United Nations Envoy to Somalia, Michael Keating has revealed how the lack of trust among Somali leaders is complicating progress on the political and security fronts, and says the country’s federal and regional leaders need to compromise.
Keating, who is leaving the office 1 October, says there has been progress on the technical level in terms of agreeing on national security structure, transition plan and approach to security but says there is a “political problem” that is not allowing things to move forward.
“Where I think there remains a problem is building political trust in the country’s leadership at a time when elections are approaching,” he told VOA Somali.
He called for compromise and warns that lack of it will worry the international community and Somali partners.
“If they can reach compromises on certain things then that will bring benefits for all Somalis and the investment that the international community is prepared to make in Somalia,” he said. “But the best way to worry international actors who want to invest in Somalia’s future is to show that politicians cannot reach basic agreements and therefore make them worry about whether this technical agenda, which is a good one, can actually be implemented.”
Keating says last week’s decision by five Somali regional leaders to suspend ties with the federal government is “unfortunate.”
He says the decision “reflects some of the structural problems that underpin Somali politics.” He says power-sharing and the relations between the federal member states and the federal government and allocation of resources is the key sticking point at a time when the provisional federal constitutional that could have separated powers and responsibilities for the stakeholders is under review process.
The five regional leaders of Puntland, Jubbaland, Southwest, Galmudug and Hirshabelle cited “interference” by the federal government and lack of sharing of foreign aid for their decision to suspend cooperation.
Somalia’s president, Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, has invited the five leaders for a meeting 17 and 18 September, but there is a doubt whether some or all the regional leaders will attend. VOAnews