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Somalia: Growing Pessimism on the SFG Direction and Leadership
Monday, 06 January 2014 21:29


SFG President Hassan SheikhSFG President Hassan Sheikh

Somalilandsun -The nature of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's administration is a growing concern for many leaders in Somalia and the region, according to political leaders and Somalia observers. These leaders suspect that the Mogadishu-based government is acting in its own narrow interest, with little regard for the long-term stability of Somalia.

The growing pessimism about the administration has diminished the president's stature within Somalia and with regional leaders, and has negatively impacted his government's efforts, according to senior diplomats.

It is important to point out that, since taking office, the current government in Mogadishu has made little progress on both political and security issues. Instead, the government has wasted valuable time on internal political and clan issues that have exacerbated deep fissures, and is undermining the progress needed to stabilize Somalia. The government's efforts have also alienated clans and sub-clans in Puntland, Somaliland, Galmudug, Hiiraan, Shabelle and Jubaland, as well as the governments of Kenya and Ethiopia, which are concerned about the government's failure to tackle the terrorist groups responsible for the growing violence and instability across Somalia and the Horn of Africa.

Despite mounting failures, some leaders from the international community, regional governments and Somali political leaders were hoping that the selection of a new prime minister and a possible technocratic cabinet could potentially salvage the remaining three years of President Mohamud's term. However, reporting from Mogadishu and discussions with Somalia experts, including some who are advising the government, suggest that the upcoming cabinet will likely not change the current government structure or bring about reforms that are badly needed for tackling growing insecurity, corruption and political paralysis.

According to senior Somali officials, Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed is expected to announce his new government within the next few days. The new cabinet is likely to disappoint many Somalia observers, as well as the international community, and will represent a missed opportunity for the government to show that it is serious about reforms.

Reports indicate that a majority of the new cabinet was selected by the president and his senior staff, with minimal input from the prime minister. The cabinet will probably not include credible political or security experts, academics, opposition figures, or prominent business and Diaspora leaders. Instead, the president is expected to retain four ministers from the recently dismissed government. The selection of the new cabinet is a reflection of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud's micro-management style and clearly demonstrates his administrations failure to understand the many challenges facing Somalia.

FM Fozia retainedFM Fozia retainedThe returning ministers will probably include Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Fawzia Yusuf Hajji Ahmed, Minister of Interior and National Security Abdikarim Hussein Guled, Minister of Defense Abdihakim Mohamoud Haji-Fiqi, and possibly Minister of Information, Posts and Telecommunication Abdullahi Elmoge Hersi.

What is concerning to many Somalia observers is that these ministers played a major role in the previous administration's failures and are not seen as part of the solution. These ministers failed to deliver on the institutional reforms needed to reconstitute credible government agencies and stabilize the country. Other Somalia experts are troubled by the new ministers, which will include many unqualified individuals with little or no political or security experience, former ministers and political opportunists. A majority of the new ministers have no political muster, even within their clans or sub-clans, and are seen as part of an effort by the president and his allies to marginalize growing opposition to his government.

The perception of the Mogadishu-based government is changing drastically. The international community deemed the 2012 Somali elections to be successful, but the election did not resolve the key challenges facing the country. Political grievances and attempts by allies of the president to marginalize opposition political figures, clans and sub-clans from Lower and Middle Shabelle, Hiiraan and Juba have worsened the situation and are exposing and reinforcing deep historical divisions. At the same time, Mogadishu-based political factions allied with the president have been actively undermining the 2012 constitution and are selectively applying the federalism statutes, according to reports. These political conflicts have sparked violence in Central and Southern Somalia, and are bringing about instability and significant security challenges for the government.


The new prime minister and cabinet will likely not have the impact that many Somali observers have hoped for. The new New PM Abdiweli Sh AhmedNew PM Abdiweli Sh Ahmedcabinet is a continuation of the same deficient, inexperienced and corrupt administration, and will do little to address the key challenges facing the government. Humanitarian, political and security conditions will continue to deteriorate across south-central Somalia, as the government will fail to address the growing problems it faces.

Unless the international community imposes significant reforms to define the future political and security structures, and limits the president's unconstitutional power grab, the current Mogadishu-based government will continue to operate the same way and will be a direct threat to the country's nascent democracy, and its actions could potentially slip the country back into the clutches of a dangerous civil war.

Many in Somalia had hoped that Hassan Sheikh Mohamud would bring stability to the country, but after a year in which the al-Shabaab insurgency has grown stronger, the population has grown disillusioned with his administration. Without a political reconciliation process, Somalia will not likely come out of these twenty-plus years of perpetual crisis. The Somali Federal Government needs significant reforms, and its leaders need to sit down and have a dialogue with the political opposition leaders and Somali experts they have sidelined ever since the 2012 elections. The government must widen its umbrella and welcome other groups into the government, or it will face growing internal and external opposition.

This Op-ed was authored by Abshir Yare.

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0 # mohamed cheers 2014-01-07 03:02
The real solutions for the FGS and their peers remains only rpt only between two statehood sovereignty of the Hargeisa and Mogadiscio entities..regar dless of whatever the OP-ed by Abshir Yare. Any other roadmap signatory conflicts are all madness nerve wrecking.
Therefore, let's give a chance to President HSM and his new PM and see how their new tacts play out.
0 # Guest 2014-01-07 03:45
One: Get rid of the interior minister He is ineffective and clannish. He is stoking fire in Lower Shabelle. This Hutu Gidir has to go.

Two: Clean house in Villa Somalia from cronies of this president. Bring in new blood and I am not talking about Damu Jadid.

Three: Take the fight to Al-Shabab in Bay and Bakool, Barawe and also some parts in Hiiraan.

Four: Accountability by the security forces. Any law enforcement agent who breaks the law should be dealt with forcefully and the book thrown at him. Crimes like rape and extortion should not be tolerated.

Five: Independent commission should dig deeper into why Yusur Abrar resigned from the Central Bank. If her allegations are meritless or not, put it out there for all to see, and anyone responsible for misappropriatio n of public funds should be indicted and convicted, including the president. No one is above the law.
-1 # Guest 2014-01-07 10:23
With military might sl will achieve recognition i suggest that the gosl and its people to get pissy on this task thats the only thing these people will respect and fear
+1 # 5 year-old 2014-01-07 11:11
One does not boil salt and expect to get tea out of it. The whole thing went wrong from the beginning, when the international community accepted a so-called government led by warlords, pirates and terrorists.

Like in Puntland, Hassan Sheikh's government has no constituency, because it was not elected but chosen by co0pt individuals, who were paid large sums of money. It has no real security forces, but people who pretend to members of the Somalia army by day and murderous Al-Shabaab at night fall.

Worst of all these so-called Somalia soldiers wage attacks and send their missiles to innocent clans and with the compliments of Hassan Sheikh.

The international community has to rethink their whole Somalia strategy beginning with the recognition of the sovereignty of Somaliland. Somaliland will then solve Somalia's sickening problems.
-2 # 6 year-old 2014-01-07 12:52
Spoken like a 0e infantile. How is Somaliland going to solve Somalia's "sickening problems?". Hutus can't solve their own house problem, how could an Idoor do it for them?

I am Guest above who made the 5 suggestions. Darood can only straighten the mess called Somalia, including your enclave.
-1 # 6 year-old 2014-01-07 12:53
Straighten out the mess, that is.

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