Glorification of Al-shabaab in Mogadishu

By Adan M. Dawad

A foot-in-the-mouth moment: Boqor Buurmadow was tripped by his tongue.

Boqor Buurmadow went on record for bravely blaming President of Somaliland administration, the Interior Minister and the Commander of Somaliland Police for forcibly displacing Somali citizens in Las Anod. Several traditional leaders in Mogadishu have hosted Buurmadow, whose speeches were gradually becoming divisive and macabre.

Yesterday, he apologised for glorifying Al-shabaab in Mogadishu. “Somalia has two governments. One is the Federal Government, the other is Al-shabaab. We run Al-shabaab” said Buurmadow proudly.

The former Somalia Foreign Minister Yuusuf Garad called on Buurmadow to retract the statement that glorifies Al-shabaab. Ahmed Fiqi, the former Galmudug Minister, demanded blood money from Buurmadow on grounds that the traditional leader from Burao had defended and applauded Al-shabaab policies publicly in Mogadishu.

“I sent a message of condolence when Al-shabaab leader died. He was my clansman” Buurmadow said in Mogadishu, where Al-shabaab massacred thousands of innocent people. Buurmadow is reportedly being protected by security guards in Mogadishu. His planned meetings have all been cancelled. He is the least popular Somali traditional leader who came to Mogadishu to glorify a terrorist organisation.

It was not only a foot-in-the mouth moment for Buurmadow; it was a classic example of acting before thinking. Somalis are learning that impromptu speeches carry public relations risk. We have to revise our view of eloquence — the ability to speak off the cuff.

By Adan M. Dawad