New report reveals Somalia sits on a knife-edge

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MOL- In February 2017 election, Farmaajo become the surprise winner in which he defeated former presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and some 20 other candidates.

His election was widely celebrated and generated new optimism with high expectation among Somalis but new House of Commons Library report reveals that Somalia under the leadership of Farmaajo is sliding back into failed-state status.

The report paints a grim picture of Somalia’s progress under the current leadership compare to Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud Government.

President Farmaajo failed to deliver the basic services such as security.  Most dangerously, al-Shabaab has increased its guerrilla warfare, including complex operations, assassinations and coordinated attacks.

Under the leadership of Farmaajo the country is facing endemic corruption.  In 2018, Transparency International has listed Somalia as the most corrupt country in the world.

Farmaajo and his Prime Minister Hassan Kheyre paid hollow lip service to ideas of political inclusion; reconciliation while simultaneously employing clan-based politics intended to further polarize Somali people.

Mukhtar Ainanshe , a Somali Analyst  lamented that somehow Somalia is worst position now then when Farmaajo took office. He said “ two years ago Al Shabaab was on the run, relationship between the center and federal member states was excellent, the relations between Somalia and the self-declared independent state of Somaliland was improving and the county was moving to right direction”.

Mohamed Mukhtar former Minister of Petroleum who now runs Mogadishu based  think thank added “It appears that Somali state could no longer provide basic services, such as security and public services”. He added, “Powerful clans who once defeated and still capable of defeating Al Shabab are shunned from the political process, this, of course will not help our efforts to defeat Al Shabaab”.

Adan Abdulle, social media activist calls for the government of Farmaajo to stop its impulsive and irrational decisions that could impede Somalia’s progress. ” The real question becomes what, if anything at all, is the current Somali government doing to produce a new political environment that will change current political discourse”.

House of Commons report argues that the credibility of the Farmaajo government heavily depends on its ability to deliver security and yet security institutions remain fragile.

Author of the report claims that “Since 2016, after several years of fighting with the Somali National Army (SNA) and the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) in which it lost control over substantial areas of territory, al- Shabaab has increasingly prioritized conducting asymmetrical attacks on Mogadishu and other urban centers. However, it retains control over substantial tracts of territory in the south of the country and supply routes between towns’.

This report comes in the wake of another damning report released by the parliamentary Committee on finance that claims that the FGS did not account for $42 million in revenues and donations it received in 2017/18.

Report also argues that limited goodwill toward the current government may further diminish if meaningful reforms are not implemented.

Somali blogger Abukar Arman calls for nationwide genuine reconciliation process without which Somalia cannot move forward. “Without genuine reconciliation, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) cannot get legitimacy. And without legitimacy FGS’ quest for sovereignty would only prove a quixotic ambition, if not a counterproductive one”.

UK government has supported Somalia’s successive governments with financial and technical support. Soon after the election of President Farmaajo, Britain pledged and delivered a $125 million aid package that provided emergency food for up to one million people in Somalia.

Full Report: House of Commons Library Report

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