October 22, 2012 – Perhaps one would contemplate whether the new Prime Minister covered up his standing on major issues facing Somalia today in order to secure the premier position. If that is the case, we’re going to be dealing with multifaceted apprehensions in the next four years. First, Pillow fight between the President and the Prime Minister, secondly, as it implied the president’s top policy (a) hostility of Puntland State, (b) undermining Juba region process, and (c) attempt to alter the newly celebrated Federalism system. These agenda will only interrupt the government’s opportunity to take the country to the next level in terms of stability and security.
Somalis around the world celebrated and were encouraged by the completion of the roadmap and by the progress that was made to meet all the requirements of the roadmap. It would have been sensible the president first to be grateful to the process in which he was elected for, and return the same good deeds to the Somali people who have suffered from bad leadership for a long time, as well as the international community that dedicated and spent untold amount of money and energy to end the transition.According to reliable government source, who would like to remain anonymous, as well as some candidates that have been interviewed for the Prime Minister’s post, the President was explicitly seeking conformist, which by that I mean, the best Prime Minister to be anti-federal, anti Puntland establishment, anti Juba Land autonomy, and above all, a Prime Minister who is willing to compromise the selection and the appointment of ministerial and regional posts. Other sources are saying that there are other unspoken stances that we may learn soon.
The president, in his process of locating the new Prime Minister, which included visits to Baydhabo and his hometown Baladweyne, made a press-conference speaking about “Hiiraan” and “Juba Region” in two different standards. He is reported to have said the following: “Hiiraan build your own bottom up administration”. In the same token, the President added this: “I would establish an administration for Juba Region”.
The above statements were insensitive at minimum, and reckless and sinister at best. How on earth would the President create such an environment of mistrust and suspicion in the Somali people, especially at this volatile time? In those sensitive issues of regions and regional administration arena, singling out the Juba region is not a smart idea. For sure, it is not a way to start a new administration such as this one headed by Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
The President’s misstep on the Juba issue has already set the root for an atmosphere of mistrust. Many residents in Juba region were uneasy with the confrontational imagery of the newly President, with some mounting arguments that the President is literally discrediting and undermining the tasty results of the lengthy process of reconciliation of the Juba population.
I believe, in light of the statement made by the President regarding Juba Region and the coordinated anti-Puntland events taking place in villa Somalia, the President intentionally or otherwise appeared to be more ominous than some of us anticipated. It certainly raises a red flag but more importantly it indicates that we’re quite distant from reconciling our differences.
If this is an indication of the way president will conduct business in next four years to come, we would have serious issues in our hands. These careless statements from the president left many observers from the international community stunned who simply refused to state their position to avoid confusion. Many of us expected the president to dive in directly into the business of strengthening nation building, rather than engaging in the sort of murky politics and gray compromise.
Final advice: Until the dust of mistrust settles, the President and his Prime Minster will have to play a very low profile in the issue of Juba region and desist from any attempt or hint to sideline the Puntland and Jubaland regions. Above all, let the people have what their constitution gives; the right to establish their regional administrations that is part of the federal umbrella. That seems to be the best course for all. The alternative could have an intended and unattractive consequence for all. Let’s move on to a better Somalia.
The best way to become acquainted with a subject is to write a book about it.Prof.Ibrahim