30/05/09 (B501) Hirran on line. Djibouti est en train de suivre le chemin de la Somalie. // Djibouti is Following the Path of Somalia. (En Anglais)

By Mohamed Awaleh

Nation-state building must start from the nation to state, instead of the state to nation. Republic of Djibouti have practiced the opposite. Because of this there is now instability. Djibouti have inherited tribal rivalries: Afar and Issa.

To save the nation-state, Djibouti leadership must accept the new process of true decentralization in order to diminish tribal or sectarian politics in the country. Djibouti must begin to study their own traditional cultures and societies in order to better understand their circumstances. Each and every indigenous community has its own institutions that sustain and protect individual rights: kingdoms, councils of elders, nomadic pastoral democracies, and other progressive variations of common social structure.

Ever since French colonialism and the first commercial Contacts with Arabs, the Djiboutians have been confused by the new values, rules and systems which were introduced to them. The old ways of barter and trade no longer served the new relationship between nations more economically and militarily advanced. Most African countries today have abandoned their old social ways which take into account African environmental realities. They simply imitate their colonial masters’ old ways, and institutions which have nothing to do with their way of life and background. To make bad matters worse the government of Djibouti are blindly copying institutions alien to a sense of African well-being.

No system is perfect, and abuses occurred in traditional cultures and societies, as well, but the mitigating circumstances reflect the life and breath of the society. Tribal warfare indeed undermined any hope for building a nation state. Unlike Europe in the Dark Ages.

In the midst of the democratization of Djibouti in the millennium, it is only for the sake of appeasing the donor countries (the West). However, there’s a big loophole in this whole process. The main weak point which Djibouti leader( Prs.Ismael Omar Guelleh) continue to accept is bringing a genuine democracy that indeed enhances solid development and serves justice for all.

With all due respect regardless of the rhetoric out there, one must realize that there is no way Djibouti will truly democratize under this current system, particularly imposing these unrealistic, alien imported ideologies by this current President.

The question is how this tiny nation would economically develop when there’s no separation between politics and judicial systems. Free press, freedom of speech and respect for different or opposite opinions. In respect of our motherland; it’s more likely will collapse just like Somalia: due to lack of institutions to enrich the political stability, not satisfy one man’s ego, but create balance of powers between executive, legislative and judicial power. Yet, they don’t even properly emulate their European counterparts’ models of government. Countries in Europe, or the West in general aren’t countries run by one man anymore, but they are governed by thousands of men and women. Well! Did Djibouti government appropriately at least emulate their former masters? No! In the France, there’s constitutional superiority, but in Djibouti there’s one man’s superiority: President Ismail O.Guelleh.

If Mr. Guelleh is sincere about democracy, He must search first the answers through his cultural values, social history and understanding the ways of life of his people.

Lastly, here’s my suggestions:

– Separate politics from the courts, not only in theory, but in reality.

– Freedom of thought, speech, press, etc . . .

– Give greater autonomy of local elected officails by the people.

– Give the civil servant power to initiate policies, and refuse to do something illegal asked by their cabinet ministers.

– Stop limiting the progressive oppositions political parties.

– Respect the people’s will.

– Encourage national, stimulating debate with various individuals and institutions in the country.

– Demilitarize the police forces in the country and allow them to exist under the local administrations.

– Expand the educational systems. Educate the people. Invest more in universities and colleges.

– Open to the people the work of the government.

– Stop hiring foreigners and give the Opportunities to the Djiboutians.

Mohamed Awaleh
E-mail: awaleh@consultant.com

16/03/09 (B490) Hiraan online avec APA – Les milices Al Shebaab découvrent un charnier avec 13 corps dans une base qui avait été occupée par les armées éthiopiennes. // Somali militants discover 13 dead bodies from former Ethiopian army base (En Anglais)

Al Shabab hardliners who control most of southern Somali regions on Saturday discovered the bodies of 13 dead civilians from a compound out side Baidoa which formerly housed hundreds of Ethiopian soldiers before leaving Somalia in mid January this year.

Ali yusuf Ahmed a resident in Baidoa told APA by phone that journalists and local elders were invited to the former factory of Hasey about 4 kilometers east of Baidoa to view the bodies.

Al-Shabab spokesman, Sheik Muqtar Robow Ali affectionately known as Abu Mansur told reporters that the enemies of Islam are behind the massacre.

“As you can see they have cruelly killed our brothers and this is the same thing jointly done by the governments of Somalia, Ethiopia and the greatest Satan of the world (the United States) and we vow in front of you that they will not escape from the punishment of our hands,” Al-Shabab spokesman said.

He called on the Mujahideens to investigate other compounds used by Ethiopian soldiers to look for other dead people that may have been killed during the Ethiopian occupation for the past two years.

“The other African forces in Mogadishu are not different from Ethiopians and there may be some other slain innocent civilians inside their camps, so I call on residents in Mogadishu to be vigilant at all times so that they can save themselves from those enemy soldiers who remain in the capital,” Abu Mansur added.

He said that his Mujahideens will fight on until Somalia will be free from what he called the occupation of enemy soldiers including the African Union peace keepers in Somalia capital.

The number of AU troops in Somalia was due to reach up to 8,000 strong-forces, but currently there are 3,450 soldiers from Uganda and Burundi, the sole countries who fulfilled their promise to send peace keepers to the lawless horn of African nation.