According to diplomatic sources in Nairobi, Abdisaid M. Ali, the national security advisor to president Farmaajo told senior diplomats in Mogadishu that president Mohamed Abdullah Farmaajo will travel to United Arab Emirates in the coming weeks.
Abdisaid stated that the primary objectives of the trip to the UAE are the following:
President Farmaajo is trying to switch sides and gradually reduce Qatar influence in Somali politics. He is concerned about the close alliance that have recently formed between Fahad Yasin, PM Hassan Ali Khaire and foreign oil interests that have made lucrative deals with the Kenyan government.
President Farmaajo believes that Hassan Ali Khaire is establishing close political ties with government of the State of Qatar and will most probably compete for presidency with him in 2020. Hence, he believes that he needs a reliable political partner that could provide him political and financial support.
President Farmaajo is uncomfortable with conceding Somali territory by making huge concessions with the Kenyan government and oil companies that have close political and financial ties with Hassan Ali Khaire. He believes that reviving his “nationalist” political rhetoric will help him win the presidency again. Distancing himself from Qatar is seen as a part of that strategy.
The president feels that he has been betrayed and isolated and he believes that Hassan Ali Khaire is plotting against him.
At this stage, there is no information from other sources that could help corroborate the above statements that Abdisaid M. Ali made. However, it is true that the president is isolated and has very little influence at the policy level.
Either by design or by lack of leadership skills, the president transferred lots of his political power to the prime minister and it is only matter of time before the prime minister uses that power, asserts his independence and “sail on his own boat”.