Monday, September 26, 2005

A Study Of The Psychology Of A Nomadic Society And Its Implications For Somaliland

Dr. Abdishakur Jowhar — Canada — 25 September, 2005
A study of the Psychology of a Nomadic Society and its Implications for Somaliland

Part IV: Somaliland: Rebirth At The Edge of Chao

“In Somaliland a ray of hope is flickering. I say flickering because it is under the onslaught of the same forces of evolutionary stress: tribe, toxic waste and visa exempt bugs of all kinds. But there sure is something interesting developing there, a singular experience, and something different altogether. There is peace around the water wells, in the grazing areas, in the villages and in the towns. There are plenty of guns. Plenty technicals. Plenty Klashnikovs. But no one is firing them. The tribes are not massacring each other. Instead a primordial state and its primordial institutions are gradually appearing. We need to know what is happening in Somaliland? Is this what evolutionary adaptation looks like? Is survival feasible after all? Should we not study this natural experiment with a magnifying glass, I mean instead of being scared by it or vilifying it or pulling magic numbers (like 4.5) out of tainted Diaspora hats? Stay tuned for Part 4 where I will be exploring this topic, its evolutionary ramification and the promise it may hold for all Somalis.” From Part III “The Extinction of Tribal Society.

This is part IV. A promise made and a promise kept (eventually!).

One caveat before I commence

There is a multiparty parliamentary election underway in Somaliland as I write. The campaigning for the election has been heated, at times bellicose, and so far free, fair and much more importantly peaceful! Allow me to whisper to you a hidden secret about this election, to spill the beans Somalilanders don’t want you to know. The political competition is only superficially between the three contesting national parties. The real competition, the one that will decide success or failure is the hidden competition in this election between modernity and statehood on the one hand and tribalism and extinction on the other. It is a struggle for the soul of the Somali. In this part I will write about the theoretical and ideological basis of this singular development in Somaliland in relations to its wider regional context. And I will write about how the two entities of Somalia and Somaliland can interact with symbiosis rather the customary mutual suspicion and tribally based alliances that are ephemeral, shifting and mutually destructive.

What I write here is commentary. Political action is a local function. What happens in Somalia or in its progeny states will be decided on the ground in the cities, villages, farms and nomadic communities inside the country. Somalia’s salvation will not happen in professorial ivory towers or in sterilized suburbia, as some of my colleagues in Diaspora seem to believe. I am not therefore proposing a plan of action. The purpose of my writing is to provoke debate at a time when dialogue among Somalis is nothing more than a disconnected series of monologues, to explore other options at a time when positions has fossilized and imagination died and finally to illuminate the road ahead when possible.

The reader must know my bias. I am committed to the concept of the political independence of Somaliland. Bias, by definition, has the capacity of distorting observation. My Somali identity, however hyphenated, balances this bias to some degree. I remain acutely aware of the unique pain of uncertainty that is associated with my existence and that has caged my people at the periphery of mankind and the edge of extinction. My intimate awareness of the impending human catastrophe will hopefully take me beyond the petty bickering of who among Somalis is more dead than the rest for I know, all that is dead is equally dead.In Between Stories (Or The Truth About A Failed State)This is the story of a nation-state that ceased to exist. It is the story of a nation that refuses to be born again. It is an old story that is finished, completed and told, leaving behind a blank space where there is no new story. Somalis are thus stuck in a mysteriously frightening era that was once pregnant with hope and possibilities and that is delivering only horrors, an era in between stories.

To untangle this mess let us start with what we know: the old story of the near past. We lived through it and so we know it. Now we must mine it for the cause of our imminent demise and clues for our salvation.There was of course the union of two countries, the British Protectorate of Somaliland and the Italian Colony of Somalia that formed the Republic of Somalia in July 1, 1960. The union of the two countries was to serve as the launching pad for the ambitious dream of bringing about a grand state for all the Somali Speaking Moslems of the horn of Africa. It was a time of big plans and bigger dreams. It was a time of innocence. Everything was possible, every objective obtainable. Men elsewhere where planning to go to the moon. Somalis were planning the unity of all those who looked, talked and worshiped like them into one nation, united under god free at last of all colonial oppression in both its black and white permutations.

It was the good sixties-Somali Version. The flag, blue as a cloudless sky in a sunny day, was carried with much love and dignity. The five-pointed star that adorned its center was the physical symbol of the purpose of the nation and the reason for its existence. The star waited for all the parts to fall in place. These are facts and they need to be retold because they are the pink elephant in the room that the collective psyche of Somalis insists on forgetting. They need to be retold because the pink elephant is the key to the new story.Sadly there are dreams that morph into nightmares and this was one of them. Before the decade was out The Somali State was in either covert or open warfare with Ethiopia, French Somali Coast (currently Djibouti) and Kenya for the Somali people that were to be freed from colonial yoke and reunited into a new nation lived in these three neighboring countries. These were the liberation wars of Somalia.

The first war started in 1964. I was in elementary school then. I remember running through the mountains fleeing with my family the bombardment of Ethiopian airplanes of my village. I remember being hungry, tired and wailing. And I remember my mother soothing, telling me that it will be all right soon, our government will open that magic mirror. The mirror will suck in all these airplanes and take them inside it for destruction. I liked the story it helped me fall asleep that night.The last of the wars started in 1976 again with Ethiopia. Cubans, Soviets and American were all participants in it. The Cubans and the Soviets participated physically with armed forces on the ground. The American were behind the scenes but nevertheless present.

The big powers were ferociously engaged in the cold war. For them the Ethiopian Somali conflict was only one peripheral and inconsequential theatre. But for the region it was a big war, the mother of all wars. It had had profound consequences for Somalis everywhere. For at the end of this war the ideology of Great Somalia lay defeated and dead. Anyway I never heard of it again. Honest. I never saw anyone advocating, justifying or proselytizing Great Somalia ever since.
Before that war all Somali music, all poetry, all dance and all celebration were related to it in one fashion or the other. No poems, no songs and no plays were written about it since. The idea of Great Somalia simply vanished. It was there one day and it was out of the collective psyche of the nation the next day. Maybe some one opened the magic mirror facing the wrong direction?The defeat also robbed the union of its reason for existence. The blue flag became stained with blood of Somalis who turned on each other finding refuge only in the savagery of tribalism as salvage of last resort and as an ancestral burying ground. , The union (by then the Democratic Republic of Somalia) started to decay. It fell apart and died as well in 1990. It was over, from dust to dust, from ashes to ashes. Despite many attempts no one was able to bring union back to life. The metamorphosis of a dream to a nightmare was completeSome believe that Siyad Barre the last dictator of Somalia killed the nation. Others blame the armed liberation movements that resulted in the defeat of Siyad Barre (USC, SNM, SSDF, etc). They maintain these armed groups did carry the name Somali in all of their acronyms but in the final analysis they represented nothing more than a tribal fracture of the national body politic. Some maintain that the tribal strive followed the inability of these organizations to build a national consensus.But this is merely a description of the sequence of events in Somalia.

The underlying cause of the disintegration, the reason only tribal armed organization could prosper, the reason only tribal political alliances could be formed since the Fall, the reason one man could kill a nation, the reason a nation was unable to produce a national consensus, the real reason for all of these is that Somalis had nothing left to unite them, nothing to give them a national purpose. The dream was dead. No Greet Somalia, no union, and no nation. Entropy took hold. Entropy caused the rise and triumph of the tribal political organizations. Entropy rules today. Its other name is statelessness.The old story ends here. Whatever comes after it is a new story, with new plots and new characters. It is a story not yet written, not yet fully imagined, and not yet told. So we are caught here in the middle, in the time that is “in between stories”.

Yet there are glimpses of what is to be in the horizon, not yet fully formed but primordial and still subject to evolutionary influence. The quandary starts here.

A Diabolical Experiment

Ever since the chaos began in 1990 Somalis have been repeatedly experimenting with a new formula as the foundation of a new story. The experiment has been repeated some 14 times so far. It fails every time. With each failure tens of thousands of Somalis lose their life. And the same experiment with the same parameters is repeated all over again. It is a killer experiment. The mad scientists who run the experiment are clearly not among those who are killed by it.
I don’t know who authored the formula. I know not the shadowy and persistent experimenters. I know for sure that once every few years I come by merchants of death flocking to Somali reconciliation conference sites to get a piece of the pie. I come by them hugging “get rich quick” schemes, and dreams of positions and booty. I see them secretly conspiring with the forces of tribal darkness, scheming to skim any fat of the Somalis that will soon die in the experiment. I see them fly and circle, like vulture, the carcass of a nation. Once every few years I see them.

Formula Diabolicum

The formula is maddeningly simple. It is has one central pillar and 4 supporting structures. Each of the five pillars carries within it the seeds for self-destruction and collapses as soon as construction is completed.

• The central pillar is the tribal distribution of power.
This has been operationalized in fine details and enshrined in made up number (4.5 tribal power sharing units) that do not correspond to the reality of the nation and that totally negates the concepts of the individual and citizen. There is only one simple problem with this tribally based power structure. Tribalism has never built a state in human history. It just is not in the nature of the beast. Tribalism is the one factor that has prevented the rebirth of a Somali state. It is what will cause the extinction of Somali society as a whole. Please see part III of this series for the details.

4.5 is the symbol of the shame and failure of the Somalia’s educated elite, who habitually fall back into the intellectually lazy position of tribal “solutions” nonsense because “There is nothing else to work with”. I mean give me a break, you don’t build your house with liquid water “because there is nothing else” unless you are a fish, you don’t build your house of hot air and live in it “because there is nothing else” and surely you don’t build your house of fire unless you believe in reincarnation.

• A peace conference in a safe place.

This removes the reconciliation process from its legitimate environment and throws it into the highly artificial environment of posh hotels, running water, electricity and absence of gunfire. It represents acceptance of failure right from the start, for it speaks of political forces that failed to develop even the minimal trust necessary to meet somewhere in their own country (just to meet and say hi). It solves the mistrust by asking them to reach a comprehensive solution (from A-Z) to their crisis in some foreign soil and go back and start fighting because no one really trusted anyone at all any which ways. The failure is ingrained in the assumption; it unfolds when “a comprehensive paper agreement” is brought back to the home of mistrust.
• Dangerous Aid:
International monetary assistance for the Somali reconciliation conferences has been one of the more destabilizing aspects of international aid to Somalis. People are actually paid to attend these meetings. The payments are meager but the economic environment is such that peanuts do count. The hotel expenses and food of the potentially reconcilable are covered by financial donations from the rest of the world. Aid comes with an inherently corrupting power. The money distorts both the course and the outcome of the conferences. Purse holders with the capacity to decide who should get what and when come into existence and prosper and play a disproportionate role. Local powers actually manipulate their donations to engineer an outcome favorable to them. More distant powers engage in similar practices in a more sophisticated manner. The marathon conferences take up two years at a time and become a bona fide business in their own right. The more money the more corruption, the more and merrier the unsavory characters and the merchants of death it attracts.
• The Assumption that Armed Gangs (Called Warlords) will voluntarily disarm:
What is a warlord? A warlord is to a nation what a criminal thug is to an individual. Warlords are men who have private armies recruited exclusively from the Warlord’s tribe but who has allegiance only to Warlord and to no one else (not to tribal elders, tribal chief or other prominent members of the same tribe).
A thug drives his power from his capacity to intimidate one or few persons at most. A warlord drives his power from his capacity to intimidate the civilian populations of whole villages, towns and cities. It is no exaggeration that every Warlord in Somalia has been responsible for the death of at least hundreds of Somalis. You don’t become a warlord by praying in a mosque. This is a status you reach only by spilling blood, preferably but not necessarily, the blood of other tribe members. You may become “respectable” afterwards, but first you have to plant the seeds of “respect”.

The Arta Conference held in Djibouti created the Abdi Qaasim paper government by imagining the Warlords away. The latest Somali reconciliation conference in Kenya took a different route but one that is equally preposterous. In the last reconciliation conference held in the pig farm of Mpagathi, Kenya, the experimenters decided to limit the reconciliation process primarily to the warlords and to make the biggest of them the president of the nation. That is how Abdillahi Yusuf became the new paper president.
Now imagine asking Al Capone a) to give up his weapons voluntarily b) to hand the weapons over to the Gambini crime family c) and to help the Gambinis become the law and order agency of the land. This might indeed look ridiculous but asking the murderous Somali gangs called warlords to give up their weapon is every bit as ridiculous. Yet it is a central premise of the experiment.
When the warlords continue on maiming and murdering people, and when they fight out turf battles among themselves marked by the enormity of the collateral damage to the civilian population, the learned experimenters shake their heads in dismay and feign surprise. For those who like to live in dreams we should wake them up and tell them otherwise. Behold ye who sleep; Warlords will not disarm voluntarily. Not now. Not tomorrow. And not the day after tomorrow.
• The establishment of a paper government.
The announcement of government that controls only few villages or few streets of the capital and presenting them to the world and to the Somalis as actual national Somali State perpetuates the whole fakery and plays a cruel joke on the Somali public. The paper government is recognized by other governments in paper. And every one abandons it once it is all written up in a paper and the paper ends up in landfills.
The uniqueness of the experiment lies in its strangeness as well. It always begins with prayers, celebrations, and song and dance. And it always ends in moaning and mourning with thousands of Somalis dead, suffocated, strangulated, stabbed, shot, infected, infested, starved and drowned. I mean this literally. And woe betides those who survive the experiment are seized by a collective amnesia that guarantees its future repetition.
Conspiracy theorists may see The Experiment as a secret weapon designed to free the land of Somalis and replace them with others. Unfortunately the essential theorists of the experiment are Diaspora based Somali intellectuals, themselves caught in the tribal net, their own alienation in foreign lands and their own disconnection from the spirit and soul of the nation. When the theory fails every time, the scholars blame the experimenters, the warlords, the victims, and the rest of the world. Indeed failure has “other” fathers.
There is here an obvious conclusion that can be reached with ease and certainty. The diabolic formula is the problem not the solution. It is not a new story. It is a perpetual repetition of the end of the old story. The decade that followed the defeat of the Great Somalia ideology in 1976 saw the ascendancy of tribal conflict, the commencement of ferocious tribal wars and the gradual decay and eventual disappearance of the Somali state in 1990. The decade and half that followed the collapse of the Somali State saw only the institutionalization of tribal ideology in the form of 4.5 and the cyclical escalation of the debauchery, bloodletting and tribal sacrifices of gore and blood. The Diabolic Formula drives these cycles and repeats the ending of the same old story, like an echo, like the after shocks of an earthquake, like the last shivers of dying man.Somaliland: Rebirth at the Edge of ChaosHuman knowledge and human behaviors are both universal. The history and knowledge of mankind belongs equally to all of us. We can draw wisdom from the well of humanity’s accumulated knowledge. And we can draw solace from the universality of evil for our fall is nothing more than a repetition of human folly. Man has been there before and will visit this most acute of all human tragedies again… the tragedy of being at the edge of total extinction. Some may think I exaggerate. Surely the thousands of Somalis who drown in the high seas every year in their flight to death from death know something different. The thousands who perish in the deserts and dry savannahs of Africa in their search for safety bear testimony to the contrary.I will digress briefly and draw your attention to work of the Canadian scholar Kim Vincente who in his book, “The Human Factor” explores the concept of “magnificent transitional instability”. He is actually speaking of cell phones, cars, and computers. Nevertheless it is the human organizations that are involved that could be instructive for the Somali.Living systems whether biological or social can be measured with a scale for equilibrium that ranges from the most stable to the most chaotic. Societies in Equilibrium are too stable and too rigid to change. Societies in total chaos are too disorganized to change (the city of Mogadishu comes to mind). Somaliland is not in state of Equilibrium. It is not in state of total chaos either. It is somewhere in between the two. It can be described as being on the Edge of Chaos. It is a state of affairs that places Somaliland in an unstable yet dynamic position with the capacity to err, falter and fall and also with the capacity to stand up, adopt and evolve. Vincente describes such a state in a human organization as magnificent transitional instability.With this background let me attempt to elucidate what drives Somaliland and what makes it tick. It is essential to understanding these underpinnings of Somaliland society to make sense of what is taking place in that part of the world.1. Self-Organization: Internally driven Self-Organization has defined all recent developments in Somaliland. The disarmament of the thousands of hardened warriors who were on the verge of developing the tentacles of tribal gangsters, and the mass killing power of warlords was an internal process. The peace and reconciliation and the building of the institutions that could maintain the newfound order were locally driven and locally maintained initiatives. There was no international aid for Somaliland disarmament, peace making, or peacekeeping. On the contrary there was a deliberate effort where severely limitations were intentionally imposed on external influences that preceded any positive transformation in the country.Two aspects of this limitation of external influences that are often lost in the historical subscripts of the Somaliland story need to be underlined here for the record and for a better clarity of vision. First the Guurti reconciliation conferences in the early nineties in Somaliland limited the role of the educated Diaspora based elite by its utilization of traditional authority and traditional leadership. Diaspora Somalis has developed into external agents in the Somali conflict. The terrible wars and mass starvations of chaos do not threaten their life or that of their immediate family. Their intense participation in the local politics of Somalia is sometimes driven by altruism and idealism. But much more often it is driven by ambition and greed for power and plunder. The sidelining of this external influence was essential for self-organization in Somaliland and a stroke of genius on the part of the Guurti.That was the first, the other aspect the second factor that is often lost in the fine prints of history is that Egal (the second President of Somaliland) kicked United Nations Peacekeeping Forces (UNISOM II) out of Somaliland. He took the step because they challenged his authority, something Egal never took lightly. But in hindsight it is clear that the meddling of such well-resourced external agent in the internal relationships of the social forces of the emerging state would have prevented self-organization.Self-organization is a fundamental principle of the world we live in. It defines organisms, organizations and states. Self-Organization has the advantage of being adaptable, resilient, creative, and capable of learning and growing through the process of positive and negative feedback loops of errors and achievements. Self-Organization, which is known to occur more readily in situations of transitional instability, is the reason for the fundamental transformation of Somaliland society.2. Acceptance of the death of the Somali Republic. Somaliland has been unique, in the Somali context of effectively confronting, accepting and coming to terms with the death and disintegration of the Somali Republic. Somalilanders clearly understand the Somali Republic was the physical embodiment of the expansionist concept of Great Somalia.The death of an ideology has profound consequences for mankind. It causes the disappearance of the reason of existence of nations, states and empires. It inevitably leads to disintegration and redefinition of social and political systems. In our life time such a disintegration of states and appearances of new nations followed the defeat of both Nazism and Communism. But the same story has been repeated countless times in the history of man.Great Somalia was a romantic effort of a deep desire to bring all ethnic Somalis in the Horn of Africa under one big nationalist tent. Like all ethnocentric philosophies in this millennium it gave the Somali only war, death, ignorance and destruction. It created havoc in the region and caused uncountable misery to ethnic Somalis in Ethiopia, Kenya and Djibouti. Somalilanders realize that the ideology is dead and that it should be buried with dignity and left alone. As Alice in Wonderland would sing “All the king’s men and all the king’s horses could not put Humpty back together again.”The first act of healing is acceptance. Somaliland took the only logical conclusion that can arise from this acceptance. It withdrew officially from the union and brought back its old name Somaliland. I was first taken aback by the adoption of nation of its colonial name, until I realized the historical ramifications of the name.3. Geography over Ethnography: Somaliland based its claim to statehood on Geography based on well-defined colonial boundaries both internally and externally. The new belief in geography constituted a stark contrast to the Great Somalia ideology that saw Somali ethnicity as the defining feature of the Somali nation. This again is a radical departure from the past.The acceptance of the colonial border had an expected and calming effect inside Somaliland. In the local, presidential and parliamentary elections the six districts established by the British became the internal borders of the election. The tribes of Somaliland collectively took a deep sigh of relief and thanked the gods that they don’t have to constantly engage in war over territory. Arguments between regions will come now and then as they always did. The remedy now is the colonial map interpreted by trusted local institutions. There will always be a few who will appeal to tribal sentiment to come and kill the enemy and take the land. Primitive, aggressive tribal minds will continue to lust for the blood of the “enemy”, but the internal colonial borders have substantially curbed their influence.On the External front Somaliland accepted the colonial border of the day of its independence on June 26, 1960. The acceptance of the colonial borders with Ethiopia, Djibouti normalized relationships and clarified the basis for interactions. It led to some interesting if unexpected developments: Somaliland no longer considered Ogaden Liberation Front as a front for the liberation of Somalis and refused to allow it to workout of its territory. Border disputes with Ethiopia evaporated overnight. The process of working out neighborly relations will take long but it there is good will on both sides.The same did not work with the border with Somalia for this is border like no other. It is a border that carries the weight of a history of thirty years of marriage followed by one messy separation.4. Peace with Somalia: The Somaliland-Somalia border is still entangled in the death of the Somali Republic. In time reason will prevail. It is interesting to note the consensus among all of Somaliland’s political parties and of the general public that force should never be used to settle questions related to the border between Somalia and Somaliland. The Somaliland political establishment is aware that such a war would immediately become a tribal war. Tribal wars do not resolves boundary problem. Tribal wars lead only to much cruelty, much death and much destruction in a land that already has plenty of all of these. The no war with Somalia policy has become an article of faith in Somaliland. And thankfully so.
5. Adoption of multiparty Democracy: Strange things happen at the edge of chaos. Who would have thought human rights, democracy, the rule of law and free press would become central in the stability, progress and peace of society of ferocious, nomadic tribes with a penchant for blood, vengeance and anarchy. The highly competitive, “republican” nomads, every one of whom believe he is the only cowboy in town found the egalitarian principal of one man one vote a solace for their inflated tribal self worth. The free press that at times is too loud and too entitled has kept the corrupt officialdom with the desire for despotism in relatively tame state.
6. Accommodation of tribal structure of society: Somaliland is as deeply tribal as any other Somali society. The single most potent enemy that could tear it apart into civil strife and extinction is the tribe. Success or failure will depend upon who takes the upper hand the Somaliland tribes or the Somaliland state. If any thing defeats Somaliland it will be this internal tribal enemy. The tribal structure of Somaliland demands to be taken into consideration and for its energy to be directed to productive ways (like competition for building universities or at least naming them). But that is not enough. Somalilanders have to find a way to direct the tribal sentiment into useful pursuits. Maybe they should go build themselves tribal universities in place of spilling tribal blood.Somalilanders stumbled on to the institution of the Guurti (House of Elders, the upper house of the Somaliland parliament). It started as tribal council of the SNM and upon the fall of Siyad Barre it was expanded to cover all Somaliland Tribes. It became the one institution that has so far proved to be indispensable to the stability of Somaliland. The Guurti is a body composed of the Who Is Who of Somaliland tribal society; the most eminent of traditional leader, those known for their wisdom among their peers, the opinion leaders, religious leader and cultural leaders are all members of the Guurti. Tribal minds stop saber rattling and yelling battle cries when the Guurti speaks. It is interesting to note that these are predominantly men whose learning is not corrupted by exposure to western schooling system.ConclusionsI have described in broad strokes of what became of the union. I spoke about the story. And reviewed its state. About all of this you, dear reader must make your own conclusions. On my part I will call you to entertain mine as well. I will call my conclusions the third way-building blocks for a new story.The Third Way- the basis for a new story1. Recognize the union is dead. Bury it.2. No more reconciliation conferences in foreign soil. No more.3. Accept the colonial regional borders inside Somalia as the basis for administrative reconstruction to safe Somali tribes from the perpetual wars of translating tribal genealogy to tribal land grab.4. Recognize Somaliland. The colonial borders are the central pillars of peace in Africa and in most of the world. Come back to it and survive. The shock wave of such a bold step will jump start serious reconsideration of the diabolic experimentation as the basis of a new story.5. Accept the universal concept of citizenship. Every Somali citizen is equal to every other Somali citizen regardless of tribe, color, creed, ethnicity, sexual orientation or religious persuasion. One citizen One Vote. Discard totally the tired process of tribal horse-trading and of killing the camel by dividing it into 4.5 pieces.6. Disarm the Warlords Forcibly. Recognize the warlord could not be coaxed, begged, appeased, loved, hated or cheated or enticed to lay down their arms peacefully. The Warlords, the armed fundamentalist courts, the fortress hotels and armed business could only be disarmed in war or by the credible threat of overwhelming force on the ground, a force that is willing and ready to go to war with these enemies of statehood. Somalis should reach a political consensus on the nature and source of such a force and they must decide on how they will pay for it. The problem is that Somalis will find that there is no body out there that is willing to die for their stability and peace; there is no body out there that will solve their problems. I cannot imagine that there could be foot soldiers of such a force could that is other than Somalis. The leadership should be from the UN or another international organization that has the funds and the will to take on such a momentous task.7. Somaliland must play an active role in this Third Way. It could play as the land base for the creation of the international force, it could be the vehicle for temporarily holding the hopes and aspirations of nation, it could be the hatching grounds for a new look. At the end of the process it could be rewarded with peaceful settlement with Somalia.

Finally I know the Third Way is not in the cards in the foreseeable future. Abdillahi Yusuf’s bloodthirsty ambition has to take its natural course. Somaliland has to establish its democratic credentials and feel safe from a resurgence of the cursed tribal menace. The current elections have to occur in a manner the contesting political forces see as legitimate. I am brainstorming here on a Sunday afternoon. Kicking around ideas and hopeful that someone else will continue the process.

Dr. Abdishakur Jowhar

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