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Putting People First: The Complexity of Hiran State Formation?

9 May 2016 (MCRS) The issue of Federalism was heatedly debated in Somalia’s Governance and Political arenas. The talk of federalism in Somalia goes back before our independence but the federal system of governance was enshrined in the draft constitution of Embaghati process which lastly produced this Government.  The formation of the federal member states of Jubaland, South-west and Gal-Mudug was unconstitutional, incompetent and tainted.  The Provisional Constitution mandates that two or more (pre-1991) regions join voluntarily to form a federal state. In this sense none of the aforementioned states joined voluntarily while one of them is unconstitutional since 1.5 regions can’t form a federal state.

The Federal Government tried to finalize its corrupt and inept state formation process in Hiran and Middle Shabelle and president HSM along with ministerial delegations opened a state formation ceremony in Jowhar while elders and politicians from hiran region boycott over broken promises with the president and on that occasion a lots of people expected complexities surrounding the state’s formation process, given lack of consensus, mistrust and rivalry among clans in the two regions. A united Hiran Elders commission put forward 2 options which were the Facilitation of a Reconciliations Conference and partition of the region into: Hiiraan and Upper Shabelle and beyond that a possibility of a interregional state formation with Middle shabelle.

The government major responsibility is to serve the will of its people and in this sphere the Federal Government of Somalia failed to do in dividing and using its corrupt and poisonous skills to rule and dictate over its interest of rule and Leadership privileges.  This government took the policy of political repression in the military government which left Hiran region undivided and those lessons are in the due process still since the Mogadishu Government announces an illegitimate, ignorant and puppet governor to Hiran so as to assist the execution of its policies of the state formation and secondly it divided the Elders commission and refused to facilitate a reconciliation conference let alone talk about a endorsing the partition of Hiran region due to tribal rivalry and Political suppression among clans in the region. This show how immature and mistrustful is the government to its people.

Putting the Cart before the horse

It was Lincoln who said far more than a century in his “Gettysburg Address” in November of 1863, “Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth”. Our government though it is elected by selected parliamentarians through bribery should at least behave in manner and consider the needs of the people since its mandate is to serve for the people and similarly hear and heal the voices in a civilized and skilled way or take the continuity policy which will bring a havoc and disastrous failure to this Project. The Current trend of the government’s silence and lack of sacrifice for convincing the people raises some concern since the President’s tribe politically Controls Middle Shabelle region and many argue that the decree he had determined the host town of the state formation convention to be Jowhar is widely a nepotistic action,  tribal favoring, injustice and unconstitutional. The government is a deaf ear to all the options and voices from Hiran and in this case the government itself will be a cause of hostilities and conflict rather than a driver of peace, stability & Unity.

Way Forward:

There are alternatives and options that both the government and elders and international community can Pursue ahead to complete the stagnant process and end this game in a win-win phenomenon and I suggest the following steps:

  • Middle Shabelle should go with North Banaadir and South Banaadir can solely be reserved as the Capital of the Country.
  • Hiran Should be partitioned into two regions or it can stand alone without annexing it into other region since it has its own points of argument and either the government or the other stakeholders aren’t ready to convince on this case.
  • The government should agree in Participating the reconciliation conference in beletweine and as well come into appropriate terms on solving the remaining issues such as partitioning hiran region and consulting with the people all of the things regarding the state formation.
  • The Intellectual wing from this regions are absent in the process which will determine their fate and it is disappointing to them not positively bringing initiative to make the process smooth and successful since their role can positively change thing and be influential.
  • Finally this process will take time and if we are truthful about it let the next government deals on the state formation and in this election a mechanism for political participation be developed and executed Whilst the process must continuous until coming into a common grounds about it.
  • The voices of the people from middle shabelle must be heard since their perception is the government will side with them but they rather should have their say on the debate.
  • Sacrifice is a noble word to add in the dictionary when working such a hot project and i will finally urge the government, elders and international community to sacrifice on a number of issues regarding state formation

Ahmed Roble is a writer, Researcher and Lecturer.

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