Horndiplomat-One year after Somaliland Presidential elections Professor Ahmed Ismail Samatar of Macalester College penned a critique on the government formed by the party he had joined two years ago.
Published in Somaliland Chronicle, a website, Professor hailed the reform agenda of Dr Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, whose initiatives turned into a groundswell of rapprochement with Eritrea and proposals for wider economic integration in the Horn of Africa.
While Professor Samatar has been critical of the Federal Government of Somalia for its inability to turn international recognition into good governance for the long suffering Somalis, he called out Somaliland government’s lack of diplomatic nous to make sense of and keep pace with geopolitical changes in the Horn of Africa.
“Despite the mounting and dizzying changes taking in the neighborhood and farther-afield, then, Somaliland is stuck at a sophomoric level in both understanding the complexities of the search for recognition, as well as taking stock of the strategic shifts that are in- progress” Professor Samatar wrote.
The number of ministerial portfolios in the new cabinet formed by Kulmiye, according to Professor Samatar, contradicts promises President made on the campaign trail.
Professor Samatar highlighted the impact drought has on locals. Nomads who lost their livelihoods are beginning to eke out living in a towns already grappling with meagre resources, Professor Samatar argued. Two ministries, education and health, Professor Samatar views as most deserving of more resources to ensure creation of “high quality human capital” haven’t received the organisational enrichment they require. Professor Samatar singled out Waddani, the opposition party, for a sharp criticism.
“ The party is still wailing over the defeat. Waddani has shown no signs that it is a robust national political institution – one that is competent to hold on tightly to its large supporters” Professor Samatar wrote.
Delay of parliamentary elections and the “lopsided and unacceptable distribution of parliamentary seats, one that allots 56 out of the total of 82 seats to the kin community in the geographical center of the country” spotlights the democratic deficit in Somaliland, situation that may will lead to “greater devaluation”.
Professor Samatar, who is a member of Kulmiye, underscored the urgency of the political situation in Somaliland given political trends in the Horn of Africa. Waddani has not issued a statement on the diagnosis of party’s lack of a political programme to take on what he considers to be an underperforming government.