On July 21-22, 2002 members of the Somali business community met in Djibouti to discuss their role in the rebuilding of Somalia. On the agenda was the creation of a secure environment, the support and participation of the private sector in the economic reconstruction of the country and ways in which the business community could assist a new Somali government. The Djibouti "High-level Dialogue", which sprang from correspondence between Kenya's special envoy for Somalia and WSP International, occurred within the framework of the third and last phase of the Somali National Reconciliation Conference (SNRC). In October 2002, SNRC was launched by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), a regional body comprising Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda.
The conference was the third forum for members of the Somali business community to discuss their obligations and commitment to Somalia's rehabilitation. The first such meeting was held in Dubai in April 2003 and cosponsored by the Dubai Somali Business Council and a partnership of the affiliated Center for Research and Dialogue and WSP International. The second meeting was cosponsored by the United Nations Development Program for Somalia (UNDP) and CRD/WSP International and held May 2003 at the Windsor Club in Nairobi. The two-day meeting addressed the challenges facing the Somali business community in the absence of a central government and the need to develop a strategy for national reconstruction. Participants met representatives of the international community and heard a statement by Ambassador Kiplagat. Members of the Somali business community also addressed the plenary of the SNRC at Mbagathi and pledged commitment and support. Although independent of the SNRC, both conferences essentially sought to harness the resources of the private sector to the goal of reconciliation. Neither however successfully maintained momentum.
The Djibouti High-level Dialogue was sponsored by IGAD and the government of Djibouti, and held at the Djibouti Sheraton. It coincided with the SNRC's final and critical phase, that of forging agreement on the formation of transitional institutions in a reconstituted Somalia. The meeting was attended by 36 Somali business-men and -women representing the major economic sectors and geographical regions of Somalia.
Also present, as befits a High-level Dialogue, were H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of the republic of Djibouti; H.E. Ali Abdi Farah, minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation of the republic of Djibouti; H.E. Seyoum Mesfin, minister of foreign affairs of the federal democratic republic of Ethiopia; H.E. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka, minister of environment and natural resources of the republic of Kenya; Mr. Mirugi Kariuki, assistant minister of foreign affairs of the republic of Kenya; and H.E. Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat, special envoy of the Kenyan government for Somalia. In attendance also were: diplomats from the United States, Sudan, and Eritrea; representatives of UNPOS, UNDP, EU Somalia and international organizations accredited to Djibouti. Professor Ken Menkhaus of Davidson University, who was touring the region, was also present. The conference was covered by the following media organizations, among others: BBC Somali Service; STN Television and Radio (Mogadishu); Djibouti Television; Benadir Radio; and Radio Shabelle.
The meeting was funded by UNDP Somalia and the government of Djibouti, which invited the participants and provided accommodation. CRD/WSP International facilitated the process. EU Somalia also extended background suppo
OBJECTIVES OF THE MEETING
The objectives of the conference were:
a) to elicit support from and engage the Somali business community in the proceedings of the SNRC, particularly the Mbagathi peace talks, at which they have been poorly represented.
b) to demonstrate to the assembled business leaders that their involvement and active contribution is essential to the process of rebuilding Somalia.
In light of prevailing conditions in the country, it is widely believed the business community can provide practical input by partnering with the government to not only develop economic and business policy, but also to provide input on such crucial matters as security, demobilization, disarmament and re-integration of militias.
Organizers and facilitators of the High-level Dialogue envisioned that the meeting should not be a one-time event, but part of a process leading to the re-establishment of a viable state. At the same time, the meeting constituted a first step in the development of an organized and enlightened business community prepared for the global challenges of the 21st century. As a long-term strategy to re-engage the business community, it was hoped that a "Contact Group" of businessmen would be formed to liaise and cooperate with the IGAD facilitation committee, international community representatives, and the government that will emerge out of the Mbgathi conference.
PROCEEDINGS OF THE MEETING
The meeting was divided into four segments:
Presidential and ministerial addresses: the President of Djibouti and other speakers reaffirmed the commitment of their respective countries and of IGAD to Somalia's reconciliation, rehabilitation and reconstruction.
On day one, the foreign minister of the republic of Djibouti, H.E. Ali Abdi Farah and the assistant foreign minister of the republic of Kenya, H.E. Mirugi Kariuki, made persuasive statements to open the proceedings. Both ministers reiterated calls for private-sector representatives to support the peace process and to pledge their sustained commitment. Speakers also reaffirmed the wish to see Somalia enjoy a lasting peace, which was described as being in the best interests also of neighboring countries. Also, Khalif Issa, a spokesperson for the Somali business community addressed the conference, asserting the need for a Somali government that will not only protect its private sector, but also promote greater economic integration within the region. Mr. Issa closed by emphasizing the commitment of Somalia's business-men and -women to their country's future.
Briefing on the status of the peace process and donor intentions toward the new government: Participants were apprised of the status of the talks at Mbagathi, and also heard testimonials of donor support and post-reconstruction plans for a new Somali government. The EU representative, Mr. Paul Simkin, provided a detailed presentation of a draft rapid assistance program to be implemented by the international donor community to support the new government. He went on to outline the international community's priorities with respect to the rebuilding of Somalia and a new Somali government.
The Working Sessions: In keeping with its participatory approach, and to encourage the commitment of the participants, CRD/WSP International prepared a series of questions to be discussed and answered by three groups formed from the participants. The three groups were randomly selected and given time to discuss and formulate their responses to ten questions, which addressed substantively, political, economic and security issues. After hours of deliberation, the groups re-assembled in the conference hall and each selected a spokesperson to present their answers. The conclusions of the deliberations were compiled and formed the basis of the joint statement
Commitment to the future: The business community formalized its determination to actively participate in the peace process by forming a "Contact Group" to liaise and spearhead cooperation with the new transitional authority and the international community. The Chairman of the Somali business group, Mr. Sharif Ahmed declared that the Somali business community fully supports the peace process at Mbagathi. Also, the business community will provide some initial financial assistance to the peace process, and it will work closely with the future Somali government. Mr. Sharif Ahmed and the ministers present signed a joint declaration formalizing the intentions of the business community, with the president of the republic of Djibouti as a witness.
The joint statement of the Somali Business Community in the Djibouti meeting codifies: the participants' cognizance of recent positive developments at Mbagathi and the urgency and sensitivity of ongoing dialogue there; participants' acknowledgement that security is a multidimensional concern and that their involvement is vital with respect to, among other issues, demilitarization, demobilization and maintenance of a ceasefire. Further, participants: agreed to support and comply with the UN Security council arms embargo on Somalia (Resolution 792; 1992); resolved to form a Somali chamber of commerce as soon as possible; stated their preference for a free-market economy in a reconstituted Somalia and economic integration with the region's economies; and sought regional and international assistance to promote Somalia's economic recovery.
After the closing ceremony, the Somali business leaders had separate afternoon sessions with Kenya's special envoy for Somalia, Ambassador Bethuel Kiplagat, Kenya's assistant foreign affairs minister, Mr. Mirugi Kariuki and Ethiopia's minister for foreign affairs, H.E. Seyoum Mesfin. Discussions in these meetings were reportedly cordial yet substantive and pertained to the past and the future of Somalia and the region.
The conference was widely adjudged a success; both in terms of substantive outcomes and the willingness of the business community to heed appeals for participation as well as to air their own concerns. The participants responded positively and with enthusiasm to the questions, evincing a willingness to take on more responsibility during and after the process of establishing a new government.
Participants were also keen to voice their caution about the peace process and its imminent outcome, as well as their fears concerning the surrender of their own weapons and militias. The latter, they claimed, were formed only in response to the threat posed to their safety and their interests by warring clan leaders and freelance militias.
One of the businessmen at the conference stated emphatically "We took weapons to defend ourselves and property from the armed faction leaders who have been recalcitrant to every effort towards peace for Somalia. Should we, the business community, surrender our weapons to the very armed faction leaders, who may form together a government for Somalia, when we are not sure of their true commitment?" He concluded, "We have no problem to give the new government the benefit of the doubt but until we see tangible signs that our businesses and lives will not be jeopardized, we will remain reluctant to surrender our weapons."
Noteworthy also, was the readiness of assembled businesspeople to acknowledge the need for a government and the benefits that would accrue to them following installation of a new administration. It might be expected that some businesspeople, having profited in part from the instability and chaos in Somalia, would be resistant to the idea of oversight and taxation. However, there was virtual consensus that the benefits of good government would outweigh the drawbacks. Lastly, the businesspeople present expressed their desire for a transitional national authority that would promote a free-market economy and stronger regional economic integration.
The Contact Group, with Sharif Ahmed as chairman, has already begun to work more closely with the international community and is readying a delegation to visit Nairobi and support the Mbagathi peace conference. To prepare for the arrival of the Contact Group, an advance team has been dispatched to Nairobi.
The Djibouti conference for members of the Somali business community was held within the framework of the IGAD-sponsored Somali National Reconciliation Conference in Kenya.
The role of the business community in the implementation of peace is critical not only because of the financial and political resources it can offer a reconstituted Somalia government, but also because its input will be vital on such contentious issues as demobilization, disarmament and reintegration of militias.
Central to the conference's discussions was the need to achieve a balance between the business community's national obligations and commitment on the one hand, and the new government's willingness to respect and safeguard the private sector's ability and right to generate revenue.
The president of Djibouti, in his speech, emphasized the positive contributions of the business community following state collapse in providing both services and goods to the Somali community. He also alluded to the negative dimensions and consequences of its activities during that time: "A Somali businessman is governed by self-interest to the core without having much knowledge of what that means."
Representatives of the regional and international community repeatedly stressed the centrality of the Somali business community to reconstruction and implementation of peace on the ground. Speakers reiterated that the government that emerges from Mbagathi must be recognized and supported. Members of the IGAD Inter-Ministerial committee present expressed their unified commitment to seeing Somalia set on its feet once again.
The detailed declaration of involvement and support by the EU representative, the statement by Babafemi Badejo of UNPOS and the presence of Abdisalam Omer Hadliye of UNDP Somalia conveyed powerfully the international community's resolve to assist a new administration.
Conference participants expressed their willingness to take a role in the reconstruction of their country and to contribute to the efforts of implementation of peace on the ground in full cooperation with the new Somali government.
The representatives of the business community also signaled their understanding that the real challenges lie ahead: to achieve a workable national government on the ground and to assure both the Somali people and the regional community that Somalia is fully reintegrated financially and politically into the world community.
There were frequent allusions, in debate and speeches, to the scope and nature of the Somali crisis. Moreover, the consequences of continuing statelessness for the private sector and the wider Somali community, in terms of freedom of movement and security were acknowledged. As the president of Djibouti succinctly put it, "The gains generated from the absence of formal taxation mean nothing in the long term."
Wednesday July 21
8:00 AM Arrival and Registration of Participants
9:00 Reading from the Qur’an
9:15 Introductory Speeches
· Opening words from the Minister for foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti, His Excellency Ali Abdi Farah
· Statement by the Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kenya, The Honorary Mirugi Kariuki
· Statement by Dr. Babafemi Badejo of the United Nations Political Office for Somali
· Statement by the President of the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce
· Statement by Khalif Isse Ali, spokesman for the Somali business community
11:00 Resumption of conference
· Statement by Paul Simkin, EU Technical Advisor
· Statement by Abdulsalam Omer, UNDP Program Officer
Election of a conference bureau
12:30 End of Morning Session
1:00 PM Lunch, courtesy of the President of the Djibouti Chamber of Commerce
4:00 Resumption of Conference
Selection of Business Committee
6:00 End of day one
7:00 Free Dinner (at the discretion of conference invitees)
Thursday July 22:
Resumption of Conference
8:30 AM Opening remarks by the minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti, His Excellency Mr. Ali Abdi Farah
Statement by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, His Excellency Mr. Seyoum Mesfin
Statement by the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources of Kenya, Kenya’s Leading Mediator to the IGAD Ministerial Facilitation
Committee, Hon. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka
9:30 Speech by His Excellency Mr. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the
Republic of Djibouti
Report from the Chairman of the Conference, Mr. Sharif Ahmed
Adoption of the Joint Agreement
1:00 Lunch, hosted by the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti
Substantive questions for the Somali business community
1) Under what circumstances and via what mechanisms should income-generating infrastructure (ports, airports) currently owned by business groups be transferred to the control of a new government? What are various alternative partnership arrangements between government and the private sector for management of ports and airports? What about assets that have been built since the collapse of government and which, consequently, do not qualify as national infrastructure?
2) What government business and tax policies, as well as other regulatory policies, will best promote business interests and national economic development? For instance, the re-establishment of Central Bank, Treasury, Commercial Banks and Chamber of Commerce etc.
3) What environmental policies should be priorities? For instance, how can the production of charcoal for export be managed to halt deforestation in the country?
4) Under what conditions and to what extent is the business community willing to contribute to the initial budget of a new government? What if any conditions would the private sector insist upon?
5) What steps can and should be taken to encourage re-establishment of business activities within Somalia rather than in Dubai and the Diaspora?
6) What role can the business community play in the reconstruction process? (in terms of rehabilitation of infrastructure, for instance.)
7) What forums, structures or mechanisms will there be for ongoing dialogue, partnership and consultation among a new government, the international community and the business community?
8) Which services should be returned to government control, which should remain under private sector ownership, which should be managed by private-public partnerships, and which should involve competitive services offered by public, non-profit, and private sectors?
9) What mechanisms will there be for government to ensure compliance from businesses that committed crimes since 1991, or that are recalcitrant in relinquishing public assets to the new administration. Examples include sanctions, asset-freezing, and disqualification from government or foreign contracts?
10) How can the business community assist in the establishment of a new government and the return of peace and stability in the first six months?
Who will control business community’s militias? Under what circumstances will the business community willing to hand over their heavy weapons?
Will the business community share the payment for a new police?
What scope is there for private/public cooperation in other non-business matters such as demobilization, disarmament?
NATIONAL RECONCILIATION CONFERENCE
SOMALIA BUSINESS COMMUNITY
21-22 JULY 2004
1. Members of the Somali business community held a High-level Dialogue in Djibouti July 21-22, 2004 within the context of the IGAD-sponsored Somalia National Reconciliation Conference (SNCR). The meeting was hosted, sponsored, and addressed by H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti. The conference was also attended by: the Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Djibouti, H.E. Ali Abdi Farah; the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Seyoum Mesfin; the Minister for Environment and Natural Resources and Kenya’s leading Mediator to the IGAD Ministerial Facilitation Committee, Hon. Kalonzo Musyoka; Kenya’s Special Envoy for Somalia, Amb. Bethuel Kiplagat; and Dr. Babafemi Badejo of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia.
2. The Undersigned members of the Somali business community participated in the Djibouti meeting.
3. The Djibouti meeting was held as part of the third and final phase of the SNRC, in implementation of the decision made by the IGAD 7th Ministerial meeting on Somalia, to discuss the role of the Somali business community in the stabilization of Somalia during the transitional period. In particular the participants agreed on the following:
· To contribute to the creation and protection of a secure environment;
· To create a contact group for the Somali business community to facilitate relations with the transitional institutions, IGAD countries, and the international community. The contact group will commence dialogue with the SNRC and international community in Nairobi as soon as possible.
· To support and participate in economic reconstruction of the country.
4. The Participants
· Noted with satisfaction the progress achieved at the SNRC and acknowledged that the conference is at a critical stage of forging agreement on the formation of transitional institutions;
· Further noted the various phases of achieving control of the military situation inside Somalia and agreed to positively engage and cooperate with the Somali transitional institutions and with the international community in the realization of the full continuum of establishing a secure environment including: ceasefire, containment of heavy weapons, demilitarization, demobilization and re-integration in a step-by-step process that provide security guarantees to the business community;
· Expressed commitment to the Security Council Resolution 792 (1992) imposing an arms embargo on Somalia;
· Highlighted their imperative role in the political and economic reconstruction of Somalia, and expressed their strong desire to fully employ all of their capacities to consolidate a constructive cycle of economic recovery. In this regard, the participants would like priority consideration in the implementation of recovery programmes;
· Expressed a desire for the transitional institutions to adopt policies supporting a free-market economy and regional economic integration;
· Acknowledged the need to establish a structured approach of engagement in all matters concerning their role in the transitional period. In this respect, the participants agreed to explore the possibility of opening a Somalia Chamber of Commerce at the earliest opportunity, and requested support for that objective;
· Expressed their deepest concern about the long-term damage caused to the Somali economy and ecology by the dumping of toxic waste, export of charcoal, and export of female livestock;
· Requested specific assistance from international community in support of economic recovery in Somalia, including lifting of the livestock export ban, unfreezing of the assets of thousands of Somali businesses and households in Al Barakat, and on the United Nations Environmental Programme to ensure a ban on the exportation of charcoal from Somalia.
5. A more detailed report on the proceedings will be issued by the 31st July, to be distributed to all participants, and will be made available on the CRD website: crdsomalia.org .
Done in Djibouti on 22nd July 2004
H.E. Ali Abdi Farah, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Djibouti
H.E. Seyoum Mesfin, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
H.E. Kalonzo Musyoka, Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya
H.E. Mirugi Kariuki, Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kenya
Amb. Bethuel Kiplagat, Kenya’s Special Envoy for Somalia
High-Level Dialogue with the Somali Business Community
SHARIF AHMED MOHAMED
KHALIF ISSA ALI
SAID NUR QAILIYE
ABDULKADIR MOHAMED NUR (ENO)
MOHAMED ABDULLE MOHAMUD
AHMED DUALE GELLE
HASSAN MOALIM OMAR
ABDIRISAZ HASSAN JIMALE
ABDIRASHID SHIRE HUSEIN
MUHUMED AHMED NUR (FOODEY)
MOHAMUD OMAR ADEN
MOHAMED ABDALLAH MOHAMED
MAHDI DAHIR SHEIKH NUR
HASSAN HASHI MOHAMED
MOHAMUD OMAR ADUN
IMAN MOHAMED ALI
ABDULKADIR OSOBLE ALI
ABDIRASHID OSMAN HASSAN
MOHAMED ABDULAHI SHEIKH
MOHADEIN MOHAMED SHEIKH (ADAWE)
MOHAMED ADEN FARAH
AMIN OMAR ABUBAKAR
ABDIRIZAK HASSAN JIMALE
ABDIRASHID SHIRE HUSEIN
ZEINAB JAMA MUSSA
ASHA OSMAN UGAS
SIRAD HASSAN HUSEIN
SHAMSO ABDULLE BUTUGEY
ABDIRISAQ OSMAN HAGI
MOHAMUD OMAR ADEN
YUSUF ALI OSMAN
STATEMENT BY HIS EXCELLENCY MR. ISMAIL OMAR GUELLEH,
PRESID.ENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF DJIBOUTI
22 July 2004
Representatives of the Somali Business Community,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Djibouti, this sisterly country of yours. A country that is fervently committed to the promotion of peace and stability in the region. A country inhabited by people whose strong belief in the values of peace, tolerance and dialogue has helped overcome many trials and tribulations. I hope that you have enjoyed your stay and that Djibouti offered an inspiring environment for you to deliberate on the crucial issues tabled before you for discussions despite the severe heat that we are facing at this time of the year.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are indeed heartened by the progress made in the current peace process in Mbagathi, Kenya.
We have strong indications that the long-drawn Somali National Reconciliation Conference is irreversibly progressing towards its successful conclusion. I would like to seize this opportunity to express my deepest gratitude to His Excellency, Mr. MWAI KIBAKI, President of the Republic of Kenya, the Government and the people of Kenya for hosting that conference for the last two years.
I would also like to express my appreciation to the leadership in the region for the clarity of vision, the seriousness of purpose and the strong political resolve they have demonstrated to assist Somalis in their endeavour to establish a broad-based and all-inclusive Government.
Instead, I must commend the IGAD Ministers who are here with us today for their continued engagement and their commitment to speedy conclusion of the process.
The decision to speak with one voice and to articulate a unified position on the issue gave a strong signal to the Somali parties that the onus lied on them to end a long-running nightmare. They seemed to have got the message right and have since then taken positive actions that have helped move the process forward
There is however a strong need to sustain that commitment, to further accommodate one another, to deepen the political dialogue towards the formation of a successful and balanced transitional dispensation that can extend the process of national reconciliation and security throughout the country.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Somalia will soon arrive at a moment of hope. Let us all seize this opportunity.
The charge will be to help Somalia create a secure and enabling environment for the emerging institutions to function and address the mammoth task of consolidating peace, ensuring that there is no return to conflict, rebuilding a country that is devastated by a protracted and senseless conflict. Indeed, the real challenges of the transition lay ahead and comprehensive disarmament is the most crucial among them. The international community will be a vital partner in that endeavour. Immense external resources to be made available to the emerging institutions will be essential prerequisites for a successful conclusion
It is therefore of utmost importance for the. Somalis to take ownership of the process, shape and define the priorities of the transitional strategy, and support the outcome of the Nairobi Conference. In this regard, the contribution of the business community is crucial.
Dear Brothers and sisters,
You have achieved miracles in an extremely difficult and challenging environment in the absence of a central authority. Yon have taken the lead in the ~ fundamental changes that are taking place in Somalia. Yon have laid the foundations for properly functioning institutions. Remittance companies that some of you own and manage continue to provide a critical lifeline to millions of Somalis inside the country and abroad.
The development of telecommunication and information technology remains a source of wonder to many' external observers. The entrepreneurial spirit you have demonstrated and the achievements made have certainly triggered hope among Somalis. The most recent illustration of that renewed confidence in the possibility of a better future for Somalia is the reopening of the Coca-Cola Company a few weeks ago.
But it must also say that the continued lack of governance structures, of a regulatory framework and the absence of peace and stability would jeopardize those positive gains. For the survivors to thrive, peace and security and the creation of an enabling environment for business to grow and attract direct foreign investment are indispensable.
Therefore, you must pool your resources and all work together to support the new Somali Government that we hope will soon be formed.
You have a historic role to play and your support will be critical. You may not quarrel with the thinking. You may actually react positively to the idea.
But we need to see signs of that happening in the early days after the formation of a Government. You need to exert all our energies and efforts to draw an action-plan that would translate your thinking into concrete action if we are to expect the new dispensation to be effective
I believe our meeting today will be the most appropriate forum to initiate discussions on a result-oriented strategy aimed at providing a quick-response to the daunting challenges the emerging administration will have to face.
The region will strongly back your efforts and the international community at various fora has already expressed its willingness to support. God help us in our collective endeavour.
I thank you!
ISMAIL OMAR GUELLEH
Remarks By H.E. Seyoum Mesfin
Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Democratic Republic Of Ethiopia
22 July 2004
Honorable Colleague Ali Abdi Farah
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Int. Cooperation of the ROD.
Hon. Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka,
Minister of Environment and Natural Resources of the ROK,
Distinguished Ministers of the ROD
Excellencies, Honorables and international organizations accredited to Djibouti
Distinguished members of IPF.
His Excellency President Ismail Omar Guelleh,
President of the Republic of Djibouti,
Dear Members of the Business Community of Somalia,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
At the outset, let me express my pleasure at being here in Djibouti for this important meeting of the business community of Somalia, the IGAD Ministerial Facilitation Committee and the Representatives of the IPF.
Mr. President, we all know that Somalia is close to your heart. You have made personal sacrifices to assist Somalia. The People and Government of Djibouti have made tremendous sacrifices for Somalia.
Let me express our deep appreciation fort the decision taken by the government of Djibouti to host this meeting. You will also agree with me that our meeting today is very significant given our expectation of the crucial role that could be played by the business community in the future reconstruction of Somalia, which cannot be achieved without full participation.
Today Somalia needs the vital contribution of all segments of its society of which the business community is an important element. We have no illusions that peace will be realized fully in Somalia without active participation of the business community, whose role in bringing about national reconciliation is decisive as it is in disarmament, reconstruction and peace building.
q Somalia today is the only nation in the world without a functioning government
q Imagine a Somali child who was seven years old in 1991, is by now in his twenties but leading a precarious life without going to formal education.
q Imagine Somali children born since 1991 who are teenagers by now and serving in youth militias as child soldiers. Somalia lost a generation.
I am extremely delighted to share with you our satisfaction at the progress so far achieved in the peace process currently underway in Mbagathi, Kenya. The National Reconciliation Conference is now in its third and final phase and all the Somali clans are in the process of distribution and selection of the 275 members of parliament. We are hopeful that by the end of this month we will have the Transitional Federal Parliament of Somali in Place.
While much has been done in Mbagathi already, it is nonetheless obvious that what remains to be done is even more daunting. The challenge you face is building the Somali State from the ashes after fourteen years of anguish and national humiliation. This exercise is not going to be easy and no breakthrough can be achieved in this regard without the full commitment of all Somali actors including enthusiastic involvement of the Somali business community in the peace process.
At no time has Somalia needed the services of its business community more than it does now. First of all for peace for national reconciliation. And then for rebuilding Somalia’s state institutions and for reviving, with the support of the international community, Somalia’s economy, without which there can be neither peace nor durable national reconciliation.
q Somalia’s leaders (Political or Business) have failed in their people and nation.
q The region and the international community have also failed Somalia.
This must be turned around. It is recognized of this fact that we all have come together to assist Somalia.
Excellency President Ismail Omar Guelleh,
No matter how much the road ahead might not be all that smooth; there is ample reason for greater optimism in Somalia than any time in the last close to fourteen years.
First of all, the countries of the sub-region are ready to stand behind the people of Somali in unison. What we have started doing over the last few months has made it all too apparent that the people of Somalia can count fully on the Facilitation committee to discharge its responsibilities. This is a tremendous achievement for the regional states. It is with great pleasure now that I am reaffirming to you we in the sub-region are united in all our efforts to help Somalia regain its rightful place in the community of nations. No doubt, the unity of purpose displayed by the member states of IGAD since last May has been instrumental in achieving positive progress in the National Reconciliation Conference.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
It is also clear that the international community has begun to show greater determination than before to make a difference for peace in Somali. We continue to get assurances from our partners, with whom we have begun to work very closely, that Somalia can count on the support of the international community to ensure that the government that will be established would be viable and that it would not face complications because of lack of resources which will be critical particularly during the initial period after its establishment.
Let me reiterate how important this meeting is, for which we are extremely grateful to H.E. President Ismail Omar Guelleh. It is my earnest hope that this will be a successful event. Before concluding, I would like to reaffirm Ethiopia’s commitment to do whatever is necessary, along with the countries of the sub-region, for peace in Somalia and for national reconciliation. I would like also to express my sincere appreciation and many thanks to UNDP for joining hands with IGAD in facilitating this important forum, the High-level Dialogue with the Somali business community.
I thank you!
Getting it Right this Time By Babafemi A. Badejo, PhD
Senior Political Adviser, UNPOS
21 July 2004
Honorable Ali Abdi Farah
Assistant Minister Mirugi Kariuki
Honorable Ambassadors here present
The UN Resident Coordinator for Djibouti
Respected Business-men and -women
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Fourth Estate
It is a great pleasure for me to be back in Djibouti after a long absence from a city that is like a second home. The opportunity to be here arose out of a clash in the programme of Ambassador Winston Tubman, the Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia. He had to undertake an urgent diplomatic mission on Somalia that arose after he had concluded all arrangements to be here. He sends his felicitations through me to His Excellency, President Ismail Omar Guelleh for his untiring belief and effort on the need for the revitalization of the Somali State. President Guelleh’s zeal has seen the convening of the High-level Dialogue with Somali Business Community. Ambassador Tubman also sends his deep regards to the participants at this meeting and especially the Somali business-men and -women who left the task of making money to attend to the crucial task of seeing Somalia back on its feet.
Monsieur Le Ministre
The importance of the role of business in a peace process was recently emphasized at the July 14 informal consultations of the Security Council on Somalia. Many Ambassadors representing sovereign countries took note of the opening of a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Mogadishu. They were excited and welcomed this development. It was not because they thought that this gift of the United States to the world was crucial for the existence of the simple Somali nomad as he searched for pasture for his camels. They were happy because they saw this development as a signal that peace was returning to Somalia. One of them asserted that capital was a weakling and runs fast from insecure situations. They saw the return of Coke as an indication that peace was about to break and security was returning to Mogadishu and Somalia. Another Ambassador noted that a similar development took place as peace returned to Liberia. Such an appreciation of the role of business at the highest political level is an indication of the importance of business for the peace process in Somalia.
Monsieur Le Ministre
Permit me to note that many, in disparaging comments about the many efforts to bring peace to Somalia, postulate that the Mbagathi peace process will be no different from earlier examples. I personally felt this way until the 5th IGAD Ministerial Conference espoused a decision of all the Ministers concerned about peace in Somalia, to work on the basis of genuine uniformity of approach. Events on the ground have, so far, supported this decision of the Ministers. Their zeal has also seen four Ministerial meetings on Somalia between May and now. The ultimate meeting to launch the new Somali Parliament is expected in a little over a week from today.
It must be accepted that the world environment in the post 9/11 period is different. Circumstances that could allow opportunities for the flourishing of terrorism are of concern to the general international community. A state in coma like that of Somalia is of concern. Such concern led the Security Council to show a desire to implement the arms embargo on Somalia. After two reports from experts and a visit to the region by the Sanctions Committee on the Somali Arms Embargo, a Monitoring Group was established pursuant to resolution 1519 (2003) of 16 December 2003. With this Monitoring Group, it is expected that it will not be business as usual with respect to the importation of weapons into Somalia.
Winston Tubman, in collaboration with many international observers and especially the European Commission, the African Union, the League of Arab States, the United States and a number of European countries has been working strenuously with Kenya and IGAD in making sure we get it right this time.
The commitment of the United Nations and the belief that this should be the last peace meeting in a foreign land on Somalia was demonstrated by the visit of Kofi Annan, the UN Secretary-General to Mbagathi on July 8, 2004. The sense of his speech to delegates on that occasion was that we must get it right this time and bring succor to many Somalis who live under harrowing situations.
Monsieur Le Ministre
The Somali business community has an interest in peace in Somalia. Many would suggest that the Somali business community is used to the short-term gains that are associated with the comatose state of their country.
However, I would like to suggest otherwise. To start with, simple things like each unto himself or herself with respect to security is an expensive way for business to thrive. Waste of human lives represents destruction of consumers and in many instances, family members. Associated with this are higher costs that Somali business-men and -women must carry in operating in a situation in which the world does not have an accepted counterpart with respect to governmental backing to a Central Bank. As you know, such a clearing house is essential for commercial transactions with other countries when it comes to needs like Letters of Credit. The discrimination arising from the lack of an acceptable passport in much of the world is a social cost. I do not want to belabor the point that there are social costs to living in the Diaspora as a result of fear of security for immediate family members after goods in transit in Somalia have been heavily fortified by technicals.
Important, however, is the fact that Somalia has a lot of potential with respect to the construction and rehabilitation of developmental infrastructures all over a vast land. While I will admit that some make some gains from chaos, such gains are not equal to the lives of several clan and family members who are threatened by insecurity that results from stray bullets, kidnapping for ransom, etc.
Monsieur Le Ministre
Somali business-men and -women, in trying to protect their goods in transit have also maintained militias. The business community has, at times, engaged in fire-fights that shed the blood of militias and innocent people. No moral or religious precept sanctions the making of money this way. In effect, the Somali business community has a stake in peace for Somalia, even if for moral or religious reasons among other reasons.
A federal state as is being negotiated in Mbagathi cannot but follow the pressures at the international level to be business-friendly. This suggests that there is enough latitude for dialogue between those in business and those who will be in charge of the apparatus of state power. Such a dialogue should start from now. The presence of designated representatives of the business community could still make a lot of difference in the selection of those to represent Somalia during the five years of transition. I would like to humbly suggest that the most recent statement by the president of the Security Council (S/PRST/2004/24) applies to the Somali business community. In a paragraph, it was stated:
The Security Council reiterates that the Somali parties themselves bear the main responsibility of achieving a comprehensive ceasefire throughout Somalia. The Council calls on the Somali parties to fully implement the ceasefire, to ensure security, and to resolve their differences through peaceful means.
Monsieur Le Ministre
This does not mean that the Somalis will have to do it all alone. IGAD as a whole and the government of President Mwai Kibaki of Kenya remain steadfastly devoted to the goal of seeing Somalia back on its feet. The Secretary-General of the United Nations used the occasion of his visit to Mbagathi to re-assure Somalis of the commitment of the United Nations to assist. He also called on the international community to help further. But even before his call, a core group was working on behalf of the international community to put in place a fast track Rapid Assistance Programme for the first six to twelve months of a government out of Mbagathi. The second track will see a pledging conference following a needs assessment. Italy has just made an additional contribution of $2,239,200 to an earlier $536,150 to the UN Trust Fund for Peace-Building in Somalia. Other contributors to this fund were: Ireland, $34,668.65; and Norway, $836,533.39.
If Somalis get it right, including the support of the Somali business community, more can be expected from the international community in addressing the different aspects of putting Somalia back on its feet.
Monsieur Le Ministre
Let me once again use this opportunity to thank President Guelleh for conceiving this initiative and commend the support of UNDP Somalia.
I thank you, Monsieur Le Ministre, for your kind indulgence.
Remarks By Sharif Ahmed
Chairman of the Somali business community
22 July 2004
Madaxweynaha Jamhuuriyadda Jabuuti, Mudane Ismaaciil Cumar Geelle,
Wasiirka Arrimaha Dibadda iyo Iskaa-shiga caalamiga, Mudane Cali Cabdi Faarax,
Wasiirka Arrimaha Dibadda ee Dawladda Itoobiya, Mudane Siyum Mesfin,
Wasiirka Degaanka iyo Khayraadka Dabiiciga ah, Mudane Kalonzo Musyoka,
Wasiirka ku-xigeenka Arrimaha Dibadda isla markaasna ah ku qaybsanaha Arrimaha Afrika, Mudane Mirugi Kariuki;
Ra’iisul-wasaa … waad salaaman tihiin.
Anigoo ku hadlaya magaca ganacsatada Soomaaliyeed, waxaan u mahad-celinayaa Madaxweynaha Jamhuuriyadda Jabuuti, Mudane Ismaaciil Cumar Geelle, Dawladda iyo shacabka reer Jabuuti – sida sharafta leh ee ay noogu soo dhaweeyeen waddankeennii 2aad. Sidoo kale, waxaan mahad ballaaran u soo jeedineynaa dawladda Kiinya, oo dul-qaad dheer iyo dadaal, ka muujisay arrimaha dib-u-heshiissinta Soomaaliyeed. Dadaalka dawladda Kiinya, waxaa laga milicsan karaa xubnaha sar-sare ee metelaya dawladda Kiinya, ee yimid dalka Jabuuti, si ay u dhiirri-geliyaan, in ganac-satada Soomaaliyeed door shariif ah ka qaadato arrimaha nabad raadinta Soomaaliya.
Waxaan sidaa si la’eg, u mahad-celineynaa dawladda Itoobiya, oo in muddo ahba ku hawlaneed arrimaha dib-u-heshiisiinta Soomaaliya. Waxaa mahaddaas oo kale mudan dhammaan hay’adaha IGAD, IGAD Partner Forum, UN, EC, Jaamicadda Carabta iyo African Union.
Soomaaliya, oo aaney ka jirin dawlad dammaanad qaadda ganacsiga, ayeey ganacsatada Soomaaliyeed, si aad ah ugu dadaaleen, in ay horumariyaan ganacsiga Soomaaliya, iyagoo ku dhex shaqeynaya xaalad aad u adag, in ka badan muddo 14 sano ah. Xaaladdaas waxay xaddiday horumarinta iyo ballaarinta dhaqaalaha iyo ganacsiga Soomaaliya. Caqabadaha ugu adag waxay ka soo wajeheen arrimaha la xiriira nabad-gelyo xumada.
Waxaan shaki ku jirin, in aan la horumarin karin dhaqaalaha iyo ganacsiga dalka Soomaaliya, haddii shacbiga Soomaaliyeed uusan helin dawlad metesha. Dadaal badan, oo ay beesha caalamku ku dadaashay, in Soomaaliya ay ku naallooto nabad iyo horumar, ayaa waxaa si hagar la’aan ah loogu dadaalay in dib-u-heshiisiin laga dhex dhaliyo kooxaha isku haysta ka-arriminta Soomaaliya. Dadaalkaasi wuxuu soo socday in muddo ah.
Dadaallada la xiriira dib-u-heshiisiinta Soomaaliya, waxaan amminsanahay in dawladda Jabuuti ay si aad ah ugu dadaashay wax ka qabashada xasaradda ka oogan Soomaaliya. Shirkii ka horreeyay kan maanta ka socda Mbagathi, Kiinya – ee lagu qabtay Carta (Dalka Jabuuti), wuxuu ahaa mid taariikhi ah, oo ay shacbiga Soomaaliyeed ku muujiyeen baahida ay u qabaan in geyiga Soomaaliyeed noqdo mid xasilloon. Dadaalladii loo galay dib-u-heshiisiinta Soomaaliya, kii Carta wuxuu ahaa mid aad u qiimo badan. Dadaalkaas ay sameysay dawladda Jabuuti ma aha mid uu shacbiga Soomaaliyeed illaawi doono; waxaanna madaxweynaha Jabuuti hortiisa ka caddeyneynaa in ay Soomaaliya u hayso (dalka iyo shacabka reer Jabuuti) mahad weyn oo kal iyo lab ah.
Sidoo kale, iyadoo ka dhii-dhineysa dhibaatada la soo deristay Soomaaliya, ayeey dawladda Kiinya iyo shacabkeeduba u is-taageen, in ay u hiiliyaan shacabka Soomaaliyeed. Dawladda Kiinya waxay u dul-qaadatay, iyadoon ka daalin, in ay gacanta ku hayso shirka dib-u-heshiisiinta Soomaalida, in ka badan 18 bilood. Waxay kaloo dawladda Kiinya u dul-qaadatay caqabado badan, oo soo wajahay socodka shirka nabadda Soomaalida. Shirka nabadda ee Mbagathi (dalka Kiinya), wuxuu hadda marayaa gabo-gabo; shacabka Soomaaliyeed na wuxuu durba dareemayaa neecowda dawladnimo ee Soomaaliya.
Waxaa sidaas si la’eg, aan mahad ballaaran u jeedineynaa dawladda iyo shacabka Itoobiya, sida ay ugu guntatay wax-ka-qabashada arrimaha Soomaaliya, tan iyo markuu sannadku ahaa 1993dii. Waxay taariikhdu xusi doontaa dadaalka nabadeed ee shacbiga aan walaalaha nahay uu u muujiyay shacabka Soomaalida.
Annaga oo ah ganacsatada Soomaaliyeed, waxaan diyaar u nahay in aan la shaqeyno dawlad ka dhalata dalka Kiinya, oo ay Soomaalidu leedahay. Waxaan hortiinna ka caddeyneynaa in aan dawladdaas u huri doonno hantideenna, xooggeena iyo garashadeenna. Waxaan ka kaalmeyn doonna, in la xaqiijiyo, in Soomaaliya nabad lagu soo celiyo; in Soomaaliya ay si rasmi ah uga mid noqoto beesha caalamka.
Ganacsatada Soomaaliyeed, waxay ballaan qaadayaan in ay fuliyaan mas’uuliyadda ka saaran dalkooda: haddii ay ahaan lahayd dib-u-dhiska kaabayaasha dhaqaale, horumarinta waxbarashada, isgaarsiinta, gaadiidka iyo dhammaan hawlaha kale ee dib-u-dhiska.
Dareenka ganacsatada Soomaaliyeed wuxuu, mar walba ahaa, mid ku wajahan ka qayb gelidda iyo taageeridda barnaamijyada dib u heshiisiinta. Bishii April iyo Novembar, sannadkii 2003da, waxaan isugu nimid shirar aan uga hadleynay sidii aan kaalmo uga geysan lahayn nabad raadinta Soomaaliya. Waxaan la kulannay ergada shirka nabadda Soomaalida ee ku sugan tuulada Mbagathi ee dalka Kiinya. Waxaan hortooda ka ballan qaadnay in, haddii ay isu tanusalaan, kuna heshiiyaan dhismo dawlada qaran, aan ka kaalmeyn doonno xag walba.
Annaga oo tixraaceyna dadaalladaas aan hore u sameynay, waxaan 2dii maalmood, ee aan ku sugneyn dalka aan walaalaha nahay ee Jabuuti, ka doodnay sidii, aan haddana mar kale, uga qayb qaadan lahayn nabad raadinta Soomaaliya. Go’aanka aan gaarnay waxaan ku soo saarnay BAAQ hortiinna la keeni doono.
BAAQAAS waxaa ka mid ah, in aan magacawnay guddi heer sare ah, oo si joogto ah uga qayb qaadan doona shirka nabad raadinta Soomaaliya, si aan shacabka Soomaaliyeed iyo beesha caalamkaba ugu muujinno sida aan diyaarka ugu nahay wax-ka-qabashada arrimaha Soomaaliya. Guddigaasi wuxuu si rasmi ah ula shaqeyn doonaa beesha caalamka, dawlada Soomaaliyeed oo dhalata iyo shacabka Soomaaliyeed dhammaantood.
Baahida dhaqaale ee ka jirta shirka nabad-raadinta hadda ka socda dalka Kiinya awgeed, waxay ganacsatada Soomaaliyeed ku tabba-rucaysaa dhaqaale aan u soo marin doonno Guddiga Ganacsatada Soomaalida ee maanta magacownay. Guddigaani wuxuu dhawaan tegi doonaa dalka Kiinya, si aan ugu wareejinno deeqdaas aan bixineyno, iyo sidii aan uga qayb qaadan lahayn shirka nabadda Soomaaliya.
Waxaan beesha caalamka uga mahad-celineynaa dadaalka hagar la’aaneed ee ay u muujiyeen shacabka Soomaalida. Waxaan kaloo ka mahad-celineynaa ballan qaad yada ay beesha caalamku muujisay marka Soomaalioya ay hesho dawlad loo dhan yahay, oo xaqiijisa nabadgelya dalka.
Annagana waxaan ballan qaadaynaa in aan la shaqeyn doonno dawladda Soomaaliyeed ee cusub iyo beesha caalamka iyo dawladaha aan deriska nahay.