Articles by Mohamud Uluso:
March 13, 2013 by Mohamud Uluso
Resolution 2093 adopted by the UN Security Council on March 6, 2013 endorses a long overdue partnership mission between the Federal Government of Somalia and the international community in the pursuit of peace and state-building. It is somewhat more significant than previous resolutions for a number of reasons. For one, it ends more than two decades of avoidance on the part of the international community in addressing the problem of statelessness of Somalia in comparison to other African failed states.
It reaffirms the commitment of the US government towards stability and peace in Somalia. It merges the conflicting strategies pursued by the individual or group members of the international community for their self-interests while moving supervision of Somalia’s peace-building agenda from the regional level to the global through the United Nations. When one looks closely at the Resolution, it addresses five key issues: the African Union forces in Somalia (AMISOM), the human rights and protection of civilians, the lifting of an arms embargo imposed on Somalia from 1992, the role of the United Nations in Somalia, and the violations of the ban on the charcoal export.
While the Resolution is ambitious in scope and provides concrete endorsement on the part of the international community in stabilizing the country, some of the principal challenges may actually come from the international community itself. The Federal Government must also a take a more active role and hold itself accountable if Somalia is to become successful in state-building.
February 5, 2013 by Mohamud Uluso
Secession. Clan-based federalism. Unitary decentralized politics. These independent natures that permeate clan rivalries inside Somalia have ruined the trust and moral principles among its people. Creating a formidable obstacle to recovery of the lost nation, the separation of clans on key issues threatens to divide Somalis who share a common culture, territory, and religion. African federalism has shown to fail due to a lack of commitment to democratic values and obstruction of the central government authority. The signs of many problems associated with clan federalism like violent minority dissent against a dominant clan are now visible in territories such as Puntland. Rather than solving the problems of bad governance, clan federalism expands the state’s flaws, frustrates national reconciliation, and annuls citizenship rights and obligations.
January 22, 2013 by Mohamud Uluso
January 17, 2013 was a memorable day for Somalia. It was the day the United States abandoned its misguided policy towards Somalia and formally recognized the central government after 22 years. Going forward, two challenges that need to be addressed are the mobilization of an international aid package and within Somalia the overcoming of internal divisions based on clan loyalty, past injustices, collective mistakes, and fear of the future and a tendency for Somalis to look out for political self-interest.
Somalia should be grateful for the decision of the Obama administration not only to liberate Somalia from Al Shabaab and lead an effort to combat piracy in the Gulf of Aden. This historical move must be a vindication for Michael Zorick, a former US State Department Political Officer for Somalia, who was removed in 2006 from his position after he dissented from the Bush administration’s counter-terrorism policy towards Somalia and late congressman Donald Payne who challenged Ethiopia’s involvement in Somalia.
The announcement is also a triumph for Professor Michael A. Weinstein of Purdue University who has consistently argued for the best interests Somalia, and for John Prendergast who wrote in 2006, Our failure in Somalia, for The Washington Post.
January 21, 2013 by Mohamud Uluso
Consistent with his goal of speaking in the best interests of Somalia, Professor Michael Weinstein of Perdue University, Indiana, has tried one more time to reason with the Somali elite and the international community about the problems hobbling the Provisional Federal Government (PFG). Weinstein eloquently explains the structural weaknesses, responsible for the PFG’s slow performance.
By adding the adjective “provisional” to the Federal Government’s name, Weinstein reminds the Somalis that despite all the rhetoric, in the eyes of the international community, the present government isn’t any different from the previous transitional governments in legal, diplomatic and political terms. In short, without defending the competence and integrity of PFG leaders, he underscores that the donor-powers’ decision to starve the PFG, unless PFG leaders accept a kind of Trusteeship Administration for the next 20 years, is more ominous for the revival of Somalia.
The truth is that Somalia is trapped in an abusive relationship with the international community. The role of Somalia’s government is to rubber stamp international decisions on Somalia. The international photo-ops and red carpets granted to Somali leaders and the frequent three-hour visits of foreign dignitaries in Mogadishu mask the unequal power and foreign driven policies imposed on Somalia. It’s hard to miss the contradictions between the public statement and the official policy actions of donor and neighboring countries in dealing with the new government.
January 5, 2013 by Mohamud Uluso
The setting up of local public administrations in the regions of Gedo, Lower Jubba and Middle Jubba which have yet to be entirely liberated from the Al Qaeda affiliated Al Shabaab has generated passionate debate for four reasons.
First, as result of clan based federalism, it stirred up the majority and minority struggles between communities in those regions at village, district and regional levels. Second, it brought to the front the divergent interests and goals of the multiple foreign, national and local actors claiming stakes in the process. Third, it represented a special significance for the federal government since it defines the values and meaning of the post-transition political dispensation and implementation of the Provisional Constitution (PC) on territorial jurisdiction and citizenship supremacy. Fourth, the ban by the UN Security Council on the export of charcoal in the area adversely affected the local economy.
December 17, 2012 by Mohamud Uluso
In implementing their recently concluded regional security cooperation agreement and reaffirming their indefinite military occupation of Somalia, both Ethiopia and Kenya have left open the possibility of annexing Somalia under the cover of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD). Since only Ethiopia exercises uncontested power within the IGAD, on December 6, 2012, IGAD Joint Committee of Ethiopia and Kenya under the auspices of former Kenyan Minister, Mr. Kipruto Arap Kirwa, IGAD Facilitator for Somalia Peace and Reconciliation (IFSPR), issued a statement and Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Grand Stabilization plan (GSP) for South and Central Somalia.
October 31, 2012 by Mohamud Uluso
Somalia adopted a UN-drafted Provisional Constitution, formed a new national parliament representing the entire population of the country and elected a national leadership for ending 12 years of a chaotic transition period and established a permanent, representative and accountable government eligible for substantial Official Development Assistance (ODA).
Majority of Somalis believed that the international community would treat the post-transition government as a sovereign authority primarily representative of and accountable to its people.
September 10, 2012 by Mohamud Uluso
After the Provisional Constitution establishing a model of governance in Somalia was approved, Ken Menkhaus, a Somalia expert at Davidson College, published an article titled, Somalia’s 20-year Experiment in Hybrid Governance. The article offers justification for the adoption of what the author termed, the ‘Mediated State’ model of governance in which the central government outsources its core functions to the private sector, nonprofit organizations and local polities.
This model of governance embedded in the PC assumes the existence of legitimate and accountable local political authorities either interested in or obliged to cooperate with the national leaders and institutions. Thus, the leaders of the central government without responsibilities and competencies must gain legitimacy, functions and authority from those local authorities.
August 8, 2012 by Mohamud Uluso
Since the Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was created in Djibouti in 2008, the International Community (IC) has consistently tried to make political change in Somalia without a clear strategy and participation from the local population. In 2011, the IC created a “Roadmap” that repealed the Transitional Federal Charter and federal institutions.
In May 2012, without the consent of the Somali parliament, the IC took away the responsibility of the constitutional drafting from the Independent Federal Constitution Commission (IFCC) established by Somali parliamentary act and from the Committee of Experts (CoE). In July 2012, a pre-approved mandatory “Draft Provisional Constitution (DPC)” has been presented to the Somali people without the right to make amendments to the draft document or to reject it outright.
While the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) has overruled the proposals for amendments or postponement of DPC debate from the majority of the Somali leaders, a mysterious Technical Review Committee under the management of UN bodies and the International Development Law Organization (IDLO) which implements the Italian funded project for “supporting the constitutional review process (CRP) in Somalia” has been exercising the discretionary power of re-writing the DPC. The UN-led Constitution-Making Process for Somalia could be described all but “legitimate, accountable, transparent, participatory, inclusive and most importantly Somali-led” as claimed by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General (SRSG) and head of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS). Contrary to the baseless public statements of the representatives of the IC and the leaders of TFG, the post August government is another Transitional (Interim) Federal Government of four (4) years term.
July 2, 2012 by Mohamud Uluso
On June 22, 2012 the Somali Roadmap (the process for ending the Transition) Signatories (SRS) signed a series of documents prepared by the Office of the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS).
The documents, available here, (1) Somali Transitional Government Decree (Decree); (2) protocol establishing Somali National Constituent Assembly (NCA); (3) protocol establishing Somali New Federal Parliament (SFP); (4) Protocol Establishing the Technical Selection Committee (TSC); (5) Protocol Establishing the Signatories Technical Facilitation Committee (STFC); and (6) Draft Provisional Federal Constitution (DPFC) which entered into force on June 22, 2012. These documents except the DPFC are written in English. Even the DPFC is evidently translated from English. UNPOS throttles Somalia.
The provisions of the Decree include amendments to articles of the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) for repeal, the dissolution of the Committee of Experts (CoE) and the Independent Federal Constitution Commission (IFCC), the adoption of protocols establishing TSC, STF, NCA, the establishment and dissolution of NCA after voting on the DPFC, the dissolution and transfer of power from the Transitional Federal Government/Institutions (TFG/TFIs) to SRSG and SRS as the authority responsible for the transition, and finally the request to UN to assume the responsibilities of supervising the transition process, the new parliament and the review process of the provisional constitution during the new parliament term.
April 12, 2012 by Mohamud Uluso
The 23 March 2012 death of Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed – former president of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TFG) – sparked an intense debate about his political legacy. President Yusuf left an indelible mark on the history of Somalia. Some present him as a national hero and honest broker; others see him as a dictator, a corrupt politician, and a tribalist. These diametrically opposing views were the result of President Yusuf seeking military support from Ethiopia to establish his rule in south central Somalia. As a result, Ethiopia dominated the internal and external affairs of Somalia.
March 5, 2012 by Mohamud Uluso
The Communiqué coming out of the February 23 Conference on Somalia falls far short of all expectations. The promised new approach by the international community to tackle the root causes of insecurity and lack of a functional government responsible for Somalia’s inexorable decline over the past 20 years did not materialize.
Further, nothing in the Communiqué responds to possible solutions for the dreadful situation in Somalia, a country suffering from years of war and natural disasters. The reasons are a matter of conjecture.
The Communiqué listed operational tasks before a national polity capable of pursuing the interests of the Somali people. Prof. Stephen D. Krasner, in his paper, “Troubled Societies, Outlaw States and Gradations of Sovereignty”, argues that alternative institutional arrangements, such as trusteeship and shared sovereignty must be legitimized if international threats are to be reduced and the prospects for individuals in troubled societies improved.