September 23, 2019
To 2001-2004 Somali National Peace and Reconciliation Conference in the Kenyan City of Eldorate and then moving to Mbagati in Nairobi, the undersranding and proposal of Puntland State delegation was Confederalism, not federalism, as it is understood and written in the Federal Constitution now. The bulk of delegations from different Somali factions and civil societies either didn’t understand the concept or were against it. Puntland negotiating partners both at Steering Leaders Committee and delegates even refused to recognize Puntland as a regional state. They had adamantly refused to write “regional state” into the TFG Provisional Charter. You may easily find out that from original TFG Charter.
This was one of the two sticking issues in the Conference. The other thorny issue was the status of Mogadishu as the national capital city, with some delegates suggesting that it couldn’t be Somali capital anymore, after what had happened there, while others proposed to agreeing on a special status for it.
A compromise was reached on the two difficult issues:
- Federalism or creation of a Central Government and Regional Administrations (later called regional states) to bring Somalia back together and revive the failed state.
- Mogadishu shall have “Special Status” as a Federal entity.
These compromises were made possible, when delegates from Mudulood, Digil & Mirifle and Dir, had softened their resistance to the option of Federalism.
Both compromises have yet to be implemented fully because of those forces, who are interested only in maintaining the status quo.
I would, therefore, recommend to all to keep this historical background in mind when deliberating on Federalism vs Confederalism vs Unitary Government.