8 November 2018

Somalia: What Next for Maverick Politician Sharif Aden?

The political crisis that hit South West State ahead of the November 17 regional presidential elections may finally have come to an end with the shocking announcement by the region's leader that he had tendered his resignation and will not be vying to retain his seat.

Are we witnessing the end of a political era in one of the most influential politicians in post civil war Somalia?

Aden has in his 16 years in politics proven to be a mover and shaker, a schemer and a king maker.

Like the proverbial cat with nine lives Aden managed to dodge attempts to have him impeached by the regional parliament. In November 2017 an attempt to table a vote of no confidence by regional Mps flopped. Sharif had been accused of incompetence.

His influence was seen last Tuesday when 15 members of the South West electoral commission resigned on grounds that the Farmaajo administration was interfering with the polls. The resignation threw the polls in to a dispensary with questions been raised whether they will be held or not.

Aden was elected as the South West president in November 2014.

Born in Bardale district of Bakool Region in the year 1946, Sharif Hasan joined the politics in 2004 when he was elected as the speaker of parliament at a reconciliation conference held in Nairobi, Kenya. He held that post until 2007.

Immediately after the formation of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia in Kenya headed by President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Sharif Hassan fell out with president Abdullahi over the issue of deploying front states peacekeeping troops to Somalia. Then the parliament split into two groups.

Even after 152 MPs in May 2005 adopted a resolution making provision that the city of Baidao or Jowhar will the seat of the government and that front line states can send peacekeeping forces to Somalia, this included Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti Aden termed it null and void.

On 22 June 2005 Yemen managed to arbitrate between President Yusuf and Aden and the two met in Sanaa.

Sharif would later sogn a political deal with Mogadishu based warlords as President Yusuf and Prime Minister Ali Gedi resettled back to Somalia from Kenya.

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June 5 2005 Sharif Hassan and President Abdullahi sign an accord mediated by Yemeni president Ali Abdalle Salah. He would later return to Mogadishu with allied warlords who were Mps and some Ministers. Sharif would chair parliament in Baidoa.

Aden would later fall off with President Yusuf over disagreement on the government negotiating with the Islamic Courts Union which was now in control of the capital Mogadishu and much of Southern Somalia except Baidoa the seat of TFG.

Yusuf declined to meet face to face with ICU while Aden pushed for a meeting.

June 2006 an agreement between TFG and ICU was signed but the rift between President Yusuf and Aden continued leading to Mps impeaching their Speaker.

183 Mps voted against Aden only 8 backed the embattled Speaker.

In September 2007 Sharif led some MPs out of the country and established a group called Free Parliament and make his base in Asmara Eritrea forming an opposition group with ICU leader Sheikh Sharif in 2007 called Somali Re-liberation and Reconciliation Alliance where by Sheik Sharif became the chair while Sharif Hassan became his deputy.

Aden was in February 2009 was appointed Finance Minister then Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid of president Sheikh Sharif government.

He would later be elected as Speaker for the second time in May 2010 serving until August 2012.

The politician was instrumental in the formation of the South West State in 2014

He served as an MP in the Federal Parliament before he was elected President of South West State in 2014.

Analysts are now closely with monitoring to know what next after the long time politician Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden known for his maneuverings in national and regional politics finally called it quits.

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