by Mohamed Bakayr
Saturday, March 30, 2013
With the advent of Somalia’s new federalism, Somalis should be allowed to put their regions in order and govern themselves, or else the country will revisit another dictatorship era.
In the eyes of many people, Prime Minster Saacid’s visit to kismayo is anything but a sincere one, partly because his statements concerning what he saw in Kismayo and his decisions do not match and are in total disagreement.
Kismayo is where the embattled “Jubbland Process” is taking place. The Prime Minster visited the town and set foot on where the Jubbaland process is currently taking place. But it appears that he felt threatened when he saw all that big numbers of Somali elder delegates hailing from Somali clans, willing to fulfill their desire.
The Jubbaland process is aimed at creating a “Jubbaland State” consisting of three regions: Lower Jubba, Gedo and Middle Jubba. In fact, Somalia’s new federal constitution points out that any two or more regions, based on their will, can form a federal state, which is accountable to the country’s central government; and the Jubbaland’s process stems from this legality. Furthermore, the process is not based on clannish ideologies, but is based on territories, meaning that all Somali clans that reside in the above mentioned regions are entitled to be part of the Jubbaland State and take their fair shares.
But Somalia’s current administration cannot swallow this fact and both President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his Prime Minster Abdi Farah Shirdon (Saacid) are averse to the Jubbaland process. They also affirm that whatever comes out of the process will not be accepted to them. This is sort of a concealed dictatorship. How can they defy and subdue the will of the people or behave as if they are above the law of the land? Needless to say, the country’s current administration has already shown signs of vanity and defiance. Consequently, the administration’s popularity is souring because it is seen to be developing biased attitudes concerning the country’s federalism.
I pinpointed in an article I wrote (Give Peace and Unit a Chance) right after President Hassan’s election in September 2012 how the Somali people were in a dire need of a fair administration that would align their fracture and bring them together to rebuild Somalia and its dignity. Actually, I thought that hundred thousands of suffering Somalis in refugee camps would soon come home, and that many bottom-up reconciliation processes would be held in the country. But it seems that my hope at the time is shrinking now, simply because the bottom up process in which to reconcile Somalis and bridge their gap is not progressing at all. All that is taking place in the country are visitations and rhetorical speeches.
A vivid example of this fact is Prime Minster Saacid’s recent visit to Kismayo. He waved arms, shook hands, laughed with cohorts and delivered rhetorical speeches. However, he brought nothing positive to the Jubba region, but disturbed its peace process.
Neither Darod nor Hawiye, nor other Somali clans can claim the sole proprietorship of Somalia. Somalia is for Somalis, as a Somali adage goes. Hence, every Somali clan must get its fair share under the country’s new constitution, and the Jubbaland process is not expected to deprive any clan of the region of its fair share and entitlement. If that is the case, the central government of Somalia should not be hindering the peace process aimed at enacting a federal state of the country.
Now that Somalia is a federal country, its people should be allowed to govern themselves and put their regions in order to prevent the nation from slipping back into a new dictatorship era.