The newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud – a pioneer within the second time period?
Our honest congratulations to the newly elected President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the primary Somali President ever not directly elected for an additional time period. This is sort of an achievement in itself. We want him each success he wants on behalf of our nation. I’m positive he has the expertise he wants from his first time period, together with outcomes that his predecessor has given him, however loads extra must be labored on.
It must also be talked about that early in his presidency in 2012, Hassan Sheikh was nominated for the world’s 100 most influential folks by Time Magazine as a result of of “his ability and willingness to negotiate with four main clans and hundreds of sub-clans”. We ought to subsequently hope that every one these achievements will give him the momentum he must convey new and real hope to the nation. In his transient concession assertion, outgoing President Farmajo talked about how tough the Somali presidency is.
Sir. newly elected president, we hope you might be pioneering in your second time period and main the nation in a brand new route. The Somali elite has lengthy failed our nation deeply. Corrupt political leaders in any respect ranges as properly as malicious members of academia and the Somali diaspora – just about all of them failed our nation.
Despite progress in lots of areas lately, Somali folks stay as divided a society as ever in a fair extra fragmented nation. A serious problem, Mr President-elect, might be the right way to mitigate this fragmentation that affects all facets of our society. There are many elements to this, however complaints going again to the civil warfare after the collapse of the Somali state are amongst the numerous. These complaints ultimately led to long-standing and built-up distrust amongst Somalis.
Aside from the consequences of the state collapse, the Somali persons are distinctive within the sense that, paradoxically, we’re blessed and cursed at the identical time. We are technically a massive tribe known as Somali, with solely clan relationships in any respect ranges of our kinship. It is actually a blessing that Allah has bestowed upon us. To put Somalis in perspective, we’re e.g. analogous to the Kikuyu tribe in Kenya or Tigrayans in Ethiopia. Each of those teams consists of quite a lot of clans and sub-clans similar to Somalis. People in Somalia typically use the tribe loosely to intend clan. Members of a clan have a unilinear lineage, ie a typical father.
Our battle has thus proved to be the world’s solely main battle between clans and sub – clans. Our homogeneity has led to a clan-centered mindset that extended and even exacerbated the battle. Undoubtedly, a lot of the distrust comes from the Civil War, however we have now nearly turn out to be a society that’s so pleased with clan affiliation that it might nearly come on the expense of the whole lot else, even when it means such deep fragmentation in our society.
The holy mosques haven’t been spared both: in lots of locations within the Somali diaspora, battle alongside clan traces within the mosque’s management has turn out to be a each day prevalence. To the standard Somali, the idea of injustice is just the concern or the final word “humiliation” of 1’s clan by one other “rival” clan. We have been as soon as the true nation of Africa, which sadly continues to be on the hunt for a functioning state. As a outcome, we proceed to be a fragile, semi-failed state with a whole bunch of sub-clans combating for energy within the already notorious 4.5 method. In quick, we have now turn out to be the sick man in Africa. We hope that may change quickly, Mr President-elect.
You have additionally inherited a flawed provisional structure that should be revised earlier than it’s put to a nationwide referendum. Perhaps this might be an important single process. Before the present interim structure was drafted within the interval from 2002 to 2004 on the convention in Kenya, Somali teams started to talk about some type of decentralization of energy after the collapse of the state in Somalia. Before totally discussing and elaborating the sort of decentralization that suited Somalia, the convention’s conclusion resulted in a Transitional Charter for a Federal System, largely led by the warlords on the time with nice affect from neighboring international locations. One would possibly surprise why our neighboring international locations would fear about which governance mannequin we might select.
The inherently flawed articles of the Interim Constitution ought to be revised. For instance, Article 120 of the Interim Constitution permits Member States to have their very own legislative our bodies and constitutions. Article 121 requires that the constitutions of each entities (ie the Member States and the Federal Government) be harmonized as properly. In explicit, Article 121 appears to be each obscure and in opposition to the basic precept of twin sovereignty of federalism. One of the hallmarks of federalism is that states and the federal authorities are sovereign over one another with their respective legal guidelines. In the interim structure, nevertheless, it’s unclear what is supposed by harmonization of constitutions for each entities. If those that assist federalism in Somalia declare that we will undertake its twin sovereignty, then it ought to be examined whether or not state and federal legal guidelines are viable within the context of Somali society, as I briefly defined above.
Another mistake that ought to be revised is to handle the roles of the President and the Prime Minister. Looking at Somali society, it’s tough to fathom how federalism may match our nation. Somalis even appear to make use of federalism loosely to intend that it’s the solely different to the autocratic rule they’d skilled beneath Siyad Barre. But it’s right here that the leaders of the nation and the elite as an entire have did not make clear by explaining that decentralization merely doesn’t imply federalism. What led to the Civil War and the devastation we witnessed was a extremely centralized regime within the arms of a brutal dictator. An identical dictator in a federal system would most likely do the identical. Authoritarian rule isn’t a pure manner of governing a nation.
The sort of decentralization choices that may swimsuit Somalia must have been explored at these conferences. In retrospect, nevertheless, it is evident that the explanation many Somalis talked about a federal system because the answer was basically based mostly on a fairly poor evaluation of the nation’s authorities issues. Federalism solves governance issues apart from these present in Somalia. In reality, the overwhelming majority of the nation’s nation states have a totally different mannequin of decentralization administration than a federal one. There are largely two methods through which federations come up: a) Formerly sovereign entities that kind a federation (additionally known as coming collectively). This is how most unions got here into being, reminiscent of these within the United States, Canada. b) Countries with already functioning governments and with totally different teams in search of recognition turn out to be alliances (additionally known as holding collectively), for instance Belgium and Ethiopia. Moreover, federalism is one mannequin in a set of multilevel governance fashions. Perhaps, Mr President-elect, a nationwide fee ought to be arrange, together with inclusive Somali consultants on the topic, which can look at the interim structure earlier than a referendum.
Dimensions of decentralization
For the revision of the Interim Constitution, varied dimensions of decentralization could also be thought-about. These embrace political, administrative and monetary dimensions. Each offers with a particular facet of decentralization. The International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance concluded in a report on decentralization for the Middle East and North Africa a number of advantages of decentralizing energy on this area. Here are among the advantages talked about within the report:
• Improving service – decentralization permits native governments to tailor providers to native wants and make coverage decisions with out central authorities approval.
• Addressing the neglect of marginalized areas by establishing native authorities constructions able to representing native wants and finally selling the allocation of public sources to areas in want, which in flip promotes improvement on the native degree .
• Promoting citizenship by means of better accountability, increasing civic participation, fragmenting central energy and selling political competitors.
• Preservation of nationwide unity and stability.
Without a doubt, the challenges that await you, Mr President-elect, are huge. The first process, nevertheless, might be to nominate a primary minister, who in flip elects a reliable and selfless cupboard. One of the qualities of and visionary chief is to construct a workforce that’s skilled and competent. As the chief of the nation, we hope and anticipate that you just too will construct bridges between Somalis. It’s additionally time for a brand new management model. You tirelessly should take the above issues to the Somali folks in all areas of the nation, even in the shape of city corridor conferences to catch up with to them. It is a technique to construct and win the hearts of the folks in order that they’ll have the boldness wanted for his or her authorities.
The nation has had sufficient of leaders who typically appear to converse abstractly, with no contact with actuality and solely egocentric. To paraphrase John F. Kennedy, you’ve to problem Somalis to not ask what their area or their clan members didn’t get, to ask what collectively we will do to re-establish the Somali state. You should additionally remind Somalis how distinctive we’re, each as homogeneous folks and as individuals with a strategically situated nation. There is good enough area for everybody.
For the sake of our nation, we want you good luck.
Omar M. Jama (Xiirey)