Somalia: Villa Somalia needs another confidant [The month-long saga of an AU Envoy]

The Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and Villa Somalia have now badly manoeuvred the mediation and possible third party involvement in the election impasse created by the President and his “Yes-Men”. Clearly, the state have been able to sway their misgivings and getting their way in the past by the way the state went out of its way to expel United Nations Envoy to Somalia Nicholas Haysom. This here follows a pattern now, but it’s more depressing than that.

The ones who doesn’t see it. Clearly should follow this mockery of legitimizing the current affairs. It is clear that the ones in charge is only asking the African Union (AU) to get the rest of the International Community to move away. Villa Somalia already have their appointed Prime Minister to run it all, but the ex-President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo is still getting his way. Just had to give up his 2 year extension, but that’s all.

Now we have seen a joke of foreign response and getting mediation. Just read these three reports since the 20th April to the 12th May 2021. That is just a month and it’s a side-show.

Just look!

On the 20th April 2021:

President Farmaajo, who arrived in Kinshasa for an official visit on Monday, met DR Congo President Félix Tshisekedi, who is also the AU chairman, for two hours. During the meeting, he briefed President Tshisekedi on the political and security situation in Somalia. “President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed particularly insisted that the African Union and chairman should play a leading role to facilitate and frame the negotiations and the dialogue between all the Somali stakeholders,” a dispatch from the Presidential Palace in Kinshasa said” (Patrick Illunga – ‘Somalia: Mohamed Farmaajo Accepts AU Mediation’ 20.04.2021, Daily Nation/AllAfrica).

On the 9th of May 2021 the Somalia Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdirizak Mohamud notified and wrote a letter to the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat. Where the message was clear from the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and Villa Somalia. As the final piece of the letter say: “The earlier envisaged rule of the high representative was all the more sensitive given the political nature of the task. Therefore, it’s indeed surprising that a candidate with an extensive link with Kenya’s leadership has been chosen by the AU to facilitate talks on a political impasse partly engineered by the Kenyan leadership has supported” (…) “I hereby notify the the African Union of the formal withdrawal of support by the Federal Government of Somalia for the AU Representative for Somalia” (Somalia Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation letter to African Union Commission Chairperson Mahamat, 09.05.2021).

On the 13th May 2021:

A source told Garowe Online that Prime Minister Mohamed H. Roble was aware of Villa Somalia’s rejection of the AU envoy. According to the report, PM and his advisers believe that the new envoy will undermine the role of the PM in the talks expected to take place in Mogadishu on May 20, Somalia” (Garowe Online, 13.05.2021).

This here makes it seem like a insincere gesture. That the Somali Ex-President only travelled to Kinshasa to buy more time and later get somebody to talk too. Though initially not wanting anyone. It is just mere luck that the former Ghana President John Mahama was part of the mediation post-2017 elections in Kenya. Not like Mahama or even John Kerry made strides or became popular in the political circles in Nairobi. Still, that is made as an excuse and supposed to be more “Kenyan” interference in Mogadishu.

The way this has been played out is not a winning strategy for Farmaajo or Roble. They are maybe thinking this is smooth sailing, but instead they are humiliating themselves. First they are asking for something and when they get it. They say no to it like an entitled brat. That’s maybe because the same administration was able to send Haysom packing and change the UN Envoy as well. Therefore, they think they can do it here too.

Farmaajo and Villa Somalia is really liking to be on the knifes edge. This sort of behaviour isn’t making the mediation or the process more believable. Though everyone should hope for a process on the 17th September 2020 accord. Therefore, Roble have to build trust with all the Federal Member States and Presidential Candidates as well. This will not be easy.

Especially, when Villa Somalia plays things out like this. That doesn’t create trust in them. Instead it opens up mind to question them more. Because, many of them are the same one that stalled process and did what they could to get a unconstitutional two year extension. Peace.

Somalia: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation letter to African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat (09.05.2021)

Somalia: Somali National Salvation Forum letter to African Union (AU) Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat (08.05.2021)

Somalia: Council of Presidential Candidates (C.P.C) – Press Statement (05.08.2021)

Somalia: Abdinasir Abdille – Political Dialogue Only Path to Somali Elections (03.05.2021)

Somalia: Somali Civil Society Coalition – Press Release (01.05.2021)

Somalia: Farmaajo has outplayed himself [2 years became 19 days]

Today the Lower House of Parliament revoked the 12th April 2021 Presidential Extension without an election. The majority vote of the 1st May 2021 comes after heavy weaponry, soldiers on the streets and extensive actions made between militias in favour of the Ex(interim) President Mohamed Abdillahi Mohamed Farmaajo.

He had corned himself and lacking friends. That is why the Lower House was summoned and had to change it’s stance. The ex(interim) President had to fold as his cards was falling quickly during the last week. Since Sunday the 25th April.. the parties took the stalemate and electoral impasse to the streets. This have efficiently created tension, internally displaced people and ensured the mandate of the ex(interim) President to deteriorate.

That is tragic truth here. It is a one-man show that has sort of ended. The man who made it impossible to get into a election. The one guy who stopped all discussions and negotiations in consideration to the 17th September 2020 agreement, as a preparation to the up-coming election. That is what he did and he risked everything doing so. He ordered soldiers on the streets, raided other candidates homes and talked of “sovereignty” while doing it.

Now on the 1st May 2021 the “interim”, the “extension” and the “unelected” President is a reality. There is no official mandate anymore and the revocation of the 12th April 2021 should with immediate effect evict Farmaajo out of the Villa Somalia. He is no longer the President and hasn’t any sort of reason to live there.

Farmaajo has outplayed himself and he did it in only 19 days. The 2 year extension lasted only 19 days. That is failure and loss, if there ever was one. The ex(interim) has clearly failed his mission of being an unelected bureaucrat on the top.

He has now given the mission to Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble to direct preparations for the election. That is showing how humiliated he is… and Farmaajo isn’t a big-man. He has thwarted everything and nearly created an open war with the opposition. It was starting to look really hostile and there will be many hurdles from here.

The impasse and the manner of which the Villa Somalia has taken. Has surely created a lot of mistrust and felt filled with deceit. Therefore, don’t expect all FMS to suddenly jump onboard and needs to catered too. They feel betrayed already and have held meetings and Dhusamareeb conference was a farce.

The revocation of the 12th April 2021 extension is positive. The move of directing Roble is fine as well, but there is a lot to amend. The ex(interim) cannot run away from the chaos and havoc has thrown the Republic into. Just because he wanted to be an unelected head of state. It is not like his a believable character and a trustworthy individual now. He has shown his true character and what’s his willing to do to be in power.

This here is just another step of keeping him in office. As there is need for new electoral process and meetings. There is a need for new conferences and get everyone to agree on the way forward. That is something that will buy Farmaajo time. It will not happen over night and especially not after the last 19 days.

The ones celebrating. I would say it’s too early. It is just a speed-bump and there will be new technicalities and mechanisms used to trick the game. Don’t expect Farmaajo just to give up and run away. No, he intended to stay and there is nothing seemingly saying he will go now either.

Farmaajo just bought himself more time and wouldn’t be surprised if there will be more ways to postpone and ensure the election takes time to happen. The FGS and Villa Somalia have been reluctant. Therefore, it wouldn’t be shocking if it suddenly was stopped and nothing happen for days. Where no of the parties showed up and the mistrust would escalate further.

The ex(interim) has made this bed and now have to sleep in it. This stalemate has been deliberate and now the reality is for everyone to see. Farmaajo doesn’t care if people dies or burns, as long as he is the Commander-in-Chief. He doesn’t care if his soldiers shoots and scares several of neighbourhoods. That’s what’s he has shown the world and what levels he goes too stay in office. That is the sort of man he is. Peace.

African Union (AU): 32nd Meeting of the Coordination Committee (MOCC) – Press Release of the 32nd Meeting of the Coordination Committe (MOCC) on the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) – (29.04.2021)

Somalia: Statement by the Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia: Concerns over mass displacements in Mogadishu (28.04.2021)

Opinion: Farmaajo have unified the opposition [and lack strong allies]

In Mogadishu the tension and stalemate is created by the “Interim” Mohamed Abdillahi Mohamed Farmaajo. All of this is happening because of his actions. The use of weaponry, barricading and even sending brigades from other regions to boost his chances in the capital. This is happening while Federal Member States (FMS) isn’t supporting his extension anymore.

This is Jubaland, Puntland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle and Southwest states who are calling for an inclusive election immediately. Farmaajo is clearly losing it and not having the time of his life. The capital is a battlefield. People are fleeing from several of areas. The “Interim” needs to regain strength by flying in troops from elsewhere. His NISA director Fahad Yasin went to Ethiopia to get support from Addis Ababa, but the Villa Somalia wasn’t getting anything.

The National Salvation Front and Council of Presidential Candidates Union (C.P.C) are all together with the FMS now. There is even a National Liberation Movement established to stop Farmaajo. There is Somali National Army commanders and brigades who supports the opposition. The are police officers and commanders who follows ex-commander Sadiq John. Therefore, it is not like Farmaajo is getting stronger, but weaker with time.

The ones who have kept Farmaajo in office is Dafun and Gorgor. These two militias are the ones who are the keys to his power. They have been the ones who keeping him in office. These soldiers and brigades are the reason and the ones keeping him safe. While more and more of other police officers and soldiers are mutineers who doesn’t have the conscience to support Farmaajo.

The one term President have lost all of his leverage. The state is broke and international community have sanctioned it. The Federal Government of Somalia have lost its standing. The IC have been clear about their standing and the will for honouring the 17th September 2020 election accord. Still, the President haven’t honoured that or wanted do so. It seems to be a deliberate act to stall elections and get a transition or even a second term.

Farmaajo have lost a lot these last few days. He doesn’t have strength. The opposition have proven they can play within his game. Though some rumours are that Farmaajo is resigning tonight. Still, these days he will be remembered for being a gun-slinger and thinking he could run away from his ending of his term.

The “interim” President has used his leverage and supposed power, but lost it all. Farmaajo have outplayed himself and lost all legitimacy. Not that he had any after the ending of his term. Even if he got the Lower House to extend his term. That wasn’t a correct way to carry it out. This is why Farmaajo have unified the opposition and everyone else.

Farmaajo cornered himself and risked everything for the power of the office. Forgetting that power is given to him, but he tried to take it. That is not how this game is playing out. His office and role was as head of state. Still, this one is him being elected and represent the people of Somalia.

This year he thought he could circumvent that and not even try to follow guidelines or even negotiate planned elections. Where he stalled and didn’t try fix the impasse, because he wanted to reign without being elected. That is why none of the meetings, round-tables or whatever it was successful. The “interim” President wanted to rule without an official mandate, but a make-belief of the motion passed in the Lower House.

This week has proven his weakness, but also how dire it can become. As the opposition and the ones supporting Farmaajo went to war. They had skirmishes in Mogadishu taking various of districts and areas. There been bullets, heavy artillery and soldiers on the streets. Been raiding of homes and people running for shelter elsewhere. This all because one man wanted to rule without a mandate.

That is what we will remember Farmaajo for. Nothing he has done over the 4 years in office will really be remembered. That’s because he wanted his legacy to be these battles, the lack of dialogue and will to run an election. This is how Farmaajo will go out. He has tarnished his name and his achievements. Instead of creating stability and strengthening the state. Farmaajo has instead weaken the state, taken it for granted.

Farmaajo … you lost and you have unified all your enemies. That is bloody brilliant. Peace.