On August 11, 2013, Former Prime Minister Ali Mohamed Gedi was invited to attend a meeting held in Nairobi to welcome the vice president of the Jubaland, Abdullah sheikh Ismail (fartaag), who came to Nairobi for consultation meeting with Jubalanders living in the area. A lot of the people in the meeting were surprised to see the PM Gedi who was not involved in Somali politics since he left his post. When asked why he was not involved in politics until now, he responded that he has been seeing slow progress being made toward the end of transitional government.
However, last year, when the transitional government was ended and new government led by Hassan sheikh Mohamud was elected, he expected, like everyone else, that things will get much better. Almost year later, he stated that it seems that the country is heading backward.
In that meeting, the PM Gedi made it clear that he is not speaking out against government because he is involved in any opposition group which has a motive to be against government, but he is speaking out because of his responsibility as the citizen who could no longer take or sit back when the current government refuse to implement the constitution, improve safety of the capital city Mogadishu and blame Amison for its mishap.
In term of constitution, In his first trip to Hiiraan region, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud gave a memorable speech to the people of that region when he basically told them that the era of a government sending someone from Mogadishu to run their affairs is over and it’s their responsibility to elect someone from the region whom everyone know and whom everyone can hold him or her accountable if fail to fulfill their task. At that point, almost everyone who hears that speech concluded that now it is the time when Somali people would move forward.
However, as soon as Jubaland officials, who started organizing and preparing for meeting to be held inside the Kismayo city after it is liberated from the militia, called on the government officials to attend the meeting in order government to take its leadership role as indicated in the constitution, the president Hassan changed overnight and publicly spoke against the formation of the Jubaland state, accusing that the government did not participate the process which was not based on constitution nor inclusive.
When Jubaland carried on its process and elected the president and vice president, it was reported that the president Hassan sponsored individual from the region to self-declare as president elect in order to confuse the whole process. As result, later on, he blamed the process was not inclusive as he forwarded even though it was widely reported those claimed to be president elected were financed by the government and within weeks, they disappeared.
Instead of sitting down with the current administration of the Jubaland and finding ways out of the impasse, President Hassan decided to bring this issue in front of IGAD meeting in Addis Ababa, where they ( government and Jubaland Administration) were urged to solve this issue in a meeting to be held in Mogadishu where the government participate and take its leadership role. Immediately, government spokesman took credit that government won that case. Up to now, there is no meeting held in Mogadishu to discuss the Jubaland issue.
It became a clear to the former prime minister Mr. Gedi that the government, Somali people expected to facilitate forming administration(States) consisting of at least two regions as it indicated in the constitution, is now planning to centralize all the power into Mogadishu where the government expects to nominate temporary governors to each region until what they called inclusive administration approved by the government is created.
Former PM Gedi warned in that meeting, if the government officials do not follow the constitution as it is written, the people who elected this government should stand up and replace this government. He added that this government is not elected by group or party as the president claimed instead it was elected by the parliament which represents Somali people.
In term of safety, PM Gedi criticized that the safety of the capital city is getting worst not to mention the rest of the country where instead of the government uniting people, they are, as matter of fact, creating conflict among the people.
President Hassan Sheikh declared that as soon as he was elected that his first priority is safety, safety and safety and everyone agreed that after the safety of the city of Mogadishu is secured, then everything else will follow. As of today, like former prime Minster Mr. Gedi stated in that meeting, after he witnessed in the city over 30 days he resided, that at night in Mogadishu, the city’s affair is ran by Al shabab while in the morning, the government forces ran the street of Maka Almukarama connecting the airport and Villa Somalia.
Finally, Former PM Gedi could not understand why the current government is blaming all its mishap to Amison troop especially Kenyan troop and as result, he apologized to Kenyan for all the inconvenience created by the current government. He mentioned just because Kenyan want to follow the mandate of Amison and the constitution in which Somali people agree does not mean that they want to occupy the Jubaland.
It was an embarrassment for the Somali government to ask Kenyan to hand over the airport and seaport to the Somali government when they know the administration of both ports are administered by Jubaland Administration or to ask Kenyans to be replaced to Ugandan troop like Ugandan is related to the President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud or they are a member of his group ( Dam Jadiid).
In the end of that meeting, the Former PM minister Ali Mohamed Gedi asked everyone to stand up and express their concern and he made it clear that despite government’s failing to follow the constitution, improve safety and blaming Amison for everything, his intend is not to create confusion, but to correct the government to take the right path in which it was elected to lead to.
Mohamed A. Hussein