OPED: Post-war Somalia must move to  fight political spoilers

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Somalia's President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmajo, attends his inauguration ceremony in Mogadishu, Somalia Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

By Jama Ahmed

NAIROBI – Despite concerted efforts by the international community which spent billions of dollars to help the fragile Somalia state to stand on its feet again following over two decades of war, there is a new major threat from not only the Al-Qaeda linked al Shabab group but political spoilers exploiting disgruntled followers who see peace as betrayal, thus seeking to chip away at it.

In combination of state collapse and civil conflict,, governments in Somalia have been trying to make quick turnarounds to rebuild the country for years, but there were reason that Somalia’s conflict, then and now defied solutions that could help it move ahead: Political spoilers.

Negotiating from a position of strength, getting in the way of willingness to test and risk looking too eager, Somalia’s political spoilers seem to be emboldened, exploiting the vulnerability of the government continue to create a compound of challenge for the government.

VESTED INTERESTS

Somalia’s current government is unable to surmount these hurdles by influencing political spoilers’ calculations through applying pressure and offering political opportunity, to ensure their commitment to the country’s interests..

Therefore, politicians opposed to the government  would be inclined to support a political stability that takes seriously its perception of its interests.

In the country, some spoilers have limited goals and redress of a grievance. Such spoilers are merely interested in pursuing  political opportunities, posing  negligible challenges to the government.

However, at the other end of the spectrum are total spoilers, who pursue led by individuals who see things in all-or-nothing terms, contrary to the pragmatism necessary for compromise settlements of contentious issues.

SOMALI ELECTIONS

Those who follow last year’s Somali parliamentary elections often talk about manipulations in the elections of some of the MPs and Senators who paid half a million dollar to secure seats in a  bid to use for their personal gains or to protect their business interests.

These are the ones who infected spoiler effect (spoiler syndrome) of which leaders call ‘parasites’ living in Somali people’s body  by pushing their secret agendas in an exchange for  cash flow or government position.

NEW WARLORDISM

They took representative’s votes away and created panic among the public. So I appeal to anyone who cares about Somali’s peace and prosperity to oppose those with these ill-objectives.

The former Somali president Sharif Sheik Hassan is among the most well respected leaders who served as a president.  Most of Somali citizens admire not only for his services but the peaceful power transfer to his successor Hassan Shiek Mohamud in order for his government deliver its duty to Somali citizens without disturbing b government directly,  indirectly for the interest of the country.

Democracy is a system of government that bases its legitimacy on the participation of the people. While democratic governments come in many varieties, in this unique case, Somalis MPs came from all the regional states and made sure that competitive presidential elections happened in Somalia.

Due to reliance on elections, the principle of political and legal equality, democracy is also meant the failure to re-organize his/her party to run after the serving president’s term expired. it gave parties a chance to rebuild their platforms and undergo changes to convince its people that their party is ready and is a different party that can take their citizens to new chapter of progress.

PRESSING CHALLENGES

Apart from the political spoilers trying to push Somalia backwards, Somali government’s current key challenge is the ongoing battle with the al-Qaida linked militant group al-Shabab, famine and corruption. Somali people are fed up with the these famous political spoilers. Their influence of special interests and a refusal to give concrete reason why they are shake democratically elected government is more than frustrating.

QUEST FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE

In a recent opinion poll, the majority of Somali people agreed that scaring political spoilers was more important than basic service delivery.

Ttheir main platform is aimed at stopping government progress “said Muna Hassan, the chairlady of Somali Youth Cluster.

“This government is already facing many problems like defeating Al-Shabab, and creating jobs for the youth meaning getting our economy back on track and overall the wellbeing of its citizens”. she said.

A captain of national army who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the media said “These are elected officials forgot their duties and need to focus on issues helping the country and that’s what truly matters for all of us.”

Jama Ahmed is a Somali political analyst, based in Nairobi, Kenya

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