Venal TFIs leaders shouldn’t be allowed to privatize Somalia’s sovereignty

Mr. Mohamud M Uluso - After seven years, the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) that formed the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) have irreversibly morphed into the property of three venal leaders used by foreign powers, particularly Ethiopia.
Article Keydmedia Online
Venal TFIs leaders shouldn’t be allowed  to privatize Somalia’s sovereignty

Today, TFI leaders speak and act only for compliance with foreign power dictates and for their personal political interests. In Q & A session moderated by Universal TV in collaboration with the Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD), President Sheikh Sharif tried to justify this contemptible situation and stated that the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) did not consult with TFG on the Roadmap and did not give time to review the list of participants of the conference.

Yet, he said, “he had no choice but to go with the flow, so he would not be blamed as peace spoiler” and candidate for removal from office. That self preservation and pecuniary consideration is why TFIs leaders are sycophant defenders and spokesmen of foreign powers contrary to the ethos of political leaders of sovereign country.

All these have made the TFIs as private Institutions with no accountability to the people of Somalia. Venal TFI’s leaders shouldn’t be allowed to privatize Somalia’s sovereignty.

Before the publicly opposed Roadmap and the Garowe Document labeled “Garowe Principles” have formalized the official transformation of TFIs into privately owned Institutions, there were series of political events which led to the present reality.

The key events for the personalization of political power in Somalia are the Aden Declaration between President Abdullahi Yusuf and Speaker Sharif Hassan, the Baidoa Agreements between President Abdullahi Yusuf and his Prime Ministers- Prof Ali Mohamed Ghedi and Col. Nur Hassan Hussein a.k.a. Nur Adde, the Addis Ababa Agreement between TFG and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama, the ignoble 2008 Djibouti Agreement between TFG and Alliance for Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS), which unconstitutionally extended TFG term, inflated the Somali parliament from 275 to 550 MPs and ushered in President Sheikh Sharif, the Galkaio and Nairobi Agreements between TFG and Puntland, the Kampala Accord between President Sheikh Sharif and Speaker Sharif Hassan.

All those agreements were contrary to the spirit and letter of the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) and detrimental to the unity and harmony of the Somali society. Now the reform of parliament from 550 to 225 MPs is seen as major achievement while the layoff of 325 MPs without proper deliberation would be a real nightmare for the internal politics of Somalia.

It is travesty to entrust with the failed leaders the responsibility of both ending the TFG transition period and starting a new one.

Ethiopia was the architect and key player of all those events. The 2002-2004 Somalia’s peace process in Kenya was its groundwork to thwart any effort of rebuilding a sovereign State in Somalia. In that process, Ethiopia appropriated the approval power of Somali political leadership.

It became the sole interpreter and arbitrator of any dispute within the TFIs. Contrary to the public statements, diplomatic, military and intelligent officers of Ethiopia assigned to keep in line TFIs leaders whisper and divulge  among Somalis fabricated messages of misdirection, intimidation, promises, and confusion for chaos, mistrust and control. 

Hence, it is foolish to believe that Ethiopia, a country governed with tyrannical violence, would help Somalia to enjoy reconciliation, freedom, justices, and democratic values. Former US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in 1991, Ambassador Herman Cohen, who facilitated the victory of Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) led by PM Meles Zenawi over the Derg Regime of Col Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991, said days ago that present regime of Meles is no different from the Derg military of Mengistu.

This is an indicting judgment against PM Meles leadership.

The regime of PM Meles Zenawi firmly operates on the belief that  Somalis lack sense of nationalistic culture and their politics is solely and exclusively based on clan logic.# Based on this settled view, the regime suggests that it is enough to ask the clan affiliation of any Somali to understand his or her political interests and preferences.

To proof that point, Ethiopia pushes the imposition of federal or confederate system of governance based on clans (building blocks) on Somalia. It also instigates the creation of clan states, groups and conferences like the Taleh (Dhulbahante) Conference. For malicious purpose, it argues in the international diplomatic circles that since Sheikh Hassan opposes Sheikh Sharif, the Ayr/Habar Gedir sub clan opposes Abgal/Mudullod purely on clan allegiance to Sheikh Hassan and by extension Ayr/Habar Gedir is guilt by association with Al Shabab.

On the other hand, It has shortchanged politically and militarily the Ayr/Habar Gedir forces fighting against Al Shabab in Galgudud and other places for its ulterior political motives. The vehement creation of scary boogeyman called Ayr/Habar Gedir sub clan for cover up of Ethiopia’s hegemonic interests in Somalia started with the Djibouti peace process and the election of President Abdulqasim Hassan.

Ethiopian Ambassador to UK, Berhanu Kebede  made that strategy public in his letter to Guardian on May 2,  2007.# Therefore, the clan exploitation by Ethiopia for hegemonic goal is part of Somalia conflict drivers.  

Former Somaliland Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mohamed Sheikh Hassan#  has revealed that Ethiopia’s single interest in Somaliland was centered on the capturing or “kidnapping” of dissident elements for security claims. That kind of relationship exists between Puntland and Ethiopia. TFG and other Somali entities are all satellites of Ethiopia.

It is reasonable to assume that the International Community’s decision to support financially and diplomatically Ethiopia’s strategy towards Somalia and the overriding consideration of the persecution of war on terror over Somalia’s political necessity would prolong Somalia’s instability, depopulation and social poverty.

To maintain Ethiopia’s exclusive control over Somalia, on December 23, 2011, PM Meles met with a joint US delegation from State and Defense Departments led by Mr. Karl Wycoff, deputy Assistant Secretary for African Affairs and  requested support on the following positions:

(1) That IGAD and AU are the foundation for Somalia.

(2) That “proliferation of international initiatives or ad hoc efforts” must be avoided. Every initiative must first be cleared with IGAD for endorsement.

(3) That Eritrea should be isolated and punished for its destabilization of Somalia.

(4) That Somali people and TFG are required to focus on the implementation of the ‘rejected’ roadmap because it is the only viable solution.

(5) That Humanitarian and logistical Assistance for the people of Somalia and for the TFG must be harmonized with the regional packages and international procedures. According to Ethiopia, the delegation expressed the readiness of US Administration to work closely with IGAD on the  abovementioned positions.

This US commitment conceded for its role of strategic partner in the region would embolden the Ethiopian interferences in Somalia and the bullying  against Eritrea.

Any attempt to reform or extend the life of TFG under the current political arrangement, controlled by Ethiopia in the name of IGAD is doomed to fail because it is based on the false political premise of promoting sycophant Somali leaders so Somalia can be managed directly from Addis Ababa and from donor offices either in Somalia or in Kenya with the complicity of UN Security Council.

The dishonestly propagated assertion that Somalis can’t agree on anything positive is an exaggeration  and should not be taken as an excuse for the imposition of externally driven solution. True, the Somalis’ Achilles’ heel is clan mistrust and misuse but at the same time, majority of Somalis deeply harbor Somali national pride and strongly feel the ability and possibility to regain their sovereignty and national dignity with honest, positive and benevolent or at least neutral external influence.

With the persistence of the current false political premise of clan exploitation and contradictory foreign objectives, the Somali crisis could continue to metastasize and adversely affect the international and regional peace and security. Concerted  and coordinated efforts at international level as well as  at national and local levels of Somalia are paramount for beginning to address the Somali crisis and avoiding further continuation of the present human catastrophe.

Mr. Mohamud M Uluso

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.