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An open letter to the US Dep of State: Urgent Action Needed to Safeguard Democracy and Rule of Law in Somalia

The Honorable Anthony J. Blinken
U.S. Secretary of State
Washington, DC 20520

My name is Mohamed A. Fatah, and I am a former senior foreign policy advisor. Over the years, I have had the privilege of serving both the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations. I was a member of the Biden 2020 campaign Foreign Policy Working Group. Currently, I hold an executive position at a global firm, where I specialize in regulatory and financial crimes compliance. I am writing you today as a concerned U.S. citizen who is deeply troubled about the ongoing crisis in Somalia, particularly the political and constitutional turmoil. Your leadership as the United States Secretary of State is crucial in addressing this critical situation.

Since President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s reelection in May 2022, Somalia has grappled with a
complex web of political, security, economic, and constitutional challenges. The country’s fragile
governance structures have been strained, and the absence of a clear constitutional review
framework has exacerbated tensions. Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaida-linked terrorist group, continues to
pose a significant threat, launching attacks and undermining stability in Somalia and the region.

President Mohamud’s attempts to unilaterally change the constitution have raised concerns about democratic principles, executive branch power grab and consolidation. Additionally, the exclusion of key stakeholders, including federal member states, from the constitutional review process has further fragmented the nation. I appreciate the immense challenges the Biden administration faces, particularly concerning the ongoing wars in Gaza and Ukraine. These geopolitical crises demand urgent attention and strategic responses. However, I write to emphasize that the situation in Somalia also warrants immediate action.

The current constitutional crisis in Somalia poses a significant threat to democracy, the rule of law, security and regional stability. The absence of a clear constitutional review framework undermines governance, exacerbates political tensions, and weakens institutions. It is imperative that the Biden administration takes decisive action to address this crisis promptly. The instability caused by the current crisis directly impacts U.S. national security interests in the region. Somalia remains a key battleground in the fight against terrorism. A fragmented political landscape hampers effective counterterrorism and security operations. The longer this crisis persists, the greater the risk to Somalia security and regional stability as well as U.S. strategic interests and objectives.

The situation in Somalia carries immense stakes and risk for both the nation and the international community. Somalia’s instability directly impacts neighboring countries in the region. A fragmented Somalia risks spillover effects, exacerbating existing conflicts and creating new ones. Stability in the region is crucial for peace, trade, and humanitarian efforts. Somalia remains a battleground in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.

Read the full open letter: Urgent Action Needed to Safeguard Democracy and Rule of Law in Somalia

Mohamed Fatah
Email: [email protected]

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