Opposition leader warns Somali state-building process ‘on verge of collapse’

At an event marking 60th anniversary of Somalia’s Independence, held in Mogadishu 1 July, Wadajir Party Leader Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, gave a substantive address that focused on the situation in the country.

‘NOTHING TO CELEBRATE’

Taking the podium, he started by questioning if Somalia had anything to celebrate.

”A Ugandan soldier has taken charge of the security in Villa Somalia, 60 years after gaining our independence. The UN sends a special representative for Somalia affairs that runs government institutions. It is very unfortunate for the government to repair and paint buildings in the name of celebrating the Independence Day. We have absolutely nothing to celebrate when over 700,000 Somali refugees are hosted in NFD Kenya.”

POST CIVIL WAR GOVERNMENTS

Warsame then spoke at length about the post-civil war governments in the country, beginning with the transition government established in Arta, Djibouti, in 2000. Abdiqasim Salad Hassan led that government to failure, the opposition leader said.

It is failure to gain legitimacy in the country led to the formation of the government led by Abdullahi Yusuf in Kenya in 2006, he said. His views on that were summed in this statement:

”All warlords in the country became ministers in Abdullahi Yusuf’s regime.”

But Islamic groups had by then came to prominence, he noted.

”the Islamist government could not cooperate with the international community and eventually they were overthrown after Ethiopian troops were deployed to Mogadishu.”

Now, he said, the country is in the third stage of the state-building process, and the current government risks collapsing the little gains made since the Arta government.

CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS, POLITICAL DISPUTES

Warsame said the state is on the verge of collapse because the government destroyed four fundamental things, “power-sharing, federalism, democratic constitution and peaceful transition of power”.

“The country is divided with the Senate, political parties and regional administrations on side and the Lower House of Parliament, the Electoral Commission and Villa Somalia on the other. It is three against three,” the opposition leader observed.

He added that the government is working to divide the country by creating political disputes and through deliberate incitement of the people against each other.

He stressed that this risked collapsing the entire state-building process that was born in Arta in 2000.

IDEOLOGY GROUPS

The Wadajir party leader said Somalia was fighting extremist groups whose ideology is based on the belief that they are righteous.

Then he criticized President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and his supporters for coming up with an ideology where they are ”the only patriots”.

“The way out of this problem is to have five goals: First, we need to complete the provisional constitution which is ‘our social contract; second, we need to get the law enforcers and establish judiciary and national forces, third is to liberate the country from al-Shabaab. We either dislodge the terrorist group or sign a deal with them. The fourth point is that we need to plan and send the AU troops out of Somalia. Finally, we need to trust ourselves by compromising among ourselves.”

BANADIR SENATE REPRESENTATION

“As a tactic, when their term of office nears end, Somali presidents issue executive orders by creating districts and regions and appointing commanders and directors of institutions,” he noted.

President Farmajo is no different, and the campaign to give Banadir Region representation in the senate is such a tactic, according to Warsame.

“We will not entertain dishonest political maneuvers,” he warned.

Villa Somalia leaders, Warsame argued, are playing political games with the people of Mogadishu.

He concluded his speech by urging the government to hand over power peacefully after completing its term in office.

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