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ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalism

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Ben Dover
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ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalism

Postby Ben Dover » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:48 am

The decision by the Somali government to expel United Nations (UN) Special Envoy to the country Nicholas Haysom last week speaks volumes about why Somalia is struggling to achieve political stability and peace.

Mogadishu declared Haysom, the South African lawyer and seasoned diplomat, persona non grata on 1 January, thereby forcing UN Secretary-General António Guterres to replace him. Ultimately Haysom lost his job because the federal Somali government insisted on hoarding power to itself in what is supposed to be an autonomous federal member state.

Haysom, who had only been in the post for three months, after a successful stint as UN Special Envoy to the Sudans, was thrown out because he criticised President Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo’ Mohamed’s government for arresting Mukhtar Robow, a candidate in the presidential elections last December in Somalia’s South West State.

Robow is a former deputy leader of al-Shabaab, the violent extremist group that the Somali government, assisted by the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and others like the US, have been fighting for years at great cost in blood and treasure.
After many clashes with other leaders of the organisation, Robow defected from al-Shabaab in 2017 and entered mainstream politics last year. This was in part from principle, perhaps, but also for government protection against al-Shabaab which had put him on its hit list.

The federal government in Mogadishu secretly negotiated his defection and initially welcomed him. But after he announced his intention to run for president in South West State – against Mogadishu’s preferred candidate – the federal government first tried to discourage him and then arrested him. This provoked rioting by his supporters in Baidoa, South West State’s capital, which security forces violently suppressed, leaving at least 15 dead.

Haysom wrote to the federal government on 30 December requesting an investigation of the protest violence and information about the legal basis for arresting Robow. On 1 January the government reacted by informing the UN that Haysom was no longer welcome in the country.

Somalia’s UN ambassador Abukar Dahir Osman later told the UN Security Council during a debate on Somalia that the UN shouldn’t interfere in his country’s national affairs. Former al-Shabaab militants ‘cannot assume leadership positions without going through stringent established rehabilitation programmes’, he was reported as saying, adding that a ‘terrorist’ should not be allowed to rebrand himself as an ‘ice cream salesperson’.

In his briefing to the Security Council two days after he was expelled, Haysom welcomed encouraging signs of economic revival, improvements in public financial management and some technical progress in preparing for elections, including the national poll next year and in the constitutional review.

But he also underscored fundamental and serious political tensions and conflicts, particularly the stalemate between the federal government and member states. He said this was impeding vital progress in defining the federal model, building institutions of state, and implementing the National Security Architecture. The conflict between the federal centre and the peripheral member states risked provoking conflict, he added, citing the violence in South West State last December as an example.

‘Allegations of interference by the federal government and the violence which erupted following the arrest of one of the candidates, a former al-Shabaab deputy leader, marred the process and do not bode well for the upcoming electoral processes in other regions or for the 2020 national elections,’ Haysom said. ‘This may also have implications for the likelihood of future al-Shabaab defectors who may be considering exchanging violence for a political path.’

This last sentence was the gist of his message. Haysom knows what he is talking about when it comes to converting militants to peaceful democrats, having contributed substantially to transitions from chronic conflict to peace and stability in countries like South Africa, Burundi and Sudan.

As he told the Security Council, al-Shabaab remains the major threat to Somalia’s stability. Despite having been defeated on the conventional military battlefield, it is still inflicting huge casualties through terrorist attacks, mainly killing and maiming civilians.

Al-Shabaab cannot ultimately be defeated militarily and so coaxing its leaders and followers to abandon violence is critical to the country’s future. So Mogadishu ought to have nurtured Robow as the trophy in its campaign to inspire defections and a fine example for others to follow.

Omar Mahmood, senior researcher for the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) in Addis Ababa, observes that in the short term Mogadishu achieved what it wanted as its preferred candidate was elected in South West State and Haysom replaced.

In the longer term, though, the calculus may be different: ‘What has been lost is a prime opportunity to demonstrate that ex-al-Shabaab members can be accepted into mainstream society, in addition to the potential to tap into Robow’s knowledge of the group in order to counter it.’

Akinola Olojo, also an ISS senior researcher, agrees the incident has serious implications ‘because not only will the mishandling of Robow’s case discourage others who may be considering defecting from al-Shabaab; it risks reinforcing anti-government sentiments and narratives among the younger population from South West State and beyond’.

The suggestion from Mogadishu that Robow was a Trojan Horse, pretending to have renounced violence in order to reintroduce it surreptitiously, seems disingenuous. It is however possible some of Somalia’s regional and international allies were not comfortable with a former al-Shabaab deputy leader in such high office.

The more plausible explanation, though, is that Farmajo’s government arrested Robow simply because he was too independent. He refused to give way to the Mogadishu-backed (and therefore presumably more pliable) candidate for the South West State presidency, former federal energy minister Abdiaziz Hassan Mohamed – who indeed eventually won.

This obsession with control, as Haysom hinted to the UN, is jeopardising efforts to tackle al-Shabaab both directly – in discouraging further defections, and indirectly – in undermining the construction of a viable federal state, which must rest on real devolution of power.

Somali soldiers, AMISOM troops and ordinary citizens do not deserve to die violently while their government is actively undermining the prospects for peace.


Peter Fabricius, Institute For Security Studies Consultant

https://issafrica.org/iss-today/somalia ... n-the-foot

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Re: ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalis

Postby SuldaanMaplesyrup » Fri Jan 11, 2019 9:52 am

The noose is tightening for the cheeseman.

Let’s see the nabad iyo nolol cult followers spin this story :lol:

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Re: ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalis

Postby Ben Dover » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:14 am

The noose is tightening for the cheeseman.

Let’s see the nabad iyo nolol cult followers spin this story :lol:
There is no spinning this, it was a political blunder on the international stage any way you look at it.

But rest assured, the cult-of-cheese will give it a good go regardless :lol:

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Re: ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalis

Postby Sauron » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:15 am

Al-Shabaab cannot ultimately be defeated militarily and so coaxing its leaders and followers to abandon violence is critical to the country’s future. So Mogadishu ought to have nurtured Robow as the trophy in its campaign to inspire defections and a fine example for others to follow.
These morons keep shooting themselves in the foot, it's insane how someone can fuck up to this extent.

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Re: ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalis

Postby SuldaanMaplesyrup » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:37 am

The noose is tightening for the cheeseman.

Let’s see the nabad iyo nolol cult followers spin this story :lol:
There is no spinning this, it was a political blunder on the international stage any way you look at it.

But rest assured, the cult-of-cheese will give it a good go regardless :lol:
Nothing better than seeing these Farmaajo stans seethe in anger :lol:

Image

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Re: ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalis

Postby Ben Dover » Fri Jan 11, 2019 11:01 am

The noose is tightening for the cheeseman.

Let’s see the nabad iyo nolol cult followers spin this story :lol:
There is no spinning this, it was a political blunder on the international stage any way you look at it.

But rest assured, the cult-of-cheese will give it a good go regardless :lol:
Nothing better than seeing these Farmaajo stans seethe in anger :lol:

Image
So true :notsure:

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Re: ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalis

Postby SahanGalbeed » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:03 am

His whole tribe was terrorist , I swear to God , all of them . The same people you see supporting Farmajo here today at one point I remember were welcoming Godane in Kismaayo , I remember. The hypocrisy is beyond anything we've seen before .He's got marexaan terrorist working as "security advisor " in his administration but the problem is he couldn't control Robow. It's about control with these fucks , they're the enemy of the Freeman the reason we fought and separated from them

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Re: ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalis

Postby kanadiid90 » Sat Jan 12, 2019 6:37 am

His whole tribe was terrorist , I swear to God , all of them . The same people you see supporting Farmajo here today at one point I remember were welcoming Godane in Kismaayo , I remember. The hypocrisy is beyond anything we've seen before .He's got marexaan terrorist working as "security advisor " in his administration but the problem is he couldn't control Robow. It's about control with these fucks , they're the enemy of the Freeman the reason we fought and separated from them
I remember you were a unionist idoor, what changed your mind sxb?

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Re: ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalis

Postby SahanGalbeed » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:18 am

I would have preferred all the somalis to share a common destiny but the useless marexaan and his useless hawiye dhooble( one who lives in the mud) prime minister have changed my mind , what they really want is for us to be as useless as they are . Hassan sheikh knew he didn't control Somaliland and acted as such -->honesty. These two current fools are neither honest nor humble , fuck them !!

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Re: ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalis

Postby knet » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:28 pm

Farmajo politics makes me as sick as the mental illness that drives Somaliland politics. Both are ends to no means. Watch the show it's far from over and much more ugly backward moves are to come. :lol: :ugeek:

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Re: ISS: Mogadishu’s expulsion of the UN Special Envoy illustrates how not to deal with al-Shabaab – or manage federalis

Postby ReturnOfMariixmaan » Tue Jan 15, 2019 9:38 pm

ISS is a (South Africa) British NGO. You gotta know all these NGOs have covert Intel roots like CIA and MI6 & funding. This is revenge for Farmajo asserting Somalia statehood. The British are losing out in the new Somalia. Let them calcalal. They are the main ones funding instability in the south.


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