Somalia government, federal states differences blamed for slow progress

 

Political differences between Somalia’s government and the federal states have frustrated gains and progress in the country, international partners have said.

In a communiqué on October 2 following the two day 2019 Somalia Partnership Forum, the international partners noted that despite advances on a number of key priorities, strengthened political cooperation between the FGS and some Federal Member States would have accelerated progress.

In September last year, the leaders of Somalia’s federal member states said they had suspended all ties with the central government.

The leaders of Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Jubaland, Puntland and South West states accused the Mogadishu government of failing to handle the country’s security, of failing to fulfill its responsibilities toward the states in line with the country’s federal structure, and of taking its eye off the fight against Al Shabaab.

In the recent past, President Mohamed Farmaajo has also been accused of interfering with elections in the federal states, imposing his preferred candidates to influence 2020 national elections.

Puntland and Jubaland reportedly boycotted the Somalia Partnership Forum that was attended by about 50 countries.

The participants took stock of the progress made since the previous SPF in July 2018 and agreed on priority actions to address the remaining challenges together.

International partners, however, recognised Somalia’s achievements in implementing reforms in among others, improved public financial management and revenue generation, consultations on a new National Development Plan, extensive security reforms, successful operations to retake and stabilise territory previously held by Al Shabaab, increased delivery of social services, and local reconciliation in some areas.

They note some of the remaining challenges as unemployment and slow economic growth, Al Shabaab, response to humanitarian crises and exclusive politics as well as representation of women and minorities.

Somalia and its international partners agreed on a Mutual Accountability Framework to narrow their joint focus to priority areas for action and resources in order to achieve key priority outcomes before December 2020.

Somalia’s leaders agreed that such cooperation is critical in order to make further progress on political, security and economic reforms, and that this will require the strong personal commitment of all FGS and FMS leaders.

Somalia committed to successfully conclude current security operations, undertake further operations against Al Shabaab, and complete priority reforms of security, justice and human rights institutions.

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