NATO: Türkiye-Finland-Sweden – Trilateral Memorandum (28.06.2022)

Opinion: The GoU isn’t the owner of the DGF

Today, I hosted the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation. We discussed a number of bilateral issues. I also agreed to lift the ban on Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), to run till December 2022, with Government represented in the decision-making structures. I shall formally communicate our position to the relevant government departments” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 22.06.2022).

You know that someone has ruled for too long when you think donor funds are for you to toy around with and decide. President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni has been running the Republic since January 1986 and it shows. The audacity of this man…

Yes, his a real life villain and he thrives on that. He was able to hoodwink people for a generation, but the truth of his actions is catching up to people slowly. The ones funding the DGF should have all ears and listen to the dissidents. Because, there is sinister and dark scheming behind the scenes, which we know the National Resistance Movement (NRM) nor the President want out on blast.

That’s why when his doing this putting condition and stings on “free money”. You just know it’s off the hook. It isn’t for the President nor his state to decide what the donors want it spent on. They can spend how they deem fit and what sort of governance, organizations or state institutions they deem fit. Because, it is their monies and their tax-payers funds, which they have to be accountable for. Therefore, after 18 months suspension and giving nearly 6 months more run-time. It is really showing that the President is tired and cannot manage to not micro-manage everything single thing in the Republic. He needs to know and it bugs him like crazy. That someone else has a vision and an idea in the nation of which he reside and happens to be the Head of State off.

Who are the DGF and why does it exist:

The Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) was initially established in July 2011 by eight Development Partners (DPs) as a five-year governance programme aimed at providing harmonised, coherent and well-coordinated support to state and non-state entities to strengthen democratisation, protect human rights, improve access to justice and enhance accountability in Uganda. The Programme goal was to contribute to equitable growth, poverty eradication, rule of law and long term stability in Uganda. This programme marked the first phase of DGF that ended in June 2016. A transitional period of 18 months was implemented from July 2016 to December 2017. Currently the DGF is implementing its second 5-year phase (January 2018 – December 2022) with support from seven DPs: Austria, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the European Union, to build on the achievements of the first phase, address the continuing democratic deficits, and consolidate peace and stability in the country” (Democratic Governance Facility – What is DGF).

The board of the DGF is also the ambassadors of the respective donor nations and the head of delegation of the European Union as well. So, it has already 6 board members, which represents the ones who is funding the DGF. That is the vital part here. The DGF wouldn’t exist and be an entity without the funding and the operational funds of the donors.

That’s why the President directing and pinning in the ministries to intervene and partake in it is infuriating. This is insulting the donors and their worthiness. It is like the President and his associates believes it’s their birthright to donations and funds of which these nations are bringing. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. They are lucky to receive it in the first place. Why shouldn’t Austria just invest in health care in Vienna? Or the Sweden in Stockholm, Norway in Oslo, Ireland in Dublin, Netherlands in Amsterdam or the EU in Brussels? They are not owing Museveni or the NRM anything. No, this is “free” money and they are lucky to get it and the arrogance of the President shows.

These ambassadors and the board of the DGF isn’t his minions and senior presidential advisors. No, they are there to promote the interests of their respective nations and find good partnership in Uganda. Not being told what to do and whatnot. That is what the President did here and this is how his used to running the Republic. Directing, decreeing and ordering from the “high above”. That mentality shows here after 18 month suspension ahead of the January 2021 polls. Which was supposed to fund opposition activity, a sort of activity he can never prove or show any evidence of. Therefore, the suspension was hostile in the first place.

Yes, the Government of Uganda is sovereign is deemed to do what is see as fit. That I’m not questioning, but the act of suspending this was done in bad faith and the arrogance of him while lifting it. Just shows his true intentions and that he wants to control the DGF directly, which isn’t for him to “own” or “run”. That’s what it seems like he really intends to do. By putting in a crony in the board and such.

Museveni is just showing his dictatorial tendencies. His now telling what the donors should do and direct their funding. It isn’t enough that they are donating and supporting the development of the republic. No, they have to be told what to do. This should be amplified, because this insulting the donors and their respective will to give.

Why should they give to nation that does this? What value is the currency and the will of helping of others, if they are putting rigid stings before getting the money. It is the donors that should decide the spending and where they want the money to go. Since, they are the ones supplying it and funding the DGF. Until, Museveni and his cronies invests in it and actually put the work in. Then they can talk, but for now… the NRM and Museveni should be happy that people and nations are still willing to fund these sorts of organizations, civil society and even government entities through the DGF.

There is enough other places the nations can fund and help out people in need. It isn’t only in Kampala and across the Republic. No, there is plenty of other places with the lack of good governance and other issues, which a sort of DGF could be positive contribution. Therefore, the President should be lucky that this exist. Instead… his targeting it and showing his total disregard for the donors. His just continuing to bite the hand that feeds him. Peace.

Opinion: Some says War has returned to Europe [and I say it was exported but now came home to roost]

It been a long time since the Yugoslavian war in the 1990s. That was the last big-war and conflict, which the world powers came into play and fought on separate sides. As all the Slavic people of region fought for their statehood and such. Which in the end has ended up on in several of independent nations, but has since then been at peace.

Alas, there haven’t been a moment where the European powers haven’t been involved or participated elsewhere since then. They have either done that by proxy, by exporting military weapons or equipment or themselves participated in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operations or invasion. If not, it has directly invaded or made itself impose it’s power onto a nation. Therefore, it has never ceased to use weapons and war. The only difference, it has happen far away and for other means.

The United States has supported wars, been the main aggressor or the initiator in several of conflicts. While United Kingdom has participated directly too. Other European nations has been parts of coalition of a willing. Therefore, we know they are willing wage war and has done so too. This been done over years and the conflict ever ceasing. Even after they are leaving. The parties are still unresolved and the conflicts persist.

So, when I hear again and again that the war returned to Europe. I am saying “yes it did, but it was already here”. What I mean by that… the Europeans has exported the wars. They have supported proxies, which has fought their wars. Europeans has sent brigades, operative armies elsewhere and done warfare. This being as part of United Nations Peacekeeping Missions or directly work for own interests in former colonies.

That’s why the European nations haven’t been all peaceful. They have used arms, weapons and military equipment all across the globe. They have traded and earned profits on wars. This has been done and these wars has only been bylines or parts of bulletins in the tabloids. While bloodshed, massacres and whatnot happens in these conflicts. That is just what’s going on. If it is in Yemen, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo or in the Central African Republic. These things can be prolonged and the conflict is a very valuable commodity. A commodity and a business, which is a never ending ride of profits, both in weaponry and resources, which becomes easily accessible when you have the right leader serving any given territory. Therefore, these sorts of moves has happened and the West has gladly joined the ride.

This is why the powers of the West, United States and others has supported the end of certain leaders. In such a fashion, that it get rid of a popular leader who intends to nationalize or reform the mineral extraction industries and instead get a puppet regime there. While using armies and support to keep it up. A war for the interests of the West and not for the nation at hand. Just like it accepted to use illegal means to overthrow Morales in Bolivia. That sort of play fitted the U.S. and Washington D.C. and it could have been much more bloody. However, that’s how it does it and we cannot deny this fact in 2022.

Yes, Russia’s imperialism in Ukraine is wrong. Nevertheless, that doesn’t justify the imperialism of United States or any of it’s NATO allies either. What the USA did in Iraq or Afghanistan should be addressed. Just like whatever war-crimes that all parties have possibly done in Syria. The same can be said about the parties involved Yemen or Ethiopia for that matter. All war-crimes should be punishable and be investigated by the same International Court. Not just go after Russia now. The other nations and the leadership of that time should be held accountable. That is only fair.

So, when saying all this. African Union has worked for a few years now to “silence the guns” which is an ideal programme. No matter how faulty and weak the AU is an organization. How the AU as an entity tends to favour tyrants and dictators, instead of the will of the people. Still, the ideals of that programme is something the European Union and United States should look into themselves. As it is a set of ethics, which could inspire them to think about the consequences of it’s actions elsewhere.

Right now it is justified to enlarge military budgets, expand spending on upgrading the military equipment and vehicles, ensure you have a decent air-force and whatnot. When the war-drums are happening so close to your own shores. It only makes sense, as the borders and the length of distance to Ukraine set the parameter of action of own self-defence. However, Europe has participated and been acting in accordance with war. Just not on their shores or in the near borders of own capitals. It hasn’t gotten close to comfort. Neither has the consequences of it or the ramifications of a war. No, that has been held at a distance…

Now, the conflicts of Europe is coming home. The weapons exports is happening to far-away hinterland or to any of their allies world-wide. Therefore, this war is more consuming to the West. Since, it involves them all and it’s a worry of escalation. Also, if Russia want to further it’s borders and annex even more countries after Ukraine. That is unknown and uncharted territory of Europe in this day and age. They have accepted and participated in conflicts outside of their home-bound regions. But now it’s happening there and it makes things more edgy.

That’s why people are speaking of the wars are coming home. I will say they were always here. That’s why we was busy making advanced weapons, exporting ammunition and selling artillery across the world. While also either being part or being parties in conflicts across the world after the 1990s Yugoslavian war.

There is time to recognize this and acknowledge this. Because, if we don’t, we are hypocrites and people who don’t reflect on our own actions. My own home country has exported weapons and participated in NATO missions across the world, which has inflicted insufferable damage and destruction. This is why we cannot act like we didn’t wage war or had no say in it. Our nations and participation had consequences, which is felt today in Libya and Afghanistan. These sorts of acts shouldn’t be forgotten. It is the act of cruelty to forget that… and we can’t if we are honest.

The wars wasn’t in Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Rome or in Warsaw, but we never know our future. Yesterday it was in Kabul and Baghdad. Now it is hitting Kyiv and we should stand in solidarity with Ukraine. However, at the same time, we need to reflect on the policies and actions, which lead the West and U.S. into similar conflicts anywhere else. Peace.

Opinion: Mzee now thinks civic education equates to destabilizing the country…

Part of this money is to support and facilitate various groups and entities in Uganda to conduct what they called deepening democracy in Uganda. The President and government think that this money was brought to distabilise the country. So that is the gist of the concern of the President and the investigation will tell us the money trail and what it has done” – Ofwono Opono in an interview (Ali Twaha – ‘Government links DGF suspension to politics’ 05.02.2021, New Vision).

The suspension of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), which is directly funding over 70 Civil Society Organization/Non-Governmental Organization and also their various of programs was suspended by the President in January 2021. As the President and the government was preparing to go to the polls and it had already hold grudges towards civil society for so long. This is the latest attempt to crucify and assault the ones working for a better governance in the Republic.

We know that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni doesn’t want to listen to others. Neither does he want the input from anyone else either. However, he don’t mind free-money and slush-funds to spend as he see fit. That is why he goes after the DGF as it is a fitting “enemy” which he cannot directly control or have his hands in the cookie-jar.

Government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo is saying it deliberately. They are calling it destructive. Because, they are undermining the “personification” of the state, which happens to be the President. The DGF’s civic education and programs are working indirectly to build sufficient institutions, policies and reforms, which in the end will weaken the power of one man. It would in the end be for good governance and accountable state organizations. Not just be ordered from “high above”. That is why OO and President is speaking ill of this. This will in the end weaken their drive and total control of the state, in the manner, which things are done today.

The “destabilizing” effort is indirectly weakening his reign and rule. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have no troubles getting direct aid and grants for their government to run. However, they have trouble having the same donors paying for salaries, programs and civic education across the Republic. That shows a double standard and that the President have no trouble eating of the plate directly, but doesn’t want to be told how to be accountable for his eating. He wants to spend money, but don’t want to show recites. That is the memo I am getting from this.

It shows that his a weak man. The President and the government have had no issues taking money from Western donors like the ones who funds the DGF. If they are so afraid of the independence and the questions of usage of funds. The government shouldn’t accept any funds with possible sting attached. The state shouldn’t take loans or grants from the outside. If the donors cannot sustain organizations (CSOs/NGOs) who works with other ideals than the President at this current day.

That is the reality of this all. There is no free lunch. It has never been so. There is always something attached and expectations of an outcome. If you borrow money to build a road, the lender hope you build the road, but also repays the loan with interests. If you take a donation or a grant, then its expected to go to a certain organization or work, which is beneficial for the ones receiving it. That is just a mere reality we all know.

Now, the ones receiving it wants to directly control the funds and how it is spent. When it was funds, which wasn’t his in the first place. They are worried of the efforts and effects these organizations have in the Republic. However, we all know that the President just want to eat and don’t bother with questions. This is why he has retaliated, because he can and he want to show strength. Nevertheless, these acts are an act of a coward. A coward who has taken money all his life, but now cries foul. It is a bit late when you been eating for over three decades and never caused a fuzz. Peace.

Opinion: Museveni suspending the DGF is biting the hand that feeds him

Now that the letter from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija is out. The infamous letter where he suspends the accounts of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF). This is important, because the DGF supports programs and organizations across the Republic. The DGF is sole funder of several of civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations. There are atleast 70 of them that is hit by this and would cease operations, as the funding and lack of funds to pay staff. That is all happening, because Museveni wrote a letter in early January 2021.

President Museveni have targeted CSOs and NGOs around election time. That is common. That he claims they are up to “no good” and supporting “terrorism” or any other objectively bad enterprise they can. That has been common for decades. However, ceasing their funding totally and blocking a multi-national funding scheme like the DGF. Only undercuts the ideals of the givers, the donors and the ones who monetary support the government and people in the Republic in general. This isn’t government funded money from the tax-base. No, these funds are given from outsiders to support governance and other organizations to strengthen democratic institutions and educate the masses.

The DGF is a collective fund donated by the European Union, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden to support programs and CSOs/NGOs in Uganda. They are partnered with at least 72 organizations across the republic to different capacities. All working in various of fields and for causes to better the Republic. They are all civil society voices for good governance and creating a freer society. However, that is clearly not the beacon that the President believes in anymore.

The donors that see this action by Museveni should shun him and cease all direct donor-funds and also block all loans through multi-national organizations, which the donors are funding as well. That would make it harder for the President to operate and he would seek funds elsewhere. If he wants to be free of stipulations and not have any oversight. This cutting funds to International Monetary Funds (IMF) and World Bank (WB). Also others where the Government of Uganda is seeking loans for development projects and government programs.

The National Resistance Movement was able in the late 1980s and 1990s to have progress and financial backing to pursuit the government programs, which is it so proud of. The state also saw debt relief and cuts from donors. Now, the NRM is gaining more debt, but also putting in obstacles with the donors in regards to the DGF. The ones funding DGF should suspend all other funds and funding that goes towards Museveni. As a retaliation to this, as these projects, programs and NGOs/CSOs are working for ideals that Museveni once stood for, but with lingering in office despises.

We are clearly seeing the punitive action made by Museveni. He wants to prove supremacy, but does it in a mockery of a way. This is only showing the donors what sort of little man he is. That he has to go to this step. Take away the securities of the CSOs and NGOs. Instead of actually serving the general public. If the President really did that. He would haven’t have the need for all these CSOs/NGOs to cover where the government is lacking. The state is fluid and lacking institutions. That’s why the state needs them to cover the basics and civic education. This is still needed after over 30 years in power. That shows the weakness of the Presidency and his reign.

President Museveni isn’t showing strength here. His showing weakness and lack of control. That he got to act like this. This is acting a villain and hurting own citizens, because he can. So, the donors should act upon this and not just take it on the chin. They should show force too. Just to prove him what he has done. It is about time and not just “condemn” and move-on. That is not making any changes or challenging the old man. You need to meet him head-on. He plays games and these are with the lives of all these organizations. It is not the money of Museveni and neither funding from the state either. That is why his sour, as he got to loan to pay his cronies salaries. This is why he attacks and confronts, instead of talking and negotiating with the donors.

What he does with this is putting himself in corner and making less friends. If he wanted more support and legitimacy. He should have acted differently. However, he rather picks the trick of the pariah, instead of the friendly grand-pa, which is what he tries to act in the media. That is clearly not working and that is why this letter is undressing his motives. Peace.

A Rebuttal to Friedman: There is no “lid on Africa” also addressing his misconception on Migration!

The Cambridge Dictionary defines “taking the lid off” as: “to cause something bad that was previously kept secret to be known by the public” (Cambridge Dictionary, Cambridge University Press). A writer like Thomas L. Friedman in the New York times should know this perfectly well, as he used this term in his column ‘ Opinion Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party?’ published on the 7th August 2018. This is the reason for why I writing this. Because of two paragraphs that needs to be addressed, I will first let his words speak, before showing what the EU says about the matter. As a European, the American writer doesn’t make sense.

The key part was:

Toppling Qaddafi without building a new order may go down as the single dumbest action the NATO alliance ever took. It took the lid off Africa, leading to some 600,000 asylum seekers and illegal migrants flocking to Italy’s shores in recent years, with 300,000 staying there and the rest filtering into other E.U. countries. This has created wrangles within the bloc over who should absorb how many migrants and has spawned nationalist-populist backlashes in almost every E.U. country” (Thomas L. Friedman – ‘Opinion Can I Ruin Your Dinner Party?’ 07.08.2018 link: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/07/opinion/can-i-ruin-your-dinner-party.html).

I don’t know in which world Friedman is residing, but the words of the EU, Zelesa and MPC are clearly not opening any jars of uncertainty. Yes, there been a growing amount of illegal and non-asylum seekers through the United Nations or Bilateral Organizations, which they have come from War-Zones as in the past. As the EU Member States takes their quota of refugees and asylum-seekers as a global task of helping people in need, as that cannot happen where they are or they are living in temporary shelters awaiting hopefully a helpful nation to become their guardian. However, no else is saying it is NATO fault or even the fall Qaddafi, which is the reason for crossing across the Mediterranean sea. There is more porous borders as well as the conflict in the Sahel Region that has continued. These are all reasons for the transport of refugees from the rest of the Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there was never a lid to be taken of the continent.

The EU Science Hub states:

Between 2008 and 2016, the total annual number of African migrants remained stable. However, legal immigration was declining in this period, while the number of irregular arrivals and asylum claims of Africans increased. Irregular arrivals of Africans via the Mediterranean started to decline again in 2017.In Europe, the majority of African immigrants come from North Africa, with most people making the move to reunite with family members already settled in a European country” (EU Science Hub – ‘New perspectives on African migration’ 01.07.2018 link: https://ec.europa.eu/jrc/en/news/new-perspectives-african-migration).

EU Project opened more nations for Immigration:

Clearly, African immigration to Europe was marked by increasing diversification both in the number of countries sending and receiving the immigrants. Particularly remarkable was the emergence of the southern European countries, principally Italy, Portugal, and Spain, themselves longstanding emigration countries, as immigration countries. This was as much a product of the improving economic fortunes in these countries and their integration into the prosperity and political sphere of Western Europe as it was of mounting immigration pressures on their borders to the east and the south. Enclosed in a new European transnational space, new identities of ethnicity and citizenship began to emerge that entailed creating both symbolic and material borders to keep away or distinguish the immigrants. The Europeanization of these countries and the rebordering of the Mediterranean that it implied required the separation and stigmatization ofimmigrants from the global South (Suarez-Navaz, 1997; Royo, 2005)” (Paul Tiyambe Zeleza – ‘Africa ‘s Contemporary Global Migrations: Patterns, Perils, and Possibilities’ P: 39, June 2010).

Migration Profile – Libya:

Despite Libya being, first and foremost, a country of immigration, the deterioration of immigrants’ conditions in the country has also made it an important country for transit migration and particularly for the many migrants trying to reach Malta and the Italian Isle of Lampedusa As to emigration patterns, Libya has never recorded significant outward migration flows. However, during the 2011 unrest, there was an upsurge of Libyan nationals fleeing the country. According, though, to the authorities in neighbouring countries, the great majority are believed to already have returned to Libya” (…) “To conclude, two considerations can be made about the impact of the Libyan crisis on international migration movements. On the one hand, Sub Saharan nationals were without any doubt the people most at risk, both in Libya and at the borders (where repatriation activities led to an impasse). On the other hand, the capacity of neighbouring African countries to manage the crisis in terms of the reception of migrants was remarkable. (IOM, 2012)” (Migration Policy Center – ‘MPC – MIGRATION PROFILE Libya, June 2013).

As we can really see, is that what Friedman is saying is wrong. The African Migration to Europe has lasted long. That is not new and has usually followed to the previous Colonizers of the ones migrating. However, with the change of he European Union, has changed that pattern, but not opened up something. The Libyan Crisis and fall of Qaddafi have had is effect. However, the results by the EU and the IOM are stating not as bad as previously stated. Also that the “illegal” are rising, but less of the direct asylum-seekers, meaning their means and ways has changed, but the end-game are more of the same. They are still fleeing from crisis and wars in Sub-Saharan Africa, but they doing so by the shores of Northern Africa crossing into EU Countries.

So, the taking the lid off by invading and deposing Qaddafi seems like far-fetched. That is a lie, also a relic of the past, as Friedman sounds like they opened a box with a box-opener. This was simply done with getting rid of one dictator. He seems like that is the reason for the whole transit in Libya, not the whole conflict within the continent and neither the true nature of it all. As people are doing whatever they can to get shelter and hope for the future, because the International Community isn’t reacting or caring about the oppression in their nations. They are forgotten and know they will not get help, as the Western Powers are boasting these leaders who oppress and then people want to flee from these shores.

No lid was taken, it was never a lid there to begin with? Are there a lid that was opened so that United States could have space for all the slaves in the past? Or is there a lid taken of the brain of Trump? We all, the rest of the world really want to know.

Enough of this nonsense. Peace.

The European Council plans to move more migration management outside its borders!

The European Council in the draft note before the next general meeting. Is establishing mechanisms, which would ensure that less tries to cross the oceans to get to safe harbour in Europe. This by both giving financial aid possibly and make the Border States have settlements of asylum-seekers and whatnot.

“The European Council will also strengthen EU external instruments on migration in the context of the negotiations on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, in particular so as to ensure effective cooperation with countries of origin and transit. To this end, the external components of the internal, border, asylum and migration funds should include a dedicated external migration management window specifically geared towards stemming irregular migration flows” (Council of the European Union – European Council meeting (28 June 2018) – Draft conclusions -8147/18, 19.06.2018).

This is really nasty stuff, that the European Union continues to purge like this and with these methods. Actually, making sure the refugees and asylum-seekers are stationed in Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and everything else bordering at sea towards Europe. There is lack of heart and with intent of shattering people’s dreams of possible refuge. That is what this is.

They are planning external migration management to stop the flow of people crossing into their borders. That means an invisible wall with functions and mechanisms stopping the ones trying to seek refuge. Just think about that, the sovereign states on the borders are bushwhacked by the EU and also most likely pushed by the funds their way as a bargain. Both parties with no consideration of the implications on the lives on the ones fleeing war-zones and civil-wars, famine or any sort of disaster that are creating all the reasons for fleeing on humanitarian grounds. Still, the EU will use these states as buffers and shield itself from people coming.

We can all see with this, the precious and deep scars, the evidence of control and also extending boundaries, just so, the ones in need cannot cross into refuge. They cannot get shelter or hope for the future, but live in oblivion, outcast in their own homeland and not welcome at the destination either. It is just a sad story of our time and the lack of compassion within the leadership of our representatives as well. Peace.

Footage: Olara Otunnu speech on Ugandans forgetting history as it is “living in the moment” (25.02.2017)

UNSOM: Somalia’s electoral process most discussed topic in public places (04.01.2017)

somali-election

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA – Somalia’s landmark electoral process has dominated discussions in public places across the Horn of Africa country over the past few months, as Somalis examine the democratic progress the country has made after years of civil war.

Scores of political analysts gather daily to debate and share views about the ongoing process, which will culminate in presidential elections later this month. Conversations are animated and go on for hours, with breaks only for meals or refreshments.

At a popular hotel in Mogadishu recently, newly elected member of the House of the People, Sadik Warfa, of Puntland state, expressed his thoughts on the electoral process to a group of colleagues.

Warfa described the delegates system, adopted by the National Leadership Forum to guide the electoral process, as an illustration of the country’s evolution towards representative governance.

“We have passed the era when elders picked MPs. I see it as a step in the right direction for the Somali people,” Warfa said.

The MP voiced his optimism about the post election period and looks forward to debate in parliament.

“When the House of the People holds its first sitting, the priority will be to hold the government accountable. It should have oversight responsibility to represent the views of the Somali people, ” Warfa told a keen audience, gathered around his table.

At another table, Liban Abdi Ali, a political analyst and former journalist, delved deeper into the issue of local media coverage of the electoral process.

“In my view, they (media) were focusing on conflict, like a candidate’s clan, which group he belongs to and such issues; although they are supposed to focus on each candidate’s experience, knowledge, achievements and political agenda,” Liban said.

He expressed disappointment at the media’s inability to organize political debates prior to the elections.

At the far end of the restaurant, author and political analyst Abukar Sheikh Ahmed questions the decision to push back universal suffrage until 2020, saying there was no public voting or campaign.

“Most of the candidates knew their target (delegates) and they were campaigning in parliament and within their clans,” Abukar argues.

Somalia’s electoral process, which is currently in its final stages, has seen voting taking place in five federal states and Mogadishu. At the conclusion of the electoral exercise, two hundred and seventy five members of the House of the People will have been elected from South West, Puntland, Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Jubbaland and Somaliland states; and Banaadir region.

A further 54 members of the Upper House will also have been elected.

Statement attributable to the Spokesman for the Secretary-General on Somalia (29.12.2016)

somali-election-2

NEW YORK, United States of America, December 29, 2016 –  The Secretary-General welcomes the inauguration of the new Federal Parliament of Somalia on 27 December 2016 and warmly congratulates the people of Somalia on this historic achievement in their quest for universal suffrage by 2020.

The Secretary-General urges the new Parliament to now maintain the momentum by moving swiftly to complete the electoral process, with the election of the Speakers of both houses and the Federal President. The Parliament should tackle urgent legislative priorities, including establishing a permanent Constitution of Somalia, in the larger interest of the people of Somalia.

The Secretary-General calls on the authorities to fill all remaining vacant seats in the Parliament expeditiously, while fulfilling their obligation to ensure that the seats reserved for women are filled by women. He emphasizes that any irregularity, abuse, or malpractice reported by the federal and state electoral bodies should be fully addressed to preserve the credibility of the process.

The Secretary-General commends the hard work of the Somali security forces and the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in providing a secure environment for the 2016 electoral process in Mogadishu and in the regional capitals. The successful inauguration of the Parliament marks further progress in ensuring political stability and security in Somalia.

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