The Return of the Warlords
The battle between Jubbaland administrators and the Somali Federal Government led by Hassan Sheikh Mohamed is bringing back the defeated warlords. Prior to June 2006, warlords who brought destruction and bloodletting into Somalia were mainly funded by neighboring countries and served as their proxies. However, in June 2006, the Islamic Courts Union defeated the last US backed warlords in Mogadishu. The defeat of the warlords by the ICU paved the way for the direct intervention and land occupation of Ethiopia under the pretext of fighting the Islamic Courts Council which were labeled as extremists and a threat to Ethiopian security. Unfortunately, the defeated warlords were incorporated into the Transitional Federal Government.
Notorious warlords such as Muse Sudi and Qanyare were made parliament members and the infamous Mohamed Siad “Indha Adde” was rewarded with a top military position. However, many Somali leaders and the Somali people expressed concern. Ahmed Nur Mohamed, the mayor of Mogadishu, stated in an interview with Jeremy Scahill (2011):
These people are not supposed to have any role in this government. They are not supporting the government, but they are waiting. It is a time bomb. They are waiting, they want to weaken the government, and they are waiting any time that the government falls, so that each one will grab an area.
Mohamed’s fears have extended to the rest of the Somali community with the return of warlords Bare Hirale and Hussien Aideed in what is believed to be a plot by the Somali Federal Government against regional autonomy. Bare Hirale is a notorious warlord who controlled Kismayo until Al Shabaab forced him to flee. The struggle between local leaders who insist to create regional administrations and President Mohamud, currently spear-heading an anti-federal campaign, is reviving the era of warlords. This time around, it is President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud that has sought allies in old warlords and entrusted them to destabilize Kismayo, Jubbaland and Galmudug.
Bare Hirale recently came back to Kismayo from Mogdishu claiming to be the rightful leader of Kismayo (AllGalgaduud, 2013). Moreover, Somali news agencies are reporting that president of Somalia Mohamud hadappointed Hussien Aideed to be the leader of Galmudug State against the will of the elected local leaders (SomaliSentinal, 2013). Husien Aideed was notorious for the abuse of the Bay and Bakol regions until Ethiopia helped the Rahanwein Resistance Army (RRA) drive him out of Baidoa in June, 1998. His defeat ended a four-year reign of abuse and subjugation of the local population which was started by Aideed’s father.
The return of warlords used as a tool against regional autonomy by Somali Federal Government led by Hassan Sheikh Mohamud will bring more wars, famine, displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, violence and rape against Somali women, gross violations of human rights abuses and further the Balkanization of Somalia.
Allgalgaduud.com. (2013). Col. Barre Hiraale “Kismaayo Kenya ayaa qabsatay, Dowladda Soomaaliya ayaana la xisaabtamaysa”. Retrieved from http://allgalgaduud.com/?p=801
Scahill, J. (2011). Blowback in Somalia. The Nation. Retrieved fromhttp://www.thenation.com/article/163210/blowback-somalia
Somalisentinal.com. (2013) Somali government seeking to replace Galmudug admin with son of infamous warlord. Retrieved from http://somalisentinel.com/2013/04/somali-government-