President Farmajo must turn African Union Summit success into action – UM

President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the sidelines of the AU Summit in Addis Ababa , Ethiopia this week. Photo courtesy: Villa Somalia via Twitter.

Mogadishu ( UM) – President Mohamed in Abdullahi Farmajo delivered a strong statement at the African Union Summit in which he asked the African nations and the world to support lift the arms embargo against Somalia so that the fight against Al-Shabaab can be completed. The President said that his government could not continue fighting international terrorism with one arm tied behind Somalia’s back. He said he needed the right weapons to successfully win the global war on terror. This was very important for the President to say because the theme of the Summit was Silencing the Guns in Africa which the African Union wants to achieve as part of its Agenda 2063.

Somalia is changing and despite some existing political tensions, Somalis will never return to killing each other like in the past. Somalis have seen and suffered too much destruction to return to the past and now we need to move forward.

The President’s meetings with the leaders of Canada and Norway was also an important signal that Somali foreign policy is improving. It now needs to focus on lobbying the UN Security Council to cancel the embargo and if both Canada and Norway sit in this Council in the future, they must remember Somalia’s support and reciprocate.

Canada and Norway need Somalia’s support for the Non Permenant Seat at the Security Council and this must be exchanged with something important for the Somali people with Canada. Norway is already providing the bridge financing for Somalia’s debt to the World Bank and supporting development on the country through multilateral and bilateral assistance. Canada must follow Norway’s example and must finally do something meaningful in Somalia too. Canadian immigration policy, the Diaspora, a Somali Cabinet Minister travelling with the Canadian delegation, 6 Somali-Canadian Ministers in the Federal Government and even how nice Prime Minister Trudeau is when compared to President Trump who called Africa a shithole continent is not important. All that matters is Canada contributes to Somalia’s development agenda for our support.

The Somali people are used to the government giving great speeches at conferences and meeting other leaders but little comes out of this. Now, Canada, like Norway, must finally support Somalia in exchange for the UN Security Council support we promised to give them. President Farmajo must turn the success of the Summit into action when he returns home. Otherwise, we will just wait for the next speech at another Summit sometime in the future.