We need clarity urgently – UM

At a time in which clarity is most urgent, Somalia seems to have slipped back into political uncertainty. Photo credit: Villa Somalia.

Mogadishu (UM) – This week has been a confusing week in Somalia. Nothing seems to make sense yet the federal government is giving the impression that everything is fine. Yesterday, the President met with the two leaders of the House of the People and the Upper House, the Prime Minister posted some tweets about meetings he chaired while the oppositions call for him to be sacked is getting louder. The opposition figures and the Mayor of Mogadishu continued their useless social media spat. There are suppose to be meetings starting in Garowe tomorrow but there is still no information about them. The pictures and statement from Villa Somalia on the meeting between the two leaderas of Parliament send a mixed signal. The calls for Prime Minister Kheyre to go is getting louder. The experienced and respected Minister of Information Dahir Mohamud Geelle resigned citing differences with the Prime Minister. Just what is going on in Somalia?

At a time in which clarity is most urgent, Somalia seems to have slipped back into political uncertainty which will inevitably lead to chaos and delays in the urgent political processes most important of which are election planning and the provisional constitution. The President’s efforts to resolve the political impasse is welcome but he needs to make a decision about the bigger issues regarding his Prime Minister. If he wants him to stay let him defend him. If he wants him to go, make this clear to him. The Prime Minister has said many times he will go to protect the interest of Somalia. It is now up to the President to weigh the issues and decide what this interest is and quickly. This is a time for decision making not disappearing and dithering.

The planned meeting in Garowe is expected to bring together all key Somali stakeholders including the international community. A key concern is Somalia’s confused and weak foreign policy which seems to always be looking for a fight when it should be building bridges to survive. The Federal member states still have strong links with UAE and the Foreign Ministry still seems obsessed with Qatar while ignoring Turkey, a more significant ally and friend. The President must enforce a neutral foreign policy and safe Somalia’s fate from an incompetent Foreign Minister with a failed Ministry as a mirror for the nation. Somalia must look after its own interest first and not play a losing game of taking sides in international disputes which Somalia has no stake in.

Stability and predictability is needed for Somalia’s politics but there needs to be compromise and sacrifice on all sides. This government cannot lose political heavyweights like Dahir Geelle and survive in a clan based system. The President has a different style to the Prime Minister’s posturing and tough man acts that put off his Ministers so he needs to take the lead in ending the current political stalemates. If he does not, he will go to elections in a crisis and leave more crisis behind him. This is not what he promised the Somali people.