If yes, we do. Have you ever asked why our system is so uncompromising or irreconcilable? They are a confluence of problems that make up the tectonic shifts in our politics.
Firstly, we are facing challenges in building inclusive national identity. Unlike, the exclusivist clan, Somali, Islam identity. Somalilandism is the common ground that unites all of us.
Secondly, the first phase of democratization in Somaliland is successful. So far, three free and fair elections were held in the country peacefully. Unluckily, clan politics gained ground to race. This has eroded the faith in our electoral system because it revealed the stabbing division and that clan linkage is stronger than common citizenship. Some of the society are excluded from the system or their voices are not heard because they don’t belong to clan x or y. I strongly believe that our society are victims of tribal demagogue who have imposed falsified perception about tribes.
In addition, Somaliland’s political trajectory has shown the world the fragility of democracy. It is delicate ecosystem that needs free media and civic consciousness. Ordinary citizens can’t exercise their rights to probe, criticize and question about people in power. Therefore, Somaliland seems illiberal from far due to its record of curbing freedom of press and religious tolerance.
More importantly, Somaliland has made economic progress. But, the current financial crisis exposed the deep ties between government and systemic corporate greed, aided by stench of envy, mixed with resentment, the justification for national theft filled the air. These big companies are run by Sheikhs who purposefully polarize their own society for political profit, the result is rage and violence in the making. To consolidate the little progress, we need market based economy guided by macro-economic policies set by competent state. Currently, our society are in a state I call “the normalization of absurdity”. No one questions why some corrupt ministers are looting their wealth. It does not matter how much he has taken as long as he is their tribe or in other words the thief is theirs. The sense of commonality and collective consciousness is lost long ago. That will eventually lead to the failure of state to rationally respond to legitimate grievances and, will give rise to extremism.
Lastly, we have fake democracy, growing less responsive and less representative by the day. It is the responsibility of the parliament to take into account to government. But, they prefer their interests rather than majority will.
Abdiqani Suleiman or can be reached by firstname.lastname@example.org or by twitter @abdiqanisuleim3
Dr in making and seasonal writer based in adisababa, Ethiopia
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horndiplomat editorial policy.
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