American Recognition means a New Beginning for Somalia
By: Mohamud Shalab
First of all I would like to offer my condolences to Sheikh Abdulkadir Nur Farah. A man that I was quite fond of was assassinated by Al-Shabaab militia. He was my beloved teacher in the late 80s in (Ceel-Hindi) mosque in Mogadishu. This news shocked me and it made me come to realization that the relocation of the Al-Shabaab is only going to make matters more dangerous for Puntland and its civilians. Sheikh Abdulkadir Nur Farah was a famous sheikh known in various parts of the world. May Allah bless his soul, Ameen.
Al-Shabaab is a threat to Puntland and its civilians. They are now moving from Mogadishu to the rocky track mountains in the Puntland area. Recently the Puntland Commandos raided the Al-Shabaab in the base of Golis mountains. A few senior members of the terrorist group were set up in the area. There were heavy casualties and confiscated materials. This mountain range is similar to the Tora Bora mountains is a large and broad area thus making it more difficult to remove the Al-Shabaab from a place like this. This is not only the responsibility of the Puntland government and its civilians; it is the responsibility of the world at large.
Puntland has been in the progress of peace since it was formed. It has encountered very few problems and is relatively stable. Since its formation, it seems the Puntland military has been ducking and dodging the Al-Shabaab. They have sworn to attack Puntland and have victimized their military and civilians.
Puntland played a key role in developing the central government and laying the foundation for a new constitutional order. In Puntland State two well-known and beneficial meetings were held, Garowe I and Garowe II. During these meetings they discussed and solved issues relating the system of government, the electoral system, and federalism. Representatives from Puntland State and The Somali Transitional government also signed an agreement, the Galkayo accord. This agreement outlined five specific ways of ensuring the safety and wellbeing of Somali citizens, including ridding the coastline along Somalia of toxic waste.
Puntland has played a huge role in electing the new parliament and president. Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud needs to understand and stress the importance of the Federal constitution and the sovereignty of Somalia. Individual states such as Jubaland deserve the right to elect the president of their choice. Jubalanders especially in Kismayo have suffered the most from terrorism for a long time. They’ve been victimized by years of tribal enmity and war. Now that they have finally recovered from there past it is wrong to strip them of the right to elect their own president. How the president of Somalia approaches the formation of Jubaland State will be a litmus test.
It is worth noting that Jubaland is the buffer zone for Kenya, the neighboring country. The North Eastern Province of Kenya was formerly known as the Northern Frontier District (NFD). Ethnic Somalis inhabited this area. Now the western side of Jubaland flanks the Northern Easter Province of Kenya thus making there ties more evident. We must stay in good term with jubaland and respect their wishes as they are a direct link to our relationship with Kenya.
I have always been a proud supporter of the unitary democratic central government but this is not the time to instill such policy. Somalia is still a deeply divided country therefore a federal government is a temporary solution until Somali citizens setlle their differences.
After years of civil unrest in war-torn Somalia, the newly elected president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud is working to rebuild hope and stability to the nation. On January 17th 2013, President Mohamoud visited Washington DC and met with both Barack Obama and the secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton. The visit was a monumental step in rebuilding the country’s diplomatic relations as this was the first time since 1991, that the United States recognized Somalia’s federal government as a functioning entity. The U.S assistant secretary of state notes that the re-establishment of diplomatic ties was due to the tremendous amount of progress that Somalia has made in the past year. Somalia is expected to benefit greatly from the move, as the country will receive access too much needed resources and funds from the World Bank and other organizations. Over the past few years the United States provided nearly 360 million dollars in humanitarian aid and assistance and also supplied the African Union with more than 650 million dollars for the mission in Somalia.
Somalis have developed the new federal government on their own, and they don’t always need assistance from other countries. Somalia is quickly developing into a democratic nation where the people’s concerns are addressed at a regional, national and international level. For the first time in over twenty years Somalis have hope for a bright new future for their country.