The political slogan by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud (HSM), “Somalia in peace with itself and with the rest of the world” was too good to be true. It was inconsistent with both the political character and past deeds of the Somali leader. To have a nation in peace with itself, especially in the case of Somalia, means to me that political leaders must be chosen by the people. That is the first condition, I believe, to secure national peace. You can’t maintain peace, harmony and trust when leaders come to power through manipulations, corruption, interest groups and religious Tariqa. You can’t earn trust of your citizens, if you are known to be greedy and out there to accumulate wealth through corruption and misuse of public office.

Now, think of discussing resources-sharing with such politicians symbolized by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. Whether it is fiscal federalism or equitable and fair management of petroleum and other mineral resources, it would look and sound like debating with General Mohamed Farah Aydid on re-instating the failed state of Somalia. HSM and his political constituency aren’t yet ready to share the spoils of Somali state, no matter what system of governance Somalis agreed upon. It is winner takes all -a zero-sum game in political and clan rivalry.

Only recently it was the meeting in Mogadishu of finance ministers of FGS and FMS, failing to reach consensus on fiscal federalism due to the political interference by the Federal President. In HSM’s style of leadership and in direct violation of the Federal Constitution, the Cabinet and Prime Minister don’t exist. The only obstacle to HSM’s absolute power is the existence of Federal Member States. How would he then share resources and power with them? This is the basis for Puntland State argument on the brewing dispute on petroleum management with the administration of President HSM. This is also one of the key factors making Somalia hard to run.


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