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Raskamboni Opposes Spoilers, Not the Constitution – Part I

Raskamboni fighters

Dr. Mohamed Abbas
Friday, June 28, 2013

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First of all, I would like to thank the management and the staff of Hiiraan Online for preparing this platform for us, so we can express and exchange our views on issues that matter. This is a response to Mr. Mohamud M. Uluso's articles posted on Hiiraan Online with the titles:  "Somalia: Raskamboni Militia Challenges US, UN, Credibility" and "Somalia: IGAD's Clan Institutionalization in Jubbaland Death Knell of Citizenship"

Writing purely from his clan's point of view, Mr. Uluso intends to tell readers that Raskamboni Brigade is an outlaw and ungovernable armed group, which does not have faith in the federal constitution. In his own term, he continues to describe Jubbaland as an unconstitutional and unviable clan enclave that does not deserve to exist. What a fake dream from a frail man!

At a time when tough negotiations are taking place in Addis Ababa between the Somali government and Jubbaland leaders in order to end the political differences, it is quite laughable to see someone who is putting a question mark on the existence of Jubbaland State of Somalia.

The Jubbaland process has taken more than 4 years and it has been the national political conversation in recent years. Nonetheless, Mr. Uluso remains writing his biased articles against Jubbaland with a shut-in-mind and short-in-emotion to underestimate the will and the determination of the Somali people in Jubbaland. He is also ignoring the political decision reached by over 500 traditional elders representing more than 35 Somali clans who hail from 15 districts in 3 regions (Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba, and Gedo).

Mr. Uluso should remember that Jubbaland State was formed through a bottom-up approach and a grass-root support and not through the corrupt process of bribing Somali MPs by cash handouts from Qatar, which actually ascended the current Somali President and his Damul Jadiid team to power. 

But before I come to his articles, I want to underscore two points here, which I hope Mr. Uluso and those who believe his ideas will have it as a "take-away message":

(a)   First of all, Raskamboni Brigade is not like USC, which is the most brutal and notorious clan militia in Somali history. Raskamboni fighters have chased Somali warlords and Alshabab terrorists out Jubbaland, whereas USC militia had overthrown the Somali government in 1991, turned Mogadishu into a breeding ground for warlords and terrorists, and finally put Somalia in a state governed only by chaos and famine!


(b)  Jubbaland State is not also like Galmudug or Ximan & Xeeb – the two self-styled sub-clan enclaves, which do not exist beyond the stinking piles of animal skeletons and the crumbling buildings of the neglected dust towns in central Somalia.

The Key Points Raised by Mr. Mohamud Uluso:

1.     Mr. Uluso is accusing Kenyan forces in Jubbaland for being abusive, biased and not neutral. He wrote and I quote:


"The Kenya defense forces under AMISOM, stationed in Kismaio, denied security protection to the federal government ministers, members of parliament and other officials who visited the area. It is reported that the human rights and dignity of the Somali citizens are violated at Kismaio Airport under the control of Kenyan forces because the Somali travelers are interrogated, harassed, discriminated for their clan affiliation and support to the federal government".

If we take his words as he puts it, then who made it possible and pave the way for the Somali Prime Minister H.E. Abdi Farah Shirdon (Saa'id) to visit Kismaayo and spend days in the city with his large delegation and motorcade?.  If not Kenyan forces, can Mr. Uluso tell us who was providing the first class security protection for the Somali Prime Minister and his delegation? Furthermore, Jubbaland administration is also fully aware that the Minister of Interior Mr. Abdikarim Hussien and Defence Minister Mr. Abdihakim Haji Fiqi have been coming to Kismaayo frequently for the purpose of dismantling the newly-formed state, but still they were receiving a warm welcome in Kismaayo.


With regards to his other allegations against the Kenyan forces, it is clear to everyone that Kenyan troops in Kismaayo are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and they have a mandate from the Somali government. Yet, Mr. Uluso doesn’t want to mention in his writings that the Kenyan forces are part of AMISOM. He is referring them only as "Kenyan forces" in order to mislead the audience. Doesn't he know that the current Somali President dares not to walk among his people without having AMISOM forces as a shield?!


If truth be told, I am very much convinced that Kenya has sacrificed a lot for the Somali people at a time when Somalis were not welcomed anywhere else. For more than two decades, the successive Kenyan governments, with their limited resources and often under difficult and complex circumstance, have been extremely generous enough in hosting hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees who were fleeing form their burning country and arriving in Kenya with no food, no water, no medicine, and even no shelter. There are also thousands of Somali nationals working, studying, living or doing business in Kenya. Not to mention the Somali diaspora renting, buying and selling properties or using Nairobi as an entry and exist point on their way to and from abroad. Even the families of both the current Somali President and his premier have been living in Kenya for years and just moved to Mogadishu when they won the office.


Having all these facts in mind, Mr. Mohamud Uluso should, at least, be thankful to our friendly neighbor and its people, rather than accusing them with baseless and fabricated lies. Where is the common sense?!


2.     In another part of his article, Mr. Uluso is encouraging Jubbaland leaders to accept bribes and administrative position in exchange of giving up the idea of Jubbaland State. He is taking Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama'a as an ideal example. This is what he wrote, and I quote:

"The federal government offered to the Raskamboni Militia the same deal offered to Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama in Galgudud, a deal consisting in the incorporation of the Militia forces into the government military and security forces, in the payment of huge financial compensation and in the appointment of the Raskamboni Militia leaders to executive and administrative leadership positions". 

With reference to his words quoted above, it is very strange to see that Mr. Mohamud Uluso is criticizing Jubbaland leaders for not accepting bribes from the federal government. This is a big shame indeed! If Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama'a militia in Galgadud have conceded their political agenda and accepted bribes as a lucrative deal, then Mr. Mohamud Uluso needs to remember that Jubbaland leaders do not have the culture of betraying their people in exchange of receiving cash handouts which was collected from Qatar as a charity.  

Dr. Mohamed Abbas
Chairman, Jubbaland Intellectuals
"Jubbaland Intellectuals" is a non-profit, intellectually-based organization which is concerned with the social, political and economic development in Jubbaland. It was founded in Kuala Lumpur in 2005 and is headquartered in Kismaayo, Somalia.


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