Reasons Why Somalia Can’t Afford Clan Federation

Somalia: Mogadishu Govenrment Lost $1b to Graft

What has happened to Somali nationalism? Our fathers and grandfathers fought their enemies to unite Somalia under one strong nation. They had wisdom, courage and bravery to fight the clannish tendency and made the strong decision to unite under one nation.

Ahmed Guray fought his enemy to unite Muslims in the horn of Africa under one nation and Sayid Mohamed fought the British Empire with courage to liberate Somalis from the British colony. Somali Youth League (SYL) and United Somali Party (USP) took over where he left off and succeeded his dream. The nation of Somalia was just four years old when General Daud led the Somali army to repel against our enemy. We need to ask a tough question to ourselves. Do we want to live in the horn Africa as an independent nation with proud people again? If the answer is yes, then a clan federation and seven Somali presidents are not the solution.

First, I do believe the current clan federalism would hinder rebirth of the nation of Somalia. It is very expensive to sustain for future generations. If the current trend continues, soon Somalia will have 7 different clan governments. Each of these governments would create complete government structures just to make sure each Jufo gets its ministry, they would create over 60 ministries and more than 100 members of parliaments. Please do the math; Somalia would have around 420 ministries and around close to 1000 members of parliaments (MPS). Each of these ministries would need hundreds civil servant bureaucrats and their managements. Please think about this question, who pays all these expenditures? You may think people who are pushing clan federation would have an answer for this question, but unfortunately they cannot answer the question. I have been following all Somali conferences and debates and I have not heard a single person who brought up this issue. Forget about developments, building street and bridges, these governments won’t be able to pay their bureaucrats.

If we allow this clan federation to continue, the only way these governments would be able to pay these bureaucrats is to increase taxes. The current Somalia government only taxes airports and the imports and exports of seaports. Any tax increase to these products would be paid by the Somali people because the businesses would pass on the tax to their customers. This cycle of tax increases and duplicates of government spending would be an economic disaster for the average Somali citizen, who earns less than $100 a month. There is no single politician who would talk about the economic impact of clan federation because the only thing they care about is president, minister or MPS titles.

Second, clan federation undermines Somalia’s security and hinders building a strong army. A strong army would need a huge budget to support their salary, food, housing and equipment. If the current trend continues, the federal government would not get enough taxes to support the national army. Like I have said, the only revenue that the federal government gets is taxes on goods from seaports and airports and in the future it’s going to share that revenue with all the clan states. What is left won’t be enough to pay its civil servant. Please remember if we don’t build a strong army, our neighbors would annex our land. Have you heard Kenya’s claim to the ocean on the coastline of Somalia when we had a strong army? Kenya is making such a claim now because it senses weakness and if we allow the politicians to continue their current course, there won’t be any Somali land left within a ten year period.

An Alternative system:

There is a better governing system, which is the reason lots of people support the federation in the first place. Empower local authorities by allowing every Somali district to elect its council and district commissioners. Give local district councils ability to govern their district resources and build their institutions without creating duplicate ministries and presidents

In conclusion, brothers and sisters our nation is at turning point at this moment. Our enemy used our clannish weakness to divide us and trying to destroy Somalia in the process. I am calling all patriotic concerned Somali citizens to unite and to defeat the clan federation and create a governing system that our children and grandchildren would be proud of. We don’t need a clan federation; we need visionary leaders, unity and justice; let’s get the dignity of our fathers and grandfathers back.

Mohamed Guled (Guled)
Mguled1@yahoo.com

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