Mogadishu (UM) – Senior Diplomats and staff at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation have confidentially informed UM that there is “Chaos and confusion” at the Ministry.
The Ministry which is among the top tier government institutions in Somalia, has lacked electricity and internet connection for the last week according to insider sources. As a result of this, very few staff at all levels have come to work.
“The situation at the Ministry is unbearable and a total embarrassment. You feel ashamed working there because there is no leadership, vision or day to day activity,” said a diplomat who did not want to disclose his identity. “We are in a situation where some Embassy staff have had salaries and many more are owed 6 months.”
Senior officials at the Ministry complained that all the 3 Ministers, led by Ahmed Awad, Somalia’s former Ambassador to Washington, are always abroad and never at the office.
“I have never seen 3 Ministers like the ones we have now at the Ministry. All of them are competing to go on foreign visits. Even when there is no official invitation, they still go to places like Nairobi and never brief senior staff about the visit,” said an angry departmental manager.
“The Ministers are treating the job like a holiday. The Somali people are paying for this and getting nothing in return for all these foreign trips,” added another Ministry employee.
All interviewed by UM from the Ministry felt strongly that their Ministry was losing its credibility because of its poor leadership. They also agreed they were being undermined by other government institutions.
“The Ministry’s job is been done by other offices like the Presidents and Prime Minister’s while we stand by and watch,” said an angry former Ambassador.”
“When I speak to Foreign Ambassadors they know more about what is going on than us at the Ministry. This is embarrassing for us and our Ministers are too busy travelling to fight to correct diplomatic protocols which are important for how the world deals with us,” said another former Ambassador who spoke on the condition of anonymity.
The idea that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is on bad terms with the Prime Minister is still widely circulating in Mogadishu political circles. Many of those interviewed feel the Prime Minister should sack Ahmed Awad and his entire Ministerial team for poor performance.
“These Ministers are the problem. I would like to see them all sacked,” said a Ministry employee who was supported by all his colleagues around the table.