Gorfayn Weekly Briefs, Thursday 8 June 2023

Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre Chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Mogadishu on Thursday 1 June | Photo OPM Facebook
Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre Chairs the weekly cabinet meeting in Mogadishu on Thursday 1 June | Photo OPM Facebook

Executive Summary:

In this week’s political round-up, The Somali Federal Parliament’s session was adjourned due to a lack of quorum, causing frustration among leaders. Prime Minister Barre called for immediate action on the National Consultative Council’s decisions, emphasising electoral reforms and counterterrorism. TPEC announced the election results for local councils, despite controversy and violence. Jubaland’s president met with SSC traditional leaders to discuss the ongoing conflict in Las Anod. The motion to amend Somalia’s constitution sparked heated debate among lawmakers, while South West’s president and the Lower House Speaker discussed security and anti-al-Shabaab strategies. Lastly, Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission began voter card distribution for upcoming elections. In the security sphere, ATMIS reported retrieval of weapons looted by al-Shabaab during a recent attack.

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POLITICS

Highlights of the week:

  1. Federal Parliament adjourned over lack of quorum

Following an absence of a significant number of MPs, Monday 5th of June’s session of the Federal Parliament of Somalia was adjourned over a lack of quorum. The number of parliamentarians present was just 103, prompting FGS Speaker of the Lower House, Sheikh Adan Mohamed (Madoobe), to close the session and criticise consistently absent members. Deputy Speaker of the Parliament, Abdullahi Abshirow, said there would be no tolerance for disruption caused by absentee parliamentarians and that measures would be taken to enforce the parliament’s standing rules.

  1. PM calls for cabinet to commence implementation of NCC decisions

Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre has urged Cabinet Ministers to swiftly implement the recent National Consultative Council’s (NCC) political agreements. Chairing the weekly cabinet meeting in Mogadishu on Thursday 1 June, Barre said the sweeping changes to Somalia’s electoral processes presented an opportunity for the Somali people to determine their future. He stated, “As a government, we have a responsibility to give the people the opportunity to elect their leaders.” Barre also reiterated the government’s commitment to begin the second phase of its counter-insurgency campaign against al-Shabaab. He further instructed ministers to engage in the campaign by visiting battlefields and encouraging troops.

  1. Puntland’s TPEC announces results for local council elections

The Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission (TPEC) has announced the results of the elected members from the recent Puntland elections. According to TPEC’s statement, a total of 186 candidates participated in the elections, and regional parliament members were elected in 30 Puntland districts. The districts of Nugaal region, which include Puntland’s capital Garowe, had their elections postponed due to controversies and violence in the run-up to the vote. The majority of the elected members are affiliated with the KAAH political association, led by Puntland’s president Said Abdullahi Deni.

  1. Jubaland’s President holds talks with SSC elders

Jubaland’s President Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Madoobe) has reportedly met with Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn (SSC) traditional leaders in Mogadishu for discussions concerning Las Anod. Madoobe said he listened to the elders’ views on any solutions to the war and efforts for mediated dialogue with Somaliland. In recent days, elders have reportedly briefed Somalia’s leaders, including President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, on the city’s current situation and the ongoing challenges faced by its population. The meeting between Madoobe and the elders also included the Second Deputy Chairman of the Upper House, government ministers, and members of both houses of the Federal Parliament.

  1. MPs divided over debate on motion to amend the constitution

On Saturday 3 June, Somali lawmakers debated some of the proposed sweeping amendments to the draft constitution. MP Abdullahi Omar Abshir (Abshirow), Second Deputy Chairman of the House of the People, presided over the divisive session. “This motion is not timely, it should have been brought in the previous session, so I hope that the MPs will be satisfied with the debate on it,” he said. MP Hassan Abdi Ismail (Firinbi) described the motion to amend the constitution as illegal and called for the removal of the proposed term extension. MP Abdulkadir Osoble Ali further said this motion is a prelude to steps intended to weaken Somalia’s MPs. But MP Abdifitah Qasim, who previously served as Deputy Defence Minister, welcomed the amendment, arguing that a government extension would help current leaders to hold a direct vote in the country.

  1. Security and offensive planning dominated South West President’s Meeting with Lower House Speaker

South West President, Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed (Laftagareen), hosted FGS Speaker of the Lower House, Sheikh Adan Mohamed (Madoobe) in Barawe on Tuesday 30 May. Madoobe visited the city for the groundbreaking of a community-funded port 9 years after the liberation of Barawe from al-Shabaab. The two politicians reportedly discussed various issues during their meeting, but largely focused on South West’s security and the planned second phase of the military offensive against al-Shabaab. Senior military and security officials attended these discussions ahead of the offensive’s second phase, reportedly to begin in Lower Shabelle, Bay, and Bakool regions.

  1. Somaliland’s NECcommences voter card distribution for upcoming elections

Somaliland’s National Electoral Commission (NEC) has reportedly begun distributing voter cards in the Awdal, Sanaag, and Sool regions. The NEC announced that preparations for upcoming elections have begun, advising Somaliland’s citizens to register to vote in the currently unscheduled election. NEC spokesperson, Commissioner Abdiaziz Hirsi Warsame, urged potential voters to safeguard their voting cards, and called on all stakeholders to prepare for upcoming elections.

SECURITY

Highlight of the Week:

  1. ATMIS forces retrieve weapons looted by al-Shabaab

The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) has reported the successful recovery of a portion of the weapons looted in the Buulo Mareer base attack. Last Thursday 25 May, heavily armed al-Shabaab fighters attacked the base operated by Ugandan soldiers under the umbrella of ATMIS. Al-Shabaab claimed to have gained control of the base, killing over 120 soldiers and seizing a cache of weapons and military vehicles, including ambulances and tanks. An online platform linked to al-Shabaab further asserted that several Ugandan soldiers were taken prisoners. ATMIS issued a statement saying its forces had successfully pursued and killed several retreating militants involved in the assault.


With our keen focus on accurate, insightful, and comprehensive coverage, Gorfayn Weekly Briefs aims to keep you well-informed on the shifting dynamics of power, policy reform, security measures, and peacekeeping efforts, delivering a clear-eyed understanding of the complexities shaping the nation’s progress.

Rights

Copyright: Gorfayn (2023). This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC-BY-NC 4.0) that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work’s authorship and initial publication in this publication.

The Gorfayn Team
The Gorfayn Teamhttp://gorfayn.org
Gorfayn is your home for fact-based analysis on Somali politics, public policy, and security.

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