GAROWE ONLINE EDITORIAL |
It is indeed the hope of the Somali people
that rebels, warlords and Islamist militia are excluded from Somalia’s new
With Aug. 20 only a few days away, it is becoming
increasingly clear that the much anticipated and final political benchmarks of
the Roadmap for End of Transition Process will not be met exactly on time. What
remains is the finalization of the list of 275 MPs of Somalia’s new Federal
Parliament, elections for Speaker and Deputy Speakers, and President.
The most remarkable political process is the selection
process for Somali MPs. The Technical Selection Committee (TSC), consisting of
representatives from Somalia’s various political groupings, is mandated with
assisting and screening new MPs selected by a group of Somali Traditional
Elders, who consult their own communities in the selection process. The TSC, as
a political instrument, has already accomplished some amazing political acts
vis-à-vis the stagnated political landscape of Somalia, where impunity,
corruption, favoritism and lack of capacity rule the day.
Credible reports from Mogadishu say the TSC members have
rejected over 70 potential legislators, based on a number of factors.
Some potential candidates were rejected because of connections to clan rebel
groups of the 1980s, such as SSDF, SNM and USC, while others were rejected for
appearing in reports by international institutions alleging corruption, and yet
others were rejected for being members of Mogadishu warlord factions or armed
groups associated with Islamist groups, including Al Shabaab.
This is a new and welcome development in Somalia. A TSC
consisting of nondescript Somali members have been empowered to keep strict
selection criteria, as per the Garowe Principles and subsequent agreements. If
the TSC empowerment remains strong, it is certain that a new federal parliament
will emerge from Mogadishu that is credible and might offer a new hope for
future political developments in Somalia. It is of paramount importance for the
new federal parliament to be credible, because its governance decisions in the
coming four years will have implications for a healthy political future in
Somalia. Moreover, the incoming government will be Somalia's first permanent government in nearly 22 years, thereby bringing a new set of risks and opportunities for a nation recovering from war, disintegration and displacement.
Secondly, this development underscores the international community’s
growing concerns and strengthening political will in Somalia affairs. Numerous statements from the U.N., the African Union, IGAD, the E.U., U.S., U.K., and other countries indicate willingness on the part of the international community to take "appropriate actions" against political spoilers in Somalia. The TSC decision to reject potential candidate MPs is the strongest indication yet that the international community's numerous statements have real ramifications inside Somalia.
change in world opinion is influenced, in large part, by the presence of
African Union peacekeepers (AMISOM), who played a significant role and tilting the balance of power in southern Somalia in
recapturing territories in Mogadishu and surrounding towns from Al Shabaab
It is indeed the hope of the Somali people that rebels,
warlords and Islamist militia are excluded from Somalia’s new federal
parliament. This creates renewed hope in a lost nation. This renewed hope
creates an evolving environment that is conducive to trust, development and
progress – all essential ingredients of nation building.
GAROWE ONLINE EDITORIAL
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