“BREAKING Ethiopia & Somalia sign a trade agreement that would see Mogadishu export fish to Addis . Ethiopia in return will import Khat. Somalia’s Minister of Fisheries Bidhan & Addis envoy Abdifatah Hassan signed the deal on Sunday” (Dalsan TV, 20.06.2021).
The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) have secured a deal to trade fish, which seems like a good deal. However, it falls flat when it gets Khat in return. If you don’t know what Khat is, I will take a paragraph from the U.S. Department of Justice – National Drug Intelligence Center, which describes it as:
“Khat (Catha edulis) is a flowering shrub native to East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. The term khat refers to the leaves and young shoots of Catha edulis. The plant has been widely used since the thirteenth century as a recreational drug by the indigenous people of East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and the Middle East. Individuals chew khat leaves because of their stimulant and euphoric effects, which are similar to, but less intense than, those resulting from the abuse of cocaine or methamphetamine” (U.S. Department of Justice – Khat – Fast Fact, 01.01.2011).
Should we be worried? That this will ensure the continued usage and destroy people’s lives? That they get sedated and gets the side-effects of its usage. This shows the priorities of the state. As they value the ability to trade and buy khat. Than do other things the state should do.
They are importing a substance, which is harmful and dangerous. Yes, it has been used in the region historically. Still, the state is directly supporting it. They are letting the Ethiopian traders earn fortunes on fish in Ethiopia. While selling narcotic leaves. That says a lot. Both governments are legitimizing this trade.
This trade has been going on for years. There been informal trading between Somali merchants and Ethiopian and Kenyan counterparts. This is making it formal and legalizing it. They are trading fish for khat. Which in itself is a trade-off and an exchange of goods. However, that doesn’t make it look good for the administration in Mogadishu.
Mogadishu is accepting and is willing to buy khat for its public. They are willing to sell and contribute to the usage of it. That should worry people. Because, of the side-effects and the dangers of the usage. That’s what the Ministry of Health and the addiction of it.
We should worry about the youths and older generations who is chewing khat. They will be used and become damaged by this. The state is clearly wanting this effect and they are promoting it.
So, now the government is fishing for khat. That says it all about their priorities and what they are willing to do. They are no issues and does this for cheap popularity. Nevertheless, the state should worry about the long-term effects and how this can destroy livelihoods. As people will get addicted to it and hurt communities. That is clearly what this government will do.
They save the fishermen to make people addicted to khat. That is such a fairytale of doom. Peace.
The Commander of Rapid Support Forces (RSF) the former Janjaweed, General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo “Hemeti” is now challenging the state and the Sovereign Council. As he has not accepted to fully integrate the militia into the army.
RSP is already semi-autonomous, but by the act in government from 2017. The powers of the President can still command it. Therefore, the manner in which the law is created. It is creating a hard way to find ways to measure it. As it was an autonomous unit, but can be commanded by the President. This is maybe why the Sovereign Council and the Transitional Government want it under the same umbrella and not run as a separate outfit anymore. Especially, when the integrity and the power imbalance it might create.
The National Army is about 110,000 soldiers. While the RSF is about 20,000 militia men. Therefore, the size of RSF is substantial. Though, Hemeti is overplaying his hand here. Al-Burhan is the President (Chairman) of the Sovereign Council and Commander of the Armed Forces. By the laws of RSF Act of 2017. This means Al-Burhan can direct the RSF the way he see fit.
That means the RSF have to comply. The RSF Act was created for Al-Bashir’s wishes and whims. However, he is no longer the President and Commander-in-Chief. At this current time Al-Burhan runs as the President with Hamdok as the Prime Minister. Therefore, Hemeti which happens to be the Deputy of Al-Burhan doesn’t have the mandate to rebel against this.
Yes, the law is made in a way, which creates a lot of issues. Certainly, it was wilfully done so. In such a way that Al-Bashir could put all the blame on Hemeti and say he acted on his own merit. Instead of having to take responsibility for the actions made by the RSF in Darfur. Now, the same protocols are stifling the integration and furthering the process of a peaceful transition.
Hemeti doesn’t want to give up now. After years as a General and continued to rise to prominence. He has tried to make himself look more feasible and trade-off as a political broker. Still, everyone knows his past and willingness to dip into the coffers and get dirty. This man is willing to sell arms to Tchad or the Central African Republic. His willing to kill civilians and be a militia leader. So, it is not like his a man of protocol and a man of procedure. The RSF web page proves that as well.
Now, his willing to bet on the prestige and the ambition on his past. That he has the ability to overcome this obstacle and loose some sort of independence from the army. While the law, which he himself referred to recently. Is stating that the President can direct it and appoint it’s leadership. Meaning, if he Hemeti goes hard on this. Al-Burhan can in effect demote him and appoint someone else who is willing to accept the fate of the RSF in the SAF. That is just a mere fact and Hemeti should be aware of that himself.
His 20,000 combating a strong national army is a bloodshed in awaiting. Hemeti already have a war-torn Darfur and is known for his attacks on civilians there. Not like there is much love lost between the general public and the RSF. They still remember how the RSF was used to quell the revolution and civilians demonstrating against Al-Bashir. Therefore, he will not garner their love anytime soon.
This is why Hemeti should accept this plight. Swallow his pride and be happy that his even the Deputy in the Sovereign Council. That even with his horrific and depressing history, which he should have answered for in the court. The lives and the families he has hurt over the years. Still, he has rose to power and sitting at the high table. That man should feel lucky and not take this for granted.
Al-Burhan and the rest of the Sovereign Council is in it’s right to integrate and get the RSF into the SAF. That is just natural and not continue the agony of having it separate. Hemeti should understand that and just move-on. If he does… he will still have the reigns and be considered influential. However, if he gambles this all now.
Both the laws, the people and the Sovereign Council will dismiss him. There will be little to no redemption and what’s worse for him. That if they arrest him or start investigation of all of his acts during the years. The man will not see the light of day again. He will either be brought to court or get jail time. That is something you don’t want when you gotten this far…
However, Hemeti rather risk it, it seems and possibly loose it all. As he challenge the Gods, thinking they will forgive him. What a fool(!). This will only hurt him and he will not see it coming. Peace.