President Mohamed Farmaajo has castigated federal state leaders over what is he termed as overreach risking jeopardizing the ongoing mediation process spearheaded by the Senate and envoys from the UN and the AU.
Addressing Somalis in the South Sudanese capital Jubba after attending the peace celebrations there, Farmaajo lambasted the state leaders for seeking more mandate yet they were not capable of providing basic services to their respective constituents.
“The state leaders have the duty to deliver basic services needed by their people like, education, health centres, bore-holes and collecting taxes which the genuine system on how the federal governments in the world are operate,” Farmaajo said.
Instead, the president said the leaders wanted to engage in foreign policy issues which he noted is exclusive to the federal government. The President’s remarks following a celebration of peace in South Sudan after agreement between President Salva Kiir and former foe and current first vice president Dr. Riek Machar could be viewed as betraying the principles of mediation and compromise.
Farmaajo’s speech could affirm concerns raised by the Senate that the federal government and the president himself is non-committal in finding a solution to the ongoing political crisis. Senate speaker Abdi Hashi Sunday chided the president Sunday for sending a statement to the House written in the third person adding the statement also lacked a formal endorsement from the president as it bore no official stamp.
Senate sources also said the President’s statement re-inviting the state leaders to Mogadishu for talks in the middle of mediation was in bad faith and confirmed the president’s lack of confidence in the role of the Senate.
Further, the President’s remarks could inflame an already charged situation among the state leaders who have accused Farmaajo of interfering with state governments and failing to honour agreements. Council for Inter-State Cooperation (CIC) Wednesday declared its confidence in the mediation role of the Senate and urged it to continue.
“The Council for Inter-Governmental Cooperation is deeply confident in the neutral role of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament and we think it is a way to reach a solution to the conflict,” CIC chairman and Puntland president Abdiweli Gaas said in a statement.
In the arguments on foreign policy, state leaders view it as a consultative process and not exclusive to the federal government as president Farmaajo has opined. Whereas Farmaajo reads article 54 on delegated power, state leaders argue in addition, one must read article 53 which provides for ‘inter-governmental cooperation on international negotiations’.
UN envoy to Somalia Nicholas Haysom and his AU counterpart Franscisco Madeira have called for cooperation among all stakeholders to find a solution to the ongoing political crisis. Speaking in Baidoa on the second state visit yesterday, Haysom warned failure to unite can exacerbate the stalemate.
“We’re asking all of the relevant role-players to get together to find a solution and to make the necessary compromises so that they can work collaboratively rather than against each other,” said Haysom.