‘We will revolutionize Somali politics’: Mustafa Omer heralds new era for Somali Regional State

Somali Regional State President Mustafa M. Omer, second from right, arrives Sunday in Jigjiga from Addis Ababa for his swearing in at the regional parliament. 

 

Mustafa M. Omer, a humanitarian worker and activist whose brother was ruthlessly killed in 2016 by agents of the ousted president Abdi Mohamud Omar, was sworn in on Sunday (Aug. 26) as the new president of Ethiopia’s Somali Regional State. Thousands marched through the capital Jigjiga to welcome him.

Mustafa, 45, who lived in exile for more than a decade, was appointed by the region’s party leaders in Addis Ababa on Aug. 22. He will complete the five-year term of the ousted president, widely known as Abdi Iley, which started in 2015. Iley was ousted by federal military troops early in August amid simmering political unrest in the eastern region with a population of about five million that borders both Somalia and Kenya. Continue Reading…

Rethinking the Somali State

Guests at the inauguration ceremony of the Somalia’s newly-elected President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo in Mogadishu on February 22, 2017. [Credit: UN Photo / Ilyas Ahmed]

Somalia has been a failed state for over two decades and is beginning to fully recover as a nation. Beyond broader developmental issues, Somalia has lagged because it lacked a proper structure of government. In “Rethinking the Somali State“, I propose an innovative model for achieving full statehood for Somalia: Vision 2021. In addition, I propose policy solutions to help tackle the major issues serving as obstacles to the three goals that were outlaid in the now defunct Vision 2016. Continue Reading…

Five signs you are in a relationship with a sociopath

Many years ago, I worked in California with a young woman who had moved from El Paso, Texas. She was dating a man who was head over heels in love with her. He often visited her in the office and brought her flowers. After a while, the couple married and were blessed with a beautiful daughter. I switched jobs and moved on. However, several years later, I ran into the young lady. I asked her about her family. “I am raising my daughter alone,” she told me, “My ex-husband became violent and a cheater.” I was baffled by the turn of events. I wondered if her ex-husband’s behavior could have been detected earlier. How did a gentle, loving, and romantic man turn into a monster? Continue Reading…

Opinion: Ethiopia’s renewed efforts to influence Somalia’s presidential election

Somali Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (second right), receives Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, ahead of the 28th IGAD Heads of State Summit in Mogadishu on Sept. 13, 2016. [AMISOM Photo / Omar Abdisalan]

Somali Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (second right), receives Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, ahead of the 28th IGAD Heads of State Summit in Mogadishu on Sept. 13, 2016. [AMISOM Photo / Omar Abdisalan]

Ethiopia is desperately trying to get Hassan Sheikh Mohamud re-elected as a president of Somalia. The evidence of this effort was encapsulated in a recent report by a think-tank affiliated with Ethiopia’s Foreign Ministry and external intelligence. Ethiopia’s renewed agenda goes against the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Somalis and members of the Somali Federal Parliament. This antipathy was witnessed in the recent parliamentary elections, where President Mohamud’s choice for first and second speaker deputies of the House of the People Farah Sheikh Abdiqadir and Abdulkadir Al-Baghdadi, respectively – were soundly defeated. Continue Reading…

Death Foretold: The killing of my brother

TWO HOURS after midnight, on Oct. 29, my father Muhumed Omer Dubbad and my brother Faysal Muhumed Omer were picked up from my parents’ home in Degahbour, a small town in the eastern part of Ethiopia, by Special Police from the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia. No one knew where they were taken to. By 9:00 a.m. the following morning, my father called from a policeman’s cellphone and said he and my brother were safe and were on their way to Godey, a town 430 kilometers to the southeast of my parent’s hometown. Continue Reading…

Brother of young man killed in Ethiopia’s Somali region accuses VOA Somali Service of censorship

For some time now there has been rumors that some influential journalists in VOA and BBC Somali services have been compromised by the president of the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia. A widely-held view among many people in the Somali Region is that these news services do not air any negative news against the regional president or that they alert him in advance, allowing him time to respond and give them directions on how the news should break. However, the brutal and merciless killing of Faysal Muhumed Omer on Oct. 29 may have finally turned the matter from mere rumors and hearsay to a credible suspicion. Continue Reading…

On Relationships: Getting Along with In-Laws.

The scene is a café where two men are chatting. One of them gloats and says, “My mother-in-law is an angel.” The other sighs and says, “You are lucky—mine is alive.” In another case, a man laments: “My mother-in-law and I were happy for 20 years. Then, I met her.” Continue Reading…

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