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The battle for Villa Somalia

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By Abdinoor Ali

The growing political uncertainty in Somalia will slow down the progress the country made in the last decade. Lack of clear election laws makes the election – delayed for a month now – makes the electoral process complex.

On 17 September 2020, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and five regional leaders agreed on a revised election procedure based on the 2016 Somali parliamentary election. In the deal, clan elders verified by federal and state authorities would elect a parliament, whose members would then select a president. The Federal Government of Somalia agreed with member states to hold parliamentary elections on 1 December 2020.

The battle for villa Somalia will become fiercer—both because of disagreement over how to implement a September 2020 political agreement and because of foreign influence. Somalis need to put their country first and find a way to get out of the current mess – for their own people’s benefit.

Somalis are not voting in this election – clan elders will — and see politicians pulling their countries in opposite directions. Those who want to frustrate the election process and those who call for a partial election.

The contest between President Farmaajo and a coalition of opposition parties must be done in a peaceful environment that will guarantee an outcome agreeable to all. The two sides must talk, and there are sings showing progress towards this is being done. This week, the prime minister, Hussein Mohamed Roble met opposition leaders and resolved a number of issues including putting off planned protests against the government because of fear of potential violence and because of Covid-19.

Tensions spiked last week, leading to exchanges of gunfire on the streets of the capital, Mogadishu, and heightening fears that the election dispute could spiral into civil conflict.

Even so, all sides seem to be coming together for talks and agree on the main zone of contention:  Gedo, Somaliland and membership of the electoral commission.

To avoid further delay, parties must come together as soon as possible. The government is under pressure to hold elections but it cannot do it alone, regional governments must support the process and cooperate.

Whatever happens, a partial or parallel elections and violence must be avoided and the government must retain its focus on al Shabab.

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Politics

Puntland forces block delegation waiting to receive Planning Minister Jamal Hassan in Garowe

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Puntland security forces reportedly under instructions from State President Abdullahi Deni barred a delegation which was to received Federal Planning Minister Jamal Hassan at Garowe Airport Thursday morning.

The minister who was on his way to his constituency in Dhahar, Sanaag region arrived at the airport but without a receiving delegation after his team on the ground was blocked from accessing the airport, sources at the airport said.

After he left the airport, sources said, a confrontation arose between his security team from Dhahar and Puntland forces. The team from Dhahar had come to pick him.

The government forces had reportedly attempted to bar him from leaving for Dhahar but he finally managed to leave.

Jamal, a close ally of President Mohamed Farmaajo does not see eye to eye with Deni whom sources said has attempted to derail his re-election.

Jamal will be seeking to be re-elected by his sub-clan in Dhahar in the upcoming Lower House elections.

Source: Hiiraan and Agencies

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Politics

Farmajo names committee of inquiry to investigate disappearance of former spy Ikran Tahlil

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Somali president Mohamed Farmajo has appointing a five-member committee to investigate the disappearance of former spy agent Ikran Tahlil.

“I hereby appoint a five-Member Commission of inquiry Chaired by the Attorney-General and deputized by Head of Military Court to expedite investigations on the case of IKRAN TAHLIL and to hand over the findings and evidence to responsible legal institutions for the execution of Justice.”

In the presidential decree, Farmajo appointed the Attorney-General to lead the fact-finding mission. The Armed Forces Court Attorney General is also a member of the committee. The three committee members will be nominated later by the Somali Police Force Commander, the Commander of the Somali National Army and Col. Yasin Abdulahi Mohamud, his new appointee Director-General of the National Intelligence and Security Agency.

The statement added that Ikran’s case was a “sensitive one that needs a thorough investigation.”

Farmajo instructed the commission to submit its investigative reports to the relevant authorities, although there will undoubtedly be demands to make the findings of any report public. There will also likely be apprehension to Somalia’s intelligence agency being a part of the investigation. Many lawmakers have called on an independent inquiry into Ikran’s murder.

Farmajo declared that the decree came into effect immediately after he signed it.

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Politics

Qorqor and Laftagareen try to bring Farmajo and Roble together

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The presidents of Galmudug, Ahmed Abdi Karie Qoor Qoor his South West State counterpart and Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed Laftagareen have taken the role of mediators to find a solution the wrangle between President Mohamed Farmajo and his Prime Minister Mohamed Roble.

The two  met with Farmajo and Roble separately, and urged both parties to refrain from further action that would escalate the tense situation.

Reports indicate that the president and the prime minister have accepted the mediation, although each has developed conditions attached to the talks.

Prime Minister Roble insisted that Commander Bashir Goobe was the commander of NISA, and President Farmajo emphasized that the steps taken by the Prime Minister were invalid.

The meeting is expected to continue on Friday. The two presidents are hopeful that the two top officials will finally be reconciled so that their differences do not affect the election process.

The intervention comes amidst heightened political tensions between Farmajo and Roble which could threaten the fragile security of the Horn of Africa nation.

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