Somalia: What is Wrong with us?

I remember a well Somali scholar giving an Islamic talk on a social media platform. His main argument was how we Somalia are shaming ourselves by not being able to resolve out problems but wasting our valuable time on nonsensical matters. He Went on to talk about those in the diaspora not caring about their families and children but spending most of their time on issues beyond their control. He Continued to say that some fathers did not know about their children’s schooling  and their wellbeing in general but were sitting In restaurants arguing about political matters in Somalia.

I am amazed of how true this is. Let us face it, we have been without a proper government for over Twenty Five years. All this time we have been fighting each other one way or another. We still have divisive mentality and a good example is what is happening in Galkacyo, where Puntland and Galmudug Regional administrations are fighting each other for no apparent reasons other than to kill, injure and expel innocent people.

Somalia is blessed country with a lot of natural resources including livestock, agriculture, minerals and oil and gas to name a few. We also have the second longest cost in Africa with plenty of natural resources. Given all this, the question what is the problem? Why are we killing each other? Why are we dying of hunger and relying on foreign aid? Why are we refugees in Europe, America and elsewhere? Are we our own enemy? What is the solution for our problems?

Below are some steps that we can take to alleviate some of our problems which are deep rooted in Somali society:

Proper reconciliation

I believe we need to have proper tribal reconciliation in order to forgive and forget previous events. This should include politians, tribal leaders, religious leaders, elders both male and femle and youth organisations. In this gathering all the outstanding issues should be resolved and mechanism for reconciliation and compensation be established.

Competent Leaders

Secondly we need competent leaders who have the willingness and the resolve to make decisions. These leaders should be able to construct a government that is free from corruption, inclusive and is based on justice. They should be able to create institutions that will be responsible for decision making rather than individuals making decisions on their own. For example, justice department which free from government intervention and parliament which should be the highest decision making authority. These leaders should be able to fight corruption and mismanagement. All government employees should be vetted and they should go through and interview and selection process for each and every government vacancy. There should be zero tolerance for nepothesum and clanism.

Creation of proper National Army

Only when we achieve reconciliation and competent leaders are in power would be able to create our own army and take responsibility for our own security. We cannot rely on foreign army forces indefinitely. I believe there enough military personnel in different regions within Somalia to create proper army to defeat Al-shabaab and any other spoilers without the need for foreign intervention. I believe security is paramount to achieve peaceful Somalia and the sooner we have proper functioning army, the better.


Since this method of power devolvement is chosen for us, we should make the best use of it. The question is to what level do we want to devolve power? Do we want to see regional leaders negotiating with foreign governments without the consent and agreement of the federal government. What does the constitution say about power sharing and the role of the regional and federall governments? Who arbitrates when there are disputes, our courts or foreign nations? How are resources shared between regions and federal the government. These questions and many more will need to discussed and agreed upon to avoid confrontation between regional administrations and the federal government.

We should learn from history. Let us not go back to 1990s and the civil strife it represented. I believe the fighting in Galkacyo should be stopped without any conditions and the parties should discuss any concerns peacefully. I believe if we take these steps, we would have a better government that the present one, we would be at peace with each other and our children will have a better future.

Cisman Dhubad Nuure