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  • Samaroon in the Horn of Africa Always Got the Wrong Reward for Doing the Right Thing (3rd Release). By Musa Elmi

    Posted by on April 25, 2010

    Samaroon in the Civil and Military Govt’s

    The civilian government

    The Northern and Southern Somalis jointly formed the first civil government on July 1, 1960. At the beginning, it seemed that all they meant was to do well for the people but practical actions were missing. Since leaders lacked public administration experiences, one could logically expect them to make innocent mistakes. However, their greatest problem was that they never tried to learn form their errors. In the new unified government, clans scrambled for alliances and that greatly affected the formation of the country’s new administration.  Samaroon happened to be among many other Somalis who didn’t like the direction of events. The new civilian government immediately got lost in between the cracks of tribal political rivalries, corruption and nepotism. Those who were in power became busy in recruiting supporters and in creating protective circles. They were more obsessed in power keeping than in using the power for the good of the people and that was why it finally failed giving opportunity to the power-hungry Military coup who later destroyed the country.


    The Military govenment

    After the collapse of the civilian government, the military one followed even a more dangerous direction.  The heads were intolerant to criticism and opposition while enjoyed empty rhetoric, outright flattery and praise. The military leaders neglected the general welfare of the people and national interests and chose to look for personal gains and family aggrandizement. This government only created ignorant problems and performed the wrong diagnosis followed by wrong approaches for solution. The leaders further compounded problems by refusal to admit their wrong approaches. There has never been a single year in which these leaders were out of their mess.  Kofi Annan, an African himself, and a former UN Secretary General, at the OAU summit in Lome, Togo, in July 2000, ripped African administration. His statements represented a typical Somali case when he said, “ This is not something others have done to us. It is something we have done to ourselves. It is because not enough of us are investing in policies, which would promote development and preserve peace. We have mismanaged our affairs for decades and we are suffering the accumulated effects.”  (The Daily Telegraph July 12,2000, p.5). There is no question that the Somalis have no one else to blame for their sufferings but only themselves.

    In both civilian and military governments, Samaroon elite and their people were never within the domain of any corrupt practices. In addition, the purity of their culture in combination with their roots of civilization demands transparency in any all issues. Within the public administration leadership, there were a number of problems that have vitiated effectiveness and corruption at all level was the major factor. There was the private circle of tribe or extended family group, friends and supporters who usually profited from the practices and therefore encouraged them. Samaroon people, instead of knocking back doors and working as moles for the ruling group, headed to schools and universities in preparation for their future. They preferred to rely on the sweat of their own hard work in order to improve their quality of life and that of the country. In the academia, in government institutions and in private business, they were well respected for their efficiency and honesty.

    At all times, Samaroon people in everywhere, like many other Somalis, were critical about the total lack of political vision, outright buffoonery and the stubborn refusal of the basic democratic rights. The elders openly blamed the failures of the government when the president visited them in 1980 when he appointed Waranle, his cousin as their provincial governor. The junta heads were well aware of the nature of the position of Gadabursi and in many occasions, Siyad Barre is quoted as saying “ This people don’t want to ally with us in fear of taking their part of the blame.” Dadkani ma rabaan inay nala eedoobaan.” In the 1980s, the leaders realized that their rate of approval was at its lowest level in the general public and they started a campaign of arranging meetings with various clans. That operation was run a department called, Badhista Xisbiga, headed by man with nickname Jangoon. He was the same man who used to arrive at Hargiesa airport on frequent shuttle flights in 1981-1982, at the beginning of the crisis. He enjoyed the blessings of the people in the luxurious Hargiesa state house and often flew back home loaded with packed bags of money. In his routine clan meetings in Mogadisho, he approached the Gadabursi elite when we had three long afternoon meetings. He raised the fact that there were many senior civil servants, from our people, who are the mastermind of various Ministries and government agencies and he knew all their names. He claimed to be an expert in Gadabursi affairs and added that we were the only clan with the largest percentage of the workforce in the Universities and schools under the two ministries for education. Apparently, as we realized from his talk, there was a growing suspicion about the possibility of a countrywide student revolts.

    However this special envoy didn’t like the responses he was receiving from our side and each day it was getting worse. For us, it was an opportunity we were waiting for a long time in order to express our feelings.  From the very beginning, the poor man realized that he was speaking to the wrong people when we raised difficult questions such as:

    –      Are you coming to us for support after ten years? Didn’t you need us before this time?

    –         With our large percentage within the education ministries, do you know that we don’t have even a single Regional Education Officer (R.E.O)?

    –         You mentioned senior officials who mastermind their ministries. They have been masterminding for more than a decade while appointing other clan’s junior members as their boss. Didn’t they deserve the higher positions being offered to others?

    –         I think you are here today to take away the only one thing that was left for us. Is that right?

    –         What is the one thing left for you? Our guest enquired

    –         It is our reputation, our peaceful co-existence with the people. No. that will not happen. ( waa eed la’aanta  aan dadka ku dhex joogno iyo magacayaga. Maya, Maya. Taasi dhici mayso.)

    Taking advantage of the opportunity offered to us by this close aide of Siyad Barre, we decided to send a strong message with him. In great length discussion, we pointed out how the country’s infrastructure such as roads, schools and telecommunications were decaying, crumbling and were in shambles. We questioned why the leaders treated the public funds such as banks and treasury as their own personal property while public institutions badly needed investing and growth. In addition, the fact that government key positions were filled with immediate family members, relatives and cronies was also put forward.  It was clear to him that we believed that the whole system and the caliber of leadership was a scurrilous joke in which nobody had faith in it. The man was disappointed and he concluded his talk by saying, “ we didn’t know that this great length of distance is between you and the system.”

    During that period, ironically, there were people who were mistakenly sending wrong impression about the Gadabursi and labeled them as close allies of the regime. The assumption was vaguely related to the fact that they decided to remain impartial in the civil wars. This baseless accusation was, therefore, compatible with the crazy philosophy of president, George. W. Bush who spoke to the world when he said, “ Either you are with us or with the enemy.”  This statement was widely condemned around the world because Bush arrogantly denied the people to make their own choices within their own legitimate reasoning. Any way, our people did not ally with anyone for the purpose of harming anyone else and that is the truth; the whole truth and nothing but the truth. They are known as people who walk tall and they have decided to be neutral in the Somali civil wars as their own right and within their own reasons as discussed in the following sections.

    know your history, follow up next sunday


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