Monday, 30 May 2011
Only a popular Accord can restore Somalia’s self-governance, dignity and prosperity
As a follow up to meeting on Somalia held in New York on May 11, members of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) travelled to Nairobi, Kenya on May 24-25 for further consultation with leaders of Somalia, African Union (AU) and Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). After listening the pathetic speeches of top leaders of the Transitional Federal Institutions of Somalia (TFIs) , speeches full of accusations and counter accusations, predictions of dire consequences if not accepted one’s position, false statements, erroneous reference to articles of the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) and citation of extraneous foreign supporters, the UNSC has ignored all their claims and pleas for support and instead it has instructed the Special Representative of Secretary General (SRSG), Dr. Augustine Mahiga to continue his work for political change in Somalia. UK and South African representatives together with SRSG have jointly briefed the Media. The substance of the briefing can be summarized as following:
ü TFI leaders have been warned to stop their infighting. They were subjected to unprecedented humiliations for their unacceptable behavior.
ü TFIs leaders and their respective allies were told to get their acts together and complete their unfinished tasks listed in the TFC. Those tasks included outreach and inclusive process of reconciliation, draft constitution, delivery of basic services to the people, governance and financial accountability. With respect to the last task, the international media has reported millions of dollars embezzled during 2009-2010.
ü It has been reaffirmed the end of TFIs mandate on August 20, 2011 as prescribed by the TFC and all TFIs self granted term extensions were rejected as null and void. TFI Leaders were strongly advised to desist from further actions related to unilateral term extensions. TFI (TFG) failed beyond repair and a process that is harbinger of change has been started in Nairobi, Kenya.
ü It has been formally announced that a Somali Consultative Conference will be held in Mogadishu on June 12-16, 2011. The UN sponsored conference is a continuation of the process initiated in Nairobi, Kenya for a transition to new political dispensation and it does not aim at the resolution of TFIs infighting. UNSC will legitimize the conference outcome. All Somali leaders, especially TFI Leaders are asked to engage immediately and constructively with Dr. Mahiga who chairs the Conference and manages the process of political change in Somalia.
It is worth noting that for the first time, UNSC has clarified that it speaks for the international community as a whole, specifically AU and IGAD. This clarification was necessary and very important for the integrity of UNSC Initiative.
Rebuilding of the collapsed State of Somalia in the midst of civil war, terrorism, contested federalism, secession, piracy, negative foreign interferences, unattended massive humanitarian needs, half of the population internally displaced, upsurge of religious inspired movements, and exclusive pursue of individual ambitions over general interests, is a monumental challenge. Nevertheless, Somalis must focus on the formulation of a comprehensive popular Accord for reconciliation, peace building and State building. It is time for the well informed Somali Citizens to articulate strategic priorities for sustainable peace and State building at national and local levels of Somalia despite international, national and local complexities, traps and trepidations. The International Community shares major responsibility for the Somali crisis. So it should take a leading role in its resolution.
Organizing a Somali National Conference in Mogadishu completely different from the failed one of 2007 requires in-depth consultation and good preparation so that the issues of Somali ownership and international support are beyond reproach. Ten years of Transitional Governments and social upheavals have deepened the culture of political deception, distrusts among communities, chaos, fragmentation, false representation and misuse of powers. Only an honest, skillful, patient and tireless broker can overcome the myriads of international and national problems and challenges against Somalia’s rebirth.
The date scheduled to hold the conference-June 12 is so close that it would be difficult to organize a successful conference. The selection process for conference participants who enjoy public confidence is surely an arduous and contentious task. Another important preliminary step would be the publication of “white paper” before the conference date. Additional time for preparation seems inevitable.
To illustrate the magnitude of the problems that need to be discussed in the conference, I list below some topics:
1. Measures needed to respect the Somali sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence, unity and Citizenship. Common understanding of the necessary conditions for functioning and representative State of Somalia.
2. Review of 2008 Djibouti Agreement and assessment of public sentiments on national reconciliation agreements.
3. Consensus on foreign policy principles and Institutions responsible for International Relations. Examination of UN, US, EU, IGAD, AU and Arab Countries policies towards Stateless Somalia.
4. Study of the reliability, loyalty, competency and integrity of security forces and civil servants.
5. Intellectual and cultural debate on governance: Federalism and Decentralization and underlying socio-economic and political factors and sentiments. Understanding the main reasons why Somali leaders utterly failed to honor Islamic values, rule of law and common sense.
6. Understanding the interaction between peace building, State-building on one hand and continuation of war, national destruction and humanitarian catastrophe on the other. Approaches and plans to confront clan and religious conflicts, terrorism and piracy.
7. Proposal for the formation of foreign partners in helping Somalia on behalf of the International Community during the three-years post transitional period: US, China, Germany, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Turkey, South Africa, Qatar, UN Secretary General, World Bank and IMF.
8. Examination of the interface of the multiple International Resolutions, Institutions and programs with the strategy and needs of rebuilding the Somali State.
9. Crafting reliable and credible procedures to select new MPs, elect new leaders and put in place efficient and effective parliamentary structure in challenging the elected leaders during the three-years post transitional tenure.
10. Debate over the mission and accountability of AMISOM forces operating in Somalia.
11. Appeal for 10 billion dollars for three years.
12. Analysis of the influence and role of Somali Diaspora in the stability and progress of Somalia.
I don’t have enough information about the ultimate purpose of UNSC Initiative for Somalia, but I sensed that another “turning point” could be in the offing. Thus, in connection with the planned Somali Consultative Conference, all leaders of Somalia should independently seize this opportunity and present a comprehensive strategy of rebuilding the Somali State to the international community. The UNSC will take decision before August 20, 2011 and that could prove fatal for the Somali Cause. Therefore, this could be do or die time.
The principal responsibility of putting an end to the Statelessness and the suffering of the Somali people remains on the shoulders of those privileged with knowledge, leadership qualities and sense of patriotism. The establishment of central authority empowered to speak for the Somali people as a whole is key to the legitimacy and effectiveness of local powers and institutions. Only a popular Accord can restore Somalia’s self-governance, dignity and prosperity.
Mr. Mohamud M Uluso