EDITORIAL: Somalia’s international partner sets it up to fail
EDITORIAL | Somalia was expected on Tuesday to be the subject of an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council, which ended a curious event in the last decade in which Mogadishu has appeared on the UN’s top body as an urgent matter, at least once a year.
But this happened when President President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo invited federal heads of state for one last effort to discuss electoral support, the reason Mogadishu has come to an intersection.
If FMS leaders accept Farmajo and go to Garowe, Northeastern State, for the February 15 meeting; there may be a new hope that the country can finally move forward and hold acceptable elections at a pleasant time. But there are questions about his status as president and whether, after completing his constitutional four years in office, he can still call leaders for a meeting. Opposition groups called for a changeover.
In response to Villa Somalia’s statement, Northeastern State said in a statement that there was no consultation on the meeting that Farmajo called for in Garowe and suggested that talks be held in Mogadishu with the participation of all political stakeholders and the international community.
Norway has quickly welcomed news of a new round of talks in Garowe, a step that shows division and the international partners failed to issue a strongly worded statement to reprimand Farmajo for his lack of commitment to reach agreement on the electoral deadlock.
Farmajo’s moves seem to divert focus to the UN Security Council meeting on Somalia, and fear condemnation of his failure to hold timely elections in the country before his term expires.
Yet this outbreak always came. For the past four years, the international community has mocked the federal government and called for timely elections while adding opponents such as destroyers or crooks.
At the UN Security Council on Tuesday, it was expected that the UN’s most powerful body would demand dialogue, warn against spoilers and call for consensus. You can predict the communication through the individual comments of representatives of Council Member States. The United States and the United Kingdom have been the two most prominent permanent members of the Council in Somalia.
Their ambassadors to Mogadishu have gathered leaders for dialogue and warned of parallel or partial processes. The European Union also expressed the same thing. France, one of the Union’s largest economies, also sits on the Council as a permanent member.
China, another permanent member with great influence in Africa, has chosen to remain silent and follow its tradition of non-interference. Russia, the last of the P-5 has been strangely quiet, but that may be understandable as the Russians have only returned to Horn for the past two years after losing during the Cold War.
In the world of politics, there are shortcomings in keeping quiet or being loud. In Somalia, the loud West seemed to be spoiling the opposition and some federal states. From the outset, they saw their alternative views as intended to limit Somalia’s rise.
Some diplomats even went around warning of serious consequences if leaders did not push for certain decisions. Maybe they meant well, to see where Somalia has come from and where it needs to go.
But Somalia has its own uniqueness. Somalis may quarrel with each other, but they tend to respond to threats from foreigners by becoming brave. It is quite clear, and even Farmajo admits, that the country has been subjected to terrible external interference.
But Farmajo has been actively subjective in accusing some while excluding others. From the beginning, it was the Gulf countries, including Qatar, that bankrolled Farmajo’s 2017 campaigns, or the Saudis or the Emirates who supported their opponents. has used its economic muscles to get nozzles in Somalia for its interest.
Western donors such as the United States and the United Kingdom have their own security and economic interests in the country. Neighbors Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti are trying to protect their interests. And they have done so by seeking allies against others and eventually splitting up the country’s policies.
So while the international community spoiled Farmajo and promised to support his presidency and the war on terror, his indifference to his rivals did not help. And certainly the continuous underestimation of the opposition and the strength of federal states did not help either.
In the end, Farmajo’s promises failed. Somalia has no permanent constitution that could have steered a transition and a solution to a crisis like what the country is facing now.
It does not even have a constitutional court that helps interpret what the law says or what law should work here. Sometime in September, Parliament adopted a proposal that delayed the established departures until new leaders were voted on.
What Parliament did not clarify is how it affects four years. In ordinary laws, jurisdictions are supreme laws and precede all parliamentary laws. In Somalia? It’s chaotic. Why did the international community not help draft laws without ambiguity? Why did not the international community take the president to sign a law that did not help a situation? They watched as he protected himself and knew that a failed election before his term would allow him to be indefinite.
The UN Security Council can issue statements or disapprove of the situation. And the Somalis can blame themselves for wasting four years on their hands. But the international community, including those who fund Somalia’s recovery program, may need to look at themselves in the mirror and admit mistakes one day.
This editorial has been recently updated to add more information that emerged at the time of writing.