Garowe Online (Garowe)

2 March 2013

Somalia: Leaked Gov't Document Pushes for Regional Administrations

Mogadishu — A classified document from the Somali Federal Government (SFG) under the National Stabilization Plan called "Laying Foundations for Functional and Effective Local Governance Structure", was obtained by Garowe Online.

The stabilization plan aims at empowering the SFG to appoint all regional administrations in Somalia. Sources that leaked the document to GO said that the letter was given to Foreign Minister Fowzia Yusuf Haji Adan to present to IGAD officials who met in Nairobi on Friday, Garowe Online reports.

Local Administration

The document given to IGAD officials on Friday, argues that regions like Lower Jubba, Middle Jubba, Bay and Bakool are not ready to form states either due to Al Shabaab's control in geographical areas within these regions or due to the lack of local administrations in the regions.

It suggests that the SFG should appoint local governments states that, "In solving the Somali problem, the local government will provide the citizens with a say in the government." The document then refers to SFG implemented administrations in regions like Hiraan and Bay.

Baidoa - the capital of Bay region - recently had been home to a tense dispute after the SFG sacked popular Governor Abdifatah Mohamed Geesey and appointed a new governor Abdi Adan Hasow.

According to a source, Governor Geesey had the support of the local council in Baidoa including Somali government troops after publicly announcing that he was still governor. Following the announcement by the governor, Ethiopian forces were called into the city to ease tensions. Newly appointed governor Hasow's administration was unable to work in Baidoa due to the resultant high tensions.

Governor Geesey on February 21 was escorted by SFG security forces to Mogadishu where some sources say he had been put under arrest after refusing to leave his post as Bay region governor even after the SFG offered appeasement in the form of another government position.

Some Somali analysts translated Governor Geesey saga as a bid by the SFG to have control over the Bay and Bakool regions.

Sources tell GO that the state process had been sidelined after many top politicians hailing from those areas such as former Speaker of Parliament Sharif Hassan Sharif Adan were given incentives to keep quiet and play blind to the issue.

Timing of SFG regional administrations

The document states that after the interim administrations are in place, partners such as IGAD and AMISOM could support, "by backing up the Federal government's technical team in sending observers, mediation and negotiating experts or providing funds for the implementation of conferences and similar processes which the Somali Federal government intends to facilitate."

The Jubaland state formulation process has been ongoing for quite some time. During the Jubaland state formulation process technical committees were formed; with Jubba region leaders holding meetings in Nairobi and Somalia. The tedious participatory process had full representation from major districts in the three regions (Gedo, Lower Jubba and Middle Jubba) through their appropriate community leaders.

Moreover, the Jubaland process had been in progress prior to Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) Roadmap process that was successful in establishing the Somali Provisional Federal Constitution which ironically promotes state building processes.

The leaked report states that regional administrative formation process needs to be enacted as soon as possible.

"The situation rightly seems it is the right time now than any time before; we must not miss the opportunity and build our local and regional administration," reads the document.

The SFG leaked document plans to build all regional and local administrations in 30 weeks.

According to GO's Somali political analyst Ahmed Abdi, "the document has a project proposal structure, with a monitoring and evaluation period. It's difficult trying to assimilate a development style needed to be more involved with the process.

SFG position on Jubaland

The SFG has accused the community led Jubaland state process - backed by IGAD - of not being inclusive and sidelining certain clans in the regions. However officials organizing the Jubaland convention have countered the accusations by accusing the SFG of trying to create clan tensions so as to derail the Jubaland state formation process.

"If certain clans feel sidelined they would be stating their grievances to the media, to community leaders and traditional elders as is the norm. However the only entity speaking about clans that are marginalized is the SFG. Minority clans are well represented in the Jubaland state process," said Abdi Mohamed a Jubaland state organizer.

Ahmed Madoobe stated on Thursday that the Jubaland state conference had been an all inclusive and transparent process where "all regions and clans were represented although some district leaders missed the opening day."

Gedo region leaders and traditional elders from the three regions spoke to Somali media on Saturday clarifying that they will be attending the Jubaland state conference which is slated to reconvene on Sunday.

SFG President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has gone on the record that his government should be building a state for Jubaland, on the contrary however PM Shirdon was perceived after various positive comments on Jubaland to fully support the state process.

Sources in the SFG tell GO that the sudden shift in the PM's perspective is a result of presidential pressure from President Hassan urging the premier - who hails from Gedo region - to "fix" the process.

Prime Minister Shirdon sent a ministerial delegation on Wednesday led by Interior Minister Abdikarim Hassan Guled to persuade the Jubaland organizers to hold the conference in Mogadishu, a request fully rejected by the officials and organizers.

The SFG has opposed the Jubaland state conference calling it unconstitutional.The conference is set to continue on Sunday, although the SFG hasn't stated what the repercussions would be if the conference continues.

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