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Barre gains a confidence vote as the new PM in Somalia, as President Mohamud returns from the UAE

The swearing in of the new Prime Minister Barre, who won unanimous parliamentary confidence, is now imminent. President Mohamud's trip to the UAE sealed the new era of bilateral relations.

Parliament granted confidence in PM Barre, unanimously of the 220 members present (June 25th). It is now up to Barre to form a new government team within a month.

According to initial statements, the priorities outlined so far are confirmed: from combating drought to security, from economic development to reconciliation. Avoiding a famine certainly has a particularly urgent character at this stage.

To this end, the development of his political ties with President Mohamud will be observed. Mutual relations are good, even on a personal level. This is an exceptional condition compared to the last experiences of government in Somalia.

The first hints of criticism came however from Puntland – whose President Deni aspired to put his own man at the head of the government. Others came from Somaliland, on the occasion of June 26th celebrations; attacks on opposition figures are on the rise here, with intimidating acts so far having no consequences for people.

Another open front remains the actions of the terrorist group Al Shabaab. There are no surgical means to mitigate this threat. Kenyan air raids in Ghedo in Jubaland have claimed at least five lives among herding communities suspected of harbouring militants. Somali special forces also went into action near Kismayo (June 23rd).

It is difficult to obtain the vital support of the local population, in the presence of civilian victims, sometimes even among minors. This could be discussed during Mohamud’s next trip to Nairobi, which would also allow to plan the relaunch of bilateral cooperation.

On his first official trip Mohamud visited Abu Dhabi in the UAE, for talks including with the new ruler Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The meetings actually took place on 22-23 May, after some COVID positives among the members of the Somali delegation.

After the rapprochement had been definitively achieved, it was agreed to relaunch cooperation on security – with new training programmes – as well as on infrastructure and on bilateral trade. Facilitation of entry visas for Somali businessmen was also discussed.

The Emirati commitment is expected to reach USD 20 million in total for food security and combating potential famine alone. This is what the Gulf Monarchies are already doing elsewhere, e.g. Egypt and Jordan. It was also agreed to reopen the Sheikh Zayed Hospital in Mogadishu, which was closed in 2018 and has since been supplanted by Turkish health facilities.

Vincenzo Palmieri
Vincenzo Palmieri
Vincenzo Palmieri è un Senior Analyst per l’Africa dell’Institute for Global Studies, dove si occupa prevalentemente di Africa Orientale. Analista politico di una grande multinazionale, il suo ambito di esperienza professionale verte sull’analisi dei sistemi politici e delle dinamiche di crisi del Medio Oriente e dell’Africa.


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