Somaliland: Bihi’s first 80 days as president


Less than three months into administration, president Muse Bihi’s ability to run the country’s affairs is questionable. So far, president Bihi’s government has failed to deliver a budget for the financial year 2018.
The power sharing of governmental positions amongst Somaliland’s tribal clans is far from balanced. This is because all the key governmental positions are occupied by president Bihi’s own tribal clan.

President Bihi’s administration has failed in the fight against corruption. Some people would argue president Bihi’s government is in fact encouraging corruption having appointing Ahmed Yusuf Dirir, a former official with a history of corruption as the general auditor of Somaliland.

President Bihi’s administration have shown a lack of prioritisation when regarding reducing the high inflation and the instability of the local currency exchange rate which have devastating effects on the daily lives of Somaliland’s people.

Moreover, it has become clear that President Bihi’s administration is being influenced by the Djibouti government especially when concerning Somaliland’s foreign policy.

One area president Bihi’s government has demonstrated strength is effectively deploying Somaliland’s army in territorial disputed areas thus defending Somaliland’s borders. In particular, Somaliland’s claim of Tukaraq village which is 70 km away from Somaliland border with Somalia illustrates this point succinctly. As a military veteran, President Bihi has utilised his wealth of experience in the army effectively in this area, while also surrounding himself with people with similar experience and vision like appointing Mohamed Kahin as Somalilands interior minister.

While President Bihi’s administration has only been in government for 80 days, his proponents may argue the points raised on here are rather harsh. However, the arguments merely show how president Bihi has started his administration on a tricky path thus being a warning for what is yet to come in the next 5 years.

Written by: Ahmed A B Ibrahim
LLM International Financial Law, BA (Hons) Business Studies.
27th February 2018


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