Somalia Parliamentary speaker’s resignation

Speaker’s resignation indicates strained relations with Somalia’s foreign partners, undermining sustainability of security assistance

Parliamentary speaker’s resignation indicates strained relations with Somalia’s foreign partners, undermining sustainability of security assistance, president’s leadership

Somali House Speaker

The speaker of Somalia’s parliament, Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari, attends his election process in Mogadishu, Somalia, January 11, 2017. Picture taken January 11, 2017. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

April 13, 2018 – Speaker of Parliament Mohamed Osman Jawari resigned on 12 April during an address to Somalia’s legislature. The resignation followed a coalition of parliamentarians on 9 April proposing an impeachment motion against Jawari, claiming he was bribed by a foreign country to challenge President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s leadership.

Jawari denied the allegations. The motion was tabled after the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) on 8 April temporarily detained 47 Emirati government personnel at Mogadishu International Airport and seized an unspecified amount of hard currency.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) subsequently stated on 11 April that the money was intended for payment of Somali National Army (SNA) stipends and that it would now discontinue these payments.

Significance

The FGS is unlikely to retract the accusations made against the UAE. Consequently, the UAE will probably frustrate relations between the FGS and the northern semi-autonomous regions of Somaliland and Puntland, where there are major Emirati investments in port infrastructure.

The UAE will probably be more overt in supporting Somaliland’s claim for sovereignty.

Any resulting deterioration in relations between the FGS and Puntland will weaken the president’s Darod clan support base, motivating further challenges to his leadership.

Separately, the UAE is unlikely to reinstate its military assistance, which funds 10,000 SNA stipends. In December 2017, the United States removed funding for 10,000 SNA stipends due to corruption concerns, so the FGS will now need to finance 50% of total stipends, with the European Union and the United Kingdom funding the remainder.

The Turkish government in September 2017 inaugurated a military base in Somalia tasked with training SNA soldiers. In the likely event that Turkey finances this outstanding amount then pressure on the budget will be alleviated and the risk reduced of the FGS raising taxes on major revenue sources, such as Mogadishu’s marine and airport, which are operated by Turkish companies.

Risks: Government instability; Policy instability; Contract alteration; Tax increase; Civil war

Sectors or assets affected: Defence and security forces; Mining; Ports; Oil and gas; Telecommunications

Source: by Chris Suckling, IHS Global Insight Daily Analysis, April 13, 2018
Description of source: IHS Global Insight Daily Analysis articles cover the political, economic, legal, tax, operational and security environments in 186 countries. Also included are daily articles covering the telecoms, energy, automotive and healthcare industries in over 70 countries. Formerly known as Global Insight Daily Analysis. Country of origin: United Kingdom
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