August 12, 2019
Eid Al-Adha is now over with no serious security incidents reported in the country after the horrific bomb- blast recently in Mogadishu that took away the lives of leading City Officials in the Capital. That security vulnerability of the nation’s Capital shook up the confidence of the fledgling Federal Government and international security partners of Somalia.The damage is so huge that it wears out any remaining trust in Mogadishu security systems currently in place to counter terrorism and stop the daily mayhem.
The honeymoon for Puntland President, Said Abdullahi Deni, after January Election of 2019, is now over. He should own up the complex socio-economic and security challenges Puntland State is now facing. With shaky security situation in the State, especially in the commercial Port-city of Bosaso, dwindling state revenue, lack of business and consumer confidence due to security threats from extremists and inadequate security and intelligence capabilities, expect serious economic recession in the most important economic source of Puntland. Moreover, thousands of Puntland high school leavers have little hope of continuing their education, while there are diminishing returns for job opportunities for youth in the State. The Federal Department of Education is playing a leading role in denying scholarship opportunities for Puntland students – a FGS policy based on short-sighted considerations. There is no movement towards political resolution of existing stalemate between FGS and Puntland.
Puntland Cabinet looks dysfunctional to meet the challenges of the time, while some Cabinet members are engulfed in major financial scandals, administrative inefficiency, management incapacity and political failures that make them hot potatoes to keep them in place without tarnishing the President himself politically.
Jubaland State is at crossroads with potential election violence and internal destabilization with unpredictable consequences. The incumbent is set to secure 2nd term in office in this August poll by any means necessary, while the ill-advised leaders of FGS are focusing on removing the incumbent State President by all means, including outright violations of the the Federal Constitution, use of bribery and propping up alternative candidates. Swathes of Jubaland territory is still under the control of extremists with Ahmed Madoobe, AMISOM and FGS unwilling to venture out beyond Kismayo City. There is an undeclared regional power-play between Ethiopia and Kenya in Jubaland too. That is why Ethiopian and Kenyan forces there don’t want to push back Al-Shabab in the regions to justify their suspicious presence in Kismayo through AMISOM. AMISOM is now is part of security-military for profit enterprises that don’t want to rock the boat. For AMISOM soldiers , there is no incentive to return home. They are engaged in profitable risk management businesses. They are complecent and comfortable with the status quo.
Galmudugh, the home-base of both FGS President Farmaajo and Prime Khayre, is in disarray and in a status of political limbo. It would take a long time before we see a modicum of a united operating administration. It was wrongly concocted myth of a regional state in the first place. The myth is now burst open for all to discover. The town of Ceelbuur in Galmudugh is Khayre’s Murursade clan base still under the full control of Al-Shabab. Dayniile quarter of Mogadishu, where Murursade/Hawiye clan of Prime Hassan Khayre predominantly lives, is also under the full grip of Al-Shabab. Thus, both Farmaajo and Khayre have neither the moral authority nor the political will to work towards the liberation of their own immediate clan territories and political power-base. For them, it is easier to try to boss around in other parts of Somalia, an irony and paradox in Somalia’s clan dominated politics.
Hirshabelle is another myth hardly recognizable and separatable from Banadir Region. It is an entity hardly existing now.
Southwest acts and looks like a region coming under the direct rule of the so-called N&N Government with all the security entanglements of extremists and heavily infiltrated NASA, besides the hidden and indirect influence of Ethiopian boundary forces nearby.
Somalilanders have been suffering from misinformation and false indoctrination for three decades for an elusive independent statehood. The bitter reality is now sinking in for residents to think over alternatives for both personal life-planing and future of the people of Northwest Regions. In a delusional behaviour of ignoring realism, President Muse Bihi is hell-bent nowadays visiting as many countries as he could to relieve the pains of diminishing returns for an independent “Somaliland”. It is also an attempt on his part to devise new tricks to try to calm restive population caused by poverty, hopelessness and internal clan conflicts. Despite boasting multi-party democracy for nearly three decades, Somaliland Parliament had changed only once, with more than two-third of its members hailing from a single Isaaq clan, not to mention about the injustices relating to resources and power-sharing in Somaliland.
But, it isn’t all that negative. Somalia is still theoretically a sovereign country. The world community is engaged with Somalia. The fledgling public institutions are desperately trying to be relevant.