The FARMAAJO’S POPULIST PHENOMENON


OCTOBER 21,

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, like Donald J. Trump, is a populist thriving in symbolism, empty slogans on patriotism and revolutionary flavour. Farmaajo became the Prime Minister of Transitional Federal Government under Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed through the lobbying of family connections from Farmaajo’s wife.  He was born to a low-income family, unlike Trump, and raised in Mogadishu. His father, Farmaajo Senior, was a gate-keeper at Public Works Ministry in the civilian Somali government before it was overthrown by General Siyaad Barre of the same sub-clan of Mareexaan as Farmaajo. A military dictatorship, practising nepotism and cronyism gave Farmaajo’s family the first break from poverty. 

As young adolescent, Farmaajo junior and his playmates ran into legal problems. The family had persuaded the Military Despot to post this youth to Foreign Service in the Embassy of the Somali Democratic Republic in Washington DC, thus allowing him to escape from a criminal liability in Mogadishu. He was granted political asylum in the USA as the Somali Government had collapsed in January 1991.

Farmaajo’s formative years had witnessed public deceptive slogans of Siyaad Barre’s “Kacaan” (Revolution), and under-handed operations of the ruling family, whereby secret family consultations were held at night and decisions implemented during the day – frequently sending pre-eminent and public figures to jail in the wee hours of the night, many never coming back to their loved ones. This was widely and extensively practised throughout the existence of the dictatorship for twenty-one years.Thousands had perished in maximum security jails like “labaatan-Jirow”. Many others were purged and destroyed, while hundreds of thousands fled the country to all directions of worldwide for their own safety. Somalia now, even the under the occupation of thousands of foreign troops disguised as AMISOM, doesn’t send out such huge number of refugees, fleeing from repression by their own government as Siyaad Barre’s. Farmaajo has sympathy and antipathy for certain politicians and sub-clans in the country. This personal characteristic explains also his anti-federalist policies and attitude. Welcome to Confederalism! If that wouldn’t solve his problem for good, then only a psychiatrist could try to help him.

Young Farmaajo grew up in the atmosphere of a dictatorship, where kangaroo courts, hand-picked rubber-stamp parliament and personal fear for life, devoid of any civil liberties, were supreme daily occurrences. Unexplainable in Farmaajo’s strange populist phenomenon includes the fact that many young Somalis in the country and within the diaspora, ignorant of the country’s recent ugly history, are engaged in advocacy for N&N deceptive social media misinformation. The sudden erection and unmasking of nationalistic statues in Mogadishu these days to coincide with the anniversary of Siyaad coup d’etat, while the entire country is in dire situation, are powerful tools and deceptive political symbolisms par excellent by a demagogue. The whole exercise is to misdirect the people’s concerns with what is happening with Somalia-Kenya Maritime Dispute.

Fond of specious mask and using propaganda that he stood for the interest of the common man and country in an uninformed and gullible society, and portraying himself as a different patriotic politician, who was paying soldiers on time and caring for the veterans of 1977-1978 Ogaden War with Ethiopia, he rode on a strange phenomenon of rare populism in Mogadishu, and to some extent, Somalia.

His popularity in Mogadishu became apparent after he was unceremoniously fired by joint decisions of Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and Sharif Hassan Adan as result of what is known as the Kampala Accord.

Surprisingly, certain sections of Mogadishu residents led by Murursade, his wife’s sub-clan, employing the grievances of disabled War Veterans occupying Di Martino Hospital, and hired IDPs in Mogadishu camps, rose up in public demonstrations, decrying the dismissal of Farmaajo as the Prime Minister. Mogadishu politicians had noticed Farmaajo’s popularity phenomenon.

Competing factions within President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud Damul-Jadid Government were on loggerheads as who would replace just fired Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh, with Fahad Yassin and Farah Abdulkadir competing for influence. Farah Abdulkadir had won the battle, but not the war. Fahad’s anti-Hassan and anti-Farah political campaign had ended up Farmaajo’s win of the Presidency in 2017, when on the eve of the election night, nearly 60 MPs close to Daljir Party suddenly switched from Sheikh Sharif’s Presidential candidacy to Farmaajo’s.

Now that Farmaajo is the President of Somalia, all other branches of the government, the Parliament and Judiciary are as paralyzed as they were during the Regime of Siyaad Barre.This had resulted in total political stalemate in the country. It won’t stay that way. Something has to happen soon. We only pray for the better.


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Correction: an early version of this essay wrote incorrectly “Farmaajo’s election as President in 2016. “Daljir Party” was said to be the face of Union of Islamic Courts supported by Turkey. It was managed by Ahmed Moallim Fiqi during the presidency of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, with the knowledge of Sheikh Sharif, who hooked them up with Turkey. Ahmed Fiqi briefly got appointed Chief of Staff at Villa Somalia before he was pushed out by Fahad Yassin.

A WORD OF PRAISE TO SOMALIA’S FORMER PRESIDENTS

October 18, 2019


They say, give the devil his dues. The former Somalia’s Presidents of the Federal Government, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, have become politically mature enough to keep engaged in Somali affairs, irrespective of their political ambitions to seek 2nd chance at the Federal Presidency. That is citizenship. They sought public service to a make a difference. They know they had left huge problems behind and figured out that they still could contribute to a better Somalia. The mere fact that they are still publicly engaged in to help resolve Somalia’s predicaments as active and enlightened citizens of Somalia is highly commendable. Compare them with Abdulqassin Salad Hassan and Ali Mahdi Mohamed. What do you say to that?


Also engaged and still  politically active is  former federal Prime Minister, Ali Mohamed Geedi. He deserves praise for still getting involved in fixing Somalia. Compare him with the two Abdiwelis, CCC and Saacid. Are they even comparable to him? I know they would say that they had had their term and they couldn’t meddle in other politician’s mandate. But, we all know that they are still politically as ambitious as Farmaajo and Khayre.


Former President of Puntland State, Senator Abdirahman Faroole, turned out to fare far better politically speaking, and in terms of good citizenship than the two Abdiwelis, CCC and Saacid combined. Would you argue?


In fact, one could argue that those politicians, who have turned out to be indifferent to Somalia’s plight and daily suffering and struggles of the citizens, after they were rewarded with the full trust of the masses in the highest offices of the land, were fake and selfish, in the first place. Do you agree? 

It is rather disappointing as it is surprising that even Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame is doing a much better job in Somalia’s politics than a bunch of our former prime ministers and state presidents.


Have your say.


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ANOTHER TURNING POINT IN SOMALIA’S GOVERNANCE


October 11, 2019


Since the adoption of the Provisonal Charter of 2004, a political battle has been raging on between federalists and centralists. A turning point in that political war came to half-way win for the federalists in confronting then former FGS President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who had eventually capitulated to the formation of Jubaland. That was a strong message to the centralists that the clock couldn’t be turned backed to the departing position of one city-state status.


President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his team of Damul-Jadiid had no choice, but to rush up a centrally sponsored formation of Hirshabelle and re-invigrated Galmudugh, as there was a political panic among Hawiye, as they saw themselves being left behind as the rest of Somalia had embraced upon federalism.


The centralists, however, didn’t give up their political struggle to turn the tide of popular desire for decentralization, even after formation of federal member states of Southwest, Hirshabelle and Galmudugh. They had to think of another way to continue the fight against federalists. Since they assumed the Daroods were spearheading the new notion of federalism, they had to find a Darood leader willing to sacrifice his constituency, like Siyaad Barre, for the position of a nominal presidency in Somalia. They struck gold in President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, a Mogadishu born politician of former military regime, whose italian nickname, Farmaajo (cheese), sounds sweet to the residents of Banadir.


Farmaajo, heavily promoted and advertised by centralists, once elected under limelight of popular welcome, immediately started a war against what was supposed to his own power-base in Somalia’s clan politics, just in the same manner his former late boss ran things from Mogadishu then, while trying very hard to unravel the gains of the 2nd Republic. The only difference is that Farmaajo had deceptively chased out even the Marehans to project an inital image that they too aren’t welcome in Villa Somalia.


Regardless of whether the recent Jubaland election was properly and legally conducted or not, the bigger issue was that the centralists were using Farmaajo in the same way they were using HSM then. It looks that Jubaland is another turning point, again, that Somalia resists the temptation to restore one city-state dictatorship. 


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SOMALIA: FEDERALISM MORTALLY WOUNDED, HAS PUNTLAND LOST BATTLE OR WAR?

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FEDERALISM IN SOMALIA AT CROSS-ROADS

When former Federal President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, had the battle to block the formation of Jubaland Federal Member State in May 15, 2013, it was a turning positive point for proponents of the Federal system in Somalia. It was, however, clarion call to anti-federalist forces in Mogadishu political elites. For federalists, Jubaland victory made them complacent and got disarmed. For anti-federalist, it was a wake-call to change course and find out options to fight back. For them, two options were on the table:

1. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Co. had to accept reluctantly the reality on the ground and speed up the process of creating Hawiye federal member states in Central Somalia, Galmudugh and Hirshabelle, to counter the political weight of the established Darood federal member states in Puntlland and Jubaland, on the top of the NFD counties in Kenya and Somali Regional State in Ethiopia. There was panic in President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s political camp. They had to hurry up.

2. However, the other more effective faction of anti-federalist forces had to change tact by bringing in an electable non-Hawiye opponent of federalism. They put their bet on former prime minister of FGS, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo. They struck gold as Farmaajo surprisingly got elected FGS President in 2016 by heavily corrupt members of the Federal Parliament Lower Chamber, while ignoring the non-existent then Upper Chamber.

In turn, Farmaajo had to find a political novice to install him as his loyal prime minister. He had made an unconventional choice of picking up the most unexpected candidate in the eyes of Hiraab political elite and Mogadishu establishment, Hassan Ali Khayre, an outsider and an in-law from Farmaajo wife’s Murursade clan, a non-Hiraab minority Hawiye sub-clan, who would be loyal only to Farmaajo because of Khayre’s vulnerability due to lack of power-base in Mogadishu.

Now, the process of fighting back to undermine the Federal Constitution and unravel federalism had had to begin. The new anti-federalist policies got started with suppressing all promotions and press support for federalism; delaying the Review Process of the incomplete Federal Constitution, creating tension and conflicts in all Federal Member States, and commissioning an unprecedented worldwide social media campaign of Nabad & Nolool (N&N) to mislead and misinform Somali youth.

The success of FGS anti-Federal agenda, in the short period of only two years, is stunning with elimination of most Heads of Federal Member States that begun with removal of Abdullahi Osoble of Hirshabelle, and went on to eliminate Sharif Hassan Adan of Southwest State; Abdiweli Gaas of Puntland and recently Ahmed Du’aale Haaf of Galmudugh.

The challenges to overcome now are Said Abdullahi Deni of Puntlland State and Ahmed Mohamed Islaam (Ahmed Madoobe) of Jubaland. Both Heads of Regional states have certain vulnerabilities to exploit by Farmaajo anti-federalist team. Both didn’t come to power by popular choice. Both have unpredictable and unreliable members of local parliaments. Both avoid surrounding themselves with the states’ political heavy weights as advisors and consultants. Both have serious political rivals being bankrolled by the FGS leaders. FGS subversive campaigns to destabilize them politically is reportedly well under-way now. For President Deni, it is probably through the Puntland House of Representatives by means of impeachment and non-confidence vote to oust him. For Madoobe, they will probably try Sharif Hassan removal style: Buy him out. If that wouldn’t work, then, use Gaas removal style: support his political rivals with massive financial backing to get rid of him in the forthcoming Jubaland Election in August this year. They could succeed.

For the benefit of those, who do not understand the political dynamics of FGS in Mogadishu, misleading reports and misinformation coming from Somalia abound as to who is in charge in the FGS. Most say that it is Prime Minister Khayre’s one man-show and President Farmaajo is a by-stander.

Nothing further from the truth. According to informed and reliable sources. Khayre is the weakest of all past TFG/FGS Prime Minsters. That is because he has no strong power-base in Mogadishu. Nothing happens in FGS without Farmajo’s permission or knowledge. It is Farmajo, who is dictating Khayre. It is Farmajo, who is anti-Federal and anti-regional administrations. It is Farmajo, who is protecting Khayre. Khayre couldn’t survive a parliament motion against him if it weren’t Farmajo. The entire Hiraab constituency is up against Khayre. Khayre has more parliament MPs support from Darood than from Hawiye. This is Khayre’s strength as FGS Prime Minister because of Farmaajo. It is, actually, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo, who is pushing hard for unitary central government in gross violation of the Federal Constitution, and, by the way, that is the main reason as to why the FGS doesn’t want to complete the Review of the Constitution to make easier for them to ignore or violate it while it is still in never-ending process. If Farmaajo would get elected in 2020, there would not be a federal constitution. Talk about nominal semi-autonomous regions and central government tyranny.

Their policy strategy is to destroy the Federal Member States, or install their puppet regional leaders in the meantime, hold sham general elections to return to power and establish a strong one city-state with rubber-stamp institutions.

Now, it is a clarion call to forces of Federalism to fight back as it is a wake-call to the residents of Puntland State to contemplate about their destiny in a new Somalia whose leaders are trying to restore One City-state rule.

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DOES PRESIDENT GAS’ POLITICAL SHOW BUZZ AND IVORY TOWER ATTITUDE HURT PUNTLAND?

DOES PRESIDENT GAS’ POLITICAL SHOW BUZZ AND IVORY TOWER ATTITUDE HURT PUNTLAND?.

IS PRESIDENT GAS’ POLITICAL SHOWBIZ AND IVORY TOWER ATTITUDE HURTING PUNTLAND?

Despite the President’s continuous travels and repeated tours in some parts of the country, while intentionally avoiding some, including those regions considered as his political power-base, and he is highly visible at receptions at Villa Garowe with Somalia’s International Partners, President Gas is politically isolated within a short time into his mandate as he has lost touch with reality in both Puntland and larger Somalia.

This self-imposed political isolation and complacency take place due to the following mistakes of his making:

1. The President chose to surround himself at State House with young novices as his key advisers, who neither have the political skills, education, nor the experience of working in any parts of Somalia, not to mention about having slightest field works in Puntland State of Somalia.

2. The President is incapable of gauging the mood and feeling of ordinary man and women towards his leadership performance in terms of the economy, public order and personal safety.

3. State employees, including security forces are not paid months after months, often triggering off threatening periodical mutiny of forces, ensuing dangerous security situation, and creating an atmosphere of growing popular deep discontents. The President does not treat this precarious situation as a national emergency and priority number one for the very survival and unity of Puntland.

4. The President feels that he knows what is he doing better than anybody else-a superficial Ivory Tower Attitude devoid of any real and on-the-ground political context and smart understanding of current dismal economic and geo-political situation of Puntland.

5. The President clearly enjoys hosting high-level delegations, who continually jet in and out of Puntland with no benefits to deliver to the State, even a small budgetary support for the security sector engaged daily with extremists and militants-the very forces that enabled the so-called “international Partners” to have trouble-free discussions with Puntland authorities inside the country to show-case their engagements with Somalia, and thus diffuse the concerns of their generous Donor countries. Rather than demanding reciprocity and playing ball, the President is enticed with diplomatic niceties, empty, and meaningless receptions in his Office. It is disturbing to see even junior NGOs officers being to driven to the State House rather letting them mind their own business with government departments concerned. One critical fact Abdiweli has to learn about these international organizations is that they are not accountable to anyone. As they are faceless, their promises and statements to their interlocutors mean nothing as they would never honour or deliver on their promises- a black hole Puntland fell into recently. The President often gets busy himself with departmental tasks and mandates- an award tendency to a one-man show exercises.

6. Under the fledgling leadership of President Abdiweli Hassan Ali (Gas), Puntland State has abandoned the on-going Somali National Debate on the re-institution and re-construction of the Somali Republic along the Vision the State of Puntland has been fighting for nearly two decades.

7. Worse of all, it seems that President Gas has no a vague idea of the Mission and Founding Objectives of Puntland State of Somalia. Probably, in his Ivory Tower vanity, he did not bother to browse that Historic Document even briefly. Let us Paraphrase some highlights of these Guiding Principles for his benefit:

1. After many trials and failures of the National Reconciliation Conferences, it became obvious that Somalia could not be re-instated and re-constructed from the “Top-down”. It must be re-instated from “Bottom-up” by the formation of “Building Blocks” (Federal States) producing legitimate and representative leadership to discuss the future governance of Somalia.

2. Puntland State of Somalia is founded with a vision to create an orderly, peaceful and democratic society with the marriage of traditional societal leadership with a modern and efficient administration of statecraft capable of delivering public services, working towards economic self-sufficiency and safe-guarding the security and unity of the State. Puntland State of Somalia is an integral part of Somalia, and would not entertain unilateral secession or independence as an option. Governance system and public institutions would continue to evolve and grow leading to further democratization process, population census, population disarmament, and building strong, credible and lasting public institutions.

3. Puntland State was committed to taking the leadership role required to help credible and representative community leaders from various parts of Somalia engage in constructive dialogue in building constituent regions to form regional states on free will and voluntary basis. The people of Western Galgaduud Region of Central Somalia were invited and had free option to join Puntland State whenever they were ready. In this regard, Puntland would spear-head a National Reconciliation Process leading to the resolution of the legacy of the Civil War, deepening peace and restoring public trust again in a shared government and institutions.

4. Puntland State of Somalia would promote peace and good neighbourliness among the peoples of East Africa, and with Somali neighbour states, in particular.

Based on the narrative above and serious issues raised therein, how does the “scoreboard” of Dr Gas look like? If you live in Puntland State, or closely follow its “state of the union” today, you have every reason to worry about where the country is heading to. Besides the economic calamities besetting the people of Puntland, there is strong lack of political leadership and direction. President Abdiweli Hassan Ali (Gas) is now in a political trap designed by the President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud’s faction in Mogadishu, to politically isolate Puntland, on the one hand, and destabilize it in the Central Somalia front, while welcoming and approaching Somaliland encouragingly, on the other hand. That is on the top of the political Puntland headache on threats to its unity and Sool and Sanaag issue.

It takes leadership to acknowledge one’s mistakes, ask for advice, and listen to the concerns of one’s own constituency attentively. Would he?

Ismail H. Warsame

E-mail: ismailwarsame@gmail.com

Twitter: @ismailwarsame

A CABINET MADE IN HELL

January 12, 2015
By WardheerNews

Somalis both in the country and abroad kept longing for the appointment of the new cabinet. Rumors swirled around in Mogadishu about a deadlock between the president and the prime minister about the formation of the cabinet.

Then last night, PM Sharmarke dropped a bombshell.

Omer Cabdirashiid1“I am bringing back the old cabinet,” declared Sharmarke. What followed was a regurgitation of the list of the cabinet ministers that the last PM Abdiweli Ahmed had left behind.

President Mohamoud has finally got the right prime minister he has been looking for.

It is obvious that there was no deadlock or misunderstanding between the president and the prime minister. The whole thing was a game that Villa Somalia and PM Sharmarke had concocted. President Mohamoud was the one who in fact orchestrated the appointment of these ministers. The cabinet consists of the usual suspects: Damul Jadid ideologues, old friends of the president, and a few faces that have no distinction. For instance, a former cabinet named Abdikarim Hussein Guled (a Damul Jadid figure), failed in his old job as a minister in charge of Interior. Under his watch, there was an unprecedented spike of violence by Al-Shabaab, where civilians and various Parliament members have lost their precious lives. Subsequently, Guled was forced out of his job. Today, thanks to PM Sharmarke, Guled was gifted to his old job. This travesty only happens in Somalia under the leadership of President Mohamoud.

The new cabinet has 26 ministers and only two are women. In other words, the 60 officials PM Sharmarke appointed, only 4 are women, and hence less than 1 percent (0.06% to be exact).

Omar A. Sharmarke comes from a family steeped in Somali politics and history, and he himself was a former prime minister. He had spent most of his life abroad and worked for the United Nations. Only a few weeks ago, Sharmarke was the Somali Ambassador to the U.S, and was suddenly thrown into the PM position when the president needed someone who could bring to live his life’s vision of nepotism and corruption. If Mr. Sharmarke was chosen for his unique and stellar background, it did not help him select a fair, competent, inclusive, and gender-sensitive cabinet.

The predictions are clear, he will relent his duties to the President who had been infighting with two former Prime Ministers, because they refused to allow his willy-nilly, overextending, and manipulative ways.

The new cabinet is an embarrassment to the nation and to PM Sharmarke who has shown the world that he is nothing but a lackey to a president who never learns from his past colossal blunders. It is ironic that this sham cabinet will preside upon a government that is supposed to prepare the country for the 2016 elections.

Prime Minister Sharmarke has lost an opportunity to be visionary, creative, and an agent of change. He failed the mothers and children who are caught in the abyss, those whose lives haven’t seen a break in the interim of president Mohamoud’s tenure. He is one notch lower than the previous two prime ministers who—at least—had a modicum of independent mind.

Omar Abdirashid “Sharmarke”, reduced himself to a man who has accepted, from day one, a mere figurehead status.

The list of Sharmarke’s new cabinet :

Ministers from Dir clan

Maxamed Cumar Carte (Qaalib), Ra’isulwasaare Xigeen, Habar Awal, Sacad Muuse, Isaaq
Cabdiraxmaan Ducaale Beyle, Wasiirka Arrimaha Dibadda & Dhiirigalinta Maalgashiga, Gadabuursi, Dir
Cabdalla Bos Axmed, Wasiirka Boostada iyo Isgaarsiinta, Habaryoonis, Isaaq
Maxamed Cabdi Xayir Maareeye, Wasiirka Korontada iyo Biyaha, Habarjeclo, Isaaq
Cabdulqaadir Sheekh Cali Baqdaadi, Wasiirka Diinta iyo Awqaafta, Reer Aw Saciid , Dir
Cabdullaahi Sheekh Ismaaciil, Wasiirka Gaadiidka Cirka iyo Dhulka, Biyomaal, Dir
Ministers from Hawiye:

Cabdikariin Xuseen Guuleed, Wasiirka Arrimaha Gudaha iyo Federaalka , Habargidir, Hawiye,
Cabdullaahi Maxamed Cali (Sanbaloolshe), Wasiirka Amniga, Xawaadle, Hawiye,
Maxamed Mukhtaar, Wasiirka Kaluumeysiga iyo Kheyraadka Badda, Gaaljecel. Hawiye
Nadiifo Maxamed Cismaan, Wasiirka Hawlaha Guud iyo Dib u Dhiska,Gugundhabe , Hawiye
Mustaf Sh. Cali Dhuxulow, Wasiirka Warfaafinta, Hiddaha iyo Dalxiiska Murusade, Hawiye
Faarax Cabdulqadir, Wasiirka Cadaaladda ,Reer Aw Xasan, Hawiye
Xasan Maxamed Jimcaale, Wasiiru Dawlaha Dastuurka, Duduble, Hawiye
Ministers from Daarood clan:

Xuseen Cabdi Xalane, Wasiirka Maaliyadda ,Ogaadeen, Daarood
Daa’uud Maxamed Cumar, Wasiirka Macdanta iyo Batroolka, Dhulbahante, Daarood
Cabduqadir Gaabane, Wasiirka Dastuurka, Leelkase Daarood
Maxamud Cali Magan, Wasiirka Qorsheynta iyo Iskaashiga Caalamiga, Mareexaan, Daarood
Cabdullahi Axmed Jaamac ” Ilka Jiir”, Wasiirka Waxbarashada iyo Barbaarinta, Warsengeli, Daarood
Faysal Xuseen Ciid, Wasiirka Caafimaadka, Carab Saalax,Daarood,
Maxamud Xayir Ibrahim, Wasiiru Dawlaha Madaxtooyadda, Majeerteen, Daarood.
Ministers from Digil & Mirifle:

Maxamed Sheekh Cismaan, Wasiirka Gaashaandhiga, Raxanweyn
Yusuf Macalin Amiin,Wasiirka Dekaddaha, Leesaan, Raxanweyn.
Xuseen Maxamed Sheekh Badni, Wasiirka Beeraha, Raxanweyn
Abukar Cabdi Cusmaan (Mardaadi), Wasiirka Xanaanada Xoolaha Dhirta iyo Daaqa, Garre, Digil
Axmadeey Sheekh Mukhtaar, Wasiirka Diinta iyo Aawqaafta, Raxanweyn
Ministers from various clans ( Beesha Shanaad):

Khadijo Mohamed Diiriye ,Wasiirka Haweenka iyo qoyska, Madhibaan
Maxamed Cumar Caymooy, Wasaaradda Shaqada iyo Arrimaha Bulshada, Jareerweyne
Burci Maxamed Xamza Wasiiru dawlaha Xafiiska Ra’isul Wasaaraha, Reer Baraawe
WardheerNews
Email:admind@wardheernews.com

When the Somali president tried to settle old scores with another clan, opportunity presents itself for Al Shabaab | WardheerNews

When the Somali president tried to settle old scores with another clan, opportunity presents itself for Al Shabaab | WardheerNews.

Why Puntland State Deserves Better Presidential Candidates than Faroole and Gas

Location of Puntland State of Somalia
Location of Puntland State of Somalia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Puntland State of Somalia is one of the few achievements I happen to be proud of. Other Puntlanders, stakeholders and supporters in Somalia and beyond, within the Diaspora and external players today can pause for moment to imagine their social, political status and relationships with Somalia without the existence of Puntland State. While people always give the visible leader the credit for it, I had the chance to know full well that there were a few of us that made the difference in initiating its creation and playing the critical role in making it a functioning reality that changed the political landscape of Somalia for ever. This is my moral authority and basis on which I pen this short article.

Once again, Puntland State is at cross-roads and it was unfortunate that the democratization process failed abysmally. That was a great setback for the people of Puntland. Nevertheless, the State is relatively safe and has high hopes for a better future. But, to survive and progress, Puntland requires an urgent political change that the current administration cannot deliver. Faroole is a spent force and is running out of ideas, on the top of his poor domestic policies. He becomes a divisive figure and liability for Puntland despite his foreign contacts drama and superficial Diaspora perception that he is the man who can challenge the ill-advised and naïve Damul Jadid Clique in Mogadishu. To refresh up the memory of the readers of this article, Faroole was against the foundation of PuntlandState from the onset to consist of Sool, Sanaag Bari (now Haylaan), Nuguaal, Bari, Mudugh and the District of Buuhoodle (now Cayn). He was among the proponents of creating only Northeastern Regional Administration ( not even a regional state) composed of only Mudugh, Nugaal and Bari ( Karkar Region was part of Bari then). He fled to Australia in early July 1998 before the creation of Puntland State and in the last days of the Puntland Constitutional Conference to found the State when he and his colleagues failed resoundingly in their attempt to exclude Sool, Sanaag and Buuhoodle in the process.  He came back later to Somalia in early 2000s to oppose Puntland State every step of the way. For a long time he was frequenting anti-Puntland conferences and lobbies in Djbouti, Mogadishu and elsewhere. As he left the Conference, I vividly recall his departing words, on the mike, to the Late Islaan Mohamed Islaan Muse, then the Chairperson of the Constitutional congress and I quote, “Shirku waa afduubanyahay”, unquote ( The Congress is being held hostage). Following Puntland State constitutional crisis involving Supreme Court President, Yusuf Haji Nur, Jama Ali Jama and Late Abdullahi Yusuf, and as gesture for Puntland internal reconciliation, I personally persuaded the later to include Faroole in the New Puntland Cabinet as a counter-weight to the defection of Hassan Abshir Farah, then the Puntland Interior Minister, to Arta’s produced TNG of President AbdulQasim Salad Hassan. Despite his background, he was appointed Puntland Finance Minister. He became President of Puntland State due to the unpopularity of then the incumbent Puntland President, General Mohamud Hersi Muse (Boqor), bribery, intimidation of non-Majertaine MPs in Garowe and absence of capable Presidential candidates on the scene at the time. This can happen again if Puntland communities do not do their due diligence in searching and finding better alternative candidates.

The People of Puntland State are now ready for change. To effectively take part in that on-going political need and imperative for change, Traditional Elders, business community, intellectuals and any person at grass-root level has to help in selecting truly representative and worthy members of Puntland State Parliament. People who hail from Khatumo areas have the moral obligations and legitimacy too as founders of Puntland State to help in the current efforts for political change. All Puntlanders have every right and owe to their country to select and promote capable and honest patriots as presidential candidates on merit: personal integrity, character, leadership talent, experience and vision. They have to do their due diligence to get it right this time around, and peacefully. We must insure that if such a candidate wins the election, he/she must not use Puntland State as stepping stone or leverage for a national position in the Federal Government of Somalia, but willing instead to concentrate and focus on the unity, peace and socio-economic development of Puntland as his/her priority No. 1.

I know a good number of Presidential candidates have put their names forward. My assessment is that while many of the declared candidates have something to contribute, they don’t pass the test of leadership requirements needed in Puntland at this crucial moment. Puntland State deeply suffers from political stagnation, has serious governance and security problems. The country is politically polarized and unity is at stake. Economy has collapsed because of lack of sound fiscal management and absence of competition in a free market, leaders’ destructive interference in the market, nepotism and cronyism of the administration. No one among the known Presidential candidates can meet the challenges now Puntland faces.

Current political perception within Puntland Diaspora and supporters of Puntland is that there are two front runners among these candidates: They claim to be Abdiweli Hassan Ali (Gas) and incumbent President,  Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud (Faroole). I take an exception to this artificial and cosmetic assessment of reality in Puntland. My take on them is based on my Puntland experience and reading of the prevailing political situation at home now.

Let me call a spade a spade. Dr Abdiweli’s chance in that race is extremely limited. I also suspect that Dr. Abdiweli (Gas) has other personal national goals and ambitions and Puntland is not his priority. Based on his short political life as Prime Minister of Somalia, he did little or nothing for Puntland interests, although I acknowledge that he had had a bad working relationship with Faroole that made doing business with Puntland difficult. In fact, tampering of the Provisional Federal Constitution was done under Abdiweli’s watch. He and his team ( including his right-hand Constitutional Minister, Abdi Hosh) failed to deposit the constitutional version agreed upon in Garowe I and Garowe II to Congress delegates that provisionally approved the Federal Constitution. Instead, a print-out of completely another version was distributed to the 800 Congress Delegates, including the Traditional leaders that gathered and finally approved it in Mogadishu. That was a long time before President Hassan Sh. Mohamud got elected. To sum it up, the Road Map Dr Abdiweli seems to be proud of today is faulty and had done considerable damage to Somalia’s future governance as it was detrimental to Puntland vital national interest: Federalism as safeguard against Central Dictatorship and return to a One-City Republic Status. In terms of team work and selection of aides and political advisors, he is considered the worst Prime Minister that the successive Somali Transitional Governments had ever had.

The Roadmap received help and new boost from the most unexpected source: Jubaland, a non-existent entity during the Roadmap process. The appearance of JubalandState (which, of course, PuntlandState has been working tirelessly for throughout its existence) saved the day to re-enforce the Puntland State Vision on future governance system for Somalia. This de facto establishment of Jubaland Administration, in turn, led to the overwhelming acceptance of federalism by the international community as the only viable option for Somalia’s governance. Abdiweli also did nothing to contribute to the noble cause of creating JubalandState. He was not even visible during those tough political and military fights for Jubaland. One may recall that he was a tourist and traveling guest among the Puntland Diaspora in every corner of the world on a mission without an objective beyond his personal interests. Therefore, Puntland does need a man with that profile. It is too risky to take a chance!

I strongly believe that Puntland State communities have yet to produce the right Presidential Candidates to choose and elect from, and that is a heavy responsibility for all concerned. Let us debate on it and get this done. Take a note that time is of the essence in this regard.

The Stunt Document of Jubba

Map of Jubaland State of Somalia
Map of Jubaland State of Somalia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

The obvious contradictions in the rushed agreement between Jubbaland and Federal Government of Somalia show that the talks have actually collapsed, and heads of the international community there and Ethiopian Leaders could not face the failure for their own sake. The stakes were even higher for them than the negotiating parties. They had to bring a lot of pressure to bear on the parties to save face by producing a signed paper and a photo opportunity for the occasion.The result is a confusing document which creates more problems and itself a source of future conflicts and everlasting tension in the region for all concerned. One thing is sure. Jubaland constitution and the conference that produced it were not acknowledged, consistent with FGS earlier position, but they had to swallow the fact that they won’t have their way unless they face the reality on the ground in Jubba and negotiate with Ahmed Madobe as the de facto Head of the three regions. That is the only plausible outcome of Addis Talks. It is one step forward and two steps back, in my opinion.http://allafrica.com/stories/201308290096.html

 

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Jubaland Gains Recognition After Intense Bilateral Talks in Ethiopia
allafrica.com

 

allAfrica.com: Somalia: Jubaland Gains Recognition After Intense Bilateral Talks in Ethiopia

allafrica.com

allAfrica: African news and information for a global audience

 

Fadeexad soo Wajahdey Madaxweyne Xasan sheikh ka dib markuu isu ekeysiiyey Madaxweyne Maamul goboleed

Fadeexad soo Wajahdey Madaxweyne Xasan sheikh ka dib markuu isu ekeysiiyey Madaxweyne Maamul goboleed

Madaxweynaha Dowlada Federaalka Soomaaliya Xasan Sheikh Maxamuud ayaa la cadeeyey in Fadeexadii ugu xumeyd ay soo foodsaartey ka dib markii Safarkiisa Japan u kaxaystey koox ay isku heyb yihiin, kuwasoo muujiyey In Madaxweyne xasan Sheikh uusan Qaranka Soomaaliya ku matalaynj shirka ka socda Japan.
Warar aan ka helney Nairobi ayaa sheegaya in beesha Caalmka ee aadka ugu dhexjirta Siyaasada soomaaliya ay aad uga xumaadeen habdhaqanka Madaxweynaha, Beesha Caalamka ayaa iyago qayb wayn ka ahaa dib u heshiisiintii, hirgalintii Road mapka, waxayna si hoose ula socdeen siyaasada Soomaaliya.
Dhinaca kale Beesha Caalamku waxay Rajowayn kamuujinayeen Dowlada federaalka soomaaliya maadaama ay iyagu Dhaqaalaha ku baxa Madaxda Federaalka iyo Amisom ay iyagu bixiyaan.
Fadeexadaan Cusub ka dhacdey Japan ayaa muujineysa in Madaxweynuhu uu siyaasadiisa ku ekeysiiyey Hal Qabiil iyo siyaasad xambaarsan hab beeleed, tasoo muujineysa in Madaxweynuhu u fakarayo inuu yahay Madaxweynaha Maamul goboleedka Jowharland.
sida aan Warka ku heyno Xafiisyada laga maamulo dhaqaalaha ku baxa Soomaaliya ee beesha Calamku ku leeyihiin Nairobi iyo safaradaha Wadamada daneeya arimaha Soomaaliya waxaa aad loo hadal Hayaa Fadeexadaan oo tan iyo shalay saxaafaduhu Wax ka qorayeen.
Hoos ka akhriso Wafdiga Madaxweynaha u raacay Japan.

1-Xuseen Iidoow Murursade – HAG, Agaasime ku-xigeenka madaxtooyada.
2-Ibraahim Baana – Abgaal -HAG Protocol of the presient.
3-Eng. Yariisoow – HAG, Information
4-Xaayoow Gacal – Murursade – HAG Wasiirul Dawle Foreign Affair.
5-Kamaal – Abgaal – HAG.
6-Sheekh Ciise – Abgaal – HAG
7- Abudalahi Afrah – Abagaal
8-Caynte – HAG.

Source: Puntlandi,com

 

The S.F.G.’s Strategy of Political Conflict

A confrontation over the form of federalism that a future Somali state would adopt is looming, as confidential sources report that the provisional Somali Federal Government (S.F.G.) is in the process of making a concerted push to control the formation of local, regional, and presumptive regional-state administrations in south-central Somalia.

The S.F.G., say the sources, is attempting to resist the early formation of a Jubbaland state in the south that would base itself on a decentralized-federal model, as Puntland has done; head off a similar process to the one in the south in the southwestern Bay and Bakool regions by placing an administration allied to it in charge there; counter the Galmudug authority in the east-central area by backing ex-warlord Abdi Qeybdid against the sitting government; and influence the leadership that will succeed the recently-deceased chair of the Ahlu Sunna wal-Jamaa (A.S.W.J.) movement, Sh. Mohamed Yusuf Hefow, that controls most of the central and east-central regions of Galgadud and Hiiraan. On each of those political fronts, the S.F.G. faces opposition, both locally and nationally by the autonomous state of Puntland, which resists the S.F.G.’s bids for control.

The S.F.G.’s Strategy of Political Conflict

By adopting a strategy of political conflict in south-central Somalia’s regions, the S.F.G.’s president, Hassan Sh. Mohamud, is attempting to solve his most pressing political problem, which is to establish the S.F.G.’s authority – dominance and control – over those regions. In the process of trying to do so, Mohamud is forcing the issue of what the state-form of Somalia will be. The options have narrowed down to two, a centralized federalism favored by the S.F.G. and its allies, and a decentralized federalism advocated by Puntland and its allies. The core political conflict in Somalia is between the S.F.G. and Puntland over state-form; the south-central regions are the arenas in which that conflict is being played out. Both the S.F.G. and Puntland are aware of the high stakes involved in their confrontation; if the S.F.G. prevails in the south-central regions, Puntland will be politically isolated and subject to pressure to abandon its autonomy, which gives it generous control over its natural resources and security policy; if Puntland is able to block the S.F.G., the latter will have had to cede significant authority over nascent regional states. The S.F.G.’s pursuit of a strategy of political conflict has turned a constitutional issue into a political power struggle.

Whether or not the S.F.G.’s strategy succeeds – and its success is highly problematic – that strategy is intelligible and follows from the power position of the S.F.G. The new federal government was to all intents and purposes imposed by the Western “donor”-powers/U.N. under veiled and explicit threats to withdraw financial support. The “donor”-powers wanted a “permanent” government established in Somalia so that they could decrease their commitment to the country and at the same time make agreements favorable to them with it.  In pursuing those aims, they ended up settling for a provisional/interim entity operating under an incomplete constitution that left the fundamental question of state-form open; absent from the constitution was a determination of centralized or decentralized federalism, and there were not yet regional states set up in south-central Somalia.

As a result of the “donor”-powers’ actions, the S.F.G. was left with the challenge of establishing its authority in the south-central regions without a constitutional basis, scant resources to buy allies in the regions, and military forces that did not extend beyond the capital Mogadishu. Under those constraints, the S.F.G. had few options; it could renounce the attempt to control the south-central regions and allow those regions substantial autonomy, which would weaken whatever (potential) power it might have; or it could do what it has chosen to do, which is to contest the forces for decentralized federalism region by region by allying with factions in each region that felt marginalized by nascent autonomous administrations with power bases independent of the S.F.G. The new federal government opted for the latter, which set up the conditions for political conflict. A source reports that the strategy of political conflict was urged upon Hassan by his inner circle of advisers from his Damul Jadid movement.

The consequences of the conflict strategy carry severe risks to stability. The divide between the forces of centralized and decentralized federalism has become confused with sub-clan rivalries within the regions, exacerbating animosities that already existed. Those rivalries have also given the revolutionary Islamist movement, Harakat al-Shabaab Mujahideen (H.S.M.), which had been pushed out of control over its most lucrative territories, an opportunity to recruit from disaffected sub-clans, and it has drawn Puntland into the fray.

The conflict strategy shows the power deficit of the S.F.G. and its efforts to rectify it. None of what the S.F.G. feels that it has had to do would have been necessary had an effective process of state-building been instituted, which would have involved a process of social-political reconciliation among Somali factions leading to a constitutional agreement to which the major factions would have signed on. That possibility was eliminated by the “donor”-powers’ actions, and that constitutes their most egregious political failure.

As a result of the “donor”-powers’ actions, the domestic Somali actors have been left to pick up the pieces. Absent political reconciliation and the trust that comes with it, the Somali domestic actors are constrained to pursue their perceived interests and attempt to make them prevail. There is no reconciliation process in place; the stage is set for sub-clan-impelled constitutional confrontation abetted by ex-warlords and revolutionary Islamists. Interpreted through the dramaturgical model in political science, a tragedy is unfolding in which the protagonists-antagonists can see nothing to do but play a zero-sum game.

The Status of the Conflict

It is too early in the conflict over the state-form that Somalia will/might take to make a grounded prediction about its outcomes. The S.F.G. has only attempted to implement its strategy of political conflict in earnest since the return of Hassan to Mogadishu in mid-February from his round of visits to the external actors with interests in Somalia. Having touched base and gotten promises of support, Hassan had to try to “deliver” on his end of the bargain, showing that he led a (potentially) effective government.

Hassan’s most important political front, which demands his immediate attention, is the south, where a convention is slated to be held on February 23 to form a Jubbaland state comprising the Lower and Middle Jubba regions and the Gedo region. Approximately 500 delegates, including elders from the three regions are expected to attend, with the S.F.G. and regional states (Ethiopia and Kenya) as observers. Up until the present, it has appeared that the Jubbaland process would issue in a regional state modeled on Puntland. The S.F.G. will try to reverse that outcome.

According to one source, Hassan’s strategy has found willing supporters among sub-clans in the south that feel disadvantaged by the dominance of Ahmed Madobe, the interim governor in Kismayo, and his Ras Kamboni militia, which is allied with Kenyan forces in the south and is mainly composed of members of the Mohamed Suber sub-clan of the Ogaden-Darod. That leaves other Ogaden sub-clans, the Majertein-Darod (with ties to Puntland), and the Marehan-Darod more or less disposed to thwart any attempt by Madobe to dominate the Jubbaland state.

Another source confirms open-source reports that ex-warlord and Marehan leader, Barre Hirale, has met with Hassan and is “on good terms with the S.F.G.”  The source says that the Marehan will “listen to Hirale if he is empowered.” Meanwhile, on February 13, Garoweonline reported that a delegation whose members are involved in forming a Jubbaland state met with Puntland’s president, Abdirahman Mohamed Farole, to discuss how “Puntland’s efforts to establish [the] Jubbalnad state could be improved.” On February 15, Garoweonline reported that Hassan and the S.F.G.’s prime minister, Abdi Farah Shirdon, who is Marehan, had split on the Jubbaland issue, with Shirdon supporting the ongoing process and Hassan attempting to undermine it.

The reports from closed and open sources present a picture in which fations in the south have not (yet) fully aligned, crystallized, and polarized around the issue of state-form, and around the S.F.G. and Puntland, with the S.F.G. itself split. The S.F.G.’s presence at the slated convention represents a concession by Hassan by virtue of his acknowledging the Jubbaland process, but it also is an opportunity for him to influence its outcome. Puntland will not be present at the convention, but it will attempt to work through its allies. How the local factions will align, insofar as they do, and how big a role the regional external actors decide to play, and on which of the sides, will determine the outcome, in addition to the efforts of Hassan and Farole.

The second front opened by Hassan in implementing his strategy of political conflict is the southwestern Bay region, dominated by the Rahanweyne clan, where an attempt to form a regional state composed of the Bay and Bakool regions was underway but had not advanced as far as it has in the southern regions. In the south, Hassan has been constrained to try to turn an ongoing process that was going against him to his favor or to subvert it, whereas in the southwest he has attempted to head off such a process before it began to function independently of the S.F.G.

Hassan moved by issuing an S.F.G. decree replacing the longtime Bay political leader and sitting governor, Abdifatah Gesey, who had been backed by Ethiopia and had forces in the region, with Abdi Hasow. Gesey resisted the S.F.G.’s action, declaring that he remained governor. According to a closed source, Ethiopia turned against Gesey and used its forces to oust him. On February 15, Garoweonline reported that Gesey had mobilized his militia and was still in the Bay region’s capital, Baidoa, whereas Hasow was out of public view. According to Garoweonline’s sources, the confrontation between Gesey and Hasow had caused the Bay administration to grind to a halt. Efforts to mediate the dispute were initiated and a delegation was sent to the region by the S.F.G.

On February 21, Garoweonline reported that Gesey was taken by S.F.G. security forces to Mogadishu after mediation efforts had failed. Sources in Mogadishu told Garoweonline that Gesey was “promised another title” in the regional government.
An indication of why Ethiopia switched sides and altered the distribution of power in favor of the S.F.G. is given in an Ethiopian government statement on February 16 concerning talks between the Somali Federal Parliament’s speaker, Mohamed Osman Jawari, and Ethiopia’s foreign minister, Tedros Adhomam, in which Jawari is reported to have urged the formulation of a “common position” between the S.F.G. and Ethiopia on the London conference on Somalia that will be held later in 2013. In return, Ethiopia promised to “work with Somalia on pushing donors to keep their promises.” Jawari then traveled to the ethnic Somali Ogaden region (Somali Regional State) of Ethiopia, where he met with regional officials and visited schools. Reports did not mention any hint that Jawari had taken up alleged human rights violations committed by Ethiopia and Ethiopian-backed militias in the Ogaden.

Just as in the south, the outcome of the face-off in Bay cannot be predicted. The S.F.G. has gained a foothold and has leverage, but it has yet to achieve the traction to push back its adversaries decisively.

A similar stand-off characterizes the situation in the Galmudug authority in east-central Somalia, where two governments dominated respectively by different sub-clans of the Hawiye claim claim the right to rule. According to a source, the S.F.G. has recognized one of the contenders – the faction led by ex-warlord Abdi Qeybdid – as the “legitimate” authority. During the past month there have been outbreaks of politically-inspired sub-clan violence in Galmudug with open sources claiming that Qeybdid’s militia is responsible for initiating the clashes. Again, as in the south and southwest, the S.F.G.’s strategy of political conflict is being implemented in Galmudug, and its outcome is uncertain.

In the central region of Galgadud and part of the Hiiraan region, the dominant A.S.W.J. movement is in the process of naming a leader to replace Sh. Mohamed Yusuf Hefow, who died in mid-February. Hefow had been in discussions with the S.F.G. to merge A.S.W.J. with it. A.S.W.J., which has several factions that support or oppose collaboration with the S.F.G. in various degrees, has now become subject, according to a source, to pressure from the S.F.G. to integrate with it on the S.F.G.’s terms. Again, the outcome is uncertain, but the S.F.G.’s push is underway. The source reports that a delegation from the federal parliament is in Galgadud, claiming that they are “consulting with local communities on extending government rule” to the region. The source says that the presence of the delegation has led to a dispute between some of the A.S.W.J.’s leadership and the S.F.G.

Assessment

One of the sources contributing to this analysis has put the S.F.G.’s/Hassan’s strategy of political conflict succinctly and precisely: Hassan is attempting to isolate some leaders and factions in each region and to empower others favorable to him. In doing so, Hassan is splitting each region politically, intervening in local conflicts and exacerbating them, and working with whoever will ally with him for whatever reason, whether it be ex-warlords, dissident clans, or factions within a movement. That is the familiar strategy of divide-and-rule, which is used by actors who cannot (Hassan) or do not want to expend the military and/or financial resources required to control the outcome of a conflict.

Hassan is playing the divide-and-rule game to extend the authority of the S.F.G. into the south-central regions, but in doing so he is carrying with him the program of centralized federalism. Puntland has yet to play its hand overtly, but it can be expected to do so if it appears that the centralized-federalist project is gaining traction and momentum. Since Hassan’s strategy necessitates opposition to its implementation by the forces that he is attempting to isolate, as it has done in each case, the path is open not only to confrontation at the local level and the re-activation of H.S.M., but to counter-moves by Puntland.

It is too early to predict whether or not Hassan will be successful, but it can be said that a political battle is looming that will overshadow all other political issues in the territories of post-independence Somalia.

Hassan’s strategy is obviously high risk and high stakes. In his best-case scenario, Hassan prevails in each south-central region and Puntland is faced with the option of compromising its autonomy or separating from south-central Somalia. Short of the best case for Hassan, “Somalia” becomes irretrievably fragmented and balkanized, or its territories become a mixture of uncoordinated regional and local forms of administration.

It is unclear whether or not the “donor”-powers understand what is happening in Somali domestic politics and, if they do, whether they are prepared to intervene and in what way. That the “donor”-powers will act decisively to try to prevent political breakdown is unlikely. The United States, for example, was prepared to support the S.F.G.’s request to have the United Nations arms embargo on it lifted, but then backtracked after European opposition and stated that it would wait for the completion of a U.N. “review”  of the desirability of taking such action. The U.S. backtrack was a blow to the S.F.G., which had expected more robust support when the U.S. recognized it.

As it stands, no actor, external or domestic, is working to avoid the impending confrontation. There is no formal process of reconciliation underway. The discourse of Somali political actors and intellectuals is not addressing the issue directly or, in some cases, at all. The external actors are silent about it. At the point at which the conflict intensifies to the degree that it is impossible for actors to ignore it, it is likely that it will be too late to resolve; this analysis is simply an early warning.

Report Drafted By: Dr. Michael A. Weinstein, Professor of Political Science, Purdue University in Chicago  weinstem@purdue.edu

Source: media

 

COMMUNIQUE OF THE 22nd EXTRA-ORDINARY SESSION OF THE IGAD ASSEMBLY OF HEADS OF STATE AND GOVERNMENT ON THE SITUATION IN SOMALIA

ADDIS ABABA, 24th of May 2013

The IGAD Heads of State and Government held its 22nd extraordinary summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 24th of May 2013, under the Chairmanship of H.E Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and current Chairperson of the IGAD Assembly to discuss the political situation in the Federal Republic of Somalia.

The Assembly was attended by H. E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda; H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti; H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia; H. E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya. The Summit was also attended by H.E. Mr. Erastus Mwencha, Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E Ambassador Hussein Elamin Elfadil, Ambassador of Sudan and permanent reprehensive to IGAD, H.E. Nicholas Westcostt , Director General for Africa , European Union, and H.E.Amb. Renzo Mario Rosso the Ambassador of Italy to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the AU and IGAD in his capacity as the Co-Chair of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF).

The Assembly was preceded by the 48th Extra-ordinary Session of IGAD Council of Ministers held on 24th of May 2013, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As a follow up to its decision on 3rd May 2013 of its 21st extra-ordinary session, the Summit received a briefing from the chairperson of the IGAD Council of Ministers H.E Dr. Tedros Adhanom, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and also a report from H.EAmb(Eng.)Mahboub M. Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD on the high level fact finding and confidence building mission delegated by the Summit to Mogadishu and Kismayo in the Federal Republic of Somalia.

The Summit deliberated on the report and the overall political and security situation in Somalia,

In this regard, 

The Summit: 

After listening to the briefing by H.E Dr. Tedros Adhanom,Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, on the Council consultation in its 48th Extraordinary session and Further considering the report from H.E Amb(Eng.)Mahboub M. Maalim, Executive Secretary of IGAD on the fact finding and confidence building mission to Mogadishu and Kismayo ,

Having taken Note of the findings of the mission and the recommendations made and further considering the various views observed by the Somali Federal Government as well as major stakeholders in Mogadishu and Kismayo;

Recalling the previous decisions of the IGAD Assembly of Heads of State and Government and the Council of Ministers on Somalia;
Considering the major political and security priorities of the Federal Government of Somalia, and the efforts for peace and stability within the framework of the provisional constitution;

The Summit;

1. Commends the successful fact finding and confidence building mission led by H.E Amb.(Eng.)Mahboub M. Maalim;

2.  Endorses and adopts the report of the fact finding and confidence building mission to Mogadishu and Kismayo;

 3. Notes with Satisfaction the agreement of all stakeholders to respect the provisional constitution, to accept the government leadership, to conduct the process in an all inclusive manner, the need for IGAD’s
supportive role and conduct the process in a way that helps the fight against Al-Shabaab;

4. Urges that the Federal Government of Somalia should timely convene and lead reconciliation conference with the support of IGAD while consulting key stakeholders in the Juba Regions with a view to chart out a roadmap on the establishment of interim administration and formation of a permanent regional administration in accordance with the Provisional Constitution with IGAD playing a supporting role;

5. Noted with concern the situation in Kismayo and appeals for calm and
restrain by all parties as such actions may threaten peace and stability mainly the fight against Al-shabab;
6. Calls upon all parties in Mogadishu and Kismayo to uphold the tenets of the five principles enumerated in the communiqué of the 21st Extra- Ordinary Summit ;

7. Re-iterates its previous call for the Federal Government of Somalia to as soon as possible integrate the various militia forces into a unified national command of Somali National Army;

8. Stresses the need for enhanced engagement by the international community and the AU in improving the operational capacity and coordination of AMISOM and Somali National Forces in view of supporting the on-going operations for peace and greater stability;

9. Reaffirmed the strong commitment of IGAD countries to assist the peace building and the reconstruction process in Somalia;

10.Recognises the important role to be played by the Somali refugees in the reconstruction of Somalia , and calls on international community to support the initiative by the governments of Somalia and Kenya
and UNHCR to convene an international conference on repatriation of Somali refugees to be held later this year;

11. Directs the Chairperson of the Council of Ministers and IGAD Secretariat to make the necessary arrangements to ensure continuous consultation and dialogue in Somalia;

12.Expresses appreciation to international partners and Organizations that are currently providing financial, material and technical assistance to the Federal Government of Somalia and appeals for increase in the
level of support;

13.Underscored the efforts made by the Ethiopian Prime Minister H.E Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, in his capacity as IGAD Chair, in facilitating member countries efforts for the regional peace and security;

14.Directs the IGAD Secretariat to transmit these decisions to the African Union Commission and the United Nations Security Council;

15.Congratulates the AU on the occasion of the celebration of the 50th anniversary and its accomplishments; 16.Expresses its appreciation to the Government and the people of Ethiopia for hosting this Extra-ordinary Summit and for shouldering the heavy responsibility of hosting the 50th Anniversary of the AU;

17. Decides to remain seized of this matter.

Issued this 24th of May 2013 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Sources: World Media

Kat (aka Qat, Chat, Khat) is Grave National Security Threat to Somalia

image001Courtsey of Wikipedia

 If Somalia is to survive as a nation-state and having at least a normal functioning government with even average bureaucratic operations, it must urgently find effective solutions to the epidemic of Kat addiction among its population as a national priority. The problem is more than socio-economic issue. It is a grave national security threat as well.

 In the summer of 1997, I was a member of a delegation of the now defunct National Salvation Council (the NSC, aka Sodare Group) from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to Mogadishu, Somalia. The delegation members included NSC Co-chairmen, Ali Mahdi Mohamed and Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed as well as Council members that included Mohamud Mohamed Guled (Gacmadheere), Duuliye Sare Abdi Osman Farah among others. We numbered about 13 men and one female. We were on our way to meet with an Italian delegation led by then Deputy Foreign Minister for Africa, Senator Serri, who was about to visit Mogadishu for the sole purpose of mediating between disputing Mogadishu warlords despite many other problems of Somalia. The vision of the Italian delegation on solving Somalia’s predicament was not beyond the Banadir Region at that particular time.

Abdullahi Yusuf’s intention in the mission was to disrupt the Italian visit (which he did successfully) while Ali Mahdi’s was to win over the Italian favor against Hussein Aidiid and Osman Ali Atto.

We made a two-day stop-over in Djibouti. The Prime Minister of Djibouti then, Barkat Gourad Hamadou, honored us with a lavish luncheon with tender baby-goat’s meat and other delicacies of Djibouti at his residence. After the lunch, we were taken to a large and well furnished room with an Arabic seating with soft cushions specifically designed for long-time session in comfort for Kat indulgence, gossiping experience, news and secrets debriefing under the “high” influence of the stuff. In front of every person a bazooka-like wrapping was placed and a  large silver tray full of the tools of the trade: A big and tall golden tea thermos, crystal glasses, shining and engraved tea-mugs, various branded cold soft drinks in plastic Coca Cola –type bottles and commercially distilled water in gravines with swimming crystal clear ice-rocks, all to be consumed in the breezing air-condition of the room- an artificial weather hide-out from the environment of burning heat of the City of Djibouti.

After a few chit-chats, Prime Minister Hamadou noticed that none of the members of our delegation was using the stuff as they were all non-chewers, at least, at that period of time. The Prime Minister was a bit annoyed and asked: “Why are you in civil war then, if there is nothing to fight for?” I guess we spoiled the daily indulgence session for our generous, high-level Djibouti host. Luckily, the conversation didn’t break up as we a had had a lot to discuss on Somalia, Somalia-Djibouti past and future relationships and the Horn of Africa, in general.

During those few years, I discovered, in separate sessions, that Ismail Omar Gheleh, the current President of Djibouti, was pondering about his desire to join his tiny country with Ethiopia as he was desperately convinced that Djibouti would not survive on its own. There was  rampant corruption in the seaport operations, the main revenue generating enterprise besides the high spending men of the French legionnaires at Djibouti night clubs. The City of Djbouti was on the verge of being taken over by the influx of Ethiopians, who needed no immigration papers to come in. It was only Puntland help in 1999 to commit him to Somalia’s National Reconciliation process, encouraging him to take it over from Ethiopia, an AU and IGAD Mandated Country for Somali National Reconciliation Process. President Abdullahi Yusuf convinced President Daniel arab Moi of Kenya to support President Ismail Omar Ghueleh to play the role. It was undoubtedly a diplomatic success that pushed Ethiopia aside from the Somali issues.  One may guess already why Ethiopia was not happy with President Yusuf lately. The second help came to Djibouti from post-9/11 World Order. Besides God’s wish, it was only these two factors that saved Djibouti from voluntary union with Ethiopia. Unfortunately, he betrayed Puntland State during the initial phases of the Arta Conference, a rift that eventually undermined the TNG of Abdulkassim Salad Hassan to pave the way for holding Embagati (Kenya) all inclusive and broad-based Somali National Conference and finally, the establishment of the Transitional Federal Government of the Somali Republic (TFG) in 2004, transforming it into the Somali Federal Republic in 2012.

Suddenly, the Prime Minister shared with us the socio-economic devastation Kat consumption has been causing on Djibouti at the time. He informed us that Djibouti was paying Ethiopia a hundred thousand US dollars daily, and that was only the portion of the payments that goes though from bank to bank. Think about residents who buy the stimulant on their own from individual Chat traders on the top of train and air passengers who also bring sacks of the green leaves to their families, relatives and friends in Djibouti cities.

On a number of occasions, I stopped over in Djibouti for a short stay. On multiple times, arriving at Djibouti International Airport, I used to see popular demonstration-like commotion at the gates of the airport-population rushing to the airport when Kat cargo delivery from Ethiopia is delayed for only a few hours. One would see custom and passport control officers whose mouths are asymmetrically filled with Qat and chewing it on the job. Think about the officers’ mental judgment and decision-making capability under the influence of the hyper-leaves at country’s highly sensitive and main border entry point.

The situation is even worse in Somalia with a few millions of US dollars spent every day on the habit. With no credible fiscal statics available, the country may be fast sinking into public and personal bankruptcy. A failed state desperately trying to recover from decades of civil war and total collapse of public services and institutions, has also population wholly consumed by the epidemic of daily Chat use, effectively destroying the socio-economic fabric of its society, abysmally curtailing manpower productive hours and bringing havoc to family livelihoods and relationships while it is also at same sometime constitutes an instigator and main source of corruption and loose social morals. A country with the geographical size larger several times than Italy or UK with porous long borders with Ethiopia and Kenya requires alert and non-Chat chewing security personnel and efficient bureaucracy.

The irony is that Somalis nowadays like to talk about safeguarding their sovereignty and territorial integrity, while at sometime allowing their neighbor states to dump poisonous addictive Kat to their citizens, drain their economy, disable their manpower and threaten their vital national security interests. Think about the real double-talk and double standard with a proverbial ostrich attitude!

Somalia has to come up with a solution to the menace of the Qat. While fully it is understandable that it is tough to try to ban the habit outright, at least a committee of experts should be immediately setup to study the problem and submit recommendations to competent bodies for, at minimum, regulating it and eventually outlawing it. Massive public education and media programs relating to its dangerous hazards to personal and public health should be initiated and launched immediately to stop the spread of the habit to young generation. Somalia cannot afford to continue to ignore its greatest, silent killer of its productive members of the society and the gravest national calamity posed by Kat trade. Please wake up!

Federalism, a Guarantor of Peace among Somali Clans

Nowadays and for while during the past two decades, Somali thinkers, writers and politicians were keenly debating on best way forward for Somalia’s governance and political arrangements Post-Civil War. This debate is extremely crucial for the survival of Somalia as a country as well as a strong cohesive nation-state.

While many among debaters were and are still sincerely looking for best possible governance system (s) and pros and cons of each of the “Menu of options”, a few of them continue to ignore the status quo (current Somalia’s political situation) dismissing it as side track and unimportant clannish nuisance or refuse to acknowledge the extent of public mistrust following the vicious civil war involving heinous crimes of ethnic cleansing, mass murder, forceful and illegal landing-grabbing, plunder of both public and private wealth and barbaric destruction of national heritage and state archives in Mogadishu and elsewhere.
In my humble opinion, any politician of conscience at any level of government (President, Cabinet and parliament members) whose political power base had committed such grave and gross human rights abuses, national robbery, national betrayal and treason should apologize to the nation and resign immediately. If that is not forthcoming, it would be mean that the civil war is still technically on, and there is no guarantee that history would not repeat itself. Such politicians have no moral legitimacy to govern until they come clear and publicly accept their personal and power-base responsibilities for what happened in Somaliaduring the Barre regime and following the final collapse of Somalia’s central state in 1991. Somalis, please be warned. One should never entertain with the idea to translate the recent US recognition of the current Somali Government as a victory of one faction over others in the Civil War, and again attempt to misuse state resources to try to subjugate others. That would be a futile exercise and would unfortunately hasten the disintegration of Somaliaas we know it. It is the expectation of all Somalis from the world community to watch out any signs for the repetition of that sad saga.
During the past ten years we witness multiple self-proclamations of regional federal mini-states such as MakhirState,KhatumoState,AwdalState,GalgamudState, Hibin and HeebState,AsaniaState,RasAsayrStateamong many others. With keen observation, one would realize that those self-proclamations were characteristically peaceful and surprisingly did not spark off any clan fighting with the unique exception of Khatumo, rightly resisting aggressive occupation of its territory by “Somaliland”militia. Why? This could be a case-study; of all clan wars in the country, the self-proclaimed federal mini-states brought relative peace to their respective constituencies.  In my opinion, one of the main reasons for such peaceful environment within for all sub-clan systems is the fact that their constituencies see themselves as equal stake-holders in that mini-entity (state), which acts as the accepted and shared mechanism for conflicts resolution and constitutes common interest for all. Logically and practically, one would therefore take note of this new development to expand the concept to a national level in Somalia’s long journey to restore lost trust among its people and regions.
For historical prospective, a few months after we had established the Puntland State of Somalia in August 1998, a sub-sub-subclan among the inhabitants of coastal Indian Ocean Mudugh town of Gara’ad and surrounding areas including the District City of Jeriiban unilaterally announced the creation of Coastal State, declaring its independence from Puntland State, following sub-clan grievances regarding their expected share in the newly constituted Puntland Parliament. That grievance was actually proved to be the mistake or intentional concession of their allocated Parliament seat to another sub-clan in Mudugh Region by their local traditional elder. The subclan members opposed the move by the elder. To address the issue and resolve it, a delegation led by the Late State President, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed and me included, went to the District and met with all stake-holders. One of the first questions we asked our interlocutors was: “How many sub-subclans belong to or created the CoastalState, and how many regions are there in the proclaimed entity?” The audience looked at each other, and surprisingly, the answer was obvious. The District belonged to the larger Mudugh Region and even most of the inhabitants of the Jeriiban District alone via their representatives did not belong to and were not party to the “CoastalState”. That was the end of the story. I believe, CoastalStatewas the first unviable mini-state created in Somalia.
The lesson we learned from that experience was that a state whether it is a national or regional must enjoy the trust of all its constituencies to survive, safeguard its unity, develop and prosper in peace and harmony. Anyone aspiring to see the Somalia he or she wants or imagines must take this lesson seriously into account.
Those Somali writers debating on federalism lately almost all of them ignore the fundamental reason for the debate itself on the issue and failed to find the answers to two critical questions:
  1. What     is the main reason that has brought us here to debate on Somalia’s     governance options?
  2. How     would you restore trust of the people nation-wide in a central authority     when people of Somalia     have not yet officially and technically ended the Civil War in the absence     of comprehensive national reconciliation given what happened?
President Hassan, in a thoughtful, prepared and defiant speech to the Somali Diaspora in his recent visits to US and Belgium says openly, “ if you look back on what happened yesterday, you lose the opportunities of today”, thus dismissing outright any possibility for accountability for crimes of mass murder, crude human rights abuses, robbery and plunder of personal and public properties. With such a vision for Somalia, forget about reconciliation and peaceful conflict resolutions!
Finally, I am aware that many Somalis would like to give the current government in Mogadishuthe benefit of the doubt and wish her to succeed in the best interest of the entire nation. To those I say the taste of pudding is in the eating. Anyone who helps Somaliarecover from its present predicament will be highly appreciated and undoubtedly recognized.

Deficit of Public Trust in Somalia

Public Trust Deficit in
Somalia
By Ismail Haji Warsame
Oct. 02, 2012

The Presidency of the Republic does not give the expected trappings of power, the magic of the highest leadership position in the land or the glory of the Office amid distrust and absence of loyalty within the population and regions of the country. That institutional empowerment must be earned nation-wide in the hard way, and in the case of Somalia, require hard work over many years to come for the future generations of Somalia to enjoy it. If successful, the new leaders can only pave the way for restoring that missing public trust. To accept any Somali President, Prime Minister or the Speaker of the House as a leader of all the people is a long shot, given the depth of distrust developed within the communities for the past 30 odd years towards government officials, or rather any institutions of governance unfortunately. In Somalia’s today the Presidency or any position of leadership is unenviable role for a decent person to play for it requires heavy personal sacrifices few are willing to commit to.

The very idea of bottom-up approach in rebuilding Somalia is primarily based on the restoration of that missing trust before the country has central institutions. Quite a number of Somali intellectual circles and many politicians inside and outside the country, particularly in Mogadishu, do not still appreciate how important the “Building-Blocks’ concept is, as we coined the term more than a decade ago in Puntland State of Somalia, as the shortest way to heal the deep wounds caused by the civil war and abuses of the Military Government, in addition to nepotism and rigging of elections by previous civilian governments. Creation of Federal Institutions starting with the TFG Charter and current Provisional Constitution is a hard fought negotiated outcome towards rebuilding that public trust. Anybody who believes that we can have a highly centralized system of government again in Mogadishu or elsewhere in the country is either of out of touch with reality in today’s Somalia or must have his/her sanity re-examined as this dream cannot be realized in the present political conditions of Somalia. The sooner we all embrace whatever type of federalism we accept as result of a negotiated settlement, the better off we are to re-construct our country. I may add, under the current political atmosphere, having a Federal President and Prime Minister hailing from South-Central Somalia is a recipe for failure and does not meet the necessary power-sharing legitimacy to move the country forward. If proven true (I hope not), the rumors flying around these days in Mogadishu and beyond on the selection of a Prime Minister do not give me sense of optimism for Somalia to be on the mend.

 Practical intellectual thinking and bold political leadership are required to brainstorm on why Somaliland and Puntland were created in the first place. While the First went to the extreme of outright unilateral declaration of seccession, the Second did not lose hope that Somalia can be rebuilt from the ashes of the Civil War and the deficit of public trust. For the benefit of those who were not closely following major political developments in the country during the past 15 years or so, or limited/exposed to only superficial sideline debates on Somalia, Puntland State spent considerable resources including brain power to see Somalia re-instituted. This is a major political capital investment that cannot be written off without paying a heavy national price.

A simple political instinct is lacking among the intellectuals and politicians in Southern Somalia, i.e. they could not figure out that if Mogadishu is to remain the Capital City and enhance its status as attractive to the residents of Northwest and Northeast Somalia among other parts of the country, it should be subject to power-sharing. Someone cannot be expected to have both ways or as they say, “have their cake and eat it”, given what happened in that City during the vicious Civil War. Mogadishu leaders instead, for the sake of national unity, would have been smart enough to encourage others get elected to the presidency. That did not happen unfortunately despite the great expectation from the new President to deliver, and a lot of people are worried about the direction and the future of the country.

While it is not so popular to be an early pessimistic person, they say, a pessimist is a well informed optimist. Nevertheless, I have strong conviction that the best days of Somalia are still to come.