Dark time from IC erratic decision to end the transition period

I find much harder to assume that a reasonable person familiar with the situation of Somalia would entertain the view that by the end of the transitional period scheduled on August 20, 2011, a National Government which enjoys legitimacy and credibility of the Somali people as well as a formal recognition of the International Community (IC) will emerge in Somalia. I exclude those George Orwell described in his book ‘1984’, “In our society, those who have the best knowledge of what is happening are also those who are furthest from seeing the world as it is. In general, the greater the understanding, the greater the delusion: the more intelligent, the less sane.” Election of new leaders or continuation with the present ones under current corrupt political environment will not produce legitimate national Leadership or a functioning government of Somalia.

If the Somali politics needs radical overhaul, what’s the endgame behind the IC erratic decision to end the transition period without clear strategy? While I hope my prediction to be wrong, my strong presumption about the endgame is dark time for Somalia. Seeing the Somalis as a irreconcilable, politically shortsighted and internationally friendless people, the IC might has decided to facilitate a process of national disintegration for ultimate fusion of sub clan units with neighboring functioning States. The prolonged devastating war against the terrorist organization Al Shabab plays contributing role to the disintegration process.

There are many international strategies speeding up the realization of such endgame. The EU Aid Policy and the US dual track strategy are both strategies that reinforce Somali social disharmony and false claims and that stifle conflict resolution. The presence of more than 12,000 fighting foreign forces and Private Military Companies (PMCs) in Mogadishu can trigger unpredictable adventures and missions.

Internally, besides the ineffectual Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG), there are more than 15 Presidents of fictional States within Somalia[1]. Among them, Azania State grabbed public attention. The name choice Azania- by Prof Mohamed Abdi Gandhi, former civil society activist and leader of the new State, signals the sense of death of Somali Nation. European countries, Kenya and China funded the efforts for the establishment of Azania State, including the training of 2,000 forces. Representatives of IGAD, AU, EU, China and others participated at the inauguration of the new State.

Recently, former PM Abdirizak Haji Hussein, a well respected Somali political leader for his unique Somali qualities, has persuasively put forward his view in favor of decentralized system of governance in Somalia against a federal system.[2] Unfortunately, it seems that the completion and publication of a new federal constitution is just few months away. In his speech delivered during last month’s consultative meeting held in Nairobi Kenya, President Abdurahman M Farole has stressed that Puntland sees itself as the mother of federalism. He added that the conflict in Somalia is deeply rooted in clan hostilities, hatreds and resentment. As a consequence, he stated that Federalism is the only viable option to end the anarchy and misery in Somalia. The IC agrees with him.

The IC, which has deliberately instigated the wrangling between the leaders of the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFI), exhorts them to stop infighting and to complete critical tasks before the end of transitional period.  It is kind of sarcasm or joke to ask politicians whose political fate is in jeopardy to do tasks that were impossible to do in 7 years. An inept Parliament (speaker) is at odds with inept Presidency (President) and Cabinet (Prime Minister). No domestic political mechanism or accepted legal system exists to refer to for final resolution.

The Parliament, which extended its term for three more years on the basis of Ethiopia’s (IGAD) decision, has become an instrument of Ethiopia (IGAD) to control the Somali politics. After rejecting the cabinet’s decision of one year extension for all TFIs without parliamentary process, the Speaker insists that the President’s election will take place before the Speaker’s election. In counteroffensive, the President and the Prime Minister, who became powerless in the face of the Speaker’s special veto power, have had to shuttle between the capitals of Uganda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan, Burundi, Tanzania, and Rwanda seeking support and legitimacy from the regional wielders of power over Somalia.

Surprisingly, Ethiopia issued a politically damaging public statement against President Sheikh Sharif after his visit to Addis Ababa. The statement noted that President Sheikh Sharif gave Prime Minister Meles Zenawi full account of the situation in Somalia and expressed his dissatisfaction about the High Level Consultative meeting held in Nairobi, Kenya. He also accused unnamed foreign powers who were making decisions for Somalia in the last 20 years and belittled those who do not want Ethiopia and Somalia to be close. He said neighbors are more important than anyone else.

PM Meles told President Sharif not to ignore the effects of the drought and to cooperate with the IC for humanitarian assistance. He insisted that current challenges in the political arena should be addressed “amicably by Somalis.” He encouraged President Sharif and other leaders to do their best until the end of the transition so they could offer good track record for Somalia, the members of Parliament and the IC. PM Meles’s position is like saying, “please pack up your belonging and leave Presidential palace before end of August.” Firing President Sheikh Sharif and Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi M Formajo and keeping the Parliament and his leadership is the worst option of all options.

The failure of President Sheikh Sharif and his allies is that they have forgotten that the Djibouti Agreement, which has established the High Level Committee chaired by the United Nations, is superior to the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC). TFIs come under the control of the Special Representative of Secretary General for Somalia (SGRS) Dr. Augustine Mahiga. Despite the strong objections of the President and his Prime Minister’,  Dr. Mahiga held the High Level Consultative meeting on Somalia. Speaker Sharif Hassan, President Abdurahman M Farole of Puntland, President Col. Mohamed Ahmed Alin of Galmudug, delegation of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama (ASWJ) and 24 IC stakeholders attended the meeting. The delegations of Farole, Col Alin and of ASWJ were characterized as impressive teams.

Dr. Mahiga issued a jumble statement.[3] There is no available information about the official positions of Somali participants except President Abdurahman M. Farole.[4] None of President Farole’s stances were included in the Chairman Statement. The points of interest were: a) end of transitional period and election of President without specific term and Speaker for three years; b) new federal constitution underwritten by TFI, the States, Regional Authorities and IC. No mention of the role of the Somali people in the constitution making process. The Nairobi Meeting inaugurated the start of “new process of consultation and dialogue among Somali stakeholders and with the International partners.”  

The Chairman’s statement has been validated by the African Union, European Union and United Nations Security Council. AU urged President Sharif and PM Mohamed A. Formajo to join the process started in Nairobi, Kenya and to extend the required cooperation. This is great victory for the political bamboozlement

In August 3, 2008, I argued that the Djibouti peace process was a spurious attempt for peace in Somalia because of the absence of a serious analysis and understanding of the internal and external political dynamics and security situation, of the requirement of conflict transformation as well as of the lack of vision and strategy about the future.[5] After two years and almost eight months, the political, security and humanitarian situation of Somalia has dramatically deteriorated. Once again, it seems that the IC decided to promote another false attempt that could lead to complete disintegration of Somalia. My past view turned out to be correct, but I hope my present prediction of dark time ahead turns out to be wrong for loving a better future for Somalia.


Mr. Mohamud M Uluso


[1] TFG (Mogadishu),  Republic of Somaliland, Puntland State, Galgudud State, Central State, Galmudug State, Jubba Jazira State, Mareeg State, Doxa State, Benadir State, Himan and Heeb State, Awdal State,  SSC State, Azania State, Ras-Asayr State, Waax and Waadi State, Hiiranland State, Shabelle State, Green Valley State, Minority State,  Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama and Raskamboni States. Large area of south Somalia is under Al Shabab control.

[2] http://www.markacadeey.com/maqaalo1/maqaal_AbdirazakHajiHussein_20110419.htm

[4]  http://www.garoweonline.com/english/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=575:somalia-puntlands-experience-in-peace-building-and-state-building&catid=55:somalia&Itemid=79


[5] http://www.hiiraan.com/op2/2008/aug/djibouti_agreement_represents_another_spurious_attempt_for_peace_in_somalia.aspx


NB: The opinions in this article are only of the writer and they do not stand for the editorial opinions of AARAN NEWS.

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