Somali Presidential Candidate Targets Corruption

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Somalia’s first female presidential candidate says she is out to “destroy” corruption in the country.

Fadumo Dayib, a 44-year old Somali refugee, who has been living in Finland for 26 years, aims to break the stranglehold of power shared by Somalia’s four major political clans.

 

“No place in the 21st century”

Dayib’s view of Somali politics from afar enjoys a kind of freedom most people in Somalia can’t afford. For many people living in the country, extremist group Al-Shabaab is more of a threat to daily life than the country’s political system.

However, Dayib has seen the country develop over the last few decades with a much wider context. She feels the current security crisis in Somalia is a symptom of its political makeup – and she insists it needs to end.

“My aim is to tackle this structure. My aim is to destroy it,” she says. “It has no place in the 21st century.”

It’s a bold ambition from a woman who is already making history simply by running for president in the conservative country. However, drastic change is needed in Somalia and Dayib is sacrificing a lot to try and make the necessary changes.

 

Personal sacrifice

Dayib is a Somali refugee who was actually born in Kenya after her mother fled the country almost 50 years ago. she eventually made her way to Finland where she has raised her own family in one of the world’s safest nations.

However, she plans to leave that safety and her family behind in the pursuit of creating a better Somalia. She may never see her children again.

“I’ll have to tell them they may never see me alive again,” Dayib told The Associated Press. “That is going to be a tough, tough thing to do as a mother.”

She’s also on the receiving end of death threats from terrorist group Al-Shabaab, which has a history of targeted killings – especially journalists and politicians.

Dayib knows all too well that the danger is very real, too. During a recent visit to Mogadishu, Al-Shabaab staged an attack along the city’s waterfront after Dayib posted pictures of the area on social media. Several people were killed.

“I felt that if I hadn’t put those photos on social media, perhaps that attack would not have happened,” she said of the incident. “But then someone said to me they would have done it anyway and you could have been one of those killed.”

However, the presidential candidate insists the terrorist group doesn’t scare her.

“I’m not scared of them. I wanted to show them that I want to go to my country, to walk anywhere I want to walk and send a very strong message that your threats are not working.”

 

Featured image: YouTube

 

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.