Editor’s note: Omar Sheikh Abdirahman was a classmate of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s at 21 October Intermediate School in May 1st Neighbourhood of Waaberi.
I have read the in-depth report on the maritime dispute between Somalia and Kenya posted in Puntland Post. I have acquired a wider understanding of the issue. In 2016, when the former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud accused three Somali political leaders of treason for signing a Memorandum of Understanding with Kenya in 2009, I was not able to make my mind up about the veracity of what President Mohamud had said about rival politicians.
Now, I can judge that President Mohamud’s view is based on the letter and spirit of the MoU signed with Kenya: Somalia allowed Kenya to claim a part of its maritime territory. President Mohamud said that the leaders in question “are responsible for the loss of our maritime territory”. This is the judgement of a President in a country that does not have effective judiciary that can put treason suspects of trial.
I commended him for his candour. As a Somali citizen I agree with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud that the leaders in question betrayed their country by letting Kenya to claim Somalia’s territorial waters. I am at a loss to understand why President Mohamud is now, under the Union of Presidential Candidates platform, with the same leaders he accused of treason back in 2016.
The Federal Government of Somalia under President Mohamud submitted Somalia’s case to the International Court of Justice for adjudication after Mogadishu realised that Kenya filed the MoU with the United Nations as a case that Somalia and Kenya will amicably resolve although there was no a maritime dispute between the two coastal countries in the first place.
Another member of the Union of Presidential Candidates is Sharif Sheikh Adan, a former Finance Minister of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia that signed the MoU with Kenya. The national interest of Somalia is more important than maintaining the camaraderie of opposition Presidential Candidates to unseat the incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed. What is now at stake is one of the foundations of the Somali sovereignty betrayed by leaders who were sworn in to protect it. Giving this group of politicians a succour will irreparably tarnish the patriotic credentials of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
By Omar Sheikh Abdirahman, London, email@example.com