No time for lifting the Arms Embargo: A call for the gradual and total Demilitarization of Somalia

By IndepthAfrica
In Article
Feb 11th, 2013

By Dayib A. Atto
The idea of talking about a ‘demilitarization’ at this point with the nation still engaged in a war against a terrorist criminal organization may sound to be a bit out of sync with reality, but its precisely because nobody is even considering to look at the big Somali picture from this angle that I’m willing to commit a heresy and call for the total demilitarization of the Somali nation.

Terabytes of ink has been spilled analyzing the causes of the problems that Somalia is facing today and the solutions proposed for solving them are indeed too many, so I am not going to say much along those lines, rather what I am going to write is about the issue relating specifically to Clanism and Militarism while trying to provide a logical proof on how the two cannot coexist within the confines of a Nation without causing a destructive reaction – a good analogy for this proof is like trying to violate the laws of physics by attempting to make Petrol and Fire coexist peacefully in a bottle.

Since in Somalia Clanism has proven to be manifestly stronger than Nationalism, the establishment of a National Army is therefore incompatible with the Somali clanish reality. I see no way around this, either the loyalty to the clan or the armed forces, one of these two has to go, and since objects are easier to discard than ideas, the military instrument is a perfect candidate to let go away and the fact that at the moment we are fortunately at a stage where no strong national army exists will make the job much easier. All we have to do now is to simply not rebuild that army and let it fade away.

The current nascent federal government should resist and reject the reptilian calls to rebuild and resuscitate the dead monster that has been the Somali Armed Forces again. This government should remember and learn from history, we should all realize that the armed forces have never been a force for good to our nation. The Somali military has always been a net taker, a voracious and wasteful drainer of the meager resources of the nation, a bully and a source of nothing but a dictatorship, warlords and disastrous wars and destruction for Somalia. The military has never produced a single thing of beneficial use for the nation, they didn’t even bother to learn how to make a single bullet, their whole existence was based on the fallacy of defending the nation with imported donations of guns and surplus and obsolete military equipment from foreign countries. The military has also been the Trojan horse through which foreign powers have come into the country to manipulate our internal politics for their diabolical strategic geopolitical interests during the Cold War, with the disastrous consequences that are still reverberating in our society to this day.

The irony of all ironies is the fact that the current war against the Terrorists is being won with the help of the neighboring countries, the very same countries that we were told the National Army was supposed to defend us from. Its for this reason that I have come to the conclusion that the long term interest of the Somali nation is to become demilitarized, starting with the gradual reorientation of our entire security apparatus to a professional police and coast guard forces.

Once freed from the burden of maintaining a parasitic standing army, Somalis could concentrate their efforts on matters of economic, industrial and educational development.

Dayib A. Atto

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