SOMALIA NATIONAL PEACE CONFERENCE
DJIBOUTI, 20 APRIL - 5 MAY 2000
The period of decline as a nation and people has its roots in the decade of the 1980s, which witnessed a rapid decay in the fabric of Somalia society. Clan identity become either a passport for survival or a stigma for violence and abuse. Somalia was literally transformed into a stateless landmass where political, economic or human rights could only be assured by clan affiliation. Life became a living hell for selected clans or regions as hostilities were initiated against them, between them, or the innocent population. Trust among the Somalis reached its lowest ebb, and fear, anxiety and contrived hatred fed the insecurity of daily lives .Such instability, we all knew, could not remain, and expectations for change intensified during the latter half of 1990.
Change did indeed occur. Unfortunately, none of the high hopes and optimism associated with that much-awaited change materialized . What followed was and continues to be the most harrowing, traumatizing and destructive experience in Somalia's history. Somalia plunged into a crisis of exceptional complexity in 1991, resulting in a collapse of the state and all organs of government, following "a devastating famine and brutal multi-sized civil war, which, collectively, claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people."
Desperate armed group began a campaign of terror throughout much of the country. It was a situation that warranted international humanitarian intervention of a massive scale, involving peacemaking and peacekeeping, with the failure of hostile groups to cooperate with efforts to end the conflict and negotiate a peaceful settlement of their differences. Regrettably, civil strife, which virtually destroyed the economic and social infrastructure of the country continued unabated, with extensive civilian casualties, including women and children. The law of the gun dominated this lawless quest for power to a social and institutional demise without parallel in this world.
Virtually reduced to the status of a territory", Somalia has, for nearly a decade, sustained life without a government, the longest duration of state collapse in the modern era. In a majority of regions though, thousands of people have been directly affected by the incessant factional fighting, witnessed by deaths, injuries, looting, rape and displacement. Extreme poverty, together with an absence of state regulation, has resulted in environmental degradation, particularly due to over-grazing, destruction of the woodland and forest, and warfare. Furthermore, collusion between nationals of foreign groups and firms and greedy Somalis, has led to the dumping of toxic waste and over-fishing along Somali's rich coastline. It is in many ways a desperate situation.
It is also important to note the wide disparity in the social, political and security status of different parts of the country. Certain regions have succeeded in organizing administrative authorities, and have achieved relative peace and economic development. In few others, however, random violence reins.
Somalia woes matter not just to its citizens but also to its neighbours, and to many nations far beyond this region. Restoring peace and stability to Somalia, nurturing democratic institutions and expanding political participation are both critical and urgent Saving Somalia, therefore, will require more than the usual, standard recipe of a few invariable scuttling all chances for peace, coupled with an international silence and indifference.
The Somalis have long prided themselves as a homogeneous nation where nearly everyone is of Somali origin, speaks the same language adheres to the same religion, and follows similar cultural traditions. Yet none of this made a difference, not have they had the expected restraining effect. Hence, the genuine apprehension that Somalia might not survive as a nation and as a country through the end of the last decade.
It is no secret that the Somali polity is a fractures, unhappy lot, beset by divergent and strongly held opposing opinions, interest, needs and ambitions.. What happened to its Common Goods? Commons interest? Common values? Common Destiny? Rationality, Common Sense and share Common Vision? Concentrating and Agreeing upon what is common to Somalis, Rather than what separates them, shall be the primary objective of the conference.
There is, however, a new energy flowing through the veins of every loyal Somali, regardless of status, clan, education, years of disintegration, destruction and death are ending that the interminable drift of a stateless people has ceased.
The people are ready to reclaim the glory of their country, and proudly assume its long vacant seat at the table of the nations. It is a new millennium, a new glory, and a new thinking in Somali.
Hard and disturbing facts about Somalia's destitute situation, as described in U.N documents.
Approximately one million persons are no accessed by U.N. programs due to insecurity
The vast majority of children, over 90% , are a "lost unschooled generation." For them, role models in Somali society are more associated with the "mooryan" --- gun-totting young men --- than with education and learning.
Less than one-third of the population has ready access to safe potable water
Most indicators suggest that "Somalia is among the poorest and deprived countries in the world"
80% of the population earns the equivalent of as little as US 40 cents a day
Endemic and epidemic killer disease are rampant (Malaria, tuberculosis, cholera)
About 1 in 5 children are nutritionally wasted
Near total destruction of infrastructure due to a decade of civil conflict and natural disaster
Life expectancy as low as 40 years
Outline of the Peace Process
In his inaugural address to the fifty-fourth session of the United Nations General Assembly last September, 1999, H.E. Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of Djibouti, put forth several proposals marking out an alternative direction in the quest for peace and return of government of Somalia. The response of these proposals, both international and among Somalis of all walks of life, inside and out of the country and in large numbers, has been immense. Its sheer breadth clearly demonstrated that a vital nerve had been touched, opening a window of opportunity for the people of Somalia to come together in an attempt to resolve their prolonged crisis of statelessness and conflict.
What is patently clear is that the overwhelming majority of Somalis reject the status quo, firmly believing that any government s better than no government and an indefinite paralysis. The desire for a real change appears genuine ---- a change that transforms the lives of people, restores respect and integrity to the country, brings peace, security and development. The member countries of IGAD are fully supportive of this process as are also other organizations, indeed, the entire international community. Djibouti acknowledges the relentless, valiant and construction effort of so many countries and organization, particularly Ethiopia, mandated for this conflict both by IGAD and OAU; as well as Kenya, Egypt, Yemen, Italy, the United Nations, OAU, League of Arab States, EU and OIC. Their valuable contributions to this initiative are deeply appreciated as well. This is also true of the impressive cascade of ideas, recommendations and proposals put forth by Somalis of every station of life, in and out of the country.
The essential purpose of the peace process and conference is to re-establish the sovereign state of Somalia and initiate those steps necessary to realize a democratic government and administration, under a framework which fairly with liberty and justice for all. Djibouti will, therefore, convene a Somalia National Peace Conference (SNPC) in Djibouti in April/May 2000, attended by representatives of all Somali people. The SNPC will in turn lead to the convening of a "Transitional National Assembly" (TNA) which will elect an interim President and Prime Minister and set in train the process of national recovery.
It is crucial to maintain the heightened momentum prevailing. Therefore, the process leading to the conference, the interim arrangements and final government, will take place in a measured but timely manner. The ultimate objectives of the entire process will be peace, legitimacy, reconstruction and government. The conference will be decisive event, for it will open all other processes, and put in place the interim arrangements.
Most Somalis tends to believe that "centralism" coupled with a President enjoying absolute, almost stifling power, unaccountable to no one but to himself, have contributed largely to corrupted, waste, nepotism and clanism.
A clear separation, therefore, between " centralism" coupled with president enjoying absolute, almost stifling power, unaccountable to no one but to himself, have contributed largely to corruption, waste, nepotism and clanism.
A clear separation, therefore, between "central " and " regional" powers, as well as separation of powers between the branches of government, including a system of accountability, and checks and balance, are of paramount importance. The proposed "transitional mechanism" seeks to institute a system of governance that places a limit to the powers of the chief executive.
The transitional government will have to address the issues of peace and reconciliation, and an end to hostilities. Fortunately, most of the country is now at peace, while the factions responsible for the strife no longer hold sway in the minds of the people as they once did. The new framework will have a degree of legitimacy, which will enable it to command respect. It can thus govern and administer the country with more authority, as well as initiative the process of reconstruction. At the same time, a process of dialogue, negotiation and reconciliation will commence among Somalis, leading in turn to elections and the establishment of permanent political arrangements within
period of two years.
These proposals differ from previous attempts to promote peace in Somalia, in that they seek to convene a wide ranging, broadly representative and legitimate group of Somalis ( elders, religious groups, the business community, women and intellectuals - in short, what is inclusively called the "civil society!") to establish a national framework of governance, whereas previous process concentrated on power sharing among faction leaders, based upon clan hegemony. For essentially the first time, there is an alternative in sight to self-anointed proxies of the people. It will be power to the people!
There is also an increasing evidence that the Somali people, traumatized and war weary, are ready for peace as the power and prestige of the armed factions continue to decline.
Djibouti's approach is holistic, as are those of IGAD the OAU, U.N and the international community, in so far as this process embraces the whole of Somalia as one entity. An approach, which is not holistic, is unrealistic, and the onus lies on those who diverge to demonstrate otherwise, through full and unreserved participation in the conference, cogently arguing their specific case before their brothers and sisters. The conference is the only forum to tackle pernicious and divisive national issues. No one and no region should miss this golden opportunity!
There are of course some who gain considerable benefit form the current chaotic state of rift in Somalia, and wish to thwart any meaningful attempt to restore government, law and order.
Let there be no doubt. This conference is not intended as a seminar for intellectuals or a poetry reading workshop glorifying some mystical past. It shall be pragmatic and result - oriented. It must deliver! One theme is persistent: time does not appear to favour Somalia. There is a persuasive sense of urgency in the messages of the majority, which feel the suffering cannot be allowed to continue . Postponing or even prolonging the process will merely provide those with the hidden agendas more latitude to derail the effort. Obviously there is a minority that is simply fearful of an orderly, functioning and reconstituted Somalia.
The fact remains however that Somalia is now energized, full of hope and expectation. It is this spirit that must be captured now and utilized for the greater benefit of the people. Djibouti is merely a vessel, a locus, a facilitator. We have simply responded to a mighty force from the people of Somalia, which has overwhelmed us all! It has virtually assumed a life of its own, and cannot now be thwarted. The center stage now belongs to the real people of Somalia and the world waits and watches with great expectation.
The Somalia National Peace Conference (SNPC)
The SNPC will establish national political framework, to allow national political life to resume in Somalia. It will prepare the basic political mandate for the Transitional National Government, which will convene after SNPC, has completed its work. SNPC will also define the fundamental role and powers of the TNA
Vital to the success of the SNPC is that it should be, and should be seen to be, fully representative of the entire Somali society. Careful consideration is being given as to how this objective might be attained , to ensure, that no sector, region or group is excluded, and that those claiming "separateness" or possessing military power, won't deprive the Somali people the right to freely participate in this conference whose outcome will have a definitive impact on their lives and their future.
The Transitional Assembly (TNA)
During the crucial transitional phase, the locus of authority and governance, in the fact the very heart and soul of the process will rest with the TNA. Given the diversity of identities, affiliations and interests represented within it, this body must come to symbolize and exemplify the essence of pragmatic Power-sharing. This does not however, diminish the power and responsibility of the other branches of government.
The Transitional Assembly (TNA) will be the sole body with legislative powers during the interim or transitional period. It is intended that it should initially convene in Djibouti , following the Somali National Peace Conference, for the purpose of electing the President and the Prime Minister. Subsequently sessions will take place in Somalia. The 1960 Somali constitution, amended as necessary shall guide the TNA during the interim period
TNA's major tasks will include legislative authority in setting-up a commission to draft a new constitution; establishing a national police force; forming commissions to consider such issues as disarmament and cease-fire, security, and stolen property; and the establishment of a National Electoral commission and census Board to lay the groundwork for elections prior to June 1, 2002
Disarmament and security.
Special mention is warranted with great regard to the questions of disarmament, cease-fire and security. In addressing them the critical factor will be the formation of a national government that has the support of the people of Somalia. With this legitimacy, it will be able, with the support of the international community, to organize a multi-phase carrot and stick plan of action leading to cease-fire and disarmament. The Government will undoubtedly draw upon the varied experiences and lessons provided by other countries where disarmament has been successful . Incentives will be considered, such as employment creation schemes, weapons, buy-back, startup loans, re-settlement assistance, and possible integration of some into the national police. Alternatively, where certain groups prove obstructive to the peace and disarmament process, or worse, continue their destructive behavior against the people or the authorities, the government would have to galvanize support from the Somali people and the international community; to charge these incalcitrant elements with crimes against humanity for their decade-long atrocities and destruction.
In this whole area of disarmament, it is expected the expertise of the United Nations, as well as the resources and experience of the international community, will be available and necessary. Somali needs to reestablish police to maintain security , reclaim coastal areas and to deal with terrorism, arms flows and drug-trafficking across its borders. Steps are currently underway to enlist the knowledge and experience of former senior Somali police officers untainted by the conflict, in order to put together and quickly train a small, mobile, and disciplined force to provide the necessary security to the new government, and work toward restoring peace and security in the whole country. Discussions are going with certain countries for the provision of essential equipment and supplies.
International Pledging Conference
An international pledging conference for the reconstruction of Somalia will be convened in July 2000. It is expected the international community will able to join with Somalia in the essential task of realizing the long awaited reconstruction of the country's infrastructure, institutions, and services.
The government of Djibouti has made it clear that, in its view, for the process in Somalia to succeed, a real partnership between Somalia and the international community will be required. Until now, this partnership has waited for a demonstration by the Somali people of their serious determination and commitment to a united vision and process for rebuilding their country. Successfully establishing a national framework will be pivotal.
The Transitional Mechanism
Draft Agenda of the conference Page 16
Declaration National commitment Page 17
The Transitional National Assembly Page 17
The executive Branch Page 19
Declaration of Binding Principles Page 20
Conclusions Page 23
DRAFT AGENDA OF THE CONFERENCE
1. a) the civil war which has ravaged the country and inflicted untold suffering and destruction on the people, and addressing the refugees situation.
b) the egregious acts of human rights violations in the last decade.
2. The immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities and disarmament throughout the entire country.
3. The establishment of a transitional, national, representative government (national assembly, cabinet and judiciary), and the creation of a "decentralized system of government, based on "regional autonomy" for the transition period.
4. Consideration of the issue of "Somaliland" in all it ramifications; and in the context of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia.
5. Return of all properties unlawfully taken since the outbreak of hostilities in Somalia.
6. The national capital of Somalia..... has Mogadishu the necessary requisites to retain its status?
7. Issues of:
a) External Relations (Bilateral, multilateral, regional, sub-regional and international financial organizations)
b) .humanitarian, rehabilitation, and reconstruction assistance
8. Any Other Business.
DECLARATION OF NAITONAL COMMITMENT
The Somalia people are desirous of reaffirming the sovereign state of Somalia, and of forming transitional mechanisms (transitional national assembly, transitional government, an independent judiciary) which shall prepare the country for a peaceful, permanent and democratic future.
The form of government shall be parliamentary democracy, with a bicameral national assembly ("Chamber of Elders" to provide legitimacy, stability and assist in the reconciliation process; and a "Chamber of Representatives").
The Transitional period shall last 24 months.
The Transitional mechanism shall be based on a "Decentralized" system of governance ""regional autonomy " or federal structure"), during the transitional period.
The decentralized system of governance is one that brings different political communities under a common government for common purposes, and separates regional government for the particular needs of each region
Representation in the Conference and in the "Transitional National Assembly" shall be on the basis of local constituencies (regional /clan mix)
The National Assembly
THE TNA SHALL:
be the sole authority with legislative function during the period in question
elect an interim President (Head of State ) of the country
elect a "government" headed by a Prime Minister. TNA shall approve the Cabinet of the Prime Minster. The Prime Minster shall be accountable to the TNA
establish an independent judiciary
approve, with the recommendation of the Prime Minister, the establishment of a Somali police force
establish or appoint various committees, commissions and bureaus on recommendation of the Prime Minster, as required, including a:
constitutional review commission to draft a new constitution based on a regional or federal system of government
cease-fire and disarmament committee
committee to investigate and evaluate the return of properties (private and public) unlawfully taken during the fighting
National Census Bureau
National Electoral Commission to prepare for democratic national elections
Organize a referendum o the draft Constitution
Utilize, during the transitional period, the 1960 Somali Constitution, adjusted as required
Be bound by the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, the rules of international law and by the objectives of international and regional organizations in which Somalia is a member
The representatives to the Conference shall elect a Chief Justice with proven legal credentials and highest integrity. He shall work toward uprooting the culture of impunity and random violence and restoring the confidence of the people in the State.
THE EXECUTIVE BRANCH
There shall be a President (Head of State) of Somalia who shall exercise and perform the powers and functions conferred on the President
Shall be the symbol of nationhood and national sovereignty
Shall be chosen from outside and elected by the Transitional National Assembly
Except for a residual power to run the country temporarily in the event of some of the parliamentary complete breakdown system, the President shall have ceremonial duties and advisory powers
The President shall bot be answerable to the National Assembly
The Prime Minister
The Prime Minster is chosen from outside and elected by the Transitional National Assembly
The real Executive authority is in the hands of the Cabinet, under the direction of the Prime Minister
The Prime Minister chooses Ministers from outside the national assembly, but the whole cabinet, including the Prime Minster must be confirmed by the National Assembly, and are collectively answerable to the assembly
The Cabinet shall consist of not less than ten and not more than fifteen members including the Prime Minister
The Cabinet develops government policy and is responsible to the National Assembly
DECLARATION OF BINDING PRINCIPLES:
Today there is a great cause for optimism. The huge attendance of this historic conference by all segments of our society, heralds a fresh new resolve to put an end to armed conflict and to reconcile our differences through peaceful means. It is a unique occasion that is indicative of our overwhelming desire for the restoration of peace and national governance. In conformity, therefore, with the clearly expressed wishes of the people of our nation, we who are assembled here, collectively pledge our commitment to lasting peace and reconciliation.
The essential purpose of this Somali National Peace Conference is to re-establish the sovereign state of Somalia, and initiate those steps necessary to erect a democratic government and administration which fairly represents and protects the people and values of Somalia, with liberty and justice for all.
TOWARD THIS END WE
1. reaffirm the unity, national sovereignty and territorial integrity of Somalia
2. reject violence, and the threat or use of force as a means of achieving political goals
3. urge the international community to give respect for human rights in Somalia high priority, for such abuses lie at the heart of the conflict in this country
4. reiterate our firm belief in the principles of democracy, equality, social justice and constitutional guarantees of individual human rights
5. commit to promote the cultural values, traditional wisdom and tolerance of the Somali society
6. reaffirm the rightful place of Somalia in the community of nations
7. affirm that the people of Somalia have the right to freely express their political views and take decisions on matters, which affect them. This basic principle is an essential component of peace in Somalia
8. pledge t place national interest above clan self interest, personal greed and ambitions
9. commit to harnessing the skills, resources, and dynamism of the Somali Diaspora in realizing the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Somalia
10. resolve to promote friendly relations with all nations, and actively pursue a policy of good neighborliness and mutual cooperation with member countries of IGAD
11 are determined to confront our responsibilities t replace the era of suffering, destruction an bloodshed that has turned Somalis against Somalis, with one of healing and rebuilding where cooperation and trust overcome hatred and suspicion
12. accept that shaping the destiny of Somalia cannot and shall not remain the exclusive domain of a few individuals or groups, who represent no one but themselves
13 condemn the forcible acquisition of properties (private and public) and demand their immediate return to their rightful owners, be they local, regional or national entities, private organizations or individuals
14. commit to implementing the peace process in cooperation with IGAD member states, IGAD Partners Forum, O.A.U. UN League of Arab States and the OIC
15 affirm that cease-fire and disarming by all factions are key to real and tangible peace and security in Somalia
16. express our deep appreciation to donor countries, U.N agencies and NGO's for their continued humanitarian assistance to Somalia, and call upon them to assist on the basis of priority in the effort of reconstruction and rehabilitation, including infrastructure
17. urge all countries, organization and individuals not to violate Security Council resolution 733 (199), which demands that "------ all states shall, for the purposes of establishing peace and stability in Somalia, immediately implement a general and complete embargo on all deliveries of weapons and military equipment to Somalia until the Council decides other wise".
The proliferation of weapons continues to be a great concern to us despite the existence of the United Nations embargo.
As other nations and people have done before, the Somali people will overcome this adversity through forgiveness, understanding and reconciliation. Somalia shall not only endure, it will prevail. In the final analysis, we must recognize that our survival will depend on our mutual respect, solidarity, and loyalty to our country.
We appeal to our neighbours, IGAD, the United Nations, members f the OAU, the Arab League, the OIC and EU, to stand with us at this crucial moment in our long tribulations. We full recognize their unswerving commitment to the promotion of peace, unity and national reconciliation in Somalia.
Our deep appreciation goes to all member states of IGAD for their long perseverance and relentless sacrifices, and for their collective and individual efforts in promoting peace and reconciliation in Somalia.
Likewise, we express our profound gratitude to all the members of the IGAD Partners Forum (IPF) for their strong and growing renewed interest in the revival of Somalia.
Special gratitude is reserved to the people and government of Djibouti, in particular to H. E. President Ismail Omar Guelleh for his bold; far-sighted initiative, on that already opened the deadlock in the peace process. Through his courageous intervention, we see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Finally, we confirm that while the process itself is inclusive and is not designed to
exclude any groups of indivuals, at the same time, we will not allow it be held hostage or hijacked by those who, on their own volition fail to participate or cooperate. The international community should make it unequivocally clear to those who choose t o obstruct or not be part of the process, that it would not remain idle. Rather, the international community will not only protect the protect from such elements, but would ensure that the outcome of the conference is given backing during its implementation.
Cease-fire, Disarmament and Security
The desire of the Somali people for peace and security through disarmament is unambiguous. This call is heard repeated throughout the country from all segments of the Somali society, who have consistently demand an end to violence. Unless this is realized, the entire process of reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction would be jeopardized, if not stillborn. One of the first responsibilities of Somalia's new transitional government will be to insist on an immediate and comprehensive cease-fire, together with binding, complete and simultaneous disarmament of al militias throughout the country consistent with the agreements they signed from 1991 to 1997, but never implemented. Representing the will of the Somali people, the representatives to the conference hold the faction leaders to their own word, and hereby demand that they recommit themselves to:
a. a viable and verifiable cease-fire throughout the entire country
b. undertake to disengage their forces and refrain from all hostilities
c. refrain from further deployment or action to extend the territory under their control
d. affirm the termination of banditry and crime as a necessary condition for peace, security, stability and reconciliation
e. affirm that disarmament shall be comprehensive, impartial and transparent
f. disarm all militias under their control, including armed bandits, and to facilitate the rehabilitation and reintegration of demobilized militias into the civil society
g. cooperate fully with the transitional government, including mechanisms that may be put in place to disarm, demobilize and disband the militias
h. facilitate the uninterrupted flow of people and goods throughout the entire country as a measure of confidence building to the peace process
i. respect and comply fully with the Security Council Resolution 733 (1992) on arms embargo
Reconstruction and Recovery
Given the prolonged paralysis sustained by all the productive sectors of the economy, the international community is called upon to initiate a planning format for the long term reconstruction and recovery for Somalia. The preparation of such a framework should be entrusted to a task force comprising donors, United Nations agencies and NGO's under the coordination of the World Bank.
The purpose of this structure is to ensure that limited human and financial resources are employed to their fullest potential to support the re-emergence of the country as a stable and economically productive member of the international community. The Somali people must contribute to the design of the framework and eventually take ownership of the planning process.
A major objective of this effort is to establish a common vision and overall priorities for reconstruction.
Somalia clearly requires substantial international assistance to begin reconstruction and rehabilitation and essential infrastructure, services, institutions, including the nursing of capacity building on a large - scale.
This will necessitate the creation of proper mechanisms of coordination
The Somali people are fully conscious of the heavy responsibility confronting them to recreate a state based o democratic governance, and they would therefore, require genuine, flexible and supportive environment, given the highly complex and continually evolving situation in Somalia.
The secretary-general of the United Nations clearly underscored this fact in his August 1999 comprehensive report on Somalia: " the re-establishment of a functioning state in Somalia will require not only an enormous effort of political will on the part of the Somali people and their leaders", but also, " a massive rebuilding operation " as an " accompaniment of any peace process."
This is a welcome commitment for the "UN to play an enhanced role in Somalia", by working with its partners " to help bring about national unity and the restoration of a national government."
The United Nations and Somalia
The United Nations is committed to assist the people of Somalia, and as the Secretary General of the United Nations pointed out, there must be a reappraisal of the internationals community's relationship and approach to Somalia in an effort to reestablish a functioning state. Following the peace conference, and assuming a positive outcome, the United Nations will be expected to consider a presence in Somalia, by way of a monitoring/observer mission with both a civilian and a military components, to assist in re-establishing administrative structures, institutions, and systems; to exercise its goods offices to support the transitional government to implement the peace agreement; developing a suitable framework for holding of elections; to monitor, and verify compliance with cease-fire, disarmament, and arms embargo; support of humanitarian activities as appropriate; and investigate violations of human rights. The appointment of a special representative to Somalia becomes, therefore, of crucial importance.ANNEX IV
BASE OF REPRESENTATION IN THE
1. National Peace conference
2. Transitional National Assembly
In any country, " legitimate representation" represents the will of the people. For a country such as Somalia which has undergone a traumatic breakdown, where basic information on population is woefully lacking, and major population displacement as well as movement has occurred, not to mention there number of people who have left the country to settle abroad or are refugees in neighboring countries, the will of the people is determined only by considerable effort. coupled with this massive population dispersal is the continuing violence and insecurity in certain parts of the country.
In most parts of the country, however, relative peace and security prevail, and there are also in existence administrative region with internal governmental structures.
WHAT TO GUARD AGAINST
It must be stressed that representation based on clan affiliations or the assumed strength or importance of certain clan, including the size of territories presumed or traditional belonging to certain clans, would only succeed in perpetuating or reinforcing the division of the nation.
The division has its genesis in the divide and conquer tactics of the past regime; pitting one clan against another, or elevating one or some over others. The widespread injustices of the 1980s triggered the mayhem and civil strife of the 1990; once again accentuating clan struggle in its most egregious sense. Surely, using clan as the criteria for representation in the conference, or even in the National Transitional Assembly, would be tantamount to institutionalizing the cause of Somalia' woes.
Certain regions may be considered " occupied" by its inhabitants, raising the possibility that they may not feel consulted regarding their representation. In such situations, all concerned are urged , for the sake of future peace and stability, to let the people exercise their legitimate rights, to have a say on the choice of their representatives.
In the same vein, care must be exercised not to pursue arbitrary and contrived methods.
THE WAY FORWARD
It would be highly imprudent to be dogmatic on representation based on "clans." Flexibility, understanding, serious and hard compromises, and loyalty to nationhood, are of essence. Somalia, as a member of the international community, needs to imbibe democratic principles and practices governing representations.
Note this pertinent view from a Somali politician in the North in 1992: " The clan system is the mainspring of Somali culture and identify. It has been useful in its traditional , pastoral setting and even today it is an instrument of survival during times of deep trouble and provides a safety net for the poorest and most vulnerable. However, it has its negative dark side and is in a sense irreconcilable with modern, democratic state. Clan politicking is playing havoc with ----- security and stability at present."
Representatives must be men and women of high integrity, moral character and devotion to community and public service, and whose national interest and loyalty transcends narrow self-interest.
Any basis used for representation in the future " transitional assembly" of participation the peace conference, should incorporate a common sense approach capable of broad appeal and support.
Having considered all possible methods or criteria, it seems fair to say that representation based on local constituency (region, district, precinct, confine, sector, area, zone, etc) appears to yield the most realistic approach as it recognizes people at grassroots level, including minorities.
Recognition must also be made of the iniquities inflicted on the people by the previous regime through creation of new regions and new districts to accommodate specific clans. Such grievances are issues certainly that need to be addressed by a future government. For now, however, an attempt must be made to redress the potential imbalance in the representation by providing extra allocation to the affected clans.
THE NATIONAL CAPITAL
As things stand now, all agree the entire country, including towns and cities, are controlled by various clans, sub-clans, or groups of clan. The concept of " nationhood" is so weakened that "national" entities are in short supply, with the exception of the national "flag" and country's "name"! Mogadishu, since the outbreak of fighting in 1991 has undergone dramatic demographic changes, becoming more and more narrowly identified with a major clan, to the exclusion of other Somalis that worked, lived, owned properties, and businesses in the city. If it is to regain the confidence of all Somalis, Mogadishu must become a truly " national " capital city belonging to all, not to a clan or group of clans. The Somali people, given the harrowing experience they have endeared over a longtime, do not feel safe in a Mogadishu claimed by a clan and occupied by an array of armed factions, all sub-clans of one major clan. This is not an ideal environment for multi-clan, multi-cultural , multi-racial co-existence in peace and harmony. Mogadishu could restore its former position, therefore, only by revamping and restructuring both its physical jurisdiction and status, in line with this over-riding concern. This cannot be ignored.
REQUISITES OF THE FUTURE CAPITAL
Among other things, it must have a specific land area not forming part of any regional jurisdiction, and not belonging to, or claimed by any clan or sub-clans, and be acceptable as well as accessible to all people.
in the case of Mogadishu, the clans there must strive hard to restore security and safety in full compliance with the desire of the Somali people to enjoy their capital city and to live in peace and harmony: to work and invest, without fear or anxiety. Numerical superiority or majority of one clan in Mogadishu is not the issue. The issue is the "ownership" claim of Mogadishu by a clan, and this is incompatible with the notion of "national" capital. The sooner this critical matter is fully and satisfactorily resolved by the majority clan there, the better.
Other Common features
serve as the set of government for the nation, and as a centre for international representation (Embassies, international organization, etc)
symbolize the ideals of freedom, unity, peace and reconciliation, as well as soul and diversity of a united nation.
hold the nation's most sacred monument, artifacts of its history, national art and treasures, national organizations, public buildings, etc.
SOMALIA REGIONS AND DISTRICTS AS AT 31 DECEMBER 1990
1. AWDALL (Boramo, Baki, Lughaya, Zeylac)
2. GALBEED (Hargeysa, Berbera, Gebiley)
3. TOGDHEER (Burco, Buuhodle, Odwenyen, Sheik)
4. SANAAG (Ceerigabo, Ceelafyeyn, Badhan, Las Qorey, Dhahar)
5. SOOL (Lascaanood, Telex, Xudun, Caynabo)
6. BARI (Bosaso, Qardho, Qandala, Iskhushuban, Bender bayla, Alula)
7. NUGAAL (Garowe, Eyl, Burtinle, Dangoryo)
8. Mudug (Galkacyo, Jeriban, Hobyo, Haradhere, Goldogob)
9. GALGUDUUD (Dhusa-Mareb, Ceelbur, Ceeldeer, Cadaado, Cabudwaaq, Galhareeri)
10. HIraan ( Beletweyne, Bulo- Burte, Jalalaqsi)
11. MIDDLE SHABELLE (Jowhar, Ballcad, caadale, Adan Yabal)
12. BANADIR MUQDISHO and its environs (15 Districts: Bondhere, Wadajir, Darkeynle, Karaan , Heliwa, Yaqship, Shibis Waberi, Hara Jabjab, Hawle Wadaag, hamar Weyne, Shangani, Hodan, Wardhiglye, Abdi Asis)
13. BAY (Baydhaba, Burhakaba, Qansadhere, Dinsor)
14. BAKOOL (Hudur, Ceel Barde, Yeed, Wajid, Tiyeglow)
15. LOWER SHABELLE ( Mark Afgooye, Wanlaweyne, Qoryoyley, Kurtunwaarey, Sablaale, Braawe)
16. GEDO (Garbaharey, Bardhere, LUuq, Dolow, Beletxawa, Ceelwaaq)
17. MIDDLE JUBA (Buale, Sakow, Jilib)
18. LOWER JUba (Kismayo, Afmadow, Jamame, Badhadhe)