Senator Abdi Samatar calls for liberation of Somali Studies from Colonial Tutelage

In Senator Samatar’s book the focus is on “liberating Somalia from warlords, the corrupt political class, pseudo religious tyrants, and the “Lords of Poverty”.

Mogadishu (PP News Desk) — The Somali Senator and the University of Minnesota Geography Professor Abdi Ismail Samatar has long waged an intellectual onslaught against anthropologically influenced studies on Somalia. In his new book Framing Somalia: Beyond Africa’s Merchants of Misery, the result of thirty-plus years of research on Somalia, he discusses how Somali Studies have become a barren and fruitless intellectual pursuit at a time Somalia needs a transformative national “weltanschauung”.

Published thirty years after his classic take-down of traditionalists’ hold on Somali Studies, the new book subtly brings to light the ascendancy of conflict entrepreneurs masquerading as national think tanks and foreign disinformation factories such as the International Crisis Group whose ethnicity-focused reports are replacing the hard-won reputation of scholars whose works get subjected to peer reviews.

Senator Samatar charts the trajectory of the Somali political changes for the last six decades and impact of the democratic experiment (1960-1969) after the liberation struggle beginning with Dervishes led by Sayid Mohamed Abdulrahim Hassan followed by Somali Youth League); the military dictatorship (1969-1981) and subsequent warlordism funded by Western countries until the emergency of the Union of Islamic Courts sixteen years ago; and the invasion of Somalia by Ethiopian forces, which paved the way for Al-shabaab.The current breed of Somali political elites are not spared the the timely pen of Senator Samatar.

“In the broadness of its reach, and in the ambitiousness of its political vision, Abdi Ismail Samatar’s “Framing Somalia” is a path-breaking book, one that we, Somalis, and anyone interested in our country, have been waiting for. My heartfelt congratulations to him for having the honesty, the bravery, and the commitment for writing this timely book” Nurrudin Farah, the Somali novelist wrote about the book.

Professor Samatar is a Senator of the Upper House in Mogadishu. He is expected to be a critic of the government to be formed whose leadership maintains the status of Somalia as a client state for oil-rich Gulf countries.

© Puntland Post, 2022