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The announcement by the Somalian President Mohamad Abdullahi Mohamad Farmaajo to go before parliament and openly debate the issue of his proposed two-year term extension is a welcome development. Somalia has been at war with itself for a long time now and its time they learn to put their differences aside and build their beautiful country. This must be done as soon as possible before the goodwill of the international community disappears into thin air.

Hours before the president’s speech early on Wednesday, Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble had denounced the proposed term extension and called for preparations for a new presidential election.

Mohamed’s term expired in February, but the country failed to hold elections as planned. Earlier this month, the lower house of parliament voted to extend his four-year term by another two years. The Senate rejected the move, provoking a political crisis.

In his televised statement, Mohamed, who is better known as Farmaajo, commended the efforts of the prime minister and other political leaders and welcomed the statements they issued calling for elections to be held without further delay. He also called for urgent discussions with the signatories to an agreement signed last September on the conduct of the vote.

Political leaders should learn to put the will of the people of Somalia first. Whenever, there are disagreements between politicians, what should be considered first by the leaders is the people of Somalia. Politicians should not act in a selfish manner and allow for the destruction of the country and not think about the youths of Somalia for the preservation and continuation of posterity.

Politicians as adults, should stop and think of what they are going to leave behind for their children. What is the future of these young men and women going to be if adults are busy fighting continuously without ceasing? Somalians! are you not tired of fighting? for how long are you still going to be fighting?

Commanders in the police and the military defected to the opposition, and rival factions of the security forces fortified positions in central Mogadishu, raising fears of heavy fighting in the heart of the capital, and a security vacuum in the surrounding areas that could be exploited by al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab fighters.

We commend the move by President Farmaajo to sit down and talk to his brothers in order to find common ground and immediately stop the fighting. No one will emerge a winner in this kind of situation but certainly all will be losers. Honestly, a workable solution can be found in Somalia by Somalians to address the issue of elections. If by consensus you happen to agree to go for the elections, then let it be. The spilling of the blood of innocent Somalians should surely come to an end. Politicians should desist from setting Somalians on other Somalians to slaughter each other while they live in luxury in their high walled mansions.

The move by the leadership of Somalia to address this issue before more lives are lost is the greatest Ramadan gift to the people of Somalia. Imagine what inconvenience it was to the Muslim people of Somalia of having to fast while the fighting and killings are going on outside?

The time has come for the Muslim people of Somalia to unite and bring peace and prosperity to their beautiful country. Our hearts bleed with pain when we see the blood of brothers spilling continuously for nothing and as a result of that hampering prosperity to come to the shores of Somalia. We are looking forward to seeing Somalia work again and be counted among other nations. There is so much potential for that, but it can only come in a peaceful environment.

We are looking forward to a time when tourist can come back to the sandy beaches of Somalia and enjoy the warmth and smiles of the Muslim people of Somalia without fear of being killed. Let business thrive in Somalia and let people make money and prosper. Let our children go to universities to learn and bring technology to improve the standards of living for the people of Somalia.

Let the leaders of Somalia work with their brothers in the region in IGAD, African Union (AU), and the East African Community (EAC) to bring that elusive peace to the country. Dialogue is definitely the way forward in Somalia.

The latest unrest is the second bout of violence in Mogadishu over the proposed extension to Mohamed’s term. If peace remains elusive, continued clashes could further splinter Somali security forces along ethnic lines. Somalia is teetering on the brink of a major breakdown once again.

Somalia’s fledgeling armed forces are drawn from clan militias that have often battled each other for power and resources.


Dr. Mustafa Mheta

Senior researcher/Head of Africa Desk

Media Review Network

South Africa