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Religious schooling and its byproducts in Somaliland
Abdirahman Mohamed Dirye - 7/27/2011
To learn religious education (RE) in the old days, a student used to go to Mal’aamad, a school of teaching Islamic basics to kids up to age of14. It usually taught children the method to pray, to treat one’s parents with kindness and to promote harmony within Muslim society and non-Muslim as well. In fact, the curriculum had been relevant, purely religious, and apolitical.
Somalia, You are not worth the trouble
Abdirahman Mohamed Dirye - 7/5/2011
The notorious war criminal as well as Somaliland’s most wanted man, General Mohamed (Said) Hirsi Morgan, who is a mass murderer, often makes trips to Kenya whenever he wants to do so. His freedom of travel and confidence, stems from not the lack of arrest warrant issued for him by the International Criminal Court (ICC) but also INTERPOL’s setting him free for unexplained reasons.
Somalia, US, and the Dual-Track Letdown
Abukar Arman - 11/7/2010
Somalia in particular and Horn of Africa in general are at such a volatile stage that any misstep—domestic or foreign—could only further exacerbate that perilous condition. One such potential misstep gathering cloud is the recently proposed US foreign policy toward Somalia known as the Dual-Track approach.
Somalia’s Last Chance
Dr. Oduesp Eman - 4/9/2010
While the current Somali transitional government is by no means perfect, there are at least a couple of things it has been doing right- putting in place various apparatuses to pave the way for good governance, and laying the foundation to reestablish law and order. Granted, these two developments are only moving at a snail’s-pace.
A New Paradigm for Engaging Somalia
Abukar Arman - 1/3/2010
The stakes are much higher than ever before. And, despite the negative reports that dominate the news and thus perpetuate the sense of hopelessness, voices of reason are becoming more audible against the current senseless violence, chaos and extremism. More and more Somalis are coming to realize that the path ahead leads no where except the assured suicide of a nation.
The Kool-Aid Syndrome and Somalia’s Fading Hope
Sadia Ali Aden - 12/6/2009
Approximately nine months ago the UN-sponsored peace conference in Djibouti produced the current president of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. President Ahmed’s internationally supported unity government continues to be mired down in internal conflict; a conflict rooted in the 4.5 clan system formula. It is a system that remains the most persistent impediment to peace, justice and equality, because it promotes, legitimizes and generously rewards the warlords (and their militias) who for nearly two decades perpetuated violence and chaos, and tarnished the credibility of the Somali people and the state.
Piracy, Geopolitics, and Private Security
Abukar Arman - 4/29/2009
MOGADISHU, SOMALIA. Make no mistake the proliferation of piracy in the Somali coast is a serious problem- not only for the international community but for Somalia in general, and more specifically, for the current Islamist led government of national unity. After all, Islamic law has zero tolerance for banditry, whether sea-based or land-based.
Somalia Ought To Be Obama's Litmus Test
Sadia Ali Aden - 12/6/2008
Indeed the historic victory of President-elect Obama has created profound prospect of hope and change that swept through America. However, for millions across the world who have witnessed devastation, insecurity and chaos resulting from an imprudent US foreign policy; reality is a nightmare they cannot easily ignore. Here, Somalia comes to mind.
Somalia after the Ethiopian Occupation
Abukar Arman - 11/12/2008
In light of the development of several critical issues that include U.S. economic volatility and the new political direction it’s likely to turn towards, it’s not farfetched to predict that Washington-supported Ethiopian occupation of Somalia will soon come to an end.
The Upshot of the Somali Peace Express
Abukar Arman - 6/18/2008
Despite its shaky start, the UN-brokered Somali peace accord still has the potential to achieve a historical milestone. Two essential elements that were absent in the 14 previously failed peace conferences were prominent in this one. There were genuine peace-makers with considerable political capital and a relatively neutral third party to facilitate the process.
Somalia: The TFG Is All Talk & No Substance
Hassan Shirwa - 4/12/2008
Mr Nur Hassan Hussein (Adde), who is nominally Ethiopia's TFG chief, held a press conference in Mogadishu on 12 March 2008, in which he said that his blood soaked TFG was ready to talk peace with its opponents including the Al-Shabaab Organisation who are the real force behind the full swing freedom fighting insurgency against the savage Ethiopian occupation and their Somali collaborator mercenaries.
Somalia's Leadership: Substance or Rhetoric?
Sadia Ali Aden - 3/5/2008
These are serious times with serious challenges that require serious leadership capable of envisioning free and united Somalia based on peace, justice and equality. Devoid of that, the current bloodshed will only continue and the humanitarian crisis will worsen.
Ahmed Dirie: The Somali Nelson Mandela
Ahmed Dirie - 1/13/2008
Despite Ahmed Dirie’s brief public service history, he accomplished what few other man achieved in all civilizations. Ahmed Dirie revived the ever diminish Somali-esteem and pride by standing up against a brutal enemy with unfettered support from the only supper power, United States of America. At first glance, Ahmed Dirie seemed a very fragile and naïve individual as he was not a heavy build/muscular and highly educated man. However, time and again, he has proven to be a leader of high sophistications with integrity and respect for others. In his capacity as a Somali elder (traditional leader...
Marking First Anniversary Of Ethiopia's Brutal Occupation in Somalia
Abdulkadir Abdirahman - 1/8/2008
It was this time last year when the Ethiopian invading troops marched into Somalia particularly the Capital, Mogadishu, with its 2.5 million populations in state of peace, but today the population has drastically dwindled to less than one million because of the mass killing, indiscriminate bombardments, prevalent rape and the massive displacements. In that backdrop, Somali Cause, the largest union of Somali organizations in North America, has called to mark on the mourning of the first sad anniversary of Ethiopia 's occupation of Somalia to be held across the U.S. and Canada on December 28th...
Engaging Somalia Via The Road Least Traveled
Abukar Arman - 1/8/2008
The report card is in, and the end of the year accumulative grade indicates miserable failure. Worsening conditions for the ailing nation of Somalia, costly quagmire for Ethiopia and political wild-goose chase that produced a new hotbed of Anti-Americanism in the Horn for the US.
The "War on Terror" and the Humanitarian Crisis in Somalia
Sadia Ali Aden - 12/21/2007
Approximately three months ago, Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG), pressured out Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi. Surprisingly, this political re-arrangement of deckchairs generated much noisy headlines.
The Africa Command Prospect and the Partition of Somalia
Abukar Arman - 12/15/2007
As the US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, was recently visiting American forces in Djibouti, the Washington Post was reporting how the Pentagon has been spearheading a seemingly dicey initiative to pressure Washington into recognizing the secessionist northwestern region of Somalia known as “Somaliland” as an independent state.
Somalia: Shifting Policy or a Face-saving Gimmick
Abukar Arman - 12/1/2007
By all standards, the situation unfolding in Somalia is horrifically grim, and according to the UN, it is the worst crisis in Africa; worse than the crisis in Darfur that outraged the world’s conscience in an unprecedented way.
China in Somalia: Flexing the Bicep in the Zone
David James - 8/2/2007
China has sent shivers across the spines of major global economies after winning an oil exploration deal in the north of the war torn Somalia. But it is not such a surprise to corporate executives who might have foreseen the eminence of Chinese deal makers break in Somalia. The move was guaranteed and the results perfectly stashed in the duffel of Chinese Oil Company. A wake up call to the peace process brokers and the members of the European Union and the African Union.
Somalia: Ethiopian Occupation, Reconciliation Pipedream, And The Way Forward
Abdulkadir Abdirahman - 7/11/2007
For some everything that could go wrong for Somalia has came to pass, for others, considering how rapidly Mogadishu is turning into Baghdad, the worst, both for Somalia and the region, is yet to come. However, there is no dispute that each day that passes makes it more evident that occupation leads neither to "reconciliation" nor to a "way forward."
The Monkey-See-Monkey-Do of the Somali Political Saga
Abukar Arman - 7/5/2007
It has been over four decades, 47 years to be exact, since Somalia became an independent nation, and the British and the Italian Somali-lands have united into one democratic nation- the first of its kind in Africa . In due course this budding nation would become Africa ’s most dysfunctional, its first failed state, and its first to be occupied by another African nation.
Willful Blindness, “Doublethink,” and the Mogadishu Massacre
Abukar Arman - 5/1/2007
The prospect of the ill-advised partnership between Meles Zenawi’s Ethiopia and the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) ever solving the Somali problem is dead on arrival. And though their ferocious military campaign has created a horrific carnage that the International Committee for Red Cross called “the worst in 15 years” and the UN described the worst humanitarian crises of the day, the duo continue to garner support from Washington whose initial interest was to hunt down “three global terrorist” desperadoes, but now seem to be comfortably laying in the middle of a dangerous intersection; blindfolded, with a big stick in the hand.
Somalia: Opportunity Knocks Once, But Not Twice
Kamal Hana - 2/1/2007
Somalia is a coastal country at the Horn of Africa in East Africa. It is the only one nation in the world that hasn' t had an effective government since 1991, when the dictator Siad Barre was overthrown. This has been a paradox in the 21th century. Sadly but fact. In the past few months the country has been an arena for fierce fightings between Islamic militias and warlords from the Alliance for theRestoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism. The results have been more than tragic: about 300 people have been killed, the capital has been destroyed.
Iraqization of Somalia Could Widen the Divide between the West and the Islamic World
Abukar Arman - 12/15/2006
As the international community embarks on a frantic diplomatic quest to extinguish the raging political and sectarian fire in Iraq, fatalist ideologues within the Bush administration, in partnership with certain money-motivated regional political powerbrokers, are busy igniting another one in Somalia.
The Somali Political Cliffhanger
Abukar Arman - 11/15/2006
As the third round of the Khartoum peace talks ended in disappointment, the question on the minds of many stakeholders is “How would the Somali political riddle ever be solved peacefully?” How would a country that is allergic to political stalemates and is already fatigued by years of tail-chasing “peace negotiations” survive this round of disappointment?
Somalia: Caught Between Cynicism and the Specter of War
Abukar Arman - 10/30/2006
After ridding off Mogadishu and other areas in southern Somalia what was widely considered as the nation’s deadliest political parricides-- the warlords -- no sustainable peace is yet attained. Internally, ever since the Transitional National Government (TFG) made its ambivalence to negotiate with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) and participate in the Khartoum peace process known, ICU has taken certain unilateral measures that broadened its sphere of influence- measures that further alienated the paralyzed TFG. In fact, some analysts consider this as a prelude to an immanent clash between these two entities.
A Blink of an Eye Could Derail the Somali Peace Process
Abukar Arman - 9/24/2006
On their route to untangle one of the most complex political webs in modern history and negotiate a lasting peace, the visionaries among the Somali leadership have no choice but to remain steadfast and persevere despite the inevitable obstacles along the way.
Somalia: It Is Time to Put the Nation's Interest Before Any Special Group's
Abukar Arman - 9/7/2006
As has been the case for the past 15 years, here is yet another "good news, bad news" political development that puts this peace-starved nation on that roller coaster of hope and despair once again. On one hand, the Somali Transitional Federal Government (TFG) has signed an agreement with the Islamic Courts Union (ICU) to, among other things, build a joint national army and to form a peace committee to determine the scope of that army and the steps of implementation.
Somalia: Why the International Contact Group Should Support the Islamic Courts Union
Abukar Arman - 6/23/2006
Between euphoria and frustration, clarity and confusion, moderates must develop a sustainable alternative solution to the lawlessness that paralyzed Somalia for over 15 years, and find a platform to showcase that. Of course the quest to accomplish that would not only require willpower and resilience to paddle against the ferocious waves of suspicion, fear, and hate, but also a real support (of moral and material value).
The Great Game in Somalia
Abid Mustafa - 6/7/2006
The recent upsurge in fighting between the various factions in Somalia is a typical example of wars being fought throughout the African continent where the real benefactor is neither the people nor local governments, but major powers. Somalia is another country that has been caught up in a vicious struggle between great powers competing against each other to control the Horn of Africa.