Somali's new President Sheikh Sharif
Sheikh Ahmed has come under intense criticism from some parliamentarians
displeased with his relocation from Djibouti to the capital, Mogadishu. The
concerned parliamentarians say the president's relocation to the capital makes
him and easy target to Islamic insurgent groups including al-Shabaab. They said
the president is taking unnecessary risk of going to Mogadishu when he could
have waited until the capital is secured by the security agencies backed by The
African Union peacekeeping troops (AMISOM). Meanwhile
this week, new Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke is also
expected to relocate to Mogadishu from Djibouti where Somalia parliamentarians
are currently meeting. Yahya Sheik Ahmed is a Somali political analyst. He
tells reporter Peter Clottey that a government in Diaspora would not help in
the restoration of peace and stability in Somalia.
president, ministers and the prime minister can come to Mogadishu this time,
but parliament which is now over five hundred people would be too risky for
them to be relocated to the capital, Mogadishu. The government would not be
able to secure the security of all these people. So, I will suggest that only
the ministers, the president and the prime minister should be in Mogadishu
because the national security can handle their security needs. But that many
number of Somali parliamentarians would be difficult for them to be protected
by the security agencies," Ahmed noted.
said the parliamentarians currently holding talks in Djibouti should be allowed
to either travel outside the country for a while or a safe place in Somali
should be made available for them until the security situation is brought under
will suggest that some of the parliamentarians who are already nationals of
other countries or who came from the Diaspora could go back to the Diaspora for
the first 100 days and the others would have to go to Puntland, which is very
secure. But the parliamentarians cannot go to Baidoa where al-Shabaab largely
controls. So I will suggest to them to go to Puntland. But the government has to
move to Mogadishu," he said.
disagreed with those who are of the view that the president is putting himself
at risk by relocating to Mogadishu.
"I don't think the
parliamentarians would be safe, but I do think the president would be safe. He
would just move into the presidential palace or headquarters, which is well
secured by his armed forces, the police as well as the African Union forces so
he would be safe. There would be trials or attempts by these insurgents to
attack, but he can still manage his office in Mogadishu. So the president and
the prime minster as well as all the ministers can be in Mogadishu because they
are not many and the government can handle their security," Ahmed pointed out.
He reiterated that there was
no need to relocate the parliamentarians to Mogadishu.
"For the parliament members
it is too risky for them to go to the capital. But for the president, where
would he go? Will they be like the Cambodian government a government in the
Diaspora? That is impossible. He (President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed) should
come to Mogadishu and now he is already there in the capital and the prime
minister will come this week. The whole Mogadishu is not in the control of
al-Shabaab they are active in some parts and the other parts the government and
the African Union troops are active. So, they (the president and the
government) can be in a peaceful area," he said.
Ahmed said the new
government should remain in the capital to experience what the people who live
there are currently experiencing.
"These insurgents will try
to attack but you see somebody will attack so I wouldn't go back to my own
country I mean the president and the prime minister? That is impossible. They
are to share the risk with the people that they are representing. If they were
to stay out then they cannot assume the responsibility of the nation. So, they
should come and they should share the risks with the people," Ahmed noted.
Meanwhile, President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed sharply condemned
Sunday's suicide attacks on the Burundian contingent of the African Union
peacekeeping forces in Mogadishu which left at least 11 dead and nearly 15
others seriously wounded. Two suicide bombers blew themselves up in one of the
bases used by the Burundian contingent of the AU peacekeeping forces in
Mogadishu. The hardline Islamist al-Shabaab movement claimed responsibility for
Described by Washington as a
terrorist organization, al-Shabaab and the newly formed Hezbul Islam are
strongly opposed to the current Somali government and vowed to continue
fighting against the government forces and the African Union peacekeepers.
Al-Shabaab has vowed to take
over the country and implement the Sharia law, adding that its warriors would
continue launching attacks until the group's objective is realized.