You Must Consult Us, State Leaders Tell Federal Government
11 October – Source: Goobjoog News – 501 Words
Regional state presidents Wednesday firm their bargaining power with the Federal Government announcing the formation of a Council of Interstate Cooperation (CIC) chaired by Puntland President Abdiweli Gaas and HirShabelle’s Mohamed Waare as his Deputy. The leaders who have been meeting in the Jubbaland capital of Kismayu in the last four days pitched to share more with the federal government, since they claim that 90% of the country to be under their administrations. Citing various articles of the Provisional Constitution, the leaders took their fight to Mogadishu accusing the federal leadership of unilateral decisions making, lack of consultation and concerted efforts at derailing the federalism agenda in the country.
In what could be a jab at the federal government over its insistence of absolute powers on foreign affairs in relation to Gulf Crisis, the leaders pointed article 53 of the Provisional Constitution noting that even in cases where a matter falls within the scope of the Federal Government, the article states consultation with federal member states. “The Council is stressing the importance of article 53 of the Provisional Constitution which calls for consultation with federal states on matters which have direct impact on the federal states,” a communique released on Wednesday read in part. Article 53 (1) reads: In the spirit of intergovernmental cooperation the Federal Government shall consult the Federal Member States on negotiations relating to foreign aid, trade, treaties, or other major issues related to international agreement.
The Federal Government has fervently maintained it will not budge over its neutral stand in the Gulf feud citing exclusive powers inherent in article 54 of the Provisional Constitution which apart from foreign affairs, adds monetary policy, citizenship and immigration and defence. In under no uncertain terms, the leaders called on the federal government to keep off the affairs of Galmudug noting the stability of the central Somalia state was paramount. Galmudug President Ahmed Haaf whose stay in power hang in the balance a fortnight ago seems to have received a new lease in life as the leaders firmly stood with him. On the constitutional review process, the regional presidents who declared earlier in the week to boycott the constitutional convention organized by the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs lashed out at the federal government accusing it of schemes to frustrate the process. “We doubt the plans and sincerity of the government on the constitutional review process.
The manner in which the Ministry of Constitutional Affairs planned a convention in Mogadishu is a testament of its plans to hijack the process.” As a measure, the leaders called for the creation of a de facto commission to address the underlying issues between the federal and regional governments ahead of the formation of the Inter-State Commission as contemplated by article 111 (F) of the Provisional Constitution. They also called for the suspension of all constitutional review activities by the Ministry of the Constitutional Affairs until a way forward is established. Constitutional Affairs Minister Abdi Hosh on Wednesday said he regretted the cancellation of the convention but hoped issues raised would be resolved soon to resume the process.
- You Must Consult Us State Leaders Tell Federal Government (Goobjoog News)
- Federal States Suspend Constitutional Review (Garowe Online)
- 100 NISA Motor Cycle Mounted Agents Deployed To Boost Mogadishu Security (Radio Dalsan)
- AMISOM And UN Handover New Police Headquarters To Jubbaland State (AMISOM)
- AU Donates Food Items To Drought-hit Somalia (Xinhuanet)
- Iran Protests To Somalia Over Deadly Boat Shooting (Iran Daily)
- Special Report: Civil servants And MPs Go Without Pay For A Combined 8 Months Period (Goobjoog News)
Federal States Suspend Constitutional Review
11 October – Source: Garowe Online – 330 Words
The leaders of Somalia’s Federal Member States wrapped up a two-day crucial conference in the southern coastal city of Kismayo with a 16-point communiqué. During the meeting, the Presidents of Puntland, Galmudug, HirShabelle, Southwest, and Jubbaland discussed on ways to boost regional states cooperation, security, politics, federalism, and reconciliation. Somali regional leaders formed an umbrella and elected Puntland President, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” as the first chairman of the council, while HirShabelle leader Mohamed Abdi Waare as his deputy. The council is tasked with working on the interests of the states and a social reconciliation that will lead to achieve a stable nation and find a lasting solution for the conflict-riddled Horn of Africa country.
According to the statement, the Federal Government of Somalia has been urged to come up with a new political strategy based on cooperation, since the federal states are now controlling 90% of the country. The leaders also called on the central government to make proper consultation with them on the issues affecting their regional states and solve disputes in a way regarding the public’s interest. Galmudug political tension was among the issues on the agenda. The heads of regional states have called for an immediate end to the standoff through peaceful dialogue led by its top leadership, without intervention. They encouraged to resume talks between Galmudug and Ahlu Sunna.
The leaders have expressed concern over the federalism process in Somalia and added that the federal government is working on plans aimed at derailing the country’s resource sharing and the foreign aid. The communiqué demands a temporary suspension of all efforts on the constitutional review process by the Federal Ministry until a comprehensive agreement is reached on resource sharing. The Council talked about the 2020 election, financial assistance from International Partners, Security, saying the current political crises in the country could lead to slow in the fight against militant groups. It called for a new security strategy to restore peace and stability in Somalia.
100 NISA Motor Cycle Mounted Agents Deployed To Boost Mogadishu Security
10 October – Source: Radio Dalsan – 108 Words
Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA ) have for the first time introduced officers on motorcycles to beef up security in the capital Mogadishu. It is estimated that around 100 officers on motorcycles have been placed strategically in Mogadishu to enable reduce cases of drive by shootings and assassinations.
Security analysts believe that this is as a result of the public hue and cry that followed the recent assassinations of women rights activists. “It’s a step towards the right direction in dealing with runway assassinations especially in the central business district. But it remains to be seen how effective it will be” Mohamud Adow a Mogadishu based analyst told Radio Dalsan.
11 October – Source: AMISOM – 422 Words
African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the United Nations have handed over a new police headquarters and a vehicle to Jubbaland state to help boost security in the region. Speaking at the ceremony, held on Monday, Jubbaland Police Commissioner Ahmednasir Guled Hassan commended the support provided by AMISOM and the United Nations Office for Project Support (UNOPS) describing it as a positive gesture.
Mr. Hassan said the ceremony to open the new office block and the donation of the vehicle was testimony to the harmonious working relationship between the Somali government, donor community, the UN and AMISOM. “We work with UN and AMISOM, they train our forces, they trained most of the officers in this headquarters and they are training more. We have good working relationship,” the Jubbaland Police Commissioner added.
He noted that the vehicle donated by AMISOM will alleviate some of the transportation challenges Jubbaland State police officers endure on a daily basis. Jubbaland Second Deputy President, Abdikadir Haji Mohamud Luga Dheere, urged the international community to continue helping Somalia attain its dream. “We are in a country that was in a civil war for thirty years. We therefore request for your support so that we realize a Somalia that can stand on its feet and become self-sufficient,” Mr. Abdikadir noted.
11 October – Source: Xinhuanet – 379 Words
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Wednesday donated food items worth $100,000 U.S. dollars to Somali government to help victims affected by drought. A statement from the AU mission handed over 67 metric tonnes consist of rice, sugar, beans and vegetable oil to the government officials. Francisco Madeira, Special Representative of the AU Commission Chairperson (SRCC) for Somalia, who represented AU Commission chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat, said the situation Somalia still remains fragile due to poor rainfall and frequent disease outbreak.
“Whereas this condition (drought) has had some slight differences, the humanitarian plight in Somalia still requires continued and stepped-up support,” Madeira said. “During the Commission Chairperson’s announcement of donation $100,000 U.S. dollars by the AU to assist the victims of the drought, he expressed his wish that others should emulate the gesture, and this is a demonstration of the seriousness by which AU views the humanitarian challenge in Somalia,” he added.
11 October – Source: Iran Daily – 178 Words
Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned Somalia for opening fire on an Iranian fishing boat and killing the captain of the vessel and injuring another sailor. “Iran has conveyed its protest to Somalia in this regard through relevant channels,” Qassemi told ISNA on Wednesday. He added that the ministry was seriously following up the issue.
Last week, Somali regional officials said the Iranian captain of a fishing boat was killed and another sailor was injured after security forces opened fire on the vessel during an operation in the Indian Ocean, according to reports. The officials claimed the shooting took place after maritime police forces in Puntland, an autonomous region in northeastern Somalia, spotted two boats suspected to be fishing illegally in Somali waters.
Colonel Mohamed Abdi Hashi of Puntland police said security forces opened fire on the boats when they ignored orders to stop and attempted to escape, adding that one boat was seized while the other fled. He said he was not sure if Somali political leaders had made any contact with Iran about the incident.
OPINION, ANALYSIS AND CULTURE
“I want to categorically inform the Somali people wherever they maybe, on 31st December, 2017, anyone working for the Somali government whether they are in the military or a civil servant will receive their salaries and the government will pay all its domestic debts from January to December,”
11 October – Source: Goobjoog News – 788 Words
Civil servants and MPs have gone without salaries for a combined period of eight months, an investigation by Goobjoog News reveals. The military and police too have not been paid for three months while lecturers at the National University who downed their tools this week have had to do their work with a plain payslip five months.
Civils servants who sought anonymity told Goobjoog News they have not been paid six months salaries accruing from last year and a further two months- August and September this year. “We did not receive salaries for six months last year. This year, we have not been paid for the months of September and August. The government owes me around $10,000 and I hope the Prime Minister will keep his word,” a civil servant said.
Clear all arrears: Prime Minister Hassan Khaire announced Saturday his government would clear all outstanding debts owed to government employees and the disciplined forces by end year. “I want to categorically inform the Somali people wherever they maybe, on 31st December, 2017, anyone working for the Somali Government whether they are in the military or civil service will receive their salaries and the government will pay all its domestic debts from January to December,” the PM said.
A member of parliament who also did not want to be named said they had not received salaries for six months in the 9th parliament which ended early this year. “We have six months arrears from the last parliament and two months for this one,’ the lawmaker said noting he remains optimistic the government will clear the debt.
The government has been struggling to clear domestic debts which the IMF said last month had increased numerous times over what it termed as budgetary allocations based on unrealistic revenue expectations or grants. The lender which echoed a similar observation by the World Bank in its Second Economic Update for Somalia August called on Somalia to spend within its means.