Senate first deputy speaker Senator Abshir Mohamed Ahmed has called for a political dialogue between the federal government and federal member states noting the frosty relations between the two levels of government was adversely impacting on the country’s recovery process.
In an open letter addressed to the country’s leadership at the federal and state level, Senator Ahmed said the immense tasks of rebuilding the nation called for concerted efforts among all sectors of society but noted the infighting was fast eroding hopes of recovery.
Senator Ahmed who is also among the eight Senators from Galmudug state warned that the political differences between the two levels of government was not only a threat to the country’s recovery process but also risked alienating the citizens and killing public confidence in government.
UNITY OF PURPOSE
He called for a unity of purpose despite differences among the leaders of the country. “There may be differences of opinion on certain issues but the leadership of both federal and state governments and all those involved in politics must take every opportunity to find and protect the political understanding on the major national consultations and to have a unified agenda and a comprehensive political agreement.”
Relations between the federal government and the federal member states have remained sour since the onset of the Gulf Crisis in June 2016 and has been punctuated by power politics including on elections at the federal member states. The row hit the crescendo last December during the presidential elections in South West state which resulted in the death of scores of civilians.
Both Galmudug and Jubbaland are heading for elections in May and July respectively in what is likely to be another bruising battle. President Ahmed Madobe of Jubbaland and his Galmudug counterpart Ahmed Haaf have both had sharp differences with Villa Somalia.
“Understanding and political agreement is the first step for any action to be implemented,” said Senator Ahmed. “|But without a solution and a political agreement, it will be difficult for the country to take a step forward from where it is today. It is inevitable that political interference will further isolate the public’s will to the Somali state.”
Senator Ahmed also called for the strengthening of the federal system in Somalia. This can be realized by reinforcing the role of the Upper House as it is the chief custodian of the federalism project, full implementation of the national security architecture and resumption and regularization of meetings between the federal government and federal member states leadership, Ahmed noted.
Talks with Somaliland are also critical for a stable and united Somalia, the senator said.
Completion of the Constitutional review process is the second imperative for the country’s recovery, Senator advised. This should also include its implementation with priority on the articles relating to, among others the status of Mogadishu, elections and boundary issues, the structure of the national government, resources sharing, judiciary and roles and capacity of the Federal Parliament.
Other areas of attention include the formation of independent national commissions and administration of government. The issue of refugees within the region and Yemen who add up to close to a million must also be addressed, the open letter read in part.