Mogadishu (UM) – This week, after lots of speculation, it was confirmed that the former Ethiopian Foreign Minister will be replacing Mahboub Maalim as Executive Secretary of weak and dysfunctional regional organisation, IGAD. For weeks the Somali government has been silent on the claim that the Executive Secretary position was gifted to Ethiopia during the visit of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to the opening of Unity Park which was made by the Ethiopians. Promises of protest and crisis meetings by Somalia and Djiboutian foreign ministries did not happen. Now, Dr. Workneh is the regional head of East Africa. Something does not add up and the Somali people feel this. They have been left down.
Somalia has proposed many at least 2 candidates for this role in the past and none got the opportunity to even be considered. This is partly to the wrist diplomatic service in history led incompetently by Minister Awad who is obsessed with just appointing diplomats to Missions where they have no use or even salary. According to Ministry insiders many big embassies like Cairo and Ankara have 2 or 3 people doing the same role without regular salary. Instead of wasting his effort and time on shipping out useless unqualified and unworthy people as diplomats, why is he not responding to the Somali people’s concerns about the robbed IGAD position? Did Somalia make a deal with the Ethiopians on this position and betray the Somali candidates? What did the government get in return?
If the Somali government does not know how and why Prime Minister Abiy robbed the IGAD position for his clansmen, they must publicly protest. IGAD makes much of its project money from Somalia and Somalia have never had the chance to lead the organisation which they helped to establish. IGAD can’t be an Ethiopian and Kenyan playground for their incompetent civil servants and politically retired and irrelevant.
The Somali people feel humiliated by the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s decision to just award his cousin the too job at IGAD. They are wondering how and if their own government supported this privately like the Ethiopians claim. The sooner the Federal Government provides answers the better. This is not an issue that will die out quickly. The useless Somali Foreign Ministry must finally be shut if there was Somali support to betray the national candidates for IGAD.