Somalia leaders reach deal on fishing and 2020 polls

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The leaders of Somalia's Federal Government and regional states have issued late Saturday night a joint Communiqué following a key forum in Mogadishu, February 6-10, 2018, Garowe Online reports.

The four-day National Security Council meeting held in Villa Somalia, the Country's Presidential Palace was chaired by the Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire.

The deputy PM Mahdi Mohamed Guled, leaders from the Federal Member States, namely Puntland, Jubbaland, HirShabelle, Southwest, Galmudug and Banadir administration participated in the meeting.

During the lengthy talks, the political leaders discussed on the National Security, a roadmap for One Person, One Vote Polls in 2020, the country’s untapped natural resources [Fishing] and troop integration. 

- National security architecture'

The Council agreed to speed up and training of regional Police and paramilitary [Darwish] forces and then integrated in accordance with the New Policing Model and the new National security architecture.

The Government of Somalia will assist the integrating force in the fields of weapons, training, stipends, and logistics to be able to cooperate the armed forces in the fight against the terrorist groups in the country.

According to the Communiqué, the council will set up a technical committee consisting of the Federal government and member states for the implementation of the pact on the training and Integration of the forces.

The joint team will meet once every three weeks and share inclusive information with the President of the Federal Government Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who is the chair of the National Security Council.

In line with the deal, Danab special forces will be expanded and integrated at a national level before their training. Danab which means lightning in Somali is regarded as the most competent of Somalia's military.

- Universal suffrage in 2020'

The Somali Government has put forward a roadmap for “one person, one vote” elections in 2020 during the meeting, in which the Federal Member States and Benadir region agreed to take part its implementation.

PM Khaire will appoint a 10-member committee drawn from the government and the regional administration that will be working on the type of electoral system within in four weeks period ahead of drafting electoral laws.

The council also decided the constitutional review process to be completed by the end of 2018 and asked Somalia's Independent Electoral Commission to complete the consultations with the public on the 2020 elections.

Since the collapse of the former military regime in 1991, the country has relied on a clan-based formula in which the lawmakers were selected by the clan elders, and then the legislators elect the president. 

 - Natural Resources Sharing'

After long-standing controversies related to the country’s natural resources, Somalia’s government has signed a deal with the regional states that would see all sides sharing the untapped marine resources.

The new agreement gives the regional administrations an authority to grant licenses to foreign fishing companies in 24 nautical miles in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) while the Government manages beyond.

The Ministry of Fisheries Marine Resources for the Federal Government will have representatives in the capital cities of the regional administrations to facilitate the work with regard to Somalia Fishing Law.

The sides will create a fisheries authority responsible for the fishing and the cost of the fishing licenses will depend on the type of the fish in accordance with International Standard of Application for licenses.

A final meeting to conclude the fishing resources sharing agreement will be held in Baidoa, the interim administrative capital of Southwest State on the 28th February.