Somalia: Farmajo Rhetoric Faces Reality

Image of Somali President, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo on 8 February 2017 [AMISOM Public Information/Flickr]

By:Liban Ahmed

President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo criticised federal members states for trying to carve out a space to formulate foreign policy. ” The Federal Government retains powers to formulate foreign policy because it is charge of the National Army” the President told Somali community members in Juba, where he is on a visit to witness the implementation of South Sudan Agreement.

President Farmaajo in South Sudan: Squandering political capital quickly
President Farmaajo in South Sudan: Squandering political capital quickly

The Somali President opted for a belligerent attitude at a time the Upper House was working hard to bridge the gap between the Federal Government and Federal Member States. Having failed to operationalise the Security Architect introduced in London Somalia Conference in May 2017, one wonders what National Army President Farmajo was referring to in his gaffe-laden speech.   At a summit in Garowe few weeks, ago four Federal Member States agreed to form a joint force against Al-Shabaab in order not to rely on clan militias the Federal Government in Mogadishu calls a National Army.

Abdirahman Abdishakur, an influential, Mogadishu-based Somali politician,  described the speech “as hostile and devoid of reconciliation imperatives.  During his campaign, President Farmajo vowed to pursue a reconciliation agenda to a point that he would act as an elder meeting stakeholders under a tree. His Juba speech belies his campaign rhetoric.

 “Basically, we’ve been telling them is what we’re facing is a quite serious political issue – the stand-off between the Federal Member States and the Federal Government may well paralyze our efforts to help Somalia get back on its feet,”, Dalsan Radio quoted United Nations Secretary  General’s Special Representative for Somalia as saying.

It is becoming abundantly clear that the leadership style of President Farmajo becoming a  threat to the already feeble institutions of the Federal Government. He is squandering political capital apace.

© Horn Diplomat 2018

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