Somalia: Call for sanctions

The moment of Somalia’s truth has arrived. Farmaajo has crossed the Rubicon and declared all war against the Provisional Constitution, the principles of federalism and the exercise of democracy.

He has enlisted Somalia in an axis of autocracy that now stretches across the Horn of Africa from the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea. And before the injury he inflicts becomes irreparable, he must be stopped.

Sanctions are the last chance for the international community to prevent Somalia from falling back into civil war.

There is already more than sufficient justification for declaring Somalia’s functioning government unconstitutional, withdrawing recognition and suspending its membership of the United Nations, the African Union, IGAD and other multilateral bodies.

President Farmaajo, NISA chief Fahad Yasin, Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Mursal, should be appointed individually for targeted measures, including travel bans and asset freezes.

The regime’s mouthpieces Mohamed Abdirisak and Osman Dubbe, acting foreign ministers and information, respectively, should also be considered for listing.

A mechanism is already in place to implement targeted measures by the UN Security Council. According to Resolution 1844 (2008), any person or entity “engaging in or providing support for actions that threaten Somalia’s peace, security or stability” is eligible for appointment.

In 2011, the UNSCR 2002 extended the scope of “threats to peace and security” to include “misuse of financial resources that undermine [Federal Institutions’] ability to meet their obligations ”. Farmaajo’s constitutional coup undoubtedly threatens Somalia’s peace and security in itself, but the Council

should consider issuing specific language in a new resolution or presidential declaration to make its intentions unmistakably clear.

The African Union also has an obligation to act. Article 28E (e) of the AU Malabo Protocol (2014) prohibits any “amendment or revision of the Constitution or legal instruments which is a violation of the principles of democratic government change or is incompatible with the Constitution” as a constitutional amendment government.

The decision by Somalia’s lower house to illegally extend Farmaajo’s term of office by two years over the Upper House protests clearly meets this legal test.

Sanctions are primarily intended as a preventive measure, not a punishment. By reaffirming the will of the international community to reverse the Farmaajo coup and restore constitutional rule and democracy to Somalia, sanctions would signal to the country’s opposition forces that a peaceful path to political transition is still possible.

Without this kind of security, Somalia’s international partners condemn a nation and its people to yet another cycle of bloody civil conflict.


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