Race for Somalia’s most sought after state attracts Interior minister Weheliye

By GW Reporter

Four candidates including Somalia’s minister for Interior, Federalism and Reconciliation Abdullahi Farah Weheliye have formed an alliance towrestle the Galmudug state presidency from the candidate fronted by the Somali President Mohamed Farmaajo and his prime minister Hassan Khaire.

Apart from Weheliye, others in the alliance for one of the most volatile Somali states include, Abdirahman Mohamed Hussein Odawaa, Kamal Hassan Gutale and Abdi Dhere.

According to the deal between the four politicians, whoever will get the majority of support from the regional Members of parliament in the first round, he will get the support of the rest of the alliance members.

The deal was hammered out at a closed door meeting in which the four politicians from Galmudug, one of the six states that make Somalia, agreed to come together to block the move by the Federal Government of Somalia to impose a candidate on the state.

Also in the race is Ahmed Abdi Kaarirye (Qoorqoor) who is currently a minister of state minister of ministry of Public work and reconstruction and is descendant of Habar gedir (saleeban). He is seen to have the backing of the current federal government.

Galmudug is a Federal member state of Somalia established in 2015 as one of 6 federal member states of Somalia including Somaliland.

The importance of the state is covered in various aspects including its strategic location, abundance of natural resources and also seen as politically making the social fabric of the entire Somali clans.

Galmudug is located in central Somalia and it’s the state that links between the southern regions and the northern regions of Somalia. Because of its strategic location its security and stability is paramount in order to have politically strong Federal government in Somalia. Without this stability there will always be a weak federal government which cannot control the security of the country.

Among the natural resources found in the state include livestock, Oil &gas, fisheries, gypsum, limestone and most important minerals in the world (Uranium).

Politically, five of the main tribes in Somalia, four of them inhabit this state. The Hawiye clan is the majority but what is equally important is within the Hawiye clan the two most powerful clans (Habar gedir and Abgaal) reside this state.

Almost prominent politicians in Somalia are from this state including current President and Prime minister’s families. Significantly, more than seventy percent of prominent business people are from this state including, owners of Hormuud Telecom.

Galmudug is also the only state in Somalia which is known to have fought and defeated Al Shabaab due to the presence of a powerful Sufi movement Al-Sunna Waal Jamaal (ASWJ )organization that have very strong-armed militia which are the follower of the  Sufi sect. It created a buffer zone for all north east and north western regions of Somalia to be free from Al-shabaab.

It’s worth to mention that most of the Politicians, intellectuals and elders of this state are against the current federal government policy noting that they cannot provide proper system to manage the federalism system of the country. 

Among the six states in Somalia, Galmudug is the most contested because about 50 of federal MPs and Senators come from this state, more than 70% presidential candidates’ of 2020 election are from this state while most of the leaders of prominent Political parties in the federal  level are from this state.

Anyone who wins to get the MPs of this state and another state has the power to determine the next president of Somali Federal Government in early 2021.

It is for this reason that President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmaajo is keen to influence whoever will be elected Galmudug state president later this month.

The state parliament has 89 MPs who will decide the fate of the candidates running for presidency of the state. Of these MPs, ASWJ have control of 20 following an agreement reached last year between the Federal Government and the international community to allow the group to have the MPs in the state.

ASWJ nominated and submitted the list of their 20 MPs on 22nd of December 2019 to the State election committee and the remaining 69 MPs nomination will be expected to be nominated the coming few days. Thereafter, that the election process will be initiated.

The Chance of ASWJ supported Candidate in Galmudug winning the election will depend on the mood on the ground.

Early this month the state’s president Ahmed Dualle Guelleh Haf accused the Federal government of hijacking the state building process in Galmudug and he called on traditional elders to take their stand.

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