Crisis Group: Somalia’s Politicians Play with Fire – Again

“Both sides need to take a step back from the brink. Rather than constantly finding new issues over which to duel, they should instead focus on bringing the long-overdue elections to completion. President Farmajo and his allies should avoid any effort to oust the prime minister so as not to derail election preparations. Other political actors, including opposition members, despite their initial scepticism, have increasingly shown trust in Roble’s stewardship of the preparations. Getting rid of Roble would refresh their doubts and likely ruin the deal on which the elections are based. The president should stick to his prior commitment to respect in word and deed the prime minister’s authority in handling logistics and security going into the vote. In that vein, Farmajo should accept the prime minister’s appointee to run NISA and cease seeking to counter his every move. Roble, in turn, can refocus on pushing ahead with the slowly progressing election cycle as his main priority. Both camps should also avoid attempts to interfere with or manipulate the vote, including by using government levers for political purposes.”