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19-01-2021 - - 0 comments
A GRAND STRATEGIC PLAN TO RESIST THE IMMINENT PERIL OF A NEW DICTATORSHIP IN SOMALIA

This is the first of a series of essays aimed to warn off people about the impending peril of a new dictatorship and to put forth ideas for organizing strong resistance against the Farmaajo regime. When the issues at stake are fundamental, affecting principles of human freedom and democracy or the political and constitutional development of our country, negotiations do not provide a way of reaching a mutually satisfactory solution with a man intent on becoming a dictator.

This is not to say that negotiations ought to never be used. The point here is that negotiations are not a realistic way to remove a power-hungry dictator. As our history proves, a dictator or an aspiring dictator like Farmaajo, can only be removed through an exceptionally strong popular opposition or, if that fails, a decisive struggle in which the power of the dictator has been effectively destroyed. That is not where our country and its people should want to go or ought to be going at this point in our history but, I am afraid, it may well be where we are headed.

CRISIS OF LEGITIMACY

"Crisis" is an overused term, one that has been cheapened as a result. But we can be sure that it aptly describes the looming constitutional crisis of legitimacy that Somalia faces as Farmaaja's term comes to an end in about three weeks' time, with no political common ground as to what happens next. A constitutional crisis can lead to the loss of political legitimacy, governmental paralysis and eventual collapse, or even to civil war.

Why are we here? We're here because of a spaghetti plate of deceit, machinations, and bungling by Mr. Farmaaja's regime that led to the inexcusable failure to plan and prepare for elections to facilitate a peaceful and democratic transfer of power. He also scuppered the 17 September Agreement which was endorsed by the Federal Government, all Federal Member States and both houses of Parliament, as well as the political opposition.

It is in this context that the novice Prime Minister, Mr. Mohamed Hussein Roble accompanied by three regional presidents, has announced last week that his government will go ahead and conduct elections in the three regions whose leaders were in attendance. The President of Galmudug State, Mr. Ahmed Abdi Kaariye (AKA Qoor Qoor), also spoke at the event justifying the reasons for conducting these partial elections. The decision, of course, is made by none other than Mr. Farmaajo himself.

I shall present below a full verbatim transcription of the spoken statements by these two gentlemen, followed by my analysis. We don't need to do an ideological analysis of this rash decision as Mr. Farmaajo has, ever since he came to power, set forth a clear-cut and unambiguous case of spoiler political doctrine. But we shall do an armor-piercing political analysis on it. With words, not bombs indeed.

First, here's what the Prime Minister, Mr. Roble, had to say:

"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful: I want to share with all the Somali people that in these last days the government has put in a lot of effort in resolving the divergent views around the elections by some FMSs and other politicians. As Prime Minister, when I asked [obtained] a confidence vote from parliament, I promised to lead the country through peaceful and inclusive elections.

In the meeting I had with the President of Galmudug State Mr. Ahmed Abdi Kaariye in Gaalka'yo, I requested him to play a [mediating] role in the talks aimed at resolving the issues voiced by the FMSs of Puntland and Jubbaland. I have said repeatedly that my door is open for whoever has any issues, and that I am always prepared to consider the divergent views concerning the implementation of the (17 September) Agreement and its terms and elements. Equally, my visits to [FMSs] South West, Puntland and Galmudug were all part of the efforts I made to ensure that we take the country into an election, and that all issues are resolved amicably. 

What is important for the Somali people today is to strengthen their state-building processes and to ensure that the progress made in the past few years are sustained. To ensure that a transparent election takes place in every four years, we do have to stand together all of us to strengthen the democratic culture of our country.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, the Federal Government of Somalia has made a decision to begin holding the elections so as not to waste any more of our people's time, and to avoid any issues that can derail the electoral Agreement that was reached in Mogadishu on 17 September 2020.

Thank you very much. Wabillaahi Towfiiq [All success comes from Allah], Wasalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu."

Here's what the President of Galmudug State, Mr. Qoor Qoor, had to say:

"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful: I want to share with the Somali people and all parties interested in the elections with the latest [information] and the efforts made recently regarding the resolution of the concerns surrounding the electoral agreement that was concluded in Mogadishu on 17 September 2020. It is thus important to obtain information and [to] report on the efforts made recently.

As you all know, there were talks about finding a common ground on issues related to the election that I was involved in the past few weeks in Galka'yo, Garoowe, and Mogadishu with a view to harmonizing the divergent views regarding the [best] way to take the country's elections forward. Based on this, I have requested the Federal Election Committee to postpone the election timeline for a while to give an opportunity [and the space] for the resolution of the concerns voiced by Puntland and Jubbaland FMSs and the other politicians.

Subsequently, I have had talks that went on for days with my friends the Presidents of Puntland and Jubbaland, Said Deni and Ahmed Madoobe. I thank them for agreeing that we work together to find a common ground on the divergent views around the elections, [so that] the elections will take place in their own time. I specifically thank President said Deni who agreed with me that we should find a resolution to these divergent positions.

The reason for my taking this role was because that we do not abandon the electoral agreement that was reached in Mogadishu on 17 September 2020. This agreement was preceded by the outcomes of the initiatives hosted by Galmudug State in Dhuusamareeb 1, 2, and 3. My sense of responsibility was not to close the door on negotiations, and to resolve in a spirit of goodwill and Soomaalinimo all the concerns surrounding the [17 September] Agreement.

When I met the leaders of Puntland and Jubbaland and the other parties last week at the gathering in Garoowe, they have notably accepted the mediation role that we [Galmudug State] assumed and, as the Somali people are mainly aware, they have presented me with three issues that they wanted to be put into effect by the leaders of the FGS and the other parties to resolve the concerns they had about the elections. I then returned to Mogadishu where I met the President of FGS Mr. Mohamed Abdullaahi Farmaajo, and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Rooble.

Afterwards, I responded to President Sacid Deni and to President Ahmed Madoobe and to the other parties that had concerns about the decision of the leaders of the FGS regarding the elections. [The idea was] to move forward from where we currently are and to hold elections in the country that take place in their own time and in a spirit of consensus.

I want to make it clear here that there's still no response from my friends, the leaders of Puntland and Jubbaland and the other parts [vis-à-vis] my mediation and the acceptable outcome and compromise shown by the FGS leaders.   

I want to share with the Somali people and all parties interested in the elections that the Galmudug Federal Member State has done all that it could do to help facilitate in finding a mutually agreeable electoral system [with a view] to advancing the state-building and democratization of Somalia. [We are doing this to help the country] not waste more time and to hold the elections in their own time so that we can avoid a [constitutional] vacuum."

My analysis of the above two statements will be presented next. Stay tunedThis is the first of a series of essays aimed to warn off people about the impending peril of a new dictatorship and to put forth ideas for organizing strong resistance against the Farmaajo regime. When the issues at stake are fundamental, affecting principles of human freedom and democracy or the political and constitutional development of our country, negotiations do not provide a way of reaching a mutually satisfactory solution with a man intent on becoming a dictator.

This is not to say that negotiations ought to never be used. The point here is that negotiations are not a realistic way to remove a power-hungry dictator. As our history proves, a dictator or an aspiring dictator like Farmaajo, can only be removed through an exceptionally strong popular opposition or, if that fails, a decisive struggle in which the power of the dictator has been effectively destroyed. That is not where our country and its people should want to go or ought to be going at this point in our history but, I am afraid, it may well be where we are headed.

CRISIS OF LEGITIMACY

"Crisis" is an overused term, one that has been cheapened as a result. But we can be sure that it aptly describes the looming constitutional crisis of legitimacy that Somalia faces as Farmaaja's term comes to an end in about three weeks' time, with no political common ground as to what happens next. A constitutional crisis can lead to the loss of political legitimacy, governmental paralysis and eventual collapse, or even to civil war.

Why are we here? We're here because of a spaghetti plate of deceit, machinations, and bungling by Mr. Farmaaja's regime that led to the inexcusable failure to plan and prepare for elections to facilitate a peaceful and democratic transfer of power. He also scuppered the 17 September Agreement which was endorsed by the Federal Government, all Federal Member States and both houses of Parliament, as well as the political opposition.

It is in this context that the novice Prime Minister, Mr. Mohamed Hussein Roble accompanied by three regional presidents, has announced last week that his government will go ahead and conduct elections in the three regions whose leaders were in attendance. The President of Galmudug State, Mr. Ahmed Abdi Kaariye (AKA Qoor Qoor), also spoke at the event justifying the reasons for conducting these partial elections. The decision, of course, is made by none other than Mr. Farmaajo himself.

I shall present below a full verbatim transcription of the spoken statements by these two gentlemen, followed by my analysis. We don't need to do an ideological analysis of this rash decision as Mr. Farmaajo has, ever since he came to power, set forth a clear-cut and unambiguous case of spoiler political doctrine. But we shall do an armor-piercing political analysis on it. With words, not bombs indeed.

First, here's what the Prime Minister, Mr. Roble, had to say:

"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful: I want to share with all the Somali people that in these last days the government has put in a lot of effort in resolving the divergent views around the elections by some FMSs and other politicians. As Prime Minister, when I asked [obtained] a confidence vote from parliament, I promised to lead the country through peaceful and inclusive elections.

In the meeting I had with the President of Galmudug State Mr. Ahmed Abdi Kaariye in Gaalka'yo, I requested him to play a [mediating] role in the talks aimed at resolving the issues voiced by the FMSs of Puntland and Jubbaland. I have said repeatedly that my door is open for whoever has any issues, and that I am always prepared to consider the divergent views concerning the implementation of the (17 September) Agreement and its terms and elements. Equally, my visits to [FMSs] South West, Puntland and Galmudug were all part of the efforts I made to ensure that we take the country into an election, and that all issues are resolved amicably. 

What is important for the Somali people today is to strengthen their state-building processes and to ensure that the progress made in the past few years are sustained. To ensure that a transparent election takes place in every four years, we do have to stand together all of us to strengthen the democratic culture of our country.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, the Federal Government of Somalia has made a decision to begin holding the elections so as not to waste any more of our people's time, and to avoid any issues that can derail the electoral Agreement that was reached in Mogadishu on 17 September 2020.

Thank you very much. Wabillaahi Towfiiq [All success comes from Allah], Wasalaamu alaykum wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuhu."

Here's what the President of Galmudug State, Mr. Qoor Qoor, had to say:

"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful: I want to share with the Somali people and all parties interested in the elections with the latest [information] and the efforts made recently regarding the resolution of the concerns surrounding the electoral agreement that was concluded in Mogadishu on 17 September 2020. It is thus important to obtain information and [to] report on the efforts made recently.

As you all know, there were talks about finding a common ground on issues related to the election that I was involved in the past few weeks in Galka'yo, Garoowe, and Mogadishu with a view to harmonizing the divergent views regarding the [best] way to take the country's elections forward. Based on this, I have requested the Federal Election Committee to postpone the election timeline for a while to give an opportunity [and the space] for the resolution of the concerns voiced by Puntland and Jubbaland FMSs and the other politicians.

Subsequently, I have had talks that went on for days with my friends the Presidents of Puntland and Jubbaland, Said Deni and Ahmed Madoobe. I thank them for agreeing that we work together to find a common ground on the divergent views around the elections, [so that] the elections will take place in their own time. I specifically thank President said Deni who agreed with me that we should find a resolution to these divergent positions.

The reason for my taking this role was because that we do not abandon the electoral agreement that was reached in Mogadishu on 17 September 2020. This agreement was preceded by the outcomes of the initiatives hosted by Galmudug State in Dhuusamareeb 1, 2, and 3. My sense of responsibility was not to close the door on negotiations, and to resolve in a spirit of goodwill and Soomaalinimo all the concerns surrounding the [17 September] Agreement.

When I met the leaders of Puntland and Jubbaland and the other parties last week at the gathering in Garoowe, they have notably accepted the mediation role that we [Galmudug State] assumed and, as the Somali people are mainly aware, they have presented me with three issues that they wanted to be put into effect by the leaders of the FGS and the other parties to resolve the concerns they had about the elections. I then returned to Mogadishu where I met the President of FGS Mr. Mohamed Abdullaahi Farmaajo, and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Rooble.

Afterwards, I responded to President Sacid Deni and to President Ahmed Madoobe and to the other parties that had concerns about the decision of the leaders of the FGS regarding the elections. [The idea was] to move forward from where we currently are and to hold elections in the country that take place in their own time and in a spirit of consensus.

I want to make it clear here that there's still no response from my friends, the leaders of Puntland and Jubbaland and the other parts [vis-à-vis] my mediation and the acceptable outcome and compromise shown by the FGS leaders.   

I want to share with the Somali people and all parties interested in the elections that the Galmudug Federal Member State has done all that it could do to help facilitate in finding a mutually agreeable electoral system [with a view] to advancing the state-building and democratization of Somalia. [We are doing this to help the country] not waste more time and to hold the elections in their own time so that we can avoid a [constitutional] vacuum."

My analysis of the above two statements will be presented next. Stay tuned.

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