Somalia's Transition: The Role of Senior Professionals and Scholars
A Seminar Held in Windsor Club
September 20 - 24, 2004
Heinrich Boll Foundation
Horn of Africa Regional Office
The Somali peace conference in Kenya is at its final stage with the expectation that a transitional national government will be formed in the next fortnight. The Somali people welcome the progress made so far and hope that their nightmare will soon come to an end. These good tidings are, nonetheless, accompanied by the fact that the formal process has been dominated by self-interest and machinations of power sharing. The cost of this is has been the marginalization of the country's most civic and skilled citizens who could have made vital contribution to peace-making through formal channels. Consequently, this group of non-partisan Somalis whose sole interest is the restoration of peace, reconciliation, and democratic and effective national government have gathered here to analyze the challenges of the transition and how both Somalis and their well wishers can best tackle those impediments effectively. This cohort has committed themselves to coordinate their efforts in order to productively engage with civic-minded citizens and others to insure that the transition is as successful as it could be.
After carefully examining of those challenges, we have come to the conclusion that this first phase of the transition should focus all efforts on the following key areas:
The formal peace process which is expected to produce a national transitional government has not advanced beyond power-sharing. We think that the transitional institutions will come to knot unless there is genuine reconciliation, both at the political and social levels. Reconciliation and restoration of law and order are intertwined; they will determine the effectiveness of the resuscitated institutions in meeting the need for security and basic needs. Thus, we think it absolutely imperative that every effort should be made to invest heavily in reconciliation and security. These two areas of the transitions form the scaffolding of the new era. Efforts to induce successful reconciliation and security must be rooted in a critical understanding of Somali history and tradition in the context of the speedily changing global order. The specific strategies, mechanism, actors, and organizations deployed to ensure sustainable reconciliation and security must be Somali drivens. The role of the international community should be to support and compliment Somali initiatives and promote Somali ownership.
We are pleased to know that a preliminary agenda has been set in the form of the "Rapid Assistance Program," and appreciate the anticipatory thinking of key members of the international community in taking this initiative. However, we hold that the "RAP" has important shortcomings that would need to be immediately rectified. Two such inadequacies are: the absence of Somali participation in the formulation of the program and the dominance of international NGOs/agencies in the implementation of various projects.
The group identified a number of issues that need to be addressed in the short and medium term, and propose specific recommendations that are enlisted below under each priority area. Six key recommendations are:
1. The immediate creation of a national civic forum, a platform for critical public debate on ideas and issues relevant to the transition and beyond.
2. For the National Reconciliation Commission to fruitfully accomplish its objects, it ought to be autonomous, and its members must be people of impeccable credibility and non-partisan stance.
3. The political actors must demonstrate their commitment to the process by handing over all of their heavy weapons to designated authorities.
4. Insist that the new transitional regime is made of a small cluster of imminent portfolios [no more than a dozen]. Competence and a record of integrity, among others, ought to be used as criteria for each appointment.
5. The peace process must heavily invest in the massive job creation to jumpstart the economy and create constructive alternative livelihoods for young men and women.
6. Re-build the educational infrastructure on the basis of initiatives developed by Somalis already engaged in education. This will include the capacity to publish textbooks in the country.
7. Rehabilitate medical facilitates, training institutions, and heavily invest in the prevention of diseases, such as malaria, TB and HIV/AIDs.
A more detailed outline of the six major areas identified is in Annex 1. This section is a summary of the challenges and proposed strategic interventions and recommendations.
a. After the ugly civil war the reconciliation of the warring parties and the reconciliation of all the various antagonists [communities, clans, subclans, etc.] is imperative
b. Adopting the South African Truth and Reconciliation model is not viable, under the present circumstances in Somalia, for the following reasons:
i. Most of the warring parties and all antagonists have joined the peace process and are active in the formation of the Transitional Federal Government
ii. The repercussions of a televised voluntary public confession of crimes committed, in a Somali context, needs further careful study.
c. Adopting the Rwandan and Bosnian models of setting up an International Criminal Court to try people who have joined the peace process and are part of the Transitional Federal Government is also not practical.
a. Support the political reconciliation process that is ongoing in Nairobi. This process has to succeed in order to go to the next phase of the reconciliation process.
i. Help in defining the composition and agenda of the National Reconciliation Commission
ii. This committee has to be totally autonomous while conducting its work and in the financial management of the resources made at its disposal.
iii. Members must be prominent personalities who are beyond reproach, competent, with integrity, not affiliated with any political group, and not engaged nor employed in any of the current political institutions.
b. Facilitate a Social Reconciliation program between the various clans and subclans.
iv. Establish a social reconciliation committee in every region of the country. Each committee will be headed by a member of the National Reconciliation committee [as defined in step a]
v. Focus on the major antagonists and provide a forum for all groups to air their grievances and or express repentance, and encourage traditional compensation approaches towards those victimized.
vi. Uphold the "Return of all properties to their rightful owners" principle and the payment of reparations whenever applicable.
vii. Create an Elders committee to ensure that these Social Reconciliation efforts are ongoing
c. Both the National Reconciliation Committee and the regional Social Reconciliation Committees will be guided by the Somali, Islamic and universal human rights values in their reconciliation efforts.
d. Create social programs that enhance both the Political Reconciliation process and the Social Reconciliation process. Specifically programs that make use of the media, poetic and song compositions, social events, and sports
e. The ownership of the reconciliation process and its financial management must be in the hands of Somalis. These committees will be using the advice and expertise of the international community in order to accomplish their goals.
f. The massacres, crimes against humanity, and human rights violations that took place in Somalia are very grave will be deferred to the elected Somali parliamentary government as soon as the transitional period is over. This elected body will decide what model is appropriate to bring those who committed these crimes to justice.
The Root Causes of Insecurity
Spread of arms all over the country. The arms is on the hands of the populace
Lack of reconciliation among the warring factions
Consistent looting and misappropriation of properties belonging to innocent civilians
Poverty, joblessness and economic hardship in both urban and rural areas
Lack of education for the young militia
Grievances and mistrust among the clans resulting from the civil war
Naturally occurring drought generally causes sever shortage of water and pasture in rural areas, thus creating a conducive environment for violence
Lack of law and order
Warring and political factions
Business community militias
Freelancers of militias
Reconciliation: adapt the recommendations from the reconciliation committee
Disarmament: The first priority is to collect heavy weapons from:
a) Factions, b) Business community, 3) Islamic courts, and 4) Clans. This will be followed by the small weapons. For arms to be withdrawn from the above mentioned players, compensation packages will be required.
Disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration of the various militiamen
Restoring the re-establishment of the police forces to maintain law and order
Return properties held illegally to its owners
Programmed plan with the aim of reducing conflicts resulting from water and pasture scarcity in rural areas
Top priority must be given to internal security
The business community must register and license all of their small arms that might be used for business protection only
The UN should enforce the monitoring of arm embargo to Somalia
For safe and secure environment, de-mining work should be carried out
Somalis are no different from other societies in that none could meet its basic collective needs [ranging from security to environmental and economic well being to education and scientific advancement] without an effective public power.
While this is uniform across the modern world, the imperative is greatest among late-developing and, therefore, brittle societies. The state is not and cannot be everything but its absence is a form of acute social homelessness. The condition of the past fifteen years testifies to the cost of having no national governance. Another decade or more of the present situation is a horrible option to contemplate - Somalia will sink deeper into further retailing of identities, physical and material insecurity, and international irrelevance, contempt, and abuse.
There has been a series of national reconciliation meetings to rebuild the Somali state. In this latest attempt, it was agreed upon to adopt a federal system. The Transitional Federal Government is expected to design the nature and operational features of Somali federalism. Despite the fact that the type of government to be adapted was highly contentious, this decision seals for the time being the form that such a government would take.
This form of governance underscores the sharing of power between regions/provinces and a central authority. Though the nuances vary, in a federal system, the central government solely designs and manages areas such as defense, foreign policy, and fiscal policy. Moreover, it shares with the regions responsibilities like revenue generation, education, transportation and communication, heath care, law and order, judiciary, public administration, etc. Despite the distribution of power between the central structures and the provinces, at its best a mark of democratic autonomy for the latter, Federalism also carries some potential dangers. First, and particularly in the current climate, there is the difficulty of establishing legitimate provinces. Where does one draw the boundaries? Second, what becomes of equity/equality in those potential regions that will house within their zones different kin groups? What would be the lines of accountability between the province and the federal state? What about the financial and bureaucratic burden of this level of new administrative structure?
A key and immediate challenge of the new state is to initiate the re-cultivation of the ethos of collective belonging and solidarity among the Somali people. In addition, we offer two categories of specific recommendations: one for the Somalis and the other for the international community.
What the Somalis ought to do:
a. Summon a spirit of repentance. The disorder that has engulfed Somalia is a manifestation of individual and collective failures of immense proportions. Justice should be the keynote for the new order yet scores ought not to be settled through vengeance. On the contrary, what is needed is the courage on the part of individuals and communities to ask for forgiveness and, by the same token extend it to others. Such an attitude could help Somalis imagine forward the people that they may become and embolden the new state to kindle an even stronger sense of "asabiya" or "Soomaalinimo".
b. Establish a lean and agile national structure that can absorb and respond to the vicissitudes of everyday life, as well as quickly focus on the most important of the urgent national needs. The new portfolios of the transitional regime should be no more than a dozen, the antithesis of the logic behind the quantitative formation of the new Parliament. Moreover, the new transitional government ought to re-visit the wisdom of a national parliament with 275 seats. The objective should be to tailor the total number to a sum commensurate with the Somali population and the reality of the resources of the country.
c. Stress the criteria of integrity and competence in the creation of the apparatuses of the state, particularly leadership, administrative personnel, and the judiciary.
The international community:
a. Insist that the new transitional regime is made of a small cluster of critical portfolios [no more than a dozen]. Competence and a record of integrity, among others, ought to be used as criteria for each appointment.
b. Investment in the establishment of the forces of order and justice.
c. Investment in a non-partisan and independent civic forum for the generation of new ideas that will trigger constructive debate and discussion during the transition period. This could become the nucleus for a new public radio system.
d. Carry out an inventory of highly qualified Somalis who have earned degrees from internationally accredited post secondary institutions.
e. Actively promote the recognition of the new order by the rest of the world.
The economic sector has been devastated by the civil war and the enduring legacy of under investment in the productive sectors. Interventions during the transitional period will require addressing not only immediate issues of recovery, but also the structural factors of underinvestment and inappropriate regulation of the sector which have exacerbated by the statelessness.
Livestock export ban
Poor veterinary services
Collapse of agriculture infrastructure
Insufficient crop food production
Illegal and inappropriate fishing practices
Dearth of infrastructure for fishing
Tree cutting and charcoal exportation
Dumping-off toxic waste in the ocean
Low quality and exploitative prices of imported basic commodities
Waste of agricultural products and high value natural resources
Explore new markets for livestock and establish internationally recognized animal health export certification
Revive the veterinary delivery services
Rehabilitate and reconstruct agricultural infrastructure
Improve agricultural input supply and develop appropriate technology transfer services
Re-introduce regulatory mechanism for the fishing sector
Ensure international support for marine protection and monitoring and control of fishing pirates
Develop effective infrastructure for fishing communities
Ban on charcoal export and introduction of tree planting practices among rural communities
Introduce regulatory mechanisms for quality control of imported commodities
Encourage the private sector to invest in the industrial process of local products
Although there are tangible indicators of success for a system that is attempting to resurrect, the challenges that still remain unaddressed cannot be coped in this paper. However, among the endless list of challenges are following:
Access to the education is one of the biggest challenges for the Somali society due to the limited available service providers and the affordability resulted from the economic and security problem. Even with the limited available educational institutions unbalanced distribution is observed in terms of urban vs. rural, general education with technical and the gender disparities.
After the access, the other challenge is the quality of the education both in the hard side of the buildings, equipment, teaching and learning materials and curriculum documents and also in the soft side of human resource development, policies, regulations and practices.
Determining who owns the education is another import challenge. Is it a community owned as in the traditional or pre-colonial era or owned by the state as in the military rule? How a partnership could be established between of the state and community to share the responsibilities and the role.
Another big challenge is the relevance of the education to the personal aspirations and the national goals and its deep relation to the livelihood.
a. Involve the Somali citizens in discussing publicly what type of education system will be adopted in the post conflict Somalia. During the transition, the citizen engagement can be achieved through organizing and providing space for public debates, national dialogue for education and may be even a national conference for education.
b. Setting the education as a national agenda where a long lasting peace, reconciliation and development cannot be achieved without setting a proper system of education that can transform the individuals to responsible citizens.
c. Start building the education system on the available initiatives developed by the Somali institutions in the post conflict situation and benefit from the available resources and expertise.
d. Address the issue of the ownership by forging real partnership between the state and existing community owned education.
e. Prepare planned and balanced intervention to address the issue of the access to education, in order to succeed a sustainable and substantial enrolment rate for the primary education.
f. Quick and planned intervention is required to train teachers and educational managers to fill the wide gap of shortage of teachers created by obsolescence and aging.
g. Special programs should be initiated for the disadvantaged groups in the society, specially the disabled, adult and women.
a. Destruction of health facilities, such as hospitals, clinics, x-ray and lab facilities, and health manpower training institutions, such as Somali University Medical School, nursing and other paramedical training schools.
b. Shortage of health manpower due to emigration and deaths.
c. Lack of adequate and quality drugs and medical supplies
d. High morbidity and mortality of treatable diseases, such as TB, Malaria, waterborne diseases and injuries from fire arms and mines
e. Lack of preventive services, such as immunizeable childhood diseases, HIV/AIDS prevention services, and safe drinking water and sanitation services.
1. Provision of essential prevention services
b. Expanded program on immunization (EPI)
c. Injury prevention services, such judicial services and education
2. Rehabilitation of health manpower training institutions (Somali University Medical school, Nursing and paramedical training schools in the country).
3. Support newly emerged health manpower training institutions (Mogadishu University, Amoud University, Edna and Bossasso nursing schools, and others).
4. Regulate drug importation and distribution
5. Provide safe drinking water
6. Establish TB, Malaria, Schistosomiasis and Diarrhoeal disease control program.
THE SOMALI CIVIC FORUM
The Somali Civic Forum (SCF) is an independent, non-partisan organization founded by a cohort of Somali intellectuals that met on September 20th - 24th 2004 in Nairobi, Kenya. SCF's mission is to generate and disseminate creative ideas that will assist in the establishment of a democratic political order, durable peace, justice, rule of law and sustainable development.
A. The generation of ideas relevant to the Transitional Federal Government's mandated period and beyond. These ideas will become the basis for new public debates and discussions on the welfare of the Somali people.
B. The Dissemination of these ideas through various media and publications.
C. The persistent and positive engagement of the Transitional Federal Government, the Somali society, and the international community, particularly those who are interested in the welfare of the Somali Republic.
A Steering Committee of six people from both inside and outside the country has been chosen for the duration of one year. The Steering Committee has been mandated to:
a. Choose a coordinator.
b. Put together simple and compact bylaws to govern the structure and functions of SCF.
c. Setup and coordinate a few foundational set of activities to take place between November 1st 2004 and November 1st 2005.
d. Set criteria for membership
LIST OF PARTICIPANTS
Kamar Yousuf, M.A/M.B.A
An independent consultant. She was the regional finance manager for an international NGO which provides air transport, communication and information technology to all humanitarian organizations working in Iraq. In this capacity, she designed and implemented financial management systems for two offices based in Iraq and Jordan. Kamar earned her MBA from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California. She worked in the Africa and Central Asia regions of the World Bank as a consultant on poverty assessment projects, and conducted gender analysis. She has also a Masters degree in Peace Studies with emphasis on International Conflict Resolution from the University of Notre Dame in Indiana.
Yusuf Ahmed Nur, PhD
Department of Business and Economics
State University of New York
He has a PhD in Strategic Management from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA. He is a professor of Strategic Management and International Business at the State University of New York, Brockport, NY, USA. His research has been published in both areas and have presented at both the Academy of Management and Academy of International Business, the two most prestigious USA associations in my areas of research.
Ahmed Abdi Dahir " Shell" BA
Worked with SHELL & BP OIL Company from 1967-1972 in various positions lastly being the Manager of Berbera Installation in.
Served as Somali senior Civil Servant & Politician with various positions lately holding the position of Assistant to the Minister of Youth & Sports.
Worked with USAIDTIPCO as Private Sector Development Program Manager in Somalia. Served my community as Director of Somali Relief & Rehabilitation Association (SORRA) in USA.
Served as member of Somali Olympic Committee from 1967 to present.
An activist with Somali Civil Society and at present Chairman of Somali Revival Council as well as Executive Member of Somali Intellectuals Forum ( SIF ).
Eng. Abdulkadir Aden Abdulle
Laurea in Ingegneria Electtrotecnica Universita' La Sapienza, Roma. 1967.
Served as a Minister of Public Works.
Worked as a director general, Ente Nazionale Energia Eletterica.
Technical director Societa' Elettroindustriale Somala
Now businessman and Civil Society Activist
Gen. Jama Mohamed Ghalib
Member of the Somali civil Society, participant of the Somali National Reconciliation conference.
Retired police general, former chief of national police force, cabinet minister of interior, labour, local government and transport.
Had legal training and experience, and a public notary in Mogadishu and Hargeysa.
Prof. Ahmed I. Samatar, Ph D
James Wallace Professor and Dean, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, USA.
A scholar and author of five books and over thirty scholarly articles published in refereed and academicals journals
Dr. Ibrahim Sheikh Mohamed, MD, FMGMS,
Specialist in internal medicine and cardiology.
Former lecturer in Somali National University, faculty of medicine.
Lecturer in Mogadishu University, faculty of nurse.
Activist in Somalia Civil Society.
Abdulkadir Hassan Shirwa
Degree: M.Sc. Agronomy, Nottingham University, U.K. 1989-1991
Specialization: Food Security, Crop and Livestock Production
o Former Dean of the Faculty of Agriculture (1979-1983)
o Part-time Professor at the Faculty of Agriculture, Florence, Italy (1992-1994)
o USAID's Farming Early Warning System (FEWS) Country Representative for Somalia (1998-2002)
o USAID's Farming Early Warning System (FEWS) Country Representative for Somalia and Djibouti (2001-2002)
o FAO Somalia Program Advisor (2003-Present)
o P.O. Box 6630, 00100 GPO, Nairobi, Kenya
o Telephone: 0721570619
Hussein Mao Haji
Degree: Ph.D., University of Guelph, Canada,
Specialization: Plant Breeding and Crop Production
o Former Coordinator for Sorghum Improvement in Somalia (1985-1988)
o Former Director Central Agriculture Research Centre (CARS), (1989-1990)
o Research Scientist, Agriculture Canada/Canadian Tobacco Research Foundation (19997-Present)
o 87 Clara Crescent, London, ON N6E 3G5, Canada
o Telephone: (519) 582-2370 Ext. 257
DR. Ali Shiekh Ahmed Abubakar, Ph D
Associate professor in King Saudi University, Riyadh Saudi Arabia.
President of Mogadishu University.
Author of the roots of the current crisis in Somalia. And published other books and articles about the history of Somalia and horn of Africa.
Mohamed Barre Muse, M Sc Economics and Finance.
Researcher, Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD), Mogadishu, Somalia.
Lecturer, Mogadishu University, Somalia.
Worked in humanitarian, development and policy analysis in Somalia and North Eastern Kenya with local, international and UN agencies.
Contact: Mobile: +2521 503303 Mogadishu Somalia
Farah Sheikh Abdulkadir, LLB.
Ag. Chairman of Formal Private Education Network in Somalia (FPENS).
EMBA fellow as an executive Manager in Maastricht School of Management (MSM) and Eastern and Southern African Management Institute (ESAMI)
Board of Director, Somali Institute of Management and Administration Development (SIMAD).
Worked in the development and education programs in Somalia since 1992, with international and local organizations in Somalia.
Prof Mohamed Abdi Mohamed -Gandhi,
Ph D Geology, Ph D Anthropology/History and HDR.
Former in charge Researcher, IDR Paris.
Awarded international Loreat From French Academy.
Served as a senior program advisor UNDP Somalia in DDR.
Lead Consultant in Mapping the Somali Civil Society.
Chaired the Technical Committee in Art Somali Peace process and member of the civil society in the Somali Peace and Reconciliation Conference in Kenya.
Published eight books and edited three studies, and published more than 40 Scientific articles in academic journals
Dr. Mohamed Gedi Qayad, MD,``MSc, MPH, MSPH.
A Medical apidemioligist with the Goergia division of public health, USA, former Vice Chairman of the department of community medicine in the Facult of Medicine in Mogadishu Somalia.
A CDC fellow in biostatistics and quantitative epidemiology in tuberculoses.
Experienced in the area of public health for both developing and developed countries and worked as a consultant for WHO Afghanistan
H. E. Abdirizak Haji Husein,
Prime Minister 1964 to 1967 as an elected MP.
Minister of Interior 1960 to 1962.
Minister of Public Work, post and Telecommunications 1962 to 1964.
Devoted to the peace and reconciliation of Somalia.
Abdilatif Mohamud Abdi,
Veterinary Scientist and Livestock Consultant, development educationist, project Management and Environmentalist.
Field veterinarian, livestock consultant and trainer.
Senior lecturer/Researcher, Faculty of animal husbandry and veterinary medicine, Somali National University
Project management in Emergency relief and Rehabilitation activities in Somalia.
Education researcher, UNDP Somalia.
Jabril I. Abdulle, Double B A (hons) and M A
Co-Director, Center for Research and Dialogue (CRD) Mogadishu Somalia and program coordinator for WSPI Mogadishu.
Engaged as a consultant in conflict mapping, reconciliation and community development over ten years in different countries including Jamaica, Bermuda, Sweden, Canada USA and others.
Abdi I. Samater, Ph D
Professor of Geography and global studies, University of Minnesota.
Author of over 35 scientific articles and three books. His book the African Miracle was the finalist for Herskovitz award for African Studies in North America in 2000. Elected Director of the African Studies Association, 1999 - 2003. He was also, a Fulbright scholar in Botswana and Ethiopia
He served as an advisor to South Africa's Human Sciences Research Council.
Mohamed Kassim, PhD
Teaches at Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology, Toronto, Canada. From Aug. 2002 to May 2003, he taught at Brock University, St. Catharines, Canada. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in the History Department at York University, Canada and has published on the history of the Benadir coast in the nineteenth century. He is currently working on a two volume book based on the 19th century court records of Brava.
Abdi Mohamed Bafo, M Sc, B Sc in Agriculture
Researcher in Agricultural 1984 to 1990 and engaged in humanitarian and development work with international organizations during the Civil War.
Active in voluntary contribution in Civil Society initiatives aimed at peace building.