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Somalia Must Lead: literally. War, pestilence, famine, drought, locusts, floods, and poverty

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Wednesday January 13, 2021 - 23:15:53 in Latest News by Super Admin
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    Somalia Must Lead: literally. War, pestilence, famine, drought, locusts, floods, and poverty

    The political crises in Somalia is NOT only concern for Somalis. It ought to be understood that It has other dimensions which our inept politicians can not be expected to deal with it. Somalia is in serious political and constitutional problems, and

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The political crises in Somalia is NOT only concern for Somalis. It ought to be understood that It has other dimensions which our inept politicians can not be expected to deal with it. Somalia is in serious political and constitutional problems, and our politicians are not well equipped to deal with the crises effectively. Let us learn more from a part of a long analysis that I have edited from a long peice. It was published by US Foreign Policy Research Institute on January 12, 2021. (The long version of this analysis is in the website of the institute). The Analyst - a former diplomat and well informed analyst - is giving the incoming US administration some fresh ideas on how to help Somalia in this critical time, which I think is useful to Somalis as well, who want to rebuild the country as a modern nation. ( the editor 's choice starts under the two dotted lines ).
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A summary of the gist of the article according to  the author:
 (The Biden administration should immediately review the full range of U.S. interests with Somalia and develop a fresh policy. The policy should recognize that Somalia’s insecurity stems from a failure of governance and that "political and governance problems need political and governance solutions,”)
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In recent years, the Somali people have faced adversity on a biblical scale, literally. War, pestilence, famine, drought, locusts, floods, and poverty. Over 80 percent of the population is under the age of 35, with an unemployment rate of approximately 70 percent. Even a capable and well-led government would have been challenged by those scourges, but Somalia has not been so fortunate. President Farmaajo’s four years of failed leadership has rendered Somalia less unified and less stable. Rather than work collaboratively with the presidents of the country’s five Federal Member States (FMS, or "states”), he took every opportunity to undermine or try to control them. In one case, he detained on spurious charges the leading candidate in the Southwest state election. The presidents of Puntland and Jubaland were elected despite Farmaajo’s opposition.
This lack of cooperation and goodwill has impaired Somalia’s development. FGS and FMS leaders failed to agree on responsibilities for the country’s security, update and ratify the constitution, or make any progress in talks with Somaliland. Farmaajo kept his first prime minister for a record 3.5 years, during which time the government improved public financial management, biometrically registered all members of the military and police, and instituted electronic salary payments. Unfortunately, Farmaajo persuaded parliament to fire the prime minister in July 2020, reportedly for trying to find compromises with the states.
On foreign policy, Farmaajo and his principal ally, the country’s intelligence chief, have benefitted from millions of dollars allegedly provided by Qatar, which in 2017 displaced the UAE as the FGS’s primary financial benefactor. Those funds fuel political corruption and make the country a willing pawn in the influence contest between Gulf Arab states. Farmaajo chose to break diplomatic relations with Somalia’s important neighbor Kenya and to send troops to occupy the Gedo region of Jubaland, rather than negotiate differences with Kenya over their contested maritime boundary, involvement in the border state of Jubaland, and shared fight against al-Shabaab.
Somalia is scheduled to hold its quadrennial elections for parliament and president in February and March 2021, respectively. Somali leaders agreed on the process only in mid-2020, and preparations have been slow and controversial. The roughly dozen candidates competing against Farmaajo have threatened to hold a parallel election if the FGS does not improve the credibility of the process. Some key demands are the removal of civil servants, including NISA employees, from what are supposed to be neutral federal and state electoral committees and the withdrawal of federal troops from Gedo, so Jubaland can manage its electoral process without FGS interference.
Somalia’s future depends on political and clan leaders accepting the outcome of the electoral process and facilitating another peaceful transfer of power to a president with the capacity and intention to move Somalia forward. The international community has historically helped Somalis manage precisely the sort of political challenges it now faces. The views of the United States have carried considerable weight with Somali political leaders, not least because of the important role it has played in the country’s security. The incoming Biden team should focus early on Somalia’s election and ensure the U.S. ambassador is empowered to advocate for a credible and timely process. The end
By Stephen M. Schwartz:
(The author is an Analyst  who served as the first U.S. Ambassador to Somalia (2016-17) since 1991. He retired in 2017 as a member of the Senior Foreign Service and the rank of Minister Counsellor. During his Foreign Service career, Mr. Schwartz served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Zambia and in Mauritius, and mid-level or junior officer in Ethiopia, South Africa, Burundi, and Cuba.)



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