Poor Strategic Communication Caused the Renewed Political Rift in Somalia

By F. A. Ainanshe

President Mohamed (left) cracking a joke with Roble, the Somalia Prime Minister in Mogadishu.

(Commentary ) — The renewed rift between the President of Somalia and his Prime Minister emerged when almost all electoral milestones have been achieved. Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble could have responded to allegations of corruption made by the Navy Commander without instructing the Security Minister to restrict movement of the Navy Commander. Roble did lend undue credence to the allegations. Mere denial of allegations could prevent political rift.

Roble should remember the 2020 UN Security Council position on the process to effect a change of administration in Somalia. The claim made by Roble that he is the head of state violates the draft constitution and pushes Somalia toward a second state collapse.

There are technical issues that have to re dealt with prudently. If the possibility of the incumbent President overseeing the electoral process is absurd and unacceptable, the possibility that the Prime Minister is getting too close to the Union of Presidential Candidates is alarming. The Electoral Model has undergone several revisions, with the end result being more administrative powers for Federal Member States. This should have been seen as an outcome that ensures more transparency compared to Vision 2016.

The decision to fire members of the arbitration committee was not legally justified; it was politically motivated. The Prime Minister’s task is to avoid being seen as a campaign manager for the incumbent President or a PM rigging the election for the Union of Presidential Elections. Rather then accusing the President of seeking an unfair electoral advantage over other Presidential Candidates Roble ought to reiterate that his job is to act impartially and that he favours neither the incumbent President nor any other Presidential Candidate.

Roble lacks capable communication advisers. Since Federal Member States are conducting the selection of the MPs, a daily or weekly briefing on the progress will assure stakeholders of the integrity of the elections. Let the Federal Member States finalise the selection of MPs to move to the election of the speakers of the bicameral legislature and, subsequently, the President.

F. A. Ainanshe