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Siilanyo, Somaliland and the Politics of the Belly

By Ibrahim Mead -What causes a state to fail?

When a state fails to secure the legitimate use of physical force with in its borders it could be said to “fail”, When this is broken according to philosopher Max Weber (e.g. through the dominant presence of warlords, paramilitary groups, or terrorism), the very existence of the state becomes uncertain, and the state becomes a failed state.”

“Typically, the term means that the state has been rendered ineffective and is not able to enforce its laws uniformly because of (variously), extreme political corruption, an impenetrable and ineffective bureaucracy, judicial ineffectiveness,, and cultural situations in which traditional leaders wield more power than the state over a certain area, endemic corruption or profiteering by ruling elites and resistance to transparency, accountability and political representation.

Includes any widespread loss of popular confidence in state institutions (like the two houses of congress, presidency and judiciary”) Do we smell some thing here!? Has Siilanyo’sSomaliland entered into that zone?

“Chose the right” that is what our religion and all other religions of mankind advice us to do. “Chose the wrong” that is what the wicked Soul tells to some people. It is a choice between the right and the wrong. Mr. Siilanyo unfortunately chose the wrong! He could Flip it if so he may want.

President Siilanyo and his administration refused to respond to the Moral foundations of the 2nd Republic ofSomaliland ! They refused to uphold the hopes and the aspirations of the people of Somaliland ! They stampeded the principles and what Somaliland stands for !

They compromised the dignity and the integrity of the country and its people all in exchange of monetary benefits that fits in their pockets and the brockets of their friends !

They refused to follow the manifesto of the Kulmiye party we formulated to run for it, and we ran for it and the people responded to that and gave us their vote over others because of this party program.

The manifesto which Mr. Siilanyo threw away upon announcement of his win was the one the people voted for it and it was the one which gave us the victory over UDUB party. Once he trashed that program, then he is morally bound to give back the voters their vote !

Under ‘the evolution of Siilanyoism’ the Kulmiye people were betrayed forthwith and by extension the nation at large !

Mr. Siilanyo even refused to follow Allah’s way of “Haljazaaul ixsaani illal ixsaan” Instead, he immediately embraced the immoral and destructive politics of the belly

‘la Politique du Ventre’ Politics of the Belly :

“The Politics of the Belly is a multi faceted metaphor for a form of governance that arose across Africafollowing independence. Characterized by a controlling government and the interdependence of the elite in control of the private and public spheres, actors on both sides use their status to strengthen their economic and political power The Politics of the belly is a translation of the French: “Politique du Ventre, an expression coined by Cameroonians and borrowed by Jean-François Bayart in his 1989 book: L’Etat en Afrique : La Politique du Ventre”

A ‘belly’ oriented governance is distinguish by practicing the politics of the ‘Belly’ by whimsical policy making, unaccountability, unenforced or unjust legal system, the abuse of the executive power, a civil society unengaged in public life and wide spread corruption which made part of their culture! And worst still a government instead of correcting them selves and their deeds to the best of her ability denies that truth and yet insisting doing it as a way of life while at the same time they say that they “didn’t do it !”

The ‘politics of the belly’, as defined above is a “predatory pursuit, or dash for stealing of wealth and power. That, as a method of governance,”

The predatory nature of Siilanyo’s administration, generates incentives for government Ministers and others to ‘eat’ from the resources of the state. In this fashion, the invasion of ever-wider spheres of economic activity by formal and informal political networks leads to the ‘criminalization of the state’. State becomes criminal of her actions in this case !

In democratic, legitimate governments the head of states are the servants and the people are the owners of the government which the government manages on their behalves and supposedly do so in the right way.

People are in charge and governors are the servants of the people. They are also on contract. When their performance is unsatisfactorily shocking they ought to go and elected others ought to replace them. That is what we expect from a free and a democratic government, we claim we are, but we are not there. Here people are not in charge of any thing. They are the servants of governing clique. They are the cash cow! Their rights are denied by any tantrum Minister People are treated as owned !

When the government is corrupt, and arrogant then that government loses legitimacy. When that happens then it loses the moral authority to govern. It got to change it self or be changed, but sillanyo’s government acts and lives and even threatens the descending voices that they have the gun and the cash and they don’t care the rest of it!

Another model of the ‘politics of the belly’ is the idea that the leaders created incentives for themselves to use “disorder as a political instrument This refers to the process by which political actors in Africa seek to maximize their returns on the state of confusion, uncertainty and sometimes even chaos which characterizes most African politics. The use and creation of personalized informal patron-client networks is central to their argument.”

Such immoral, arrogant and ignorant functionaries in Siilanyo’s government may resort to use this model if and when ever they see it fit in their greediness and that is a bad news for the stability of the whole region. That is becomingSomalia and the world is fed up of oneSomalia and can not entertain another one!Somalia already practiced this model !

Siilanyo administration exhibited that they have predatory and distributional (handing out the public money to families and friends) aims as opposed to developmental ones.

They neglected the democratic based political processes but instead appropriated unlimited power to themselves ! They corrupted the legislators as well as the “Guurti” If they don’t change their deceptive policy and unguided behavior which they could Somaliaize Somaliland and the two ‘Amigos’ will meet in a Ugandan tent ! Or most likely in mansions over seas and in the end in dark holes where they will meet their deeds.

That ‘belly’ politics will put Somaliland to a breakdown and, then disorder will descend until we become like Somalia.(God for bid) That is where Siilanyo and Sharef or who ever inherits Awo Sharef will meet!

A failed state would endanger their own citizens and terrorize their neighbours by importing refugees, political instability and random warfare’Somaliais already doing it !

The far-reaching more pervasive and all out corruption, greater economic crises, with a larger breakdown of political institutions is another way states fail.

It is these regimes that give credibility to Bayart’s notion of (politics of the belly).

Siilanyo’s government acts and conducts business as though the government is their own store and the people do not own the government and the people has nothing to do with what the government does ! The fact is that the people are the only legitimate owners of the government, but that legitimacy is not there in Siilanyo’s administration ! By name we are democratic; in real live we are not. Siilanyo acts as a tin pot dictator and uncaring guy.

When the government lacks the fundamental requirements of acceptable level of good governance, when it lacks the political renewal by her own actions or inactions or reactions, when they practice the politics of the ‘Belly’ that government is Mr. Siilanyo’s government ! That government lost the moral authority to govern their victims ! There is no legitimacy for a rotten government. They got to change themselves or be changed ! Peace and prayers for the Mothers.

Ibrahim Mead

Ottawa, Canada