Hassan Alassow A Divisive President?!!

Like most Somalis, I wish we had more political leaders who made decisions beyond the narrow boundaries of their tribe, or religion sects. Somalis may even be surprised to learn that the current draft tribal federal constitution did not mention the problems that arise from tribal political parties and was largely designed to encourage partisanship from overwhelming the union. Sadly, our politics have evolved to give tribal partisans much power.

During the presidential election campaign, Mr. Alassow sought to appeal to the best instincts of the Somali Unionist Electorate, to a post-partisan sentiment that he said would reinvigorate our unity and democracy. He ran on a platform of reconciliation—of getting beyond "old labels" of Iririssm, and Daroodissm, and forging compromises based on shared values.
President Hassan's Inaugural was a hopeful day for many Somalis, with most of Somalis celebrating the election of Somalia’s un-divisive president after the civil war. The level of enthusiasm, the anticipation and the promise of something better could not have been more palpable. And yet, it has not been realized, at all.
Rather than being a unifier, Mr. Hassan Alassow has divided Somalia on the basis of clan, tribes, religion sects, and partisanship. Moreover, his cynical approach to governance has encouraged his allies (Damul Jadiid, and Somali Northern Secessionists) to pursue a similar strategy of tribally divisive politics on Somalia.

We have seen the divisive approach under earlier tribal warlords as well—particularly by the current tribal secessionists of SNM (Somaliland). It was wrong then, and it is wrong now. By dividing Somalia, Mr. Hassan Alassow has brought our country to the brink of a crisis of legitimacy, compromising our ability to address our most important policy issues such as the Somali unity.

Unionist communities (such as Khatumo State, and Makhir States of Somalia) were deeply moved by Mr. Alassow's election.

The first hint that President Mr. Hassan would be willing to interject tribalism into the political dialogue came last October, when he jumped to the composition about his New 10 seat Cabinet government and the power confrontation balance between Somali Secessionists (Somaliland) and Somali Unionists (Khatumo and Makhir  States). The Unionist groups were disappointed by the President for forming his cabinet based not on merits and not loyalty to the unity of Somalia. This is not what he promised during his campaign. So it is deceiving that he hasn’t kept his word. “This cabinet is not competent and not balanced”, said Unionist Spokesperson.
During his press conferences on Djibouti last week, the President suggested that the "Secessionists had the right to vote and separate from the rest of Somalia”... One Parliamentarian has said the president told him in a closed-door meeting that he would not address about the Secessionists (SNM) problem to secure the integrity of the Somali nation.

Secondly, there was a political mobilization from President Hassan towards the Jupaland State government formation which is very likely to be meeting with strong resistance by both the local residents and other armed groups (Raskamboni Resistance Army), especially the Daaroods who are the majorities around Lower Juba, Middle Juba and Gedo regions. That's another indication Mr. Hassan is willing to continue to play politics with civil war hot-button issues.
Mr. Hassan Alassow has also cynically divided the country on tribal lines. He has taken to playing the civil war tribal card time and time again. He bashes secessionists whenever convenient to advance his policies and programs.
President Alassow’s government does not yet have sufficient military capacity to provide adequate security for its own parliamentary offices, let alone for the complex process of disarming and demobilizing the hundreds of tribal militias, armed religion sects and warlords.
In conclusion, President Hassan Alassow's divisive approach to governance will weaken our Somali unity and paralyzed our future political culture. We (Somali Unionists) will pay a price for this type of politics.

By member of SSC Diaspora, Somali Unity Office
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