Report of the Secretary-General on Somalia (S/2017/408)
1. The present report is submitted pursuant to paragraph 22 of Security Council resolution 2275 (2016) and paragraph 44 of Council resolution 2297 (2016). It provides information on the implementation of those resolutions, including on the mandate of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and challenges faced by the United Nations Support Office in Somalia (UNSOS) in carrying out its mandate. It covers major developments in Somalia during the period from 1 January to 30 April 2017.
II. Political and security overview
A. Political developments
2. The electoral processes for the leadership of the tenth Federal Parliament and for President of the Federal Republic of Somalia were major milestones on the country’s path to becoming a fully functional federal State with stable political institutions. Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari, Speaker of the previous Federal Parliament, was re-elected Speaker of the House of the People on 11 January, while Abdi Hashi Abdullahi was elected Speaker of the new Upper House on 22 January.
3. The election of Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed “Farmajo” as President of the Federal Republic of Somalia on 8 February concluded the electoral process. The inauguration ceremony on 22 February was attended by the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the Presidents of Djibouti and Kenya, and other senior officials and representatives of Member States and relevant organizations.
4. On 23 February, President Farmajo appointed as Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre, who was endorsed by the Federal Parliament on 1 March. On 29 March, Parliament endorsed the 68-member Cabinet, together with the new Government’s agenda, whose key priorities include drought response, security, and fighting corruption.
5. In the tenth Federal Parliament, the House of the People maintains 275 clan-based seats, while the new 54-member Upper House consists of members elected by their respective State Assemblies. Women constitute 24 per cent of the House of the People, a significant increase from the 14 per cent of the previous Parliament. Overall, more than 50 per cent of the Members of Parliament are new. About 18 per cent of the elected Members are under 35 years old.
6. Since taking office, President Farmajo has made official visits to Kenya, where he attended the Special Summit of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) on protection and durable solutions for Somali refugees, and to Jordan, where he attended the twenty-eighth ordinary session of the Council of the League of Arab States at the summit level, as well as to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
7. On 20 February, the President of the HirShabelle Interim Administration, Ali Abdulahi Osoble, appointed a Cabinet comprising 52 ministers. While his attempt to balance clan interests faced initial resistance, the Cabinet was eventually approved by the HirShabelle Parliament on 11 March.
8. In Puntland, there were renewed protests by soldiers over the non-payment of salaries. Public dissatisfaction over the Puntland Administration’s poor economic management and performance increased as a result of the drought situation. Revenues declined owing to a political deadlock with the Galmudug Interim Administration over the divided city of Gaalkacyo. To address public discontent, the President of Puntland, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas”, defended his government’s achievements in a media interview on 5 March.
9. In the Interim South-West Administration, opposition elements in the State Assembly stepped up efforts towards a no-confidence motion against the President, Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan. They accused the State President of neglecting the drought crisis and focusing on the federal presidential campaign and personal business interests. In response, Sharif Hassan met various opposition members of the Assembly to assure them that he would address their concerns.
10. The Galmudug State Assembly initiated an impeachment procedure against the State President, Abdikarim Hussein Guled, with 54 Assembly members approving the motion on 10 January. Although the attempt failed, President Guled announced his resignation on 25 February, citing health reasons. The changes in the federal and state-level leaderships could offer an opportunity to renew reconciliation efforts with Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jama’a, which occupies the official capital of the State, Dhuusamarreeb. The Galmudug presidential elections have been delayed until 3 May.
11. The Jubaland State Assembly resumed its session on 3 April. In an address to the Assembly, the President of Jubaland, Sheikh Ahmed Islam “Madobe”, reiterated his pledge to cooperate with the new Federal Government. He outlined his Administration’s priorities, including combating Al-Shabaab, commencement of the Juba Valley offensive, as well as enactment of a law regulating land use.
12. The Gaalkacyo Ceasefire Team Advisory Group, which is supported by the United Nations and IGAD, continued to engage local authorities in Gaalkacyo. Although the main road linking the two sides of the city remained closed, mounting pressure from local communities compelled local authorities to reopen side roads. In January, my Special Representative brokered a public commitment for the then President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the then Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, the Puntland President and the then Galmudug President to achieve three objectives: troop withdrawal, removal of all roadblocks and joint policing. As these commitments remain in effect, the joint patrols consisting of security personnel from both sides played a significant role in facilitating the withdrawal of militias, dismantling road blocks, and improving passage of humanitarian supplies through Gaalkacyo.
13. On 9 February, while congratulating President Farmajo on his election, the “Somaliland” Administration called for his commitment to talks between the Federal Government and “Somaliland”. The lease of Berbera Airport for 25 years to the United Arab Emirates to establish a military base caused demonstrations in Hargeysa and Berbera from 13 to 15 February. The Federal Government and members of the Federal Parliament have expressed concern over the deal.
14. On 6 March, the “Somaliland” House of Elders (guurti) voted to delay presidential, parliamentary and guurti elections until 13 November 2017, 28 April 2019 and 28 April 2020, respectively. The Somaliland public and opposition parties have widely criticized the delays, as have international partners, who have stated that they will not meet the costs of the elections arising from the postponements.