September 25, 2019

Former Somali Finance Minister, Hussein Halane, the Keynote Speaker at PDRCTALKS tonight, was candid, knowledgeable and truthful on his take on the latest political developments in Somalia. His narrative on the challenges facing the nation with regards to respecting the rule of law, federalism, cooperation between the Federal Government and Federal Member States was commendable as it was superb in presenting facts. Hussein’s presentation had added value with enjoyable sense of humor and beauty of Somali poetry.

The panel and contributors were competent and knowledgeable of the issues under debate. Questions and comments from the audience were highly sophisticated and current, but uncontrollablly long and wasteful of time. Former Federal Interior Minister, Abdi Farah Juxa, was brilliant in presenting a convincing argument on confederalism as the most suitable fallback to Somalia’s alternative governance, given the undeniable fact that the current leaders of Somalia had turned out to be anti-federalists.

PDRCTALKS event tonight, however, has ended in spectacular, unexpected and unsatisfactory fashion. The event exposed that there were no coherent PDRC Policy Guidelines on how to approach to common topical issues of Somalia, as obviously, the Centre has no Policy and Steering Team to thoughtfully work out guidelines for debaters and audience inputs in running the show. The Centre seemed to have not worked out constants and variables upon which to solicit for new ideas and monitor the variables in Somali fluid issues and situations.

There was disconnect in vetting PDRC workers’ statements. At the closure of the shows, the Centre often fails to summarize, for the audience, the topics covered and main conclusions in the interactions, and if any consensus emerged from the show.

Uncharacteristically, tonight’s event has suddenly ended up with a political statement by one of PDRC Senior worker, blatantly endorsing the political views of an opposition leader in Mogadishu, former President of Somalia, Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. That public statement of support to the political opinions of that figure got both the audience and Keynote Speaker by surprise. Many wonder whether that seemingly unvetted political declaration by a PDRC worker is in line with its academic and research policy.

That was a loose canon, unhinged, childishly provocative to condemn confederalism without any consideration that it was an idea worth considering as research item.

He disrespectively and personally opposed Puntland intellectuals, who responsibly moved the Policy Paper for public attention.

PDRC shouldn’t condone such reckless personal behaviour under its name. It was an unfortunate incident that shouldn’t be done. Such misconduct will have consequences for the Center.

That worker’s job was expected to deliberate on what has transpired in the show, point out of any consensus reached at and thank everybody for coming in and having contributed to the success of the event. Period. No lone gunman political declarations, no endorsement of or opposition to any politician.

Previous PDRCTALKS events had fared far better than tonight’s event.



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