Mogadishu Manifesto on Vision 2016
Mogadishu, 14th November 2014
Banadir Youth Leadership Circle
We, the representatives of Mogadishu society; women, students and youth, business groups, civil society organizations, and traditional/religious leaders, welcome the progress that has been made in the journey towards the revival of the Somali state and the ending of bloodshed and injustices which lasted more than 21 years. Although faced with significant challenges, the process has been consistent and continuous. We believe to speak on behalf of the Somali people when we say that our aim is to achieve long-lasting peace, stability and democracy. We are proud that all of this has taken place inside Somalia for the first time in over two decades.
We all understand the urge and prominence of finalizing the current political process, which will be concluded by free elections (one man/woman, one vote) and the importance of refraining from anything that can cause tension and instability. Therefore, we would like to express some grave concerns regarding the following points:
- Flawed federalization process
As of the current state of play, it is evident that the pace of the priorities of the international community is detrimental to the Somali people. The process of Federalism is rushed, top-down and foreign-imposed and does not have the support of the majority of the Somali people. Instead, it is only supported by a very small group of political elites who have personal interest in the current federalization process (i.e. political and economic interests). Instead, the international community should focus on an inclusive process, dialogue and reconciliation. The Federalization should be a bottom-up process that involves the local communities, civil society organizations in the regions and other stakeholders. This process cannot and must not be rushed and top-down directed with foreign actors as power brokers.
- Free and fair elections
The focus should be to work towards organizing the 2016 elections, in which the elections should be held per region and every region should be able to send a fair number MPs to the parliament. Before that is able to take place, population census is needed in order for every region to send a number of MP’s corresponding to the population of the province. This process is fair, swift, and much easier to realize, rather than some of the conflicting tendencies of the federalization process.
3. The Status of Mogadishu
In determining the fate of Mogadishu in the federal structure, the Somali Federal Government should move beyond empty rhetoric and ambiguous statements and recognize that the local populations in Mogadishu have certain inalienable rights. Included in these inalienable rights is the right to self-determination. Stipulations within the current provisional constitution that calls for the creation of a federal district within Mogadishu should be endorsed and implemented in a timely manner. This will allow Mogadishu to take part in the federalization process which is currently ongoing throughout Somalia and will protect and safeguard the historical and political rights of the local populations in Mogadishu. We oppose all attempts to obstruct, restrict and/or undermine the demographic, political and economic integrity and interests of Mogadishu. This includes the hostile attempts to transform the entire city of Mogadishu into being a capital city. We believe doing so is an attempt to enforce a naked clan hegemonic policy with the aim of curbing and neutralizing the demographic, political and economic integrity of Mogadishu. We also support and unanimously endorse the calls by the mayor of Mogadishu Mr. Hassan Mohamed Hussein ‘General Mungaab’ in restoring the basic rights of the Banadir Administration to collect tax revenue in the city and also in giving Banadir’s administration an authority over the city’s security responsibilities. We object to and condemn the current culture of Taxation without representation in Mogadishu engineered by Villa Somalia.
- Federal States
We view with serious concern the recently named Central State by the Somali Federal Government and its regional and international backers. The provisional constitution clearly and unambiguously mandates that each Federal Member State should encompass at least two or more provinces. An attempt to institute a clan partition in Mudug is a serious violation of the current provisional constitution and will have far-reaching political consequences in regions such as Lower Shebelle and Hiiraan. The Federal Government should not infringe upon the constitution in its attempt to accommodate the hegemonic impulses of belligerent regions. This culture of political expediency which violates the current provisional constitution is detrimental to the creation of credible and legitimate federalization process. It perpetuates and creates a new circle of political instability and communal unrest in Somalia. The Federalization Process should be fair and consistent across all regions. Lastly, we raise our concerns to the soon to be announced state that comprises of Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle. This process was not transparent and the views regarding the union of these two provinces, who have no historic ties as compared to the historic relationship between Middle Shabelle and Lower Shabelle, are divided. As such, we urge the international community not to divide the Somali people based on what looks beneficial to political elites, with no regard for the historic, cultural and economic ties between the various regions.
The security in much of Somalia is fragile and risks remain high, particularly in Mogadishu. In the recently liberated regions the people still face huge threats and risks of violence. We urge the security institutions of the Federal Government to guarantee security to the people and ensure process that enable the local communities to be involved in the maintenance of security and stability. This means partnering with the Somali people in regaining their trust in the security institutions and making sure that individuals and groups that want to destabilize the fragile peace are held accountable. We also want to take this opportunity to strongly condemn all those within the security institutions and AMISOM who commit sexual violence and abuse against Somali women and girls. This cannot and must not be tolerated. We urge the Somali government and International community to look into these matters and take appropriate measures accordingly.
We would also like to take this opportunity to remind Somalia’s Federal Government that it has special responsibility in ensuring the people impacted by floods in Middle Shabelle Region are given proper and prompt assistance. The silence by the Federal Government in addressing the flood victims in Middle Shabelle is a historic crime and leaders of the government will be held accountable by future generations. This is a golden opportunity for the Federal Government to regain the trust it had lost in the region following its poor and inedquate responses to last year’s Jowhar floods which devastated thousands and washed away hundreds of villages.
Finally, our urgencies remain simple: 1) to ensure that the priorities of the Somali people are realized on a realistic and feasible pace, rather than the rushed down topped down federalization process, 2) fair elections achieved through population consensus to ensure equal representation 3) a clear separation between Villa Somalia as a Federal Zone, and the rest of Mogadishu, to ensure that the people of Mogadishu have rights equal to the rest of the Somalis and are entitled to their own governance 4) federal states should have a basis in historic ties and be consistent with the stipulations of the federal constitution 5) security must be strengthened in partnership with the various Somali communities.
All of this must be achieved through a fair and consultative process, which has the confidence and trust of the people. The process must be structured in such a way that it delivers sustainable peace and stability – so that the dreams, hopes and aspirations of ALL Somalis can be realized and brought back to the Somali people.