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.

Somalia: Office of the Prime Minister – Press Release (27.04.2021)

Somalia: National Liberation Movement – Communique No. 01 (26.04.2021)

Somalia: Tension in Mogadishu after yesterday’s skirmishes

Yesterday was a bloody day where the opposition gained much ground and has barricaded the forces in support of Villa Somalia and “interim” President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo. Farmaajo have used his position to extend his term without an election. This is the reason for the election impasse and stalemate politically.

Yesterday was an culmination of the political play. The opposition together with armed forces in favour of them went into skirmishes across Mogadishu. There was both mutineers and loyal forces of the opposition in the streets. There was also police officers following the ex-police commanders Sadiq John as well. Therefore, it was an hectic front on both sides. As the Interim President was using Gorgor and Dafun.

Here are the recent updates from credible news sources:

Mogadishu today following last night’s deadly fighting between Somalia troops loyal to Farmajo & others loyal to opposition leaders. Opposition forces control some of the city’s main streets including Sayidka Junction near the presidential palace. At least 10 people killed” (Morad News, 26.04.2021).

A new contingent of Somalia military force angered by Farmajo’s term extension enter Mogadishu & Join opposition aligned troops in the capital’s northern neighborhoods. The troops reportedly vacated their bases in Rage-Ele district, Middle Shabelle region – Witnesses” (Morad News, 26.04.2021).

Major roads were blocked by pro-opposition soldiers following Sunday’s clashes as residents called on all parties to stop the fighting, have sympathy with the children and women in the capital Mogadishu” (Shabelle Media Network, 26.04.2021).

Leaders of the Union of Candidates are holding a Virtual Meeting with members of the international community in Somalia. The meeting is focusing on the situation in Somalia, which is on the brink of conflict between the opposing parties” (Garowe Online, 26.04.2021)

We know the loyal Prime Minister Mohamed Roble called for dialogue after yesterday’s action. That seems to come now that their hand is outplayed and the opposition been gaining ground. As they are not accepting the extension and not preparing for an election.

This is also showing how things has escalated as people have fled several parts of the city. As they were fearing for their lives as there was shelling, heavy artillery and soldiers on the streets. That must been a worry for anyone.

Just to prove their will to make a difference. The opposition are doing this today:

The Council of Presidential Candidates and the international community have reportedly convened a meeting at Mogadishu Airport. The conference will discuss how to calm tensions in the capital and resume stalled election dialogue” (The Kismayo Times, 26.04.2021).

They are clearly aiming for a move and a political change from the election impasse, which have been created deliberately by the “interim” President Farmaajo. Who tries to use all other means and have asked African Union to save him, but they have instead warned him. That’s why the tension is growing in Mogadishu and the costs are already in play.

Farmaajo should be careful. It is starting to boil over and that was visible yesterday. It has already cost lives… and the stakeholders should be cautious. There is also proven now that the Somali National Army (SNA) isn’t all behind Villa Somalia and his strength is weakening by the minute. Peace.

Somalia: Council of Presidential Candidates – Press Statement (25.04.2021)

Somalia: Ministry of Internal Security – Press Release (25.04.2021)

Somalia: Mogadishu … erupted into chaos and fighting across the capital…

Today there been battles in several parts of Mogadishu. There was earlier in the day reports of fighting in Hodan district. It is also reported of fighting in Karan district. Also reports of fighting in the K4 Junction and in Dabka Junction as well. “Several junctions, including Marinayo, Beyhani, Sana’a & Fagah under opposition control” (Somaliguardian, 25.04.2021). Therefore, plenty of areas of Mogadishu have seen fighting between government forces, which is the Gorgor and Dafun. While opposition militias are trying to overpower them as well. The latest this evening is that the Opposition Forces have taken control of Wabari Police Station.

Fighting is ongoing around near the statue of Sayid in Mogadishu, reports say that the troops who entered that area are led by a man named Ja’far. Jafar previously served as governor of Daynile” (Garowe Online, 25.04.2021).

Therefore, the Presidential Candidates and their allies. Combined with the mutineers in the Somali National Army (SNA) and the loyal police officers following ex-Police Commander Sadiq John has today fought back the armed forces of “interim” President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo. Farmaajo’s militias who has raided and gone after two candidates houses. These are Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Abdirahman Abdishakur. Clearly his targeting his opponents.

The latest reports are that Villa Somalia and the allies of the state are planning a social media blackout. They are planning to jam the phone-lines, stop the mobile data and block social media as well.

The opposition claims AMISOM is supplying ammunition to the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) Fahad Yassin, which have been used in today’s clashes in Mogadishu. However, that haven’t been verified. Just like the claims of Villa Somalia that Kenya and Djibouti is involved and interfering in “internal” matters in Somalia. Therefore, the whole situation is fluid and dire.

There is only use of force, ammunition and heavy artillery. This here is worrying as special trained forces are going after the opposition. While the state and Villa Somalia is planning to keep this happening in darkness.

We should be worried about the escalation in Mogadishu. This is all over the election impasse and stalemate, which has been created by default by Farmaajo. Who never settled or worked in accord with the 17th September 2020 accord/agreement. That he should have done, but now the weapons are on the streets instead. That’s all because of his instance to stay in office.

The ones paying the price is the citizens. Some was fleeing earlier in the day. As the protests and the escalated clashes across the city have been heard. Many has gone into hiding and trying to avoid the shelling and skirmishes. Clearly, the trained troops of Farmaajo have followed direct orders. While opposition have taken up their brigades as well.

This here is the first step towards a civil war. Unless, these gentlemen sit-down and settle their difference. Really to ensure further progression towards a credible election. However, at this point. Farmaajo isn’t interested in that and that’s why all the previous attempts failed as well. He just want to reign without a election and is happy about having an extension of two years given to him by the Lower House. Therefore, this is happening and the reason for the carnage happening today.

Mogadishu and Somalia deserves better than this. The citizens, the people and the proud nation deserves leaders serving them and not their own interests. Nevertheless, that is where we are and the inhabitant of Villa Somalia thinks he can shadow-play and use his minions to lie to the world. While sending forces to spread fear into the ones who challenge him. However, the world shouldn’t be fooled.

It is distressing and tragic outcome. That it has boiled down to do this. This is what the “interim” President wants and this is what he gets. It is blood, fatalities, injuries and internally displaced people. People living in fear and danger, because one man want to rule indefinitely. Peace.

Somalia: Farmaajo is seemingly risking everything to salvage power

Today the stakes of the prolonged elections stalemate is getting evident again. The “Interim” President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo who has made himself President for another two years without an election. This has tricked the status quo and the stakeholders. Where the current occupant of Villa Somalia keenly hoping to stay in power.

Farmaajo has certain factions of armed forces on his side. While the its now evident that the Somali National Army (SNA) have started a mutiny against him. There have been reports of open conflict and shooting in Mogadishu between the ones supporting the opposition and the ones behind Farmaajo.

That is how dire the situation has become. This is coming after African Union, United Nations Security Council and other International Stakeholders have said the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) should continue to negotiate and talks according to the 17th September 2020 elections accord. Which the Villa Somalia have had an impasse with and is ceasing to work accordingly. That’s why they initiated the term extension in the Lower House.

It is now so fickle that the opposition together with mutineers are demonstrating and civilians are fleeing as well. There are reports that the Turkish trained ‘Gorgor’ went to quell the demonstration and silence the demonstrations in Mirinya in Mogadishu today.

This is a bad precedence and its more worrying signs as well. As Somali Journalist Syndicate reported today:

Newly trained Dufan force detained, beat and shot at Radio Hubal journalist Bashir Ali Shire who was live-reporting a violent protest and a gunfight in Karan district in Mogadishu.1 armed officer snatched Bashir’s phone and started kicking and beat with his gun until another officer with a balaclava arrived and shot 1 bullet at the journo which luckily missed him. According to Bashir, he was taken for interrogation & officers’ questions included one about his clan identity before he was freed without charge” (SJS, 25.04.2021).

Therefore, knowing everything that went down is sort of impossible. There is no clear indication of fatalities or possible deaths. As the gun-shots and the operations was active today.

Dufan and Gorgor is following the orders of the Interim President and there is fear for prolonged conflict in Mogadishu. As there is reinforcement on both sides. This here shows how bad the impasse is and what the sides are willing to do. As the President and the Opposition are willing to wage war against each other. Both having militias to fight their battles.

The international community and the AMISOM seems like bystanders to the whole thing. While Al-Shabaab might tool-up and get stronger in the power-vacuum. The losers are the citizens and the ones living in Somalia. As they are pawns in the chess-game of the big man who has brigades following their every move.

This is what happens when Farmaajo trusts his armed forces more than the stakeholders. When he can try to use international interference of a sovereign and downplay his own agenda. He is blaming Kenya and Djibouti for interfering, but in the end… it’s all his fault and his inability to resolve the matters before the end of his term. He had the time and the conferences to settle it all. However, he neglected to do so, because it was in his interest to prolong his term without an election. That’s why we are here today. Which is a tragic result.

It will not end here and possible cost more people’s lives. Stop the ordinary bustle and hustle of Mogadishu. Silence the citizens and weaken the state further. Farmaajo wants to become the personification of the state. He wants to be the state and willing to die on that hill for it. That is how it looks.

Mogadishu today is only showing the true face of Farmaajo and what the detractors thinks are the only way out. As the FGS and Villa Somalia is not willing to bicker on the two year extension. Where they are proving no direct proof of results or announcing proper elections. Only giving Farmaajo more power without holding elections. That is why people calling him illegitimate and the ex-President.

Farmaajo is now using two trained militias, the Gorgor and Dufan to keep the balance of power. That is not out of popularity or his own power, but the way he can use force to be in office. That is the sort of man he has become. All the hope of the previous election is down the drain and only his token allies is behind him. While others have already turned on him and awaiting his fall. Peace.

Somalia: Humanitarian leadership declares drought (25.04.2021)