Editorials

Don’t let Somalia plunge into full-blown conflict

Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo

Somalia President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • The decision by the Federal Government of Somalia to approve legislation extending the terms of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed 'Farmaajo' and Parliament by two years raises concerns about regional peace and stability.
  • It risks reversing the gains made in restoring order in a country that has for decades proved a major burden to its neighbours and the international community.

The decision by the Federal Government of Somalia to approve legislation extending the terms of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed 'Farmaajo' and Parliament by two years raises concerns about regional peace and stability.

It risks reversing the gains made in restoring order in a country that has for decades proved a major burden to its neighbours and the international community.

The cost of humanitarian aid and peace and security missions in Somalia over the years is massive and actions that are likely to prolong instability in the Horn of Africa country should not be tolerated. The world is running thin on resources due to back-to-back economic shocks.

The decision by the Somalia government and Parliament directly undermines peace and stability because no consensus was reached on the way forward for the electoral process.

For months now there have been protests by a section of political stakeholders over attempts to manipulate the electoral process in the country.

Their fears have now been confirmed and the extension of the term of the President and Parliament only worsens an already fragile situationt.

The goodwill that has facilitated political reforms and economic progression in partnership with the international community is now at risk because of the divisive action that also threatens to derail the fight against the militant group, Al-Shabaab.

The Somalia people have long waited to elect their leaders and ending their dream through such reckless action may only trigger a fresh implosion.

Dialogue should be given a chance to lift Somalia out of its present crisis. A prolonged standoff will cause fears about a possible return to the dark days of war.

The country also faces the danger of losing the economic and peace support by the international community which has already sunk fortunes in efforts to restore order and rebuild its economy and institutions.

Somalia’s Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders should urgently enter into talks and find a way out of this electoral crisis.

Democracy is critical for peace and the will of the people should be respected.