As President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo settles down in Villa Somalia with his outsized cabinet watching over empty coffers, he encounters a political landscape that resembles the era of "Scramble for Africa,” and the dismemberment of Somali territory. Between 1884 and 1887, Somali strategic ports were all in the hands of three different European colonial powers. Similarly, between 2014 and 2017, three mega investors have taken over the development and management of three of Somalia’s most important ports. Somalia is back to where it was 130 years ago, only this time overpowered by a much crueler world.
Just like his predecessor, Farmajo’s presidency already shows extreme dependency on Arab petro-dollar and Western benefactors. His promise to bring back Somalia’s sovereignty proves to be no more than yet another politician’s humbug.The omnipresent foreign interference in all affairs of Somali by foreign powers has recently peaked on April 10, 2017, when members of the Somalia National Army (SNA) clashed with soldiers from the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA). It is reported that SNA is funded and trained by the United Arab Emirates UAE, while the nation’s security wing is loyal to Qatar. The temporal Arab cold war, which has been raging for some time now, is hence fought in Mogadishu’s dusty streets with the Somali government only playing spectator’s role.
On April 10, 2017, Farmajo was summoned for consultation to Dubai on a range of issues mainly on the ports deals, whereas Qatari Amir was visiting Addis Ababa in a highly publicized mutual consultations with the powerful ancient empire of Ethiopia. The cornerstone of Ethiopia’s foreign policy has been and is the destabilization of Somalia.Somalia has three major challenges to its post-civil war reconstruction: security, economic, and political.
The security sector has been elusive for the last quarter of a century following the 1991 civil war. This promise is nothing more than Mr. Farmajo’s bravado; who is known to be hasty. Otherwise, most military analysts would die to have a peek into his war game.Whether Mr. Farmajo’s hastiness makes sense or not, Somalia needs its own national army to fight its own war for the re-liberation of the country. Foreign powers such as Ethiopia, Kenya and Qatar on one side, and the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Egypt on the other side make the reconstruction of Somalia’s national army all the more difficult to realize.