Unleashing the Full Potential of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s DFS Reforms: A Comprehensive Review of Progress.

The Federal Government of Somalia under President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has faced political, economic, and security challenges threatening the stability of the Federal Republic of Somalia (FRS). These challenges include:

1. Escalating Al Shabaab threats in the first phase of Hirshabelle and Galmudug regions with global alarm following the first phase’s Al Shabaab attack. International Crisis Group’s findings support this by stating that DFS and Regional Governments are unable to defeat Al Shabaab due to their evolving tactics. Professor Paul D. Williams’ study “The Somali National Army Versus Al Shabaab – A Net Assessment” suggests that Al Shabaab will not be easily defeated, posing a lingering threat.

2. Somalia’s slow state-building process, which has faced setbacks in fulfilling international expectations, is crucial for effective governance at federal, regional, and local levels, ensuring the legal framework, administration, and justice system functions optimally. Despite adjustments to the federal system, challenges persist daily, affecting progress towards the envisioned federal system urgently.

3. Introduction of African Union Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and limited support in governance, security, and defense functions of the DFS to protect the nation from internal and external threats. The African countries caution Somalia faces substantial risks if African troops withdraw, delaying stabilizing efforts. The US identified Somalia as a level 4 risk with a study from the Emirates Policy Center indicating an expansion of the Islamic State within Northeastern State igniting internal conflicts in Somalia.

4. Economic setbacks due to various crises like drought, Al Shabaab piracy, changing climate, communal conflicts, political divisions, maritime exploitation, feeding debt struggles, leading to governmental issues with defense and peacebuilding expenses increasing.

5. Conflict between Laas Canood and Hargeisa with significant implications for Somalia’s future state-building. This conflict focuses on matters outlined in the Constitution in sections 1 (JFS), 7 (JFS territory), 8 (Somali people), 9 (JFS capital cities), 48 (DFS reconstruction standards), 49 (Regional Government number), and 50 (JFS principles) to uphold unity as per the Federal System.

6. Resolution of the federal constitution review and preparation for legitimate elections is crucial work that requires collective efforts, dedication, tolerance, promptness, and diverse perspectives to navigate possible risks for state-building.

7. Challenges faced by past DG Presidents after their terms ended are in legal limbo until a new regime begins.

8. The influence of Somali politicians on foreign-backed factions has global repercussions affecting DFS’s international relations. Particularly, leadership’s impact on Somalia’s political landscape is paramount.

9. Somali leaders with regional and international political, economic, and security experience require a balance between national and international interests, safeguarding Somali sovereignty.

10. The agreement between Hargeisa (North Western of Somalia) and Ethiopia regarding land, maritime security, and Ethiopia collecting JFS lands has significant implications concerning recognition of Hargeisa’s independence and cooperation for Somali governance.

11. Internal conflicts between DFS leaders and between DFS and Regional Governments impact security and dignity.
12. Conflict among Benadir communities affecting social cohesion and instable governance systems with potential harm to Somali society.
13. The role of UNSOM in monitoring Somalia’s progress requires a pragmatic approach to advance both peacebuilding and state-building initiatives. The economic challenges facing the DFS demand:

(1) Strong leadership understanding Somalia’s challenges and aligning with global goals, upholding the constitution and managing governance effectively, promoting national interests, and

(2) Efficient administration fostering development, implementing government plans, maintaining accountability, and strengthening legal and national elements in Somali state-building. Good governance is essential for Somalia’s leadership stability.

Kenyan President’s call for non-interference in foreign elections is desirable for mutual respect.

Dr. Maxamud M Culusow [email protected]

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