Rebirth of Dictatorship in Somalia
The Somali President, Mohamed AbdullahiFarmaajo,undermines the Somali Constitution and democratic rule of law. With the help of the prime minster and the cabinet, he sets disruptive manipulations against legislators and plots intimidations and threats to those who speak of change. The President endorses theappointmentsof cabinet ministers who are mainly Legislators of the Parliament. The reason that cabinet members are Legislature is that the President wants to use them as a tool of political corruption and to carrying out also negative influences within the Parliament. His government directs threats of depriving immunity for those unfavorable dissident law-makers, and the president also consents predatory behavior of his government to silence independent media through bribe and intimidation of state police.
The President and cabinet members of the Legislature worked to put unlawful pressure and intimidationthat forcedthe resignation of the former speaker, Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawaari. The President considered that the speaker Jawaari was unfavorable to his demands on Parliament. Nevertheless, recently the executive branch was upset with the Appropriation Committee of the Parliament who uncovered 42 million dollars missing in the government account, supposedly used for political corruption and bribes. The President, in order to obstruct the checks and balances of the Parliament Committee, pressured strongly the acting speaker who is the first deputy speaker and the second deputy speaker with the help of kickbacks and promises of government positions to fire the Appropriation Committee. They did it, but their deeds made the Parliament dysfunctional after strong opposition escalated in the Parliament.The Speaker ended the polemic after he dismissed the unlawful dissolution of the committee. On the other hand, the Speaker, to alleviate incessant government pressure on him, he nominated chairmanship of the committee to a person in favor of the government.
The President and his team, who are mainly members of Ictizam religious faction, are planning the re-election of the President in the upcoming elections in 2020 – 2021. They planned strategies of winning the election on the basis of making their own loyal candidateselected as the head of eachfederal member states through the use of force and bribery. They successfully bribed the head of Hirshabelle state to collaborate with their demands and exchanged his loyalty with the promise to finish his term without disruption. They also intimidated the former head of Southwest state and bribed him to resign with the coercive help of Ethiopian forces in Baidoa. Recently, the Somali Presidentintervened in the state presidential election in Southwest state and used force, bribe, intimidation, and the coercion of the Ethiopian Intelligence and military forces to let win their candidate Mr. Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed known as LaftaGaren. The Somali governmentwith the help of bribed local officials managed to set up a sham election at Baidoa without the presence and consent of the international community, local elders, and other Somali dignitaries and stakeholders.
The State Police and Ethiopian security forces dictated the outcome of the election and also brutally suppressed the uprising of the local population who were upset about the fake election. The local people were demanding from the Somali president to respect their rights to elect their leaders in a fair and free manner. During the election period of December 12 – 15, the Ethiopian and Somali State Police, killed at least 25 people, wounded about 60, and arrested indiscriminately about four hundreds ofunarmed civilian protesterswho were participating peacefully in the civil unrest at Baidoa. Ethiopian heavy military equipment were used to silence the rights of the Southwest people for their freedom of press. The presence of the Ethiopian Military forces are considered by the local population to be repressive forces, who causes horrific violence and human suffering in the Southwest State.
There were little interests in analyzing the legal grounds for such ill-conceived Ethiopian military operations in Somalia and often in the past it happened that it was swept under the carpet. During their recent repressive operations in Baidoa, no options were given to the people,considering the UNSC Resolutions obligating to take all necessary measures to save the lives of innocent civilians. Instead the Ethiopian forces embraced disproportionate use of forceas it was at war with Somalia. And the most horrible Aggravation of the case is that accountability and legal consequences are virtually non-existent. Therefore, The Somali people is looking anxiously towards the United Nations secretariat and the international community to secure investigation for those responsible for the armed actions and their prosecutions.
Besides that, the president and his team of aidesfought aggressively for the removal of Mr. Ahmed DualeGelle known as Haaf, head of the Galmudug state, from office before the end of his term. The attempt was unsuccessful, but they succeeded in dividingGalmudug’shighest leaders into two parts. One small group that locates in Adado stands loyal to them while the bigger group who are against them remains in DusaMareb. The key majority figures of the Galmudug regional administration functions at DusaMareb, the capital of the state, but the Somali president has imposed financial sanction and isolation to shut down that administration. Contrarily, his loyal minority group, who seceded from the majority Galmudug officials,enjoy lucrative lives in Adado and move back and forth without obstruction.
The President and his inner circle team also plotted an assassination attempt against two prominent, dissident politicians, namely Mr. AbdirahmanAbdishakurWarsame, President of the Wadajir Party, and who was a Presidential Candidate in 2012 and 2017, and Senator General Abdi AwaleQeybdid, head of the senate committee for constitutional review. The President banned all kinds of peaceful political assemblies that were organized by his political opponents.He also prohibitedas well for those organized byindependent orneutral politicians who could blame him accountable for the country’s political turmoil, particularly the worsening of security, justice, and the economy. In addition, some members of the ruling group at Somali’s statehouse in Villa Somalia have been suspected to have close ties with the armed extremists and together they establish mixed cells of organized killers who have authorized mandates to kill or to intimidate politicians, journalists, and clan elders. The slaughterers’missionsand the mysteriousset-ups of those murderous cells would go through undetected and without hinder to the fortified security barriers and heavy guards that government forces established in the middle of the main routes that go to the residential lodges and hotels where politicians reside the most.
All those allegations against the Somali president are serious violations against the principles of democracy and the practice of good governance.The President acts tyrannically as he annihilates the country’s constitution and the Somalis’ nascent democracy after he carries out coercive malpractices and autocratic manipulations against the rule of law. He wants to have a very powerful executive branch of the government that controls and oversights the Legislative and Judicial branches. Furthermore, he also has a great desire to launch a big ruling party that his government owns and finances. His ultimate goal is definitely seen as he wants to establish an autocratic regime led by only one party system and definitely that his own party would be that one ruling party. No doubt that in the procedure of faking the existence of multi-party system, there would befew other allied nominal, fake political parties funded as wellby the government and aimed to mislead the international opinion.
Ethiopian and Eritrean leaders are tyrants who abuse the rights of their own people and now as well they want to assist the Somali President to be part of their club of tyrannical regimes in the Horn of Africa. Their establishment strives to re-establish a strong dictatorial regime in Somalia and exploitthe strategic location of Somalia once again,as Siad Barre did in the cold war era. They believe they cancreate ambitious situations and strategies that could revive super power cold war like competitions in the region.Furthermore, they also consider giving lucrative bases for the immerging wealthy Arabian regional powers in the Gulf States. Nevertheless, Somalia after 21 years of brutal dictatorial regime of General Mohamed Siad Barre, who was a subordinate of Soviet Union for a long time, unwelcomes a rebirth of a new, brutal tyranny of a nephew who follows the footsteps of his uncle’s autocratic leadership.The Ethiopian and Eritrean coercive forces want to redirect Somalia into a course of an undemocratic direction where the country goes astray in the middle of immature integration and immersion into the club oftyrannical brutal regimes in the Horn of Africa.
I want to ask theUnited Nationssecretariat and the international community to consider that most Somali people are unwilling to accept the presence of Ethiopian and Eritrean military and security forces onSomali Soil.The Somali people’s negative perceptionstowards Ethiopian and Eritrean military forces were derived from their past involvements in the Somali’s internal affairs.Eritrea was arming Al Shabab who killed thousands of innocent civilians, while Ethiopia was fighting doubtfully with Al Shabab, but killed indiscriminately thousands of civilians by shelling densely populated areas in Mogadishu. Those badperspectivesof the peopleagainst Ethiopian and Eritrean forces weredeep-rootedintounfolded genocides of horrific violence committed by those forces during their past military operations in Somalia. The People recall those dire experiences with those forces and therefore they stronglybelieve that those militaries are actuallyvery bad forces. In a different perspective about Ethiopian and Eritrean involvements in Somalia,the people are certain to believe according totheir acquired, observed past experience that those forces can be considered to be neither supportive ofpeace and stability in Somalia, nor are theytruly fighting against armed extremists in the country.
The Somali people are truly very concerned aboutthe presence of the Ethiopian and Eritrean forces, and theyare certainly believe that those forces arehelping to make it happen the implementation of those underway autocratic changes in Somalia. Furthermore the people are certain thatthey are devoted to keep the current president in power for a longer period of time. The general will of the Somali People will greatly appreciate if the United Nationssecretariat and the international community enquire the allegations that both the dictatorial regimes of Addis Saba and Asmara are negatively influencing the establishment of a dictatorial regime in Somalia. I would like to request the United Nationssecretariat and the international community to help the Somali people to comfort them to feel safe from what they consider military invasions of Ethiopia and Eritrea. I believe the presence of Ethiopian and Eritrean military forces would not help strengthen the United Nationsand international community peaceefforts in Somalia for the near or far future.
The feeling of uneasiness for the Somali public awarenesswas caused by the lack of interest from the international partners to protect the sovereigntyof the Somali Nation. According to International law, if a nation is unable to protect itself, it has the obligation of the United Nationsand its member states to offer protection. Contrarily, for those that are member states of the United Nations that instead covertly sponsor the Ethiopian and Eritrean military invasions in Somalia, will trigger somber reactions of the Somali people for many years.Make no mistake that the Islamic extremist fighters of Al Shabab were the creation of the situation immerged from the Ethiopian intervention during 2006-2009 military incursions in Somalia.
The promotion of equality, justice for everyone, respect for civil liberty and rights, and abide of the rule of democratic laws is not foreseeable in Somalia in the near future. The Somali people have seen elections of nine Legislative seats happened in the five federal member states for the last two years. Sadly, all of the winners were the government candidates who won the polls about 99% of the votes, and that left painful public perceptions about those unfair elections. The Somali Government funded their candidates with public money and gave the Electoral Colleges bribes that often associated with intimidations. In all those polls, there was really only one candidate to vote for each poll, and that was thegovernment candidate. In addition, there were also two elections of the heads of two federal member states, namely Hirshabelle and Southwest. Likewise, government candidates succeededin getting most of the votes, and those who were seen as opponents lost badly.
Recently, there was an election held in Baidoa, Southwest state, where the head of the state was scheduled to be elected. That election was the worst of all. The abusive Ethiopian military autocracy is the sole observer and judge of the election, and their coercive efforts assured the government’scandidate a win, the election in the first round without any hassles from the contestants. All those staged elections that happened in the past two years that the current president was in power, show unmistakable, predictable projection of unfairness for the upcoming elections in 2020. No doubt that the future government candidates will win all Parliamentary seats, eventually re-electing the current president with the totalitarian votes of about 99.9%. I am appealing for the United Nations secretariat and Somali partner friends to pressure theircollegial international partners and the Somali President to make sure that their great efforts ought to help Somalia back in the right direction,and to adopt accountable policies of zero tolerance against the political corruption that derailed transparent procedures from the right course of free and fair election in Somalia.
The Somali President conceded the State Police, who are consisted a combined Islamic radical fighters and clan militias of the President and his Prime Minister, to use excessive force, suppressing unfavorable Legislators and antagonized political dissidents. He also ordered undue pressureonunallied independent media and neutral independent politicians. He alsoordered mistreatment for thosewho are associated with nonconformityor against government misappropriation orcritics of the government’scoercive and misuse of its power. The president also approved his aides, to use corruption and intimidation as a means to silence independent media and influential clan elders. His aides spend public money lavishly, to hire underage teenage supporters who are created intentionally to spread social media propagandas of personal attacks towards political dissidents.
I am respectfully requesting the United Nations Secretariatand the international community to consider the voices of dissidents be heard as equally as it listens and shares informative reports with the highest Somali government officials. As an independent, neutral political opposition, I am strongly committed to an allegiance of strengthening the success of peace, stability, and democratic rule in Somalia. Therefore, I am requestingthe United Nationssecretariat and friendly partners of Somalia to hold the Somali President and all other Somali Senior cabinet ministers who held government leadership positions in Somalia to be accountable for their involvements in serious corruption allegations and their gross violations of human rights against independent media, poverty stricken civilians, civil rights protectors, and oppositional political dissidents.
Finally, I want to share with you that President Farmaajo was not elected by a popular vote and therefore the United Nationssecretariat and the international community have to understand that Somalia would be better off if President Farmaajo accepts political reconciliation dialogue and power sharing with his political opponents. The formation of reconciliatory government composed of the political opponents will pave the way to restoring hope for the election of 2020. I hope that the United Nations secretariatand the international community take necessary steps in order to participateeffectively insupport of diverse Somali civil movements that helps to promote democracy, fight political corruption, avert autocracy and theocracy, and eradicate radicalization in Somalia. As an independent Somali politician, I wish that the United Nations secretariat and the international community’ssupportive political missions to Somalia will enhance better political resilience that help Somalia to become again a great sovereign democratic nation with a better leadership
Dr. Said Mohamud, Chair of the Somali People’s Party
Presidential Candidate in 2012 and 2017