By Minister Ahmed A. Haji Hassan, Jubbaland State of Somalia
Somalia is at cross roads with profound and lasting consequences for the future of the country. The current political upheavals, the challenges the country finds itself in amid the chaos, instability, terrorist extremist insurgences and regressions of the hard won progress made after the collapse of Somalia’s central government is created by the current Provisional Federal Government (FG), headed by President Farmaajo. The FG has paralyzed the country. Instead of prioritizing to rebuild the country, improving peace and security, fighting with Al Shabab, it has opted to destabilize and destroy the Federal Member States.
I am writing today, to express my concerns about the Provisional Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and its proxy foreign ally’s use of coercion, corruption, and violence to interfere in the affairs of the Federal Member States of Somalia (FMS). Such interference is part of a larger scheme of corrupting efforts to establish a democratic Somalia where the rule of law reigns supreme. I would like to urge my fellow citizens and Somalia’s friends and International partners that the future of federalism, security and stability of the nation as well as the credibility of the United Nations and the International Partners are at stake, as Somalia moves towards a dangerous precipice unless President Farmaajo stops his unconstitutional and illegal interference and proxy war against Federal Member States.
The provisional FGS and its interior ministry are provisional, and under the constitution does not have authorities to impose its will on Jubbaland’s local election. Jubbaland and other member states as well as opposition political leaders are victims of proxy attacks that seek to erode block by block the spirit of federalism, by using violence, intimidation, bribery, and other coercive tactics to influence legislators, clan leaders and exploiting historical clan and sub-clan wedges, thus perpetuating political fault lines that could prove difficult to contain.
After two and half years, President Farmaajo and PM Khayre have little to show for peace-making and state building and have yet to achieve agreed upon priorities and timelines. Priorities such as constitutional reform, democratization, advances in security operations and security sector reforms have fallen in the wayside. As has been reported in the UN briefing, the window to achieve these timetables is closing fast and may enter into the record once again as missed opportunities. Without mincing words, I am prepared to state the FGS’s preoccupation with the FMS and how to manipulate FMS affairs have become a priority for President Farmaajo; and that is tantamount to a failing FGS.
Despite efforts to start dialogue and achieve political consensus, the leaders of the FGS, emboldened by powers, have corrupted and made the federal parliament a rubber stamp institution. Despite tremendous blocks by the FGS, Jubbaland conducted a regional election on time and Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Islam was elected by a comfortable majority.
There will not be another Jubbaland election for the next four years, so the international partners must accept the outcome of the Jubbaland Presidential election that re-elected H.E. Mr. Ahmed Mohamed Islam. Despite provisional FGS efforts to corrupt the election process, the Jubaland election by all accounts was fair, transparent and corruption free.
We also assess the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) is setting a dangerous precedent, as the state security organization tasked with combating terrorism and improving security is now involved in efforts to disrupt political discourse and democracy. Under Fahad’s leadership and with Qatari funds and other foreign support, this pack has become a political tool to undermine the federally mandated power-sharing using proxy spoilers who don’t represent the voters, clans, sub-clans or the people of Jubbaland and should not be inside Kismayo to entice problems.
I humbly call on the UN and other international partners to be mindful that provisional FGS is in a temporary legal status and does not have clearly defined constitutional and legal authorities at the present time. We would have appreciated more if the international partners on their deliberations of August 21, 2019 at the United Nations Security Council did not omit the federal government’s disruptive, and dangerous campaign that contributes to instability, poor security and deteriorating relations with the FMSs. It would have been reflective of the prevailing sentiment of the country had the report of the SRSG, Mr. James Swan highlighted the impasse created thus far by the FGS with respect to its relationship with FMS’s.
For over two years, the International Community has allowed or looked the other way as the federal government and its proxy allies corrupted the political process. Starting with 2017 Presidential election and continuing with tens of millions of dollars that could have been used to build the capability and capacity of Somali security forces to combat Al-Shabaab and the Islamic State, the FGS wasted hundreds of millions of dollars to undermine Federal Member States. This is simply unconstitutional and vicious approaches to establish an autocratic rule in Somalia come 2020-2021 presidential election. I call on the international partners to stop the provisional FGS eroding the gains thus far registered both at regional and national level. The office of the SRSG should discharge its duties, responsibility and in a manner consistent with the UNSOM mandate to transition Somalia from a fragile to a stable and democratic government.
Ahmed A. Haji Hassan
State Minister of Constitution and Federal Affairs
Jubbaland State of Somalia (JSS)
Email: [email protected]
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