Hassan Ali

lives and writes in Philadelphia

Somalia's history has gone from colonialization to freedom to self-slavery. In the past it suffered from colonial administration; today, it suffers from its own leaders. What bad luck.

Once Somalia freed itself of colonialism, Abdirashid Ali Shermarke and Mohamed Siad Barre helped Somalia explore leadership and self-governance. But that did not last. Shermarke was assassinated, Siad Barre succeeded him, and although the latter ruled for 25 years, he was overthrown by warlords. Since then, the country has been torn by violence and anarchy. For the sake of their own greed and self-interest, the warlords scrambled the Somali people into small villages. And the present state of chaos is where we are today: a big stop sign for the Somali people. They must stop and think about their future.

To move forward, the Somali people must do the following things:

1. They have to forgive one another.

2. They have to extirpate all clan-based loyalties and hatreds.

3. Trust and respect have to be established both in the general culture and from person to person.

4. Every Somalian must understand that killing one another will never bring a solution.

What will be the solution? To overcome the country's many problems, the Transnational Federal Government of the Republic of Somalia has to do the following:

1. Dissolve itself and create a new government that is made up from, and represents, all clans.

2. Create a Political Training Center to ready trainees from all clans for public service.

3. Find people who will work for the good of the country.

4. Look for motivated people dedicated to eradicating poverty, illiteracy and clan mentality.

5. Train them so that a national and international outlook replaces a narrow clan sentiment.

6. Teach trainees that they are public servants. Their posts must never entitle them to act superior to the public they serve. They must serve all Somalians as if they were serving their mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters.

Because they are.

This, I believe, will lead to a better future for Somalia.