Politics in Somaliahas been through different stages since the marking of Somalia’s independence from colonial rulers of Britainand Italyin 1960 where the northern regions attained freedom from the British protectorate in 26 June 1960 and the southern regions gained from the Italian colony in July 1st 1960 and the union of the north and south.
In July 1st 1960Somalia’s hope of nationhood had emerged from the willingness, excitement and the unity of Somali people to become an independent country. Politicians from the entire regions of the country gathered in the nation’s capitalMogadishu to form a new government that lead the country until elections to be held and people cast their votes.
In 1963 the country’s first elections come in into place which seated president Aden Abdulle Osman (Aden Adde) was elected in free and fair elections. And 1967 Abdulrashid Ali Sharmake became the country’s second president after defeating incumbent president Aden Adde in the second elections in the country who marked Africa’s first democratically elected and stepped down head of state in the continent with out any problems associated with votes which is normal in the developing countries including Africa up to date and the nine years of Somalia’s civil rule from the independence was smooth, though there were corruption in the government institutions but exercising democracy was there.
In 1969 the whole system had changed after the assassination of the country’s second president Abdulrashid Ali Sharmake in 15 October 1969 in lasanood town in the north of the country and power vacuum emerged in what was described as result of a clan party politics after politicians from the same clan of the deceased president asked for the appointment of the presidency from them since they were the president and caused clan division with in the government with no agreement in the assembly making power vacuum and military junta led by general Salaad Gabeyre Kadiye seized the power in a coup et al in 21st October 1969 and the ended civilian rule in Somalia.
Since then the country was in the hands of military government led by general Mohamed Siad Barre and the military regime adopted socialist system with the help of United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR), Cuba and China and started structuring and building public infrastructure such roads, schools, hospitals, government buildings, Universities and even setting up manufacturing industries which led the country in prosperous with high level of literacy rate, income and living standards compared to the other nations in the continent whom attained independence with the same period.
But major catastrophic events happened after 1977 war with Ethiopia which Somalia inherited big blow of economic crisis in putting every single revenue of the country in military hardware and decline in all social sectors of the economy and the country opted to shift from socialist bloc to capitalist bloc after rift with USSR and Cuba in their support for Ethiopia in the 1977 war and military officials turned against the regime and resulted the birth of clan based rebels in the country after Barre’s political parties ban where it was dominant one party system and eased clan rampage for power in clan based political desires. .
After 1977 war, a clan grouping arisen in the military in which some officials from the army formed the first clan based rebel group Somali salvation Democratic Front (SSDF) which mainly based on majeerteen clan to seek power in the name of clan influence in late 1970s followed by Somali National Movement (SNM) in the north mainly relied on Isaaq clan to fight against the government in what they described as overthrowing civilian killer in the northern regions in use of clan power in the early 1980s.
And finally the United Somali Congress (USC) which was mainly Hawiye dependent rebel movement in the south and central regions come in to topple the regime in what they defined in response to brutal aggression against them but apart from their different reasons against the government, all the rebel groups had one thing in mind of getting the power in favor of their clan interest not a regime change in unity of the people and finally overthrown the military regime in 1991.
After ousting military regime, a new day come in and new fresh politics based on clan criteria is born and power struggle among clan groups started after Ali Mahdi Mohamed was appointed president inDjiboutiin 1991. Since that time the country has got different interim government formed outside the country in different dilemma and interests.
In 22 years of chaotic, anarchy, civil wars and interim governments, 2012 is marking new era for Somalia politics and ending transitional period in the light of better future but we are not yet reached on that stage because even today elections are in line with clan criteria where members of the parliament come in the name of their clan respectively not through the will and the vote of the people; a clan alliance in the presidential election and prime minister Appointment and search for powerful ministers with in the cabinet for the merit of clan honors not in favor of national honors and envy of clans in the name of politics. Somaliain the 21st century: A clan party politics. New face ofSomalia’s politics and suffer of our people.
Written by: Mohamed Roble
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