EDITORIAL | Somalia is expected to enter a crucial weekend today for the long-awaited Dhusamareb III meeting. This meeting is expected to know proposals on the election model and end with consensus on the best choice for the country to hold elections on time.
But as the clock ticked towards Saturday, fears arose that the meeting could not happen at all. The reason is a growing distrust between the federal government and the federal member states and other stakeholders.
On Thursday, various Somalia partners had raised concerns about the need to work towards holding the conference. The US Embassy observed, for example, that Somalia would be in a better position if it held elections in time without any extension of the established terms of office. The embassy emphasized the need for broad-based consultations.
We agree with the views of many of these partners, not because they pump lots of money into Somalia, but because history will teach us that consultations have been the only savior in the country every time it came into or approached chaos.
Prior to the Dhusamareb III meeting, we note that there are major risks for the country if the meeting fails. Many stakeholders have warned of a possible political crisis if elections are delayed. Today, we urge that it would be better for participants to disagree on decisions rather than refusing to come together at all.
This is because the meeting itself is likely to be a ventilation arena for views. In short, expressed ideas are more likely to create consensus than when the parties feel frustrated, gagged or even ignored.
And this is where President Mohamed Farmajoo’s leading role comes in. It’s no secret that many of the things the president’s government promised have fallen through. There is insufficient security, and certainly Al-Shabaab has grown more among us and has become an inherent threat.
And while his government may claim to have returned Somalia to readability to get credit, the political path in the country has sort of stuck. There is no new constitution and the country has withdrawn from holding universal suffrage despite the promise at the start of his administration.
Aware of these shortcomings, the president quickly endorsed a vote of no confidence in the lower house of then-Somali Prime Minister Hassan Khaire on July 25, whom he accused of risking his legacy.
So what should I do now? History teaches us that we get worse if we do nothing. But the president as the country’s leader must lead from the front. It is obvious that the country’s inability to achieve any of the above issues can also be blamed on other parties: federal states fought, political parties stayed aloof for too long, and the international partners were initially detached from reality to push to the Unattainable.
But now we have a chance. The Dhusamareb meeting became the first Damascus moment for most politicians starting with the president. He and others agreed to meet for the first time in a year and agreed to form a joint committee on election models.
It is certainly only wise that the president sticks to the end. Some of his spokesmen have argued that the mistrust has been driven by federal heads of state who have kept moving goal posts. That could be true. But the president can show us the culprit by doing what the public hopes he supports the Dhusamareb conference in terms of the public interest.
There are many leaders all over the world who made mistakes but turned around in their assessment to lead their followers to prosperity. We believe that the Somalis’ demand is not to impose qualities beyond the capabilities of the President. But they are asking for simple things that can help the country move forward.
This is why we urge the President to take the lead. The ball is destined in his hands to save the country from chaos. History writers will tell the world whether Farmaajo saved a situation or made it worse. Maybe he can pick a favorable side, people side.