Somalia: The dreadful roadmap is destined for failure as Puntland declares to print its own currency

The latest action taken by Puntland administration of Somalia to print its own currency will serve as a catalyst for dreadful failure of the Roadmap. This, in the view of many Somali political analysts is the last straw that broke the camel’s back. The federalism components agreed upon in Garowe and signed by the Signatories of the Roadmap including Puntland clearly states; that tasks of monetary, foreign affairs, natural resources and defense are federal jurisdiction and that no state of the federation has any constitutional rights to print its own currency.

It was on the same day March 8, 2012 that the Prime Minister of Somalia admitted in an interview that the Roadmap and Garowe principles will not end the transition unless it is ratified by the parliament- in other words there is an urgent need to resolve the crisis in the TFP before the tasks of the Roadmap can be implemented. The PM Abdiweli Ali wants to bring the budget and the Road Map to the Parliament for ratification and he has been telling both the president and the former speaker Sharif Hassan to arrange a Parliament meeting for the last two months without any success. It is now a matter of time before the Prime Minister asks the new speaker Madobe Nunow to chair the parliament in order to discuss theses outstanding legislative matters and to ratify the roadmap. However, the SRSG Dr. Mahiga is resisting that route and is insisting that the signatories of the roadmap to go ahead its implementations and wants to by-pass the ratification of the roadmap by the legislative branch. 

Similarly, the SRSG Dr. Augustine Mahiga stated in a letter dated on March 9, 2012 and posted on UNPOS website that “the country is still embroiled in a parliamentary crisis which has frozen even the most basic activities of the lawmakers. Parliament cannot pass legislation or carry out routine tasks. Somalia simply cannot afford to be in this impasse at this key point in its history. Not only does the ongoing power struggle risk derailing the substantial gains that Somali stakeholders and their partners have so painstakingly made, it is holding key processes hostage, such as the approval of the National Security and Stabilization Plan. I am concentrating my efforts on engaging the parties to find a way out of this crisis and to ensure that they get back to work for the benefit of Somalia”. 

While this admission helps to revisit the roadmap tasks and adjust the timelines, it is too little too late, but more than that Mahiga cannot be a credible and neutral broker that can reconcile the parliamentary crisis, by siding with the former speaker in an interview he gave to the Somalia report and calling the majority of the Members of the Parliament spoilers, Mahiga has lost the confidence of the Somali people and will not be seen as a neutral broker. 

Given the enormity of the tasks of the roadmap and the timeline to end the transition by August 2012, coupled with emerging crises and political squabbles and infighting among the leadership of the TFI, one can see that this roadmap is dead. 

We asked TFG insider who recently attended the Garowe conference how the process will end given the internal contradiction inherent in the roadmap? His answer was as good as anyone’s guess- the roadmap will not end the transition, but if it is forced to end the transition it will create a vacuum reminiscent to what Dr. Weinstein coined as the end of devolutionary cycle and the continuation of instability in Somalia.

Several factors that would have accounted its success are missing;

First and foremost the process was not owned by Somalis but was a process driven by the international community, mainly the SRSG Dr. Mahiga

Secondly; the tasks set in the roadmap were ambiguous and their implementation will be unachievable

Thirdly; there is no fixed timeline to complete the four major tasks as well as benchmarks

And finally; there are no measurable indicators to measure and evaluate the success or failure of the roadmap.

Therefore, it is fair to suggest given these problems and others that will sprout up in the next few weeks including donor-fatigue on the roadmap, its implementation is becoming more daunting by the day if not impossible. Puntland as one of the signatories of the Roadmap is indirectly telling the Donors and international community that this roadmap to end the transition is doomed for failure as indicative of their latest action of unilaterally declaring to print their own currency. Additionally, the Puntland president has been callously intimidating and challenging the authority of the president of the TFG Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and two days ago issued statement in which he questioned the legitimacy of the TFG to negotiate with Somaliland without his administration’s involved in the process. 

Despite these and other obvious challenges to the roadmap, no alternative mechanisms were put in place to allow the implementers the flexibility to adjust missed timelines. Additionally some of the most important tasks in the roadmap include the ratification of the draft constitution is not completed yet. The 1000 constituent assembly to ratify the draft constitution is not yet selected, though that process is very daunting and time consuming, rumor has the 1000 constituent assembly will be selected from Mogadishu alone and therefore are excluded from other parts of Somalia and without any deliberation and debate on the draft constitution will approve it entirely.

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