The Federal Republic of Somalia are under continued pressure from the Kingdom of Somalia to cut their ties with Qatar. This happens as Qatar and Turkish representatives are in Mogadishu on talks. While the KSA and Gulf Cooperation Council members are adding threats and sweetening the deals with possible pledges of aid if they do cut their ties.
If the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) are accepting to be bamboozled by the KSA pressure, as the Somaliland state has already done. This is happening after the Somali delegation who had a meeting in Saudi Arabia, which didn’t go well.
So the neutrality in the conflict in the gulf is tightening up, as the regional aspects seems dire. Since Yemen, Djibouti as well has cut ties. While Ethiopia haven’t formally done anything, but promising a statement. Eritrea doesn’t want to take stand and stay neutral. While Sudan has sided with Kuwait and wishing to support a dialogue between the Gulf nations.
Today, supports of Somaliland said this: “Somaliland interest first; supporting UAE & Saudi is the right decision for our country while #Somalia “supports” Qatar Turkey & Iran” (Somalilanders, 11.06.2017). The Somliland officials has even made directions today on how the cut ties will be put into effect:
“In his post cabinet presser at the presidency in Hargeisa minster Dr Saad Ali Shire the anti Qatar decision was not taken lightly but made after strenuous discussions as pertains the political, economic and diplomatic relations existing between Somaliland and Gulf Countries.
To this effect the foreign minster announced that the cabinet unanimously concurred that
1. The republic of Somaliland fully stands behind the decision taken by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Countries as pertains relations with Qatar.
2. As from 10th June 2017 nobody without explicit authority form the government of Somaliland princess shall be allowed to this countries airspace
3. Somaliland is fully responsible and in charge of its air, land and sea, thence those securing authority for use of such from Somalia shall be liable to due process of the law” (Hasan, 2017).
This is happening while Farah Maalim says: “Farmaajo is restoring Somalia’s image in the international arena. Resist dictation by Gulf fat cats. Maintain Qatar as a friend regardless” (Farah Maallim, 11.06.2017). So the dialogue today with Qatar, bring the internal problems into hot-air. As the Somaliland authorities are defying the Mogadishu government, the federal government of the republic. This is worrying as all parts of Somalia needs each other as the battles between government and Al-Shabaab continues, as well as droughts regions of the nation.
The FGS doesn’t need defiance, it needs collaborations in it’s quest for better future. The Somaliland decision to work on their own, proves that the power of investment in the port are clearly more important than inner works between all the Somali government bodies. Peace.
Hasan, Yusuf M. – ‘Somaliland: Government warns against Airspace Transgression, Backs Saudi Against Qatar’ (11.06.2017) link: http://www.somalilandsun.com/politics1/government/10531-somaliland-government-warns-against-airspace-transgression,-backs-saudi-against-qatar
The Qatar crisis continues as the diplomatic meeting announced yesterday, that the Federal Republic of Somalia where together with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). So they were reports that the KSA would stop giving aid to the Federal Government of Somalia. This would really hurt the Somalian government. Therefore, this meetings was really crucial for the Somalian government and their funding. This is something the KSA counterparts know. That is why the reports from the KSA trip hasn’t gone as the Somali representatives should expect.
Reports from the credible Harun Maruf reports: “Somalia ministers return to Mogadishu after KSA trip; reports suggest they were given a “cold shoulder” but ministers insist it “went well” (…) “Diplomatic sources: Saudi Arabia asked Somalia to either cut ties with Qatar or downgrade relations; Somalia rejected both propositions” (Harun Maruf, 09.06.2017).
While Somaliland has now sided with KSA and UAE. “Foreign Minister Saad Ali Shire made the announcement at Somaliland’s Presidential Palace, following an emergency cabinet meeting. Many expected Somaliland would side with the Saudi-led coalition, as the UAE was granted permission to build a military base in Somaliland in February, and has close relations with the Government of the Republic of Somaliland” (The National Somaliland – ‘Breaking: Somaliland sides with Saudi Arabia and UAE against Qatar’, 10.06.2017).
So while earlier this week the Federal Republic of Somalia called for dialogue on the 7th June as the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) diplomatic squabble in the gulf-states that they are exporting to add pressure other places. This as Djibouti already has sided. Sudan has sided with the dialogue of Kuwait, while Eritrea doesn’t want to be involved. Ethiopia has invested in Djibouti, so that might be their way into this. Therefore, the report from Fana is clearing the way for what they will do: “Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn held talks today with Saudi Arabia’s Royal Court Adviser Ahmed bin Aqeel Al-Khateeb on issues of common interest. The two sides discussed about ways of further strengthening mutual ties”(Fana Broadcasting Corporate – ‘PM meets Saudi, S Sudanese envoys’, 10.06.2017).
That Somalia is under fire, as even one of their states are now partial and has taken sides, it is not unexpected as Somaliland already has agreements of running their ports through a UAE run company. This was about to come, but when it was happening was about to arrive. Now it has and the Mogadishu government has to decide, as their partners in Hargeisa. While Ethiopia, Djibouti and Yemen has taken sides with KSA, UAE and Bahrain. It is now only Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia who has talked about needing dialogue between the Gulf nations.
The politics of the Horn of Africa has been implicated in Qatar crisis and in a heavy way. The Somalia representatives even was back-slapped in Saudi Arabia, even if they don’t want to say so. The threats of cutting of aid and making it hard not to cut from Qatar. Proves how far the KSA will go to settle the stand with smaller and poorer nations. They will bait them to even make it hard not to cut the ties to Qatar, as the funding and support of the GCC allies will be suspended as well.
You can wonder when the GCC partners will ploy into South Sudan, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi, Tanzania and Kenya. They are the next in line. We just have to wait and see. The UAE and KSA will certainly want Somalia to cut ties as Somaliland have already done. Pea
Today, the on-going crisis between the Qatar and its neighbors continue. That United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The diplomatic spat continues. As the nations in region also uses their foreign partners and development countries to put pressure on Qatar. The newest victim is the Federal Republic of Somalia.
Today in a meeting with Saudi Diplomates, the National Representatives from Somalia was meet with this hostile message: “Cut ties with Qatar & we’ll give you what ever you want”. Also, since the Federal Government of Somalia hasn’t delivered on that wish or command by the KSA. They have ultimately done this: “Saudi Arabia refuses to give any financial support to Somalia govt until it cut ties with Qatar”. This come within short hours that the Somalia Republic statement talks of wishing for peace between their Arab partners. Clearly, the KSA doesn’t accept that sort of regime and arrangement. Therefore, the Somalian representatives and also state who needs financial support. That is why this sort of reaction show’s the power of their financial reach and they want to impose their aid with control of the foreign affairs of Somalia.
While the meeting has lead to this relationship with Somalia. They have not tried to change the minds of Ethiopia or Sudan. Since their reach there isn’t as powerful as they could be in Somalia. That proves the power of petrodollars and the wealth of the Saudi Kingdom. Ethiopia has also taken a neutral stance, but has not been hit with pressure yet.
“The Ethiopian foreign ministry has yet to comment, there is a strong feeling among officials in the ministry that they are caught in the middle of a bewildering regional dispute, according to sources. “Ethiopia is acting with great caution and it will come up with a statement urging for dialogue,” a senior diplomat told Ethiopia Observer. Ethiopia’s dilemma is that it trying to develop political and economic ties with Qatar, while also trying to develop strategic ties with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries” (Fantahun, 2017).
While the Eritrea statement says this:
“Eritrea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release said that in Saudi Arabia and the UAE are requested to contact the Eritrean diplomats to cut ties to Qatar. Policies that Eritrea has been completely rejected it. Eritrea said the Qatar share a good relationship, and it is not practicable to apply due to its relationship to the cut. Policies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Eritrea’s president has called for a negotiated end to the tension between Qatar and countries in conflict” (VOASomali – link: https://www.voasomali.com/a/3893751.html).
So if they do this to, than the KSA might come with similar threats and pressure as they have now done to Somalia. Certainly if it wasn’t for President Omar Al-Bashir talks with Kuwait and their dialogue, the KSA might have given him a decree too. Certainly, the KSA and their allies are using their leverage and ability to oil-money to sway people to go against Qatar. Peace.
Fantahun, Arefayne – ‘Ethiopia and Sudan remain neutral in Saudi-Qatar rift’ (07.06.2017) link: http://www.ethiopiaobserver.com/2017/06/ethiopia-and-sudan-remain-neutral-in-saudi-qatar-rift/
WASHINGTON, March 8, 2017—World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim today issued the following statement on the devastating levels of food insecurity in sub-Saharan Africa and Yemen:
“Famine is a stain on our collective conscience. Millions of lives are at risk and more will die if we do not act quickly and decisively.
We at the World Bank Group stand in solidarity with the people now threatened by famine. We are mobilizing an immediate response for Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Our first priority is to work with partners to make sure that families have access to food and water. We are working toward a financial package of more than $1.6 billion to build social protection systems, strengthen community resilience, and maintain service delivery to the most vulnerable. This includes existing operations of over $870 million that will help communities threatened by famine. I am also working with our Board of Directors to secure the approval of new operations amounting to $770 million, funded substantially through IDA’s Crisis Response Window.
The World Bank Group will help respond to the immediate needs of the current famine, but we must recognize that famine will have lasting impacts on people’s health, ability to learn, and earn a living. So we will also continue to work with communities to reclaim their livelihoods and build resilience to future shocks.
We are coordinating closely with the UN and other partners in all areas of our response. We know that resolution to this acute crisis will not be possible without all humanitarian and development actors working together. We call on the international community to respond robustly and quickly to the UN global appeal for resources for the famine.
To prevent crises in the future, we must invest in addressing the root causes and drivers of fragility today and help countries build institutional and societal resilience.”
A famine means that a significant part of the population has no access to basic food, suffers from severe malnutrition, and death from hunger reaches unprecedented levels. Children under five are disproportionately affected. A famine can affect the well-being of a whole generation. Famine was officially declared on February 20 in South Sudan, impacting approximately 100,000 people, and there is a credible risk of other famines in Yemen, Northeast Nigeria, and other countries. Ongoing conflicts and civil insecurity are further intensifying the food insecurity of millions of people across the region, and there is already widespread displacement and other cross-border spillovers. For instance, food insecurity in Somalia and famine in South Sudan are accelerating the flow of refugees into Ethiopia and Uganda. The UN estimates that about 20 million people in Nigeria, South Sudan, Somalia and Yemen are on the “tipping point” of famine. Drought conditions also extend to Uganda and parts of Tanzania. The last famine was declared in 2011 in Somalia during which 260,000 people died.
The Drought Situation
The Horn of Africa is in the midst of a major drought resulting from La Niña and reduced moisture influx due to the cooling of the ocean water in the east African coast. Whilst Member States of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) are adept at managing droughts, what makes the current drought alarming in the Equatorial Greater Horn of Africa (GHA) region is that it follows two consecutive poor rainfall seasons in 2016 and the likelihood of depressed rainfall persisting into the March – May 2017 rainfall season remains high. The most affected areas include, most of Somalia, South-eastern Ethiopia, Northern Eastern and coastal Kenya, and Northern Uganda.
The climate predictions and early warnings produced by IGAD through advanced scientific modeling and prediction tools, which were provided to Member States and the general public, have elicited early actions (preparedness and mitigation measures). Highly comparable to the 2010 GHA drought, the current depressed rainfall and resultant poor vegetation conditions since March 2016 eroded the coping and adaptive capacities of the affected people. It also depleted water points, reduced crops, forages and livestock production, increased food insecurity, and adversely affected the livelihoods of vulnerable communities in the region.
The number of food insecure human population in the region is currently estimated at 17 million. Certain areas in South Sudan and Djibouti are already under an emergency food insecurity phase, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) classification scale. In Somalia, the number of food insecure people doubled in the last year alone.
In the drought affected cropping lands (over Deyr area in Somalia and coastal Kenya), 70 to 100 percent crop failure has been registered. Livestock mortality has been particularly devastating amongst small ruminants with mortality rate ranging from 25 to 75 percent in the cross border areas of Somalia-Kenya-Ethiopia. In addition, livestock prices have dropped by as much as 700 percent.
Terms of trade have declined in the region, with Ethiopia registering a figure of almost 10 percent. This is exacerbated by a substantial negative impact on external balances, as well as a small impact on financial sector-soundness in the other countries. The overall impact on fiscal positions is a likely increase in current budget spending and deterioration in the fiscal balance and weak adaptation capacity.
Despite the downtrend in global agriculture commodity prices, the drought has resulted in an increase in domestic food prices in the region. Cereal prices (e.g. maize) have gone up by about 130 percent, while those of critical food items such as oils, beans and wheat flour increased by at least 50 percent in some pastoralist areas. The limited financial and institutional capacity for effective adaptation to reduce exposure and vulnerability will result in limited safety net to the most vulnerable households.
Drought Response in the Horn of Africa
With the early warning and technical assistance provided by IGAD, Member States have initiated early action to mitigate the adverse impact of the current drought.
Somalia and South Sudan have declared drought emergencies. Kenya announced a doubling of expenditure on food relief to ease the pressure in the drought-affected counties, while Uganda shifted some of its development resources to finance emergency response in order to address food insecurity and livelihood protection. In Somalia, the President of the Federal Republic, as well as state and regional administrations led the issuance of appeals for support and coordinated actors and efforts that scaled-up food security activities to respond to the humanitarian needs of the country.
The USD 730 million allocated by the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia boosted the response effort which, coupled by an above-average meher harvest, resulted to an almost 50 percent reduction in the number of food insecure people, for example, from 10.2 million to 5.6 million.
IGAD continues to reinforce the actions of its Member States using them as guide for complementary action on drought responses. Below are some of the major actions being undertaken by the IGAD Secretariat and its specialized institutions to manage the drought in the region:
Through the IGAD Drought Disaster Resilience and Sustainability Initiative (IDDRSI) Platform, the ultimate purpose and objective of IGAD and its Member States is to mitigate the adverse effects of disasters through building resilience of relevant national institutions, communities and people, to end drought emergencies and contribute to the achievement of sustainable development in the region.
In this regard, IGAD will remain vigilant in monitoring and advising the people of the region on the drought situation through its’ specialized institution, the IGAD Climate Prediction and Application Centre (ICPAC) domiciled in Nairobi, and shall continue to support and complement regional and national actions on drought response and recovery.
In this days we see the strength of one collaborate effort from Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), which has the strength of the Nigerian Army and other ones in the unity. The trading partnership of these nations involved in the regional group are now showing strength by supporting the The Gambian Republic and their wish for a change of an executive as they have put a joint operation from Senegal to invade and put the newly elected President Adama Barrow. The President, the incumbent Yahya Jammeh doesn’t want to step down, even as his army are filled with deserters and his loyal ministers who have resigned. Soldiers are even said be to be staying in the barracks instead of being in the field battling the joint operation. The others have fled to Senegal if they we’re legal counsel or minister, where the President-Elect where Barrow are sworn-in today.
What we should wish if there we’re other regional efforts who cleared the way and paths for nations to be free from their dictators and leaders who don’t stepdown. This would be a step up for international bodies where they actually have the ability to do something quickly without too long procedures. The United Nations Security Council and the African Union Peace and Security Council usually tend to use to long time to be able to fix it or even get voted mandate to engage in the troubled nation.
Gambia has had an election and now the ECOWAS have their army besides the borders. This is happening as the reports from Banjul hasn’t been hopeful as there still Presidential Guards around the Mansion of Jammeh today. The capital is also said to be a ghost time as the fear of the coming ECOWAS army arriving with the newly elected President. If they will come they will bring something new to Democracies around the world. That with or without mandate from the United Nations; the Regional Effort would deal with a thieving of a nation from one man. There reports that ECOWAS are sending the fighter jets over Gambian land, to prove that their behind Barrow and not Jammeh. This proves their will of standing behind the will of the citizens of Gambia. The warships have also blocked the waterways out of Gambia, so the incumbent should feel fenced in.
So what if these we’re common acts when people stole power and wouldn’t leave the Republic’s or nations. Like if Southern African Development Community (SADC) had gone in after the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and opposition presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai won the election over incumbent Zanu-PF leader and President Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe in the year of 2002; that after a fraudulent election where the incumbent did ballot stuffing and other tricks to secure mandate for another term. If SADC had been honest and had military power they could have come with a joint operation of armies of Angola, South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania and less battalions from the other representative nations. As they would be stationed in South Africa and covered the borders with jet planes and tanks to settle grievances between a rigged election and the citizens who demands democracy in Zimbabwe.
Just as we could wish Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) would do something when they have lingering Presidents in power, which they would use their levels of experience and armies to prove that the people’s wishes should matter. The IGAD could have used their forces on the border and taken acts against civilians as acts against humanity, where the IGAD structure would shield their people like in the Republic who has the headquarter in Addis Ababa, so that means that Djibouti, Eritrea, Sudan and South Sudan would have armies besides the border for the violence and killings in Oromia and Amhara in 2016. The same would be for the Kenyan, Ugandan, Sudan and Ethiopian who would act against the civil war and killings inside South Sudan. The same as people have been claimed that President Museveni has cheated himself into power and therefore an illegitimate government. This is something that could have happen and has already happen; would the IGAD act upon it?
Than we have the Eastern African Confederation (EAC), which is based in Arusha in Tanzania. That one has the co-operation between East African Countries. If this one really cared about invalid and illegitimate elections would the EAC have voluntarily sent troops to Burundi to stop the internal bloodshed and the assault on liberties; as the illegitimate government of President Pierre Nkurunziza came into power through a farce of an election in 2015! This could also been done from the EAC when we are thinking of the acts of the TGoNU in South Sudan as the violence escalated in 2016 after they had become a member state in the EAC. That would be of legitimate concerns and not with monetary gains as the UPDF went into the Republic to shield President Salva Kiir Mayardit before the new peace-agreement with him and Dr. Riek Machar. This time around they could go in shield the nation from both parties as they are victims of a power struggle against SPLM and SPLM-IO.
So the SADC, EAC and IGAD doesn’t have the reach or the wanted play to stand by the citizens, it’s more like it is a Presidents clubs where they can lounge and drink tea abroad. They should be unites and cooperation for the benefit of all the member states and their citizens. These ones shouldn’t just be for general trade and infrastructure projects between the nations. If they would be functional they would serve the people when needed. Still, this is a dreamful wish. Not that I wish them to have functional army, but joint operations like the one in Gambia happening today in the favour of the winning President Barrow. We should hope for more of these engagements and operations to besiege an already illegitimate regimes in nations, where the neighbours and the cooperatives their parts of are taken matters into their own hands. This is ten times better than when the United States, France, Germany or United Kingdom is sending their mercenaries to overpower and to overthrow a foreign power. This acts of today in Gambia, will not be seen as a neo-colonial relic put into our present day, instead it will be remembered for the collective effort of fellow nations on the continent acting on their own will and for the best of the Gambian democracy. That is rare and hopes for the best of humanity, not the last as the citizens of the world deserve a fair beating of the tyrants who clings to power. Peace.