Somali politics base on traditional methods of solving under the trees where the Sultans from each tribe to create stability between tribes. In the 21st century, this negotiation method is used in a modern style and it does have some positive effect though. In this article I would like to go deeper about factors causing political hatred, its effect our autonomy and provide solutions.
Reasons of political hatred?
- Tribalism: As this is known phenomenon, every tribe wants get a share of the pie but what if you are not represented, no one is there for you even the law. In Somaliland the law is written but not practiced. During elections the candidate should show more of competence than tribalism. They do it because it’s the way to win that’s how they see it and they know that people are more faithful to their tribes than their country. Each clan wants their “son” to win the presidency in order to prove their clan superiority
- Corruption: Political corruption is the use of powers by government officials for illegitimate private gain. Forms of corruption vary, but include bribery, extortion, cronyism, nepotism. The causes and level of corruption suggests that bribery is the form of corruption that is highly used in government institutions according to Good Governance and Anti-Corruption Commission (GGACC) which indicates a mean of 2.10.( The effect of corruption on Economic Growth in Somaliland).
The corruption level which is 42.5% according to survey carried out by Good Governance And Anti-Corruption Commission(GGACC) in 2013 undermines social services, such as health, education, water, electricity and others, therefore, the people with limited income were extremely affected. The poverty in urban areas of Somaliland is 29%, but that rural poverty at 38% in Somaliland is higher according to World Bank and Ministry of Panning in 2013. The low investment in social services, has taken a toll on human and economic development due to lack of skilled labors, fragile economy and the unpredictable regulatory framework. This low economic growth got worse to the point of threatening our society leading them to the social havoc.
- Lack of loyalty: Fake promises that are not fulfilled by politicians causes the citizens to think that the politicians are working for their benefit and not the development of the country and lack of transparency which causes inaccurate information and figures.
- Injustice: For the law to be stronger and no one being above the law should be put into practiced. The richer are getting what they want by their money while the poor do not have thins. For the marginalized people to be able to get equal rights like the other citizens. For example land cases, in which political officials try to buy it by force with forge documents and claiming its own, this can cause clashes between citizens and the political officials.
- People view not taken practically: For the politicians to consider the requests of the citizens seriously and take practical actions, by doing one-on-one cession with people and sharing with them practical solutions.
- No role for less advantage people: The lack of participation of marginalized people in political participation due their background
- Preferences of diaspora individuals for political leadership: Most of our leaders are Diasporas, gives less hope in the local people to become future leaders. This might bring in problems in the long term such as bringing up illegal immigration, less number studying this field, this causes lack of role model from the local communities.
Reasons for using tribalism in Politics?
Part of it, this is due to the lack of different ideologies between political parties. Promises to his/her fellow tribes if won. Although, our Somaliland education is improving and there are higher number of civilians getting educated, it’s unfortunate that it does not reflect in our society. During election times, we see lots of people voting to their kinship members rather for a professional person that is able to lead the country.
How can this effect Somaliland autonomy in the long-term?
- Security: Due to the increase of corruption, tribalism etc. this cause the low representation to the marginalizes and disadvantage people such as the poor, IDP’s. This might lead to harmful demonstrations and getting their right by force. There is also the issue of employment opportunity that they are abstained from it, this leads to illegal immigration and hence family relation works.
- Socio-economic factor: If the current circumstances didn’t change, it will have effect on the economic growth of Somaliland since they weren’t chosen by their skills, thus not introducing employment policies to solve unemployment problem which in turn have negative effects the social life of the people such as paying bills, healthcare, schools etc and this proves the mediocrity of our political leaders. Class separation between the rich and the poor will be high.
- Political Dilemma: If Somaliland politics didn’t prove to its people the ability to help drive this country to prosperity by focusing on its human and natural resources and to illustrate their political agenda to the Somaliland. Somaliland politics must be ability to re-unite the people back and start having faith on the government to start moving forward or else they will be maneuver around the same.
How can Youths contribute change in Somaliland politics?
For youths to make a single political pressure group to elect a common in the government, since they make up majority of the population. By allowing them to voice their opinion we could be opening and moving the political world forward. This is not only good for society, but necessary for society. This will help establish policies that are fair and sustainable for future generations. For example, equal rights for women required many young women to engage with the issue at hand.
- Accountability and transparency: the Somaliland government should be transparent to their civil society and representatives must be accountable for the people that elected them.
- Bringing end to tribalism by giving lots of attention on the district selection rather than tribes. In this way people will focused on their communities, easier to make representative accountable.
- Creating a plate-form for civil society, where they share opinions with the political leaders and be able to promote transparency
Written by: Yasmeen Hassan Abdi
Bsc: Political Science and International Relations