Kampala Accord infringes on Somalia’s sovereignty and healing prospect
The Kampala Accord (KA), drafted under the direction of President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Dr. Augustine Mahiga, the Special Representative of Secretary General (SRSG) resembles the colonial treaties signed by Somali Traditional Leaders for personal gains or rivalry. President Sheikh Sharif and Speaker Sharif Hassan signed the KA on June 9, 2011 in Kampala, Uganda. Their political ambitions were addressed at the expense of Somalia’s sovereignty and interests. All conscientious people have concurred that KA infringes on Somalia’s sovereignty and internal healing prospect for peace and stability.
My view is that the President and the Speaker did not possess the authority, capacity and required preparations to enter into such an Accord that violates the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) and substantially alters the relationship between governed and governors of Somalia. The two leaders went to Kampala as two disputants over their legitimacy and not as two legitimate leaders promoting issues of national interests. They were remiss of their responsibility to defend national interests. Their actions were influenced by conflict of interests or quid pro quo, which makes the provisions of the KA void. Implementation of KA is a violation of Somalia’s independence and citizenship.
Therefore, in addition to bringing the KA to the Parliament for nullification, the conscientious citizens of Somalia and others have the solemn responsibility to subject KA to constitutional and political de-legitimization in every forum possible to prevent its deleterious consequences. President Sheikh Sharif and Speaker Hassan are associates of peace spoilers and national disgrace. In an article published in the New York Times of June 13, President Sharif has been described as “an ineffective leader,” while Speaker Sharif Hassan Sh Adan was portrayed as “an illiterate but wily livestock trader.”
As the end of the collective mandate of TFIs on August 20, 2011 was approaching, the Speaker of Parliament who became challenger to President Sheikh Sharif passed a resolution, which extended term of parliament for three more years and mandated the election of new President and Speaker. The President and the Prime Minister proposed alternatively one year extension for all Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs) and postponement of leaders’ election. The Speaker ignored the alternative proposal.
The President and the PM criticized the Speaker’s excesses. Leaders of Regional States, politicians, intellectuals and members of civil society suggested parliament reform by reducing the number of MPs and improving the qualifications of Members of Parliament. But the Speaker argued that it is difficult to select new Members of Parliament. However, he and the President have selected in Djibouti 275 MPs in less than one week.
After months of irreconcilable confrontations between TFIs leaders mainly because of foreign influences, Presidents of Uganda and Burundi, whose forces control Mogadishu, proposed one year extension for all TFIs during the International Contact Group meeting in Kampala on June 2-3. Thus, the Speaker shifted his goal and asked the dismissal of the Council of Ministers to replace with Council of Ministers under shared control of both President and Speaker as equals. The President whose single interest was to get Speaker’s consent for one year extension accepted readily Prime Minister’s dismissal. This kind of political arrangement is against the TFC provisions and government practices because Ministers are under the control of and accountability to the Prime Minister and not to the President and Speaker.
80% of the Somali people rejected the KA for five reasons. Before explaining the reasons, it is worth recognizing that Artist Amin Amir, the Voice of America (VOA) and to certain an extent the BBC deserve credit and appreciation for their responsible coverage of the public sentiment of spontaneous revolt and demonstrations against the KA. The rant of President Sheikh Sharif on the genuine popular repudiation of KA is an indication of poor judgment and leadership. His calculation is that foreign powers, committed to enforce the KA, will defend and protect all his abuses of power and will ignore the will of the people of Somalia.
The five reasons behind the popular rejection of KA are: (1) Reward of personal interests at the expense of national interests; (2) Unlawful abrogation of the Transitional Federal Charter, particularly elimination of checks and balances between national Institutions; (3) Practical abolition of the unity and scope of the Council of Ministers; Creation of two new political factions or camps led by Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan; (4) Suspension of people’s right to exercise their political and civil rights without intimidation and fear; and (5) Institutionalization of foreign control, dependence, and imposition of transitional tasks, like a new ‘Federal Constitution’, which have been strongly opposed by the majority of the Somali people. The KA has downgraded the role, power and control of the Somali stakeholders over their national affairs.
The KA is composed of 10 articles. Article 4 lists additional 18 parameters (orders, conditions) replacing important provisions of the TFC. The Accord, written in the United Nations diplomatic English language, is signed by two of the three TFIs leaders.
Parameter C spells the resignation of Prime Minister Mohamed A. Formajo within 30 days. According to parameter G, all appointments will be made in the spirit of collaboration and mutual confidence. In other terms, the President and the Speaker will jointly appoint the new Prime Minister. Then, each leader will appoint half of the Ministers.
As per parameters I and J, the Parliament and the new Government will form joint committees and all political adversarial actions suspended. The new government will almost be immune from parliamentary motions and criticisms.
In accordance with parameter M, the Government and the parliament will work with the international community. This oversteps the Executive’s primary responsibilities.
Parameter N establishes a Political Bureau of the Heads of State of the Region (IGAD and EAC), SRSG and AU High Representative to Somalia. The Bureau shall oversee and monitor compliance of the TFIs with implementation of its functions outlined in the TFC and with the advance of the Somali peace process. There was no prior discussion among Somalis about a peace process similar to Burundi Regional Peace Initiative. The Bureau and the International Partners reserve the right to apply sanctions against spoilers.
Article 5 establishes a reformed Joint Security Committee (JSC) to be stationed permanently in Mogadishu. This JSC overlaps or replaces Somali Security Sector Institutions.
Article 9 stipulates explicitly that President Yoweri Museveni will guarantee the implementation of the KA provisions. Somalis are under the complete authority of President Yoweri Museveni. Former Commander of AMISOM forces is his political and administrative representative in Mogadishu.
Article 10 makes clear that KA will come into effect when signed. This preempts the constitutional obligation to seek parliamentary approval of KA as required by the TFC.
Through Djibouti Agreement and Kampala Accord, the International Community has aggressively and progressively taken away Somalia’s sovereignty, undermined the Somali unity and strengthened foreign domination. The Parliament should review both Agreements for remedial actions.
Mr. Mohamud M Uluso