Happy New Year…A major challenge ahead of Somalia in 2016 [Op-Ed]


By Abdirashid M. Dahir

Al Hamdulilah (Praise be to Allah). 2015, in fact was both a good and period full of political turbulence for Somalia if you look at different dimensions in economy and politics from a realistic perspective. To be honest, there is a challenge waiting for Somalia to brace up in this year. On the first day, I am glad to wish you a happy New Year, the coming of 2016 once more.

One needs to say that Somalia is recovering more than what analyst penned in various pieces in 2015. I see a very recovery, because Somali political leaders are today able to give at least, even if we deem it a lip service, some hope to the extent ‘democracy is debated’.

Let it be…healthy transition will have to be maintained for the months to come through August when Somalis expect of a lot of effort to yield major breakthrough in the country’s fluctuating landscape.

Before going into details the most major challenge…let me raise a question---will they never let us be? Yet if they do so, are we strong enough to walk down the aisle and pursue ideals based on unity and definitely free of polarization.

Spoilers will keep winning as long as Somalia languishes in the climate of tension and polarization as this host of challenges happens to be thorny matter that can again impede a glimmer hope in a peaceful transition later this year.

The tension should be sorted out clearly; what will be the best thing that can subdue the political polarization? Days when elites obsessed with power turn people against each other on tribal grounds are gone; accountability is binding at least according to IGAD special envoy to Somalia Ambassador Mohamed Abdi Afey who fired a rare salvo at Galkayo conference.

Demagogic presidents in Somalia are few and far between warned of repercussions of their ugly pursuit for egocentric agendas---not only are they ill-vested with a sense of self-delusion but they are valued in a macho political culture, only practiced in Somalia.

It wouldn’t take me by surprise if Somali leaders failed to adopt a more conciliatory line during the National Consultative Forum (NCF) in Mogadishu. I can’t recall how many people inveighed against the current leadership, not just at regional level but those at helm in Villa Somalia.

Care much about…perhaps the best response in this regard but I wish if Somalia was to move forward, Mr. A and Mr. B would vanish with the question of the year. What’s the most major challenge for Somalia in 2016?

Every Somali has his own problem in mind but my New Year message is quite simple. The more you meddle in most appropriate election model, the worse political debate will get. Happy New Year!

Follow him on twitter @somaliajunkie

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