Indirect presidential election due on October 10th this year.

The national consultation forum for the federal elections which comprises of five states leaders plus Benadir governor and the Prime minister, held two-days conference for finalizing elections dialogue in Mogadishu on the 28-29th of May, 2021.

On the 30th May, 2021, the office of the prime minister released a detailed schedule for elections. The Upper House election will be held on July 25, and the lower house between august 10 and September 10.

Both houses will convene for the presidential election on October 10.

Puntland local government elections

Puntland state of Somalia has implemented the registration voters in three selected districts, Qardho, Eyl and Ufeyn, as part of a pilot project meant to test whether voter registration is possible in the regional state and subsequent local government elections.  

It was on the 16th May, 2021 when the state’s deputy president, Ahmed Elmi Osman (karaash), launched this voter registration in Qardho district.

About more than half of the registered voters are women. This suggests that women are more interested in political participation than men in this part of the world where almost everybody somehow discusses politics on daily basis.

Almost 48,353 people have registered to vote in the upcoming local government elections. If the project is proved successful, full voter registration will be conducted soon. 

Somaliland’s May elections created clouds of future uncertainty

The recent elections to the lower house and local councils were generally peaceful and people in many districts came out to vote.

However, when you consider the reality on the ground, the success of the elections turned out to be a half-truth and the reactions mixed.

For example, while enthusiastic voters queueing in the urban areas of Hargeisa, Berbera and Burao made headlines, the Hartis, who inhabit more than a third of Somaliland’s territories, largely boycotted the elections.

The participation of the Gadabursi community has also been considerably lower as they are forced to line up behind three parties that do not represent their interests and their voices are muffled and their longstanding grievances ignored in a two-tier system.

The low level of voter registration also shows to what extent the push towards independence for Somaliland, to the detriment of a real equality of the region’s clans and a better representativeness in the civil and military instances of the administration, is essentially unpopular.

We must also stress that these elections were a setback for the women of Somaliland, regardless of which clan they came from. From one member of parliament before, they have plummeted to zero.

Fight against Al-Shabab

Intense fighting and security operations were conducted in different part of the country. Government troops were mostly on the offensive in Lower Jubba, Lower Shabelle, Middle Shabelle, Bay, Bakool and Galmudug.

General Odawa, himself led the operations in Hiran and Middle Shabelle where many towns (Gal-labashir, War-dhagah, War-Ise, Gal-lef, Qor-dheere, Jilable, Ali Foldheere, Galka Hararey) were liberated from the terrorists chokehold and hundreds of Al-Shabab fighters were killed and the military equipment seized.

The SNA in Dinsor district, Bay region, has killed at least 24 Al-Shabaab militants, injured several others and hunted down those who escaped. The operation came on the night of June 19, after Al-Shabaab militants made three attempts to attack their camps based in Dinsor district.

While the government troops are on the offensive with no air cover, no heavy weaponry and no assistance from AMISOM or other foreign troops.

The SNA managed to relieve the AMISOM’s Ugandan contingent from their Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Lower Shabelle.

AMISOM set up the Marianguwaay FOB in 2014 to ease the movement of troops between the port cities of Marka and Barawe. Following the relocation, the FOB is now closed and the land ownership has reverted to the government.

Regional tensions and security

After months of diplomatic wrangling, Somalia and Kenya have resumed work to restore full diplomatic relations and normalcy in travel and consular activities.

The case of alleged Somali soldiers fighting along Eritreans in Tigray has resurfaced and gained momentum.

Once again, the government dismissed opposition and foreign bodies allegations as baseless, it announced that a high ranking delegation would be sent to Eritrea where Somali soldiers are being trained.

National celebrations

Finally, the Independence and Union Week festivities generally went well and the population came out in large numbers to show their joy.

For his part, President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, in a well-noticed speech, paid tribute to the heroes of independence and to the efforts of the country’s young people who work for peace and national unity.