Somali traditional clan system was reportedly famous for tribal conflict resolution. However, upon close examination of the issue, one would find out that this mechanism for settlement of disputes was never fond of setting up neutral or independent bodies. The negotiating sides were selected from the opposing parties, each side advocating for the interests of their respective party. The protagonists must trust the judgment of their envoys to be reliable defenders and effective advocates. The main takeaway of this tool of conflict resolution is their intention to lower the temperature of the conflicting parties by keeping them talking and to address their grievances to each other. In the end that approach may produce:
- Appreciation of each other’s points of view.
- Mutual understanding and reconciliation
- Compromise with possible outcome of settlement of dispute(s).
That is why one notices that this approach also applies to politics in Somalia, and in a situation where Federal public institutions have lost legitimacy, the only way to avoid conflagration of violence and civil conflict is to appoint persons representing the main antagonists in the conflict. Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo selected his political allies in the name of Speaker of now defunct Federal Parliament, Mohamed Mursal, who attempted to extend President’s mandate to two more years just recently, and Galmudugh President, known as Qoor Qoor, Ahmed Abdi Kariye, who owes his position in Galmudugh presidency to only Farmajo’s help. This approach is also true to Caretaker prime minister, Mohamed Hussein Roble, with the selection of loyal junior ministers in the Caretaker Federal Cabinet.
They say that a civil war breaks out when parties to a conflict stop talking to each other. As long as there are talks going on between the parties in Mogadishu political stalemate, including the opposition elements, there will be still a chance to settle down the political and security tensions there.
But, regardless of the outcome of Mogadishu power struggle within the leadership of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), Federal Member States (FMS) must proceed to hold the elections to expeditiously resolve the logjam in Mogadishu by electing a new federal parliament, which will elect a new Federal President. Act now before the conflict in Mogadishu gets out of hand.
New books on the WDM Blog at https://amazon.com/author/ismailwarsame
(This article has been updated since posting.)