Dr Osman - Somalia Reconciliation Path. Models To Consider

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It's time to address this crucial issue which really is the 'bedrock' if we will ever restore as a nation or not. Right now there is no 'reconciliation' but outright denial of the civil war and it's impacts on the national psyche. Denial isn't going to bring us closer together, it's going to rip us apart further. The longer we remain in this situation, the easier it will be for foreigners to take advantage of our 'situation' and brew more mistrust for their foreign agendas along tribal lines, which is already occurring. It also serves as the bedrock for an opportunistic politician to 'create' uprisings, lay bombs, do assasinations, all for his own 'power grab' agenda while taking advantage of a lack of reconciliation. Think about it, If the environment to manipulate people didn't exist, all these foreign and local disturbers wouldn't be here to begin with, their would be no avenue for them to cause disturbance as the society are united and have a strong trust in each other again.

The longer we let this go by, the harder it will be to resolve Somalia. The problems will get more and more complex, more and more proxies, more and more factors dividing us untill the problems are just so many, it will seem impossible to fix it all and we give up. It could lead eventually to the downfall of us as a people as we get mixed into other people who replace us.

Now I know a-lot of people will come in and turn this to the good old 'faqash did this' and 'hutus looted that'. This sort of behavior is just going to create more friction and mistrust and denial to occur and there will be no society reconciliation. We must be very careful before going down this route. We as Somalis first need to ask ourselves are we seeking to cure the 'root' cause of our problem or are we seeking to cure the side effects of our problem? Warlords, rebel groups, islamists, corruption, all these are side effects. Side effects are generally identifiable because they are usually numerous in number, but the root cause is always a singular point.

Imagine a tree does the tree not have a singular root? which afterwards there is branches and leaves and becomes complex right? Imagine if we tried curing the leaves and branches one by one(corruption, tribalism, islamists) and forgetting about the root? that tree would collapse on itself in the end because the foundation holding it is weak. In Somali reconciliation we are going to have find the root cause and agree on where it is.

I believe the root cause of our problem is one of mistrust. I believe it developed from the 1960s and was seething away in the background. I mean we saw identifiable warning signs early on. 100 Clan parties, Northern Coup, assasination of president, corruption. I believe this is due to the form of govt we took not taking into account our 'tribal' set-up, infact we tried to eliminate it with Somali nationalism but practised it secretly.

I think this was where the root cause was. Because after that we started to see the side effects start piling up like corruption, clan parties, northern coup, assassination of president this eventually later turned into clan rebel groups forming, warlords, and finally now Islamist. Notice how all the side effects are linked to geopolitical matters? clan rebel groups were popular in the 70s-80s Africa. Warlord was popular in the 90s in Africa. Now Islamism is popular in middle east. In the future their maybe some other geopolitical rise that comes up and we will be swallowed in by it, if we don't fix this problem right at it's root.

Now the root has been identified 'mistrust'. How do we create trust? the only way is through a strong 'consequence' system. I gave some suggestions in my previous govt model approach. Maybe a NATO pact at a political level where each regional admin is told if u break any rule within the constitution or agreements with the federal govt, the federal govt has a right to apply personal punishments such as jail or fine the leader, political punishments such as replace your administration and elect a new one for it, take away your federal rights and be controlled from Mogadishu and if political/economic sanctions don't work gather up all Somali regions to 'attack you' militarily.

This will send a serious message to anyone in the regions, the feds are damn serious for violations of agreements, constitution, and laws because once you violate the system, it creates a spiral of everyone violating it and it's back to jungle law!!! It sends a message to the clans, it's best to hand over your culprit rather then have all Somalis attack you and suffer a genocide!!! This how u can only speak to Somalis and keep them civil!!! It has to be a system of absolute 'fear' if rules are broken. You will also need a reverse consequences where the states can exercise options if the feds break agreement or constitution. For example political punishments remove the capital, change the federal govt, exercise military options by unifying states to overthrow the federal authorities and as a separate clause if none of the above work, each state declares secession with automatic recognition. No point sticking around if there is no respect of the law, it's back to jahiliyah all over again!!! I believe once we have consequences in place for violations, this will restore trust and stop the side effects from developing in the future as they know the consequences are severe.

We will also need to then sit down and resolve these 'crimes' that occurred during the civil war. I think it's best we just forgive each other for the past, do not seek any sort of punishment for perpertators. I say this because we know the root cause of our civil war was 'mistrust', ALL somalis are responsible for it. We shouldn't of adopted a system that created a rat race among ourselves and centralized everything into 1 city when our culture was a loosely connected federation with a single unifying xeer. We adopted a system that was against our own culture. All these side effects were bound to happen so it's not an 'individual' or a 'clan' that's responsible, but we as somalis altogether are responsible for that. So how can we seek prosecution for a clan or individual? They just inherited the mistrust that existed.

We could adopt a traditional method and go under a tree sub clans with sub clans, then wider clans with wider clans. We must set the theme of the conference based on our culture. Our nomadic culture cherish 'freedom, equality, justice' try taking any of that away from them and see what happens!!! So when we discuss and debate our points we must relate it to those core pillars and who-ever has the strongest argument against any of those pillars, Somalis will need to do a tanasul, after-all we know anyone who goes against those core pillars will just go mayhem in our culture.

We must set a number of ground rules to the conference between tribes, we must indicate anyone who brings foreigners or refuses judgements that are reached against those core pillars will be deemed a troublemaker, or if he is someone causing mischief and then hiding behind his clan and his clan supports him, we must punish the clan with an automatic tanasul on reconciliation matter. They have forfeited their right to continue in the discussion because they broke the rules. We must get everyone to sign this to eliminate anyone doing mischief behaviour, corruption, hiding behind his clan, running to foreigners, etc. This will leave genuine people at the table. We don't want to see a professor with a good name in the community but a sick heart or ulterior motives. By setting rules up earlier, you can weed out the one's with ulterior motives because if they play up it's them and their clan losing, we won't stop the conference for a few troublemakers which is what always happens.

If we don't set a framework on how we going to reach decisions, this will also mean everyone will reject a decision if it's not in their favor but if we can prove judgements against a framework, they will need to reject the framework which is the core pillars(freedom-equality-justice) which will result in chaos and turmoil among the people since that is our 'core values'. Try taking the freedom away from a nomad or trying saying your not equal to another nomad let alone justice. Anyone who goes against those core values is really wishing for Somalis not to reunite and remain in that chaos. We must automatically have mechanism in place to deal with those sort of people who reject the outcome because it's not in their favor even though it followed the process and was the strongest argument against the core values of our people.

The issue of property will also need resolving, I don't think this will bring peace among Somalis even if it is resolved, the mistrust will always be there untill 'consequences' like I stated in prior paragraphs is implemented. No-one had each other properties in the 60s, 70s, 80s and clan rebel groups and clan parties all existed, they will still fighting the government. But returning properties will set the stage for showing the world that somalis respect each other assets and therefore will respect foreign assets as well. It's hard to convince a foreigner to invest his assets in a country where they don't respect each other assets.

SSC will also need to be resolved this is going against one of our biggest core values 'freedom' of the people to decide their fate.

We could also take some notes into the Rwandan reconciliation, they used the traditional method in conjunction with punishments with http://www.un.org/en/preventgenocide/rwanda/about/bgjustice.shtml

Notice how Rwandans identified early on what 'caused' the genocide, we need to identify what caused our civil war and it was 'mistrust' which came from the wrong system for the wrong people which then created these side-effects of clan rebel groups, warlords, islamists, and every other dividing factor. Where-as in Rwanda it was 'colonials' setting up discrimination between Tutsi and Hutus. Notice u need to identify the root first, you can't cure the side effects of without going to the root and curing that first. The side effect if cured for example without going to the root will result in basically somalis saying 'cafis' baad iga tahay and then going straight back to 'suspicion and mistrust' and tribalism which will kick-start the game again. The issue is beyond just forgiveness, we must implement strategies to ensure it never happens again. Some of those strategies will need be damn tough just like american constitution is if rules are broken. Americans will pick up arms or secede if constitution is touched. We need something similar but even more tougher then that which I provided in Previous paragraphs!!!

Once that social reconciliation is done at the grass root level using traditional mechanism. We will need to move on to the religious clerics and advise them they are separate institution to the government and clearly explain to them the govt will not deal in religious matters and their influence will stay strong among the people, the government will focus on the earthly matters. We will need to move onto the business community and also create a pact regarding what their responsibility to the state is and the consequences for not complying. Advise them they will enjoy a free market and the government will focus on ensuring their customer base rises by creating worker class with income which will benefit them but they will need to pay their fair share of taxes and pass laws in relation to this.

I support a free market because our nomadic culture is one. You won't see equal wealth among nomads, some rich, some poor. Same case will happen in the market place, some will be richer then others. But the taxation on poorer nomad to a richer one is different so the taxation on a richer company will also need to adjust.

You might also need an agreement with the the media and laws regarding them!!! Once all that is done, your society at a people level, business level, religious level, media level which are the key areas where people are influenced from are stable and their rights, responsibilities and consequences applied to each for failing in carrying out their duties.

I can't reiterate how important consequences are, it is the sole thing missing in Somalia. A land of no consequence, where u can just do what u want and get away with it. Consequences need to be very tough and not be western orientated which will lead to abuses like it has in parliament, govt, courts, etc. They need to be very local style punishments that all somalis relate too. For example if you try to hide behind your clan, your clan will get the punishment, if you go to your tribe your whole tribe will suffer. We must let justice reign supreme above anything and anyone or else we will remain in this situation of no rule of law!!!
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A sane man to an insane society must appear insane
Praise be to Allah.

Secularism is a new philosophy and a corrupt movement which aims to separate religion from the state, and focuses on worldly matters, and worldly desires and pleasures; it makes this world the only goal in life, and forgets and ignores the Hereafter. It pays no attention to deeds pertaining to the Hereafter. The words of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) may be applied to the secularist: “Wretched is the slave of the dinar and the slave of the dirham and the slave of the khameesah (a kind of luxurious garment made of wool with patterns). If he is given he is pleased and if he is not given he becomes discontent. May he be wretched and doomed, and if he is pricked with a thorn may it not be pulled out (i.e., may he have no help to remove it).” Narrated by al-Bukhaari (2887).

This description includes everyone who criticizes anything of the teachings of Islam in word or deed. The one who rules according to man-made laws and abolishes the rulings of sharee‘ah is a secularist; the one who permits forbidden things such as adultery, alcohol, music and usurious (riba-based) transactions, and believes that forbidding them is harmful to people and is narrow-mindedness which causes people to miss out on some benefits, is a secularist. The one who ban or objects to the carrying out of hadd punishments such as executing the murderer and stoning or flogging the adulterer and the drinker of alcohol, or cutting off the limbs of the thief or bandit, and claims that carrying out these punishments is inhumane, or that it is cruel and abhorrent, also comes under the heading of secularism.

With regard to the Islamic ruling concerning them, Allah, may He be exalted, says, describing the Jews (interpretation of the meaning):

“Then do you believe in a part of the Scripture and reject the rest? Then what is the recompense of those who do so among you, except disgrace in the life of this world”

[al-Baqarah 2:85].

Whoever accepts whatever suits him of the religion, such as laws on personal and family matters, and some acts of worship, and rejects whatever does not suit him, is included in this verse.

Similarly, Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Whosoever desires the life of the world and its glitter; to them We shall pay in full (the wages of) their deeds therein, and they will have no diminution therein.

They are those for whom there is nothing in the Hereafter but Fire; and vain are the deeds they did therein. And of no effect is that which they used to do”

[Hood 11:15-16].

The aims of the secularists are focused on worldly accumulation and pleasures, even it it is haraam and even if it prevents them doing the obligatory duties. Thus they are included in this verse and in the verse in which Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):

“Whoever wishes for the quick-passing (transitory enjoyment of this world), We readily grant him what We will for whom We like. Then, afterwards, We have appointed for him Hell, he will burn therein disgraced and rejected, ( far away from Allah’s Mercy)”

[al-Isra’ 17:18].

And there are other similar verses and hadeeths. And Allah knows best.


Long story short. Somalia issue is basically this;

1960-1969 Democratic Govt - Generated 100 clan parties, assasination of president, corruption, northern coup. Influencers Africa Geo Politics, Coups were popular in this era.
1969-1991 Military Govt - Generated corruption, clan rebel groups, eventually warlords. Geo political influences African freedom fighting was popular in this era.
2000 - till now - Generated Islamism. Geo Political Influences basically middle east and rise of Salafism is popular.

What do they all have in common? It has to be a-lot of mistrust to have so many ill side effects!!! They then align it with what-ever is the 'relevant' geopolitical flavor happening around them at the time to begin their 'instability' process. If we don't get at the root cause of our problems, more side effects will occur in the future and whatever the geopolitical wind will be used as justification(cover-up) to gain popular support on the ground.

Even if we fix corruption with tough laws, reconciliation like give back homes, it will help cure a few of the confidence issues among the people but it won't eliminate mistrust completely, because when someone knows there is no real law in the land and they can revert back to hiding behind their clans, this sends a message to all Somalis, the system is still not genuinely accepted and age old institutions will continue to linger on which in the end will give the rise to a potential side effects like our previous governments in history which will rock the nation in the future!!!

I hope our rule of law isn't only individual focussed, because individuals will run behind their clans. We need a law system where it's individual then clan then wider tribe and basically where-ever it must go untill justice is served!!! We are not an individual based society, we must account for the fact we are a collective society as a whole and collective punishment must be on the table. Just Like America collectively punished afghanistan for harboring taliban.
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