Galmudug And Hirshabelle Leaders Urge For A Return to the September 17 Deal

In a dramatic shift in Somalia’s political saga, the regional states of Hirshabelle and Galmudug leaders jointly issued a statement assessing the polarized political situation in the country and calling for a return to the September 17 deal.

In their statement, published yesterday, Ahmed Abdi Karie Qoorqoor and Ali Abdullahi Hussein Gudlawe deplored the tragic events that have occurred in recent days in the nation’s capital.

They pleaded for the end of Mogadishu’s residents the anxiety and suffering and to save the country from another civil war.

“We consider these events unfortunate for the state-building process in Somalia, especially for the people of the capital Mogadishu who do not deserve to be reminded of the difficult times they went through.”

In that effect, they proposed to eliminate the extension of the federal government mandate passed by the People’s Assembly on April 22. “All obstacles to the implementation of the September 17 agreement must be stopped and eliminated”.

They appealed to the federal government “to immediately take all necessary steps to implement the September 17 agreement so that the country can go to the polls” and to the other regional administrations in the country “to play their part in the implementation of the agreement”.

They also urged “all parties involved in the current situation in Somalia to refrain from anything that could lead to divisions and instability and instead to show goodwill and responsibility” and the armed forces “to refrain from any action that could lead to insecurity and to abide by the national obligations set out in the Constitution and not to get involved in politics”.

The response to this joint statement was immediate.

The Prime Minister’s statement

First, Mohamed Hussein Roble, Somalia’s Prime Minister, issued his own press release welcoming the statement by the two leaders and saying that he too, “after extensive consultations with various segments of Somali society”, he came to the same conclusion.

Mr. Roble indicated he was saddened by the “recent violence in Mogadishu and its tragic consequences, which have resulted in the displacement of many poor people”.

He also called on Puntland, Jubaland, Southwest and Benadir “to take part in the peace process and to facilitate free and fair elections”.

“According to my government’s program that I read before the Parliament, I am ready to implement the elections agreed on 17 September 2020 in the country. I call on all stakeholders in the country’s elections to be prepared for the country’s elections and to stop any activities that could jeopardize the country’s elections and stability” he added.

The PM urged the Armed Forces to fulfill their constitutional duties and ensure the safety and security of the population and pleaded the opposition politicians “to stop acts and activities that are creating the conflict and stay in their homes and private places”.

He also urged the international community to play a constructive role and continue with their support.

He finally called on the Somali people in general to support the government in order “to bring peace and stability to the country and to hold peaceful elections in the country”.

Southwest Communique

The South-West regional administration also published a statement “in light of the latest developments in the country and the electoral stalemate” recommending the resumption of the election negotiations in accordance with the agreement of 17 September 2020 and the recommendations of the Technical Committee consultation held in Baidoa on 16 February 2021.

Southwest region also warned against “anything that may harm the unity, solidarity and security of the country, and to avoid politicizing and dividing the Armed Forces” and urged the Federal Government and the Member States leaders to work together for the stability and state-building process of Somalia.

Puntland and Jubaland welcomed PM Roble’s statement

Puntland and Jubaland, the two regional administrations who blocked the September 17 agreement, also welcomed Galmudug, Hirshabelle and the PM’s statements.

Puntland called on “all parties to return to the talks in order to reach an agreement on the implementation of the 17 September 2020 agreement, and to hold peaceful, inclusive elections” and “the Union of Candidates and Civil Society Organizations to help maintain stability in the country and to ensure the holding of credible elections”.

Jubaland, while welcoming statements initiated by Qoorqoor and Gudlawe, and supported by the Prime Minister, called at the same time the repealing of the September 17 agreement by the National Assembly as “illegal”.

Puntland thanked the International Community for their assistance and urged foreign representatives “to play their part in preparing for a conference to finalize the agreement on 17 September”.

Finally, other political actors and government officials welcomed the latest developments and supported the return to the September 17 accord for a speedy and peaceful election.

Omar Salad

Omar is an IT specialist based in Mogadishu.