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Ra'yiga Akhristaha 

Banidir State; missing piece of the puzzle?  

Posted to the Web   April 17, 2002

By Abdi Mohamed "gacmo"    


For good or bad new Somalia is coming out of the old. So far three states have called their shots; SNM driven state, SSDF driven state and RRA driven state. Is Banadiri-Mudulood driven state next, a long shot or viable? The three states that formed went through different routes. But all had shared the basic ingredients for state formation in Somali experience; each had itís own recognizable militia with strong core, recognizable geography that the core dominated solely and History that marginalized them. They also had a major benefit; away from Mogadishu!

Mudulood-Banadiris are the only groups so far trying to establish state, without having an identifiable, separate and easily recognizable militia. They are represented by splinter groups under USC militia.


Banadir is in the middle of the centrifugal forces of all what is important and what went wrong in Somalia; the capital city. For things outside the control of Mudulood driven state of Banadir, Somalia had been a one city-state. The city has emotional, cultural and physical connection to all of the Somalis. Mogadishu is the Somalia we know, the Somalia we love and the Somalia we hate. Mogadishu was Somalia and vice versa Somalia was Mogadishu. Majority of Somalis have never seen, worked, schooled or even know what to make; Hargaisa, Garowe or Baidoaís new statuses. But majority of Somalis had either lived, visited, worked, schooled, roamed and someway or another have an idea what Mogadishu should or should not be. Because of Mogadishu; mudulood driven state will face a much bigger resistance compared to the other formed states, most importantly from the majority within the Hawiya clan. Other Major clans within hawiya feel and believe that statehoods are another way of denying the fruits of victory from the last dictator. Statehoods, they claim is a sinister form of political manipulation by the forces outside Mogadishu, thus they reject. Majority of Dir in the North support, the state under Hargaisa, Majority of Darods support the state under Garowe and majority of Digil-Mirifle support the stat under Baidoa. Can the mudulood succeed to gain the trust of the majority of Hawiye to support Banadir state?

Majority of The driving core of the formed states had their own identifiable militias who were the pre-organizations that succeeded in controlling the core areas of the formed states. Banadir driven core does not control Mogadishu, which is the core city of Banadir statehood. Two cores are driving the Banadir state; the mudulood and Banadirs. Banadirs never had a resistance army, while Mudulood were part and parcel of the strongest Somali militia; USC. When SNM announced their statehood, they had in control of the core; Hargaisa-Burco-Barbera enclave. RRA was in control of the core; Hudur-Sakoow-Wanlawayn-Qoryoole enclave. And SSDF had the strategically important Bosaso-Galkacyo line with a loose alliance with Dhulbahante and Warsangali (Western Harti).

Without a complete control of Mogadishu, can mudulood driven state announce statehood; in Somali state formation experience they can; knowing that the formed states were not in control of all their territories. Any secure and militarily defendable town in Banadir can be temporarily proclaimed as state capital.

All the formed states donít control the boundaries of the territories they claim to represent. At the ripe time, the fairness of judgment by the Somali society would be enough to wrestle the difficulties of boundaries in all states. Boundaries are the most difficulty stage that all the formed state wisely postponed to tackle, which would have drained their status if they had proceeded securing with force. Can the core that is driving the Banadir state postpone tackling the Mogadishu situation? Can they put aside the sentiment carried by not controlling their own GOOF-ranch? Can they use their resources to build the basic infrastructure necessary to maintain and support institutions of the expected Banadir state? And if they do, will the Somalis see as handing over of Mogadishu to outsiders?

  1. All and every clan outside Hawiye, would welcome A Banadir state. But they will be asking also how they will accommodate them; If the driven core of Banadir sate cannot accommodate their own clan members; the Hawiye? Anti Banadir state elements had already run a malicious propaganda; enforcing the fear of all other Somalis, that the core driven state of Banadir will push everyone else to the sea. Can they bring back their famous neighborism and fairness?
  2. Federalism must be sold and seen to every Somali as a solution. Banadir driven core must avoid federalism to be seen as a new problem. It should not be seen as an exclusive entity, even thought politically state agenda is excluding outsiders out of their daily politics. The whole concept behind federalism is to have a long-term stability for every Somali wherever they reside. Banadir driven core is not only responsible for their own goals of statehood, but all other states will fall or stand with the strategies they choose to fellow.
  3. States that have formed have forgiven or at least showed their willingness to set aside the past. They directed all their efforts to the future. RRA is not talking anymore about the occupation of Darod and Hawiya in Baidoa. They earned a confidence that allowed them to focus recruiting both Hawiye and Darods to accept and live with their agenda of statehood. Can Banadirs-Mudulood able to forgive and forget the rhetoric against other clans?

Avoiding Hiran Syndrome!

To have a viable state, at least in Somali experience and especially at the initial inauguration period all elements of the society of the core has to favor and unite behind the state creation; the elites, business, traditional Isims and important or powerful politicians has to be united in that endeavor. Otherwise banadir will fall under the Hiran category. Ali Mahdi, a prominent Mudulood politician who is a member of Arta, does not support at all the idea of Banadir State, while everyone in Arta who is from the formed state enthusiastically supports the idea of statehood. They might be against the leaders of their formed states, but they support the idea of having a local state. Dr. galyr, a Harti clan member who was the first prime minister of Arta supported the idea of Puntland state, even though arta is against the principle of statehood. All the members of Arta of raywiin origin showed publicly their support to the idea of statehood when RRA proclaimed. The grass root support of the formed states is so popular, that even members of Arta who originate from that regions cannot challenge publicly. What is the enthusiasm and grass root support of Banadir state? Where are their elites?

Almost all the politicians from the formed states agree in principle, the idea of federalism and local statehood, even when these politicians fight fiercely against each other publicly. Shatigudud and Deroow have one thing in common, each dearly supports a state under Baidoa, even though one is a member of Arta and the other is anti Arta. Do the mudulud and Banadiri politicians at least share and believe Banadir statehood? Except Xaji Muse Sudi, none is heard to support dearly from Banadiri-Mudulood prominent leaders?

Population Make up?

The major cities in the formed states have a population make up that is supportive to the cause of statehood. Mogadishuís population makeup is a result of a century migration of other Somalis to the city. While Somalis recognize the historical position of Mudulood and Bandiri status in Mogadishu, its population makeup of today is extremely different than Hargaisa, Garowe or Baidoa. The bigger clout of Mogadishu comes from its population make up! Who ever controls Banadir will control Mogadishu and will have a major impact on Somaliaís political process. In a stroke of a pen RRA driven state has taken the natural resources of all Somalia. RRA is extremely lucky, no one can immediately feel the impact of RRA driven state. The nations economy is in ruins. But if Somalia becomes stable the economic clout and control of RRA driven state will be felt in every corner. Future Somaliaís economic development policy will be the economic development policy of RRA state. If successful Banadir state will take away the political resources (Donor money and the only sound infrastructure in Somalia), which is why Somalis are fighting in the first place.

Identity crises?

RRA and SNM driven states didnít had a problem with identity; for both geographic and historical reasons. But SSDF driven state had to overcome with identity problem. SSDF driven state has confronted to face, whether they are Darods in first and Puntland second? If they were Darods in first, they would have been forced to pursue the interest of all Darods in Gedo, Juba and anywhere else. The western Harts saved the eastern harti driven core in agonizing at the issue of the other Darods and only succeeded to establish the state when they let forego the Darod element in the decision of the statehood. Indirectly the policy of domination assumed by both the SNM and USC forced them to come together. Whatever the Darod issue was, the driving core of Puntland state was ready to establish the state. Banadir driven core will need to answer that before they proceed. Are they Hawiye or Banadir first? Can they sell their ideas of statehood to all neighboring hawiye territory? Are they willing to go ahead even if the neighboring Hawiye shows no interest? What efforts they are putting to secure other major Hawiye clans in forming Banadir state?

If united Hawiye can force a centralist point in the short run. But in the long run no one can force an agenda to the tiniest clan in Somalia. Are mudulood-Banadirs driven core better under centralism?

From the other side of the equation, is the other Somalis who will always find something to say about Banadir state and deserve to be listened. Every thing they do will come under the microscope of all the competing and crazy ill formed interests of the rest. The constitution of Banadir state has to clearly show what are their intentions on the status of Mogadishu? Will Mogadishu support economically other poorer states? What would be the formula? Who would have that decision and how that decision will be reached? Because of Mogadishu, Bandir state would be expected to baby-sit and sometimes spoon-feed the rest. They will be hated, loved, respected and shunned at the same time.


Banadir state, as things stand today, is a long shot! The Mudulood, the largest Somali sub-clan militia is not vocally united to this agenda. Unless they unite in principle to statehood agenda, it is a long shot. And unless Banadir state is formed Somali federalism is in jeopardy. But what is important; is the yearnings of the public; a process that has started, the wheels for that goal are making a very load noise, while stuck in the sand dunes of Lido. More than fifty percent of Somaliaís stocks are in Mogadishu, let the locals manage these stocks instead of a centralist Darod, or Hawiye, or Isaq or Raywiine etc?


Kor u qaada codkiina oo Ha la idin maqlo...

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