A first internal effect of the victory over Kenya at the International Court of Justice is the reconciliation of positions between President Farmajo and Prime Minister Roble. After talks brokered by South West State President Laftagaren, a bilateral meeting took place behind closed doors at Villa Somalia, the presidential palace.
After long months of confrontation – most recently in September over the NISA (National Intelligence and Security Agency) – the two leaders reached the longed-for agreement (21 October) to unblock and speed up the process towards the vote.
The process for the nominations of the 275 MPs to be included in the Lower House of Parliament will be restarted in the coming week, starting with Somaliland; the deployment of AMISOM soldiers in some polling stations makes the decision to proceed more quickly clear. The federal governors have two weeks to start what they have to organise; Meanwhile, Beyond Juba has appointed its remaining 4 senators, who complete the State Parliament.
On the other hand, the date for the end of the process of selecting the deputies, and therefore the election of the President of Parliament and then of the new Head of State, has not yet been set.
The appointments to the NISA Summit have also been settled, and ‘temporarily’ reassigned to the pro-presidential figure Col Yasin, while Gen Jama (“Goobbe”) – indicated by the PM – will become Minister of Public Works and Reconstruction. Farmajo’s objection to the assignment of the Ministry of Internal Security to Abdullahi Mohamed Nur has also been resolved and he will be able to continue in his post. The investigations into the disappearance of security agent Tahlil, an event that had caused a crisis at the top in September, will be conducted by the ordinary judiciary.
On 23 October, the political waters were now so calm that the Prime Minister was able to make a public appearance in the Lido with Abdullahi Nur. The PM answered numerous questions and reaffirmed his commitment to peace and stability for the nation – which must belong to everyone. A similar event had taken place in May, two days after the signing of the agreement ending Farmajo’s bid to prolong his tenure and restoring the electoral process in agreement with the federal States.
The ‘victory’ may act as an incentive for greater unity among the Somali public opinion and push for more trust in the international system. There are no developments on the international side either. The President of Kenya has reiterated his desire to protect national borders, and this polarity remains the lining through the bilateral relationship.
Other existing elements of cooperation are not affected – such as refugee camps, or the fight against terrorism, which again struck minor targets in the border areas. The continuation of these relations can be an indicator of the trends that each Government will really want to establish in the future of bilateral diplomatic relations.