Ahlu Sunnah to head cabinet in brokered deal with Galmudug state

Alhu Sunnah leader for so called central regions territory Mohamed Shaakir Hassan during an interview with Goobjoog News in Mogadishu. Photo: Goobjoog TV|March 1, 2017

Galmudug state and the moderate Islamist group Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaah have agreed on a power sharing formula which would end the three old conflict between the two sides and ultimately lead to transfer of state capital to Dhusamareb currently under Ahlu Sunnah.

The power sharing pact which follows talks in Nairobi and Djibouti released Wednesday designates the position of chief minister to Ahsu Sunnah and expands the state assembly to accommodate the group.

Galmudug state assembly is made up of 89 legislators. The agreement does not however state the number of MPs Alhu Sunna would bring on board.

Ahlu Sunnah wal Jamaah (ASWJ) has maintained its hold on Dhusamareb set as the official capital in June 2015 during the formation of Galmudug state forcing the nascent federal state to operate from Adado town which was the venue of the state formation conference.

In what mirrors the 2008 power sharing pact between then Transitional Federal Government and the political wing of the Islamic Courts Union-Asmara Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS), the two sides agreed to share power in several areas including the security forces, state ministers and state judiciary.

The chief minister will preside over the state cabinet sessions but will not have the power to appoint or sack ministers. The President will appoint the state ministers then forward it to the chief minister who will then present the names to the state assembly. The agreement also gives the president powers to sack the chief minister.

Article 10 of the agreement states that the security forces will be integrated. Alhu Sunna has its own militia which it claims controls large swaths of Hiiraan region.

Two important issues however remain unaddressed and have been deferred for further talks. These are the areas which Alhu Sunna currently controls and the transfer of the state capital to Dhusamareb. “Locations under ASWJ in some parts of Hiran region will be discussed in a special meeting in accordance with the national draft constitution,” the agreement reads.

It was agreed upon to conclude the agreement in the new agreed capital of the administration which is Dhusamareeb in the earliest possible way, article 14 of the agreement notes.

President Mohamed Farmaajo who had referred to the agreement during the Partnership Conference in Mogadishu Tuesday said the onus was on Galmudug and Alhu Sunna to implement the agreement.

“The issue is the implementation. It’s upon them and the Galmudug people to implement the reconciliation by prioritizing the national interests over everything since their leaders portrays compromise and leadership responsibility,” said Farmaajo. The state ministers, MPs and local people should also take the lead.”

Speaking on behalf of the federal members states, Council of Inter-Governmental Cooperation chairman Abdiweli Gaas who is also Puntland president hailed the agreement as a success for Somalia.

“It’s a great pleasure for us to attend this precious event which is really a success for Somalia that is playing a great role in the peace process of the nation and restoring the honorable image of the Somali government and depicts a comprise and extensive vision. I congratulate Galmudug leader on this move.”


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