Villa Somalia Should Leave Galmudug Alone

Galmudug is going through a difficult political time. With the controversial election of Sheikh Shakir as the President of Galmudug, the emergence of parallel administrations is the likely outcome.

The International Community urged stakeholders not to rush the process of forming a new administration. There is nothing perplexing about the behaviour of Galmudug rivals. They are not more quarrelsome than politicians from other Federal States. To understand why Galmudug is slogging through a difficult political transition one has to pay look at how the Federal State has come into existence.

President Xaaf: Galmudug does not need puppet institutions 

Galmudug was founded in 2006, when most regions in Southern Somalia were under the Union of Islamic Courts. It made South Galka’yo its administrative capital.  It played a role in the phasing out of the transitional government to put in place a permanent government.  It had a rival— Himan iyo Heeb — then based in Adaado district of Galguduud. Ahlu Sunna did not the recognise South Galka’yo-based administration either. In 2015  the Federal Government under President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud put more effort into the amalgamation of Galmudug, Himan  & Heeb and Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a, the religious paramilitary group keeping Al-Shabaab at bay in many parts of Galguduud. 

The Federal Government created a new and expanded Galmudug with a Parliament and a Council of Ministers. The first President of the new Galmudug was an ally of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. This approach to state-making keeps Galmudug in limbo.  The Mogadishu Presidency (Villa Somalia) micromanages the electoral process of Galmudug. The public funds the Federal Government uses to select a loyal Galmudug Presidential Candidate further complicates the situation. Successive Somali Federal Governments have sought to undermine Ahlu Sunna to install an administration loyal to Villa Somalia. This political interference is a threat to stabilisation efforts. 

Galmudug needs a political process conceived by locals to become accountable to its people. As long as the Federal Government directs the Galmudug political process, the political controversy will continue to deepen. That is why four presidential candidates have withdrawn their candidacy.

© Puntland Post Monthly, 2020