Editor’s Note: December 11, 2018

What is happening in Somalia?

lawmakers in Somalia have filed a motion to impeach the country’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, accusing him of violating federal laws and striking secret deals with neighbours Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The news has sparked fears of a crisis but it’s doubtful that the motion will go anywhere without a constitutional court to preside over proceedings, as mandated by the country’s constitution.

It’s more likely a reflection of uncertainty stemming from reforms aimed at ending decades of conflict and instability.

Mohamed, known as ‘Farmajo’ for his love of cheese, was elected in a UN-backed process in February 2017 amid hopes it could mark a turning point.

Since then there has been some success in bringing Somalia back into the international fold. The World Bank recently approved its first grant to the country in 30 years, while the US has re-established diplomatic representation after a 28-year absence.

There has even been sporadic success in quelling militant group Al-Shabaab.

Yet external progress has been matched by domestic setbacks in navigating Somalia’s complex clan and federal state system. Tensions with Farmajo’s government have been rising steadily overcontentious domestic decisions and external dynamics including a fallout with the UAE.

More than anything the motion underlines Somalia’s uncertain path towards normality.

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