Somali opposition leader criticises government, urges talks with Somaliland

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The Wadajir Party last night held a well-organised ceremony to mark Somalia’s 59th Independence Anniversary when the southern regions of the country gained independence from Italy, uniting with the north to form the Somali Republic.

The event was graced by the party’s top leadership, members of the two Houses of Parliament, Wadajir Party youths, other guests and members of the various sectors of society.

Party Leader Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame gave a speech at the event. The following is a summary of the long speech that touched on many issues affecting Somalia:

Our forefathers were fighting for independence for the following reasons;

1. To gain freedom from the foreign colonizers that were occupying our country,

2. To seek the unity of Greater Somalia, divided into five regions by the colonialists; and

3. To establish an idea-based government.

The freedom goal was achieved successfully after two Somali regions took their independence and united to form the Somali Republic.

The search for the unity of Greater Somalia had derailed the establishment of a proper government.

Before we properly set our government, we started looking for the three remaining regions of the Greater Somalia.

This led to a conflict between us and the world. This had cost us the statehood of Somalia.

To recover, what do we need?

“We must first of all agree on the frame of reference. State-hood must be based on established norms, it is not trial and error,”

“The transitional governments in the past 10 years, since the Arta government, all followed a single moderate system, where the goal was to bring Somalis together. We were moving slowly, one step a day, but we were all moving in the same direction.

“During the government that was formed in Djibouti in 2009, which I was part of, our contributions included elections being held inside the country and the introduction of the provisional constitution. The following government moved us to the formation of regional states in the country. The current government should tell us what it has contributed to the country.”

Taking responsibility

The government is trying to forget the realities of the difficulties facing Somalia by lying to themselves, like “street children who sniff glue to forget the pain of their reality”.

“If you are sick, and lie to yourself about your condition, you will never heal. We need to talk about the disease ailing our nation frankly. We need to face the reality of our ailments… that is what it means to take responsibility.”

Avoid past mistakes

“We need to stay away from the same issues that led to our downfall,”

“The civil war happened because the law was not upheld. We failed to separate the law from the individual.”

We should not repeat the same mistakes.

Moderation, caution and compromise

“We need moderation, caution and compromise.

We need to stay away from extremism. Extremism does not mean only al-Shabab or some religious issues. Somalis are not ready to accept different views.”

Farmajo’s government is practicing George W. Bush’s infamous quote: “You are either with us or against us.’’

Must be aware of changes in the world and how they affect us

These changes in the world include China emerging as a World Power to balance out the US and taking over the role of former Soviet Union.

Changes in Ethiopia

It is the most influential country in the region

It is the closest to Western nations

It is our regional rival, but it is important for the region’s stability.

Competing Middle Eastern powers

“Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Iran, all with different political agendas. Somalis should be careful how to deal with this issue, and always look at their best interests,”

The Far Right taking over Europe and America.

Somaliland

Somaliland’s grievances are real and should be addressed seriously, and historical injustices must be addressed.

Government should restart talks with Somaliland, “The government must stop holding these talks hostage”.

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