by Hassan Farah
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
This article argues that the agreement of South West State of Somalia is illegal, immoral and unconstitutional. During the process leading to the agreement on 23 June, the President of Somalia deliberately misled SW6, Shabelle State and Hawiye politicians, as he couldn’t defend his decisions in front of them. Hon Sharif Hassan and Minister Farah Abdulkadir were the mastermind of the agreement and that is why the President was too afraid to sell the agreement to SW6 and Hawiye politicians. Other key players in the agreement were Ethiopia, IGAD, UNSOM and EU as they have been for the last two years promoting the interest of Ogaden & Majeerteen clans in the pretext of Federalism, and that is why Ambassador Affey was too quick to make direct threats to SW6, Shabelle State & Hawiye Politicians, as he said that they are similar to Al-Shabaab during the ceremony of the agreement.
On 23 June 2014 Mohamed Haji Abdinur (Madeer) on behalf of the 3 regions of South West State (Bay, Bakol & Gedo) and Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim (Gesey) on behalf of the 6 regions of South West State (Bay, Bakol, Gedo, Middle Jubba, Lower Jubba, andLower Shabelle) signed an agreement to form an Interim South West State of Somalia, in the presence of the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the Speaker of the Parliament, H.E. Mohamed Shiekh Osman (Jawaari), the Prime Minister, H.E. Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, and Representatives from UN, EU, IGAD, and Ethiopia,
The agreement of the formation of South West State in Somalia is illegal, immoral and against the constitution for the following reasons:
1. The Provisional Constitution of Somalia clearly states that two regions or more can establish federal units, however, the process has to be voluntary and there must be two regions or more that has administrations that can truly represent the people in the area. The agreement of the formation of SW3 State is against the constitution and therefore, has no legal basis to represent or have the legitimacy of the people in the area.
2. Leaders of the country were fully well aware that Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim (Gesey) didn’t have the legitimacy to represent SW6, as the President of SW6 Madobe Nunow sacked him a day before the signing of the agreement. This is immoral from the part of Somali leaders and the international communities that were present at the ceremony, as they partly signed the agreement.
3. The agreement is illegal as the people in the area were not consulted. The people in Lower Shabelle already decided their destiny and formed Shabelle State of Somalia voluntarily.
4. The two signatories of the agreement are the same clan (sub clan of Mirifle, Hadame & Leesaan) and this gives them a mandate and authority while ignoring other clans in the area who were not giving an opportunity to be represented in the agreement. Another word, Somali leaders and the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN, the EU Ambassador, Ethiopian Ambassador, IGAD Special Envoy to Somalia and all present ignored the call from other clans and deliberately decided to give the mandate to one clan.
5. The SW6 President, H.E. Madobe Nunow immediately rejected the agreement and said that no one from SW6 was legitimately representing them in the agreement.
6. The people in Baidoa city immediately rejected the agreement.
7. Minister of Interior & Federalism, H.E. Abdullahi Godah Barre spoke to VOA and BBC and stated that the agreement is unconstitutional and that the Ministry of Interior wasn’t aware of the agreement. The Ministry of Interior has the mandate to all issues of Federalism in Somalia and this shows that the Federal Government of Somalia is acting in a manner that undermines the institutional development of Somalia.
What angered most of Somalis is the statement made by Ambassador Abdi Affey, the IGAD Special Envoy to Somalia as he said that anyone against the agreement is similar to Al-Shabaab and that we all need to confront them as Al-Shabaab. Ambassador Afey, a Somali Kenyan who knows very well the culture and the sensitivity of the clan dimensions in Somalia should have avoided to make such statement that really damaged his credibility amongst Somalis and that of IGAD. He was well aware that Madobe Nunow and SW6 supporters and Shabelle State were against the agreement as well as elites and politicians from Hawiye clan. Since Ambassdor Afrey is from Ogaden clan his statement was interpreted as saying that Hawiye clan and SW6 supporters are Al-Shabaab. Someone who is a diplomat should have been very cautious on his feelings and emotions in particular when making public statements.
Most of MPs were against the agreement as they felt that there was no consultation with them as they represent the people of Somalia. In particular MPs from Bay, Bakol and Lower Shabelle were not giving the opportunity to take part the process, therefore, this is contrary to the institutional building of Somalia. Some of the MPs made public statement such as Hon Adan Madobe and others. Hon Abdukadir Ossoble Ali, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs & International Relations, on 30 June 2014 wrote an OpEd which was published onwww.dalsanradio.com said “Unfortunately, there is a growing sense among the Somalia people that the newly signed agreement would disenfranchise communities and create unnecessary conflicts. Ignoring the concerns and grievance of the people proved to be a tool for extremism and is not only dangerous to the stability of Somalia but to the region and the whole world.”
Is Federalism the problem in Somalia?
The issue of Federalism in Somalia needs to be reviewed and re-evaluated. The discussion and the debate have not started yet. The Government has not finalized the legal framework of the implementation of Federalism in Somalia or the power/political/resource sharing, yet people are trying to re-group through clan lines in order to have the dominance in the area. What we have seen so far is clan federalism which will create more divisions, conflicts and chaos. Let us look at the Jubbaland Administration; Ogaden felt that they will not get the biggest share of the cake if there was a due process that will bring all communities on board. Therefore, their best option was to take advantage of the current mayhem, Kenya, Ehtiopia, and EU involvement. It is a fact that if people were giving the opportunity to elect their leaders there is no way that they would have elected Ahmed Madobe. In addition to this, Ahmed Madobe even couldn’t trust the so called constituency assembly in Kismayo and he rushed to the election of the leader while other presidential candidates were outside of the hall. That gave him the only opportunity and chance with the support of Kenya and IGAD to become the leader. Without Kenya and IGAD involvement he wouldn’t have been chosen as the leader of Jubbaland. In addition, Puntland supported Jubbaland hugely because they felt that in order for Darod clans to get the dominance in the area, it is absolutely essential to support Ahmed Madobe to be the leader. Another example is that why Digil & Mirifle are whole heartedly supporting the 6 regions of South West? It is simple that they want the dominance in the 6 regions and they belief that their clan is the majority of all in the 6 regions.
Hon Abdulkadir Ossoble Ali, speaking on the issue of Federalsm said “The 'federalism' issue is a very controversial to say the least and there are supporters as well as oppositions of the whole concept. Both sides are Somalis and deserve to be given space to deliberate. The role of the government is that of creating a processes and debates among the people so that they are comfortable with the concept and the formation of the institutions that represent them. There is serious opposition to the formation of the southwestern state.”
What kind of federal system is appropriate for Somalia needs to be debates and discussed widely. At the moment people believe that Majeerteen is leading the process as they believe that the only way they can get dominance in Somalia is through federalism. No system is better than other, provided that the implementation of that system is fair and just. The issue of two regions and more need to be reviewed. Some regions have more populations compared to others, for example Mogadishu has population of more than 2.5 million, and Majeerteen wants Mogadishu not to be included in the federal units. So, how do people in Mogadishu feel about this and that is why they are against federal system. May be one of the options is to consider population when deciding federal system, for example one million people is the minimum requirements to becoming federal unit in Somalia.
The weak leadership of the President of Somalia is responsible for all the ills and problems that exist in Somalia?
In my previous article entitled “A Wake up Call to the President of Somalia” I said that the President of Somalia gave green lights to SW6, SW3 and Shabelle State groups, which really shows that either he is doing deliberately to create more problems so that he can think of getting an extension period after 2016, or he is trying to use divide and rule tactics to keep all sides happy for his own seat. What creates more confusing and makes clear on the weak leadership of the President is that on 21 June, Shabelle State, SW6 and Hawiye politicians spoke to him and raised their concern of the planed agreement on SW3, on the eve of the agreement, and the President told them that he is unaware of the agreement and that nothing will happen. An MP that I spoke to then said to him will you attend if the PM goes ahead with the agreement? and he replied and said definitely not, I will not attend. Hours before telling this to politicians including ministers, the President spoke to the PM who was at the time in Nairobi and asked him to return quickly so that he will organize the ceremony of the signing of the agreement of SW3.
The PM came back the next day on 22nd June, hoping that all is good as the President was happy with the agreement. For some reason due to the pressure from Hawiye politicians the agreement was postponed on that date. The Prime Minister and the Speaker spoke to the President and they raised the issue of Hawiye and he told them to continue the agreement and that he will sort the Hawiye issue. Next day, 23 June the ceremony took place in Villa Somalia where all the three leaders plus the usual suspects from the international community (the EU, UNSOM, IGAD, Ethiopia) were present to witness the agreement between the two factions of the SW6 and SW3. The President attends despite him giving assurances to Hawiye and SW6 politicians that he is not aware of the agreement and that he will not attend. After the agreement he met Hawiye politicians and he told them that he received pressure from the International Community. The weak leadership of the President is why the country is not moving forward.
The Prime Minsiter, H.E. Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed had a meeting with Hawiye politicians and he told them that the President pressured him. The PM told them that the President told him not to worry Hawiye as he will sort out with them. The PM said that he thought that the President spoke to Hawiye politicians. The PM also said to Hawiye politicians that he will go with them to the President and stated all this in front of the President.
Why on earth the EU and UNSOM are promoting the interest of Ethiopia and Kenya?
If the President’s claim of the pressure is true, then why on earth the international community is putting pressure and why they are not supporting the will of the people? In my previous article entitled “Why UN and West are against the promotion of democratic process in Somalia?” I gave examples where the UN and the West ignored the wishes of the people, but instead approached their own interest of implementing federalism without due regard to the wishes of the people. So the question is why they are supporting Kenya and Ethiopia’s interest rather than the interest of the Somali people? Every action that they did so far proves that they support the interest of Ethiopia and Kenya. SW3 agreement, even Khalif convinced Ambassador D’Urso Cervone to ask Lady Ashton’s spokesperson to issue statement in support of SW3 agreement. I am not sure if Lady Ashton was aware of the surrounding of this issue before approving the statement that really questions the credibility of EU Somalia unit.
Jamal Osman in his article “Who should govern Somalia? Somalis or the UN?” provides some of the answers, as Jamal Osman said “Mr Kay is seen as the most powerful man in the country. He is accused of undermining the government, siding with Somalia’s archenemies, Ethiopia and Kenya, blackmailing and threatening those who oppose him, including the president, and generally using divide-and-rule tactics.” The fact of the matter is that Ethiopia and in particular General Gabre is the one who engineers all of this by getting closer to Farah Abdulkadir, who convinces the President.
Mohamud M. Uluso, in his article entitled “Somalia: IGAD, UN and EU ousted President Hassan.” Which was published on www.hiiraan.com argues that IGAD, EU and UN are running Somalia. He also claims that their involvement in Somalia is a serious setback for Somalia’s state-building and peace-building. He wrote “the Joint Statement responds to the lingering question raised long time ago by Mary Harper, BBC reporter, “Who runs Somalia?” The simple answer is “IGAD, EU, and UN” are running Somalia.” I would add to this that the man who is really in charge is Farah Abdulkadir via Gabre through IGAD, EU Ethiopia and UNSOM.
Who were the architects of the SW3 agreement?
The architect number one of the agreement between SW3 and SW6 is the former Speaker of the previous parliament, Hon Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden. Number two of the architect is Minister Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir and number 3 is Genral Gabre of Ethiopia, and number 4 is Ambassador Affey and while IGAD, UNSOM and EU are number 5. So, where is the leadership of the Federal Government? No one knows, perhaps since Farah Abdulkadir is there he can represent the President. Sharif Hassan got the green light from Ethiopia and IGAD for the creation of the SW3. Sharif Hassan firstly installed his half brother from the mother’s side to become the President of SW6, and then he put pressure to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to declare publicly that the government supports the SW3.
The government then started reconciliation between the two groups of SW6 and SW3. President Madobe Nunow of the SW6 and the President of the SW3 came to Mogadishu to have talks with the government. While they were in Mogadishu, Hon Sharif Hassan came out a plan to get rid of Madobe Nunow and invited Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim (Gesey), his nephew to come to Mogadishu. When Gesey arrived in Mogadishu, Madobe Nunow felt that the Federal Government of Somalia undermined his authority so he got angry and left Mogadishu to Baidoa. Sharif Hassan did it deliberate to get rid of Madobe Nunow. Hon Sharif Hassan also pressured President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to allow Gesey to sign the agreement on behalf of SW6, as Hon Sharif Hassan argued that Gesey represents the majority clan of the Digil and Mirifle compared to Madobe Nunow.
Sharif Hassan become friendly with Farah Abdulkadir during the process and each time that the President opposes anything, then Sharif Hassan goes to meet Farah Abdulkadir, which in turn most of time succeeds to convince the President. So, literally Farah is in charge of the Federal Government of Somalia.
In conclusion, the agreement signed between SW6 and SW3 is illegal, immoral and against the provisional constitutions. There is no ownership or leadership from Somalis or the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), except Farah Abdulkadir. All we have witnessed and seen is the leadership of IGAD, Ethiopia, EU and UNSOM. IGAD Special Envoy to Somalia, Ambassador Affey spoke on behalf of this group during the ceremony of the agreement. Therefore, UNSOM and EU need to urgently review their policy towards federalism and against SW6 supporters and Hawiye interests. The IGAD Special Envoy to Somalia, the Secretary General of IGAD and the Speical Advisor to the EU Ambassador are all from Ogaden clan (Affey, Mahboub, and Khalif) and UNSOM Special Advisor is Nuradin Dirie from Majeerteen clan. Khalif is very extreme and lacks objectivity when it comes to clan interest. They are all working for narrow agenda and interest rather than the common interest of Somalia.
“Who runs Somalia?” article by Mary Harper, BBC reporter, which Mr Uluso attempts to answer, he said “the simple answer is “IGAD, EU, and UN” are running Somalia.” I second to this but the real actor who is actually running Somalia is Farah Abdulkadir, as he is the only person that the President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud listens to and guess, he generates his ideas from Gabre and Khalif and comes back to the President and says the International Community wants this and that, which the President cannot ignore.
Somalis are very proud people and they will never tolerate outside interferences, but the current foreign interventionists (IGAD, Ethiopia, UNSOM and EU) has a lot to explain to Somalis about their reasons of supporting Kenya and Ethiopia’s agenda towards Somalia by pushing the federalism agenda very hard. Therefore, the best way to solve the current SW6, SW3 and Shabelle State of Somalia is to hold a genuine reconciliation process amongst all communities living in the area, while the government finalizes the legality of the formation of federal units in Somalia.
I conclude this article a quote from Mohamud M. Uluso and let us hope IGAD, UN and EU will review their policies and strategies towards Somalia.
Mohamud M. Uluso said “The fact remains that the issues of federalism, constitution, and political elections are beyond the exclusive responsibilities of the executive, parliament, and presidency of the federal government and less of the international actors. These national issues belong to the realm of dialogue and negotiations among Somali stakeholders, legitimate representatives of all segments of the Somali society with authority and accountability.”
Source: Hiiraan Online