Published On: Mon, Jan 7th, 2019

The Expulsion of the UN SRSG from Somalia: Lesson Learned

By Ismail Omar Ahmed

Regrettably in the past several decades Somalia was turned into an experimental lab where foreign imported ideas were implemented. The country was forced to adapt a dysfunctional federal system that has created more bureaucracy, increased political disunity and less efficiency in the government system. The political disunity has resulted in loopholes that threatens the rule of the law and the execution of the government’s day-to-day activities. The spoilers inside and
outside of the country use leaders of federal member states or MP’s to derail the Federal Government’s (FG) far reaching reform agenda. For instance, last year’s diplomatic rift between UAE and Somalia, the UAE government has attempted to use the regional leaders as a political tool to realize its selfish agenda in Somalia.

The spoilers in Somalia, which are many unfortunately have managed to organize a multifaceted political war against the current FG, feeding the public and the international community misleading state of the affairs of the country.

They believe the emerging reforms threatens their power and interests and are determined to use violence to undercut the recent progress made.
Presidential Election in Southwest State of Somalia The Presidential elections in Southwest State of Somalia was scheduled to take place on November 17, 2018 until a defected former Alshabab leader (Mr. Robow) turned politicians joined the race. The next day following his announcement as a candidate, the Minister of Internal Security of FGS issued a statement calling for his withdrawal citing his failure to complete the conditions of the rehabilitations set by the government. Mr. Robow refused to heed to the
government’s call and remained a security threat in Baidoa, the capital city of the Southwest State. Nevertheless, the FG managed several times to negotiate with Robow, but he refused to reach a deal and ordered hundreds of his troops to come to the city. The security situation in the city has drastically deteriorated leading to an obvious show of power between his forces and the law enforcement.

Therefore, the next logical step was a decision by the government to capture him and place him under arrest. Let us not forget that two opposing authorities cannot coexist in
the same place and it is the FG’s obligation to secure a peaceful election. Sadly, violence erupted following his arrest and a total of seven people died, four of which were members of the law enforcement.

One would assume the international community in particular the SRSG would assess the incident in Baidao and use it as an opportunity to correct the weakness within the Somali police force. When the violence erupted, one major weakness that emerged and required the immediate attention of the international community was the absence of anti-riot police in the city who is trained to deal with civil disobedience.

The riot control officers are normally equipped with tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, and electric tasers and are better prepared to handle violence. They use whips to disperse crowds and detain riots. The Somali law enforcement forces had none of the above. How should law enforcements officials respond to apparent targeted attacks? The answer is obvious. Since the UN and the international community’s main support to Somalia is to strengthen the government.

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