The expulsion of an A.U Envoy reveals a darker Agenda

The A.U might have degenerated into a local faction with its own Agenda

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Policy pundits, political analysts, and political stakeholders on one side and the common man, on the other hand, have their own diverging ways of looking at the expulsion of the A.U envoy and the events following that expulsion, but a common fear that unites them is the thought that the A.U may no longer be a partner, but an occupying force with its own agenda.

Should the envoy have been expelled over the remarks he has made? Did he really make those remarks? Can an A.U envoy be treated like that of a country? Are all valid questions deserving their own time and analysis? But we feel here that the following four lenses reveal much better results:

Can the Prime Minister expel an A.U Envoy and should he have done so on his own?

To start with this point is to start a debate about a bigger question that has remained unsettled for so long in Somalia; What can a Prime Minister do without consulting or seeking the approval of the President? This is certainly a political and a legal question, and although Somalia could attempt to address it by finalizing the constitution, and establishing a Constitutional Court to address the matter, this author believes that this is a matter that can only be settled by the ongoing state-building and its gradual evolution, and therefore, not a question to be answered in this short article.  But to move to our point of discussion; Can a Somali Prime Minister expel an envoy representing the interest of an outside entity, whether that is a country or an organization?

If our starting point is simply a common acceptance that Somalia’s Prime Minister is the head of the Executive Branch of the Government tasked with Governing the country, then we shouldn’t need a major analysis by a political or a legal scholar in order to understand whether the Prime Minister can expel an envoy or not. This author believes that the Prime Minister can expel.

The second part of our question is a little bit tricky; should the Prime Minister have consulted with the President? Certainly yes. It would have been better if he did, taking into account the fragile status of the Somali State and the territorial behavior of the two highest officers. A  courtesy call would have gone a long way. But then this would have been impossible due to the fact that the two men are not talking to each other.

Should the president oppose the expulsion of the Envoy?

As a president, he should have behaved in a manner befitting a president. He should have taken into account, notwithstanding his frosty relationship with the Prime Minister, the need for projecting to the world a sense of a Government in order. But this wasn’t the case. A courtesy call to the Prime Minister, with a focus on understanding the issues that have given rise to the expulsion and how the undiplomatic recorded words of the expelled Ambassador affected the Prime Minister. But then this would have been impossible due to the fact that the two men are not talking to each other.

Should the A.U have refused to accept the expulsion?

Justifying his actions, denying or contextualizing them would have been actions that could have been lightly received in Somalia and interpreted as simply an entity attempting to hide its mistakes. But an outright rejection of expulsion of an envoy by one of the highest authorities of the Government was wrong, undiplomatic, and has shed an unfavorable light on the A.U’s role in Somalia; depicting the A.U as an entity with its own agenda that has no regard for the needs of its local partners and the elected responsible authorities.

What now?

The A.U should think hard and carefully about how it wants to be perceived in  Somalia. Irrespective of whether it thinks the expelled Envoy is competent or not, they should not sacrifice the positive perception the local population and elite have of them for the interest of one envoy. Failure to back down will not only attract further escalation but could also create a perception of the A.U as an occupying force with its own agenda that is not in line with the Government. A dangerous route to go!

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Xaqiiqa Times’s editorial stance.

Author: Avv. M.A.K