With satisfaction marred by cautious anticipation; The Somali street received President Mohamed Abdullah Farmajo’s decision to abandon the idea of extending his mandate for two years, after internal and external pressures and clashes in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, during the past days between government forces and the opposition.
Observers believe that the unity of the political positions of the government and the states and its opposition to the extension and return to the main reference regarding the elections – which is the September 17 agreement – is sufficient to defuse the military escalation in Mogadishu, which almost brought the country back to square one and slide into the civil war again. Read also The Figaro: Is Somalia on the brink of civil war?Somalia: a difficult struggle for a stalled electoral process Somalia: A strong presence of Corona and modest capabilities in providing the vaccine Difficult economic conditions cast a shadow over Somalis during Ramadan
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Opposition and harmony
Yesterday, Thursday, the presidents of 3 states and the Somali Prime Minister, Muhammad Husayn Rubli, declared their opposition to the decision to extend and support the resumption of consultations on the basis of the September 17 agreement, while the position of Somali President Muhammad Abdullah Farmajo was, to some extent, in harmony with the positions of these officials. He left the option to cancel the extension decision and reinstate the September 17 agreement to the decision of the Somali People’s Assembly, which will hold a session tomorrow, Saturday.
The agreement of 17 September of last year 2020 provides for indirect elections for the president. So that delegates from the regions choose the members of parliament and the parliament selects the president, but the parliament’s decision last February to extend the term of the Somali president canceled that agreement.
In addition to the voices welcoming these stances – whether from the opposition or from the international community – the street, which was overwhelmed by feelings of despair, was more joyful and sighed as soon as it reached its ears, the president abandoned the extension decision, hoping that the state of political tension would dissipate.
Indeed, calm has prevailed in the tense areas in the past 48 hours and the displacement movement has stopped, but despite this, the armed forces of the opposition are still deployed in their positions, perhaps because they are waiting for the results of the Somali People’s Assembly session and translating the positions of the government and the states into actions that take the country out of the political impasse and create An atmosphere of harmony and national consensus on when and how the elections will be organized.
Internal and external pressures
And the new positions of the Somali leaders – despite their positive and reassurance to the Somali people – did not come out of their own will, but rather due to external and internal pressures, according to analyst and journalist Ahmed Muhammad Jaysud.
In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Jesud attributed President Farmajo’s decision to the international community’s repeated calls for him to reverse the extension decision, which they see creates a new state of division and wastes the gains made over the past ten years that the international community has relied on. Sanctions on Somali politicians.
In addition to the external pressures, the ethnic divide in the ranks of the Somali police and army emerged between the components supporting the president and those supporting the opposition, in addition to the humanitarian situation shaped by the displacement of thousands of their homes due to the tensions, and all these factors left the institutions of the presidency, government and states no choice but to reach an agreement that puts An end to the present tensions.
Seriousness and flexibility
Whatever the reasons that led to the return to the dialogue table and the welcome received by the opposition; This represents a breakthrough on the political and popular levels, which removed the specter of war from the country, according to the opinion of the editor of the “Mogadishu Press” news website, Abdelkader Program.
It is expected that the Somali People’s Assembly will cancel at its session tomorrow, Saturday, the decision to extend the mandate of Parliament and the Somali president for a period of two years, which he adopted on April 12 this year, and to return again to the September 17 agreement as the basis for the electoral entitlement, to complement the positions announced by the government and the states the day before yesterday, Wednesday, which is an exclusion The option to extend and then start negotiations on the elections. Advertising
A program by Al-Jazeera Net says that due to the dangerous stage that the Somali situation has reached on the political and security level that cannot tolerate slowdown and mutual accusations, Somali politicians at their various levels will this time be more serious and flexible without imposing any preconditions while giving greater authority and role to Prime Minister Robley to lead Negotiations that discuss the electoral path.
In the opinion of Farhan Ishaq Youssef, a researcher at the Public Agenda Center for Studies, politicians should not be left alone for consultations on elections. Because the reasons and points of disagreement that thwarted the previous consultations with their multiple rounds are still in place without the two sides submitting a concession, Somali President Farmajo adheres to the implementation of the September 17 agreement without preconditions, as stated in his speech the day before yesterday, Wednesday.
While the presidents of the states of Puntland and Jubaland, Saeed Dani and Ahmed Madoubi, insist that this agreement cannot be implemented unless several matters are reviewed, including the neutrality of the security forces, the army and the electoral commissions that they see as most of their members loyal to the Somali president’s camp, in addition to the rumors of a crack in the president’s camp. Somali and a dispute arose between him and his Prime Minister; It is a development that complicates things even more.
Therefore, it is imperative that there be a third party capable of imposing solutions and resolving the disputed points, and this party will be – from the researcher’s view – an envoy to be appointed by the African Union soon, especially since the international community has recognized that the African efforts are the leader in resolving the critical political situation in Somalia, according to Youssef. Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net.
What the observers are unanimous in is that the political and security situation in Somalia will lead to the disappearance of the weapons manifestations and the cessation of the military escalation. Matters are dependent on the improvement of political conditions and the behavior of Somali politicians in the coming days, and the committing of fatal mistakes that are not calculated in this difficult circumstance and the failure to reach an agreement on the elections worsens the security situation in the country even more.