Mogadisho is not like Addis-ababa and Mudulood are not like Oromo

To: Dr. Mohamed Osman Jawari, Speaker of the Parliament.
Cc: Prof. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, President Federal Government of
Somalia.
Cc: Mudulood Federal Members of Parliament.
Cc: All Stakeholders

Dear Mr. Speaker,

With due respect, you have sent shock waves throughout the Capital City, Mogadishu and the people are anxiously waiting for the return of members of parliament from the recess. It is rumored, that you want to table as first order of business for the parliament to debate when it reopens on the “special status” of the Capital City, Mogadishu. Why, now? Wouldn’t, it be better to leave the matter to rest until all the regional states are established and their authorities (most likely they will appoint the next federal members of parlcould decide where it should be the National Capital of Somali Republic? After, all the parliament has failed to enact laws to regulate the formation of regional states in the country which will be a threat to the federation and national unity whatever is left of it.

Mr. Speaker, as a result, due to the failure of the parliament we have ill-gotten regional states of so-called Jubaland and South-West which are not all-inclusive regional states and not established on the principles of democracy and whose presidents are not elected but self-appointed and they want to be federated without the free will of their people. For instance, the president of Jubaland Ahmed Mohamed Islaam akas “Ahmed Madoobe” has completed the process of selecting and appointing the members of parliament of the region while the process of South-West is under way.

Both, so-called presidents of Jubaland and South-West are now masters of their own destiny and the future of these regions are in their hands to select and appoint their own choice of members of parliament to favor and reward their clans men and friends. How, could this kind of parliament discharge its supervisory duties? This is, a classic miscommunication of democracy that shall jeopardize and hurt the federation and national unity of Somalia. Hope, this is not what the European Foreign Secretary, Catherine Ashton meant “Democracy in Progress” in Somalia as a condition of the European Union to fund the federal government.

Mr. Speaker, why do you want to question the Constitutional Status of Banadir Region and its fourteen districts and not other Regions and their districts or the constitutionality of Jubaland and South-West regional states?
I believe, that you had ample time of almost three years and a good opportunity which is no longer there to bring the matter before parliament and clearly spell-out procedurally what it really means the “special status” of the Capital City, Mogadidhu to make into a law but you didn’t.

Truly, speaking this is unfortunate and provocative to say the least to craft a new law and create a special status for Banadir Region while ignoring its constitutional status as one of the eighteen regions of the country and it raises a lot of questions in the minds of many people in the country about your timing, including myself. Many, claim that you want to pre-empt those who wish to merge Banadir Region where the National Capital is located with Middle Shabelle to meet the requirement of minimum of two existing regions to establish a regional state according to the Interim Constitution.

Mr. Speaker, certainly it appears that you oppose Hamar Region and its surrounding environs, its fourteen districts and its people to combine with any other region to form an enlarged regional state according the constitution which surely there is a majority support for it. Also, it means that, you want to deny over two million and half people living in Hamar Region akas Banadir Region akas Mogadishu their political, economic, social, cultural rights, legal, constitutional and human rights to have representation at the municipal level, at the regional state level and at the federal level in both houses of parliament which is unfair to its citizens and definitely this is unacceptable.

However, the question is, do you think that the “special status” of the Capital City, Mogadishu and the constitutional status of Hamar region are one of the same? What, about other regions in the country with the same constitutional status like Hamar Region? Maybe, your main goal is to re-structure the Banadir Region and its fourteen districts by stripping off the constitutional status of the region and its districts and fashion it after Ethiopia’s Capital City, Addis Abeba with no districts and under the exclusive jurisdiction of the federal government where the majority Oromo people who are the original residents of the city are politically disadvantaged and vote only for the mayor. No, wonder why the only opposition member in its “federal parliament” is boycotting the upcoming elections in Ethiopia.

Mr. Speaker, let me get one thing straight, I was present at the Somali National Peace Conference in Nairobi, Kenya when the architects of the “special status” of the Capital City, Mogadishu suggested as a smoke-screen to raise the issue and implied to have concerns over fear of the city due to the dominance of its original residents, namely Hawiye and Reer Hamar. However, the same people who were raising these concerns and false claims of fear and other nuisance of battle for powers and resources between the regional state and the federal government yet continue to live and work in the city to date after almost fifteen years since the relocation of the transitional federal government (TFG) from Baidoa to the Capital City, Mogadishu and none of their false claims are yet to be materialized.

Mr. Speaker, we ask you to make it a clear distinction to the parliament between the constitutional status of Hamar Region and its districts which are already in existence and the special status of the Capital City, Mogadishu which means to enact a new law by stripping off the region’s status and its fourteen districts.

Mr. Speaker, as you know historically Banadir Region was part of the 8 regions during the civilian government and also became part of the 18 regions during the military government of Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre who has created these artificial clan-based 18 regions after breaking up the 8 regions of the country including Banadir Region which he has divided into three i.e.,Banadir, Middle and Lower Shabelle Regions. Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre, though made a different arrangements and set-up for the status of Hamar akas Mogadishu as region called Banadir Region and elevated its status as a “City State” and not a single district but with fourteen districts.

Some, national capitals are in fact states including those of Belgium and Germany and Ottawa, for instance is a city that is simply part of surrounding province/region. I say, therefore a care must be taken to ensure that the special status question is clear, does not disguise the real issue of constitutional status of Banadir Region composed of fourteen districts and does not suggest by the manner in which the question is phrased as a “district” where the confusion comes from which is not.

Mr. Speaker, clearly the constitutional status of Hamar Region and its fourteen districts were created by the enactment of a law and can’t be in jeopardy or questioned after forty-one years in existence because of the presence of the Capital City, Mogadishu within the Banadir Region which was there all the time even before independence.

Mr. Speaker, of course Hamar Region and its districts were lawfully created based on Law No. 23, dated July 1974. Article 1.
-City of Hamar was made a Region.
-City of Hamar was made a Region, named Banadir Region and it is composed of 16 Districts. As a consequence, the constitutional status of Banadir Region and its fourteen districts are neither negotiable nor Hamar Region akas Mogadishu would become under the exclusive authority of the federal government to deny its residents political representation at regional and federal levels nor we cede some districts of Hamar Region for the federal government to make its capital which would be unfair to some of our residents.

Mr. Speaker, therefore the constitutional status of Banadir Region and its 16 districts like other 18 regions and their districts created by the military government are neither negotiable nor Hamar Region akas Mogadishu would become under the exclusive authority of the federal government to deny its residents political representation at regional and federal levels nor we cede some districts in Hamar Region to the federal government to make its capital which would be unfair to some of its residents.

Mr. Speaker, it is not appropriate to question the constitutional status of Banadir Region and its fourteen districts and add more confusion to the issue in regards to the “special status” of the Capital City, Mogadishu but parliament must answer the following questions: where, Somalia’s National Capital should be? Will, it remain in Banadir Region and continue to be the national capital? Will, it be moved to another city in another region? Will, it be logic and reasonable for Banadir Region to become a full regional state of its own as intended by the military government of Gen. Mohamed Siad Barre?

Mr. Speaker, therefore, I call upon you and the parliament to interpret the “special status” of the Capital City, Mogadishu which is as a matter of fact to mean a full status of a state for Banadir Region because of it’s capacity to discharge the functions and responsibilities of a state, its uniqueness, economic self-sufficiency, ability to deliver basic social services to its residents unlike any other region in the country and also it has more districts than any other region and it is inhabited the largest population in any region of Somalia which is very logic and reasonable to accept it as a full regional state based on these premises.

By the way, we the residents of Hamar Region will choose the region’s constitutional status and its fourteen district over the capital and we have no qualms if the parliament decides to relocate the National Capital to another city in another region of the republic but surely we would have our say in the matter too but not at the expense of nationalism or Somalia’s national interest.

Mr. Speaker, Allah Willing, we will merge Hamar Region with Middle Shabelle and we would gladly accept Hiraan Region to join us without seeking unfair advatanges if its people chooses to do so. Sadly, Hiraan is in a bit of a dilemma at the present and can’t form alone its own regional state under the current circumstance to form a regional state and would have no choice but to join either Banadir Region and Middle Shabelle or the Central Regions in which the process of establishing a regional state has already started.

Mr. Speaker, assumed that the parliament decides to remain the National Capital in Hamar Region, we will gladly host as before and share the city with the federal government and observe the principles of cooperative relationship with it and other regional states laid down in the constitution. Also, our institutions of government will fit into the broader framework of the national constitution. In this regard, the federal government will develop the city’s status as a national capital and it will control its buildings, offices owned or occupied, federal military and police installations, federal jail, foreign missions and their offices and residences, international ports and airports within Banadir Region.


Dr. Abdi Ulusso
Concerned Resident
of Hamar Region.

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