w w w . S o m a l i T a l k . c o m

The Somali President on his Prime Minister and the Speaker : “We agreed not to Disagree/ Waxaan ku Heshiiney In aan is Khilaafin” / By Ahmed A Hirsi.


The aim of this short and hastily written article is not to blindly/ negatively criticize the newly formed Somali government, but it aims to present various core issues that need to be debated, and addressed by the Somali government and its citizens.

“We agreed not to Disagree” is a direct quotation from the newly “selected” Somali president on his relationship with his Prime Minister (PM) and the Speaker shortly after his inaugural ceremony. The president told a packed press conference in Mogadishu that these three men had underwent a watertight pact that will protect his government from any form of future squabbles and disagreements.

The President went further to blame his predecessors for endless feuds and conflicts and he promised his audience a sterile and clinically conflict free government. If the president is right on this the future is bright and he will be remembered for many generations to come and this move will prove Mr El- Presidente’s extra ordinary ability to govern a complex and a society like ours where the clan is the only tool and mobilizational “Kraftverk” or Powerstation.

The Invisible Clan Hand

According to the aforementioned quote, the president claimed to be wearing a bullet prove PM and Speaker, however, what Mr President may have either ignored or forgotten is that the current Somali government is officially based on the nasty 4.5 formula which is a tricky business and the balance of power can easily tilt on the other side of the clan equilibrium if the president attempts to misuse the 4.5 power sharing agreement between Somalis with or without the support of the PM and the Speaker.

In the event of the Prime Minister and the Speaker becoming (Yes Men) the clans these men hail from/ represent will never accept the misuse of the 4.5 power sharing formula, so in theory an agreement between them is possible, but managing and sharing of the goodies or the loot based on 4.5 formula is the only remedy that can cure suspicion and it also will minimise competition and political rivalry. Having an agreement in place with the PM and the Speaker doesn’t make you immune from trouble-makers that are related to these men.

Let me use Adam Smith’s notion of the “Invisible Hand” which is a term used by Adam to illustrate the natural force that guides free market capitalism through competition for scarce resources. According to Adam Smith, in a free market each member will try to maximize self-interest, and the interaction of market participants, leading to exchange of goods and services, which will in turn enable each participant to be better of than when simply producing for himself/herself.

Adam Smith went on to say that in a free market, no regulation of any type would be needed to ensure that the mutually beneficial exchange of goods and services took place, since this "invisible hand" would guide market participants to trade in the moist mutually beneficial manner. Similar to this the Somalis belong to a various clans/sub-clans that are competing against each other for the scarce resources in terms, of relief aid, scholarships, jobs, ministerial posts etc. So, even if the president has a made a deal with these two men the ground is still shaky and nothing is certain, and whatever, agreement these men may/not have agreed on behind closed doors is not the word of GOD or holy in any form of shape, how the government is perceived by clan elders that have selected this government can either cement its success or uproot it. The government will need extra ordinary ability and expertise in balancing and distributing its meagre resources in a neutral manner. The president should bear in mind that the Somali constitution is the supreme law of the country. Furthermore, it provides the legal foundation and framework for the existence of the republic, sets out the rights and duties of its citizens, and defines the structure of the government. Without the approval of the parliament nothing can be done , with or without the support of the PM and the Speaker.

The Presidents Meeting with Somalis in the Diaspora.

Meeting the Somalis in the Diaspora has once more exposed the influence and the significance of Clan Politics. I was perplexed when a I watched a clip on Youtube a number Somalis hailing from the Jubbaland demonstrating in the cold and freezing Minnesotan harsh winter, against the president and his entourage while the president’s and his “die hard” supporters were jubilant and joyous in the well heated meeting venue.

As I am writing this article a huge demonstration is under preparation in London. These demos against the president will continue and could escalate into nourishing the deep rooted division amongst Somalis in the Diaspora. The Somali government should address the root causes of these demos, the mistrust and division that exist amongst its citizens at home and abroad should be taken seriously , so that a brotherly sprit and formation of inclusive and just government is formed.

What the Somali President /Government Ought to DO

A) The Somali president shouldn’t waste his time, money and energy on visiting well-fed , Somalis in the Diaspora, who are hell-bent on dividing Somalis and competing for top government posts, while masquerading and disguising their personal interest in the name of Somali Community this and that. For instance when other heads of states from Africa and elsewhere come to UK on official visit they rarely waste their precious time on Community leaders that have neither legitimacy nor respect at grass root level.

The President should instead direct his energy and resources on visiting thousands or war orphaned children and other destitute Somalis rotting in depressing and desolate refugee camps in the middle of nowhere in Kenya, Ethiopia, Yemen and Djibouti.

Honestly speaking, I do not recall watching or reading on papers any Somali president visiting refugee camps abroad. As far as I know at the height of the most recent famine that hit Somalia a couple of months back there was a highly televised visit by former Somali President Sheekh Sharif and Turkish delegation visiting IDPs in Mogadishu. By en large, most refugees consider themselves forgotten and abandoned by the world and the Somalis, visiting them would at least give them a glimmer of hope and huge morale boost in the hopeless and bleak situation that they are entrapped into. The president must visit all refugee camps in Somalia and abroad.

B) The president and his cabinet should take a lead in inviting back all Somalis who used to live in Mogadishu to return regardless of clan affiliation, guaranteeing their security and assisting all returnees. Giving Mogadishu its previous status as the Capital city of Somalia may lessen the mistrust that exists among various clans both indigenous and non indigenous.

D) The government should form an Independent Legal Advisory Organ consisting of multi- clan elders, religious leaders, and internal as well as external experts preferably Property Law Experts in addressing land disputes all over the country. This Ombudsman like organ should be officially appointed by the government or by parliament but with a significant degree of independence, who is charged with representing the interests of the public by investigating and addressing complaints of maladministration or violation of rights.

So far I have never heard nor have I ever watched on telly any Somali president addressing this deep rooted and complex issue. A government with international recognition will be useless if deep mistrust amongst its citizen does exist.

E) A local Mogadisho administration reflecting all the people currently residing and former residents in the city should be created, while giving a lions share/ priority to the indigenous local people, at the same time not ignoring non- indigenous but residents/ex-residents. Once that is done the Kismayu and other regions should follow suit in creating their own administrations. But if Mogadishu is perceived to be a clan enclave rather than the Capitall City of the Somali Republic this move will be a de-motivating factor that will alienate other regions.

F) Training of armed forces, Police, Navy and other security personnel, appointment of senior government officials, diplomats should reflect all the regions of Somalia and the number each region or province /district is supposed to enlist must be vetted by the parliament, if this is not done, we could end up getting armed militia pretending to be a national army or police force and government representatives that are seen as representing one clan or region. So far there are various clan armies in Mogadishu, Garowe, Kismayu and Hargeysa.

G) Scholarships, foreign aid relief aid in any form or shape should be distributed in a humane and equal way while first and foremost focusing where intervention is mostly needed, instead of concentrating everything in the capital and surrounding areas. Doing this will not only promote transparency, but will build a brotherly bond between Somalis all over the country while minimizing mistrust and the centralization of power which many Somalis argue was the root cause of the collapse of the Somali state.


The current Somali government has a heavy task on its shoulders; it needs patience, and support. We the people in the Diaspora are ready to lend the government a hand will it be financial or moral support as long as the constitution of the Republic and the rule of law is respected.

Power and civic responsibility exercised through citizens and an elected official is the way forward if Somalia has to catch up with the rest of the world. The days of powerful central government are by gone. The Somali government should steer clear of over powered central government while supporting the idea of majority rule. Special attention/emphasis should be given on human rights, equality, freedom of speech and religion.

Ahmed Hirsi

Political Economist works in Central London for a Major Financial Institution


Faafin: | Feb 10, 2013

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