Somalia’s Foreign Policy: Hijacked by Few individuals and Interest Groups


HE President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Prime Minister Hassan Kheirre came to office with a platform of galvanising unity among Somalia’s political and civil society. This was a noble goal but little did they know, they would be the first people who would take Somalia the opposite direction of disunity, political and constitutional chaos. It seems to me they are learning on the job without any political foresight or narrative in their agenda.


The recent foreign policy blunder was the decision to remain neutral on the crisis facing in the GCC countries, therefore effectively and tacitly backing the state of Qatar in her dispute with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The decision has alienated our traditional political and economic allies such as Saudi Arabia and

UAE, which will have ramifications for Somalia’s on- going recovery and stability. It also the case that Qatar won’t be able to compensate any potential loss of livestock trade with Saudi Arabia given its small populations and relatively small market. How such neutral position could be in the best interest of Somalia is beyond me.


When you Assess the decision-making more deeply you can sense it lacks the basic factual evidence to which any foreign policy making process requires for any country – is the steps taken in the best interest of our society and country? Clearly, it is not the case. The economic and political cost to this decision says otherwise.


What is quite clear to me and the public need to understand, and reflect on, is that the state of Qatar, through Fahad Yassin, the current Villa Somalia Chief of Staff bank- rolled the successful election of President Farmajo, effectively installing a new Government in Somalia through the use of Qatari money and, what seems now, bogus call for wadanimo. In assessing the Government’s foreign policy decision on the gulf crisis you can sense and see where Farmajo’s political debt and loyalties are. It is unfortunate, but this is a case of individual’s’ interest hijacking the prospects and foreign policy aims of a sovereign country. This is a political crime against the citizens and state of Somalia. In total, it is the politics of the few, not the many.


The only recourse to celebrate is that the Federal Administrations of Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Puntland, Southwest, and to large extent, Somaliland have smelled the coffee and woken up to this political Freud from President Farmajo and Prime Minister Kheire. They have, in effect, backed our traditional allies of Saudia Arabia and UAE because they know our common interest lies with our traditional allies in the Gulf.


It is also worth noting such foreign policy blunders and incompetence are becoming a pattern of Government. The recent incident or crisis involving the abduction of Abdirashid Sheikh Galbidhagax to Ethiopia and enlisting ONlF group as a terrorist group points a pattern of behaviour, which is alarming and counter- productive to our national sovereignty and interest.


The Qatar issue and the Galbidhagax chaos are not isolated cases. It goes to the heart of Government decision making. There is something rotten, unpredictable and at best, comprehensively Freud within Government that does not reflect or protect our common interest, sovereignty and dignity.


It is an irony and unfortunate to see a government that was elected on a platform of unity, effectively causing political and constitutional crisis across all Somali Federal regions – so much for Nabad Iyo Nolol and wadanimo – it is case of chaotic Government full of empty rhetoric and incompetence on a large scale. It is also a case of being found out within seven months of Governing – Dhamaljidiid can’t believe their luck:


Author: Mohamed Elmi (Atoore)

   Senior Political Analyst




Twitter: @MohamedelmiElmi


Facebook: Mohamed Atoore