By Ahmed Raghe Hassan
Thursday, 13 September, 2007
”A house divided by itself is apt to fall,” Lincoln. The pitfalls ahead of the Somali nationalist groups in Asmara are huge and complex! They face the full weight of an enemy occupation army coupled with internal forces plus a superpower financial and logistical suppoart. These are formidable combinations.
Given the above scenario, which is a real dilemma in my opinion, the Asmara coalition should abridge any differences among them if they are to survive and succeed in their quest to liberate Somalia of Abyssinian colonial ambitions. The converging and diverging principles must not be allowed to overshadow national interests. Any sticking point between the Asmara gathering must be resolved through compromise and concensus, as narrow-mindedness and intransigence can easily disrupt things.
The whole concept is about re-liberation of Somalia, and every Somali citizen, no matter his/her political or religious background is expected to take part should he feel obliged The boycotting of the Asmara conference by Some religious elements in Somalia, the use of the divisive terms Islamists and secularists should be avoided at all cost. These are counterproductive terms serving the interests of the enemy and spell an early warning for the liberation forces of Somalia.
Moreover, we are all moslems and Somalis afterall. The allegation that some elements are better moslems than others; is as absurd as maintaining that some are more Somali than others! It looks like a sinsister gambit designed to divide and manipulate the once unified nation. A curse to which have to find the cure. Likewise, no group nor clan has more obligations or rights than another. We are all compatriots defending our motherland, regardless of the invented names.
On the other hand, inaddition to the armed struggle, the opposition forces must engage in serious dialogue and diplomacy with the Somali government, no matter how illegitimate or irrelevant it is. We need to recognize that no liberation struggle can deliver without consistent diplomacy and conflict resolution mechanism. Such mechanism must be devised without delay and in good faith!
The opposition forces should also recognise that armed struggle is the last resort, that the Somali people are tired of the protracted conflict and more importantly that considerable Somali elements plus the government in the country are against them. These elements, despite their political stance, are Somalis, and you have got to listen to them if you expect them to listen to you. A win-win situation is required and the opposition and the government should explore ways to realise that end. Together we stand, divided we fall!
Ahmed Raghe Hassan