opposition parties are accusing President Abdullahi Yusuf's transitional
government of failing in its mandate to maintain law and order and protect the
innocent after Islamists recently intensified attacks around the capital,
Mogadishu. The opposition also questioned the validity of the government and
accused it of lacking cohesion to address what they describe as the serious
security concerns of the ordinary Somali. This comes after President Abdullahi
Yusuf admitted over the weekend that Islamist insurgents, who now control most
of the country, could bring his government down on its knees. From Nairobi, former Somali
presidential candidate Ali Abdullahi tells reporter Peter Clottey that the
Islamists have been emboldened by the imminent pullout of Ethiopian troops.
"What you have to understand
in the Somali political gymnastics is that the resistances have increased their
tendencies to push deeply into part of Marka and to some parts of Mogadishu.
The main reasons why they are pushing so deeply is because of the friction
between the senior members. So the TFG (Transitional Federal Government), presumably,
the prime minister, and the president are squabbling over positions of
ministers, which is very trivial at this time of nation building because both
of them seemed to have failed to see the bigger picture as far as building
Somalia back to its feet is concerned," Abdullahi noted.
Yusuf also blamed his government's lack of effectiveness partly on
disagreements between him and Prime Minister Nur Hassan Hussein.
He said there seems to be no
cohesion between members of the federal government, which Abdullahi claims is
adversely affecting the government.
"You know, because of the
lack of squabbling between members of the TFG, both sides have their own
backers and they do not listen to each other's views, but rather listen to only
their backers," he said.
Abdullahi said the
government seems to be preoccupied with its own existence.
"The transitional government
is worried of two things. One is the time frame remaining, which is less than a
year, and the tasks, which are ahead of it. There were declarations of the 13th
extraordinary session of the IGAD (The Intergovernmental
Authority on Development) assembly of heads of state that was on the 30th
of October. They have an eight-point plan, which the TFG is supposed to go
through within the period remaining. One is to appoint a cabinet on the basis
of previous regulations, establish a joint security committee... and to
finalize the drafting of the Somali constitution. They have not been able to
achieve most of these," Abdullahi said.
He said the transitional
government's problems seem to have been intensified because of lack of funding.
"The current TFG as it is
financially crippled, they don't have much funds and they deserve that because
funding, which was given to them was usually used for personal stuff. And the
tragedy currently is how the international community is going to engage the TFG
in the remaining months because the EU (European Union) is worried about the
situation on the ground as far as security is concerned," he noted.
Abdullahi said the Islamists
insurgents have been strengthened after it was announced that troops from
Ethiopia who backed the government would soon be pulling out.
"There is also the issue of
the Ethiopians pulling out of Somalia, and this has increased the propensity of
the Islamists to think that they can take over power, considering that the TFG
is financially and militarily weak as it is today," Abdullahi said.
Abdullahi said the lack of
cohesion within the government stems from the failed impeachment proceedings
against the prime minister.
"It is presumed to do with
the recent impeachment which was almost done on the prime minister, considering
that 10 members of parliament resigned and have to wait for parliament to get
into the process. And presumably, he could have been impeached if it was not
for the Ethiopians, who intervened, and the international community," Abdullahi
He said the issue of
warlords and the clannish mentality of Somalia accentuated the divisions within