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Towards Decentralisation Structures Puntland Experiment


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This paper will attempt to probe some of Somali search for a viable state model and analyses whether what Puntland (formerly Northern Eastern Somalia Regioins) has started is just the beginning of a wider reaction by the Somali people throughout the country. Since the outbreak of the civil war, the Somali nation has been disintegrating into a radically decentralised state system. Puntland’s lead will surely inspire other groups/regions in Somalia to form their own administrations, which will, in turn, integrate them together in a consortium of a federal system.

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Towards Decentralisation Structures Puntland Experiment

  1. 1. Abdisalam M Issa-Salwe TOWARDS DECENTRALISATION STRUCTURES : PUNTLAND EXPERIMENT Paper for the Seventh International Congress of Somali Studies,York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada July 8-11, 1999
  2. 2. Abbreviations: IGAD Inter-governmental Authority for Development NES Northeastern Region NSC National Salvation Council SNA Somali National Alliance SNM Somali National Movement SSDF Somali Salvation Democratic Front USC United Somali Congress
  3. 3. 1. Introduction The violent overthrow of General Siyaad Barre of Somalia in January 1991 sent Somalia spinning out of control. The subsequent crisis resulted in the disintegration of the Somali state. The ensuing civil strife has claimed more than three hundred thousand people dead and wounded, with roughly four fifths of its population displaced. Nearly one fifth of the population fled to the neighbouring countries and other parts of the world for refuge. These displaced people have lost their past and their future and that of their children. The country has been divided into fiefdoms ruled by separate clan groups. Each clan group (or clan-family as is better known) is thronged in a clan-security area. The international community as well as the Somalis are still pondering and exhausting on how the Somali state will be revived (on a different platform). The memories of the dreadful fratricidal war still linger on in the minds of the Somalis, thus, creating major obstacles to peace. None of attempted peace processes are based on the reality of today's Somalia and the background of the tragedy. However, since late 1993, a new trend seems to be emerging in Somalia where stable local administrations/states are being established. One of these is Puntland State of Somalia. The announcement of the formation of Puntland State of Somalia in August 1998 has opened a new political trend in the shattered political landscape of the Somali nation, which is still suffering from the effect of the civil war. This came after the people of five northeastern regions declared to form a new mini-state within Somalia. Is this trend a solution to the Somali dilemma, or is it just another setback? Is this initiative an insular clan- state setting or nation-state building? This paper will attempt to probe some of these issues, and analyses whether what Puntland has started is just the beginning of a wider reaction by the Somali people throughout the country. Since the outbreak of the civil war, the Somali nation has been disintegrating into a radically decentralised state system. Puntland s lead will surely inspire other groups/regions in Somalia to form their own administrations, which will, in turn, integrate them together in a consortium of a federal system. After the conclusion, the paper will lay down some recommendations about what the international community and Somali Diaspora can contribute to solve the Somali problem. 2. The Background When Somalia got its independence in 1960, it took a unitary state system with a representative democratic form of government. The legislature was unicameral and composed of deputies elected by universal direct and secret suffrage for a term of five years and representing the whole people. Though the system was based on liberal democracy, it did not define well the separation of power (e.g., the system did not separate the executive from the legislative). The system was completely alien to the Somali people as it required a centralised system of government. Ironically, Somalis led a decentralised tradition for centuries. Soon the system degenerated into anarchy and paved the way for the military take over which soon transformed the Somali state into a police state. 3. The Centralisation Trend Behind the centralisation of the system were the former colonial powers, namely Britain and Italy, as they aimed to manipulate the traditional Somali institutions to their advantages. For example, to ease the running of their administration in the territories, both British and Italian colonial authorities appointed a chief for each clan. Clan leaders opposed the introduction by the British Administration of the Local Authorities Ordinance in British Somaliland in 1950, as the system challenged their authority (Samatar, 1988: 49). This
  4. 4. practice, also known as the Aqil (or Akhil) system, caused lineages to contest the office of clan-head, thereby undermining the quot;traditional source of leadershipquot; (Ibid. 80). The Aqil (holder of the office) was given a salary and some concession by the administrative authority. In the Italian-administered part of Somaliland, the chief (capo cabila in Italian) was given a group of armed men to police his clan. Although these colonial appointees were in theory representative of clan s local interests, they were not necessarily in touch with grass roots issues; they were 'townies', and more concerned with larger lineage, not to mention personal, interest (Sadia, 28-30). Not only lineages were politicised by the colonisers for 'divide and rule' purposes, it also corroded the local institution of shir (assembly). Such social changes, which saw the shifting of influence from traditional (rural) leaders to a new urban leadership, laid down the foundation for the political parties, which were to spring up as part of the independence movement. During this period, Somali nationalism, which urged a centralised form of government, was gaining momentum. The feeling of Somalism or pan-Somalism was the mechanism behind this determination. 3.1 Leadership Crisis The centralisation of the system of government, following the independence, brought a new type of leadership. For example, during the civilian government, the ability of the traditional assemblies to influence decisions grew steadily weaker and power shifted to leaders who were elected to parliament. These new leaders, living away from the communities who had elected them, were free of the traditional pattern of constraints, and became less and less accountable for their actions (Issa-Salwe, 1996: 138). This new political culture created a type of leader who was more concerned with personal power and aggrandisement. Such a person, physically and socially removed from the traditional power base, felt free to operate without being checked by his group, and this lack of responsibility to his constituents was not compensated for by a more general, though essential, sense of responsibility to society that should accompany public service. This degeneration in standards of responsibility helped pave to the way for the subsequent leadership crises during the military era, and in the period of disintegration of the Somali nation-state. 4 The Trend of Decentralisation The civil war, which ensued after the oust of the military regime, created a situation that forced people to return to their clan quot;areasquot;. Once in their safe area, these people began to feel the need for some other essential requirements or services. Thus, these requirements and the underpinning social intercourse could not be possible without a regulating body or institute. It was this need which brought the creation of some administrative bodies in some part of the country. It is this same feeling which has pushed Somalis towards decentralisation. Adding to the above reason, there are other motives which strengthens this course. The memory of the dreadful fratricidal war, which is still lingering on in the minds of the Somalis, is one of them. Another reason can be attributed to the failure of peace processes, which advocated the top-down approach, and consequently the centralisation of the Somali state. The loss of confidence of the Somali population in their political leaders is also another major reason. This last influence has awakened in the Somalis the need to take part in the political life of their country A decentralisation mechanism is possible when there is a system based on regional autonomy or state (canton). The principal based on this system is a bottom-up approach, which maintains procedures built from the grass roots.
  5. 5. In late 1992, the United Nations sponsored a national reconciliation conference between the Somali warlords which was held in Addis Ababa. In March 1994 of the following year, another one was held in Nairobi Although peace talks could be considered a welcome breakthrough at that period, the Nairobi peace accord was a complete turnabout from the previous peace process in Addis Ababa. While the former had adopted a grass-roots approach, by creating district councils before setting up the top levels of administration, the latter one advocated the top-bottom approach (Issa-Salwe, 1996: 142). 4.1 Migration: The Opposing Trend What contradicts the trend of centralisation is the effect of modern Somali internal migration. This is also what is eluding the way to peace in Somalia. Some groups have refused to accept the decentralisation process The reason for the objection of this group towards this process can be found in the migration process which took Somalis to move in the Horn of Africa centuries ago. For centuries Somali clans migrated, first from southeastern Ethiopia, which is believed to be the cradle of their earliest ancestors (Hersi, 1997: 23), spreading northeastward to populate the Horn. Centuries later, a new wave of migration began flowing in the opposite direction, to the south and west (Ibid. 22). The traditional migration patterns that can be discerned show that the Somali clans followed two main routes: the river Shabeelle valley and along the line of coastal wells on the Indian Ocean littoral (Lewis, 1993: 1-2). By the close of the seventeenth century Somali clans had spread to the northern part of what is now Western Somaliland, and the southern part of the Jubba river up to the Tana river, presently Kenya (Ibid. 3; Hersi, 1997: 23). In spite of the fact that Somali migration subsided for some time, it did not disappear completely. In fact, it gained a new impetus during the modern Somali state. Following the Sahalian drought of 1973-74, the Somali government began a policy of expropriating the fertile land along the Lower Shabeelle and Middle Jubba river (Besteman, 1996: 29-30). And in the following year it enacted a mandatory land registration (the 1975 Land Law) which required farmers to quot;apply to the state for leasehold titlequot; (Ibid., 30). Although this process is common in most of African countries, in Somalia it degenerated as the system became so centralised and easy to be abused and manipulated. Only those people who could afford to access the cumbersome administrative requirement could register. Because of this, the local people were displaced. The policy represented the first phase of an irreversible demographic shift in modern time, in which the pastoralist clans migrating to the southern Somalia (Menkhaus et al, 1996: 156). Consequently, this increased the fear of the settled people. Nevertheless, if Barre policy failed, General Mohamed Faarah Garaad quot;Aideedquot; had attended his goal. During the height of the civil war in early 1990s, Aideed s group spread forcefully throughout the riverine, thus gaining almost all the important farmland in the south of the country (Menkhaus et al; 1996: 174). Their booty stretches from Marka, Lower Shabeelle, through Bay region up to Jamaame, in the Lower Jubba region. Looking after these gains, however, demanded a lot of resources. Therefore, to control these parts is costing dearly to General Aideed s son, Hussein, who opposes any attempt towards decentralisation. For Hussein Aideed s groups, decentralisation means to give up their illegal gains and to return to their barren home region, in the central Somalia. For them decentralisation may be acceptable only if Somalis will accept the current status quo. It is this attempt which until now is perpetuating the war in the southern Somalia, most notably, the Bay and Lower Jubba regions. 5. Recreat ing Somalia: Puntland Experiment In theory, state is developed as a response to disorder. It tries to act for harmony and humanisation against a backdrop of civil strife. In this context the State acts as an agent influencing, shaping, informing and permeating human life with the value of civility (Vincent, 1987: 179-180).
  6. 6. Hence, the elusive hope for peaceful settlement coupled with the growing need to create a stable administration drove representatives from five regions in the Northeastern Somalia to announce the formation of a new state in August 1998. These people from Sool, Eastern Sanaag, Bari, Northern Mudug, Nugaal and district of Buuhoodle agreed upon to call the new state: Puntland State of Somalia. It is established of the three branches of Puntland Government, the Legislative, Executive and Judiciary. Ethnically, these people are mainly from Daarood and Meheri clans and their attempt is partially a direct response to the domineering political ambitions of Hawiye in the south and the secessionist moves of Isaaq, the predominant clan in Somaliland (formerly Northwestern, Awdal and Togdheer regions) population. The process of the formation of the new administration had begun in March 1998 in Garoowe with the Garoowe Consultation Conference ( The Community Consultation Conference (CCC) in Garowe 25 February - 4 March 1998) . In May 15, 1998, the conference laid what became known as the Garoowe Constitutional Conference, which established the Puntland State of Somalia. The constitutional conference took three torturous months, and finally, elected Abdullaahi Yuusuf Ahmed and Ahmed Abdi Haashi as president and vice-president respectively. In the quot;Transitional Period, 1998 - 2001quot;, President Abdullaahi Yuusuf of Puntland declared that quot;this is an experiment and first step towards the new Somaliaquot;. He further described that Puntland policy is geared towards the notion of recreating Somalia from bottom-up approach as quot;this will lead to the establishment of separate regional administrations, leading to negotiations between equal regional states to pave the way for the reconstruction of a central federal system of Government in Somaliaquot; (see the Puntland Courier, August 1998). 5.1 On The Road to Puntland Formation Although there are many reasons which influenced the birth of Puntland, two other major influences encouraged the creation of Puntland. These are: i) the humiliation and despair of Northeastern region, and ii) the fear and anxiety of Sool and Eastern Sanaag people. 5.1.1 Northeastern Region (NER) Under the Northeastern regions, three regions came to be identified. These are Bari, Nugaal and North Mudug, whose people share a single socio-economic resource, and a common political and traditional leadership. This harmony was strengthened by the continuous threat of United Somali Congress of the Somali National Alliance (USC/SNA) faction in Mudug area (see War-torn Society Project, 1997: 69). Apart from the conflict between Somali Salvation Democratic Front (SSDF) and USC/SNA, these regions has been spared from the open warfare since outbreak of the civil war. The traditional leadership, which is also the highest traditional authority in the region, filled the vacuum left by the absence of modern governance institutions (Ibid., 57). In spite of the fact that the tides and dynamics of the social changes have eroded the traditional authority s standing and integration, the Council of Elders, known as Isimo, played a crucial role in stabilising peace and security throughout the region. The Council of Elders stature was reinstated and reinforced as a result of the loss of confidence of the public with the politicians. In Northeastern regions, there were many futile attempts of administration setting. This happened because of conflict or competing interest between SSDF and the Council of Elders (Isimo) on one hand, and sometimes within SSDF leadership, on the other hand. Nevertheless, these forces were united on the policy of mobilisation of regional self-defence campaigns during the early years of the civil war.
  7. 7. In spite of this failure, the people of NER did not give up their attempt to rebuild their shattered live. Finally, in 1996 they established separate regional administrations in Bari, North Mudug and Nugaal. However, the performances the three administrations were weakened by SSDF division which split into two factions following an aborted conference in Qardho in the end of 1995. 5.1.2 Sool and Eastern Sanaag Regions In 18 May 1991, approximately four months, after Siyaad Barre's regime was ousted, the Somali National Movement (SNM), which took control of Northwest and Tog-dheer regions, declared an independent Somaliland Republic. SNM argued that its action was not secessionist but rather the reinstatement of the status which existed for four days, 26-30 June 1960, before British and Italian Somalilands were united into the Republic of Somalia (Issa-Salwe, 1996: 121). Between 24 January and May 1993 a conference was held in Boorame by the Somaliland community elders. At the same meeting, they agreed to form a government headed by Mahamed Haji Ibrahim Igaal, a former prime minister (1967-1969), as President of Somaliland, and Colonel Abdirahmaan Aw-Ali Faarah as Vice- President (Ibid. 119). Although, some influential leaders of Eastern Sanaag, Sool and Awdal regions attended this meeting, its aim created fear, anxiety and division within the Sool, Eastern Sanaag and Awdal regions as they were not comfortable with the unilateral decision reached by SNM. Generally, most of the non-Isaaq people living in the north suspected the declaration of secession as an attempt at Isaaq hegemony . In fact, this fear led the people of Sool and Eastern Sanaag regions began to strengthened their political and commercial links with the people of Northeast region whom they share with quot;common ancestry, ideals, security, socio-economic interdependencequot; (see the Declaration on the Political Position, 1998). In December 16-28, 1993, a meeting held in Garoowe between elders of Northeastern, Sool and Eastern Sanaag regions laid down the first foundation of the formal unification of these people and the road to Puntland formation. 5.1.3 Boosaaso National Reconciliation Conference vs. the Cairo National Reconciliation Conference On January 3, 1997 in Addis Ababa 26 Somali rival factions joined to form the National Salvation Council (NSC). Only Somaliland and Hussein Aideed-led USC/SNA faction declined to attend the meeting. The NSC also known as Sodere Group (after the Sodere town in Ethiopia) set an agenda, which was to culminate into a national reconciliation in Boosaaso, NER. Feeling honoured about hosting the Somali Reconciliation Conference, Northeastern administrations, together with their Council of Elders (Isimo), forced SSDF internal rival factions to bury their hatchets. And on January 20 1997, SSDF took urged steps to reunite the organisation with single hierarchical leadership under General Mohamed Abshir Muuse. Colonel Abdullaahi Yuusuf was appointed as the SSDF representative to the Co-Chairmanship of the National Salvation Council. Meanwhile, the SNC s agenda triggered a regional political seism. Egypt, which was suspicious of any Ethiopian involvement in any Somali peace initiative, did not feel happy about Inter-Governmental Authority for Development s (IGAD) sponsorship of the Somali peace conference under the chairmanship of Ethiopia. To torpedo IGAD-sponsored Boosaaso National Reconciliation Conference, Egypt arranged its own parallel Somali peace conference in Cairo in 1997. The outcome of this parallel conference was a call on the Somali factions to convene in January 1998 in Baydhabo, a city in the southern Somalia controlled by Aideed s USC/SNA faction. It was Egypt s presumption that a Somali interim government will be formed in Baydhabo.
  8. 8. However, the Egypt-sponsored initiatives did not only end in failure, but also widened the political gab between the Somali factions and, in fact, rekindled the fires of war in many parts of Somalia. For Northeastern community, and particularly Boosaaso administration, which had completed a year of the preparation for the Boosaaso Somali National Reconciliation Conference, Egypt s political torpedo became a blow on the head and humiliation. Within the following week NER leadership announced the Garoowe Consultation Conference to be held in March 1998. 5.2 Pros and Cons Puntland has both pros and cons in its midst. While ethnicity can create some form of social cohesion, it may also hinder any attempt to state formation. It may hold back the very process and goal which Puntland supposed to aim, as the utility of the traditional Somali political characteristics hardly reconcile with a view of a state. In the consultation conference, members of the Hawiye community, who live in Gaalkacyo, Mudug region, were not included or accommodated. This will inevitable hamper Puntlands social reconciliation. 5.2.1 Which Institute to Build? During the decades when the disintegration of Somali institutions was taking place, modern institutions were not developing from within, or else did not have the underpinnings to endure. This effect of a century of colonial defamation of Somali culture and two decades of repressive, centralised state control, created a destructive instinct in the society which was to affect the traditional authority, while the modern one did not take root (Issa-Salwe, 1996: 135). This effect created lack of confidence to any form of authority. Nevertheless, adopting the experience gained from the defunct Somali republic, Puntland government pledges to put its effort on the process of institutional building so that the state authority can spread over its jurisdiction. As far as Puntland government is concerned, this process will decentralise power and create self-reliance in the state s developmental endeavours. In addition, this will promote quot;civil society inclusiveness and grassroots involvementquot; in peace-making, and social development (see the Puntland Courier, September 1998). In spite of the fact that Puntland government is keen to institution building process, it is not clear what it is exactly meant for. It seems that the government is more concerned to build government than public institutions. If this is true then this procedure may emerge to be an attempt by Puntland to secure control of its people in quot;the name of law and order enforcementquot;. Any attempt to that direction will certainly have a negative effect as it will induce incompetence and inefficiency, and create an environment of mistrust and insecurity among the people. Not only it contradicts the very promise which Puntland leadership engaged (or contracted) with the people, but it may also derail its experiment. That apprehension may have begun in early December 1998 when Puntland released a bulletin which announced the nomination of the governors, district commissioners and town mayors in Puntland. This move, which created anxiety and frustration in some circles of the society, contradicts the much-praised bottom-up approach method, which Puntland claimed be built on. If Puntland has been created by the people s consent then it should remain so. In Puntland, as well as any other area in Somalia, the institute building process can be possible only with the people s vision and participation. At any level Somalis must be convinced of the benefit of nation- statehood.
  9. 9. 5.2.2 Brain drain Another cause for concern in Puntland is brain drain. Puntland shares with the rest of the country the effect of the exodus of the Somali intellectuals and the skilled people. 6. Conclusion In December 1990 the Somali state collapsed into disarray, and since January 1991 has lacked any kind of government authority. The undermining of traditional authority is one of the things which impacted on the eventual collapse. Other reasons for the collapse is believed to be: (i) the shortcomings of alien notions of government, (ii) the parliamentary system during the decade of independence which failed to meet the high hopes of the people, (iii) the failure of the state to live up to the ideals of pan-Somalism which was the guiding principle of Somalia s freedom struggle, (iv) the two decades of Scientific Socialism which spawned Siyadism and which completely destroyed the moral fabric of the society, (v) the neo-colonial super-power interests in the Horn which left it littered with weaponry, and (vi) the boundary problems with neighbouring countries, which remained unresolved by the concerned parties or by the Organisation of African Unity (Issa-Salwe, 1996: 125). As a way out from the current nightmare, Somalis have to step on a solution based on today s reality. Any attempt pushing Somalis towards a formal centralised system of government may deepen the problem. Since the collapse of the unitary Somali state, the Somali nation has been moving towards a radically decentralised state system. This came because of the loss of confidence of the people in the political leadership, which has created in them fear of any form of authority (Mohamoud, 10). Furthermore, the memories of the dreadful fratricidal war which is still lingering on in the minds of the Somalis, the failure of peace processes, and the myopic interest of the ambitious faction leaders, who advocate for the centralisation of Somali state, are other reasons which are pushing Somalis towards decentralisation. As the facts show, the means to answer or to satisfy this requirement is to create a state based on a federal system of government. This will give Somalis a new hope to build their country from the rubble of the collapsed unitary Somali state. However, as it is explained above, the degeneration of authority is one of the principal causes of Somalis present plights. Any practice which does not aim at facilitating the transformation of the socio-cultural and political norm is doomed to fail. Whatever will be called clan-state, province or regional administration in the future depends on the constitutional framework of the future Somali state. However shaky, Somaliland, Puntland, Awdal community authority or the implied formations of Hiiraan administration, all enjoy a relative peace, and have local authorities or administrations elected on consensus in their respective areas. And even some of them embarked on some developmental projects. Awdal s Boorame University is a good example of these projects. Nevertheless, Somalis should join hands to help the process of building local administrations/public institutions. Any indifference towards this process may derail the emerging Somali administrations, and lead them towards irreconcilable mini-clan-states antagonistic to each. If this prevails Puntland, Somaliland or Awdal s effort will be ditched into a state of vicious circle of violence. Subsequently, the hope for peace and reconciliation will fall beyond reach. Recomm endations: Putting the Pieces Together
  10. 10. Any solution, unless it is based on today s reality, is prone to fail or possibly complicate and intensify the conflict. One of the main causes of Somalis present dilemma is the degeneration of authority. This began as consequence of the colonial manipulation of the traditional authority followed by the failure of the opportunity to facilitate a smooth transformation of the socio-cultural, political norm and institution. What collapsed in Somalia is not only the central authority, but also quot;the moral fabric of the societyquot; (Issa- Salwe 1996: 136). The change, which was supposed to come with modernity, did never happen as they did not get the underpinnings to endure. Since the outbreak of the civil war, the Somali nation has been moving towards a radical decentralised state system. To satisfy this direction Somalis have to have a state based on a federal system of government (Ibid., 42-44). Some of the recommended solution is described as follows (see Issa-Salwe, 1997). State and People State Structure: The country is currently divided into 4 or 5 parts which in turn can be interpreted into cantons or states. It is unrealistic to reconstruct Somalia on the old system (a unitary system of government) which was a factor in the creation of the current crisis. On the contrary, the current reality presents an opportunity to create a federal state. People s Participation and Consensus: People s participation is essential in the process of the revival of authority and nation-building in the Somali nation. Recently, new administrations have emerged in Somalia where stable local administrations/states had been established. Some of these are Puntland, Somaliland and Awdal. All these areas have experimented some local governance based on consensus. These positively adapted ideas should be encouraged, nurtured and applied to the rest of the country. Pure Democracy: To apply a quot;pure democracyquot; a system of bottom-up approach must be applied. As stated above, peoples participation in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Somali nation-state is essential and crucial. The stimulation of political attitudes as a basis for political participation is of special importance in a fragmented society. Political socialisation is a continuous and cumulative process of learning. Therefore, by managing this process properly it will yield a positive outcome. Power within the Federation: Decentralising of power within the federation is essential. Separation of Power: The separation of the three powers of government, namely legislative, executive and judiciary of both levels, i.e canton/state and national should be clearly defined. Independence of the judiciary is also highly recommended. This may avoid powers falling into one hand which could lead to dictatorship. Presidency (Executive): The issue of who will be the president of the country is a thorny issue in the process of the reconciliation of Somalia. Shifting to regional setting and away from who is going to be the president is a solution to current impasse of the Somali crisis. Therefore, a way from this dilemma is to create a national executive (or national council or collegiate) whose presidency rotates each year and becomes president of the federation. This collegiate may be composed of elected members from the canton/state (e.g. one person from each canton). Assembly: Each autonomous canton/state has to have its own bi-cameral assembly. Chambers must give both the regions and the district electorate the chance to be represented. At the national level (federal) there should be a national assembly which is composed of two chambers: (a) the Chamber of Elders and (b) The Chamber of the Canton/State Council. The main purpose of the two cameral pattern is to ensure that the cantons and the lineages or clans are properly represented in the law making quot;factoryquot; of the nation. On the other hand, it can be helpful in solving regional differences of interest. Regional interests which might
  11. 11. object to a central government are to some extent pacified by the knowledge that they are formally represented at the centre. At this stage is it essential to consider the re-emergence powers of the traditional authority, which still has an influence on the Somalis. Public Institute Building and Rehabilitation of Authority: One of the main causes of Somalis present dilemma is the degeneration of authority. The rehabilitation of authority can come only with the participation of the people. The aim of this process should be to create an environment of confidence building which can create the smooth transformation of the socio-cultural and political norm. Accountability: There must be a way where people are able to choose their representatives in the government. This will give the people an opportunity to supervise and control their representatives. It will also make their leaders accountable for their action. This practice can also stimulate a positive political culture which can change the destructive instinct which has affected the people in the last two decades and which caused the erosion of the foundations of the Somali nationhood. Rule of Law: At all levels, the government should apply the rule of law. The law should be the official principle or order which guides the behaviour of the government. Entrusting Four Levels: The system must entrust four levels to be represented by the people: district, region, canton/state and elders (or traditional leaders). The district and region lay in the canton/state level, and the later two represent the autonomous cantons/states and the traditional leaders. What the International Community Can Do The international community s help to the existing local administrations is essential. However, if this help is mismanaged or routed to the wrong hand, not only it may hamper the peace in the country, but also may perpetuate the conflict. In fact, it has been proved that some of the humanitarian aids have been used to fuel the fighting in Somalia. Help: Help for rehabilitation and reconstruction should be given to any area where there is stable administration or community willing to help themselves. This helps the local administration/community to rehabilitate the local life. Local Administration Performance: Help should be conditional to the performance of the respective local administration or community heads. This should influence the local authority to distance themselves from being selfish. Mandate: Dealing with individuals/groups who do not have clear mandate from their given area have exasperated any attempt towards building local administrations. It also creates the view that NGOs are simply enriching themselves or individuals/groups. This will contradict the charitable purpose they are created for. The Safety of Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs): Without the slightest moral standards, Mafia- like groups impose exorbitant fees for their security on the UN and relief agencies. This should be stopped, as responsibility should accounted for to the groups/administration where NGOs carry out their work. Reconciliation/Compensation Fund: One of the effects of the civil war is the expropriating of properties such as building, farmlands, etc. Some of these properties may be ruined or their value deteriorated over the years. Likewise, returning back these properties to their original owners may be difficult as some of the occupiers may not have anywhere to go or may not go back to their area because of fear of persecution. In addition, for the original owners it is a tormenting experience as long as someone, whom he/she has never met before, occupies his/her properties.
  12. 12. This problem proves to be one of the main obstacles to the peace in Somalia. However, to solve this obstacle, there should be a Reconciliation/Compensation Fund which helps the present occupiers of land to give up the property they are occupying or holding and set up their own properties in different area of the country. Moreover, the Fund should give opportunity to the original owners to get back their original property or to set up their properties to their preferred areas if they wish to do so. The Contribution of the Somali Diaspora Since the last twenty years, Somalia has been experiencing brain drain. This began with the advent of the repressive rules of military regime in early 1980s. However, with the outbreak of the civil war in 1991 the exodus of the Somali intellectual class has reached its peak. To refill the gap in the country, efforts should be given to the development of human resources. However, this process should go concomitance with the other development such as that of setting public institution or helping communities across the country. Injecting the Know-how: The Diaspora should return to their respective area and inject their expertise and intellectual prowess to the rehabilitation/reconstruction process in the country. Think-tank: The international community should help to establish an international Somali Diaspora Think-tank. This think-tank can contribute to the reconstruction of the Somali-nation state. Bibliography quot;Afrah, Maxamed D.; quot;The Mirror of Culture: Somali Dissolution Seen Through Oral Expressionquot; in The Somali Challenge: From Catastrophe to Renewal? Ahmed I. Samatar, (ed.), (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1994). Besteman, Catherine; quot;Local Land User Strategies and Outsider Politics: Title Registration in the Middle Jubba Valleyquot;, in The Struggle for Land in Southern Somalia: The War Behind the War, Catherine Besteman and Lee V. Cassanelli, (eds.), (London: Haan Associates, 1996). Cassanelli, Lee V., quot;Explaining the Somali Crisisquot;, in The Struggle for Land in Southern Somalia: The War Behind the War, Catherine Besteman and Lee V. Cassanelli, (eds.), (London: Haan Associates, 1996). quot;The Declaration on the Political Position of the People of Sool, Southern and Eastern Sanaag Regions and Buuhoodle District of Somaliaquot;, 1998. Hersi, Abdirahman Ali; quot;The Arab Factor in Somali History: The Origins and the Development of Arab Enterprise and Cultural Influences in the Somali Peninsulaquot;, (Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Los Angels, 1977). Ismail, Mustafa Y., quot;Lessons from the Experiment with Somali Nation Statequot; in Paix et Reconstruction en Somalie, Paris, 15-17 April 1993. Issa-Salwe, Abdisalam M.; The Collapse of the Somali State: The Impact of the Colonial Legacy, (London: Haan Associates, 1996). ------ quot;The Welfare State of the Somali Nation: A Possible Solution to the Somali Dilemmaquot;, in Pour Une Culture de la Paix en Somalie, in Mohamed Mohamed-Abdi et Partice Bernard, (eds.), (Paris, Association Européenne des Etudes Somaliennes, 1997).
  13. 13. Kapteijns, Lidwien; quot;Le Verdict de L'Arbre (Go'aanka Geedka): Le Xeer Issa, Etude d'une Democratie Pastoralequot; by Ali Mouse Iye, Hal-Abuur, Vol.1, No.1, Summer 1993. Lewis I. M.; A Modern History of Somalia: Nation and State in the Horn of Africa (London: Longman, 1980). ------ Understanding Somalia: A Guide to Somali Culture, History and Social Institutions, (London: Haan Associates, 1993). ------ A Pastoral Democracy, (London: Oxford University Press, 1961). Menkhaus, Kenneth; and Kathryn Craven, quot;Land Alienation and the Imposition of State Farms in Lower Jubba Valleyquot;, in The Struggle for Land in Southern Somalia: The War Behind the War, Catherine Besteman and Lee V. Cassanelli, (eds.), (London: Haan Associates, 1996). Mohamoud, Abdullah A., quot;Somalia: The Pitfalls of Drains of Human Resourcesquot; paper presented at the International Congress of Somali Studies, Turku, Finland, 6-9 August 1998. Northeastern Region, quot;Shirka Nabadda iyo Nolosha ee Garoowe, Diseembar 16-28, 1993, Garoowe, Northeastern Region. Puntland Courier, Puntland State Information Newsletter, August 1998. Puntland State Information, quot;Puntland Government Three Year Plan (1998-2001)quot;, Garoowe, August 1998. ------, Newsletter, December, 1998. Sadia M Ahmed, quot;Transformation of Somali Marriage System and Gender Relationsquot;, unpublished MSc Dissertation, University of London, 1994 Samatar, Ahmed I.; Socialist Somalia: Rhetoric and Reality, (London Zed Books, 1988). Siciid F Maxamuud, quot;Prisoners of Siyadist Culturequot;, in Hal-Abuur, Vol.1, No.1, Summer 1993. Unruh, Jon D., quot;Resource Sharing: Smallholders and Pastoralists in Shalambood, Lower Shabeelle Valleyquot;, in The Struggle for Land in Southern Somalia: The War Behind the War, Catherine Besteman and Lee V. Cassanelli, (eds.), (London: Haan Associates, 1996). Vincent, Andrew, Theories of the State, (Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1987). War-torn Society, quot;War-torn Society Project: Northeast Somalia Regional Reportsquot;, War- torn Society Project December 1997.