In response to the “letter to the Diaspora” By the Prime Minister

In response to the Lettere to the diaspora” By the Prime Minister 

By Ismail D. Osman

I read with great interest a letter to the Diaspora written by HE Prime Minister of the Transitional federal government of Somalia, who also happens to be from the diaspora, hoping something of paramount significance will be in the letter to usher in a new sense of hope into the minds of the Diaspora that will uplift the lost trust in the inept leadership of your office.

From the outset let me be fair to the PM and say kudos for initiating a dialogue with the members of the Diaspora, but let me also in a skeptical note remind the PM that we are engaged in our homeland and are actively following and dissecting news and information from the motherland without anyone imposing their views pertaining to any progress or lack of it in the political and social front. What I find troubling in this letter is that the PM is trying to covertly promote the government agenda by presenting fictitious progress report to the Somali Diasporas. Such misleading progress report only shifts the focus away from real problems that need addressing. Let me contrast the points raised in that letter with real and not imagined laundry list of activities as eluded by the PM. 

“Our strategy in consultation with other stakeholders was to streamline the deliverables into manageable and realistic goals and encapsulate them with complimentary policy directions matched by clear timelines through a concisely mapped out Road Map. The Four strategic goal elements of the Road Map as you are familiar with, are (a) Reconciliation and Political outreach (b) Completion of the constitution making process (c) delivery of good governance structures and (c) security.”

I wonder who these stakeholders are. The Somali people who have been longing for lasting peace for the last twenty years are the real stakeholders in my view, but they were not part of any discussion on reviving the Somali nationhood. The PM is referring Ahlusunna waljama an Ethiopian creation or may be Puntland and Galmudug, two regional states that kowtow to the dictates of Ethiopia more than the TFG to be the stakeholders who were part of the consultation. Due to the absence of genuine stakeholders in the consultation process (as none of the above represents or has any stakes on anything that have a semblance of Somalia) it’s illogical neither to streamline any deliverables nor to produce unambiguous and realistic goals as the PM alleges. Additionally, the Diaspora whom the PM is addressing in this letter has far more stakes than puntland, Galmudug and Ahlusuna combined yet they were never part of any of the reconciliation process- That is why; 

a) On the Reconciliation front, you have nothing tangible to tell, or benchmarks reached, apart from your assertion that you are in the middle of setting up regional and district peace committees- a work in progress I assume, but how is it going to work and resolve the intricate protracted conflict is as good as anyone’s guess.

b) We know the constitution making process is in disarray, and members of the committee of constitution experts went AWOL, only four out of the nine nominated committee members showed up for the conference in Kenya and five showed up the Djibouti conference, others after attending Djibouti conference are complaining of nepotism and lack of government support in terms of resources to fulfill the constitutional task. Also NDI’s involvement in the constitution making process is troubling and a hurdle as NDI is contracted out to manage the salaries and procurement of the committee of experts, yet none of the committee members were paid any per diem or salary, not only that but NDI’s country director Mr. Mohamed Abdirizak who is also close family members to the PM wants to nominate the chair of the committee of expert, so as to influence the outcome of the draft constitution in favor of Puntland state, hence on the constitution making process front, I agree with the candid admission of the PM that the process is an on-going but nothing has been done to date to show for any success on that front, because there is nothing tangible to offer while the implementation time line is quickly approaching to the end. 

c) Good governance; the donor countries are aware that your government is corrupt that an international accounting firm Pricewaterhouse is managing all your finance. You claim to have formed an anti-corruption committee without any vetting process and ended up people with no qualifications and others were selected due to their clan affiliations. Last year’s corruption perception index by International transparency should suffice the lack of good governance in your government 

D) On the security sector; the PM is either not in the country or has gone AWOL by not following the news from Somalia. Alshabab spokesman Ali Dheere held a conference not far from a government controlled turf, not only that but Alshabab held a rally in support of their merger with Alqaida. What ever little peace of mind imagined or real in Mogadishu is as a result of the efforts of AMISOM, and not as result of your government as it has failed time and again to pay salaries and to mobilize trained and disciplined army. 

Your Excellency, the perceived and imagined progress report to the Diaspora is a farce and the plethora of this half-baked progress report is preposterous and self defeating as it comes from the inept leadership of your government to coincide the upcoming London conference. And yes you are right about the proverbial prisoner’s dilemma we are in, and the only way out, is for you to practice what you preach and your government to be serious in reforming itself by starting up reforming and getting rid of nepotism from your office 

Ismail D. Osman



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