Somalia Partnership Forum Issued No-confidence Communiqué in Brussels
The C-SPF affirms the sovereignty, territorial integrity and unity of Somalia and the support for the reconciliation among Somali communities. However, Somaliland Administration (self-declared independent of Somaliland) did not participate the SPF meeting. The Tukaraq conflict between Puntland and Somaliland administrations defines the territorial integrity, unity, and the federal system of Somalia. The new engagement of UN and IGAD should shed light on the underlying causes of the conflict and the way forward. Dialogue between FGS and Somaliland is fruitless.
Point 62 of the C-SPF confirms that the IP will support and empower the NGOs to deliver the services of the federal ministries and will explore new ways of working with all Somali local actors, including Somali private sector, local community based NGOs, and local authorities.” This is rejection of recommendations made by Dan Honig and Sarah Louise Cramer in their paper on “Strengthening Somalia Systems Smartly,” December 2017, for use of country system and supports the no confidence statement.
The C-SPF cites several new offices, namely the National Security Office (NSO), the Federalization Negotiation Technical Committee (FNTC), the Disaster Management Agency (DMA), National Security Council (NSC), and Regional Security Council (RSC). It is not clear the working relationship between these offices and other federal and state Institutions. Sprawling of offices, committees, and councils without legal foundations hampers state building and good governance.
The “To Do List” include, among many things, the completion and endorsement of permanent federal constitution by December 2018 (not December 2019) and realignment between State and federal constitutions; establishment of constitutional court and functional judicial service commission, human rights commission, and justice reform; passage of electoral law, amendment of political party law, decision on electoral model, voter registration, electoral districts, for “one-person-one-vote” election in 2020/2021; security sector reform with civilian oversight and compliance with human rights, creation of maritime force, and implementation of Transition plan; passage of anti-corruption commission for transparent and accountable public financial management.
Point 44 of the C-SPF clarifies that debt relief through Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) process depends on the establishment of macroeconomic framework based on good governance, strong financial institutions, and clear economic policy. The World Bank made the same point in its Somalia Economic Update Report of October 2015. Somalia faces monumental challenges for debt determination and debt relief.
For obvious reasons, SPF gives lukewarm support to “currency reform initiative.” Point 52 of the C-SPF explains the political and economic purposes behind currency reform. Therefore, political reconciliation, national integration under rule of law, effective institutions, and solid macroeconomic framework are critical preconditions for currency reform.
The UN Security Council resolution 2431 of July 30, 2018 delayed the implementation of the drawdown of AMISOM forces planned in October 2018. The decision is further evidence for the no confidence outlook on the performance of the FGS. Similarly, the EU is facing new hurdles against supporting the security sector reform following the European Parliament resolution 2018/2782 criticizing the FGS’s poor human rights record. Again, this reinforces the no confidence judgement.
The reading of the JC-SPF raises serious concern and questions about the moral responsibility of the Somali authorities to serve first and foremost the interest of their country and people. The security forces of the Somali National Army (SNA) and National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) trained and supported by the International Partners to fight against terrorism and to protect the citizens, and the Judiciary system are now used to attack and intimidate the citizens and to suppress freedoms of expression and association. The creation of government militia like Mogadishu Stabilization Forces and Civil Defense Force (CDF) outside the Provisional Constitution and the brazen protection of security officials accused of human rights abuses are stirring political tensions and anarchism.
The leadership trust, cooperation, participation, transparency, persuasion and discipline needed in the complex negotiations and legislation for accomplishing the tasks of the “to do list” are in short supply. The federal parliament, other federal and state institutions, and the civil society are paralyzed and discredited through corruption and patronage.
Most probably, the incumbent leaders will continue to fail in implementing the “To-Do List” assignment because they are intensely and narrowly focused on their 2020/2021 reelection by hook or by crook rather than fulfilling responsibly and effectively the statebuilding activities planned during their term in office 2017-2020. This is replay of failed 2012-2016 strategy. The Somali people are still looking for leaders who can be good example and heroes for honest competitive politics and service to the country.
Mr. Mohamud M Uluso