Analysis: Pres. Farmajo’s Citizenship Conundrum

Mogadishu(SD)-The President of the Federal government of Somalia had last week announced that he voluntarily renounced his US citizenship. 

Some speculated that this was (as it was intended) an act of patriotism, while others sensed other factors were at play.

The believers thought this was the first for Somali Politics, filled with diaspora characters, who always had an option to leave the country once their half baked, tribal motivated  ideas run their course.

While the skeptics, suggested other reasons, such as the President under some sort dilemma with his adopted country, based on some of his leadership decisions or lack thereof.

In fact, right after the president was sworn in, he was faced with the realty of choosing a US citizenship or hung on to his Somali one.

Even though, the Somali consultants whom the majority of them came from abroad, made sure the Somali Charter would allow him to keep his dual citizenship, the US law remained an obstacle.  

 It all got exacerbated when it came to attending the UN and US visitations, the dilemma of whether to inviting the Somali President as a citizen or a foreign dignitary, those duties to date fell on other members of his cabinet.

So what does this mean for the President and his political framing of this issue, once the truth is out about his ability to go back to the US?

The devil is in the details, hence, President Farmajo relinquished his citizenship and not his residence. Furthermore, his immediate family members, who also have US citizenship, never made the same decision.

Farmajo afterwards, if he chooses can move back and live in the states as a resident or as a green card holder.

 This means, as nuances will be short lived once the truth is out or it could be a new beginning for Somali politics.



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