by Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow)
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
I read your article entitled “Somali government officials misread IGAD's recommendation over the Jubbaland conflict” with great interest. However, I found no evidence to support your claims. Federal Government Officials have only affirmed the facts of the IGAD Communiqué.
The Communiqué clearly states the following:
- Commends the successful fact finding and confidence building mission led by H.E Amb.(Eng.) Mahboub M. Maalim;
- Endorses and adopts the report of the fact finding and confidence building mission to Mogadishu and Kismayo;
- Notes with satisfaction the agreement of all stakeholders to respect the provisional constitution, to accept the government leadership, to conduct the process in an all inclusive manner, the need for IGAD’s supportive role and conduct the process in a way that helps the fight against Al-Shabaab;
- Urges that the Federal Government of Somalia should timely convene and lead a reconciliation conference with the support of IGAD while consulting key stakeholders in the Juba Regions with a view to chart out a roadmap on the establishment of interim administration and formation of a permanent regional administration in accordance with the Provisional Constitution with IGAD playing a supporting role;
For the benefit of all readers here is the IGAD Communiqué as published by the Hiiraan website
As you can see from point four (4), it is clear that all IGAD Heads of States and Governments agreed for the Federal Government of Somalia to hold a reconciliation conference with a view to establish an interim administration in the area.
Your article states that “Since Jubbaland officials accepted all the recommendations by the IGAD committee, Somali government officials should likewise accept all the recommendations as indicated in the statement presented in the Addis Ababa meeting instead of misleading the public by presenting their own interpretation of the statement.”
You should be aware that Somalia was represented at the IGAD Summit by the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and the IGAD recommendations were favored by all member states including Somalia.
Furthermore, the President, in his speech to the summit before the communiqué was agreed, remarked that the Federal Government welcomed the IGAD mission report which presented the situation in Kismayo to IGAD Heads of States and ultimately led to the final communiqué. This speech was published on the day as you can see from this link http://sunatimes.com/view.php?id=2706
We should therefore leave it to the readers to judge whether they are being mis-lead in any way?
In fact, however, the Federal Government of Somalia has been entirely consistent in its position on Federalism within Somalia and the formation of Federal States.
The Federal Government has sent several delegations to Kismayo in order to engage with conference organizers and make clear that the Conference was required to have the lead of the Government, and that all processes should be inclusive and in line with the provisional constitution. The Prime Minister himself has even attended.
However, the process in Kismayo was done against the spirit of the constitution, without Government involvement, lacked inclusivity and played into the hands of Al-Shabaab.
The Federal Government still believes the way forward is through dialogue and genuine reconciliation among Somalis and the need for all to respect the provisional constitution, which under Article 49, says this:
“Article 49. The Number and Boundaries of the Federal Member States and Districts.
(1) The number and boundaries of the Federal Member States shall be determined by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
(2) The House of the People of the Federal Parliament, before determining the number and boundaries of the Federal Member States, shall nominate a national commission, which shall study the issue, and submit a report of its findings with recommendations to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
(3) The nomination of the commission referred to in Clause 2 shall be preceded by the enactment of a law by the House of the People of the Federal Parliament,”
As you can see, therefore, it is the responsibility of the Parliament to enact the laws that will govern federalism in Somalia. And this is exactly the position of the Government – that we must lay all the legal foundations before establishing Federal units. After all, it is the Federal Government of Somalia that is mandated to represent the people of Somalia and to carry out all the functions of the State.
Our mandated government institutions legitimately represent the people of Somalia and lead all constitutional affairs of the nation, including the formation of local and regional administrations. It is time that we all unite behind the Government and follow the process laid down by the provisional constitution.
We all want the resumption of a stable and representative government at all levels of society. But the way we achieve it matters greatly to the long-term reconciliation in our country.
Somalia is for Somalis and the solution will come from Somalis. The more we move towards unity and respect for our laws, the more we move towards rebuilding our beloved nation. We must not fragment or return to the old era of chaos.
As Senior Advisor & Spokesperson, I hope that I have clarified the position of the President and the Federal Government on the subject matter and humbly encourage all commentators to accurately portray the facts when writing in the media.
Abdirahman Omar Osman (Eng. Yarisow)
Senior Advisor & Spokesperson
Office of the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia