Problems loom for So­ma­lia in bloody bat­tle

Pretoria News - - WORLD -

SO­MA­LIA has been bat­tling a bloody in­sur­gency against al-Shabaab mil­i­tants, which has threat­ened the coun­try’s se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity, but the po­lit­i­cal di­vide between the cen­tral govern­ment and fed­eral states is also un­der­min­ing the east African coun­try po­lit­i­cally.

“The bat­tle against al-Shabaab is go­ing well and the govern­ment has pro­jected that within the next two years they will be de­feated.

“How­ever, that re­mains to be seen as for­eign in­flu­ence is ex­ac­er­bat­ing the sit­u­a­tion,” Ab­di­aziz Ab­di­lahi, a So­mali MP and chair­per­son of the Pan African Par­lia­ment’s (PAP) East­ern Cau­cus, said.

“The po­lit­i­cal chal­lenges fac­ing So­ma­lia cen­tre around con­sti­tu­tional is­sues,” Ab­di­lahi said dur­ing a in­ter­view at the Fifth Or­di­nary Ses­sion of PAP’s Fourth Par­lia­ment at the Gal­lagher Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in Midrand.

“There is a lack of har­mony between the cen­tral govern­ment and the fed­eral states, and there is no leg­is­la­tion in place to har­monise the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of the two sides, which would be out­lined in a con­sti­tu­tion,” Ab­di­lahi ex­plained.

How­ever, be­fore a con­sti­tu­tion can be for­mu­lated the two sides would have to come to­gether to reach a con­sen­sus on that con­sti­tu­tion and that is not hap­pen­ing due to the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion.

Pres­i­dent Mo­hamed Ab­dul­lahi Far­majo was sworn in, in Fe­bru­ary, mark­ing the Horn of Africa’s first fully-func­tion­ing cen­tral govern­ment in a quar­ter cen­tury.

“But the problems between the cen­tral govern­ment and the fed­eral states were ex­ac­er­bated fol­low­ing the lat­est Gulf cri­sis between the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia (KSA), the United Arab Emi­rates (UAE), Bahrain and non-Gulf coun­try Egypt on one side and Qatar on the other.”

The fed­eral states are sid­ing with KSA and its al­lies, while ac­cord­ing to re­ports the cen­tral govern­ment is sid­ing with Qatar even though it’s meant to be neu­tral.

KSA and its al­lies want to open mil­i­tary bases in So­ma­lia for strate­gic pur­poses, as So­ma­lia is sit­u­ated near the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, which are close to Ye­men where Riyadh is lead­ing a coali­tion in sup­port of the Ye­meni govern­ment in a war with Houthi rebels.

Turn­ing to the So­mali mil­i­tary’s fight against al-Shabaab ex­trem­ists, the So­mali MP said there were ru­mours cir­cu­lat­ing that Kenyan troops, from the AU mis­sion in So­ma­lia, might be pulling out of Ku­mayo near the Kenyan border.

“This would leave all the fight­ing to fall on the shoul­ders of the So­mali army.

“But the main is­sue would be a gap that al-Shabaab could ex­ploit if the pull out is done with­out a timetable and co-or­di­na­tion with So­ma­lia, which would need to re­in­force the area mil­i­tar­ily.” – ANA

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