Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Somalia at peace with itself and the world

HE President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s new term in office is principally guided by the banner of “Somalia at Peace with itself and the world”. This principle is substantially useful toolkit for the enhancement of reconciliation among Somalis and its relationship with the world. In the case of our relationship with our neighbours, Kenya and Ethiopia, Khat trade must also be guided by our core societal and national interest. Making good relations with key neighbours is key but not all costs to the detriment of Somalia’s health, economy, and prospects. There must be a change to the notion that khat import trade is our only a good trade policy – when we only receive poisonous substance in return with our hard-earned cash.

It is also worth noting the Kenyan government has gone as far as issuing threats against United Nations flights that are delivering vital food programmes to Internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Somalia, which include children and families. This level of callous desperation in Kenya’s foreign policy amounts to political ransom by any means necessary.

Under this backdrop, the Kenyan Government now wants to pretend they can be trusted again – HAKUNA MATATA, (no problem). My advisory note to our new Somali government is to refrain from trusting Kenya’s government. They are a source of instability in Somalia, fuelling political instability in Jubaland, claiming Somalia’s territory and maritime ocean while also selling/Buying Charcoal from Al-Shabaab, an internationally verified matter by the UN Monitoring Group (report 2019) in Somalia and Eritrea.  

Furthermore, Kenya has consistently attacked Hormuud Telecommunication business installations. Hormuud is the biggest Somali employer, the biggest taxpayer, and an essential backbone for the Somali economy. The Kenyan government Airforce has destroyed the lives of many and has caused damage worth over $250 million. This behaviour has displaced 4,000 innocent Somali villagers and pastoral communities who rely heavily on mobile money services. Additionally, Kenya has consistently undermined our maritime case and has yet to formally accept the ruling from ICJ court from the conclusion of the maritime case. We must reflect on our true Somali instincts and based on the evidence before the international community and us, we will conclude Kenya is a spoiler pariah state in the internal affairs of Somalia.

With the above, is Kenya a political spoiler in Somalia? Who needs to develop peace with Somalia? Kenya bears a lot of responsibility here. It is with in this context I am stressing the need to make sure we do not reward Kenya for its recent and historical behaviour by easily opening Khat importation to Somalia. With this framework, I would like to also stress to our new government that the over-arching priority to develop a long-term plan for our citizens and economy beyond khat dependency must be a key milestone to help address khat substance that is a structural a social and economic ill for our citizens and beyond.

Abukar Awale ( Qaaddiid )
The lead Anti-Khat Campaigner


Click here