Somaliland senators were elected in the capital (September 30th), but the self-proclaimed government rejects rapprochement with Mogadishu and threatens to arrest those chosen to represent the regional state in national institutions, branding them as “traitors” and “deserters”. The process towards new relations with Hargheisa is fraught with uncertainties, known to political actors: it is unrealistic to believe that it can suddenly become a shared process, along a path that will still see the tension between centralism and regionalism in Somalia unresolved in the medium term.
The political sphere is grappling with the unresolved tension between the President and the Prime Minister. Roble remains the synthesis of the internal interest – and also the external one, US declarations to this end were the latest in a long series – in seeking a solution to the conflict and in organising the vote. Each is always trying to bend these outcomes to their own advantage – as witnessed by decision endorsed by outgoing Senate President Hashi (who is among the senators elected) and by Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi.
Political skirmishes with Farmajo continue therefore to strengthen Roble, but not yet decisively. He himself must be careful not to neglect his neutral stancein the run-up to the Lower House vote, which is expected to start on 10 October but is likely to be postponed. Roble met with some police and AMISOM commanders and asked them to speed up security operations in the run-up to the vote. The political issues on the table will therefore remain unanswered for a long time to come.
This is not even the most pressing problem, as much as the resurgence of COVID19 infections; 20,000 cases and 1,100 deaths, at least according to the very partial official estimates. A new plant to produce medical oxygen in Mogadishu is an attempt to stem the shortage of equipment and thus the multiplication of its cost.
Violent events took place in the interior and in Gedo, where aerial bombardments cost the lives of two civilians. This confirms the difficulties of a purely military approach to violence, which should also be countered at the socio-economic level to achieve more positive long-term results.