Somalia’s intricate agenda, relations unpacked

Wednesday December 11 2019

Abdallah Ahmed Ibrahim, the director of the East Africa Centre for Research and Strategic Studies. PHOTO | COURTESY


Abdallah Ahmed Ibrahim, is the director of the East Africa Centre for Research and Strategic Studies. He was interviewed by The EastAfrican’s Special Correspondent Fred Oluoch.


Mr Abdallah Ahmed Ibrahim, what is the progress of constitutional review supposed to determine whether Somalia remains federal or becomes centralised?

Given the current political deadlock, it is unlikely that the current constitution will be completed by the current government. The new constitution was supposed to be an inclusive process that facilitates rebuilding of Somalia.

How are President Farmajo’s relations with the federal states?

International partners have convinced President Said Abdullahi Dani of Puntland to open dialogue with Farmaajo so that some form of electoral modalities can be agreed upon.


The president will travel to Mogadishu in the next few days to try to convince Farmaajo to accept Ahmad Madobe’s election. Mr Dani says he will not be party to any agreement that isolates Mr Madobe.

How are Somalia relations with Kenya, Ethiopia and South Sudan unfolding?

Somalia has regional, political and institutional divisions whose competing interests undermine the pursuit of a coherent foreign policy.

In the absence of a national foreign policy agenda, Somalia will remain an outcast at regional level. Also, there is absence of a leadership that appreciates Somalia’s unique position in Horn of Africa and Arab World.

Ethiopian PM, Dr Ahmed Abiy was recently accused of interfering with the internal affairs of Somalia. What exactly did he do?

Over the past few weeks, mechanised Ethiopian forces crossed the Somalia border in what was viewed as an effort to support the fledgling Farmaajo government. Ethiopian forces are stationed in Dhusamareb District where regional government elections will be held.

This has created tension among local and regional leaders. Ethiopia is accused of influencing the poll of Southwest State, after they arrested former Al Shabaab spokesperson Muhammed Robow, a leading candidate.