leader, and the current situation of a particular region of that country]. You don't know Gedo. Mr. Farmaajo, you don't know Gedo. Your advisors are cowards; they are ignoramuses; they are animals who know nothing but to gorge themselves on food. They said to you, 'what is Gedo? What is Gedo?' You don't know Gedo! You know nothing about Gedo. Mr. Farmaajo, you still have an opportunity, and that opportunity is for you to resign. Last time round [during his premiership], if you hadn't resigned at that time [2011], you would not have been elected President [in 2017]. The opportunity you have today is to resign. Nobody is going to elect you again. Nobody wants you [as President again]. The only opportunity that you have now is to resign.

[If you were overthrown today and took a flight to the border], you would not be able to escape via the [rough] terrain where your uncle Siyad Barre crossed the border [into Kenya]. You placed thorns in there. And those that you're running after [pointing to a direction that cannot be ascertained] do not want you. [May I suggest that] you resign and save your skin while you can fly out of the country. That is the opportunity that you have.

The Somali people do not want you [as President] anymore. They have decided against you, [because] they no longer want you as their leader. There is no one closer to you, in genealogical terms, than myself. Myself [and my people] have a huge need for a government [that protects our lives and property]. I am an eighty-years old man. I can't work, and there's nothing I can do. My active working life is no more as far as I am concerned. It is time for me to rest. [But] you're now uprooting [our social order]. May you be rooted out too. Mr. Farmaajo, you have denied us rest. You've destroyed us. You've destroyed our people in front of us, and we cannot accept that. You will get your comeuppance in the end. You will be punished for the wrong you've committed against the Somali people.    

The other point I want to make is this. The Somali people have a power-sharing instrument called 4.5 [formula]. Yes, you were elected but where's your constituency? Your power is based on that power-sharing formula. But do you want your constituency? Puntland and Jubbaland are your constituency. There's a Somali saying: 'a man who left his mum in the hot sun does not carry his father to the cool shade under a tree'. These are the people who are closest to you. They are the ones whose brotherly relations you should have nurtured. They are the ones you should have asked for help when there's an issue with the other communities/clans. What have you done? You have not spared anyone [from your wrath]. What is it with you? Have you got feathers to fly to the sky? No, you have no feathers to fly. You're the weakest link because if a man always makes terrible blunders, he's the weakest link.

All the Somali people and the international media are all talking about Gedo. What you have done to us is worse than what the Italian [colonizers] have done to us when they conquered our land. They are worse than what the British occupiers have done to us. The civil war with the USC also took place, and what happened to us under your regime has not happened to us even during the civil war.

You are the same as your [Great] uncle who usurped the position of our Ugaas [traditional clan leader] and when he usurped it ordered that our clan should attack the Hawaadle clan. He then ordered that we also attack the Habargidir, and also the Ogaadeens. After making the order that we attack three neighbouring clans, leaving out only the Majeerteen frontier, he then ordered that we also cross that frontier and launch an attack to kill people from the Majeerteens as well. Making a bad judgment call is part and parcel of your ancestral history. Aden Hashi was your great uncle, and he has done that.

When the USC captured Gedo during the civil war, you know, there were 14 [military] Generals, all from your lineage, only two others - Said Farah Gooje and Ahmed Warsame ... [unclear]; not a single one of them stayed put in Gedo. They were all just a big girl's blouse. May he RIP, only Mohamed Hashi Gaani came back at a later point, and he made off with all the technical vehicles and all the forces and crossed into Doolow,  Ethiopia, saying that those who were meant to die will die but that he has no time fighting in Gedo against the USC. All those fighting vehicles ended up in Nagayle (across the border in Ethiopia) where they can be seen today.  

Mr. Farmaajo, what have you got to do with Gedo? What share do you have in Gedo? Tell me, what share? What share do you have in Gedo that you're coming to Gedo today, and appointing Kulane as its leader. Kulane will not rule Gedo, and you will not rule Gedo.

We can only be together if we behave towards each other in good, moral and acceptable way; only on the basis of a brotherly sense of decency, if you like. But the way you're operating [is not on]. We know and we understand why you're fighting against Jubbaland. We're all Somalis and we understand each other's [motives]! Two men from the Reer Hassan lineage [of the Marehan clan] are in the [Jubbaland] administration. One is vice-president and the other one is Ugaas (a title held by a traditional clan leader in many communities across the Somali-inhabited territories in the Horn of Africa). 

All the reasons for your fighting in Gedo, asking for help and support from foreign powers ... [naming countries] is just to remove from the Jubbaland administration these two men of Reer Hassan and the young man of Reer Ahmed who you put in prison [in Mogadishu], but had escaped from you by dint of his faculty. You just want to destroy those guys. The Somali people do not understand that; we understand it because we are all Marehan, and we understand where you're coming from. What you want is to just parachute individuals who have no connection to this region, and I know who these individuals are, into the administration. That is not going to happen. It won't happen. 

Different people of Marehan live in different localities. Before, it used to be said that all Marehan clan territories are commonly used by all the Marehan people and there was no territorial differentiation between them. That is not true, and it no longer applies. We all have different areas that we live. [For instance], no man from Gedo can have a say in or rule Abud Waaq (a district of Galguduud region/Galmudug State, inhabited by the Marehan clan). How then are you going to rule Gedo? Each group has their own territory. Yes, we're all one clan and we are ancestrally related. That is fine, but we live in different areas, as the Kablalax clan does. Gedo is our territory. You're not going to rule over us. You won't be our Ugaas. You will not be a politician from Gedo, and you will not remain to be a President if we're not happy with you.

My advise to you will be as follows. About the young men (government soldiers amassed in Gedo) you brought here! We are going to talk to the Hawiye men who are the fathers of these young men, and we'll tell them 'talk to your sons. Thank you very much. Tell them that they shouldn't fight here. There are military men whose houses and property were confiscated [by government soldiers?] and who are angry. You won't be able to withstand them, and behind you are the forces of the al-Shabaab enemy. Your sons will not find an escape route. Do no put them into the hands of the enemy. Talk to your boys. Tell them to separate themselves from [the government army?]. Tell your boys to stand aside.'

Thank you, Hawiye. We are deeply indebted to you for your help. We remember the huge help you've given us during the famine caused by draught and war [in 2011?], and we understand that you'll also stand by us now [if there was a similar situation]. It very much troubles us to shoot a young Hawiye man [government soldiers] and kill him whereby they have no where to hide or run to. That really very much troubles us. Talk to your sons; talk to them, and take them out of [Gedo]. We also understand that he has other troops, including .. [naming a tribe from a neighbouring country]. Those other forces mean nothing to us; we can easily overrun them. Salaamu aleykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu."

* It would suffice to say that the gentleman here refers to the wholesale killings and devastation of the Isaaq clan in the north in 1988 by the late dictator's forces and the extremely brutal engagements which ensued between them and the SNM that had left, among other things, ruined towns and hundreds of thousands of land mines.

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