American-Somali relations: What’s in the words? by Abukar Arman

American-Somali relations: What’s in the words?

 

9838444255_e30bb2792d_z

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud address reporters before their bilateral meeting at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C., on September 20, 2013. [State Department photo/ Public Domain]

As a former detractor who has not been a fan of the Obama administration’s foreign policy toward Somalia, it is an overstatement to say that I watched Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman’s speech on June 3 with certain level of skepticism. Of course, nothing more than that healthy dose necessary in politics to clear the vision and fine-tune the mind. Nonetheless, I wasn’t expecting any substantive change.

So, when a friend called me right before Ambassador Sherman unfolded the new policy to ask what I thought was coming, my response was, “Nothing more than kinder, gentler drone diplomacy.” But I was wrong, though not entirely.

Ambassador Sherman’s speech at the USIP was perhaps the most comprehensive and insightful presentation on Somalia in the past two decades. Aside from the meaning conveyed through the script, the ambassador delivered it with the right temperament and tone.

The Domestic Side

Perhaps the most hope-inspiring aspect of the speech is the unequivocal declaration that the U.S. sees “unified Somalia” in its best interest and how the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) must get its house in line in order to help facilitate a negotiated political settlement.

“Moving forward, [FGS] must preserve the strengths of these regional administrations while reconciling them with Somalia’s national identity. The appropriate means for accomplishing this include dialogue, ballot box and the judicial process,” said Ambassador Sherman. The U.S. “believes stable federal Somalia with a credible national government in Mogadishu is in the best interest of all Somalis. But to achieve this, there must be willingness to compromise on every side,” she added.

Ambassador Sherman also underscored the importance of having clear and agreed-upon layout on geographical boundaries and demarcation of authorities- something that the Provisional Constitution omits. Aside from its potential to ignite future clan or greed-based wars, this contentious issue is critical “because investors would be reluctant to make commitments if there is confusion on who is in charge,” she declared.

The Foreign Side

The speech was dotted with sufficient diplomatic signals that not only indicate U.S. readiness to do business with Somalia, but also to establish — especially with regard to the regional powers — that “there is a new sheriff in town.”

Officially, the U.S. now have boots on the ground to train the Somali National Army, systematically do away with the ever-mushrooming private security contractors, and pave the way for an AMISOM exist. Though the latter has done a great job in helping to stabilize Somalia, it has been on a downward trajectory with regard to public confidence and support by Somalis ever since Kenya and Ethiopia had joined its ranks. Ever since they joined AMISOM, al-Shabbab which was swept out of Mogadishu since 2011, made a comeback with belligerent vengeance. Among other violent operations, they attacked Villa Somalia where both the Somali President and Prime Minister work and live and the Parliament while in session.

What About The Ways of Old?

Does this mean the Obama doctrine distinctively known for its “high-tech clandestine wars” and better known as “drone diplomacy” is being domesticated in the Horn? Hardly!

The alarming trend in which the Obama administration has carried out at least “239 covert drone strikes, more than five times the 44 approved under George W. Bush,” as well as the (dual) multitrack policy in which the U.S. has dealt with all, save al-Shabaab, political actors of all shades would be retained as a safety net.

All eyes are on the FGS and how it may decipher the new policy and what actions it might take.

It has been sixteen months since then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton answered a question regarding when the multitrack policy may end. Clinton said:

“Today, we are taking a new step in our engagement….[we are] moving into a new era. I believe that our job now is to listen to the government and people of Somalia who are now in a position to tell us, as well as other partners around the world what their plans are, how they hope to achieve them. And, to leave no room for a doubt, she added “So, we’ve moved into a normal sovereign nation to sovereign nation position and we’ve moved into an era where we’re going to be good partner—a steadfast partner to Somalia, as Somalia makes the decision for its own future.”

Geopolitics and Geo-economy

The gist of the message to the Somali leadership was this: Yes, terrorism is a threat. Yes, we still plan to drone down bad guys. But, make no mistake: We do not make foreign policy based on manageable threats that emanate from self-destructive religious thugs and simpletons, and we certainly did not build a massive floating military base for whale-watching. If it was only about terrorism, we would’ve never left Iraq and Afghanistan, and we would’ve shielded the president who used to put on military gear and visit Somali soldiers in the front lines.

No offense, but with China’s rapidly expanding influence in the African continent and Russia’s sudden strategic moves to lure us, along with our European friends, into an economic checkmate, we thought our latest policy move could be the game changer that both our countries direly need.

Reconciliation For Closure

Ambassador Sherman was correct in underscoring that “The truly defining test (for Somalia) would be an internal one.” Somalis, she said, “have to decide whether they want to exist as desperate clans isolated from the world and in conflict with one another or as a united country with all the attributes, benefits and responsibilities that such unity brings.”

“Somalis should know if they choose to continue to come together, they will have enthusiastic and substantial international support.

FGS should take this as a last call to save the Somali nation. The current leadership should let go their political bickering and immediately pave the way for a genuine reconciliation by appointing a non-controversial, credible traditional or religious patriot who could assemble and lead a diverse reconciliation commission.

While “security, governance and development” are indeed important objectives, they are practically impossible to achieve without genuine reconciliation, and without the political will to sideline our good neighbors. And the latter can only be done by suspending Somalia’s membership of IGAD.



Albaabka Adeega Caafimaadka Beljamka

Hogaan ama Garwadeen W/Q: Abdikadir Ibrahim Ahmed ( Kambale )

HARDANKA LOOGU JIRO HANASHADA SOOMAALIYA BY Abdulqaadir Ibrahim axmed

Allaha u naxariisto Xaydar Maxamed Maxamuud oo dhawaan ku geeriyoodey dalka Hindiya

Soomaalaay Qaranku Aw Cali oo kale ayuu u baahanyahay

INNAA LILLAAHI WA INNAA ILEYHI RAAJACUUN Maamo Xaawo Farax Xasan Cade

EID MUBARAK DHAMAAN MUSLIMIINTA IYO SOOMAALIBA

Maqaal: Aragtida Dhimatay iyo Carabnimada Soomaalida

Salaantii Ciida oo ay is-dhaafsadeen Sultan Cabdalla iyo Boqor Burhaan.

Ramadan: Time for Muslim Rulers to Reflect on Ethical Governance

US on collision course with China in the Red Sea .ABUKAR ARMAN

Sultan Abdalla Bin Eissa held a meeting to review the developments on the ground and the importance of protecting the stability of the Almahra and Socotra

Shirweynaha Ururka Caafimaadka Xoolaha iyo FAO ee ka hortaga Cudurada Faafa uga qaybgalay dalka Ivory Coast(Sawirro)

ICRC: Activities in Somalia from January to December 2014

General Ahmed Qahtan " we declared that our against of joining Hathramout Federal Region. The Mehris has a right to decide their future and may have better options that are suitable for them".

Maansadii ISMA ORAN Muxyadiin Ciid 2007 dib u milicsi wacan

WASIIR SACIID CIID AYAA KA TACSIYEYNAYA GEERIDA EX-XILDH DAHIR KELLI IYO MUDANE CALI AXMED NUUR

Munaasabad uu xilka kula wreegay wasiirka cusub ee Wasaarada Xanaanada Xoolaha Dhirta iyo Daaqa Mudane Saciid Xueen Ciid

Al-Haji Yaziin Xassan Ciid ayaa waxa uu ka tacsiyeynayaa Geerida ku tim RW Cumar Crashiid

Dr: Cabdulqaadir Cali Askar iyo Reer Cali Askarba waxa u tacsiu dirayaa Reer Cabdirashiid Cali iyo Reer Macalin Daahir

Dr Abdiweli Gaas oo ka tacsiyeeyay Geerida Xaajiyo Ruqiyo Macalin Daahir AUN

Wasiirka Xanaanada Xoolaha iyo Dhirta iyo Daaqa oo ka tacsiyeeyay Geeraida Xaajiyo Ruqiyo Macalin Daahir

Guud ahaan Reer Sharmaarke ayaa Tacsi u diraya RW Cumar Cabdirashiid Cali

TACSI:Xaajiya Ruqiya Macalin Daahir Cali Boss oo aheyd Hooyada R/W CUMAR Allaha u naxariisto

Dowladda Oman ” Waxaan diyaar u nahay xoojinta xiriirka nagala dhaxeeya Soomaaliya”. Jan 19, 2015

Tacsi Guuleed Maxamed Siyaad Barre Allaha u Naxariisto

Sultan Cabdalla Bin Ciise Al Cafraar oo ka tacsiyeeyay geeridii naxdinta laheyd ee DR Xassan Xaaji Al Cafraar

TACSI: DR: XASSAN XAAJI ABUKAR AL CAFRAAR OO LONDON KU GEERIYOODEY ALLAHA U NAXARIISTEE

Somalia to rewrite contracts in response to corruption concerns By Katrina Manson in Nairobi

SAADO: GEENYADII GALBATEY IYO HALAQII LABA AFLAHA (Qoraa sare:Muxyadiin Xuseen Ciid)

UK HOUSE OF COMMON: President Mohamud on the back foot while al-Shabaab attacks continue

Maansadii: Marinhabowga Qarannimo ee aan maalmaha XORIYADA U TIRYAY 1 JULAY 1960

TACSI: Macalin Abdi Jama Warsame (ALLAHA U NAXARIISTO) OO DHAWAAN GEERIYOODAY

YUU AHAA SULTAN ABDALLA BIN SULTAN ISSA AL AFRAR “MAHRA IYO SOQODRA”? QALINKII: Muxyadiin Xusseen Ciid 30/05/2014

QAYB KA MID SAWIRADII SULTAN ABDALLA BIN ISSE INTII UU KU SUGNAA PUNTLAND

المهرة اليوم - خاص استقبلت الجالية المهرية في الصومال السلطان عبدالله بن عيسى بن عفرير باكثر من سبعين سياره وكان على راسهم مشايخ قبائل المهرة ( بن نيمر + الجدحي + بن عتوني + السليمي + وبن عفرير ) وج

قبائل الدارود الصومالية تنصب ملكا جديدا

SAWIRADA CALEEMASAARKA BOQORKA DAAROOD

Security in Kenya Little law, less order Crime, terrorism and police abuse are all rising together

CAMDEN:Father of man stabbed to death in Camden Town street calls for peace

TACSI: REER SHIRE MAXAMUUD OO KA TACSIYEYNAYA GEERIDA MAAMA MARYAN

Daily Nation: How Somalia aid cash funds Al-Shabaab

Ra’iisul Wasaaraha Soomaaliya ayaa uga mahadnaqay madaxda dalka Isutaga Imaadaarka Carabta

Car Bomb: President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has called the UN envoy to Somalia to say he was not harmed during the attack, envoy Nick Kay has tweeted

Insight - Graft allegations test West's ties to Somali president (REUTERS)

Somalia president dismisses US criticism

SAWIRADII AASKA MARXUUM A/RISAQ HAJI HUSSEIN ALLAHA U NAXARIISTEE

TACSI ALCARAB HALYEEY ABDIRIZAK HAJI HUSSEIN iyo Dr ABDI ASIS NUR HIRSI ALLAHA U NAXARIISTO

Somalia’s other pirates – the telecom companies and remittance companies

ALCARAB HAMBALYO MADAXWEYNAHA CUSUB EE PUNTLAND