The European Commission, the United Kingdom, and Germany have suspended substantial support provisions they previously allocated for stipends, training, uniforms and other essential equipment to the Southwest Strate under the Joint Policing Programme with Somalia.

The donors expressed ‘significant concerns with the conduct of the police during the elections period in South West State, and in particular the statements by the local police commissioner’ which until they were satisfactorily rectified necessitated the suspension of support.

“Given the nature of these concerns, it is with regret we have taken the difficult decision to suspend our support to the police in South West State for the time being and have instructed UNOPS, as the JPP fund manager, accordingly,” they said.

The donors proposed that a JPP Executive Board Meeting be convened the week beginning 7 January to discuss:

  1. How to improv.e police conduct and respect for human rights;
  2. How to ensure effective police accountability – including internal discipline;
  3. How to develop effective and appropriate leadership of the police;
  4. How to establish effective and clear procedures for the deployment of the Federal Police (Somalia Police Force) alongside and in support of the state police including establishing clear lines of accountability

“Following the outcome of these discussions and an agreement on next steps, it is our sincere hope that JPP support to South West State can resume again quickly,” they promised.

The joint letter sent directly to the Federal Minister for Internal Security, Mohamed Abukar Islow, who is also, the Chair of the JPP Executive Board, on December 21, was duly signed by David Concar, UK Ambassador to Somalia, Fulgencio Garrido Ruiz, EU Delegation to Somalia Charge d’Affaires a.i., and Annett Gunther, German Ambassador to Somalia.

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General, Nicholas Haysom, introducing the donors’ communication, further elaborated on why the international community was not happy with how the Southwest presidential ‘elections’ were handled, in general, and, in particular, the circumstances  under which one of the contenders, Mukhtar Robow, was arrested triggering violent demonstrations during which a reported 17 people were killed, many more arbitrarily detained under shady pretexts and conditions.

“If verified, the grounds for the arrest alleged in the MoIS press release may amount to serious crimes under Somali Jaw. However, the Federal Attorney General has yet to file charges against Mukhtar Robow for these alleged crimes. Additionally, Mukhtar Robow has not yet appeared before a court, as required by the Criminal Procedure Code and Somalia’s Provisional Constitution, which states that “[e]very person who is arrested has the right to be brought before a competent court within 48 hours of the arrest”. Accordingly, the detention of Mukhtar Robow appears to be arbitrary,” Mr. Haysom wrote.

Mr. Haysom echoes a public outcry following the reported hand of Ethiopian troops stationed in Baidoa on the arrest of Mukhtar Robow, which was a lamentable violation of the country’s constitution as it was on all JPP agreements.

“According to credible sources, Mukhtar Robow was arrested by the AMISOM Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) contingent in Baidoa on 13 December,” Mr. Haysom stated.

Still later, on 30 December, Mr. Haysom further detailed why neither the UN nor other international partners could not pretend nothing was amiss at the Southwest policing tactics.

In a letter Mr. Haysom addressed, again, to the Internal Security Minister, Mr. Islow, he said: “I am writing to bring to your attention the implications under the United Nations Human Rights Due Diligence Policy (UN HRDDP) arising from the alleged involvement of UN-supported Somali security forces in the arrest of Mukhtar Robow on 13 December, the deaths of 15 civilians and injuries of at least two others on 13, 14 and 15 December 2018, and the arrest of approximately 300 people involved in the demonstrations on 13, 14 and 15 December, 254 of whom were held without being charged beyond 48 hours and released between 18 and 22 December 2018. Most of the persons detained were reportedly children.”

Together, the two communications highlight a positive attitude on the part of the donors that seems to be the beginning of a tone which implies harsher steps if the Federal Government and its states do not respect human rights to the letter. The donors, it is to be noted, have pledged more than several billion US Dollars, together, to help Villa Somalia and the states build good governance, improve policing and security, set up legislative and judicial structures, and much more.

Besides security-related support, the international community directly – and almost single-handedly – finances over 800 ‘members of parliament’ spread over Mogadishu and the five federal states that it supposedly leads as below: