Home | News    Tuesday 3 July 2007

Mogadishu’s biggest clan meets to consider cooperation with govt

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

July 2, 2007 (NAIROBI) — Elders from the dominant clan in Somalia’s capital met on Monday to consider cooperating with a fragile government struggling to bring peace to the embattled country, but the future is fraught with religious and clan differences that make stability only a distant dream.

The Hawiye clan, a mosaic of 19 often competing sub-clans, is key to peace and stability in Somalia. But unity among Hawiye leaders, who include warlords anxious to maintain or regain power and wealth and radical Muslims hoping to establish an Islamic state, has proven difficult. The only thing Hawiye clan members appear to agree on is that the current government does not represent them.

After two hours of talks Monday, more than 300 Hawiye leaders suspended their meeting for two days because they could not agree on who should attend.

The government wants the Hawiye at a reconciliation conference scheduled for July 15 and envisioned as a chance for elders to deal with past clan grievances. Western diplomats have pushed hard for Somali President Abdullahi Yusuf to reconcile with his enemies, but so far his words of peace do not correspond with his actions. The conference agenda itself falls short, in the view of some, because it will not address the make up of the government or its policies.

"The government never released political prisoners as promised and continues to arrest more people each day," said Sudan Ali Ahmed, chairman of Elman Human Rights, an independent Somali group. "The problem is political, there is no clan-based problem. The talks should be political rather than cultural."

As a result, almost every day Yusuf’s government comes under attack, suicide bombings, roadside explosions, ambushes. His security forces have tried mass arrests and curfews, but to no avail.

Yusuf has invited Hawiye leaders from all the sub-clans to attend the reconciliation conference, even the men representing the political arm of the Islamic militants he managed to push out of Mogadishu late last year with help from troops from neighboring Ethiopia.

The Ethiopians remain, and have been joined by African Union peacekeepers, and that is one key grievance for the militants and most Hawiye leaders.

"The radical Islamists, al-Shabab, have emerged in this country linked with al-Qaida. They want to seize power through Islam," said Abdulkar Hassan, a diplomat for Somalia in the 1980s and now a respected intellectual. "Other groups oppose the government because they want the top government positions to go to their clans ...."

The leader of the Islamic extremists, Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed, said in a statement that his group "sees the only way that Somali problems can be solved is through sincere and just dialogue."

But he has conditions: "The withdrawal of invading foreign troops from our country; finding a neutral venue and preparing a conducive environment for the conference to take place; allowing all different Somali parts to take part in the preparation and drawing up the agendas of the conference; allowing all different Somali parts to take part in the talks."

He went on to reject the reconciliation conference as "not reflecting Somali interests. Moreover, it is not aimed at ending or solving the existing Somali problems; it serves the interests of the enemy that invaded the country."

These demands, which are often echoed by Hawiye warlords, essentially ask the government to commit suicide. With no outside military support and an open agenda, the government will cease to exist and a new one would have to be formed from scratch. The last time that happened, it took two years of anarchy and millions in foreign dollars for clan elders to create a government. The United Nations and Western diplomats say any negotiations for a new power-sharing deal would at best escalate the chaos and return the warlords to power, or at worst empower Islamic radicals sympathetic to al-Qaida.

Abdi Hassan, a secondary school principal in Kismayo, thinks it may already be too late. Anti-government militias already control much of the countryside in southern Somalia and they are buying guns.

"After the government massacred many Hawiye civilians in the capital, clans started to regroup in other towns outside of Mogadishu and are preparing to launch a retaliatory strikes," he said.

Abdulkar Hassan, the former diplomat, said his countrymen’s hopes are modest.

"The Somali people want a stable government because bad government is better than none."

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 3 July 2007 14:31, by Dhagax buur

    The real truth is that our people are under attack from ruthless godless Cruseders lead by none other then our own prisedent George W Bush.From the Ogaden down to Mogadishu people are systematicly starved to death.In the Ogaden villages have been burn down live stock destroyed and out in the country nomads are shot to death this war on terro is in fact a war on Islam.This people have not commited any other crime.They are been hunted and killed just becouse they are a muslims.

    repondre message

Comment on this article



The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.



Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


Victims of Sexual Violence in Sudan Deserve Justice 2019-06-19 07:16:08 by Tchérina Jérolon, and Daisy Schmitt Today, as we commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict, we demand accountability for sexual crimes committed in (...)

Ezekiel Lol reignites political begging as a Freedom of Expression 2019-06-14 22:49:39 Gatdiet Peter Here, the question is: to what extent does a politician become a “political beggar”? A politician becomes a beggar and (re)focuses on the “politics of begging” as soon as (s)he has (...)

Crisis in Sudan: Will Sudanese mediators unlock the impasse? 2019-06-08 11:47:09 by Luka Biong Deng Kuol* The Optimism for the New Dawn in Sudan Since the eruption of the Sudanese popular uprising on 19th December 2018, the protesters have made history not only in (...)


MORE






Latest Press Releases


Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders back calls for civil rule 2019-04-26 10:22:06 Press statement by 55 Sudanese lawyers and Human rights defenders on Sudan Sit-in and Peaceful Protest Khartoum -24/04/2019 We, the undersigned (55) Sudanese lawyers and human rights defenders, (...)

South Sudan’s Lafon youth condemn killings of civilians by Pari community 2019-04-03 21:54:29 Press Statement on the Fighting between Pari/ Pacidi and Lotuko/Lokiri on 24/3/2019 Release by The Lafon County Youth Union: We, the Lafon County Youth Union hereby condemn the atrocities and (...)

Joseph Malwal Dong joined the SPLM/A -IO 2019-04-02 08:35:02 SPLM/A (IO) Press Release 1/4/2019 On Hon. Joseph Malwal Dong Joined the SPLM/A (IO) The leadership of the SPLM/A (IO) would like to seize this precious opportunity to announce to members and (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2019 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.