Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama Should Turn His Eyes Toward Cuba
By Bashir Goth
With the election of Barack Obama, America has set the record straight. The American people have said it loud and clear that they want a change of direction. They believed and supported Obamaʼs message of change. The American people have delivered and it is now Obamaʼs turn to deliver. He has to show that he can walk the walk; that he is not only a man of words but a man of action as well.

The first obvious task for Mr. Obama should be to heal the divisions and wounds created by the toxic campaign discourse; he should reach across the aisle and form a bipartisan cabinet.

No doubt a top priority will be to address the financial crisis at home and on the global level, but equally important is for Obama to send a strong message to the world that he is ready to mend Americaʼs tattered image and restore its leadership role. And there is no quicker way to improve Americaʼs image than bring a speedy end to the Guantanamo Bay detention camp.

Another equally important step would be to redefine the erroneous concept of the War on Terror without compromising on the security of the American people and the world at large. Mr. Obama should show the world that America is great because of its values and its unwavering support for human freedom; the values and freedom that brought him, a biracial child of an African father and an American mother, to the countryʼs presidency.

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Editorial: Bombs will not subdue the resolve of Africa’s Cinderella
By Bashir Goth
Eighteen long years and Somaliland has been the beacon of hope in a turbulent region. Eighteen years during which Somaliland has written a success story of peace, stability, democratization and building of government institutions. Eighteen years of looking into the abyss but skirting all terrorist threats with its wisdom and community cohesion. Eighteen years of sending a May Day call after May Day call to the international community for help and support that went mainly unheeded to the detriment of regional stability and global security.

While the world was focused on the mayhem and fratricide taking place in Mogadishu, Somaliland was slowly and silently piecing itself life together away from the international limelight. Immediately after the collapse of the central Somali government in January 1991, Somaliland, which bore the brunt of the Military regime’s brutality, had disassociated itself from the defunct union that it had created with Italian Somalia in July 1960. Since then Somaliland has through a process of homegrown and bottom-up reconciliation conferences managed to heal the wounds of the civil war and embarked on building bridges among its various clans.

In the first of these conferences held in Burao, Somaliland declared its sovereignty as a separate state and soon solidified this with a national referendum on 31 May 2001 supported by more than 90% of the local population. It was, however, at the inclusive and holistic conference of Borama February-May 1993, that Somaliland laid the unshakable foundation for its constitution on the basis of a unique amalgam of customary law and western democracy.

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