Framing the Debate: IGAD’s Detrimental influence in Somalia

On February 21, 2011, about 114 Somalis residing in the Diaspora (including this author) sent aletter to the Somali public and to several international players in the Somalia affairs, including the United Nations General Secretary, Ban Ki-Moon, Ambassador Augustine Mahiga and US Undersecretary for Africa, Mr. Johnnie Carson. The letter urged all sides to reject the unilateral mandate to extend the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP) term for three more years 1. The letter specifically underscored the troubling role the Inter Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD) has been playing in the Somalia affairs 2. IGAD’s overreaching hand in the political and social life of Somalia is at best troubling and at worst perpetuating by design the status quo.

The unilateral extension of the TFP mandate, as matter of fact, had originated not from the corridors of the Somali hallways, but from the first session of IGAD’s January 30, 2011 session, under the Chairmanship of Prime Minster Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.  After that meeting, IGAD issued the following action regarding the Somali parliament:  “That the Transitional period ends on August 20, 2011 and the Assembly reached a consensus on the urgent need to extend the term of the current Transitional Federal Parliament.”

Following IGAD resolution (Jan. 30, 2011), on February 3, 2011, the TFP leadership hastily drafted a motion (to extend its life for three more years) for which it selfishly and voted with overwhelming majority.  This decision coupled with other events that had unfolded in Mogadishu precipitated President Sheikh Sharif’s visit (along with some of his cabinet members) to Addis Ababa to get more clarification of the nature of the TFP mandate extension.


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