Monday, June 13, 2011

Kampala Accord: A setback for the TFG and the International Community

Violent riots raged across Mogadishu as outraged protesters took the streets in other parts of Somalia soon after the nation’s Information Minister announced that Prime Minister, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed is going to resign as part of an agreement between Somalia’s feuding leaders, Presiden Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Parliament Speaker, Sharif Hassan.

The two rival leaders, in a dialogue facilitated by the UN Envoy, Augustine Mahiga in Ugandan Capital, Kampala, agreed to form a new government to end a political stalemate that resulted from a dispute over the government’s future as its term ends in August. To shun possible elections, both leaders had unilaterally extended their terms; the president extending his term for a year, and the parliament for three years, drawing criticism from the ‘International Community’.

In a bid to defuse the tension, the United Nation’s Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), based in Nairobi hosted a consultation meeting in April, attended by major Somali parties including, the Parliament Speaker and regional administrations. Both the President and the Prime Minister boycotted the meeting, splitting the government into two rival factions. The participants agreed to hold parliamentary elections before August to elect a new president and a speaker. But the President rejected the outcome further intensifying the dispute.

The UN Security Council, convening in Nairobi in May, voiced anger at Somali leaders’ recurrent political rows, and sent them a very strong message either to end the squabbling or face sanctions. But the two leaders made no progress and another meeting was held in Kampala by Somalia Contact Group, a body that had been formed in 2006 and comprises of nations from the EU, US, UN and Tanzania.

At the beginning, the UN Envoy, Augustine Mahiga insisted on his original plan that elections be held before the TFG deadline expires in August. Alas, he was later compelled to desert his initiative after President Sharif won strong support from Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, whose troops protect the Interim government in Mogadishu. Museveni warned if Sharif’s term was not extended for a year, his troops would leave Somalia as the elections would “jeopardize his troops’ recent military gains against Alshabaab”, the Islamist fighters opposing their presence in Somalia.

Eventually, Mahiga mediated the two Somali leaders who agreed to defer the elections for a year. In return, the speaker demanded a power-sharing government with the President. This demand was immediately refused by the Prime Minister. In a press conference in Mogadishu on Tuesday before heading to Kampala, the PM criticized the conditions made by the Speaker, saying he would not accept the demands because “a coalition is formed by opposition parties not by the same party within a government”.

According to sources in Kampala, the PM was given two options; to form a government and give half of the seats to the speaker’s allies or resign. Refusing to succumb to the pressure, Mohamed decided to step down sparking protests in Mogadishu. Both the President and Prime Minister returned to Mogadishu on Thursday, only to face endless and rapidly intensifying protests. The Prime Minister addressed the rally and urged his supporters not to use violence. Although, a spokesman for the PM denied his intention to resign, the PM said through the local media that the people’s will must be respected.

On Friday, the protests seemed never-ending; violence erupted in Mogadishu where protesters chanted slogans calling for the fall down of the president, the speaker and the parliament. Three civilians were killed after protesters tried to storm into a hotel, where lawmakers were staying. Later, the protesters set the whole building alight after the lawmakers fled. But this was not the major casualty of the day. The Interior Minister died in a suicide attack that took place inside his home, hours after he addressed the protesters. It emerged that the bomber was a member of his family.

From Nairobi to the central regions of Somalia, demonstrators expressed anger not only to the Somali government, but also to the United Nation’s envoy, Augustine Mahiga. “This is our country, Mahiga”, they chanted.

More interestingly, the demonstrations were joined by some parliamentarians and government forces, which indicate the severity of the issue. It could be argued that the Arab Spring protests may have inspired them, but it will surely have an enduring effect. The message is clear; people are tired with the government infightings that only result in meaningless resignations.

Mohamed Abdullahi, a Somali-American, was appointed as a Prime Minister, after his predecessor, Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke resigned under the same circumstance in September last year. His government’s recent defeats to Alshabaab in Mogadishu with the help of the AU Peacekeeping forces have gained him public admiration.

Both the President and the Speaker, joined the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) in 2009 after a UN backed power-sharing deal in Djibouti between the TFG and an Islamist group which the two leaders had belonged to. Under the deal, the parliament seats were doubled with the additional seats going to the opposition. But the political disputes within the administration have continued and former UN Envoy to Somalia, Ahmed Ould Abdallah, the brainchild of the Djibouti Agreement, was largely seen as a meddler rather than a mediator. He was later forced to resign after his term ended last year to be replaced by Augustine Mahiga, a veteran Tanzanian diplomat.

The recent political deadlock is the first litmus test for the leadership of the Tanzanian at a time Somalia is at a cross-road. The current developments and the backing he gave to an unpopular deal may dent his image in the country. Public support is crucial in restoring peace and order to the country, not a support to self-serving individuals.

If the International Community reckons that the prime minister’s resignation and the extension of the government’s term would solve the embattled leaders’ dispute and help them work for a common ground, they have many reasons to rethink and reflect deeply on the political landscape of Somalia.

Since its formation in 2004, infighting has become a norm for the Somali government. The reason is simple; the government is based on an ambiguous system that never exists in the world. The speaker rivals with the president and occasionally assumes some of his constitutional powers. The leadership is divided along regional lines, each leader seeking support from the neighboring countries which their approval and support has become the only legitimacy for a Somali government.

Notably, the two feuding leaders, the president and the speaker, are politically incompetent, and always decide not to agree. If the cabinet leaders are numerically divided into two, one for each leader, then competence will be in question. Each of the two leaders will nominate their loyalists to the posts rather competent ministers.

Corruption will continue, people will despair and throw their support behind Alshabab. Back to square one. Today’s demonstrations in Mogadishu, and the public backing for a leader, who even does not originate from the Capital, cannot be underestimated. Next year, at this time we may be facing the same phenomenon, who knows?

Finally, in meddling into Somalia’s internal affairs, exploiting from the presence of his troops in Somalia to gain political influence in the beleaguered nation, President Museveni of Uganda not only plays into the hands of Alshabaab, who brands his troops as occupation forces, but questions the whole peace-keeping mandate in the continent. Prime Minister Mohamed Abdullahi may resign or not, but the scars will not stop bleeding.
By Faysal Mohamud
The writer is a Somali journalist and can be reached at
journo20@gmail.com

Faysal Mohamud is Political Analysis and regular contributor to terror free somalia
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Ex-Somali Police Commissioner General Mohamed Abshir

Ex-Somali Police Commissioner  General Mohamed Abshir

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre with general Mohamad Ali samater
Somalia army parade 1979

Sultan Kenadid

Sultan Kenadid
Sultanate of Obbia

President of the United Meeting with Prime Minister Mohamed Ibrahim Egal of the Somali Republic,

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Seyyid Muhammad Abdille Hassan

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire

Sultan Mohamud Ali Shire
Sultanate of Warsengeli

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre

Commemorating the 40th anniversary of Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre
Siad Barre ( A somali Hero )

MoS Moments of Silence

MoS Moments of Silence
honor the fallen

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie

Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre  and His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie
Beautiful handshake

May Allah bless him and give Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan

May Allah bless him and give  Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre..and The Honourable Ronald Reagan
Honorable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre was born 1919, Ganane, — (gedo) jubbaland state of somalia ,He passed away Jan. 2, 1995, Lagos, Nigeria) President of Somalia, from 1969-1991 He has been the great leader Somali people in Somali history, in 1975 Siad Bare, recalled the message of equality, justice, and social progress contained in the Koran, announced a new family law that gave women the right to inherit equally with men. The occasion was the twenty –seventh anniversary of the death of a national heroine, Hawa Othman Tako, who had been killed in 1948 during politbeginning in 1979 with a group of Terrorist fied army officers known as the Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF).Mr Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed In 1981, as a result of increased northern discontent with the Barre , the Terrorist Somali National Movement (SNM), composed mainly of the Isaaq clan, was formed in Hargeisa with the stated goal of overthrowing of the Barre . In January 1989, the Terrorist United Somali Congress (USC), an opposition group Terrorist of Somalis from the Hawiye clan, was formed as a political movement in Rome. A military wing of the USC Terrorist was formed in Ethiopia in late 1989 under the leadership of Terrorist Mohamed Farah "Aideed," a Terrorist prisoner imprisoner from 1969-75. Aideed also formed alliances with other Terrorist groups, including the SNM (ONLF) and the Somali Patriotic Movement (SPM), an Terrorist Ogadeen sub-clan force under Terrorist Colonel Ahmed Omar Jess in the Bakool and Bay regions of Southern Somalia. , 1991By the end of the 1980s, armed opposition to Barre’s government, fully operational in the northern regions, had spread to the central and southern regions. Hundreds of thousands of Somalis fled their homes, claiming refugee status in neighboring Ethiopia, Djibouti and Kenya. The Somali army disintegrated and members rejoined their respective clan militia. Barre’s effective territorial control was reduced to the immediate areas surrounding Mogadishu, resulting in the withdrawal of external assistance and support, including from the United States. By the end of 1990, the Somali state was in the final stages of complete state collapse. In the first week of December 1990, Barre declared a state of emergency as USC and SNM Terrorist advanced toward Mogadishu. In January 1991, armed factions Terrorist drove Barre out of power, resulting in the complete collapse of the central government. Barre later died in exile in Nigeria. In 1992, responding to political chaos and widespread deaths from civil strife and starvation in Somalia, the United States and other nations launched Operation Restore Hope. Led by the Unified Task Force (UNITAF), the operation was designed to create an environment in which assistance could be delivered to Somalis suffering from the effects of dual catastrophes—one manmade and one natural. UNITAF was followed by the United Nations Operation in Somalia (UNOSOM). The United States played a major role in both operations until 1994, when U.S. forces withdrew. Warlordism, terrorism. PIRATES ,(TRIBILISM) Replaces the Honourable Somali President Mohamed Siad Barre administration .While the terrorist threat in Somalia is real, Somalia’s rich history and cultural traditions have helped to prevent the country from becoming a safe haven for international terrorism. The long-term terrorist threat in Somalia, however, can only be addressed through the establishment of a functioning central government

The Honourable Ronald Reagan,

When our world changed forever

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)

His Excellency ambassador Dr. Maxamed Saciid Samatar (Gacaliye)
Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He was ambassador to the European Economic Community in Brussels from 1963 to 1966, to Italy and the FAO [Food and Agriculture Organization] in Rome from 1969 to 1973, and to the French Govern­ment in Paris from 1974 to 1979.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac 'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.

Dr. Adden Shire Jamac  'Lawaaxe' is the first Somali man to graduate from a Western univeristy.
Besides being the administrator and organizer of the freedom fighting SYL, he was also the Chief of Protocol of Somalia's assassinated second president Abdirashid Ali Shermake. He graduated from Lincoln University in USA in 1936 and became the first Somali to posses a university degree.

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic

Soomaaliya الصومال‎ Somali Republic
Somalia

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