Somalia: President Farmajo criticized for fragile Federalism

Somalia has invested heavily in federal systems but persistent interference from the central government has been blamed for slow implementation, almost making the country ungovernable due to various conflicting interests.

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Somalia President Farmajo criticized for fragile Federalism www.africanpolicy.com

The commitment of the current government towards the promotion of federalism has yet again been questioned, with top political heavyweights blaming Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo for his “bad” attitude towards the realization of certain goals through the system.

Somalia is one of few African countries that have heavily invested in federal systems but persistent interference from the central government has been blamed for slow implementation, almost making the country ungovernable due to various conflicting interests.

“Farmajo has weakened the federal system in Somalia so as to consolidate power. The media and especially the international news outlets should play a role in federalization efforts in Somalia,” Senator Farole said during the debate.

During the Twitter Space conversation organized by Garowe Online on Sunday night dubbed “The role of federalism in Somalia’s political and security stability”, most speakers pointed an accusing finger to outgoing Farmajo, arguing that he’s solely to blame for the sluggish implementation of the system.

Abshir Ahmed, the current Deputy Speaker of the Senate, who is also one of the most critics of the president, said Farmajo was not willing to fully implement federalism as enshrined in the country’s constitution.

“A lot of efforts and hard work has been put in place so as to implement the federal system in Somalia. During the four years of Farmajo, there has been a huge slowdown in the implementation of federalism and its promotion as per the constitution,” he said.

For Mohamed Abdi Waare, the immediate former Hirshabelle president, the lack of proper structures towards implementation of federalism could lead to secession calls, similar to steps taken by Somaliland, a region that broke away from Somalia over 30 years ago.

“I am afraid that certain regions in Somalia to take a decision similar to Somaliland’s secession move if federalism is not handled properly,” said the former leader, now turned a fierce critic of Farmajo.

“I do sincerely believe that Somaliland’s long-standing issues could have been addressed through Federalism if applied at the proper time. If the current onslaught on Federalism does not stop, other regions may follow the same path,” he added.

Senators Abdirahman Farole, who is a former president of Puntland and current Senator, and his counterpart Abdirizak Jurile also poked holes in the current system, arguing that centralists have been working hard to undermine various federalism structures that are yet to be implemented.

“Farmajo has weakened the federal system in Somalia so as to consolidate power. The media and especially the international news outlets should play a role in federalization efforts in Somalia,” Senator Farole said during the debate.

“Once the policy is agreed upon, federalism can be effectively implemented in Somalia,” added Jurile, asking all Somalia leaders to put more emphasis on the promotion of federalism, which they said was under persistent threats from Mogadishu.

On the question of the Banadir region and its representation in parliament, Senator Abshir Ahmed asked the current administration to implement various legal frameworks that have been enacted by the Senate. Banadir region hosts the capital Mogadishu and is headed by a mayor.

Currently, Somalia has five federal states namely Puntland, Jubaland, Hirshabelle, Southwest, and Galmadug. The states have often struggled to receive their fair share from the federal government, which controls most of the resources.

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