By T. Roble
- Unresolved political differences a major impediment to the National Security Council functioning
- National Security Council ‘in legal limbo’ owing to absence of a statute establishing it
THE NATIONAL SECURITY Council which was set to kick off Friday has once again failed as state leaders head to Nairobi amid concerns the already fragile security and political situation in the country could further deteriorate.
The Council which brings together the President and heads of federal member states has been dogged by sharp political difference between the federal government and the state federal member states in the last two years since its formation in April 2017.
National Security Advisor Abdisaid Ali put out a tweet early this month announcing the convening of the Security Council set for April 19-23 but like other such tweets in the past, the only consumers appears to be members of the public.
“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.”
Political differences between Mogadishu and the regions have made business between the two levels of government close to impossible in the last two years despite change of guard in the regions. Key proponents of the Council of Inter-State Cooperation- Abdiweli Gaas (Puntland) and Sharif Sheikh Adan (South-West) have so have exited the political scene.
Failure to resolve political differences have made it difficult for the President to make the NSC a reality, former National Security Advisor Hussein Sheikh Ali told Goobjoog News. “Several political issues remain unresolved between the Federal Government and the individual Federal Member States,” said Ali. “You need to deal with the politics of security first before addressing security itself.”
State governments under the CIC umbrella declared severance of relations with Mogadishu last September as relations between the two hit the rock bottom. The points of differences to date remain largely unresolved. So far, Villa Somalia has successfully managed to install a candidate of its own choice in South West state.
NO LEGAL FRAMEWORK
Ali who served in both Presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Farmaajo’s administrations as national security advisor also blames lack of a legal framework establishing the NSC. “At the moment, the National Security Council is at a legal limbo; there’s no statute in place which establishes and guides its functioning.”
Despite our recommendation in the July 2017 NSC meeting calling for a legislation to formally entrench the NSC into law, Ali says, nothing has happened to date.
As the country was anticipating the coming together of the FMS and FGS leaders under the auspices of NSC, state leaders- Puntland’s Abdullahi Deni, Galmudug’s Ahmed Haaf and Ahmed Madobe of Jubbaland were already in Nairobi. It was not immediately clear if the three leaders were set for a joint meeting.
The UN Security Council last month called the FGS and FMS to ‘accelerate the political settlement through the National Security Council Mechanism.’
But Ali observes there is no more political will to deal with any pending issues as politicians are now focused on the 2020 elections warning this could further exacerbate an already precarious political and security situation in the country.
“There is now uncertainty in the country. Everyone is worried about elections; the government is in no hurry to deal with the security situation and this could severely impact on the political and security state of the country.”