Two email correspondences which place President Mohamed Abdullahi ‘Farmajo’ of the Federal Government of Somalia right in the middle of two controversial issues raging in some parts of Somaliland and Somalia, were put in circulation on Social media.
The first of the emails, dated 24 July 2018, is ostensibly between the President and his current minister of planning, Jamal Mohamed Hassan, one of his closest aides and confidantes in Prime Minister Kheyrre’s cabinet of ministers.
It places two on a private conversation in which they confirm that Daallo and Jubba airlines, which had hitherto an unchallenged monopoly on ferrying Hajj pilgrims from Somalia and Somaliland to Mecca, were to be sidelined this year, leaving them with a handful of passengers.
“I spoke with Abdhakim Ashkir and he told me that the Saudis agreed that we transport Hajj pilgrims from Djibouti and Kenya, as you advised. We are in agreement that the bulk of the pilgrims depart from Djibouti and Kenya, leaving a handful for Jubba and Daallo airlines to pick from Xamar (Mogadishu) and Hargeisa,” Jamal, professedly, informs his superior, but conspirator.
If above is true, it may explain why Farmajo’s government insisted on forcibly including three other airlines that businessmen belonging to the same overall clan as Farmajo and Jamal’s in the lucrative Hajj season transportation although they played minimal or no roles in securing Hajj visas for the Somali pilgrims.
Minister Jamal, himself an intrepid, sometimes rash, upcoming Somalia politician, hailing from Eastern Sanaag of Somaliland, goes on to intimate in the same email that there is a below-the-table objective behind the revamp of Somalia education curricula, confirming suspicions raised by a number of quarters wondering why the government was so adamant on a universal change-over to schools sylabii and especially at a time the country was teetering with a great number of other more pressing issues foremost of which was security.
In the second email, dated 25 July, President Farmajo, is supposedly responding to a message from one Jama Abdi Duale, a member or a representative of a religious sect, Mohamed Rabi’i, that had its headquarters near Yagori, located between the cities of Burao and Las Anod of the Republic of Somaliland.
The Sheikhs say nothing of siding with one or another in the battle for supremacy between Somaliland and the federal state of Puntland at the Tukkaraq area, Sool region, Somaliland.
Instead, they prophesy for President Farmajo a stay in power for the coming twenty years, going on to ask him for a financial contribution to complete the construction and a mosque project.
In his response to the sect, President Farmajo, promises help but continues to ask them, in turn, to actively support Puntland which stands for ‘national defense’ in ‘its quest to oust the Hargeisa administration from Sool’ (See below).
Mr. Farmajo repeatedly denied that he was actively supporting Puntland, one of his states, in disputing with Somaliland over three regions which historically, politically and traditionally belonged the former British Protectorate. Observers always questioned why the President did nothing to leash in one of his federal states if, indeed, there was no substance to the viral rumors to the contrary.
The email accounts used in both instances is Gmail and not the official government accounts as the topics discussed are far from official.
It remains whether the emails are indeed authentic, indicating that President Farmajo’s own account was hacked, or that, as has been the case on a number of false starts before, that the messages were fabricated.
In any case, the text puts new angles to two volatile issues that are uppermost in public debates these days.