Horu Socod: Leading Somalia to a Path of Regression and Disunity

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Horu Socod: Leading Somalia to a Path of Regression and Disunity


By: Mohamud Shalab

Early 2017, a federal election was held that shook up the entire nation. Somali’s all over the world were in celebration of the new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo. Similarly, when the new Prime Minister, Hassan Ali Khayre, was appointed waves of revel ensued. For many this meant a fresh new start for Somalia and its people. A path to unity and oneness, a bright new future lay ahead where Somalia has eradicated terrorism and piracy, and can stand on its own feet.  With only a few months into the new government, change is already on the horizon.

 

However, A new politically charged union has formed named “Horu Socod.” They have claimed to be against the 4.5 formula which is essentially giving 4 equal shares of representation in parliament to the four major clans and leaving half of one share to be divided up amongst minority clans. They also claim to want a multiple party system. However, this is already on the agenda for the Somali government so forming this group seems very redundant and many are unclear about their motivation behind it. This group is composed of about 100 members. Among them are former ministers, some of them had other important positions in parliament. Unfortunately, it is a common custom among Somali’s that if one does not get a position they were meant to hold or if they lose in a political race they become and support the opposition, rather than losing gracefully. They are no longer concerned for the greater good of the country, but they are concerned with their own personal interest. Horu Socod may also have members that have no interest at all in Somalia having a functional government. They take advantage of the anarchism and in fact that is how they acquire an income. They may have mutual relationships with Al-Shabaab and their supporters. Other members may even be foreign agents looking to fulfil the agenda of the other involved organization. Now let’s look at who funds Somalia. Some of Somalia’s major funders are the EU, the US, UNSOM/UNDP. These are the organizations that are paying the salaries of the parliament members, AMISOM, as well as other smaller foreign aid. Of course, the one who is funding has an immense amount of power and influence over what exactly goes on. A simple threat of retracting funds is all that is required for things to go their way. Now this is not an accusation of any sort but rather a personal observation of how foreign officials can dominate and control Somali politics. We must open our eyes and look at the bigger picture. There is a lot more going on than what is shown on the surface. Now, we can make the assumption that Horu Socod is also being funded, and if their funders come to light this would answer many questions as to who is actually behind the ‘Horu Socod’ coalition, and their true motivations.

 

Recently, a few members of Horu Socod had a conferenced in Nairobi, Kenya. It is highly likely that these few are actually the ones that are carrying out a different political agenda. This group claims to want the same things as the federal government but are simultaneously opposing the government and fracturing from them, this is not obviously not conducive to the cause. If they are opposing the government then certainly they are supported by those who also oppose the government, whoever they may be. It is well known that neighboring countries have a vested interest that Somalia remains a failed state, so since the first conference was held in Nairobi, Kenya could it be that Horu Socod is carrying out the political agenda of the Kenyan government? This is indeed a question worth asking. Many are very sceptical of this new group and several political speakers have already spoken about how it could actually take Somalia backwards rather than forward.

 

The London-Somalia 2017 conference has just concluded. As mentioned in the communique, the conference outlined methods to combat the Humanitarian, strengthen national security, create more inclusive stable politics, accelerate Somalia’s economic recovery, as well as build new partnerships for Somalia. Following this conference with action and working towards the 2020 goal of peace and prosperity is what true progression looks like for Somalia and its people. A stable Somalia would not only benefit the Somali people but rather the world at large. Somalia could partake in international trades for oil, livestock and vegetation, and this would strengthen the economy in many parts of the world.

 

Now, if a stable Somalia is a mutual interest in the world, then what is required is transparency in the government, an establishment of proper funding for the Somali military army forces and a true effort to eradicating extremism, piracy, and hunger. All of this can only be accomplished by the Somali army forces and not AMISOM. AMISOM, though we are grateful for the work they have done, cannot help with these issues as the foreigners do not understand Somali custom and cultural tradition. Its important to note, the driving force of the majority of all conflicts is tribalism and unfortunately foreigners have no idea how it operates.

 

Somalia has a diverse colonial heritage. The British and Italians had very different styles of colonial rule. With The British exercising relatively indirect rule, they established a counsel of elders, which they would consult whenever matters were raised. If there was a crime they would use a system called collective punishment in which a perpetrator’s family members, elders, chiefs, friends, acquaintances are held responsible for their actions. They often don’t have any control over what the perpetrator does, and have no direct relation towards the attack and may not even support the crimes at all. For example, lets suppose an Al-Shabaab member carried out a suicide attack, killing innocent women and children. The British would follow this with an investigation to find out which tribe this individual belonged to, who their elders were, who their chief was. The people responsible for him would also be responsible for his crimes, so his mother and father would be arrested and other close relatives. Of course this does not work in a developed country, where you are the only one responsible for your crimes and you are innocent until proven guilty. However, in a country where there is no established rule of law such as Somalia, you must take extreme measures such as this since all other methods to deal with this issue have been unsuccessful. Bringing back collective punishment may be the the only way to eradicate extremism because this creates pressures from several different angles to deter individuals from engaging in terrorism. You see, the British understood the complexities of tribalism which is why they were able to deal with it somewhat effectively. AMISOM and other foreign aid do not understand Somalis or tribalism thus their efforts to eradicate extremism have been futile.

 

Its time we open our eyes. We must see Somalia for what it truly is and allow Somalis to deal with these issues in the ways that they see fit. The world must back the current federal government and aid the Somali military forces in uprooting the issues on their own because nobody understands Somalis better than Somalis themselves. Now is not a time for the emergence of new political groups before the president has even completed five months in office. We must collectively work towards building a better nation that can stand on its own. A place that is better to live for everyone where there is no extremism, terrorism, piracy, or hunger, because that would ultimately benefit the world at large.


By: Mohamud Shalab
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