Somalia Report 2019 focuses on the main developments and key trends in politics, security, economy, social services

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    Somalia Report 2019 focuses on the main developments and key trends in politics, security, economy, social services - The State of Somalia (SOS) Report focuses on the main developments and key trends in politics, security, economy, social services and the role of external actors from 1 January to 31 December 2019. The objective of the report is to:

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Size: 1 MB - The State of Somalia (SOS) Report focuses on the main developments and key trends in politics, security, economy, social services and the role of external actors from 1 January to 31 December 2019. The objective of the report is to: empirically and systemically document key events in Somalia; provide analysis and context to policymakers, academics and the general public; and support peace building and state building efforts in Somalia.
During the reporting period, the political situation was characterized by major upheavals and a deepening rift between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) and Federal Member States (FMS). Four out of the five states held (or are still holding) elections which the FGS saw as an opportunity to influence, and, if possible, replace the often-hostile state leaders with loyalists who would implement its vision across the country.

The State of Somalia (SOS) Report focuses on the main developments and key trends in politics,  security,  economy,  social  services and the role of external actors from 1 January to 31 December 2019. The objective of the report  is  to:  empirically  and  systemically document  key  events  in  Somalia;  provide analysis    and    context    to    policymakers, academics   and   the   general   public;   and support  peace  building  and  state  building efforts in Somalia.

During  the  reporting  period,  the  political situation    was    characterized    by    major upheavals and  a deepening rift between the Federal  Government  of  Somalia  (FGS)  and Federal  Member  States  (FMS).  Four  out  of the  five  states1   held  (or  are  still  holding) elections    which    the    FGS    saw    as    an opportunity  to  influence,  and,  if  possible, replace  the  often-hostile  state  leaders  with loyalists  who  would  implement  its  vision across the country.

 In its zeal to change the face of the member states,   the   FGS   unleashed   its   juggernaut across  the  country,  setting  off  a  political firestorm  that  effectively  brought  progress towards the lofty goal of inclusive politics2 to avirtual     standstill.     Central     to     this arrangement  is  the  provisional  constitution

1  These are: Puntland, Jubbaland, Southwest, Galmudug and Hirshabelle.

2  Inclusive politics refers to the political arrangement between Somalia’s key stakeholders to share power and resources in a way that does not risk the total collapse of the state. In place since the rebirth of the state in 2000, the Djibouti-brokered dispensation ensured a modicum of power sharing based on a complex clan system as well as understanding Somalia is a post conflict society that requires those

and  the  federalism  system  of  governance. During   the   reporting   period,   meaningful discussions    on    the    finalization    of    the constitution   and   electoral   modalities   also ceased  as  a  direct  result  of  the  political showdown between the FGS and FMS.

Equally  frozen  were  the  talks  between  the FGS    and    Somaliland,    which    declared unilateral  secession  in  1991.  Although  the talks between Hargeisa and Mogadishu have produced little substance since they were first launched  in  2012,  they  at  least  created  a conducive   environment   to   continue   the dialogue. The tone has now shifted to one of open hostility and acrimony between the two sides as the FGS has taken a more rigid stance than  its  predecessors.  A  recently  appointed reconciliation committee that was formed to advise the FGS did not succeed in moving the process forward.

One   major   achievement   of   the   federal parliament  was  the  passage  of  the  national electoral  bill  on  28  December  2019.  After more than a year of negotiations and haggling over    which    model    to    adopt3      for    the

2020/2021   parliamentary   and   presidential elections,   the   Lower   House   passed   an electoral bill that appears to have the support of    most    MPs    as    well    as    some    key

who hold political power to apply the principles of compromise, consensus-building and do no harm.

3  For a comprehensive treatment on electoral models, Somalia’s past experiences and options available for the country’s 2020/21 electoral cycle, see the HIPS report Somalia: In Search of a Workable 2020 Electoral Model,

content/uploads/2019/07/HIPS_report_english_vers ion.pdfstakeholders. However, that legislation has a long way to go before it becomes binding and implementable. The Upper House also has to ratify it, and the president must sign it into

they were a death knell for many businesses which were forced to close.6

But     there     are     also     some     positive 



Chief  among  them  is  the

The security situation was severely impacted by the  political  crises.  During the  reporting period, the militant group Al-Shabaab hit the capital Mogadishu and elsewhere.

Al-Shabaab  currently  controls  roads  to  the north  and  the  south  to  Mogadishu.  Even within  the  capital,  Al-Shabaab  was  able  to penetrate deep into the "green zone”, killing scores of people including the former mayor ofMogadishu      and      several      district commissioners.     More     worryingly,     Al- Shabaab roams freely in almost all cities and town   in   south   central   Somalia   and   is collecting millions of dollars in revenue from many    parts    of    the    country    including Mogadishu’s  seaport—the  main  source  of income for the FGS.

 In response to frequent terrorist attacks with high  causality  figures,  the  FGS  resorted  to closing  most   major   roads   in   Mogadishu, severely restricting  the  movement  of  goods and    people,    prompting    criticism    from citizens.5  Although the semi-permanent road closures  reduced  the  frequency  of  attacks,

4  The proposed model is based on the first past the post (FPTP) system, though as of this writing, the constituency unit is not yet known.

5   The new mayor of Mogadishu, consoling citizens,

said, "intii la dhammaan lahaa halla dhibtoodo” which translates as "instead of us being exterminated (by mass terror attacks), let us accept road closure hardships”, intii-la-dhamaan-lahaa-ha-dhibtoodo-waddooyinka- lama-furayo/

successful  implementation  of  the  security

sector     reform.     Previously    unregistered soldiers have been fingerprinted and properly identified, substantially reducing the number of so-called "ghost soldiers” whose salaries were   habitually   siphoned   off   by   corrupt commanders.  Most  security  personnel  are now  receiving  their  salaries  more  regularly and directly through their bank accounts.

The    FGS    also    adopted    the    National Development Plan (NDP9), which enjoys the backing of the FMS ministries of planning.8

The NDP established a national baseline and key     priority      areas      for      government intervention and focus with which donors are required to align their development agenda. Economic    growth,    social    development, efficient   institutions   and   human   capital development  have  all  been  designated  as national priorities.9

Despite   this,   the   country’s   economy   is struggling   to   rebound   from   a   downturn caused  by  a  devastating  drought  two  years ago. However, the revenue generated by the FGS has increased, allowing the government

6  Goobjoog News: Khasaare dhanka dhaqaallaha oo ka dhashay xirnaanshaha wadooyinka Magaalada Muqdisho (Economic costs of Mogadishu road closures)


SECURITY SECTOR REFORMS, 26 March 2019, partners-back-somalia%E2%80%99s-security-sector- reforms


9  Somalia National Development Plan 2020 to 2024, pp. 255-56, extend some basic services such as health and education.10

Perhaps  the  most  promising  aspect  of  the economy    is    the    debt    relief    program championed   by   the   FGS   together   with international    financial    institutions.    The government  has  successfully  implemented the  majority  of  the  requirements  needed  to secure debt cancellation by major creditors. It is widely expected that the first breakthrough will be announced in early 2020, paving the way  for  a  much  more  complex  post-debt economic outlook for Somalia.

Finally, the humanitarian situation continues to  deteriorate.  Aid  agencies  estimate  that nearly  two-thirds  of  the  population  is  food insecure  while  a  further  third  is  suffering from malnutrition.11  Natural calamities such as repeated  floods continue to wreak havoc across the country, resulting in the death of hundreds   of   people   in   places   such   as Baladweyne and the displacement of tens of thousands. Poor infrastructure and the lack of emergency     response     mechanisms     are contributing  to  the  worsening  humanitarian situation.

 Looking  ahead,  parliamentary  elections  are scheduled   and   presidential   elections   are supposed   to   take   place   in   2021.   In   the absence of a broad consensus on the electoral

10  The government has produced a unified curriculum and began distributing text books to schools throughout the country,



REPORT No. 11, 30 November 2019, mber2019.pdf

12  Professor Ken Menkhaus defines the elite compact

as the unofficial agreement among the Somali political elite to play the game of politics in a way that helps everyone receive his share of the "cake”

model  and  the  stalemate  between  the  FGS and FMS on a range of policy issues, 2020 is likely   to   be   much   more   challenging   for Somalia.

Collapse of Elite Compact

Since  the  election  of  President  Mohamed Abdullahi  Farmaajo  in  February  2017,  the overall  political  climate  of  the  country was animated by what some scholars describe as "the    collapse    of    the    elite    compact”.12

Relations between the FGS and FMS soured months  after  Farmaajo  came  to  power  and ushered  in  a  governing

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