Wednesday, April 16, 2014

President's visit to Baidoa: Reading between the lines

Following the urgent call to respond Baidoa tensions made by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia Ambassador Nicholas Kay on 24 March 2014 at the 425th meeting of the AU Peace and Security Council in Adis ababa, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud paid an unannounced and hastily visit to the town of Baidoa on 30th March to offer vacuum sympathy to the local leaders who for one year long engaged in building Southwestern  Regional State composing of Bay, Gedo, Bakol, Lower Shabele, Lower Jubba and Middle Jubba. Even though,  initially his visit was intended to be a half-day tour, it was suddenly extended to last for  two whole days because of the fierce resistance by the traditional elders to meet with the President. The traditional elders who are from the six regions of the State had the perception that the president is against the free choice of Southwestern Citizens for forming the six-region state, and therefore has come to recognize the opposing state formation of three-regions.  However, the Speaker of Somali Federal Parliament (SFP) Mohamed Sheikh Osman Jawari promptly intervened  to end the deadlock between the traditional elders and the President. After exchanging opposing opinions and positions as well as presenting the perception they had for the President, the Elders' antagonism towards the President was quietly cooled down,  and it was underlined that the two sides had at least got each other. The participants also said that the President acknowledged their concern and hence a follow up consultative meeting would be held soon in Baidoa.   

Nevertheless, President's visit offers little hope for the strong ambition of the locals to create undivided a Southwestern State.
First,  though it was already violated, the agreement between the Interim Administration for Jubba consisting of Gedo, Lower Jubba and Middle Jubba regions and Somali Federal Government (SFG) adopted on 28 August, 2013 in Adisababa, has complicated the SFG's position to categorically denounce or support the creation of regional state in South Western Somalia. Although, in response to the popular election of Madobe Nunow as a head of the Southwestern State, the Ministry of Interior fearing that the Jubba Administration may bounce into the government's rival network has issued a press release giving lip support for formation of Three - Region State composing of Bay, Lower Shabele and Bakol. Realistically, the SFG acknowledges (clandestinely) that the creation of Jubba Administration was externally driven by neighboring countries and the implementation of the signed agreement was literally violated by the Interim Administration led by Ahmed Modobe when he unilaterally appointed his three deputies and at the same time by passed  over the SFG to conduct direct diplomatic meetings with the Heads of Ethiopia and Kenyan governments. Mohamud M. Ulusow, Writer and Political Analyst said in an article of Wide Gulf between the Somalia's Leader and UNSOM's Head; that the 'President Uhuru of Kenya and PM Hailemariam of Ethiopia welcome the leaders of Puntland and Jubbaland more warmly than President Hassan of Somalia'.
Article 1, Number (5) and (6) of the Agreement says:
"The head of the Interim Jubba Administration shall be the Leader of the three regions of lower Jubba, middle Jubba and Gedo and also the Chairperson of the Executive Council and shall be accountable to the Federal Government of Somalia".
"The Leader shall have three deputies appointed by the Leader in consultation with Somali Federal Government and they will also become members of the executive council".

Similarly, article 2, Number 12 of the same agreement was not implemented which is concerned by the management of the Federal Institutions and National Infrastructures. It was supposed that the SFG should take control over the management of both the Kismayo Airport and the Seaport in 6 Months period however, it is yet to be seen the government's response to this article:

"The Kismayo Sea Port and Air Port Management shall be handed-over to the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) in 6 months period; after which the Federal Government of Somalia shall appoint a competent management team in consultation with the Interim Jubba Administration meanwhile the current management of port prevails for the next 6 months. The Federal Government of Somalia will appoint immigration officers to all entry points". 

On the other hand, the UN representative Office in Somalia similarly offers unwavering support for establishment of the three-region state in defense to the Jubba Administration while deliberately ignoring the fact that the inhabitants of Southwestern regions genuinely decided to have a complete and inclusive regional autonomy composing of the Six regions. In his statement at the 425th Meeting in Adis ababa, Ambassador Kay reaffirmed his position for formation of the three regions by emphasizing that the UN's support for the Government is bound up with the erection of the three regions. He said; 'I will continue to work closely with key partners, principally the African Union, IGAD and the European Union, to support a Federal Government-led process with respect for the formation of  a three-region state'. The UN rhetorically advocates for support  of a community driven process of creating a regional autonomy while at the same time declines to comment the unique example set by the local leaders of those regions. The yearlong conference of initiating the State formation in Baidoa was enthusiastically locally-driven, community funded and community initiation without any outside help whatsoever. Ulusow in the same article said; 'UN calls the shot and plants the causes for division and grievances'.        
Mohamud M. Ulusow  furthermore; hinted in his article that Mohamed Abdi Afey and Eng Mahboub Maalim both of Somali Kenyan nationals who are envoy and Excutive Secretary of IGAD respectively are diplomatically responsible for the conundrum in Southwestern Regions of Somalia because of their clan lineage.

Moreover, Somali Federal Parliament never debated the Adis ababa agreement and the government never submitted it to the Parliament, therefore it seems that the Interim Administration for Jubba will remain a flashpoint of conflict forever in Somalia's Federalism process unless and until SFP adopts holistic resolutions treating with the Federal Member States. IGAD, Kenya and Ethiopia would keep their unchecked meddling in the domestic affairs of Somalia and the government prefers to keep the status quo until its current mandate expires in 2016.

Second, apart from Nicholas Kay's call, it is assumed that the President's primary ambition was to show photo-ops in Baidoa for preparation of a trip to Brussels. The Brussels Meeting has got a special significance for the government due to the pledges made  last September in the New Deal Compact, and it is the hope for the government that the best way to substantiate those pledges into deliverable hard currency is to demonstrate to the International Community that the government is actually committed to lead the initiation of Regional State formations and that its effort of continuing an inclusive agreement between opposing state formation processes has got momentum among the stakeholders in those region. The New Deal Compact gives substantial accountability between the Regional States and the SFG. Consequently, his effort to bridge the gap the between his administration and the leaders of Southwestern State was technically narrowed with the help of the Speaker of the House of the People but not radically accommodated.    
By Abdulkadir Suleiman 

"Didiinglay dhamaateih"

Why would Federalism be preferable in Somalia?

Abdirahman A. Warsame makes some very good points of Somalia's contentious system of government in his most recent article posted on Hiiraan Online[i],.  He accurately underlined that Federalism - as type of Government won't take root unchallenged for a country like Somalia that has been chaotic for decades. He further underscored that Somalis' Provisional constitution must be a source of conflict in terms of its interpretation; which of course seems quite rational because of Somalis' nature of interpretation.  Take as an example of Somali Parliament of today, because of Interpretation of Rules of Procedure (Xeer Hoosaadka) of Somalis' House of the  Federal Republic of the  Parliament, Mps daily fight over an issue that can sometimes be easily reconciled to. However, it is in the other things claimed that his analysis falls short.

To me, the concept why some clans like Digil and Mirifle do prefer Federalism is quite rooted in prevailing socio-economic and political traits as well as land expropriation rather than just a historic review or a fear of  single clan dominance.  In addition to what A. A. Warsame talked about in his writing, the politics of land expropriation has been utilized since Post-Independent regimes and is still quite favorable option for so many Somali political elites.  Both Hawiye and Daarood clans compete for the control and domination of the inter-reverine region (Mukhtar and Kusow 1993:2)[ii]. And most of the clannish wars were concentrated in the Southern parts of the country, which inhabitants of those most fertile part of the country became the majority victims of these wars, (Abdulahi A. Osman: 2007)[iii]. Moreover, former despotic regime adopted the so-called 'resettlement scheme of 1973-1974' by transplanting over  100, 000 Pastoralists in Lower Shabelle and Middle Juba Valleys.  The three sites-chosen - Kunturwaray, Sablale and Dujuma; are the most fertile parts in the inter-reverine region. (M. Haji Mukhtar:  1996)[iv]. Nevertheless, the attempt to expel the indigenous population did not stop there. At the climax of the civil war, warlords and the successive authorities similarly implemented same tactics by defeating the former occupier while in other cases un-holly alliances under unjustifiable banners were the instrument.  It was just on 26 of November when Community Elders from Lower Shabelle met under a tree in No. 50 neighborhood denouncing the repeated wars in the region[v] that sorry to say the Somali Army got implicated.  For those people, they are defenseless against the strong; organized and armed groups periodically exploiting in the name of government. Their defense point should be just a devolution of power that guarantees indispensable right of their land. Needless to say Somali Federal Government (SFG) has also seemed unwilling to adopt a durable and reconciled strategy for the renewed aggressive ambition for the control of that region by some of its associates despite paying several trips to the region.

Furthermore, the argument for Federation goes beyond land issue. As A. A. Warsame also elaborated, the resource allocation, power distribution, wealth opportunities, revenue sharing you name it; all have been desperately abused at the expense of the  majority whose livelihood has been shattered. The State was seen as an instrument of accumulation and domination, enriching and empowering those who control it and exploiting and oppressing the rest, (Marco Zoppi, Nov 2013)[vi]. The trajectory of the abuse of the State Institutions never stopped in Somali politics not because of ignorance but because of Bedouin. Pseudo-politicians use it as instrument to suppress others they regard as rivalries. Astonishingly, to this current government over 50 percent of Director Generals for the ministries belong to a single clan. And in the same way, almost all of the Senior Managerial positions of the State is run by one clan who hold unequivocal power to all significant decisions that impact the lives of hundreds of Somalis. Bureaucratic offices like Civil Aviation General Manager, Port Authority, Airport Manager, Chamber of Commerce, Solicitor General, Accountant General, Disaster Management Agency, Immigration and Naturalization Department as well as National Independent Commissions like National Reconciliation Commission and National Civil Service Commission (NCSC) are all dominated by only one clan. Equally from 1960 to 1990, there were 26 governments that nominated a total of 567 posts. Only 31 of these were allocated to Digil and Mirifle clan compared to 216 posts to  Daarood, 125 posts to Hawiye and 102 to Isaaq, (Abdullahi A. Osman: 2007)[vii].

As this  sort of political domination is still prerequisite in the contemporary Somali politics and is likely to continue for the foreseeable generation; the only viable solution for the Somali nation must be a genuine devolution of power. Federalism shall accomplish the task of preserving national unity through the distribution of powers and sovereignty between the central state and the autonomous territorial entities operating within it. It shall ensure the peaceful coexistence of peoples, while recognizing their diversity. (Marco Zoppi: Nov 2013)[viii].

Abdulkadir Suleiman
Political Analyst

End Notes

[i]  Hiiraan Online, "Can Somalia be federated?", Abdurahman Abdishakur Warsame,
[ii] Mukhtar, Mohamed H. & Kusow, Abdi, 'A visiting Mission Report: Bottom-up Approach in Reconciliation in the Inter-river Regions of Somalia', August 18 - Sep 23, 1993 or
Mukhar, Mohamed H. 'The plight of Agro-pastoral Society of Somalia', Review of African Political Economy, Vol. 23, Issue 70, P544,  (December, 1996),
[iii] Abdulahi A. Osman, 'Cultural Diversity and the Somali Conflict: Myth or Reality?', African Journal on Conflict Resolution, Vol. 7, No. 2, P98, (2007),
[iv] Mukhar, Mohamed H. 'The plight of Agro-pastoral Society of Somalia', Review of African Political Economy, Vol.   23, Issue 70, P550,  (December, 1996)
[vi] Wardheer News, "Federalism: A valid Instrument For Reconciliation in Somalia", Marco Zoppi,
[vii] Abdulahi A. Osman, 'Cultural Diversity and the Somali Conflict: Myth or Reality?', African Journal on Conflict Resolution, Vol. 7, No. 2, P104, (2007),
[viii] Wardheer News, "Federalism: A valid Instrument For Reconciliation in Somalia", Marco Zoppi,

"Didiinglay dhamaateih"

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Isfahamka Jubooyinka: Ku-qabso ku-qadi mayside

Iyadoo hardanka Kismaayo soo bilowday tan iyo markii huwanta isbahaysatay ee Dowladda,Maleeshiyaadka  Raskamboni iyo Ciidanka Kenya ay qabsadeen bishii September 2012, ayaa waxa ay soo martay marxalado kala duwan oo hadana qalifsan. Dagaalo u-jeedo  badan lehna waa ay ka dhaceen. Koox uu hogaamiyo Barre Hiiraale oo qayb ka ahaa Dagaallada u-jeedada badnaa waa laga adkaaday oo Magaalada Kismaayo daafaheeda ayuu saldhigtay. U jeedadii uu dagaalka u galay lama xalin lagamana doodin. Dabcan wali waa uu gadoodsanyahay oo waxa uu soo wado Rabbi ayaa og. Waxaa sidoo kale baroorsan Qabaa’ilo trio badan oo Degaannada Jubooyinka u degaan sheegta oo taariikhduna qirayso in Gobolladaan ay deganaayeen tan iyo markii Soomalidu u soo hayaantay gayyiga ay maanta degantahay.

Sida ku xusan Buugga uu qoray Prof.  Cabdalla Mansuur, “Taariikhda iyo Luuqadda Bulshada Soomaaliyeed”; Boggiisa 185, qabaa’illadaan waxay soo degaan dhulkaan intii u dhaxaysay Qarnigii 17aad – 18aad. Sidoo kale waa Qabiilka kaliya ee Soomaali oo dega degaan dherarsan oo isku xiran; si ka duwan Qabaai’llada kale ee Soomaaliyeed.  Qabaa’illada Ab’gaaga (Indigenous) ee dega dhulkaan waxay dherarsanyihin si aan kala go’ lahayn laga bilaabo Doolow ilaa iyo agagaarka Af-Madow.  Nasiib darro-se waxay noqotay in tixin gelin Siyaasadeed ay waayeen oo la duudsiyo lana inkiro xaqii ay dhulkooda ku lahaayeen.

Sababta keentayna ay tahay oo kaliya in aysan ‘Indho-adeeg’ wax ku raadsan, kuna duulin dhul kale iyagu aanu lahayn.

Iyadoo ay xaqiiqdaa jirto ayaa hadana Dowlladda Soomaaliyeed waxaa ay doorbiday in ay xal Siyaasadeed la gasho cidda codkeedu dheereeyo ileen waa tii Soomaaliduba ku Maah maahatee, ‘Hooyadu waxay marwalba horumarisaa cunnugga oohinta dheer’, marka ay cuntadu qaybinayso. Sidaa si la mid ah ayaa Xukuumaduna ugu fiirisay in ninka durriinka badan leh xal deg deg ah lala gaaro, si ay iyaduna warbixinta ugu darsato in Guulo la taaban karo ka  gaartay Siyaasadda Arrimaha Gudaha madaama Sannad uu gabo-gebo u yahay;  iyadoo inta badan lugu dhaliiili jiray in Arrimaha Gudaha aan waxbadan uga qabsoomin.

Sidaa darteed Dowlladu ma xaq-doon baa mise Xal raadis?

Hadii Xukummadu ay ku doodo in ay xal raadis tahay; waxaa laga-maarmaan noqon doonta in dhabbadii hadda uu soo maray Maamulkii ay heshiiska la gashay ay qolo kale u soo tafa-xaydan doonaan oo gacan saar siyaasadeed la yeelan doonaan wadan ka mid ah waddamada inta badan daneeya isbed-bedelka Siyaasadeed ee Soomaalida. Amaba koox cusub oo xil-doon ah ka soo dhex bixi doonaan kuwa heshiiska lala-galay dabadeedna aragti cusub la yimaadaan, waa sidii lugu bartay Siyaasadda Soomaalida mudooyinkii u dambeeyay. Dowlladdu markaa maxay samayn doontaa?

Xaqqa iyo Xalkuba waxaa uu ku jiray in Madaxawayne Xasan Sheikh uu tadhbiiqiyo Cilmi Baarisyadii uu ku sameeyay  Dadka iyo Degaannada Soomaaliyeed ka hor inta uusan Madaxwayne loo caleemo saarin, taas oo ku-filnaan kartay, qanicinna kartay koox walba oo dood Siyaasadeed u duuban.

Siyaasad gudaheedka Xukummadda uu hogaamiyo Madaxwaye Xasan Sheikh waxay u muuqataa mid aan hurayn in is-bedel iyo dib-u-eegis wadiiqo badan leh lugu sameeyo. Sababtoo ah Gobol walba hindise ka duwan kan dowladda ayaa ka guuxaaya, durriin iyo eeg sheegad badan baa la isla dhexmarayaa.
Sidaa darteed si ay Dowlladu gaarto ugana dhabayso himilooyinka ay tiigsanayso inta ay xafiiska haynayso waa in ay xoogga saarta, xaqiijisanna hergelinta Lixda Tiir uu Madaxwaynu ku dhawaaqay ka dib markii uu ku guulaystay Xafiiska. Lixda Tiir dhaqan-gelintooda iyo u turjumaadooda si waafaqsan aragtida dadka degaannada ayaa shaafin karta baroorta ka yeeraysa Gobollada qaar ee Dalka.

Abdulkadir Suleiman

Political Analyst

"Didiinglay dhamaateih"