H.E. President Mohamed A. Mohamed Farmaajo’s presidency is crumbling at an exponential speed. He has no one else to blame but himself. Sadly, he is not only loosing political authority but he is loosing the legitimacy to continue being the president. And that could have serious national security implications for the country.
For the first time in many years, the Somali people in Mogadishu had armed confrontations against the security forces of the federal government with deadly consequences.
The attack on the ministry of defense and the mortars fired at Villa Somalia were not the works of Al Shabab. This is a very dangerous new development and it cannot continue.
Unfortunately, president Farmaajo seems confused and incapable of taking any meaningful political decisions. However, in the event that he wants his presidency to last longer than the last few politically rocky months, it is imperative that he takes the following steps immediately:
Establish a new inclusive government
The corrupt prime minister and the mediocre cabinet he appointed should be replaced with an inclusive national government that is capable of securing the whole country.
The aspiration of the Somali people for a transformational political change should be rekindled and restored.
The national reconciliation processes should be reinitiated as soon as possible so that political grievance among Somalis could be resolved in a peaceful manner that is sustainable.
The president should recognize the urgency of creating true power and resource sharing national political formula. He cannot continue appointing his family and friends to high government positions.
The president should take stronger, hands-on leadership role and speed up the establishment of local, democratically elected administration for the Banadir region. Political marginalization of the Somali people in the region ought to stop and they should have the right to choose their own mayors and governor just like the rest of the country.
An equable power and resource sharing formula should be adopted and implemented immediately
The process of federalization and democratization should be inclusive and just not a one man show circus.
The president must terminate the dangerous appointment of Zakariya; former head of Al Shabab’s Amniyat as the “chief of intelligence” of the National Security and Intelligence Agency (NISA). The idea of Al Shabab running NISA is not only detrimental to the moral of the men and women of NISA that have been putting their lives on the line in order to defeat Al Shabab, but is also very dangerous and reckless.
The demolition of the Somali National Army (SNA) by splitting it into clan militias with no centralized national command and control structures should stop immediately.
The destructive and politically dangerous attempt to selectively disarm the Somali people in Mogadishu without the government first providing them sufficient security should be abandoned immediately. There must be a nation-wide political agreement for disarming civilians legally and in a fair manner.
President Farmaajo and his government should stop grabbing land and removing people forcefully from their houses. There must be a negotiated political settlement first before land issues could be resolved. More importantly, government actions, security or otherwise must be applied equally to the entire nation and not selectively to Mogadishu alone.
Fahad Yasin is becoming a serious national security distraction. Hence, president Farmaajo should release him from all political role that he holds in his office. He should also be removed from Villa Somalia completely.
Somali foreign policy should be guided by the sole objective of achieving what serves the best national security interests of the country at any given time. Personal greed and myopic clan and group interests must not be part of the considerations.
Unfortunately, the conflict between some of our brotherly Arab countries has serious political, economic and security implications for our country. Ideally, we should not take a side, however, the situation is far from ideal and the best Somali national security interests of our country is served by standing with Saudi/UAE alliance.
The Turkish/Somali relations should be maintained to the extend that our national security interests with Saudi/UAE alliance is not impacted negatively.
The principle of “Zo conflict” with our immediate neighbors and the world at large must be at the heart of Somali foreign and security policies. Cooperation, collective security and open economic trade relations with our neighbors should be established.
The president should send a strong political signal speeding up the gradual withdrawal of AMISOM from Somalia and creation of robust Somali national security systems.
By Mukhtar Ainashe