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Scandal of Galmudug election ? UN Report - Damul Jadid political association close to Somali President invested heavily – financially and politically

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Thursday October 22, 2015 - 01:31:29 in Articles by Super Admin
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    Scandal of Galmudug election ? UN Report - Damul Jadid political association close to Somali President invested heavily – financially and politically

    The Damul Jadid political association close to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud invested heavily – financially and politically – in the appointment of its member, Abdikarim Hussein Guled, as President of the IGA.2 Indeed, other political a

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The Damul Jadid political association close to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud invested heavily – financially and politically – in the appointment of its member, Abdikarim Hussein Guled, as President of the IGA.2 Indeed, other political associations and networks, including Ala Sheikh, are also known to have attempted to buy support for their appointees throughout the state formation process – from the allegiance of members of the technical committee to voting preferences of the 68 members of the Regional Assembly.3 None, however, had the comparative advantage that Abdikarim Guled received from the outset. UN MONITORING GROUP REPORT

Annex 1.1: Formation of Interim Galmudug Administration

1. The formation of the Interim Galmudug Administration (IGA) started in earnest with the Galgadud and Mudug Reconciliation Conference in January 2015. It concluded with the appointment of Abdikarim Hussein Guled as President in July and the formation of a 24-member cabinet in late August. As with the establishment the Interim Jubba Administration and the Interim South West State Administration, losers in the process have cried foul and multiple allegations of interference have emerged. The formation of the IGA demonstrates the manner in which multiple political and clan networks competed to capture state resources, and in doing so instigated both new conflict and threatened the re-emergence of old conflict. In 2016, the political stakes will be higher, as will the overall threat posed to peace, security and stability in Somalia if greater efforts are not made by all stakeholders to engage in the next transition process constructively.1

Attempts to manipulate the state formation process

2. The Damul Jadid political association close to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud invested heavily financially and politically in the appointment of its member, Abdikarim Hussein Guled, as President of the IGA.2 Indeed, other political associations and networks, including Ala Sheikh, are also known to have attempted to buy support for their appointees throughout the state formation process from the allegiance of members of the technical committee to voting preferences of the 68 members of the Regional Assembly.3 None, however, had the comparative advantage that Abdikarim Guled received from the outset.

3. The process of state formation between Galgadud Region and parts of Mudug Region was initiated in July 2014. Representatives of the former Regional State of Galmudug, the Administration of Himan and Heeb, and the Administration of Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a (ASWJ) were invited to attenda meeting with representatives of the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS). On 31 July the CentralRegions State Formation Agreement was signed by Abdi Hassan Awale "Qebdiid” (President of Galmudug State), Sheikh Ibraham Sheikh Hassan Gureye (representing ASWJ) and four FGS ministerial representatives from the region. Minister of Interior Affairs and Federalism Abdullahi Godah Barre served as Guarantor for the Agreement, and representatives of the European Union, the United Nations Office for Somalia (UNSOM), and the African Union served as witnesses. AbdullahiMohamed Ali "Barleh” of the Himan and Heeb administration signed the Agreement a week later on6 August 2014.4

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1 Due to the sensitivity of the matter, all sources will remain anonymous.
2 Information obtained independently from senior diplomatic sources and from participants of the conference.3 According to a source present at the technical committee training workshop, Ala Sheikh representatives offered cash payments to technical committee members to support their preferred candidate, Ahmed Moallim Fiqi.
4 According to a confidential source, "Barleh” agreed to sign once assured that the forthcoming state formation conference would be held in the Himan and Heeb stronghold of Adado.

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4. Under the terms of the Agreement a 25-member technical committee "representing all the clans that live in [the] regions” was to be established within 10 days of its signing. The process of creatingthe administration was due to be completed within 60 days of the signing of the agreement, and to be"guided and facilitated” by the FGS. The FGS was furthermore "responsible for ensuring the implementation and success” of the agreement, and for preparing the "roles and responsibilities of the technical committee”.5 On 26 August 2014, Abdullahi Godah Barre announced the appointment of 27 members to the technical committee.

5. Elements of ASWJ referred to as the Sufa group and led by Sheikh Abdirisaq Mohamed Al Ashari, had opposed the Central Regions State Formation Agreement from the outset, claimingthat the group’s signatory, Sheikh Ibraham Sheikh Hassan Gureye, did not represent them. In October2014 the Sufa group attempted to arrest the District Commissioner of Guriel town for supporting the FGS-led state formation process. In November conflict erupted between Sufa fighters and the Somali National Army (SNA) in the regional capital of Galgadud, Dhusamareb.

6. Throughout November and December 2014, the Sufa group of ASWJ consolidated its control over Guriel town, as the SNA regained control of Dhusamareb. On 15 December SNA troops were sent to recover Guriel as Sufa fighters retreated westwards towards Hiran Region, though intermittent clashes between the two sides continued.

7. As SNA troops were advancing on Guriel in mid-December, members of the Technical Committee were attending a training workshop in Mogadishu. Following completion of the trainingworkshop, on 17 December 2014 the committee elected Halimo Ismail Ibrahim "Yarey” to serve aschair. In early January 2015 meetings were held in Guriel, with the involvement of members of the technical committee, to ease the growing tensions.

8. On 25 January the Galgadud and Mudug Reconciliation Conference commenced in Dhusamareb, with approximately 400 elders from the two regions participating. As the conference continued throughout February and into March, conflict between the SNA and Sufa group continued west of the town. On 3 March the FGS Minister of Defence, General Abdulkadir Sheikh Dini visited Guriel in an attempt to end the on-going conflict. As it grew increasingly obvious that the Sufa group would not agree to the terms of a peace agreement, Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) AMISOM troops arrived in the town to prop up the SNA and enforce a ceasefire.

9. On 25 March, a communiqué was disseminated announcing the end of the Galgadud and Mudug Reconciliation Conference and the beginning of the State Formation Conference of Galgadud and Mudug, with Dhusamareb continuing to host the delegates despite assumptions among many, andparticularly Abdullahi "Barley”, that it would move to Adado town further north near the border with

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5 Central Regions State Formation Agreement (Mudug and Galgadud), http://peacemaker.un.org/sites/peacemaker.un.org/files/SO_140730_CentralRegionFormation.pdf.

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Mudug Region. The total number of delegates was also increased to 510. Two weeks later, on 8 April, after much political wrangling, President Hassan Sheikh announced that the State Formation Conference would in fact be moving to Adado and would commence on 11 April, however Dhusamareb was declared the provisional capital of the future federal member state.6

10. On 22 April 2015, as delegates for the State Formation Conference were still arriving, former Minister of Defence and close ally to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Abdikarim Guled announced his intention to run for presidency of the IGA.

11. Allegations that the chair of the technical committee, Halimo "Yarey”, was overstepping herauthority began to emerge in early May 2015 as the committee started to appoint members to a Galmudug Regional Assembly.7 On 12 May, the Minister of Interior and Federal Affairs, AbdirahmanMohamed Hussein "Odowaa” arrived in Adado to help address growing tensions among thedelegates, prompting "Qebdiid” to accuse the Minister of interfering in the process. On 16 May, the Minister announced that matters with "Qebdiid” had been resolved, and that the conference wouldsoon continue.8

12. Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Shermarke arrived in Adado on 31 May to officially open the second phase of the State Formation Conference when delegates would nominate MPs on behalf of their sub-clans. A week later, on 7 June, the ASWJ Sufi group overran Dhusamareb, forcing SNA troops to withdraw from the city. The next day they extended their control over nearby villages establishing a defensive perimeter, and two days later peaceful demonstrations against the Adado state formation process were held in the city.

13. On 18 June, after an Al-Shabaab attack on the conference facilities was thwarted by security guards, the Constitution of Galmudug State was approved by the State Formation Conference delegate. The Constitution claimed the incorporation of Galgadud Region and the whole of Mudug

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6 While it may have served as an attempt to appease certain opponents, the President’s unilateral declaration that Dhusamareb would serve as capital of the new regional administration demonstrated an unconstitutional usurping of his role and responsibility in the process.
7 The Monitoring Group has also reviewed communication sent at the time by a participant in the process to senior officials within both the FGS and UN alleging political interference in the selective process, calling for a review of the process to date and for independent observers from the international community to monitor the process moving forward. Halimo "Yarey” entered the political scene in 2012 when she co-chaired the Technical Selection Committee tasked with selecting the National Constituent Assembly and the National Federal Parliament. Her swift appointment as chair of the National Independent Electoral Commission soon after Abdikarim Guled won the Galmudug Presidency, and indeed after it had been announced that general elections will not be possible 2016, has added to speculation that senior government officials are attempting to use her to shape the design of a selection process to strengthen their position in 2016.
8 On 20 May, the Galmudug Speaker of Parliament, Hassan Mohamud Hayl, publicly announced that "Qebdiid” no longer served as president of the administration but was swiftly hushed by other Galmudug MPs.

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Region including the northern districts claimed by Puntland and confirmed Dhusamareb as the future capital of the state, despite it being held by the ASWJ Sufa group at the time.

14. Claims to the northern districts of Mudug Region prompted an immediate reaction from the Puntland administration in Garowe (see below). A press statement released by the office of PresidentAbdiweli Mohammed Ali "Gaas” is reported to have warned of future conflict with the Galmudug administration if claims to northern Mudug were not withdrawn.9 Over the following few weeks aseries of demonstrations were held throughout Puntland opposing any attempts to threaten the state’sterritorial integrity.

15. Amid growing rhetoric against the process, on 20 June the Technical Committee released the list of MPs that would serve in the Regional Assembly and elect the president of the IRA. Two days laterthey were sworn in in at a ceremony held in Adado, and a week later they selected Ali Ga’al Asir to serve as Speaker of the Regional Assembly. Presidential candidates were then invited to make formal applications on 30 June. On 1 July, as ASWJ announced the appointment of Sheikh Mohamed Shakur Ali Hassan as president of its rival state from Dhusamareb, a list of six candidates were announced in Adado including Abdikarim Hussein Guled, Ahmed Abdisalan Adan, Ahmed Moallim Fiqi and AbdiHassan Awale "Qebdiid”. On 4 July, following three rounds of voting Abdikarim Hussein Guledsecured the presidency. Guled’s political ally Mohmad Hashi Araby was subsequently appointed ashis vice president following a closely fought contest with Bashir Diriye Sharif.10

The northern borders of a Galmudug Federal Member State

16. The northern borders of a future Galmudug Federal Member State remain undefined. Twice the FGS assured the Puntland authorities in October 2014 and April 2015 of its commitment not to compromise the territorial integrity of Puntland which extends as far south as the city of Galkayco in Galkayco District of Mudug Region. A clear dividing line in the city separates the Majeerteendominated north from Haber Gedir-dominated south. The extent of Puntland territory east and west of Galkayco, however, is poorly demarcated and remains a potential flash point for conflict between the two traditionally strongest clan families in Somalia, the Hawiye and Darod. Though the dividing line is fluid, Puntland maintains de facto control of Jariban District, most of Galdogob District, and the north of Galkacyo District in Mudug Region, leaving the south of Galkacyo District, most of Hobyo District, and all of Harardhere District within Galmudug territory.

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9 See, for example, "Puntland warns of ‘civil war’ over claims of its territory by Central region state formation delegates”, Horseed Media, 18 June 2015. Available at http://horseedmedia.net/2015/06/18/somalia-puntland-warns-of-civil-war-over-claims-of-its-territories-by-central-region-state-formation-delegates/.

10 The Monitoring Group received reports from stakeholders present of large sums of cash – ranging from USD 10,000 to USD 30,000 – being given to members of the Regional Assembly by all parties to the process before the first round of votes for the presidency. According to the same sources, in subsequent rounds, as candidates dropped out and alliances shifted, promises of political appointees – within both the IGA and the FGS – were used to secure support.

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17. The 1993 Mudug Peace Agreement signed by General Mohamed Farah Aideed representing the United Somali Congress and Haber Gedir (Hawiye) communities in southern Mudug, and former TFG President Abdullahi Yusuf, representing the Somali Salvation Democratic Front at the time andMajeerteen (Darod) communities in northern Mudug introduced relative stability in the region following several years of heavy inter-clan conflict. Though never fully implemented, the principles of the peace agreement dividing the territory were, at least until the Galmudug State Formation Conference, loosely adhered to. As the authors of a report on the Mudug Peace Agreement preparedby the Puntland Development Research Center in 2006 state, "[i]n many respects, Mudug – and its peace are pivotal to the entire future of Somalia: as a vital crossroads for trade with the Somali regions of Eastern Ethiopia; a commercial ‘meeting-point’ for the nation’s northern and southernregions; and perhaps most importantly as a unique melting pot in which the Darod, Hawiye andother clans meet and interact”.11

18. The apparent inclusion of all of Mudug Region in the initial approved Galmudug Constitution threatens the relative stability that followed the signing of the Mudug Peace Agreement. PrimeMinister Omar Abdirashid ‘Sharmarke’ travelled to Garowe in July 2015 in an attempt to easetensions over the border but ultimately returned to Mogadishu having achieved little. The FGS and Galmudug are now presented with a challenge which has serious implications for the peace, security and stability of Somalia. By adhering to the general principles of the Mudug Peace Agreement, splitting Mudug Region, they will likely prevent an outbreak of inter-communal conflict in the region. They would, however, also defy the Provisional Constitution requirement that a federal member state be formed of at least two contiguous regions as defined in 1991, and potentially invite multiple claims for constitutional exceptions to be made in the state formation process. In the absence of a Constitutional Court or indeed a fully functioning independent Boundaries and Federation Commission, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has once again offered to step in and mediate between Puntland and the Galmudug IRA. At the time of writing, there was little evidence of progress being made to determine the northern border of a future Galmudug Federal Member State.

Conflict with Ahlu Sunna wal Jama’a

19. Prior to the signing of the Central Regions State Formation Agreement, ASWJ had contributed significantly to relative security in the areas under its control, extending from the north east Hiran Region across the northern parts of Galgadud Region. While the split within ASWJ may originally have had more to do with Haber Gedir sub-clan politics than ideological positions, the FGS’ loss of akey military ally and the emergence of a new, well-armed opposition group in central Somalia mayprove to have significant consequences for the region. ASWJ’s initiation of the parallel stateformation process, and the election of their own president 3 days before Abdikarim Guled won the presidency of the Galmudug IRA, indicate an entrenchment of their position in the region.

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11 PDRC, "Peacemaking at the Crossroads: Consolidation of the 1993 Mudug Peace Agreement” 2006.15-16012

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20. Diverting the resources of the SNA and AMISOM to engage with a former ally, at a time when both forces are already stretched thin attempting to hold ground recovered from Al-Shabaab and continue offences against the group, represents a further grave threat to peace, security and stability in the region.

21. The failure to mitigate conflict between ASWJ and the SNA early on in the process and to ensure the interests of all influential stakeholders were at least nominally represented in it, compromises the future legitimacy of the IGA unless significant political, and likely financial, capital is spent securing full ASWJ buy-in. Media reports suggest that the administration was partially successful in achieving this prior to the formation of the cabinet. Despite having recently lost the town of Abudwaq to IGA forces, at the time of writing a militarily powerful faction of ASWJ that continues to oppose the IGA maintained control of Dhusamareb, the agreed capital of a future Galmudug FMS and seat of government for the IGA.

Link Natural Resources

22. As the Galgadud and Mudug Reconciliation Conference was on-going, evidence obtained by the Monitoring Group suggests that a private extractives company entered into an agreement with theformer Galmudug State under its president, Abdi Hassan Awale "Qebdiid”. The deal is signed by the former ‘Minister of Petroleum and Minerals of Galmudug State’, Hared Ali Hared, who now serves asDeputy Speaker of the Galmudug Regional Assembly. The contract apparently awards the company the right to export minerals, gas and oil. According to a presentation prepared by Link NaturalResources, the company appears most interested in the "very high tonnage surficial Uraniummineralization discovered in Galguduud region in late 60’s”.

23. According to the same presentation, the proposed concession area extends will into northern Galkayo District, and thereby into territory claimed by the Puntland. In a telephone interview on 8 September 2015 the company’s CEO, Sam McKay informed the Monitoring Group that thecompany had recently discussed the matter with representatives of both the IGA and the Puntland authorities though he would not disclose who these discussions were held with.12

24. The contract also includes, "as a gesture of goodwill”, a commitment by Link National Resources to assist "with financing the required security essential to provide a conclusive working environment for both parties”, raising clear concerns with regards to the arms embargo.13

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12 At the time of writing, the Monitoring Group is unable to assess the extent to which either the IGA or Puntland Government are engaging with the company or indeed, givens its apparent lack of experience in the extractives sector, its capacity to conduct exploration in the region. A version of the presentation is available on a company website created in August 2015: http://link-natural-resources.com/

13 Link Natural Resources presentation held on file with the Monitoring Group.15-16012

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Summary

25. The formation of the IGA demonstrates the inherent risks to the peace, security and stability of Somalia involved in the federalization process. In a contest fought by a complex array of political, clan and business networks, the FGS lost a powerful allied militia and has potentially opened a new front of conflict as a resurgent Al-Shabaab threatens to reverse territorial gains made against it. An important though fragile peace agreement signed in 1993 between communities living in Mudug Region is at risk of collapsing, which could result in inter-communal conflict spreading throughout central Somalia, and would likely prompt the total withdrawal of Puntland from the federal project. 

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