By T. Roble
Federal Member States have vowed to severe ties with the Federal Government over what they termed as interference among a litany of accusation following a three days meeting in the coastal city of Kismayu.
A communique from the meeting Saturday announced the states had ceased cooperation with Mogadishu until it accedes to its demands which include noninterference, funding support and riding security forces of political interference.
“From the perspective of the key elements of cooperation between the two parties, the Council suspended cooperation between the central government and the states,” the seven point statement read in part.
The leaders from Puntland, Jubbaland, South West, HirShabelle and Galmudug states accused the federal government of using the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) for political expediency. They added the formation of other special units within NISA is against the intended structural composition of the intelligence agency.
The cutting of ties with the federal government is not a new phenomenon in Somalia. In June 2015, Jubbaland declared it would not cooperate with the federal government after parliament in Mogadishu voted to declare the Jubbaland State Assembly unconstitutional constituted.
On the political front, the state leaders pointed fingers at the federal government for weakening national institutions and deviating from its line of duty. They added the federal government was using public funds to destabilize regional governments by bankrolling legislative agendas in the state parliaments. Additionally, the regional leaders under the Council of Inter-State Cooperation (CIC) said the federal government had appointed security chiefs without due processes including agreements set out during talks in London, Mogadishu and Baidoa.
The Federal Government has failed to implement the National Security Architecture, the leaders observed noting there was no proper coordination with the African Union force, Amisom. The National Security Architecture which was approved by donors during the London conference last May provided for among others the formation of a 22,000 strong military force of which 4,000 shall be Special Forces. The architecture also envisages the creation of a 32,000 strong police force to be distributed at federal and state level.
Relations between the federal government and the federal member states hit rock bottom last August when all but Jubbaland state declared their allegiance to the Saudi-UAE axis following the Gulf Crisis as Mogadishu maintained a neutral stance.
The leaders’ concerns however do not cite progress reports from the respective federal member states. Besides severing ties with the federal government, the communique also fails to point to action plans to remedy some of the issues raised but instead attributes them to failures by the federal government.