Somalia: Another Setback for Farmajo as Hawiye Clan Elders Reject Presidential Tenure Extension

Somalia president Farmajo is a protégé of late Dictator Said Barre

Somalilandsun: The  Golaha Midnimada (unity council) Hawiye has passed a resolution rejecting the President Farmajo’s two term extension.

The council which is composed of influential Hawiye Clan traditional elders made their position publicly known during a meeting in Mogadishu where over 400 dedelegate participated among them 2 former presidents, immediate past  PM , opposition politicians, youth & women representatives

After the meeting Mohamed Hassan Haad, the chairman of the Hawiye Clan Unity council  stated that , “Since we represent a large section of the society, we see the action taken by the lower chamber of parliament  as contrary to the unity and fraternity of the Somali people.”

Similar sentiments have also been expressed jointly by Somalia’s international partners,

In a series of coordinated statements, the US, UK and the European Union said they will consider “changing” the nature of relations with Somalia, falling short of threatening sanctions

The saga which might end up poorly for Somalia as country and the federal governent by the IC partners mainly behind …… and security came to the fore after Somalia’s lower house of Parliament  passed a motion extending  the  mandate of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo  by  two years..

The term of President Farmajo and his administration expired on the 8th of February that despite all efforts saw him postpone indefinitely, elections slated for the same date in which  challengers including two former heads of state and a PM had established a coalition to ensure his defeat.

The motion was endorsed by 149 MPs in a House of 275. It was not tabled before the Senate,the upper chamber of parliament,  as is tradition and President Farmaajo promptly endorsed its passage. It went against the call by donors, partners and opposition groups; all of who opposed term extension, and  elections  delays.

Apart from the acrimony exacerbating term extension the motion also effectively shut down talks on how to conduct an indirect election as agreed on earlier, crossing one of the red lines established by donors on the electoral model

“This is not a solution to the ongoing impasse on the electoral process, but instead a move that undermines the credibility of Somalia’s leadership and risks the safety and future of the Somali people, a joint Somalia international partners statement read.

In reaction James Duddridge, the UK’s Minister for Africa. Said “In the absence of consensus leading to inclusive and credible elections being held without further delay, the international community’s relationship with Somalia’s leadership will change.

Adding that the UK will work with its international partners on a common approach to re-evaluate our relationship and the nature of our assistance to Somalia.”

“The European Union believes that the passage and signing of this resolution will divide Somalia, impose additional delays and constitute a grave threat to the peace and stability of Somalia and its neighbours. It certainly does not serve the interests of the people of Somalia,” said Josep Borrell, the EU High Representative.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US will “re-evaluate” bilateral relations with Somalia if the President forces through the extension.

“We have also made clear that the United States does not support mandate extensions without broad support from Somalia’s political stakeholders, nor does the United States support parallel or partial electoral processes.

“Implementation of this bill will pose serious obstacles to dialogue and further undermine peace and security in Somalia. It will compel the United States to re-evaluate our bilateral relations with the Federal Government of Somalia, to include diplomatic engagement and assistance, and to consider all available tools, including sanctions and visa restrictions, to respond to efforts to undermine peace and stability.”

Upon oficial proclamation of the bill even before being approved by the Senate President Mohamed Farmaajo said “the  bill restored power to the people” not to mention that it is entirely internal to Somalia” thus  cautioned against outside-foreign interference.

“All government agencies shall carry out their mandate using diplomatic terms and principles without tolerating outside interference,” Villa Somalia, the president’s official residence in Mogadishu said.

From the 8th February when the opposition politicians fronted National Salvation Forum declared the incumbency of the president  illegal, subsequent missed elections reconciliation opportunities,  the opposition by three major clans of Hawiye , Majertern and Ogaden , the outcry by Somalia’s International backers, Farmajo seems perturbed.

Thus the Saga of illegal tenure , election impasse and insecurity  in Somalia  continues