New Dawn For Somalia's War-Wracked Nation

Article New Dawn For Somalia's War-Wracked Nation
APR 16, 2022 LISTEN

Today dated 14, April has slated the swearing ceremony of newly-elected federal lawmakers or legislators in the 11th Parliament of Somalia. The newly-sworn in legislators will offer valid legitimacy for the incoming administration and were seen taking the oath during a swearing in ceremony which took place in Mogadishu's heavily protected and guarded Airport.

Heavily armed troops were seen in the major streets and patrolling in and around the venue scheduled for the swearing. Additional troops were also deployed to assure security and the safety of newly-elected MPs

and as reported by local media, in earlier hours the venue came under fierce mortar attacks but no casualties were reported so far. Solemn oath-taking ceremony was broadcasted live or televised by all local media state-run and privately-owned media outlets and this could be seen as a positive step in the right direction.

Approximately 80% of Somalia's new federal lawmakers were sworn in Thursday after protracted procedural irregularities and squabbling between FGS and FMS about the eligibility criteria of new MPs and the thorny issue was suspended seats in two state members notably SWS And HSHS after these MPs failed to meet the demands and requirements set by the electoral body of (FEIT)

The oath-taking ceremony came after repeated polls delays and ongoing feud between the caretaker prime Minister and lameduck president, the two top leaders were at loggerheads since the inception of the electoral process while Alshebab has accelerated its attacks, the last incident was Beletwein twin blast which over 50 people were dead. Among the dead was a firebrand woman member of parliament,

Amina Mohamed who was on the campaign trail when she was targeted and killed by suicide bomber. The killing of late MP, Amina Mohamed brings to five the number of parliamentary candidates who have been killed in the last two months. During Memorial for late MP Abdi. The Prime Minister Roble said his life was in jeopardy.

Hours ago, Two Alshebab members managed to penetrate and breached the heavily fortified compound at Mogadishu's Airport where presidential elections are scheduled to take place, office for the UN western embassies and the main headquarter of the African Union peacekeeping mission are located..

Professor Abdiwahab Abdisamad, chairperson for the institute of Horn of African strategic studies said if you observe at what happened in Barawe, in Beletwein, in Mogadishu that is clear indication, they want to expedite the attacks during the election period. Somalia has been in election mode since last July to fill the 329 seats in the federal parliament.

Ahmed Safina, the spokesperson of the federal elections indirect team (FEIT) said the election remains secure despite the challenges and violence, Safina also said the security has been tightened at all polling stations.

On the other hand Somalia's national intelligence and security agency (NISA) says Alshebab group is plotting conspiracy to assassinate the country's top echelons. Somali spy agency said Tuesday that Alshebab is targeting the president and the prime Minister in order to derail the electoral process and destabilize the country.

In a twitter post, the national intelligence and security agency (NISA) Named the Islamist group's Mohamed Mahir the Mastermind and overseeing the plot .NISA gave no further details or elaborate on the alleged plot but said officials has been informed.

Somalia's top leaders are at odds once again after PM Roble authorized the expulsion of an African Union envoy Francisco Madeira, a diplomat who hails from Mozambique and assumed his tenure in 2016 when his predecessor Augustine Mahiga's term came to an end. Mahiga was a senior diplomat from Tanzania.

The Move of expulsion came after the PM heard a secret audiotape of Madeira debriefing his senior staffs and mocking Beletwein blast and criticizing a certain clans and humiliating former presidents and government officials on leaked audio file.

The lameduck and outgoing president vehemently opposed the Persona non-grata issued by the prime Minister and called the expulsion of the AU envoy an illegal action.

According to the Vienna Convention in 1961 which was signed and ratified by over 25 states has offered full protection to all diplomatic missions and diplomatic immunity to ambassadors and every state is required to fully comply with Vienna Convention. PNG will be the last resort when dealing with multilateral institutions.

Analysts say the latest stand-off between the leaders could exacerbate the precarious situation and further destabilize Somalia as long-delayed elections are wrapping up.

The embattled chairperson of the Somali federal election committee, Muse Guelleh Yusuf, hailed the event, held at the heavily fortified Mogadishu Airport Compound as major breakthrough in the Somali electoral process.

It was great milestone and historic breakthrough ending a long and grueling electoral process that lasted almost two years, some 290 lawmakers have been sworn in today and the rest are expected to be sworn in in the coming days Yusuf said.

He also cited we are missing some 25 seats which remains unfilled in the Hirshabelle and Jubbaland states. After swearing ceremony, the new federal lawmakers unanimously concurred and approved to elect acting speakers of both chambers of the federal parliament.

Regardless of their credentials, knowledge, skill, competence, merit and experience only one quality trait should be observed which is overaging and the oldest lawmakers were elected to serve as acting speakers due to being the oldest of all MPs in the federal parliament.

Today, Saturday they will jointly chair the first plenary session of the 11th Parliament of the federal government the two oldest MPs were elected Ambassador Abdisalan Dabana'ad for the (national assembly )and Yusuf Gaagaab for (Senate) for lower house and upper house acting speakers and they will informally serve as acting speakers until new and formal speakers are elected.

The legislature will commence its preparations for the election of the speakers and their deputies. On Saturday and next move will be to elect new president for the coming four years.

They elected a steering committee comprising 20 members who will orchestrate the election of the speakers and their deputies. Ten members from the lower house based on 4.5 clan arrangement and Ten other members from the Senate based on the allocation of five regional states plus Northern Senators.

Election for lower and upper house lawmakers were scheduled to be accomplished before President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo's term expired in February, 2021

but the election dragged on, delayed by political and electoral disputes at both local, regional and national levels, with new parliament seated and having its first session, Somali political observers are breathing a bit easier and sounds to be disburdened.

This terminates an electoral process that has dragged on for too long and caused election fatigue largely due to the political turbulence and wrangling between lameduck president and his maverick and caretaker prime Minister Roble and now as a new parliament is in place.

I think it is a relief and it is a new dawn for Somali politics and state-building process. Mahad Wasuge Said, Somali political analyst founder and executive director of Somali Public Agenda which is local Think-tank that conducts series of research and studies about Somali Politics and beyond.

The caretaker PM arrived the venue before the swearing ceremony and witnessed the solemn oath-taking ceremony of new lawmakers

and he delivered a farewell or valedictory address to admonish, inspire and recommend the new MPs. You are beacon of hope and don't dash the hope of your fellow Somali citizens. I was assigned to hold an election and I eventually done it.

The swearing-in ceremony followed months of international pressure and local pressure from dissident presidential candidates to complete the election on time and elect new and technocratic president who will be a unifying national figure in a deeply polarized nation and grappling with hyperinflation and high unemployment.

The United State, which has funneled billions of dollars in humanitarian and developmental aids and whose troops train and financially support Somali government efforts to fight and obliterate the militant group Alshebab.

US and Western countries had threatened to defund the deradicalization program and had imposed throttling sanctions and Visa restrictions on undisclosed Somali officials. If they turned into spoilers, saboteurs and disregard the election schedule or timetable.

Once completed the new federal parliament which contains 275 lower-house MPs and 54 senators from the upper house will jointly elect a president.


MOHAMED HUSSEIN MENTALIST. Author, blogger, prominent researcher, Horn of Africa Affairs analyst and senior lecturer at Mogadishu University.

Author, holds BA in English Language and literature at Mogadishu University and BA in Business administration at Simad University. Master of arts in applied Linguistics at Kisii University in Nairobi as well as, Master of peace and conflict studies at Uppsala University in Sweden.

Mohamed Hussein Mentalist
Mohamed Hussein Mentalist

East Africa correspondent of ModernGhana. Page: MohamedHusseinMentalist