By T. Roble
- September 2018 Security Council meeting failed after FMS leaders kept off
- Relations between the FGS and FMS faltered throwing off balance cooperation between the two levels of government
- Al-Shabaab has increased attacks in Mogadishu killing at least 100 people since January
- Weakened CIC gives Farmaajo reprieve to engage with FMS leaders
President Mohamed Farmaajo has convened a National Security Council meeting slated for late April close to a year after the last sitting amid a worrisome Al-Shabaab sustained onslaught on the city which has claimed dozens of lives and destroyed property since the beginning of the year.
The President’s National Security Advisor Abdisaid Ali said in a tweet Friday the President had ‘invited’ Federal Member State leaders to attend the meeting scheduled for April 19-23.
“President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo has invited FMS leaders to Mogadishu for the National Security Council meeting 19-23 April. Busy and urgent agenda items to build security for the Somali people: countering AS & Daesh, national security & strengthening FGS-FMS relations.”
The meeting also comes barely a week after the UN Security Council expressed concern over the delay in implementation of the National Security Architecture endorsed by Parliament in May 2017 and adopted in the same month by donors during the London Conference.
The UN body called on Somalia leaders ‘to reach further political agreements on related outstanding issues to enable implementation of the National Security Architecture’.
Relations between the Federal Government and the FMS leaders nosedived in mid-2017 following the onset of the Gulf Crisis and hit the rock bottom in the months to come making it impossible for the two levels of government to agree on anything substantial save for the June 2018 talks in Baidoa which among others saw the adoption of the electoral formula for 2020 elections and resource sharing mechanisms.
RELATED COVERAGE: Farmaajo puts to test CIC’s resolve, calls for Security Council meeting
A Security Council meeting called by President Farmaajo September last year never materialised as relations between the regions and Mogadishu hit the crescendo. The leaders under the Council of Inter-State Cooperation (CIC) rubbished the meeting calling on Farmaajo to accede to terms such as putting an end to political interference in the regions.
The CIC also accused the FGS of using the intelligence agency NISA for political ends and failure to ‘actualize the provisions of the National Security Architecture noting there was no concrete plan to prepare the security forces to assume responsibilities in light of AMISOM’s phased withdrawal.’
The CIC had early September 2017announced ‘severance of ties’ with the Federal Government following a meeting in Kismayu and reinforced the same in a subsequent meeting in Garowe.
However, the exit of CIC heavyweights-former Puntland and South West presidents- Abdiweli Gaas and Sharif Hassan Aden respectively may have eased the situation for Mogadishu.
Jubbaland’s Ahmed Madobe who is fighting an upcoming election (August) is the only remaining heavyweight in the CIC brigade which seems to have naturally ebbed out.
Galmudug’s Ahmed Gelle is also facing elections in May.
The militant group Al-Shabaab has, since the beginning of the heightened attacks in the city with each month seeing a sustained increase. In March, the group carried out ten attacks in the city killing at least 50 people and injuring 57 others adding close to a similar number in February.
The Thursday car bomb attack opposite the police academy in Mogadishu signified yet again the capacity of Al-Shabaab to penetrate virtually every part of the city with ease. Another car bomb went off around Debka junction Friday night. Police sent out alerts mid last week of a vehicle loaded with explosives on the loose. It is not clear if it was the one used in the Thursday attack.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Hassan Khaire summoned top security chiefs Friday night ahead of their appearance at the Lower House today. Among those to appear are heads of NISA, SNA, Police and Prisons. They will also be accompanied by Defence and Security ministers in addition to Banaadir Regional Administration governor.