Exclusive: Sharmarke’s Dangerous Shift

Mogadishu, Somalia ( SOMALI AGENDA)- Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke has finalized the composition of the Technical Taskforce Team according to documents obtained by SOMALI AGENDA. The Technical Taskforce mandated by the National Leadership Forum held in Mogadishu on September 21st-23rd is charged with guiding the National Consultative Forum in implementing the electoral process leading to the forthcoming elections in 2016.

The National Leadership Forum is comprised of the Somali Federal Government and the federal member states. It’s job is to develop consensus on the mechanisms of holding credible elections in 2016.

Rejecting a central tenet of the National Consultative Forum which envisaged an inclusive mechanism that equitably represents Somalia’s different clan families,  Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke has finalized a Taskforce which heavily favors his Darod clan. Seven out of the nine members of the technical committee belong to the Prime Minister’s clan.

The Prime Minister has sidelined Hiiraan, Middle Shabelle and Banadir from being represented in the Technical Taskforce. It is not clear if these regions along with Galmudug and South-West State will accept the legitimacy of the Prime Minister’s Technical Taskforce.

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Insiders speaking to SOMALI AGENDA assert that Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke has skillfully exploited perceived weaknesses of President Hassan Shiekh Mohamud and accuse the Prime Minister of aggressively implementing a clan agenda. The president, politically wounded by years of infighting with his former prime ministers and currently under siege by members of Somalia’s Federal Parliament loyal to Puntland that have tabled an impeachment motion against him, has largely surrendered major tasks to his Prime Minister.

The insiders accuse Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke of effectively instituting a parallel government that is furthering clan & regional interests rather than governing. The insiders criticize the Prime Minister of reneging on his promise to improve the country’s security situation and developing consensus on key issues facing Somalia. They point out to a recent meeting called by Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali in Mogadishu and which focused on deliberations regarding the composition of the technical teams and to ensure the clan supremacy of Somalia’s Darod clan. The Prime Minister was not only present in these clan meetings but senior members of his office even played key coordinating roles.

Bolstered by his native Puntland & Jubbaland, the Prime Minister relies on coterie of bellicose clanists such as Mohamed Abdirahman Farole, son of former Puntland president Abdirahman Farole to shape his policies. Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke’s dramatic pivot to clan politics not only threatens to harm the political balance, they lay the seeds for generational clan acrimony in Somalia.


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