United Nations is Guiding Somalia to a Fake Democracy
UN has a special representative in Somalia, where he gives directions to the Somali government officials and also reports every political development in Somalia to the UN security council on a frequent basis. The UN then advises the highest Somali government officials to comply with the directions given by the UN envoy in Somalia. When the Somali officials cooperate with the directions given by the UN envoy, the UN in turn casts a blind eye to their corruption and power misuses.
The Somali people noticed that the current Somali leaders are inept and corrupt. They lost hope and see no positive developments in the country, particularly in the sectors of security, economy, justice, governance, and human rights. Somalia remains unsafe and is experiencing the worst economic crisis since Somalia entered the civil war. The Somali people are very concerned that they will experience the worst famine that ever happened in the country. Those critical government inabilities makes the public to lose confidence. One thing is clear: the current Somali government is inept and not working for the benefits of the public interest of Somalia.
Instead of coming up with reliable ways to keep Somalia safe, secure, and stable, the Somali government is undertaking many unnecessary efforts to portray itself as a functioning democratic government. Ironically, the Somali government is attempting to prevent democracy inside the country, such as freedom of press, freedom of speech, and keep and bear arms. For example, private media have been shut down by the Somali government and have arrested the journalist and staff that worked the media corporate businesses. Also they intimidate other lawmakers that oppose their way of governing. Political party officials who have different political views also get intimidated. Human rights activist who advocate for the justice of victims also get intimidated. Also civilians who voice their opinion against the government experience persecutions. So while all of this is happening, the UN is witnessing all of this, but decides to look the other way.
Despite the country’s deep political crisis, the government started fueling violent disarmament of the political dissidents. In the pretext of fighting against extremists, the government started forceful disarmament of former government officials, who are a direct target of the extremists. The country is in a widespread lawlessness and citizens have the right to have small arms in order to defend their lives and their personal properties. It doesn’t make sense that the Somali government is trying to disarm some people when they can’t guarantee their safety. Those that are disarmed are vulnerable to be attacked by the extremists or the intelligence servicemen of the Somali government itself.
The government showed intolerance with the press’ freedom of speech and freedom of press. They have shut down independent media frequently. They also destroy the business assets of the media, and collectively arrest and torture private media owners and journalists. They are doing this by making an example out of them so that people would not dare to speak badly about the Somali government. Their demand is a clear message of an autocratic regime that violates the rights of its citizens. For example, The Shabelle Media Network and Sky Radio, which are a popular news sources that enjoy the largest audiences in Somalia, were targeted by the Somali security forces on August 15, 2014. The forces, as usual, destroyed most of the media equipments and confiscated some of them. They collectively detained journalists, who are not content with the government’s performance, and put them in an undisclosed, uninhabitable prison of the intelligence force, known as Black Hole or “Godka Jilicow”. The prisoners live in an inhumane conditions and get tortured with severe beatings and electric shocks known as parrilla torture. The Government forces targeted Shabelle Media Network and Sky Radio because they provide unexposed information to the public and practiced their freedom of press and speech. They broadcasted directly to the public’s concerns and their discontents with the government’s actions or poor government leadership.
The Somali government lately encountered an increasing pressure from political opposition groups and increasing numbers of citizens who are discontent about the Somali government’s lack of progress caused by the deteriorating security in the country. Most people believe that government’s intelligence unit is chasing unfavorable lawmakers, private media, human rights activists and political opponents. The Somali people came to the conclusion that the Somali government’s secret servicemen are carrying out covert missions of assassinations.
In addition, the small tyranny cult group within the Somali statehouse portrayed themselves as the ruling religious party and, in partnership with the UN, planned to establish regional administrations led by the ruling party’s members. The aim of creating these regional governments is to deprive the popular votes expected to happen in the election of 2016. Most of the Somali people are not welcoming this deceitful preparation of creating federal member states and bogus election in 2016. The reason is that the people want to own the ability of building bottom up administration of their regions and disregard the federal government’s initiatives without considering their consent or respecting the general will of the people in those regions.
The political battle ground entered a dangerous course when the government began to silence critics, nonconformist in the private media, human rights activists, and dissident politicians. The government should consider first initiating a real reconciliation process that brings many diverse Somali people together with the aim of restoring trust, living peacefully together, and promoting a better relations among them. Disarming politicians, dissidents, and clan leaders is a sinister agenda of an authoritarian regime that aims to have a say without opposition. With government’s inventive allegations based on fighting terrorism, disarming warlords, reducing arms in the hands of criminals, and securing government forces against incursions from armed clan militias are all conspiracy and pretexts to intimidate, incarcerate, persecute, and prosecute anti government political opponents and the free press.
The disarmament should apply to the general population of Somalia, rather than being localized to specific clan or particular city. First the government should secure the stability of the country and then seek a peaceful means of overall disarming people with heavy arms. People are willing to hand over their heavy arms in exchange with money compensation. We should not ignore that arms came to the hands of the people because they bought it to defend themselves. Forceful disarmament will bring the country back to civil unrest. Also, it is worth to note that the general perception of most people believe is that the weapons taken by the government security forces will end up in black markets, arming its pro-government sect groups, or in the hands of armed religious extremists.
The Somali people point fingers to foreign peacekeepers, such as AMISOM, that are engaged in the Somali internal political crisis whom are siding with the corrupt government leaders who are doomed to failure. The adverse attitude of the African peacekeepers will drag AMISOM to a situation where the people consider them as a bad forces who are supporting the Somali government’s malpractices, injustice, incompetency, and corruptness. What is ironic is that the majority of the African governments that are part of the AMISOM are autocratic and practice corruption. Now, it is getting more clear to the minds and hearts of Somali people that the peacekeepers from African dictatorial regimes are no good for promoting democracy in Somalia.
In addition, The UN is considered as the mastermind of all the wickedness in the processes of establishing an effective permanent Somali government. The UN is the one that architected unpractical and unethical clan federalism as a system of governance in Somalia. The processes that introduced such system was undemocratic because the UN formed the Somali constitution for the Somali people. The majority of the Somali people consider the current Somali constitution as a foreign concept, because the Somali constitution was not created by the Somali people, instead the UN dictated the Somali government what constitution to have. The UN did every possible threat to impose the Somali constitution to the people and its government to dictate achieving what was designed for them.
Now that Somalia has an official permanent government that the international community presumably endorsed to own the legal title of the Somali government, the UN remains as a callous guide behind the scenes and directs the Somali government to achieving UN desired outcomes. One of the undeniable future outcomes will be that Somalia becomes a democratic country by name where polls are stolen or sold. The undergoing processes to implement creating federal member states, constitution referendum, and popular election in 2016 are all misleading guidance to a fake democracy. Even though the UN recognizes the notion of self-governance and the universal human rights, they don’t practice those principles in Somalia. The UN has noticed the tyranny of the small group at the Somali statehouse who is misusing and abusing the government powers and using it as a tool of a personal retaliation against those that oppose them. However, the UN chose to be silent about the Somali government’s human rights violations, and in certain circumstance, the UN appears to support malpractice and dysfunctional governance procedures in Somalia.
The Somali People’s Party is very concerned about the role of the UN and AMISOM in Somalia. It is preferred that the Somalis come up with their own solutions instead of following the orders that the UN designed for them. The intervention of the UN and AMISOM in the internal affairs of Somalia is not helpful and will keep the country at status quo. Somalia is not the best place to implement the UN theoretical experiments of new political orders. Even though UN is making great efforts of achieving its desired goals, it’s not going to happen in the lifetime of the coming generations. There is no sympathy of feeling comfortable with UN’s ill deceived views in Somalia because of its unsuccessful political and military operations in the past that make Somalis aware of its indifference.
Dr. Said Mohamud
Chair of the Somali People’s Party
Candidate of Somali Presidential Election on 2012