TFP unilaterally extends its mandate by 3 more years.

Implications and the way forward..



By Ali A.Jama



         The Federal Transitional Parliament (TFP) in a session held in Mogadisho on 3rd February has unilaterally extended its mandate by 3 more years from August 2011. The speaker was chairing the session and announced the final results as 435 members of parliament present, 421 voted for the motion, 11 opposed and 3 abstained. The original mandate of FTP when established in 2004 was for 5 years. The mandate was extended for 2 more years in 2009 under the Djibouti Peace Agreement.


         The TFP did not announce the extension agenda beforehand, nor were there any public discussions with the Somali stakeholders. The decision surprised many by the hush-hush manner it was managed and produced. The Americans, in a press release by the Embassy in Nairobi Kenya, were quick to denounce it as “unilateral and unrepresentative extension”, and an “ill-conceived decision” that will “undermine the credibility of the parliament and risks strengthening Al-Shabaab”. The press release urged the TFP to reconsider the decision and “enter immediately into serious discussions with” Somali Stakeholders.

         The Special Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr Mahiga issued press statement denouncing the decision as “disappointing and taken in haste without the required level of discussion and consultation”. Both UK and Italy have also denounced the TFP decision.


         Puntland State which severed its ties and withdrawn all its support for the TFG institutions from 16 Jan 2011, has issued strong objection to the extension plan, and stated that it will not be bound by any decision made by the TFP.

         No statements have been issued by Somaliland, which normally considers TFG issues outside her domain of interest.


         The TFP extension move seems to be prompted by the IGAD communiqué of 30 Jan 2011, which noted an “urgent need to extend the term of the current TFP while the remaining political dispensation is handled by the people of Somalia”. The days ahead will show if this TFP action was what IGAD had in mind when it recorded the note in its communique. The implications of this unilateral decision can only be loss of legitimacy and empowering of the armed oppositions. 


The performance of the TFG system in Mogadishu has been very poor. There has been lack of accountability at all levels. In fact the speaker of the TFP has been publicly implicated in the theft of 1 million US$, a bizarre story delivered to the TFP session of 30 Jan 2011, which incidentally he was chairing. The speaker seems to have received these allegations in “business-as-usual” manner, making no attempt to defend himself. To our knowledge there has not been legal action following these serious allegations.


It is time the International Community realizes that the TFG structure it has created and is sustaining in Mogadisho has failed to deliver any changes to suffering masses in Somalia. We believe it is time to re-think the Somali issues and reinforce the bottom-up approach, which has been proven to work well in the country. 




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