Saracen scandal exposed TFG’s hypocrisy and incompetence
For good governance, politicians accused of forgery, lies, corruption and incompetence should resign or be forced to leave office or thrown in jail if they are caught red-handed. President Sheikh Sharif, Prime Minister (PM) Mohamed Abdullahi Formajo, Minister Abdulkareem Jama of Posts, Telecommunication and Information (PTI) of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) are accused of forgery and lies for covering up abuses of power. Signing of illegal contract with fake company-Saracen International Inc., false statements made by the Minister of PTI and forgery letter presented to Parliament by the PM, and worse President’s omission or lack of telling the truth over his role in the contract, constitute sufficient cause for their immediate resignation. As the Minister of Finance stated, President Sheikh Sharif signed the contract.
The most egregious statement of the Minister of PTI was his lack of knowledge about the legal requirement that international contract was subject to parliament’s approval before its implementation. This is a premeditated abuse of power and lack of consideration for rule of law, due diligence, moral responsibility and unconcern for future accountability. Up to this date, TFG leaders avoid disclosing the Muslim Country that funds the contract in question despite knowing it.
Hypocrisy and arrogance feed distrust and conflicts. The current scandal is breach of trust and cover up of the truth. It is up to the International Community and the United Nations, backers of TFG, to conduct an independent investigation on this scandal that undercuts the credibility of the international community in the eyes of the Somali people.
But the Saracen scandal is just a tip of the iceberg. There are many contracts signed with private military and non-military ventures. The Parliament asked information about six (6) firms. Do we recall the story about Michele Lynn Ballarin “Amira” who was appointed an Advisor to President Sheikh Sharif in 2009.? TFG exists to transfer or to outsource the state powers and functions, properties, sovereignty, interests and privileges of the people of Somalia to foreign enterprises. Outsourced functions and properties include selection of PMs, Somalia’s Internet Domain (.So) and country’s code, protection of VIPs, Constitution making functions (only legitimately feasible after post-conflict stage among stakeholders’ representatives), Intelligence and Security Operations, Passport Service, control of currency printing, recruitment and training of armed forces, management and monitoring of government finance from external sources, mobilization of private sector, as well as preparation of Government budget.
No Somali Institution can ascertain that the soldiers, trained in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sudan, and Italy, are Somali Citizens and when and where they were born. TFG exists for extracting financial resources ($30 million in 2011) from the war victims without providing any services.
For example, after signing an agreement with Intelligence and Security Company similar to Saracen International Inc., former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Fisheries, Prof Abdirahman Ibbi became a partner of that company. He attended a special security conference organized by AMISOM/AU in Bujumbura Burundi on 15 November 2010 without holding Cabinet position. He attended a Cairo meeting organized by the Arab-African Initiative project, which organized the Istanbul Conference and it is organizing the upcoming Conference mentioned in the letter 28 of Dr. Augustine P. Mahiga to the Somali Diaspora. No government Institution tracks down the real purpose and impact of the initiative.
PM Mohamed Abdullahi Formajo requested one month to find (from where and whom?) the contracts TFG signed with the foreign private companies operating in Somalia. In high probability, the expectation is that at the end of the month the PM will not present meaningful information to the Parliament. Anonymous sources complained the destruction of some relevant documents and creation of new ones. It is absolutely preposterous to note that unsigned contract of Saracen International was presented to the Council of Ministers for discussion, while the Minister of PTI confirmed publicly the existence of signed contract. This demonstrates the new Cabinet’s modus operandi.
It’s time to set aside the idea that TFG is better than the absence of Government. TFG is more dangerous because it claims the power to sell all Somalia “under the cover of legitimacy conferred by the International Community” to unknown foreigners and to local predators. Absent Government and armed opposition lack that legitimacy. TFG is corrupted system that deepens misery and culture of bad governance, fragmentation, foreign exploitations and allegiance. It’s source for the cropping up of mini enclaves throughout Somalia. It obstructs and delays real national dialogue for political settlement. Outsiders use its failure as an excuse for limited recognition to regional enclaves.
The interview conducted by Abdirahman Yabarow, head of the Somali Service of Voice of America (VOA) with President Sharif Sheikh Hassan on the eve of the New Year 2011 exposed the wide gap between his inconsequential claims of success and the dire situation on the ground. The questions were clearly an indictment of President Sharif’s leadership. In the interview, President Sheikh Sharif said that he joined Djibouti process because the TFG under President Abdullahi Yusuf was crumbling in the face of the local insurgency. Thus, he abruptly decided to join Djibouti process to gain power at the expense of local insurgency and without a comprehensive political settlement.
Some of the interesting questions were President’s return to military uniform, his frequent defections from his associates and friends seen as a sign of lack of deep principles and poor leadership and his knowledge of Saracen International. The President as usual provided evasive and drained answers. Despite the public knowledge that Saracen International Inc. was not registered in Lebanon, he chose not to express his reaction. He also refused to comment on a question concerning Iran’s claim that the Somali crisis is fuelled by external countries, while he approved the fishy visit of Speaker Sharif Hassan to Iran
In response to question about the daily killing, maiming and displacement of innocent civilians by the indiscriminate shelling of AMISOM forces (Ugandan forces), the President described AMISOM’s atrocious actions as understandable in war situation and seemed unconscious of the dramatic deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Mogadishu and in South Central Somalia under his leadership. While the opposition is accused of widespread atrocities and human rights violations, TFG relishes using foreign forces and mercenaries to kill, maim and displace large number of innocent Somali civilians.
The Saracen scandal and President Sheikh Sharif’s interview exposed TFG’s hypocrisy and incompetence. Both unveiled the extent that TFG leaders are ready to go to misuse public power and deceive the public. The aggressive but unsuccessful cover up of the scandal by the Minister’s of PTI attests that some of the transnational Somali Diaspora could be more cunning than the warlords. The difference in favor of the Transnational Somali Diaspora is the knowledge of foreign language and PR Network used for the same end pursued by the warlords, namely personal power and personal wealth.
Somalia is not a post-conflict state. It is a state in active civil war interweaved with state collapse, Islamic Radicalism and War on Terror, and needs a comprehensive conflict resolution approach that ends the hostilities and creates a post-conflict state. The ‘scramble strategy’ will produce more troubles, more misery and more evil doers.
Mohamud M Uluso
The opinions in this article are only of the writer and they do not stand for the editorial opinions of AARAN NEWS