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Somali Federalism: Far easier Middle Shabelle to rejoin Banaadir than to join Hiiraan?

by Mohamed Isse Mudey
Sunday, November 02, 2014

Starting a side note for facts of federalism that we should all know:

Federalism would be defined as form of government in which a sovereignty is  constitutionally divided between a the governing authority (the central government), and and constituent political units (like states or provinces). With that in mind,

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Somalia has never, I repeat never, had a system of governance called 'federalism'. This is an obvious arrangement that was imposed on Somalia- therefore meaning federalism is something came from outside of our country. This was established ithout considering its impact in the future, and not meant to provide any gain for us what so ever, and most of the Somali population have no knowledge or monetary resources to determine what federalism really is.

My entire article does not aim to define federalism or make an interpretation on it, assuming everyone generally knows what it is. But rather my objective is to elaborate upon a way to make the three regions left federalized with a least amount of disagreement as possible. Now, as long as our country Somalia is pressured to keep federalism in it's place, the Somali government would have to create it without disagreements and disputes are prevented from happening. The few existing regional administrations and the ones that are going to be established in the future are the parties the government should try to keep the peace between. Along with this priority should also be the smooth transition of joining several regions together.

Closely examining how current regions had joined the federalist system, the ones that are presently in place are most likely going back to the eight former regions, except a few misplaced ones. Now, there are only three provinces left that have not adopted federalism to their system -Banaadir, Middle Shabelle and Hiiraan. The best way to close the cases of these provinces would be to rejoin Middle Shabelle to Banaadir, like it was in 1960. It would not take long to adopt, nor would it cause much uproar compared to if Middle Shabelle was federated to Banaadir. If this would work, then some of the districts in Mogadishu (the six or seven of them) would be part of our main capital region of Somalia. The other ones left would join Middle Shabelle. It would be more efficient time-wise and productive as a whole all together. Having said that, Banaadir was divided into three regions- Banaadir, Shabelllada Hoose and Shabellada Dhexe. To be fair, if Banaadir and Middle Shabelle must join together, Banaadir would still be missing Lower Shabelle. However, we have an opportunity to rectify the mistakes we have made, such as the current status of the water wells (Ceelasha Biyaha) that were controlled by the south-west administrations. This is an unfortunate standing because it is My stand as my point was, at least should Middle Shabelle should be joined to Banaadir, both would from economic and population boom. Eonomically, Middle Shabelle are known for their agriculture, and their marine life, that would support Banadir, who are known for their airport and harbors and ports their sea. Banadir tax revenue isn't formal, nor it it official enough yet, so the joining would help. and their population is substantial as well.

But, if the Middle Shabelle was annexed to Hiiraan, than we would have extreme complications, and would also happen to be a war zone if things get too far. After all, we have experienced and seen what happened in Jubba and Lower Shabelle. Today, we have also seen the situation in Gaalkacyo as well. If we do annex both regions together, it would result in a similar or worse template scenarios to what happened to other regions. There were warning signs of discontent between the elders of both Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle as we have witnessed in the media before. The Middle Shabelle governing council set a press conference stating their dissatisfaction with being with Hiiraan. They also indicated that they would rather join Banadir instead of Hiiraan. The government should learn a lesson from what happened to Lower Shabelle and Jubba and the other places, and take precedent from that. In addition, today the form of federalism in Somalia is completely different the other world's image of federalism because the one we have is based on land, power sharing and resided demographics. Therefore, both regions will have have borderlines, including Jowhar, splitting it to two, being put a " Clan Border" which is dangerous, because it will simply result to feuds and disputes. This thinking of borderlines and such is very intricate, and is bound to create a clan-neighbor war. I think this scenario will be the most difficult scheme that the government will have to deal with. Because, there will be (possible) committee that will establish the lines and borders between clans and their regional administration, as well.

On the other hand, Hiiraan provides an argument that they survived standing alone and independent from other regions since colonization. From Somalia being broken up from six regions to eight, then from eight to eighteen regions, the regions have changed their names and their geographics as well. However, Hiiraan, never got disrupted from its position, and it never changed its name. This is a legitimate argument, as they have been standing alone since the independence of Somalia. Hiiraan region is one biggest supporters of the Somali government in our country, as I should also mention that two presidents were born in that region, his excellency (our first country president) Aden Abdulle Osman and our current president Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud. Another great politician, Sheikh Ali Jima'ale, who was candidate in 1960 accepted the results of the election without denial was also born in Hiiraan. There is a good set of evidence for this region's support in favor of the government after Mogadisho, Beledweyn- also considering that both of these cities have also had numerous Al Shabab attacks. It was in Beledwayne that one of the worst attack in the country had occurred, which's the one that happened on June 19, 2009 that was killed almost 70 people in one setting, including the former (AUN) TFG Minister of National Security Col. Omar Hashi Adan and Ambassador Abdikarin Farah Laqanyo. They were targeted for their national support

Throughout all this events Hiiraan has been through, former President  Shariif  Sheikh Ahmed signed a decree on July 23, 2012 stating the recognition of Upper Shabelle (click here to view that document).

From a legal standpoint, no one can simply ignore this decision that was signed by a president. If President Hassan does not follow through to this decree by the former president, he would have to issue a completely different decree that would take out this one. It would also have go come through the Parliament, as well. At the end the final decision is based on the law makers of Hiiraan and people of Hiiraan themselves to adopt or put it on veto.

Middle Shabelle can easily join Banaadir, but wouldn't do so with any other region, such as Hiiraan. This current government must use the best approach to resolving some of the issues that arise from the federalist system. This mostly due to the fact that the delegation that leaves to go to the host region aren't the always the right propositions, and that might be the same thinking at the end of the other table, too. In order to best work out the problems that we Somalis have with federalism today. with the provinces and states left that have not authorized federalism and its governing complex, we must first should improve our provisional constitution. It is the base of our whole establishment, along with all the decisions and decrees issued in the country, and it needs some amendments to fit our current situations and circumstances. Second, we need a group of trustworthy, patriotic, just individuals who should head or made judges in some sort of Supreme Court system, overlook our system and make the necessary verdicts, the best for our people and future. Somali people need to understand, negotiate and reconcile with one another. Somalia needs to format federalism for their own future and circumstances. As a people, we can no longer live in anarchy. It is time for true ethical justice. It is time for bold achievement and creativity. And it is time for honesty, both among and between people. It's time for reconciliation.

Mohamed Isse Mudey
[email protected]

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