A Five-Point Plan for Addressing the Political Crisis in Somalia

As statements pour in from International Partners and various politicians from Federal and State levels, Somalia’s opaque future has approached what may be its most crucial junction in recent years.

Article Keydmedia Online
A Five-Point Plan for Addressing the Political Crisis in Somalia

The political climate in Somalia, seldom described as stable, has been steady in maintaining bare minimum consensus that has weathered the storm and driven the country to push forward. In the past two decades, the country was overcoming political and clan-based violence, with most leaders shoring their differences on the table and compromising towards a united, democratic, and peaceful Somalia. However, with the willingness to reach consensus abating and the country’s leaders in constant public disputation, the political deadlock has now transgressed into illegal, unconstitutional and immoral attempts at holding on to relevancy beyond the designated term for the current administration in Villa Somalia.

Despite the incessant tactical delays and the lack of objective-oriented dealings in respect to foreign and internal politics, much of the country’s meliorism was evident in their tolerance, remaining hopeful of the impending road to the 2021 Elections. However, the current administration has translated ‘tolerance’ into complicity as alarming events signaling the outgoing administrations obstinate efforts to remain in power fell on deaf ears. 

Moreover, red flags became more apparent as the nation’s Armed Forces and politicians were slowly weaponized to promote the outgoing administrations’ self-serving rhetoric with the intention of gaining public traction to influence legislations and parliamentary decisions. An enabling factor for this were the stakeholders' collective silence and incohesive condemnation throughout the years which ultimately paved the way for the current unlawful two-year extension despite clear statements issued by international partners and the Security Council. 

As Somalia enters a crossroad of options that could just as easily derail decades of what we’ve come to define as hard-won gains, our options remain limited. Although limited, we must protect the democracy that has availed us with the opportunity of a choice, for democracy supersedes the jingoistic cries of sovereignty against foreign interference, when in its true essence the statements and press releases of international partners regarding the unlawful extension merely seek to protect their foreign interests, something we have failed to provide Somalia.

Clearly, Farmajo’s hostility and outright defiance to retain power has reached beyond acceptable. As a concerned citizen, it is my sincere belief that the following options could move the country beyond the current crisis: 

  1. Given the fluidity of today’s political environment, the situation at hand has enabled confrontational policies aimed to ‘kill and silence’ the truths of political adversaries, the International Community and all opposing views. With freedom of speech and democracy under imminent threat, the Somali public are at risk of greater conflict. The single priority above an agreed electoral process is securing the nation, particularly the capital to maintain a semblance of order to prevent any potential act of violence by the incumbent.
  2. As election stakeholders, we must collectively, while adhering to the Provisional Constitution, single out the spoilers particularly those with advantages, leverage or a mandate to gain from a stymied electoral process. I further emphasize our moral and civic obligation to refrain from contributing to a failed process and unite against the current front.
  3. Subsequently, while dually protecting Somalia’s foreign interest and affairs, the International Community should move past empty threats and strongly worded statements without consequence and should further be held accountable for complicity and enabling behavior when failing to take action.
  4. Restoration of confidence and trust among the stakeholders is vital to move forward, to reset and return to the pre-September 17 conditions and ensure all stakeholders approach the process in good faith. For Somalis, we must recognize the disastrous consequences of inaction and demand an end to the political bickering pursued by the illegitimate occupant at the State House.
  5. Upon identifying the spoilers and opening dialogues to restore confidence and good faith, one final round of political negotiations with stakeholders including the leaders of the FMS, Coalition of Presidential Candidates, traditional elders, civil society, and with limited authority, the cabinet of this administration. This time, all stakeholders and the public must have full access to the proceedings and outcome of the negotiations to provide the utmost transparency for the sake of accountability, which should include an electoral roadmap with clear deadlines, strict timetables and public commitment from all stakeholders to adhere to all agreed points.

This five-point plan can be a good start for all parties with the International Partners provision of the necessary assistance through shuttle diplomacy and to guarantee sanctions against potential spoilers. With that guarantee, I believe this renewed negotiation can reset the situation and break the stalemate given that parties are coming to the table in good faith.

Dr. Abdinasir Abdille Mohamed, is currently standing for Somalia presidency 2021. He can be reached at Abdinasir.m919@gmail.com

Article 21 May 2021 10:14

I read your article on Foreign Policy with keen eyes and interest. While whining from public officials does not deserve response from any sensible citizen of the Republic of Somalia, I felt compelled to counter false narrative with more objective analysis.