By T. Roble
GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: Local, continental and global rejection of Mohamed Farmaajo’s bid to cling to power has left him a lone sailor on a rickety boat headed nowhere safe for a frail army of social media cheerleaders and Villa Somalia henchmen.
Virtually all donors whom the Federal Government handed the burden of financing 61% of this year’s national budget are up in arms in vehemently rejecting Farmaajo’s continued stay in office and called for ‘urgent’ return to talks.
Even the few lobbyists who propped the Farmaajo presidency from Nairobi have gone quiet or toned down their rhetoric as if reading the glaring signs on the wall. It is difficult to imagine that Farmaajo, whose election in February 2017 was greeted with hope and triumph is now a lonely isolated man chasing shadows for an iota of acceptance.
The Federal Government said mid this month it had vacated the September 17, 2020 Agreement which it reached into with the Federal Member States on account that it had been superseded by April 12, 2021, unilateral resolution by the Lower House. Farmaajo hurriedly signed the resolution on April 13, 2021.
But in joint and separate statements, the African Union, the UN, European Union, the US, and the UK have all stood ground that the September 17 Agreement remains the only way out.
The UN Security Council pronounced himself on that position Friday. The UNSC ‘noted the 17 September agreement has remained the only basis so far endorsed by the Federal Government of Somalia and all Federal Member States,” a statement from the UN body read in part.
Prior to the AU Peace and Security Council condemnation of the term extension, Farmaajo had cast his bet on the African Union which has had a chequered history in its treatment of leaders of Farmaajo’s ilk. But when he realised the 15 member AUPSC had no appetite for a President who had waged fights with neighbours during his four-year stint, Farmaajo dispatched his overly enthusiastic information minister Osman Dubbe to announce to the world that Djibouti and Kenya were about to spoil the party. Dubbe has since been likened to Mohamed Saeed al Sahaf aka Bagdad Bob the Saddam Hussein information minister whose press conferences made for comical relief to many including George Bush in the backdrop of bombs pummeling Bagdad in 2003.
Dubbe, who has stood out as Farmaajo’s fiercest defender, known to jump out of his sleep at 2 am to address the world on his bosses’ frustrations with neighbours warned the two countries which birthed the first post-war government in Somalia and midwived the first Transitional Federal Government respectively were now working against Somalia.
DISQUIET IN THE EAST
Though the east has not come out strongly against the extension poker game, it has nonetheless expressed disquiet with the Arab League calling for ‘dialogue’ to resolve the ongoing political stalemate. Besides the Arab world, is Turkey which has remained one of the most influential bilateral partners. Despite its silence on the electoral dispute, the Recep Erdogan administration has had strained relations with Farmaajo unlike with his predecessor Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
Even though just like China, Turkey would not like to be seen to be singing the same song with the West on democracy, propping up Farmaajo is no longer a fair deal. For them, Farmaajo is a political dead horse that would rather be disposed to pave way for a new chapter.
But despite losing international appeal, Farmaajo was still hopeful as of March this year of securing a favourable outlook in Washington as attested to by his contract with LFA Holdings, a U.S lobby firm. According to the filings at the U.S Department of Justice, LFA was to among others lobby for Farmaajo’s visit to the U.S and secure Congressional support for his fledgeling administration. Farmaajo has lambasted the international community including the U.S but still seeks its support from behind the scenes.
Such is the irony of an administration that has relied not only on the power of the dollar to attain its political ends but also one bent on fighting to the end even when all odds are against it.
Having been rejected abroad, Farmaajo is now facing a swelling tide of opposition sweeping across the country. Clan elders, Federal Member States, opposition groups and many ordinary Somalis have voiced their anger against Farmaajo amid tensions following the massing up of militias, especially in Mogadishu.
Former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre faced a similar scenario during the sunset of his 21-year rule. With the conflagration of local and international pressure, Farmaajo ought to read the signs on the wall and save this nation another painful history. The flare-up of violence on Sunday is a reminiscence of a dark chapter that must be avoided by all accounts.