Somalia is popularly known as ‘The Horn of Africa’. My memory of Somalia begins with rule of that country by Mohamedunder whose government Somalia underwent great changes and his rule was based on scientific socialism and Islamic tenets. His period was literally a golden period in the history of Somalia.
He was ousted ‘by a coalition of clan-based opposition groups, backed by Ethiopia's then-ruling Derg regime and Libya’. If my assumption is correct, Somalia plunged into sort of anarchy with the law and order situation across the country turned into a shambles after the ouster of Barre who had a leaning towards Marxism. From such an abyss - it is the apt word - to describe the state of affairs prevailing in the country, famine, poverty, malnutrition, unemployment – it was all turbulence and turmoil. The economy of that unfortunate nation plunged into utter chaos and many Somalians turned criminals, robbers, thieves and pirates. In the mean- time Al-Shabab and Al-Queda linked terrorist organization spread its tentacles far and wide which resulted in the killings of thousands and displacement of millions.
A number of Somalians fled the country to neighbouring countries and took refuge there. Condition of all of them turned pathetic with famine, poverty, malnourishment, lack of clothes - all these factors turned the elders as well as children skinny. Many died of hunger, diseases and inclement weather. Though UN and other NGOs flew into the help of these rib-caged, emaciated ones and air-dropped food packets such kinds of assistance were not enough to make their life stable and happy.
Somalia turned into a war-ravaged country and it was quite easy for neighbouring countries to loot whatever valuable items which came under their eagle eyes, killed lakhs of Somalians as the hapless nation was virtually headless. Since then concerned at the pitiful situation prevailing in the country the nations across the world especially African Union nations, the developed countries like US, France and Britain ran frantically and held marathon talks to arrive at solution for the burning problem.
And after several rounds of discussions and deliberations these countries collectively took the initiative to convene the parliament of Somalia.
After a gap of 20 years, the parliament was scheduled to meet on Monday 21, August of this month. But that couldn’t materialize because the posts of new President, Speaker and two Deputy Speakers were not filled. To convene the Parliament those posts had to be filled. As per the reports it is known that meetings were held before but all such meetings were held outside Somalia owing to the threat posed by the war lords and Al-Quaida linked Al-Shabab group a hard-core militant organization. Due to the lack of tight security, it was quite risky to convene a meeting in Somalia. That much delicate and fragile were the security situation prevailing across that country.
After hectic talks by nations including US, African Union and other nations, it was decided to convene a meeting of parliament amidst unprecedented security. Taking the delicate security situation into consideration the meeting of the parliament was scheduled to meet outside the Parliament. Nearly ‘heavily fortified’ Airport, with 17000 African Military Union, the meeting was scheduled to be held at the Airport tarmac, Mogadishu.
But before the Parliament was about to convene, it was imperative that first the Speaker, two deputy speakers and President had to be elected. Because of the vacancies not being filled, the meeting scheduled to be conducted on Monday had to be delayed. It was unanimously decided to hold the meeting of the parliament on a later date.
Though delay was there in convening the meeting ,the UN, US and African countries were hopeful of unprecedented peace and stability in Somalia after the new govt was formed.
It is rumoured that the outgoing President who occupied the saddle, Shafeek Sherif Shafeek Ahmed would be elected once again.
But there awaits a hulla balloo by the people against his re-appointment as President.
The allegations leveled against him are ‘systematic embezzlement, simple theft of money and misappropriation of govt funds’ by the outgoing President Shefeek Sherif Shefeek Ahmed.
Some analysts of Somalian situation are not in agreement with the new reforms to be introduced and they argue that rather than a regime change what is likely to happen is mere reshufflement which would not be able to reach a permanent solution.
Anyhow, the silver line is that there is a welcome change in the attitude of peace-loving Somalians’ and their earnest desire to install a competent regime in Somalia was that much great and the Somalian diaspora started investing in their country.
The African Union Military’s active intervention has forced the militant Al-Shahab elements flee from the strategic positions. But they cannot be cowed down that much easily. The military need to keep an eternal vigil so that the hard-core militants won’t stage a come back to upset the delicate law and order situation in Somalia.