State of Accountability in Somalia in 2020

With poor rule of law and non-existent institutions to hold those in power accountable, bribe paying is on the rise in Somalia, especially in areas with strong state presence. While overall bribe-paying is 14%, it is a deflated number because the state is weak or not present in most of the country. In some districts in Mogadishu, where the state is strongest, bribe-paying is as high as 50%. Demand for bribes is highest with the federal government security forces, regional security forces, and Al-Shabab. The FMSs of Southwest State and the Banadir Regional Authority (a de facto FMS) see a disproportionate bribe demand, strengthening the assessment that heavier state presence is characterised by increase in incidences of bribe paying.

Securitisation without strengthening the rule of law is leading Somalia towards having a state that is unconstrained by law and unresponsive to the will of the people. Those investing in security in Somalia have a moral obligation to demand and invest more in the rule of law and democratisation, including anticorruption, or risk creating an authoritarian state. Such a state will not fulfil the aim of Somalia’s donors, as terrorism will continue to go unchecked, and those in power will continue to misuse donor funds for their own security and not for the reason they received the funds.


Somalia’s state collapse in 1991 was preceded by 22 years of dictatorship that saw the suspension of accountable institutions and the erosion of the rule of law and the brutal use of the state’s powers to keep the ruling elite in power. Unfortunately for Somalia, it seems little was learned from that chapter in our history. In the reconstituted Somalia, the bulk of investment has gone into strengthening the state without strengthening the rule of law or building its accountable institutions. This is analogous to building a car without safety features such as breaks and airbags. Without the necessary institutions to check the power of the security forces, public trust in the state and their willingness to respect the rule of law is diminished as state power is used against political opponents and the law favours bribe-payers.

The current trajectory of the reconstituted Somali state does not inspire confidence that the end result will not be state failure if and when international support is halted. This report will show that bribe-paying is not only very high across the country, but also significantly higher in areas where the state is strongest. This suggests that the disproportionate investment in security as opposed to the rule of law and democratisation has resulted in security forces that are unaccountable except to their paymasters; justice that is sold to the highest bidder; and a disregard for state authority by the citizenry.

While Somalia’s international donors have spent a lot of their people’s taxes on supporting democratisation in Somalia, little has changed in the past nine years. Members of parliament are selected by gatekeepers that have little to no representative authority. Without an accountable government, it is impossible for the public to affect their future or trust the government as representative of their interests.

Download full report here:

Akhbaar Huban: Combating Disinformation in Somali Media

As we mark the International Anticorruption Day today, we are pleased to announce the fruits of marqaati’s efforts in the past seven months: a mechanism designed to combat disinformation in the Somali media, improve the quality of news, and educate the public in identifying fake news and reliable sources of news. We have created a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome. We also have an Android app in development that will be available in the next few weeks.

Akhbaar Huban on Firefox:

Akhbaar Huban on Chrome:

Examples of rated websites:

Curbing Corruption: Minor Gains

Executive summary

The period since our last report of September 2018 saw elections held in the Federal Member States (FMS) of Puntland (8 January 2019), Jubbaland (August 2019), and Southwest State (19 December 2018). As predicted in that report, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) was heavily involved in said elections, trying to promote a candidate in line with its vision of Somalia. The result was a tightening of FGS influence in the FMSs nearest to the capital and further losing influence in Jubbaland and Puntland.

In Mogadishu, the government took modest steps to improve transparency and accountability. It increasingly shared  data on government reports and published expenditure reports from 2018 and the first two quarters of 2019.

On accountability, the Auditor General released his first report. The report provided a useful outline of the institutional weaknesses of various government departments. It showed an utter lack of bookkeeping in some departments; lack of an internal audit; misspending of funds for goods and services not included in the budget; lack of transparency in contracting; poor and illegal procurement procedures; and millions in missing funds. It was a brave and important step in building credible institutions.

As we head into an election year in 2020 and as anticorruption mechanisms remain weak and unimproved, incidences of bribery and vote-buying are expected to continue being a problem. Likewise, the lack of an electoral model so close to when elections are supposed to take place means there will be a delay that has the potential to cause political instability and a further weakening of the FGS relations with Puntland and Jubbaland.

Somalia State of Accountability 2019

State of Accountability in 2018: More of the Usual

Executive Summary

The election of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo on 8 February 2017 was exciting as Farmaajo seemed to be the friendliest candidate for accountability. However, the President took little interest in governing and ceded much authority to his Prime Minister. The PM, as a veteran in the corruption campaign of the former president, put anticorruption in the backburner. By rhetoric, accountability became the centrepiece of his talking points. However, he extensively used bribery to buy political opponents with funds raised by siphoning off of Banadir Regional Administration funds and bags of money originating from a Gulf country.

When bribery and co-optation did not work against all critics, outright repression and silencing became the tools of choice. Mogadishu was on the brink of collapse multiple times in 2017 and 2018 due to the policies adopted by the PM with the support of the President.

While the PM was busy repressing Mogadishu, the President focused on undermining the federal system after the regional governments failed to fall in line with the government on the Qatar-Gulf crisis. This culminated in the removal of one regional president and no-confidence motions prepared in the other regions. The moves seem to have had the opposite effect, and the federal government is less influential today with the regions than it was when the power play started.

On institution-building, the federal government has done nothing to build the constitutionally-mandated organs of government that are essential to the formation of the Somali state. These include the Constitutional Court, which could have arbitrated between the federal and regional governments; the anticorruption commission, which could have seized stolen property; and the Judicial Service Commission, which must exist in order to reform the judiciary.

The priority of the executive seems to be to have unchecked power. To that end, they have removed the speaker of parliament and installed their own; removed the chairman of the High Court, and installed their own; removed members of the High Court, and installed their loyalists. All three arms of government are currently firmly under control of Villa Somalia.

The executive is further attempting to cement its authority through the constitutional review, which should produce more power to the centre and less for the regions for it to reach their expectation. If that happens, it will only cause more gridlock and further destabilise the Somalia state formation process.

President Farmaajo is not known to have personally benefited from financial misappropriation. However, all his major anticorruption promises have been unfulfilled. He still has an opportunity to leave a shining legacy if he takes the recommended steps towards accountability.

Somalia 2018 Corruption Report




Mogadishu, 24 Feb 2017 — Marqaati, Somalia’s sole anticorruption non-governmental organisation, is concerned by the nomination of Hassan Ali Kheyre as Somalia’s new Prime Minister. The nominated PM is a close associate of tainted individuals in the outgoing administration, including the former president who oversaw a massive corruption campaign in the past year.

He has also been accused of acting as a front for the former president in business deals such as in Soma Oil and Gas, and was intimately involved in the corrupt election campaign of the former president, according to sources in the outgoing administration.

We call on President Farmaajo to withdraw the nomination of Mr. Kheyre if the latter cannot prove his detachment from the corruption of the former administration and a commitment to hold them accountable.

“The Somali parliament should deeply scrutinise his past, his associates, and his plans for combating corruption. They should not accept to become stamps for whatever the president wants; they should use their powers to check his power and demand that people of integrity are appointed to positions of power,” said Mohamed Mubarak, director of marqaati.

“Parliament should reject to approve this individual if he does not prove that he had nothing to do with the corruption perpetrated by his associates and does not publicly commit to hold corrupt individuals accountable,” added Mubarak.

It is unacceptable to have a continuation of the status quo of impunity, stealing public funds, awarding contracts to political cronies, systematic judicial corruption, and unmerited government appointments. We see this nomination as a continuation of the status quo.

marqaati Press Release on PM

State of Accountability in Somalia in 2016: Unrestrained Corruption

Executive Summary

The year 2016 was the worst year for accountability in Somalia as political actors sought to use whatever means possible to win the indirect elections process. Civil servants and members of the Somali Police and NISA have been unpaid for 7 months; while salary payments for most units of the Somali National Army (SNA) were discontinued in late 2015; although, until mid-2016, some units continued receiving stipends that was not paid for by the Somali government. In addition to the non-payment of salaries, the Somali federal government sold off public lands, all with the intention of funding allies and loyalists to the ruling party in the indirect elections.

The elections, as a consequence, were rife with corruption. When delegates refused to take money and vote a certain away, they would be replaced, intimidated, harassed and, in some incidences that occurred in Galmudug and HirShabelle, shot. Adding insult to injury, candidates that had been disqualified for engaging in public corruption or violence by the conflict resolution body were reinstated, and others held sham elections and won.

As a result of the plundering of the state’s wealth in order to fund the election campaign of the president and his allies, security significantly worsened in 2016. Security forces take part in criminality in order to support their livelihood, further eroding public trust in the government. Extortion, robbery, murder, and torture are some of the more than 500 reports marqaati has received, mostly concerning the security forces.

As the election season comes to an end, the year 2017 will see less high-level corruption than 2016, no matter who wins. However, massive mid and low-level corruption will occur especially with the expected increase in food aid as a result of the drought. Officials and security officers that had not been paid for months will be expected to oversee the delivery of food aid. Unless they are paid their dues, even the best of them will take part in the loot.

While 2017 presents an opportunity to tackle corruption in Somalia, as most presidential candidates that have a good chance have said they will combat it, there needs to be more commitment by all stakeholders to demand transparency and closer monitoring of government activities by independent non-government third parties. Somalia’s international donors have a special responsibility to their taxpayers to demand accountability for their misused and embezzled aid monies.

Not keeping the rampant corruption in check will continue to erode public support for the government and lose it the little legitimacy it now has. Inaction will lead to insecurity that will affect not only Somalia, but the whole world, and also lead to mass migration of youth running away from a merciless terrorist group and a kleptocratic government . For the full report in PDF form, click here: Marqaati 2016 Corruption Report


The Indirect Elections: Highly Irregular and Barely Legitimate



The indirect electoral process has been undermined by multiple actors ranging from the federal and regional governments to the individual contenders. Bribery, intimidation, voter list manipulation, and outright fraud have affected the vast majority of cases studied.

Vote buying is not only a civic failure but a huge security loophole: it opens the door to exploits by criminal organisations to infiltrate nefarious individuals into a high profile position.

Dispute resolution mechanisms have largely not worked — and when they work, they have been undercut by political leaders who interfere and overrule their decisions, raising into question the independence and utility of the election organisers.

The process has shown that only universal suffrage can reduce the impact of vote buying in election outcome; however, the current system is still designed for vote buying as the president is not elected by the public but by the members of parliament.

Before general elections are held in 2020, the current constitution should be reviewed prior to ratification and make the president directly electable by the public.


For 11 months this year, marqaati has been signing Integrity Pacts with political actors across Somalia. The Pacts were signed by the following candidates for parliament: 6 from Somaliland; 9 from Galmudug; 20 from Southwest and 20 from Puntland. Additionally, 35 elders and 3 presidential candidates have signed, as have more than 30 political parties.

The Integrity Pacts that were signed by political parties and individual candidates were not respected, partly because the ruling party, PDP, and the president refused to sign it. It was clear that massive corruption would take place since then; marqaati is hereby doing its obligations under the Pact, which is to report on instances of lack of implementation of the Pact and give relevant advise in order to ensure that current issues don’t easily repeat again in 2020.


The findings presented here are based on interviews that were conducted with delegates, key informants within individual campaigns of candidates vying for a seat in parliament, candidates themselves, and questionnaires on the electoral process answered by more than 50 candidates and elders.

Furthermore, we’ve used statistical analysis to look at the relationship between complaints of irregularities and election win margins. While a narrow margin does not necessarily mean no corruption happened, this method helps us in pinpointing the intersection of complaints of fraud and abuse with unbelievably wide margins of victory. We have also used statistical analysis to determine the viability of election results.


The following is an outline of the types and some of the incidences of corruption that had taken place in the electoral process this year.

  1. Intimidation and obstruction was the hallmark of the process

Elders and candidates reported systematic intimidation by security forces of federal and regional states seeking to influence the makeup of the delegates. More than 75% of respondents said that they were expecting or had faced intimidation and voter fraud.

Intimidation of candidates and manipulation of the voters list were most common in Jubbaland, Southwest, and Somaliland (held in Mogadishu). This was apparently because candidates from those regions did not have the most money; for instance, individual voters were paid $500 by some winning candidates from these regions, compared to up to a ridiculous amount of $30,000 per vote in the most expensive election in HirShabelle.

In HirShabelle, some elections were held on a Friday without notifying all candidates except the favoured ones. Additionally, a candidate who had engaged in violence at the voting location was allowed to run over the objections of the Federal Indirect Election Implementation Team (FIEIT). He ‘won’ with 88% of the vote.

Some candidates were stopped from entering the voting venues, when their names were put up at the door and stopped from entering by the security forces. This was most common in Jubbaland and Southwest state. Conversely, amounts paid to buy seats in those regions were lower than in other regions.

In Jubbaland, a well-known politician who had lost an election to the upper house was elected to the lower house, after all opposing candidates were forced to withdraw or stopped from attending. He won with 98% of the vote.

  1. Individual candidates were involved in the selection of voters

Elders were required to appoint 50 voters (known as ‘delegates’) from their sub-clan to elect each MP; however, in almost all cases closely investigated, elders were selling the delegates to candidates vying for the seat.  In some instances, candidates bought the right to appoint a simple majority from the elders, and in other cases they bought all 50 delegates.

For instance, in one race in Puntland, an elder sold 16 slots to a candidate. The candidate went on to buy 10 other votes from the rest of the delegates and won with a simple majority of 26/51.

Some candidates were running against dummy candidates who were also paid for by them and who got between 7 and 0 votes.  The candidates who were doing this were ones who controlled a vast majority of the delegates, as explained above.

Regional governments were openly manipulating the lists of voters. For instance, one elder from Galmudug sent multiple complaints to marqaati of the delegates that he had submitted being switched with other names by the regional election commission; his complaints to the regional disputes resolution body were ignored.

  1. Bribery was very common and normalised

Bribe amounts were highest in HirShabelle where the most expensive seat was at $2.5M, followed by Galmudug and Puntland (seat cost is the sum of all bribes paid by both winning and losing candidates for one seat).

A winning candidate from HirShabelle told marqaati that he had paid $260K ($150K of his own money and $110K in borrowed money) as bribes in order to, ironically, ‘not humiliate’ himself by losing. He won with 86% of the vote. Losing candidates paid between $150K and $100K, making that seat worth $510K in bribes.

In Galmudug and Puntland, the same trend was noticed, with many seats costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Asked by marqaati why they would pay upwards of $300K for a seat in parliament, one political operative said it was to do with prestige, immunity, and obviously the chance to elect the next president and probably recoup spent money.

Voters seemed willing to vote for whoever gave them a dollar more than the other; in all cases where money is known to have changed hands, the party with the most money won. It is not clear whether this will be the case with MPs voting for president, but two recently-elected MPs said that they’d take money from everyone and vote for whoever they wanted.

Many candidates seeking a seat in parliament were bankrolled by the ruling party, PDP (also known as ‘Dam Jadeed’), which had refused to sign the Integrity Pacts. The aforementioned candidate who was forced to add $260K of his own money into his bribing campaign said that the president himself had assured him that he would be bankrolled but that he hadn’t received back his money as of the publishing of this report.

While state funds have been diverted in the past 18 months in preparation for the 2016 elections, as evidenced by security forces rarely receiving salaries in that time period and government property blindly privatised, the ruling party did not win many seats, suggesting that it has spent less money than its opponents (apparently saving most money for the presidential election).

Other MPs who had self-funded said that they are expecting to recoup their ‘investment’ in the upcoming presidential elections. Cost per vote, it will probably be the most expensive election in the world.

  1. Winning margins were incredibly high in races involving allegations of corruption

The following is a sample list of election results, showing an alarming number of candidates receiving more than 80%, and many 100% of the votes – a statistical impossibility in a free and fair election. Statistically, most races should have been won by a simple majority to two thirds majority, with very rare cases of 80 per cent and more.

Of 98 election results analysed, we have detected 89 elections in which the winners received 78.4% or above, including 58 that got between 84% and 98%; two were no contest (all opposing candidates suspiciously stepped down at the last moment); and 15 got 100% of the votes.

This suggests that over 76% of the candidates received unbelievably wide margins of victory between 84% and 100%.

While the below list is neither an exhaustive list of highly improbable natural results (it is a random sample that includes even plausible margins) nor an allegation that all are results of corruption. Our calculation is that 1% of results with a margin of more than 78% could be a natural outcome:



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Abdiqadir Ossoble 34 66.6666667 Lower
Maxamed Abukar Islow (Ducaale) 48 94.1176471 Lower
C/salaan Sheekh Xasan Barsane 29 56.8627451 Lower
Cusmaan Maxamed Cabdi 50 98.0392157 Lower
C/laahi maxamed nuur 28 54.9019608 Lower
Maryan ahmed haruun 38 74.5098039 Lower
Maxamud c/laahi Ahmed 38 74.5098039 Lower
farxiyo maxamuud dhaqane 43 84.3137255 Lower
Maxaedm c/laahi nuux 45 88.2352941 Lower
Muuse Suudi Yalaxow 91 92.8571429 Upper
Prof Cusmaan Maxamuud Dufle 85 86.7346939 Upper
Cusmaan Axmed Macow 73 74.4897959 Upper
Cusmaan Maxamed Cabdi 50 98.0392157 Lower
Maxamed cali nuur 45 88.2352941 Lower
C/shakuur cali mire 49 96.0784314 Lower
farxiyo maxamuud dhaqane 43 84.3137255 Lower
Maxaedm c/laahi nuux 45 88.2352941 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
C/qaadir Gaafow Maxamuud 51 100 Lower
Yuusuf xeyle 48 94.11764706 Lower
Naciimo maxamed cali 45 88.23529412 Lower
Saciid Nuur Qayliye Giriish 50 98.03921569 Lower
Saabir Nuur Shuuriye 45 88.23529412 Lower
Mahad Maxamed Salaad 40 78.43137255 Lower
Qaasim Maxamed Jaamac 51 100 Lower
 Duniyo Maxamed Ali 44 86.2745098 Lower
mustaf sheekh cali dhuxulow 47 92.15686275 Lower
Xuseen Qaasim Yuusuf 49 96.07843137 Lower
 Xasan Macalin Maxamud 48 94.11764706 Lower
mustaf sheekh cali dhuxulow 47 92.15686275 Lower
Cabdulaahi Cali Axmed 40 78.43137255 Lower
 Maxamed Cabdule Faarax 40 78.43137255 Lower
Xersi Aadan Rooble 49 96.07843137 Lower
cabdiraxmaan maxamed xuseen 46 90.19607843 Lower
Maryan Cariif Qaasim 45 88.23529412 Lower
 Cabdiwali Maxamed Qanyare 49 96.07843137 Lower
Cabdicasiis Cilmi Cali 41 80.39215686 Lower
 Ikraan Aadan 43 84.31372549 Lower
Axmed Macalin Fiqi Axmed 47 92.15686275 Lower
Maryam Xaaji Cabdi Geedi 48 94.11764706 Lower
Maryam Maxamed Xuseen 48 94.11764706 Lower
maxamed axemd abtidoon 41 80.39215686 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Cali yuusuf cali xoosh 49 96.07843137 Lower
Cumar Cabdirashiid Cali sharmaarke 47 71.21212121 Upper
Cabdiraxmaan Sheekh Maxamed Maxamud Farole 59 89.39393939 Upper
Cabdisalaam Xaaji Maxamuud Dheere 50 75.75757576 Upper
Maxamud Axmed Maxamud Mashruuc 56 84.84848485 Upper
Siciido Xasan Cismaan 41 62.12121212 Upper
Maxamed Cabdikaafi Maxamed 45 88.23529412 Lower
Xaawo Yuusuf Axmed 40 78.43137255 Lower
Sharmaake Garaad Saleeman 50 98.03921569 Lower
Sacdiya Samatar 49 96.07843137 Lower
Maxamed Xaaji Geele 49 96.07843137 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
maxamed shiid cusmaan jawaari 45 88.2352941 Lower
c/laahi shiiq ismaaciil 51 100 Lower
maxamed saciid Abdulaahi 40 78.4313725 Lower
C/laahi cumar Abshir 51 100 Lower
shiiq Aadan maxamed Nuur 49 96.0784314 Lower
sayid cali c/qaadir macalin 49 96.0784314 Lower
maxamed jaamac mursal geelle 45 88.2352941 Lower
Maxamed axmed mursal qoomaal 51 100 Lower
Aaadan ibraahim ibraahim dhaa yoow 51 100 Lower
Cali Aadan eylow 51 100 Lower
Shiiq shaacir axmed 51 100 Lower
Ibraahim yaroow isaaq 51 100 Lower
Raabaca sheekh nuuroow 51 100 Lower
Fowsiyo maxamed sheekh 51 100 Lower
cabduqaadir shariif xasan sheekh Aadan 50 98.0392157 Lower
Shariif maxamed cabdulaahi 45 88.2352941 Lower
Samra cumar ibraahim 45 88.2352941 Lower
Cabdi casis lafta gareen 45 88.2352941 Lower
Khaliif Duureey 45 88.2352941 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Mahad Cabdalla cawad 50 98.0392157 Lower
Maxamed Cabdi Xayir Maareeye 51 100 Lower
Aamino Axmed 51 100 Lower
Cilmi Maxamed Nuur 45 88.2352941 Lower
Nimco Aadan Ciise No Contest Lower
Saalax Axmed Jaamac No Contest Lower
Sahro Cabdqadir Cabdinasir 48 94.1176471 Lower
Jamal Xasan Ismaciil 50 98.0392157 Lower
Faadumo Cali 49 96.0784314 Lower
Cabdulahi Cusmaan Ducaale 45 88.2352941 Lower




Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
Cabdulahi Maxamed Adan 44 86.2745098 Lower
Cabdiraxmaan Kulmiye Xirsi 48 94.1176471 Lower
Cabdiqaadir Sheekh Cali Ibraahim 50 98.0392157 Lower
Axmed Cismaan Ibraahim 49 96.0784314 Lower
Maxamed Cabdulahi Gaandi 50 98.0392157 Lower
Sheekh Nuur Maxamed Xasan 51 100 Lower
Cabdiqaadir Sheekh Cali 50 98.0392157 Lower
Axmed Cusmaan Ibraahim 49 96.0784314 Lower
Cabdiraxmaan Kulmiye Xirsi 48 94.1176471 Lower
Adan Isaaq 40 78.4313725 Lower



Name of winner Votes Percent of Total House
 Fahmo Axmed Nuur 51 100 Lower



  • Cases voided by the disputes body should not be allowed to be certified. That will make the process less legitimate than it already is.
  • Preparations for 2020 elections should start now. marqaati will start its advocacy towards a free and fair general election the moment this process ends. Otherwise, talk of elections will be delayed until a time when leaders can say ‘there isn’t enough time’ to organise a general election as happened last year.
  • The parliamentary system will ensure that corruption will become a culture in Somali politics and that presidential hopefuls will continue to buy the members of parliament. marqaati proposes that the Somali constitution be amended prior to its ratification and ensure that the public can directly vote for all their political leaders.
  • Somali CSOs should be courageous and participate in the monitoring and critique of the elections. Silence equals acquiescence.
  • Spoilers and political leaders continuing to obstruct the little accountability that has taken place should be sanctioned by the international community.


Political failures at multiple levels have compounded to delay and undermine the indirect election process. In order to regain a semblance of legitimacy, there should be accountability for the abuses that have occurred.




As Somalia prepares to hold indirect elections yet again this year, the uncertainty of the process has fed into the general sense of despair and has the potential to push the country back into chaos if care is not taken to involve all relevant political and social actors, in order to give the process the legitimacy it deserves.

This election brief is based on interviews with individuals involved in the process and with deep knowledge of the behind-the-scenes discussions.

National leaders have repeatedly affirmed that the elections will be held on time – including in official communiques. With the term of the Somali Parliament ending in three weeks, and the president’s in six weeks, Marqaati is concerned that there is little to show in terms of progress in ensuring that a timely transfer of power will take place.

Emerging electoral fraud trends

Marqaati has been closely watching the electoral process with concern, noting a dangerous familiar path of corruption being taken by those in positions of power and seeking to keep their positions.

Political parties have voiced concern to marqaati that the National Leaders Forum, without any constitutional basis, has usurped power and continues to act as a de facto junta that rules by decree. While this may be seen as a convenient method to expedite the process, political parties are concerned that it will be a destabilizing factor beyond the elections and continue to undermine the constitution.

Some clans are claiming that the government has replaced some of the 135 elders representing the clans with political appointees that do not represent them. Marqaati has documented at least two clans whose real elders have been replaced by other individuals.

Furthermore, there is no level playing field in terms of political space: political parties have been virtually denied the freedom to hold any kind of assemblies under flimsy security excuses, political meetings disrupted, political messaging stifled, and democracy campaigners – including marqaati – have been intimidated, harassed, or imprisoned.

The civil society has been particularly sidelined in the process, and any calls for reform or accountability in general, especially electoral accountability, is seen as a threat by the ruling party. This has led to a sense of fear to speak out in this election period among local CSOs, marqaati hereby takes the lead in speaking out.

Old model or delayed elections

Members of the NLF will be briefed by the electoral commission on a viable timetable; while the commission privately maintains that there will be timely elections on the agreed model (51 individuals selecting each MP), political parties are complaining that there is talks of reverting to the old model in order to save time, or extend the timetable in order to implement the new model.

Extending the election date will cause a backlash from among the political parties who have already started declaring that the president will have no authority after the 10th of September. This option has the most potential to cause constitutional crisis and hurt Somalia’s fledgling state legitimacy.

The second option of reverting to the old, simpler model, has the most risks for corruption; there are fears that as in in 2012, when there was widespread buying of parliamentary seats, this could be the case again this year.

Reverting to the old, clearly more corrupt model will surely mean that the past four years have been fully squandered. There hasn’t been any improvement in the electoral model. Giving the 135 elders the power to appoint the MPs will be a return to outright buying of parliamentary seats as had happened in 2012 and hurt the legitimacy of the process.

Within the darkness there is a sliver of hope: twenty-three Somali political parties have signed the Integrity Pact for free and fair elections in Somalia. This is encouraging and shows a willingness by political parties to experiment with honest means to seek political power; however, we are disappointed and concerned by the outright refusal to sign the Pact by some of the political parties, chief among them the ruling party.

Necessary steps

Representatives of the Somali public – the elders, political parties, and civil society – should be given a role in shaping both the electoral model and the timetable for holding the elections. An inclusive process will guarantee that there is legitiamcy for the process itself.

The international community – the US, UK, UN, EU, and AU – should hold the members of the NLF to account on holding free and fair elections. The elections will not be considered fair if non-NLF members are denied the opportunity to organize themselves , which is a basic constitutional right. NLF members who try to use their authority to derail the process in their favor should be sanctioned in order to protect the integrity of the process.

There should be a clear timetable with a sense of urgency and based on input from the aforementioned representatives of the Somali public, in order to ensure that the process in not open-ended and meets the set deadlines.

marqaati Signs Integrity Pacts With Somalia’s Political Parties


The Integrity Pact for free, fair, and democratic elections in Somalia is an initiative by marqaati to combat electoral corruption in Somalia, build trust among the political parties, and ensure that future elections are more legitimate and freer.

Although Somalia’s political parties have had a rough time getting the current government to pass a law recognising political parties, political parties do exist and openly take part in the political process.

Most of the current MPs are members of a political party, despite the fact that political parties are yet to be officially recognised by the government. In the past, parties have funded MPs to buy parliamentary seats from their clan elders. This Pact commits political parties to refrain from buying votes for their members and report any vote-buying that they encounter.

The implementation of the Pact will ensure that Political parties provide their sources of income, the money spent in the campaign, and their political agents. In return, marqaati will provide them anticorruption training, and help them in sensitising the public and the few voters in the 2016 election about the negative impact of vote selling.

Signatory Parties

On January 28, marqaati held an event to start the campaign to have political parties sign the Pacts. On the same day, 14 political parties signed the pact and 2 declined. From January 28 to February 22, we signed Integrity Pacts with 11 more political parties. Five political parties are currently reviewing the Pact and considering signing it.

On February 23, three more parties signed, bringing the total to 28 political parties that have signed the Pact. Two more parties signed on 28 February and 31 May, respectively.

This part will be updated whenever new signatories are available.

Below is the list of political parties that have signed the Pact and the persons who signed for them. That is followed by the signed pages of the Integrity Pacts.

NO Name of representative Political party
1 Muxyadiin Maxamed  Xaaji Kulan
2 Dr. Cali Cumar Abati Somali National Union
3 Axmed Yuusuf Ibrahim ILEYS
4 Ugaas Cabdullahi National Democratic Party
5 Maxamuud Axmed Nuur Social Justice Party
6 Yuusuf Axmed Yalaxow SDU
7 Dr. Yuusuf Shimbir Midnimada Qaranka Soomaliyeed
8 Xassan Cabdi Khalif Shaqsiyad iyo Wadaniyad
9 Salaad Cali Jeele Midnimada iyo Dimoquraadiyadda
10 Said Cusman Ibraahim Peace  and National Unity
11 Cabdullahi Isaaq Aadan Somali National Democratic
12 Cali Maxamed Nuur Midnimada Jamhuuriga Soomaliya
13 Suleyman Yuusuf Cilmi Horumarinta Ummadda Soomaaliyeed
14 Faarax Salaad Dharaar Somali National Party
15 Salaad Maxamed Sabriye Wadaniyiinta Soomaliyeed
16 Caydarus  Maxamed Cabdi United Somali Roots (USR)
17 Nadifo Abdullahi Abdi Justice and Development Party
18 Maxamuud Maxamed Daahir Isbahaaysiga Isbadal Doonka Soomaliyeed
19 Safiyo Maxamed Cali Somali Peoples Party
20 Caasho Maxamuud Warsame Samokaab
21 Abdullahi Sheikh Dahir Midowga Nabada iyo Demoqoraadiyada
22 Wali Magan Diriye Democratic Party of Somalia
23 C/qaadir Sheikh ISmail Tayo
24 Dr. Mohamed Ali Ibrahim Somali National Party for Change and Development
25 Said J. Ali Korshel Somali National Party
26 Dr. Zakaria Mohamed Haji Abdi Qaranka Ummadda
27 Eng. Ahmed Salad Adan Sahan Qaran
28 Kamaudin Abdullahi Mohamud S.P.P
29 Mohamed Abiikar Maye Somali Citizens’ Alliance
30 Ahmed Barre Midnimo

Here is the Pact in English: Integrity_Pact_En

Muhyadin Mohamed, one of the signatories, was killed two weeks after signing the Pact. We send his family and friends our deepest condolences.
First Page



Justice and Development Party

Kulan Party

Midowga Nabadda iyo Dimoqraadiyadda


Peace and National Unity

Shaqsiyad iyo Wadaniyad

Social Justic Party

Somali Democratic United

Somali National Democratic Party

Somali National Party for Change and Development

Somali National Party

Somali National Union Party

Somali People Party


United Somali Party


Xisbiga Horumarinta Umadda Soomaaliyeed

Xisbiga Isbaheysiga Isbadaldoonka Soomaaliyeed

Xisbiga Midnimada iyo Dimoqraadiyada

Xisbiga Midnimada Jamhuuriyada Soomaaliyeed

Xisbiga Midnimada Qaranka Soomaaliya

Xisbiga Somakaab

Xisbiga Wadaniyiinta Soomaaliyeed


Xisbiga Sahan Qaran

Xisbiga Qaranka Ummadda


In Pictures: Public Land Illegally Sold in Mogadishu

Since the end of the transition period in 2012, land prices started to rise to as much as ten-fold compared to the previous year in parts of Mogadishu. This in turn led to private investors buying up public land with the help of their friends in government.

Today as we mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, let us take a look at the effects of corruption in  Mogadishu where almost all the public gardens have opaquely  been turned into petrol stations or restaurants.

This petrol station is on public land. It was apparently sold by the former Banadir administration, with Federal Government support.

This petrol station in KM4 is on public land.

This petrol station is built on public property that was used as a public garden.

This petrol station in Hawlwadaag is built on public property that was used as a public garden.

The Bondhere district part of the 4 gardens illegally sold to local businessmen.

The Bondhere district part of the  gardens illegally sold to local businessmen.


The second garden of Yaqshid one year ago when it was sold to a local businessman.

The second garden of Yaqshid one year ago when it was sold to a local businessman.

After stopping work on the site earlier in the year due to opposition from the new Banadir administration, work has resumed on the site without intervention from authorities.

After stopping work on the site earlier in the year due to opposition from the new Banadir administration, work has resumed on the site without intervention from authorities.

A truck gets into the Yaqshid garden where it is  taking out the earth.

A truck gets into the Yaqshid garden where work is ongoing to turn it into a petrol station.


This site used to be a state-owned petrol station. There is no transparency about who, how, and why it was sold to a private company.

This site used to be a state-owned petrol station. There is no transparency about how and why it was sold to a private company.


This site in Sinai used to be a state-owned petrol station. It is now being privately-owned.

This site in Sinai used to be a state-owned petrol station. Private investors are now developing it.


This is the Florensa, aka Hararyale, public land illegally sold to private fuel company.

This is the Florensa, aka Hararyale, public garden illegally sold to Hass Petroleum.