SOMALIA’S FEDERAL MEMBERS STATES ARE ALSO LITTLE MOGADISHU-LIKE CITY-STATES

Galkayo, May 28, 2019

The political narrative since the fall of Somali Government in 1991 has been focusing exclusively on blame and counter-blame of Mogadishu being the centre of all the problems of Somalia’s one city-state status. Now, we have created federal member states in regional capitals modeling exactly Mogadishu in their respective clan enclaves, doubling down and duplicating the same problems of Mogadishu all over again.

When we had been creating Puntland State in 1998, we had approved Garowe/Nugaal/Somalia as the capital city of the first federal regional state of Somalia, thinking that we had resolved finally the problems of Somalia’s one city-state legacy. We didn’t even bother enacting laws governing Garowe as a capital city publicly owned by the entire people of Puntland State and ran by the State. It was a historical oversight that led to a number of problems.

The first serious one came in 2001-2002 when Puntland had been experiencing existential constitutional crisis and violent power struggle between late President Abdullahi Yusuf and Jama Ali Jama. At time, every resident originally hailing from other parts of Puntland, had departed and fled Garowe in a hurry back to their respective towns to escape violence and armed confrontations. People from other regions of Puntland had lost business confidence and stopped building and owning properties in Garowe until very lately.

Another serious problem is the fact that Garowe have been become both the political and business centre for the entire Nugaal Region, economically suffocating other towns like Eyl, Buurtinle, Dangoroyo, and other important historical towns of Nugaal Region. Sin-u-Jiis, for instance.

Finally, came President Faroole, who had turned Puntland wholly into one city-state, just like Mogadishu City-state of Somalia.

There is still lingering public feeling of that legacy in Garowe – business confidence, though, is back on track. This is an example of a true life experience.

Other capital cities of federal member states, including Somaliland, are suffering from far worse problems than Puntland. Regional state capital cities of Federal Member States are all “little Mogadishu” in its worst scenario of 1991-1995 clan-cleasing in their sub-clan compositions statistically.

Don’t blame the “real Mogadishu” for copying and re-creating the same.

ismailwarsame.blog

Author: Warsame Digital Media WDM

About the blogger: This blog is associated with the former Chief of Staff in Puntland State Presidency, 1998-2005. He also worked with the UN and World Bank Joint Secretariat for Somalia’s Re-construction and Development Program (RDP), 2005-2006, as a Zonal Technical Coordinator for Puntland and later as National Aid Technical Coordinator with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and European Union. He is now an independent political analyst and commentator on current issues and occasionally gives historical perspective on modern Somalia’s politics. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada. He can be reached at: ismailwarsame@gmail.com

4 thoughts on “SOMALIA’S FEDERAL MEMBERS STATES ARE ALSO LITTLE MOGADISHU-LIKE CITY-STATES”

  1. No power devolution for 20 years.
    What does any one expect from this long standing mess. Little Moga will not be accepted tomorrow.
    Ever thought of federal puntland Regions! Welocome to this version.

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  2. Mr. Ismail, thanks for this great piece of work. I strongly believe Unitary system is way better than this. The last time we had the military government, the unitary wasn’t bad but how it was applied was flawed. This regional state system has got far too many problems. The most scaring one is that it creates a safe haven where foreign enemies can hatch their eggs, invest in the heads of the regional administration, and use them a hit dog against the central govt. I am shocked by one encounter a colleague told me about. This colleague of mine attended a meeting where all the regional heads and the leaders of the central govt. were discussing issues, and I am told one of the regional heads exploded with anger, uncontrollable rage, and even hurled insults at the govt. I am shocked because we were complaining about incompetent people accessing positions of power, now lack of character is coming up. Someone too undiplomatic to fail to express their interest, or concern, or dissent, that is dangerous. Anyway, Somalia will be prosperous with the unitary system. This country doesn’t fulfill even one condition for Fdralism.

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