IGAD, AU and international community condemn Somalia PM Khaire’s removal

EU envoy to Somalia Nicolas Berlanga and PM Hussein Khaire on July 1 when they discussed national elections plans, security reforms and completion of the debt relief/ OFFICE OF THE PM


The region and the international community has condemned the removal of Somalia Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire in a vote of no-confidence.

In a joint statement, the African Union Commission and IGAD stressed the need for all stakeholders in Somalia to exercise restraint and avoid any action that may lead to instability.

Khaire resigned on Saturday after 170 MPs passed a vote to impeach him in a vote he described as unprocedural and illegitimate.

As MPs voted on the motion against him in Mogadishu, Khaire was on his way from Dhusamareb, the capital of Galmudug federal state, where he had attended a conference on elections plan and reached a deal with leaders of the federal states.

But MPs accused him of failing on the plan, delaying an election and failing to implement a constitutional review programme.

The AU Commission and IGAD took note that the vote came after the Federal Government of Somalia and Federal Member States leaders reached an agreement in Dhusamareb to form a technical committee on election modalities for the 2020 national elections.

“The African Union Commission and IGAD urge Somali leaders to show unity of purpose, commit to the agreements reached in Dhusamareb and respect the agreed timelines in line with the Provisional Federal Constitution.”

“They further underscore the importance of ensuring that the agreed electoral model that will emerge from the technical committee is underpinned by broad based consensus involving parliament, political parties, civil society and other Somali stakeholders,” they said in the joint statement on July 25.

But the European Union High Representative/Vice-President, Josep Borrell, was not as meek.

In a tweet accompanying his statement, Borrell said the developments in Somalia entailed a serious disrespect for the constitutional foundations, and represent a setback for the country and the confidence of the European Union in the progress of Somalia, which they have been investing in.

“Somalia is still on a long journey of national recovery to become free of insecurity, free of debt and free to vote leaders into power. Until that time, the leaders of the Somali nation bear a special responsibility to ensure that a consensus is achieved and maintained in national politics,” Borrell said.

Siding with Khaire, Borrell said the procedures under which the motion was passed did not meet minimal constitutional requirements.

Like the AU and IGAD, the EU diplomat noted that the vote occurred a day after the conclusion of a meeting between the President and Federal Member States at which it was agreed that consultations would follow and a further meeting would occur on August 15.

“The European Union will review carefully how these events have come to pass, who bears responsibility and to what extent they deviate Somalia from the progress it was making and to which it had committed itself to its international partners,” Borrell added.

Sweden shared Borrell’s concerns, with the country’s Foreign Minister Ann Linde saying it is important that the inclusive dialogue continues and that the agreement in Dhusamareb is upheld.

US embassy in Mogadishu also issued a strong-worded statement, expressing concern over irregularities of the no-confidence vote and vowed to take measures against spoilers who seek to “undermine Somalia’s progress towards stability, peace, inclusive governance, prosperity”.

“This irregular process is a setback for the reform agenda Somalia has pursued with the support of the United States.  Somalia’s stability, security, and prosperity can only be built through cooperation, coordination, and compromise among Somalia’s leaders; if any individual or institution seeks to dominate the others, it undermines the stability of the entire nation,” the US embassy said.

CONDEMNATION AT HOME

Puntland on Monday dismissed Khaire’s topple as illegal, accused Farmaajo of “dishonesty”.

Puntland leader Said Abdullahi Deni accused Farmaajo of orchestrating the removal of PM Khaire, and described the no-confidence vote as illegal. Deni said Khaire was sincere about the Dhusamreb meeting.

Ex-PM Omar Sharmarke said Parliament didn’t respect its own bylaws in removing Khaire.

Sharmarke said Khaire was not the only federal leader to blame for failures alleged by the Speaker.

“The President was there, the Parliament was there,” he said

Upon his resignation, EU’s Ambassador to Somalia Nicolas Berlanga praised Khaire, saying, “The EU in Somalia wants to praise PM Khaire’s determination to conduct strategic reforms. On its journey to become free of insecurity, free of debt and free to vote leaders into power, PM Khaire represented the future, the modern Somalia citizens and partners all aspire to.”

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