Somalia in a crisis as regions pull away from Mogadishu
The National Security Council to deliberate concerns raised by leaders
By FRED OLUOCH
Somalia could be split into six regions after five regional federal states announced that they would no longer co-operate with Mogadishu until their grievances about insecurity, sharing of natural resources and the interference by the central government in their affairs are addressed.
Following the August 8 announcement, Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo has called a National Security Council meeting on September 17 which is expected to deliberate on the future of the federal nation. It was not clear at the time of going to press whether the five states will attend the meeting.
Somali analysts said the decision by the five regional presidents — Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas (Puntland), Ahmed Duale Gelle (Galmudug), Mohamed Abdi Ware (Hirshabelle), Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden (South West State) and Sheikh Ahmed Madobe of Jubbaland — could embolden Al Shabaab and negate the gains made by the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) with the support of the international community.
The five met under the auspices Council of Interstate Co-operation in Kismayu from September 4 to 8, and resolved to suspend their co-operation with the central government.
“The Council expresses its concerns the deepening political crisis and growing differences among the major stakeholders of Somalia. The interference in the internal affairs of the federal member states clearly undermine the constitutionally mandated separations of powers,” they said in a statement.
Abdirahman Warsame, who was a presidential candidate in the February 2017 elections, told that the strength of the relationship between the central government and federal states will determine the outcome of the war against terrorism, because Amisom is overstretched and cannot liberate new areas.
He said the Somalia Nation- al Army is incapable of holding on to liberated areas because it is demoralised, lacks sufficient personnel and is ill-trained and ill-equipped.
“The key and the central challenge of defeating terrorist is to build a Somali national army and a Somali police force that are nationally respected,” said Mr Warsame.
Abdullahi Abdi Mohamed, chairman of the Aratgi Wadaag, a pro-government political think tank defended the president, saying the centre had gone out of its way to engage federal states. He said said there had been agreements on the national security architecture and financial support to federal states following the increased support from donors.
However, he noted that the leaders were former warlords, who have lost support form their federal governments and found it difficult to survive a transparent and democratic institutions.
“These leaders are not willing to be held accountable for their current and previous actions, and are not willing to The defiant leaders have formed the Council for the Co-operation of Federal Member States of Somalia, even though the country already has the National Leaders’ Council that also includes them and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo. They also noted that the government has dithered over the constitution making process, saying it has done little to ensure that the country holds a one person one vote election in 2020. They added that there lacks a mechanism for sharing resources between the regional states and the central government.
Amisom soldiers have been providing security in Mogadishu.