The African Union Overplayed Its Hand in Somalia

 Mogadishu (PP Editorial) — When President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed mooted the idea “African solutions to African problems”, little did he know of the make-up of African Union committees such as the Peace and Security Council. PSC made up of 15 countries including Djibouti and Kenya, two troop-contributing countries whose forces are in Somalia under Amisom mandate.   The Western Countries welcomed PSC communiqué. After all, they pay salaries of Amisom troops and have a leverage to influence decisions by AU committees.

African solution is an oxymoron. Who gave PSC the privilege to attack the legislature of a member country that thinks the principle of national sovereignty still mattered in a unipolar word?   AU has not shed its  ‘club of dictatorships” image.  1/3 of AU member states thinks it is fair to undermine the sovereignty of Somalia through a partisan communiqué while at the same time touting its role as a mediator.  PSC can be likened to a judge who had declared a conflict of interest and but is reluctant to recuse himself from a case.

President Mohamed underestimated the influence of Western countries on the African Union committees when he had proposed an AU mediator role in Somalia.

The Somali political leaders who oppose the mandate extension should not be turning a blind eye to the gradual disempowerment of federal institutions. They will not bank on the votes of progressive Somali MPs and Senators, who object to the patronising communiqué from PSC.

In the communiqué PSC alluded to the sovereignty of Somalia, but in the same vein made a mockery of it by granting itself a privilege to condemn a parliamentary decision to extend the mandate of the Somali federal institutions.

If Somalia turns the other cheek, AU will become a tool to bless dictatorships.  It is becoming clear that the AU, as a supranational body, is creaking under the weight of clash of values. Kenya and Djibouti — PSC members—  are beneficiaries of the Somali conflict. Djibouti midwifed the notorious 4.5 power-sharing system whereas Kenya invaded Somalia in 2011 and rebranded its role as a peacekeeper under Amisom mandate. Both countries have felt unease over the institutional progress made by Somali security forces on course to wean Somalia off dependency on Amisom.

Djibouti calls itself Hiil Walaal (a brother’s succour) but it is in the grip of sibling rivalry with Somalia given how it had lent weight to a communiqué against the sovereignty of Somalia. Somalia’s response to PSC communiqué is reasonable and timely.

© Puntland Post, 2021