Post-mortem on IGAD’s Nairobi Summit
Earlier this week, President Abdullahi Yusuf of Somalia ’s TFG arrived in London for a routine medical check-up. His spokesman said the visit was no more than routine and that the President’s health was ‘fine’. The 73 year old President is expected back in Somalia within the week. In the meantime, sources close to Prime Minister Nur Hassan ‘Adde’ said that he has finalized the list of ten new ministers and three deputy ministers for his cabinet. He has also now gone to London to present the list for the President’s approval. Agreement on the cabinet list has to be within the timeframe laid out in the Nairobi Declaration. There is no alternative option. The President and the Prime Minister are obligated by the Nairobi Declaration to establish a cabinet within 15 days, and there is not much time left. Another element of the Nairobi Declaration which has to be set up within the same period is the establishment of the Benadir Administration. A supervisory delegation from the Somali Parliament has traveled to Mogadishu to speed this up. According to the Declaration, this has to be done within the next week. The previous administration was removed after the signing of the Addis Ababa road map in August and a temporary administration nominated to deal with day to day administrative activities as well as assist in the creation of a new administration at regional and district levels.
Another requirement of the Nairobi Declaration is the appointment of a facilitator. The Chairman of the IGAD Council of Ministers has requested comments from his colleagues on the nomination of a candidate proposed by Kenya , but consultations on the matter have not yet been finalized. The facilitator is expected to base himself in Addis Ababa to keep in close and continuous touch with the chair of the IGAD Assembly. The appointment will be a major factor in the implementation of the Nairobi Declaration. It will also provide a framework to assist the TFIs of Somalia and their leadership to work together for the full implementation of the Declaration.
Meanwhile, Sheikh Sharif, the head of the Djibouti faction of the Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS-D) visited Jowhar and Belet Weyne this week, in his first visit to Somalia in nearly two years. The regions of Middle Shebelle and Hiiraan make up a visible constituency for the ARS-Djibouti faction. He and his seven-man delegation met with a warm welcome in both towns. He will be meeting supporters inside Somalia and is expected to visit a number of other towns. His trip will add impetus to the pressure for the implementation of the Djibouti Agreement, emphasized by the Declaration of the extraordinary Nairobi summit. Both the Agreement and the Declaration speak of the need for a unity government to be established within ninety days. Ethiopia continues to do whatever is possible to ensure this is carried out. However, failure to abide strictly by the provisions of the Nairobi Declaration and the Djibouti agreement will have further implications for Ethiopia ’s role in Somalia . It is normally overlooked that the continued presence of Ethiopia in Somalia has financial implications which Ethiopia might not be able to sustain for too long, and Ethiopia ’s concerns in this regard have been quietly communicated to its partners.