Commentators on Somalia’s federalism are to be commended for their tireless efforts to express their views and experiences on the issue. Writers like colleague @Abukar_Arman are leaders in denouncing federalism. They, however, can’t consider and appreciate the other side of the debate – the advantages the system offers in Somali context: restoration of public trust, decentralization of power, regional self-reliance, peace-making among Somali clans, prevention of city-state tyranny, efficient delivery of public services, residents’ ownership of regional state entities, etc.

Make no mistake, federalism is not a fixed system that has a set of rules to follow. Like democracy, it has inherent difficulties and messy governing problems. Even advanced nations built on federal systems experience continual frictions between states and with the central federal governments. It is an involving system getting improved over time. People adopt this system for reasons. Somalis, who lived under bitter and harsh dictatorship and vicious civil war have lingering fears and worries about the repeat of their bad experiences in Somali governance. They temporarily opted for federalism despite its difficulties. The system is enshrined in a solemn post-civil charter and provisional constitution. Why don’t you respect their wishes and let the system work. And, by the way, do you have any other ideas to contribute to improve the system rather than critizing it relentlessly?

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:

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