Reshuffle key Ministers to save our sea – UM

Prime Minister Kheire chairing cabinet meeting in Mogadishu. Photo courtesy: PM office

Mogadishu (UM) – The Kenyan Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma and her Permenant Secretary have become the mouthpiece and symbol of Kenya’s illegal and dishonest claims to Somalia’s maritime assets and resources. Somalia is most likely to win the case against Kenya at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) because Kenya is in the wrong and legal experts support Somalia’s case. Perhaps realizing this, the Kenyan government’s actions and words are becoming more hostile. In a press statement the Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs claimed that she did not know why Somalia was fighting Kenya for its seas and that countries had “gone to war for less.” These words are clearly meant to intimidate but Somalis are not frightened: they know what both war and peace means.

Since the last statement it released, the Somali government has not responded to Kenya’s provocative statements but will smartly rely on the Court Judgement to settle the dispute. Neither Ambassador of both countries have returned to their post and this should not worry Somalis becuase if the condition of diplomatic relations is the robbery of the Somali people’s assets and future, relations with Kenya or any other country for that matter is not worth it.

Somalia must remain united and focused in the face of Kenya’s erratic actions to intimidate in order to force the government to engage in negotiating out of court settlement which is totally wrong and a complete betrayal. Somalia’s main weakness in the face of increasing Kenyan threats are its weak, non-performing and ineffective Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Internal Security and Defence.

These Ministers and the Ministry’s they disastrously mislead are key to an effective response to Kenya. The Minister of Foreign Affairs is the key person to respond to his Kenyan counterpart but he is inexperienced, unpredictable and has failed to reform his Ministry. Somalia needs a Foreign Minister who commands national and international respect, has experience and is able to build support for Somalia across the world. Minister Awad is not this person. The sooner he goes, the better chances Somalia has of responding to Kenya’s ridiculous threats effectively.

The Kenyans have had their troops in Somalia since illegally entering in October 2011. Now they are a part of the AMISOM force which is paid well to stabilise Somalia but now their intentions cannot be fully trusted. Now that Kenya has even dared to mention the word WAR in response to the maritime boundary dispute, it is important the international community consider replacing Kenyan Defence Forces with Somali soldiers quickly. The task of leading the military reform falls to the most ineffective and inexperienced Minister perhaps in history. This Minister is thankful he even has a job. He must be replaced urgently to expedite the military reforms so that Somalia can defend itself.

Kenyan threats must be taken seriously and corruption in immigration and inadequate security must be challenged. The Ministry of Internal Security is responsible for keeping the Somali people safe within the country and this Minister was the only one whose office Al-Shabaab entered. He was saved because he never comes to work according to an insider source at his Ministry who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Somalia needs functioning security to protect it citizens from any llegal actions Kenya can promote or do within Somali borders and the current Minister is not the person to keep Somalis safe.

To show the Somali people he is serious about defending their honor and maritime assets, the President must finally ask the Prime Minister to put the Somali interest first and reshuffle these three Ministers. Friendship with any of them, especially, the Security Minister, must not endanger Somali people’s future.