The Resolution 2093 adopted by the UN Security Council on March 6, 2013 endorses the long overdue partnership mission between the Federal Government of Somalia and the International Community for the peacebuilding and statebuilding of Somalia. The mission is ambitious, complex and treacherous but the right one.
The significance of the Resolution is historic for several reasons. First, it ends the more than two decades the international community has been avoiding the responsibility of addressing the statelessness of Somalia in difference to other African failed states. Second, it reaffirms the commitment of the US government towards the peacebuilding and statebuilding for Somalia. Third, it merges the conflicting strategies pursued by the individual or group members of the international community for their self interests. Fourth, it moves Somalia from the regional level management and supervision to UN level partnership.
The Resolution addresses five issues, namely the African Union forces in Somalia (AMISOM) , the human rights and protection of civilians, the lifting of arms embargo imposed on Somalia from 1992, the role of the United Nations in Somalia, and the violations of the ban on the charcoal export.
The Resolution renews the deployment of the AMISOM forces until March 6, 2014 with the full support of the international community. AMISOM forces are ordered to carry out their tasks in full support of the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia. They are also subject to accountability, transparency and criminal prosecution for any human rights violations.
The Resolution dissolves the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) and establishes a United Nations Mission headquartered in Mogadishu with the responsibilities of supporting among others the Somali ownership of the peacebuilding and statebuilding agenda and the efforts of the Federal Government to manage and coordinate the international assistance, particularly on security sector reform. The US Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Susan E. Rice stated that the Resolution answers President Hassan Sheikh Mohamed’s call for “one door to knock on.”
The Resolution demands the protection of civilians, with particular emphasis on women, children and journalists. It also requires the Federal Government to implement all signed action plans to end the use of child soldiers, increase women’s participation in decision making bodies, enforce the prohibitation of forced displacement of civilians in any part of the country, and to afford justice to all victims.
The Resolution makes clear that the lifting of the arms embargo on the Federal Government of Somalia is in recognition of its responsibility to protect its citizens. In support, the international community is urged to provide increased and coordinated timely support to the Federal Government so that it can implement the internationally approved Somali National Security Sector Reform Plan (SNSSRP). According to some reports, six Somali military brigades of roughly 11,000 forces have been trained under the European training program conducted in Uganda or under programs offered by Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, Sudan, Italy and other countries. These forces need command and control centers, buildings, training, uniforms, modern arms, regular salaries and other compensations like the members of the Federal Parliament for carrying out their national duties and facilitating the departure of foreign forces from Somalia before March 6, 2014.
The arms embargo remains on all non state actors and forces not under the Federal Government’s jurisdiction and control. The UN Security Council is satisfied with the Federal Government’s commitment to peace, stability and reconciliation across Somalia including at the regional level.
The Resolution expresses the UN Security Council’s concern about the continuous violations of the Somali and United Nations ban on charcoal exports. Thus, the Resolution orders the full cooperation with the Task Force appointed by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The Council awaits the recommendations of the Federal Government of Somalia based on the findings of the Task Force for resolving the charcoal issue.
There are many serious challenges and obstacles which could interfere with the realization of the peacebuilding and statebuilding mission endorsed by the international community. Some of the principal challenges are coming from the international community itself.
The commentary of Cedric de Coning titled, “Understanding Peacebuilding as Essentially Local,” documents the dilemma facing the Federal Government in dealing with the powerful international partners and explains how “each international partner acting independently and rationally according to its own self interest contributes to undermining the resilience of the local government the partner want to support.” It has been reported that most of the energy and time of the Federal Government is spent to service the needs of the international community rather that the needs of the Somali people.
Another obstacle is the lack of significant international financial support tailored to the urgent priorities assigned to the Federal Government daily, monthly and yearly. The unprecedented support of the international community has yet to transform into financial contributions for implementing the interdependent components of the statebuilding mission.
The political and military involvement of Kenya and Ethiopia in Somalia under IGAD panel has so far created complications and discord. A relation of cooperation conducted and maintained at National levels is critical for Somalia’s long term stability.
The limited financial and human resources capacity of the Federal Government to produce a quick and comprehensive strategic political, economic, institutional and security plans that responds to the dynamics, templates and preferences of each member of the international community constitutes great obstacle. This limitation has been exacerbated by the small number of Cabinet Ministers with huge responsibilities but with quasi no qualified staff and job descriptions. There is also a persistent rumor that the Federal Government is under the tight control of few individuals of religious affinity with obscure agenda. Not dispelling this kind of rumor, it could compound with other recycled accusations peddled by the elements who chose the President and the Prime Minister as target of their political attack.
Another challenge is the tension between the tribalist/satellite enclave federalists and nationalist federalists. While there is No Federal Member Stateas of today in accordance with the Provisional Constitution, there are continuous accusations for constitutional violations labeled against the Federal Government in not consulting with a Federal Member State. The fact remains that the source of legitimacy of the Federal Government belongs to the legalized common consensus 4.5 clan formula of political powersharing until such a time the alternative one man one vote electoral system envisaged in the provisional constitution is implemented.
The disagreement between Puntland and Federal Government has nothing to do with decentralized or centralized federalism or with Puntland being member or part of the Federal Government. It is just a political brinkmanship. The communities in Puntland as other communities are associated with the Federal Government through their members of the Federal Parliament but thePuntland State Entity as Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama and GalMudug State Entities is not part or member of the Federal Government.
The secession claim of the Northern Regions of Somalia (Somaliland) is another source of challenge that needs to be addressed. Statebuilding of Somalia should not be held hostage to the disastrous past political power abuses which deserve investigation and determination of culpability, punishment and compensation.
The UN Resolution 2093 offers great opportunity to the people of Somalia. The Federal Government must tackle the reconciliation among Somalis with an honest, serious and substantive political dialogue , policies and actions with the aim of achieving the shared goal of one nation one people.
In his unique constitutional responsibility, the President of the Federal Government in collaboration with other leaders must strive to secure the unity, social harmony, political integration, national defense and respect of the rule of law throughout the country. The value of citizenship, which grows with patriotism, freedom, equality, justice, sense of altruism and respect of the Islamic values, must be instilled in the conscience of all Somalis for better future.
Mr. Mohamud M Uluso