Somalia: A relinquished territory waiting for order and peace restoration

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Somalia SomaliaSomalia state’s disruption crossed 30 years in 2021, but despite of domestic and international focus on the country’s resettlement and efforts to bring order to the chaos, the results haven’t been fulfilling. In 2021, all efforts to conduct a much delayed parliamentary and presidential electoral process remained unfulfilled. Stalled political reforms in the country are further delaying much needed to advance human rights reforms in Somalia. As a result, all these years have borne a heavy brunt on civilians in form of abuses related to ongoing conflicts, insecurity and humanitarian as well as health crises.

Political developments have been lagging at a snail’s speed, but allegedly on track, as reported by James Swan, the the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and Head of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM). James Swan has mentioned that the increasing attacks by Al-Shabab militant group has been instrumental in blocking the way towards successful electoral process.  

Somalian President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, also known as Farmaajo, has extended his mandate in April 2021 by two years after his term expired with no agreement in place on his replacement. The president , Farmaajo, has been at edge since with Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, who accused the President of an “attempted coup” when his term was extended.

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“The political infighting between the two has given the insurgents free range to operate,” said Hussein Sheik-Ali, a former national security adviser and now the chairman of the Hiraal Institute, a Somalia-based security think tank. “This upsurge in attacks comes periodically when they [al-Shabab] feel the government’s weakness,” Hussein said. “They try to penetrate and disrupt elections because of this prolonged election dispute.”

Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis in Somalia and entire Horn of Africa region is in dire need of help as the region faces one of worst droughts in decades. Mr. Swan has warned that about 7.7 million Somalis are in need of humanitarian assistance this year, with at least 4.3 million being impacted by drought leading to more than 270,000 displaced.

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