EDITORIAL: For trying to force his way, Farmaajo is hurting people in his wake
EDITORIAL | President Mohamed Farmaajo whose term expired on February 8 may know by now he has little chance any of his bids to stay around longer, without an election, will get a cheerful ear.
But it seems his desire to satisfy his personal goal must be attained at any cost including soiling the country’s image and hurting its people’s pride.
The latest nail arrived on Thursday when the African Union Peace and Security Council condemned what it called a unilateral action by the Somali Federal Lower House to pass a motion to extend its term and that of Farmaajo by two years. This move effectively killed the negotiations on the September 17 Agreement, which everyone else except Farmaajo and the Lower House wanted to stay.
The African Union’s 15-member body roundly rejected Farmaajo’s explanation that the two years were to organize universal suffrage, which Somalia hasn’t been able to conduct in 52 years. The AU sees this merely as a delaying tactic and which could hurt the country’s peace and stability and threaten all its important gains since the country started rebuilding.
In image preservation, Farmaajo’s people tried to explain they had invited the AU to help resolve the impasse.
Farmaajo’s men had desired to play a dialogue game as time passed to ensure that the two years expired. And to counter international pressure, his spin doctors, accused specific stakeholders in Somalia of working with foreigners to destabilize Somalia. At the African Union, the government unwisely criticized Kenya and Djibouti for trying to influence the outcome of the AU Peace and Security Council to issue critical stances on Somalia.
The Council routinely works this way: deliberates and discusses views. In other words, Farmaajo’s men accused the two countries of doing their work at the Council.
For a long time, Farmaajo used this tactic to divert attention from his flaws. Kenya and Djibouti may have certain interests in Somalia. But it is Farmaajo who has led the country down. He lays into stakeholders for disagreeing with him. And accuses foreign partners of interference.
In truth, Somalia cannot, at the moment waive away the African Union, the UN, USA, UK, or the European Union. Those four organs have spent human, financial, and other technical resources to support a nascent democracy.
We do not intend to declare these organizations as saints. But Farmaajo himself is guarded by African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] forces. On Thursday, the Council said Amisom must now monitor troop deployment and movement of Somali forces in the country, alarmed at the continual tensions created by these unnecessary unilateral moves.
Every Somali desires a sovereign Somalia. But sovereignty should never be a defense for dictatorship. Somalia will only be a bonafide member of the international community if it accepts to be a part of the tradition that is acceptable among the community of nations.
It will demand that Farmaajo obeys simple provisions of the African Union Constitutive Act, the African Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance, and other declarations on human rights, democracy, and constitutionalism.
Great leaders make mistakes. Greater leaders learn when wrong and correct as soon as possible. It isn’t late for Farmaajo to fold his personal plan and resume talks. Somalia will thank him for honesty. Otherwise, he will continue hurting the people.