updated 7:33 AM MST, Nov 17, 2017


The Real Qatar

By Yuri Justo

Recently, Qatar has been in the news. Specifically involving its alleged funding of terrorism. I would like to share with readers my observations of the country, where the government owns the citizens. Qatar has two ideas about the U.S., friendship and suspicion.

I have experience in the region going back over 20 years, and have some knowledge of Arabic, and the regional culture. I made friends and dealt with a number of Qataris while there.

The worst encounter that I had was in visiting the Defense Ministry. There our group representing the U.S., was treated very disrespectfully. Our basic run-of-the-mill logistical concerns and wishes were shrugged away. They put us in a little room, and then made us wait for a long time. As I remember, we met with no one important, very little that we wanted was allowed us, and we were treated very suspiciously. There was an American working there, but our minder got upset when I spoke to him. I walked away thinking, maybe the Qataris really don’t like or trust us. In fact, I had never been treated so badly by an Arab ally before. Everything in Arab culture is given through in gestures and tones, but the nonverbal cues were not signs of friendship at all.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Opinion

Securing a stable Somalia

By Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson is the British Foreign Secretary

It’s never a good sign when the recommended mode of transport through a national capital is by armoured convoy.

As I bumped along the streets of Mogadishu, passing one sun-bleached ruin after another, I had a sense of the destruction wrought by Somalia’s years of turmoil.

And yet the simple fact that I was able to go to Mogadishu at all – where, today, the Union Flag flies over the British embassy – is remarkable in itself.

Never mind British foreign secretaries, for years it was Somalia’s official government that couldn’t visit its own capital – or, indeed, its own country.

The Somali cabinet and president used to be stuck in Nairobi, holding endless meetings about a country they could not enter, let alone govern.

In their absence, Mogadishu was abandoned to the depredations of warlords and Islamists, who proceeded to pound its white Italianate boulevards to rubble.

Eventually, the terrorists of al-Shabaab – the East African wing of al-Qaeda – captured most of southern Somalia and imposed their pitiless version of Islamic rule. In the words of one Somali leader, the country became a “danger to itself, to its neighbours, to the region and to the entire world.”

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Opinion

London Predatory Carnival On Somalia

By Abukar Arman
I cannot think of any Somali national issue that was debated in the public domain as vigorously, and as intelligently, as the London Conference on Somalia. This is the third of such conferences hosted by the United Kingdom ― a role that made her the Big Dog and secured her the most influential position within the international community.
Despite its unflattering colonial record, history of shady deals that is still causing bloodshed in the Horn, the velocity in which it appeared in the Somali political scene and swiftly cultivated political clout, many Somali analysts — this one included — have remained optimistic. Assessing the outcome of the first one, I wrote: “it is fair to say that the outcome of the conference is a mixed bag of positives and negatives, though the former outweighs the latter.”
Ever since then, what transpired was that UK was far from being an honest broker, and it was the principle facilitator of a clandestine economic butchery and security dependency.
The Soma Oil and Gas Model
The earlier London Conferences have secured the deal of the century for Soma Oil & Gas — a politically connected shady British company that was registered in the Caribbean only a few days earlier. A company that neither had the expertise in oil exploration nor had any assets.
  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Opinion

Is the London Somalia Conference 2017 another imperialist deja vu?

Somalis see no reason to trust this week’s conference in London after similar initiatives in the past did little to address the core issues

By Bashir Goth,
In a deja vu situation that does not excite many Somalis, the United Kingdom announced that it will host a major international conference in London on Thursday, “to accelerate progress on security sector reform and agree the new international partnership needed to keep Somalia on course for increased peace and prosperity by 2020”.

It was in 2012 when the first London Conference on Somalia was held with the declared intention of helping Somalia to transform from a failed state to a stable nation with functioning government institutions. Somalia’s partners pledged millions of dollars for the beleaguered country’s reconstruction, including $77 million (Dh283.2 million) earmarked for rebuilding Somalia’s security forces. A year later, the European Union (EU) also pledged $2.4 billion at a conference in Brussels to enable the conflict-ridden Horn of African nation to stand on its feet.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Opinion

Federalism in Africa: The Somalia Case

By Abdi Adan Tawane,
Despite criticism, fortunately the Federal system had found a way in Somalia, creating hope for the formation of would-be federal member states in which law and order can be restored at the grass root level.
Federalism often encapsulated in ‘the federal idea’ – refers to the recognition of difference and diversity in its many forms as the driving force of federation – the federal state – which is the tangible institutional expression of this idea. Put simply, then, difference and diversity produce federalism and federalism produces federation. But just as there are several different kinds of state, so there are many varieties of federalism and federation. Indeed, it is perfectly possible to have federalism without formal federation for the simple reason that some federalism do not necessarily achieve fully-fledged federation but instead produce highly decentralized states that allow considerable local autonomy. Federalism in Africa does not have a positive image. Its record of success is patchy while its failures seem manifest.

  • Written by Abdullahi
  • Category: Opinion