A DIFFICULT TRANSITION IN SOMALIA: A BOOK REVIEW

Reviewed by Hassan M. AbukarDelivered: A tough transition in SomaliaCreator: Abdiweli Mohamed Ali

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Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” was Prime Minister of Somalia for 14 months, from June 2011 to October 2012, and is now the pinnacle of the regional authorities of Puntland. His new ebook is a memoir of his childhood, his early and later education, and his tenure as Prime Minister. Oddly sufficient, the ebook doesn’t embody his years as president of Puntland.

Born within the Sixties to a nomadic household in rural Galkacayo, Abdiweli grew up in central Somalia and later moved to Dhusamareeb, the place he spent his childhood. As a teen he dabbled in Marxism and “was on the verge of turning into an atheist.” After graduating from highschool, he attended the Nationwide College of Mogadishu, the place he majored in economics. After graduating, he labored briefly for the Division of Finance, then gained a uncommon scholarship to attend Vanderbilt College in Nashville, Tennessee. He returned to Somalia after finishing his grasp’s diploma, however returned to the USA shortly thereafter to pursue a doctorate. He settled within the Washington DC space the place he struggled to juggle faculty, work and the assist of his budding household. He labored as a safety guard, taxi driver and did all he might to assist his household. Lastly he completed

his doctorate at George Mason College and subsequently discovered a educating job at Niagara College in Buffalo.

In Buffalo, he met Mohamed Abdullahi “Farmajo”, the present president of Somalia. In 2010, Farmajo was appointed Prime Minister and requested Abdiweli to hitch his cupboard. Abdiweli was initially reluctant and requested for 2 days to see his spouse. Farmajo known as him again the subsequent day, however this time he was ready with a brand new enticement and a greater deal. He requested Abdiweli to turn out to be his deputy and minister of planning and worldwide cooperation. Abdiweli instantly accepted the submit. After seven months, destiny once more favored Abdiweli when Farmajo was pressured to step down. Farmajo then requested Abdiweli to exchange him as prime minister. The as soon as provincial child of central Somalia, who by no means dreamed of turning into prime minister, has all of a sudden reached surprising heights.

This ebook is nicely written, because of folks like Professor Lidwien Kaptejins who’ve helped the writer. It’s the story of a younger man who excelled in class, obtained a uncommon scholarship in America, and earned a doctorate. in economic system. It is a private story of survival, arduous work, ambition, self-discipline and being in the best place on the proper time.

Nevertheless, private success apart, the ebook lacks perception and candor. As well as, he’s stingy with particulars. He would not inform us a lot about Abdiweli’s contributions as Minister of Planning and Worldwide Cooperation (devoting solely a web page and a half to this topic) and his tenure as Prime Minister. When he grew to become Minister of Planning, he discovered a pc in his new workplace, which didn’t include a single authorities file. He stated he appointed a reliable common supervisor, reorganized the paperwork, instituted a system of division of labor and ensured that workers have been paid frequently.

By the point he left the ministry after seven months, there have been “computer systems, printers and the Web.” That is all Abdiweli stated about his expertise as Minister of Planning and Worldwide Cooperation. The previous college professor discovered himself preoccupied with the mundane day by day issues of the paperwork. In his ebook, nothing is alleged in regards to the improvement of public insurance policies, socio-economic planning, administration of statistics, monitoring of implementation or analysis.

Abdiweli’s tenure as Prime Minister has been rocked by an countless energy battle between President Sheikh Sharif and President Sharif Hassan. He was caught between these two highly effective figures who made certain to seek the advice of them within the affairs of his authorities. The 2 succeeded in blocking the primary cupboard proposed by Abdiweli. After some arguments, a compromise was reached wherein a brand new cupboard that excluded ministers who had served beneath Farmajo and Omar Abdirashid was to be appointed. What did Abdiweli do subsequent? His managerial blunder was so blatant that he requested the outgoing ministers to decide on their very own replacements. He informed them, “Since you aren’t returning to the agency, please give me your suggestions for the best individual to exchange you.” The ministers of the division confirmed their true colours and selected representatives of their very own clan.

Virtually talking, a blatant cupboard choice by Abdiweli shouldn’t be talked about in his ebook: the person who grew to become his deputy and protection minister, Hussein Arab Isse. Abdiweli named Isse, a person with no identified schooling and no authorities expertise who – till his appointment – had labored within the transportation trade in Sacramento, California. A number of years later, Isse spoke of that fateful day when he was requested to turn out to be a cupboard member. He informed a listening to in Minneapolis that Abdiweli known as him and requested him to be protection minister. “I used to be fully shocked by [Abdiweli’s] provide, ”Isse stated in an emotionless voice.

Abdiweli writes extensively about his pioneering work in laying the groundwork for the ‘street map’, which he says was initiated by him and different stakeholders. “The street map was an in depth checklist of dozens of duties designed to maneuver Somalia out of the transition interval and in the direction of extra everlasting political establishments and better nationwide safety and stability.” There have been 4 key areas of the street map (safety, political consciousness and reconciliation, and good governance and establishment, in addition to drafting the structure for adoption by a nationwide constituent meeting).

In all respects, the implementation of the street map stays incomplete. Safety has been a giant downside within the nation despite the fact that Al-Shabaab has withdrawn from huge cities reminiscent of Mogadishu, Baidoa and Kismayo and a few small cities. Nevertheless, the militant group nonetheless controls a part of the nation. The provisional structure has been adopted and authorized by a Nationwide Constituent Meeting, however has not but been authorized by referendum. No actual reconciliation has taken place in Somalia and the nation has all the time been recognized among the many most corrupt nations on the earth.

Abdiweli’s ebook is stuffed with bragging and boasting. It’s plagued by pictures of the previous prime minister assembly with world and native leaders and there may be not a single photograph of him with peculiar Somalis. There’s a glimpse into Abdiweli’s controversial and debilitating relationship with then-President Sheikh Sharif, President Sharif Hassan and Abdirahman Farole of Puntland. Farole has been a nagging downside for Abdiweli and the 2 have been concerned in quite a few tiffs. There isn’t any love misplaced between them.

In 2012, Abdiweli ran for president, however failed miserably. A newcomer, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, foiled him and requested Abdiweli to approve him in change for preserving his job. When Abdiweli surrounded and haweli, Mohamoud informed him bluntly: “Abdiweli is Mogadishu, the stronghold of Hawiye. All I would like is to guard you from the Hawiye’s troubles. Abdiweli ended up supporting Mohamoud as a substitute of his boss, President Sheikh Sharif. To his dismay, when Mohamoud took over as president, he misplaced his job. Paradoxically, Abdiweli is reluctant to speak about his secret take care of Mohamoud.

In a nutshell, Abdiweli’s ebook is an effective learn, but it surely lacks an trustworthy evaluation of his tenure as Prime Minister. It’s unlucky {that a} extremely educated man with a ability in economics didn’t articulate a transparent imaginative and prescient of improvement beneath his tenure and as a substitute was busy accumulating all of the traps of fabric wealth. Abdiweli’s transient tenure as prime minister represents at greatest an affirmation, reasonably than a repudiation, of the established order.

Hassan M. Abukar ——– Mr. Abukar is a political analyst, a daily contributor to Wardheernews and the writer of Mogadishu Memoir. He might be contacted at abukar60@yahoo.com.

Supply: Wardheernews