Why does one living in Cape Gardaffui (Ras Casair) on the tipmost of the Horn of Africa has to travel two thousand Kms away on dangerous rough roads over inaccessible mountains, ancient Puntland caves and Maidi-infested territories to the Capital Mogadishu to get his/her passport or driving licence?
I put this question to a senior former politician of Siyad Barre Regime. He responded, “it should be so because Mogadishu is his/her Capital City”
Nowdays, one would obtain his or her passport almost in all urban centres of Somalia, enabling residents living in remote localities of the country to reach service delivery centers within hours. One also doesn’t require permission from Mogadishu to go overseas. People can catch flights in all urban centers enroute any destination of their choice.
Regions wouldn’t wait for legislations being enacted in the Capital. They have their own legislature assemblies and city councils. Financial services are readily available even in remote villages. Telecommunication is second to none.
People are free to debate on the best way forward for Somalia and about reconstructing the New Somalia.
There is a growing regional cooperation and slow and steady economic integration with robust movement of people, goods and information between the regions of East Africa.
Can someone in a position of authority or influence in Somalia turn the clock back and compel people to return to one city-state status? Is it intellectual sound and sane to contemplate about discarding the gains of “Federalism”, call it decentralization or power devolution that had been made defacto immediately after the vicious civil war?
Is federalism cast on stone or is it a temporary governance arrangement as a first step to restore lost trust among Somali clans? Who would represent Somalia in regions for talks at National Table to re-instate Somalia as a viable state again? You would say Warlords, rebellious organizations (Fronts), Union of Islamic Courts, clan elders, or legitimate and elected leaders from the regions with national vision and commitment to re-build Somalia from the ashes of the Civil War?
That is why the establishment of federal states or regional administrations were necessary as first step to rebuild Somalia, not to destroy it as the Senior former politician of Military Regime believes. He thinks that the federal states are anti-national tribal organizations created by the enemies of Somalia.
I asked him, “how would you bring Somaliland to the fold of the New Somalia?” He said, “By Force”. But, isn’t yours take my way or the Highway”?, I asked. “Negotiation with them is recognition”, he declared.