Somalia: Conflict of interest reaches at the peak among the TFIs
It is no wonder that the Transitional Federal Institutions are at each other’s neck on their unconstitutional extensions of their respective mandates in the light of the expiry of their term in August, 2011. A Somali proverb says, “ a pair of accomplices on illegalities will fight over what might be legal in the end!” The TFP and the TFG were accomplices in the unconstitutional mandate and now are at war with one another over the term extensions.
In the light of the political stalemate in Somalia in which the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) are at each other’s neck in a bitter controversy over the expiry of the TFIs’ mandate and subsequent unconstitutional respective term extensions, Somalia is on fast track to further chaos and uncertainty. According to some of the so-called Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP), the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) imposed a ban on TFP members in a bid to abort the latter’s hustings to organize a re-election of the government institutions in Nairobi, Kenya, a move not favored by the TFG as this is a direct threat to unilateral extension of its own mandate.
Al-Shabab, an armed group linked to Al-Qaeda, which controls much of South of Somalia, is cashing in on the situation and has increased its assault on fortified pockets of TFI- held areas defended by AMISOM troops. The war-weary Somali public lost trust in the TFIs and out of desperation reached a stage where Al-Shabab’s reign of terror could be a less severe alternative to the decades-long of wanton killings, extortion, displacement, rape and anarchy.
Al-Shabab’s influence cannot be undermined by bipartite discrepancies of the current TFIs, but by a broad-based Somali central government which has the mandate and the support of the Somali public and the peaceful autonomous Federal States. Any other endeavor to peaceful solution in Somalia is tantamount to putting the cart before the horse.
The solution lies in a reconciliation conference in which traditional community elders play a central role, not manipulated by the irreconcilable factions of TFIs which have had the history of holding Somalia for ransom for a decade, along with Al-Shabab and pirates.
Without such broad based formation with the international community’s support, Somalia risks to be no man’s land which becomes a safe haven for international fugitives, pirates and terrorists. Such a peace process should be held in Somalia and owned by the Somalia unlike the previous peace gatherings sponsored by and held in foreign countries which have proven to be fruitless and unrepresentative.
It is Somalis’ hope and dream that the international stakeholders listen to the voice of reason and support a practical solution to Somalia’s decades-old conflict which now has international ramifications.
Abdirahman O. Warsame