In a carefully choreographed and timed fashion both the EU and UN Special representatives made very clear that this tension will risk Somalia’s efforts to achieve its crucial Vision 2016 goals and in the process hamper progress for both the government and its people through their press statements released last night.
“The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia remains committed to fulfilling its mandate to assist Somalia to achieve federalism, a new constitution and elections by September 2016, as set out in the Provisional Federal Constitution and Vision 2016,” said Nick Kay. “I call on all parties to seek a mutually satisfactory compromise that will allow Somalia’s political and security progress to continue without interruption.”
Echoing the above words of the UN Special Representative to Somalia, the press statement of the EU representatives to Somalia also called for the cooling of tension between President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, encouraging both to show leadership in this time of difficulty.
“We note with deep concern the public differences between the President and Prime Minister of Somalia. This is already having an impact on the functioning of the Federal Institutions and Somalia's State and Peace building goals. We call upon both leaders to find a solution to their differences now, in a spirit of pragmatism and for the good of all Somali citizens,” the EU representative’s to Somalia’s press release stated. “The political leadership of Somalia must now rise to its responsibilities and demonstrate that peaceful politics can allow for cohabitation.”
The statements of the EU and UN special representatives and Ambassadors, two of the most important international organisations and actors in Somalia’s politics and reconstruction today, clearly reiterated that both the Somali President and Prime Minister should refrain from actions that will only jeopardise their nations progress thus far and focus on achieving Somalia’s core priorities in the short time they have such as the finalisation of the Constitution and devising a workable federal model of governance and strengthening Public Financial Management.
“Today, Somalia needs peace. It needs responsible political leadership. Somalia has only twenty-two months until the 2016 elections. The regions of the country must now establish representative interim administrations. Deliberations on the constitution must be completed. A transparent system for managing the government’s finances must be established if the trust of citizens is to be won. These are the goals to which we expect Somalia's leaders to devote themselves,” said the statement from the two top EU representatives to Somalia, Alexander Rondos and Ambassador Michele Cervone D’Urso.
The actions of Parliamentarians is crucial for what happens next between the two most powerful men in Somali politics and both the EU and UN representative made very clear they should act responsibly.
“Parliament, as the primary organ of the Federal Institutions, has a special responsibility in these times and we call upon members of the legislative to respect the integrity of the process and the institutions. It is an issue that we, as a main donor, will be monitoring closely,” said the statement on behalf of Specialreprepsenative Alexander Rondos and Ambassador Michele Cervone D’Urso.
The UN Special Representative to Somalia went a step further to highlight that he is “concerned about allegations of some MPs being asked to exchange votes for cash in the context of a potential ‘No Confidence’ motion, which is a disservice to Somalia's progress towards accountability and transparency. Mr. Kay reminded these MP’s that “Somalia and Somalis deserve better.”
Mr. Kay repeated recent calls by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon while on an official his visit to Somalia last week, for political unity and continuity at the highest level of the Federal Government of Somalia, and noted that any action by any party that creates political turmoil would be reported to the UN Security Council, who will be notified that such action risks spoiling the prospect of implementing Vision 2016. In the same manner, the EU representatives reaffirmed their commitment to Somalia and the achievement of its 2016 goals but stated that the “EU remains ready to look at all options should these calls not be heeded and the situation deteriorate further.”
Many Somalia analyst have said that the EU and UN representatives stance on this ongoing saga is helpful “interference” as most Somalis do not trust their MP’s, who were not elected by them but tribal elders, to act in the national interest in these moments of difficulty.
“Most Somali MP’s have shown how destructive they can be and how selfish they were in the last fight between the President and the last Prime Minister Saciid Farah Shirdoon,” said a Somali academic who did not want to be named. “Luckily for us now, so close to 2016, the UN and EU are interfering to steady a sinking ship which was sailing quiet smoothly until recently.”
There has been no reaction from both the President and Prime Minister’s office to the press releases of the representatives of the EU and the UN so far.