Thursday, July 3, 2014

The agreement of South West State in Somalia is illegal, immoral and unconstitutional

by Hassan Farah               
Wednesday, July 2, 2014
This article argues that the agreement of South West State of Somalia is illegal, immoral and unconstitutional. During the process leading to the agreement on 23 June, the President of Somalia deliberately misled SW6, Shabelle State and Hawiye politicians, as he couldn’t defend his decisions in front of them. Hon Sharif Hassan and Minister Farah Abdulkadir were the mastermind of the agreement and that is why the President was too afraid to sell the agreement to SW6 and Hawiye politicians. Other key players in the agreement were Ethiopia, IGAD, UNSOM and EU as they have been for the last two years promoting the interest of Ogaden & Majeerteen clans in the pretext of Federalism, and that is why Ambassador Affey was too quick to make direct threats to SW6, Shabelle State & Hawiye Politicians, as he said that they are similar to Al-Shabaab during the ceremony of the agreement.

On 23 June 2014 Mohamed Haji Abdinur (Madeer) on behalf of the 3 regions of South West State (Bay, Bakol & Gedo) and Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim (Gesey) on behalf of the 6 regions of South West State (Bay, Bakol, Gedo, Middle Jubba, Lower Jubba, andLower Shabelle) signed an agreement to form an Interim South West State of Somalia, in the presence of the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the Speaker of the Parliament, H.E. Mohamed Shiekh Osman (Jawaari), the Prime Minister, H.E. Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, and Representatives from UN, EU, IGAD, and Ethiopia,

The agreement of the formation of South West State in Somalia is illegal, immoral and against the constitution for the following reasons:
1.     The Provisional Constitution of Somalia clearly states that two regions or more can establish federal units, however, the process has to be voluntary and there must be two regions or more that has administrations that can truly represent the people in the area. The agreement of the formation of SW3 State is against the constitution and therefore, has no legal basis to represent or have the legitimacy of the people in the area.
2.     Leaders of the country were fully well aware that Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim (Gesey) didn’t have the legitimacy to represent SW6, as the President of SW6 Madobe Nunow sacked him a day before the signing of the agreement. This is immoral from the part of Somali leaders and the international communities that were present at the ceremony, as they partly signed the agreement.
3.     The agreement is illegal as the people in the area were not consulted. The people in Lower Shabelle already decided their destiny and formed Shabelle State of Somalia voluntarily.
4.     The two signatories of the agreement are the same clan (sub clan of Mirifle, Hadame & Leesaan) and this gives them a mandate and authority while ignoring other clans in the area who were not giving an opportunity to be represented in the agreement. Another word, Somali leaders and the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN, the EU Ambassador, Ethiopian Ambassador, IGAD Special Envoy to Somalia and all present ignored the call from other clans and deliberately decided to give the mandate to one clan.
5.     The SW6 President, H.E. Madobe Nunow immediately rejected the agreement and said that no one from SW6 was legitimately representing them in the agreement.
6.     The people in Baidoa city immediately rejected the agreement.
7.     Minister of Interior & Federalism, H.E. Abdullahi Godah Barre spoke to VOA and BBC and stated that the agreement is unconstitutional and that the Ministry of Interior wasn’t aware of the agreement. The Ministry of Interior has the mandate to all issues of Federalism in Somalia and this shows that the Federal Government of Somalia is acting in a manner that undermines the institutional development of Somalia.
What angered most of Somalis is the statement made by Ambassador Abdi Affey, the IGAD Special Envoy to Somalia as he said that anyone against the agreement is similar to Al-Shabaab and that we all need to confront them as Al-Shabaab. Ambassador Afey, a Somali Kenyan who knows very well the culture and the sensitivity of the clan dimensions in Somalia should have avoided to make such statement that really damaged his credibility amongst Somalis and that of IGAD. He was well aware that Madobe Nunow and SW6 supporters and Shabelle State were against the agreement as well as elites and politicians from Hawiye clan. Since Ambassdor Afrey is from Ogaden clan his statement was interpreted as saying that Hawiye clan and SW6 supporters are Al-Shabaab. Someone who is a diplomat should have been very cautious on his feelings and emotions in particular when making public statements.
Most of MPs were against the agreement as they felt that there was no consultation with them as they represent the people of Somalia. In particular MPs from Bay, Bakol and Lower Shabelle were not giving the opportunity to take part the process, therefore, this is contrary to the institutional building of Somalia. Some of the MPs made public statement such as Hon Adan Madobe and others. Hon Abdukadir Ossoble Ali, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs & International Relations, on 30 June 2014 wrote an OpEd which was published onwww.dalsanradio.com said “Unfortunately, there is a growing sense among the Somalia people that the newly signed agreement would disenfranchise communities and create unnecessary conflicts. Ignoring the concerns and grievance of the people proved to be a tool for extremism and is not only dangerous to the stability of Somalia but to the region and the whole world.”

Is Federalism the problem in Somalia?
The issue of Federalism in Somalia needs to be reviewed and re-evaluated. The discussion and the debate have not started yet. The Government has not finalized the legal framework of the implementation of Federalism in Somalia or the power/political/resource sharing, yet people are trying to re-group through clan lines in order to have the dominance in the area. What we have seen so far is clan federalism which will create more divisions, conflicts and chaos. Let us look at the Jubbaland Administration; Ogaden felt that they will not get the biggest share of the cake if there was a due process that will bring all communities on board. Therefore, their best option was to take advantage of the current mayhem, Kenya, Ehtiopia, and EU involvement. It is a fact that if people were giving the opportunity to elect their leaders there is no way that they would have elected Ahmed Madobe. In addition to this, Ahmed Madobe even couldn’t trust the so called constituency assembly in Kismayo and he rushed to the election of the leader while other presidential candidates were outside of the hall. That gave him the only opportunity and chance with the support of Kenya and IGAD to become the leader. Without Kenya and IGAD involvement he wouldn’t have been chosen as the leader of Jubbaland. In addition, Puntland supported Jubbaland hugely because they felt that in order for Darod clans to get the dominance in the area, it is absolutely essential to support Ahmed Madobe to be the leader. Another example is that why Digil & Mirifle are whole heartedly supporting the 6 regions of South West? It is simple that they want the dominance in the 6 regions and they belief that their clan is the majority of all in the 6 regions.

Hon Abdulkadir Ossoble Ali, speaking on the issue of Federalsm said “The 'federalism' issue is a very controversial to say the least and there are supporters as well as oppositions of the whole concept. Both sides are Somalis and deserve to be given space to deliberate. The role of the government is that of creating a processes and debates among the people so that they are comfortable with the concept and the formation of the institutions that represent them. There is serious opposition to the formation of the southwestern state.”

What kind of federal system is appropriate for Somalia needs to be debates and discussed widely. At the moment people believe that Majeerteen is leading the process as they believe that the only way they can get dominance in Somalia is through federalism. No system is better than other, provided that the implementation of that system is fair and just. The issue of two regions and more need to be reviewed. Some regions have more populations compared to others, for example Mogadishu has population of more than 2.5 million, and Majeerteen wants Mogadishu not to be included in the federal units. So, how do people in Mogadishu feel about this and that is why they are against federal system. May be one of the options is to consider population when deciding federal system, for example one million people is the minimum requirements to becoming federal unit in Somalia.  

The weak leadership of the President of Somalia is responsible for all the ills and problems that exist in Somalia?
In my previous article entitled “A Wake up Call to the President of Somalia” I said that the President of Somalia gave green lights to SW6, SW3 and Shabelle State groups, which really shows that either he is doing deliberately to create more problems so that he can think of getting an extension period after 2016, or he is trying to use divide and rule tactics to keep all sides happy for his own seat. What creates more confusing and makes clear on the weak leadership of the President is that on 21 June, Shabelle State, SW6 and Hawiye politicians spoke to him and raised their concern of the planed agreement on SW3, on the eve of the agreement, and the President told them that he is unaware of the agreement and that nothing will happen. An MP that I spoke to then said to him will you attend if the PM goes ahead with the agreement? and he replied and said definitely not, I will not attend.  Hours before telling this to politicians including ministers, the President spoke to the PM who was at the time in Nairobi and asked him to return quickly so that he will organize the ceremony of the signing of the agreement of SW3.
The PM came back the next day on 22nd June, hoping that all is good as the President was happy with the agreement. For some reason due to the pressure from Hawiye politicians the agreement was postponed on that date. The Prime Minister and the Speaker spoke to the President and they raised the issue of Hawiye and he told them to continue the agreement and that he will sort the Hawiye issue. Next day, 23 June the ceremony took place in Villa Somalia where all the three leaders plus the usual suspects from the international community (the EU, UNSOM, IGAD, Ethiopia) were present to witness the agreement between the two factions of the SW6 and SW3. The President attends despite him giving assurances to Hawiye and SW6 politicians that he is not aware of the agreement and that he will not attend. After the agreement he met Hawiye politicians and he told them that he received pressure from the International Community. The weak leadership of the President is why the country is not moving forward.
The Prime Minsiter, H.E. Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed had a meeting with Hawiye politicians and he told them that the President pressured him. The PM told them that the President told him not to worry Hawiye as he will sort out with them. The PM said that he thought that the President spoke to Hawiye politicians. The PM also said to Hawiye politicians that he will go with them to the President and stated all this in front of the President.
Why on earth the EU and UNSOM are promoting the interest of Ethiopia and Kenya?
If the President’s claim of the pressure is true, then why on earth the international community is putting pressure and why they are not supporting the will of the people? In my previous article entitled “Why UN and West are against the promotion of democratic process in Somalia?” I gave examples where the UN and the West ignored the wishes of the people, but instead approached their own interest of implementing federalism without due regard to the wishes of the people. So the question is why they are supporting Kenya and Ethiopia’s interest rather than the interest of the Somali people? Every action that they did so far proves that they support the interest of Ethiopia and Kenya. SW3 agreement, even Khalif convinced Ambassador D’Urso Cervone to ask Lady Ashton’s spokesperson to issue statement in support of SW3 agreement. I am not sure if Lady Ashton was aware of the surrounding of this issue before approving the statement that really questions the credibility of EU Somalia unit.
Jamal Osman in his article “Who should govern Somalia? Somalis or the UN?” provides some of the answers, as Jamal Osman said “Mr Kay is seen as the most powerful man in the country. He is accused of undermining the government, siding with Somalia’s archenemies, Ethiopia and Kenya, blackmailing and threatening those who oppose him, including the president, and generally using divide-and-rule tactics.” The fact of the matter is that Ethiopia and in particular General Gabre is the one who engineers all of this by getting closer to Farah Abdulkadir, who convinces the President.
Mohamud M. Uluso, in his article entitled “Somalia: IGAD, UN and EU ousted President Hassan.” Which was published on www.hiiraan.com argues that IGAD, EU and UN are running Somalia. He also claims that their involvement in Somalia is a serious setback for Somalia’s state-building and peace-building. He wrote “the Joint Statement responds to the lingering question raised long time ago by Mary Harper, BBC reporter, “Who runs Somalia?” The simple answer is “IGAD, EU, and UN” are running Somalia.” I would add to this that the man who is really in charge is Farah Abdulkadir via Gabre through IGAD, EU Ethiopia and UNSOM.
Who were the architects of the SW3 agreement?
The architect number one of the agreement between SW3 and SW6 is the former Speaker of the previous parliament, Hon Sharif Hassan Sheikh Aden. Number two of the architect is Minister Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir and number 3 is Genral Gabre of Ethiopia, and number 4 is Ambassador Affey and while IGAD, UNSOM and EU are number 5. So, where is the leadership of the Federal Government? No one knows, perhaps since Farah Abdulkadir is there he can represent the President. Sharif Hassan got the green light from Ethiopia and IGAD for the creation of the SW3. Sharif Hassan firstly installed his half brother from the mother’s side to become the President of SW6, and then he put pressure to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to declare publicly that the government supports the SW3.
The government then started reconciliation between the two groups of SW6 and SW3. President Madobe Nunow of the SW6 and the President of the SW3 came to Mogadishu to have talks with the government. While they were in Mogadishu, Hon Sharif Hassan came out a plan to get rid of Madobe Nunow and invited Abdifatah Mohamed Ibrahim (Gesey), his nephew to come to Mogadishu. When Gesey arrived in Mogadishu, Madobe Nunow felt that the Federal Government of Somalia undermined his authority so he got angry and left Mogadishu to Baidoa. Sharif Hassan did it deliberate to get rid of Madobe Nunow. Hon Sharif Hassan also pressured President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to allow Gesey to sign the agreement on behalf of SW6, as Hon Sharif Hassan argued that Gesey represents the majority clan of the Digil and Mirifle compared to Madobe Nunow.
Sharif Hassan become friendly with Farah Abdulkadir during the process and each time that the President opposes anything, then Sharif Hassan goes to meet Farah Abdulkadir, which in turn most of time succeeds to convince the President. So, literally Farah is in charge of the Federal Government of Somalia.
Conclusion
In conclusion, the agreement signed between SW6 and SW3 is illegal, immoral and against the provisional constitutions. There is no ownership or leadership from Somalis or the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), except Farah Abdulkadir. All we have witnessed and seen is the leadership of IGAD, Ethiopia, EU and UNSOM. IGAD Special Envoy to Somalia, Ambassador Affey spoke on behalf of this group during the ceremony of the agreement. Therefore, UNSOM and EU need to urgently review their policy towards federalism and against SW6 supporters and Hawiye interests. The IGAD Special Envoy to Somalia, the Secretary General of IGAD and the Speical Advisor to the EU Ambassador are all from Ogaden clan (Affey, Mahboub, and Khalif) and UNSOM Special Advisor is Nuradin Dirie from Majeerteen clan. Khalif is very extreme and lacks objectivity when it comes to clan interest. They are all working for narrow agenda and interest rather than the common interest of Somalia.   
“Who runs Somalia?” article by Mary Harper, BBC reporter, which Mr Uluso attempts to answer, he said “the simple answer is “IGAD, EU, and UN” are running Somalia.” I second to this but the real actor who is actually running Somalia is Farah Abdulkadir, as he is the only person that the President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud listens to and guess, he generates his ideas from Gabre and Khalif and comes back to the President and says the International Community wants this and that, which the President cannot ignore.
Somalis are very proud people and they will never tolerate outside interferences, but the current foreign interventionists (IGAD, Ethiopia, UNSOM and EU) has a lot to explain to Somalis about their reasons of supporting Kenya and Ethiopia’s agenda towards Somalia by pushing the federalism agenda very hard. Therefore, the best way to solve the current SW6, SW3 and Shabelle State of Somalia is to hold a genuine reconciliation process amongst all communities living in the area, while the government finalizes the legality of the formation of federal units in Somalia.
I conclude this article a quote from Mohamud M. Uluso and let us hope IGAD, UN and EU will review their policies and strategies towards Somalia.
Mohamud M. Uluso said “The fact remains that the issues of federalism, constitution, and political elections are beyond the exclusive responsibilities of the executive, parliament, and presidency of the federal government and less of the international actors. These national issues belong to the realm of dialogue and negotiations among Somali stakeholders, legitimate representatives of all segments of the Somali society with authority and accountability.”


Hassan Farah



Source: Hiiraan Online

"Didiinglay dhamaateih"

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Laws of diplomacy and attitudes of stronger Countries

The core of International Law is respect for the rights of diplomats. The standard behaviors of States in this area were well spelled out in details, applied universally and taken seriously. Since, the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations and the Vienna Convention on Consular relations in 1961 and 1963 respectively, it has been considered unjustifiable to harm an emissary sent from another state. The status of embassies and of an ambassador as an official state representative is explicitly defined in the process of diplomatic recognition. Once they are accredited, the individual enjoys immunities and privileges as a foreign diplomat in the host country.  

An attack on diplomats or embassies is legitimately considered as an attack on the territory of the state itself. For this reason explains why Iraq couldn't confiscate the premises of US embassy in Kuwait in 1991 after Saddam Hussein claimed that Kuwait as a state no longer exists, though Iraq's forces could easily overrun the facility. On the ground of embassy, rules and laws of the sending state of emissary apply not the receiving state's laws.

Nevertheless, stronger countries can sometimes abuse diplomatic rules by punishing diplomats from weaker countries because the stronger has the instruments and the resources to manipulate the weaker, and its where the moral values of foreign policy is ridiculed. Neorealist paradigm emphasizes the survival of the fittest as many foreign policy makers embrace the adoption of that model as a choice in foreign relations.  In 1997 France persecuted a diplomat from Zaire for reckless driving. In 2011 a US diplomat Raymond Davis employed at US Consular in Lahor was arrested by Pakistani law enforcements criminally charged him with double murder, however, US government erroneously threatened Pakistani government not to persecute the diplomat because of his diplomatic immunity. President Brack Obama said about the incident; 'there's a broader principal at stake I think we have to uphold'.  Despite the fact that the Pakistani Law practitioners argued that grave crimes have no protection under the diplomatic conventions that underlines article 41 (1) of the Vienna Conventions on Consular relations; 'Consular officers shall not be liable to arrest or detention pending trial, except in the case of gave crime and pursuant to a decision by the competent judicial authority', yet he was  released under the law of that Convention.  And in 2014 Kenya briefly detained Somali diplomat without giving proper accusation whether the diplomat abused the receiving state's principles of diplomatic engagement.  Subsequently, the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) in protest of Kenya's mistreatment has recalled its emissary in Nairobi for consultations which is the right approach for resolving diplomatic disputes.

From the perspective of Kenyan government, Somalia as a nation-state is currently extremely in turmoil and chaotic in the nature of its domestic and foreign policies. Leaders in Villa Somalia can easily be manipulated to accept demands without concessions from stronger country in the region like Kenya. Kenya also presumes that Somalia has not the capability (If it has the willingness) to pursue embargo of the imported commodities from its country.  It similarly, assumes that the country was torn apart by clan affiliated fiefdoms each claiming monopoly over certain piece of land. And each fiefdom is enthusiastically seeking mutual relationships with the neighboring countries by passing over the central government. So, in this regard Kenyan decision makers convinced that the Central authority of Somalia has no legitimate in the eyes of its regional entities. Further, Kenya rightly calculated that its Army are already in the territory of Somalia whom initially crossed the border without the consent of a Somali government, and unwillingly or unable no action taken by the later followed thereafter. So, Somalia is the weaker of the weakest state in the region.
By rationally implementing those polices, Kenya now takes further step by sending a Consulate-General to a region of Somalia which is contentious among many Somali communities.

So, what does the Vienna Convention on establishing of Consular Relations says? 

First and foremost, Kenyan government neither publically denied nor secretly liaised with the FGS for the opening of a Consular post in Jubba region of Somalia. However, the circumstances around this matter is not actually irrefutable for many reasons. First, Somali President H.E Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in a press conference at his office neither denied nor confirmed about the existence of the issue of the Consulate, but in other way underlined that his administration is investigating the issue. He further underscored that the Kenyan government didn't communicate with his government about any matter related to the consular district. Second, some Private owned Somali TVs showed pictures of Ahmed Madobe, leader of the Jubba Interim Administration receiving the Kenyan diplomats from Kismayo Airport. Third, a very informed MP from that region confirmed the author that the Consulate-General was demanded by the Administration of Jubba. He said; 'we asked for the Consulate'; (annaga ayaa dalbannay)! 

Whatever the rhetoric about the establishment of this Consular post is, there are rules to be followed by all states regardless of its army strength, wealth, size, prestigious or any other aspects of national characteristics. States must apply all the rules, norms and conducts of diplomatic business alike whether the country is stronger or weaker.
The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations says:
Article 2 (1),  'The establishment of consular relations between two states takes place by mutual consent';
And Article 4 (1), which is the establishment of consular post likewise says; 'A consular post may be established in the territory of the receiving state only with that State's consent'.
where Article 4 (2), emphasizes this instruction. 'The seat of the consular post, its classification and the consular district shall be established by the sending state and shall be subject to the approval of the receiving state'.

All the conventions and conferences concerning about promotion of friendly relations among states equally oblige countries to respect  Sovereign equality of States. For the maintenance of regional and International peace and security, States are widely expected  to interject  foreign policies based on moral values. 

By: Abdulkadir Suleiman

sabriye04@gmail.com 




"Didiinglay dhamaateih"

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
sabriye04@gmail.com 





"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
sabriye04@gmail.com

End Notes



[i]  Hiiraan Online, "Can Somalia be federated?", Abdurahman Abdishakur Warsame,  http://www.hiiraan.com/op4/2013/nov/52139/can_somalia_be_federated.aspx
[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), http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/03056249608704222#.UqNTyfSTzwg
[iii] Abdulahi A. Osman, 'Cultural Diversity and the Somali Conflict: Myth or Reality?', African Journal on Conflict Resolution, Vol. 7, No. 2, P98, (2007),  http://www.ajol.info/index.php/ajcr/article/view/39412
[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, http://www.wardheernews.com/federalism-valid-instrument-reconciliation-somalia/
[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, http://www.wardheernews.com/federalism-valid-instrument-reconciliation-somalia/



"Didiinglay dhamaateih"