President Hassan – defend the legitimate federal constitution or you will not be president of Somalia.
There is no question that Somali politics has been further polarized since the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud on September 10, 2012. President Hassan’s irrationally obsessive refusal to recognize the rights of local communities in Jubaland State is the root cause of this new, and dangerous, polarization in Somali politics.
Political fragmentation is not a new phenomenon in Somalia. The country disintegrated in 1991 after the violent overthrow of former President Mohamed Siyad Barre. The Somali people, and the internationally community that supports them, have since been struggling to reinstitute and rebuild the nation, using the politics of peace, dialogue and reconciliation.
It is worrisome that President Hassan unreasonably rejects the formation of Jubaland State. Why does President Hassan reject the facts: a) Jubaland State formation process began four years ago in neighboring Kenya (TFG, predecessor to the current Somali Federal Government, also originated in Kenya); b) Jubaland Conference was underway in Kismayo for 5 months and the conference organizers are on the record repeatedly inviting the Somali Federal Government to Kismayo; c) over 800 community delegates voted to adopt the Interim Jubaland State Charter; and d) 500 community delegates voted for the Jubaland state president, electing Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Ahmed Madobe) on May 15, 2013, among a number of presidential candidates.
It is not worrisome, however, that President Hassan remarks that “Jubaland has many self-declared presidents”; indeed, this is an intentional remark with a specific political value. The remark was based on President Hassan’s ill-fated hope to achieve his unreasonable goal: reject Jubaland, whatever the cost. When the “many self-declared presidents” political scheme failed shamefully, then came the Somali Federal MPs and Minister of Defense travelling to Kismayo, to foment trouble and mislead public (and international) opinion about the so-called “impending conflict” in Kismayo.
When no conflict came, the Somali Minister of Defense’s own bodyguards who travelled with him to Kismayo were involved in an armed skirmish on June 7 and June 8, 2013, and it is well-known that the Defense Minister who had initially refused to politely leave Kismayo fled back to Mogadishu on an airplane transporting wounded bodyguards. Why did the Somali Defense Minister’s bodyguards begin an armed skirmish in Kismayo against Jubaland security forces?
This, of course, is a self-fulfilling prophecy. President Hassan, and the cronies who support his ill-fated policies such as Defense Minister, Interior Minister and a certain MP Hosh, have repeatedly claimed there are “many self-declared presidents in Jubaland” and warned of an “impending conflict” and when nothing worked their way, the Defense Minister’s own bodyguards began shooting in Kismayo. The U.N. Security Council, the U.S. Government and other powers are well informed of this and the destabilizing role of the Somali Defense Minister, a U.S. citizen.
President Hassan must address the real national crisis in Somalia. The country does not seem to have a legitimate constitution. Somali Roadmap Signatories signed the only legitimate federal constitution in Somalia – the Provisional Federal Constitution – page by page in Nairobi on June 22, 2012. This legitimate constitution was hijacked and the current so-called constitution that the Lower House of Federal Parliament was distributed on Sep. 7, 2012, is illegitimate and puts into question the very legitimacy of Somali Federal Institutions.
The Federal Constitution was signed, page by page, precisely to prevent any future tampering which is a constitutional violation. Without a legitimate constitution, Somalia does not have a legitimate president, nor a legitimate federal government.
So when President Hassan claims that Jubaland State formation “violates the constitution”, it pleases the Somali people to know precisely which constitution President Hassan refers to.
And next time President Hassan speaks of the “rights” of local people in Kismayo, it pleases the Somali people to know President Hassan’s position on the legitimate rights of Somalis who were targeted, persecuted, killed, raped, and displaced from their homes and properties in Mogadishu and whose homes and properties remain under the forceful (and shameful) occupation of President Hassan’s clansmen in Mogadishu to this day and age.
It is clear President Hassan is not committed to address any legitimate national issues in Somalia. It is increasingly clear that President Hassan is pursuing a vengeful clan agenda that former Gen. Mohamed Farah Aideed could not achieve with all the muscle and manpower of 1991.
Indeed, it is also clear that the Somali people have bore witness to President Hassan’s polarizing and clan-centric politics and, from within Somalia and in the Diaspora, the Somali people have risen and have protested President Hassan’s vision for Somalia to return to the clan wars of the 1990s.
President Hassan – defend the legitimate federal constitution or you will not be president of Somalia. Soon, it will be a self-fulfilling prophecy that “Somalia has many self-declared presidents”.
Meanwhile, Jubaland will have only President Ahmed Madobe until the next election, inshallah.