President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia was hoping for a domino effect from the Kenya elections. He bet on Raila Odinga. Kenya election commission declared William Ruto president-elect albeit there is a pending court case to nullify the results.
Mohamud conceded plenty to Uruhu including the resumption of Khat import to Somalia in a hastily arranged meeting a few days before the elections. The motivation was to make the outgoing president look strong and help Odinga’s candidacy with the electorate.
Mohamud was particularly keen on obtaining Kenya’s immediate assistance in replacing Ahmed Mohamed Islam (Madoobe) as the leader of Jubbaland. Mohamud clashed with Madoobe in his prior stint as president of Somalia. He wanted a less recalcitrant leader for Mogadishu in a region still under Kenya’s occupation.
Mohamud made a serious effort to anticipate an emerging political problem. Unfortunately, Kenya’s electorate had different concerns. Voters ruined not only Uhuru and Odinga alliances but also Mohamud of Somalia.
While Kenya election results are still being litigated in court, Madoobe went ahead and unceremoniously extended his term under dubious circumstances. Madoobe is reportedly on an overseas trip for health reasons.
A reversal of Madoobe’s extension is now vital to Mohamud’s political prognosis. A failure is certainly to be considered a precedent by Abdiaziz Mohamed Hassan (Laftagareen) of Southwest and Ahmed Abdi Karie (Qoor Qoor) of Galmudug. Neither of these two men is in Mohamud’s close circle of political loyalists.
They are both up for reelection soon. Mohamud wanted to set the expectations for the reelection of FMS leaders let alone a term extension.
Both Laftagareen and Qoor Qoor are watching how Mohamud handles Madoobe saga. They could be announcing an extension of their own. Mohamud’s response to Madoobe action thus far has been one of panic in nature.
Mohamud rushed to Garowe to rekindle alliances with Said Abdullahi Dani of Puntland. This alliance has soured since Mohamud returned to Villa Somalia. Dani reportedly had a laundry list of demands.
A source in Garowe familiar with Dani’s thinking confirmed that the top of his list is the re-election. Dani identified armed groups such as Puntland Security Forces (PSF) and severed relationships with elders.
Dani wants to clear both obstacles by overwhelming them. He is optimistic about his prospect of getting reelected upon overcoming both hurdles.
Dani demanded that Mohamud reshuffles cabinets. He particularly asked for the minister of defense portfolio for one of his close allies from Puntland.
Dani also asked Mohamud not to be perturbed by a recently renew direct contact with Ethiopia. Senior Officers from Ethiopia National Defenses Forces (ENDF) have visited Garowe as part of an initiative to re-engage Federal Member States (FMS) in Somalia.
Dani plans to apply overwhelming firepower on armed opposition groups by coupling together support from Ethiopia and Somalia. Dani expects arm supplies, training, and logistical support from Ethiopia. He plans to augment Ethiopia’s support with Somali personnel both local and federal by controlling the Somali defense portfolio.
Support from elders in Somalia is generally secured with the monetary offering. Dani plans to offer the highest price to earn elder’s support. A record price for elder support is predicated on significant contributions from Mohamud.
Mohamud was reportedly open to some of Dani’s demands. In exchange, Mohamud asked for assistance with pressuring Madobe. Mohamud wants Madoobe to reverse direction and agreed to a selection of sorts that puts a more loyal politician in Jubbaland. Sources have confirmed the Zoom call with Madoobe while Dani and Mohamud were in the same room ended without an agreement.
Other topics of money in nature were discussed. But the gathering largely revolved around elections of FMS in Somalia. Dani wants to orchestrate a reelection of his own. Mohamud wants to head off recalcitrant FMS staying in office. There is no agreement on election topics hence no joint statement. Only a follow-up meeting was announced.
Kenya’s election outcome ruined Mohamud’s political domino effect hope. The current political trajectory indicates a different type of domino effect. A chain of events with the exact opposite effect is emerging.
Mohamud will have to negotiate with some FMS leaders and develop customize political agreements. He will likely have to surgically remove recalcitrant FMS leaders one at a time. It will be a political grinding process that certainly will consume the majority of his time in office.
Author is a Technology Entrepreneur and long time civic leader. He tweets @fuguni. Follow him for more in-depth analysis.