NON-PAPER: PROGRESSING SOMALIA’S POLITICAL TRACK
1. Al Shabaab’s withdrawal from Mogadishu following AMISOM’s campaign, and the setbacks Al Shabaab has suffered in Jubaland and Gedo have created the opportunity to build democratic government structures in those areas, as well as in Puntland and central Somalia, which have been largely free from Al Shabaab for some time.
2. Around one third of the country remains in Al Shabaab hands. But the Somalis, after many peace conferences, have made the decision to develop a constitution and government structures in areas free from Al Shabaab,
rather than attempting a comprehensive peace agreement. There has been progress in agreeing a path towards peace and stable government, with the Djibouti Agreement, the Kampala Accord, the Roadmap, and the Garowe Principles.
3. However, progress on implementation of the various agreements has been slow. Successive transitional governments have not completed any substantive transitional tasks. Further, discussions on Somalia’s future polity have taken place within a small group, and not been the subject of a broad national dialogue.
4. The Transitional Federal Government has until August 2012 to make progress on the transitional tasks. It is welcome that the TFG and regional entities have agreed a comprehensive programme of work in the Roadmap, and a plan for convening a constituent assembly in the Garowe Principles. But to be a success in taking Somalia out of conflict, the Garowe process must become representative, and thought should be given to how the south will be included. The parties should amend the process to place the Somali people at the heart of the process in a revision of Garowe – Garowe Plus. The following are suggestions on how this could be done.
5. It is essential that there is real and timely progress towards democratic and legitimate institutions of government in Somalia. The Constituent Assembly should :
a) Be representative of the people of Somalia. That might be done by elders and communities electing representatives to the constituent assembly in non-Al Shabaab areas. The Constituent Assembly should, if possible, also include representatives from the areas held by Al Shabaab. Partners are asked for advice on how that might be achieved.
b) address key unresolved issues in the draft constitution:
• whether the Somali state should be centralised or federal, and if federal, the division of responsibilities between the centre and the regions;
• whether Somalia should adopt a presidential or cabinet system of government; and
• the role of religion in the state and legal system.
It should also agree a process for deciding the boundaries of the regional entities.
c) conduct a campaign of consultation with Somali communities across Somalia accompanied by a really strong civic education process explaining the options for a future Somalia (unitary state with autonomous regions, decentralised federation, decentralised federation with representation in the executive, a union of states, independent states…..).
d) Take no longer than six months to complete its work on the constitution.
6. The international community should support the Constituent Assembly by establishing a core group of experts in Mogadishu, including representatives from countries that have recently and successfully been through a constitution-making process; IGAD experts; and experts from the Somalia core group. The core group of experts should facilitate the work of the Constituent Assembly, working with the UN.
7. Unless the constitution is agreed by August 2012, the Constitutional Assembly should then assume the legislative functions of Government from the Transitional Federal Parliament, while the executive functions of Government should pass from the TFG to an Interim Authority, until elections can be held and a permanent government established in accordance with the terms of the new constitution. The Constituent Assembly should elect the chair of the Interim Authority. The Authority should be staffed by technocratic experts in government. Its function should be to establish institutions of government in line with the decisions of the Constituent Assembly, including preparing for elections.
8. The international community should support the Interim Authority by sending 2-3 technical advisers to each ministry, to advise on setting up that ministry and carrying out its functions. These advisers should be sent at the request of the Interim Authority.
9. The international community should fund a severance package for MPs and ministers who lose their positions in June 2012.
10. AMISOM and its regional partners will continue the campaign against Al Shabaab. The international community will continue to condemn Al Shabaab’s sponsorship of terrorism, and abuse of human rights. But, if groups or individuals who are currently aligned with Al Shabaab renounce violence, they should be included in the political process. Islamist parties should be free to pursue their ambitions through elections within the constitution, once agreed. Dialogue on a comprehensive peace settlement between the Somali authorities and any parties not engaged in violence should be encouraged.
11. Consideration should be given to whether a Reconciliation Commission could be set up to support local reconciliation processes.
Respect for Human Rights and Action Against Spoilers
12. The Somali people should have their human rights upheld. Consideration should be given to strengthening the role of The Office for the High Commissioner for Human Rights in monitoring of human rights in Somalia, and recommending action to better protect human rights and take action against those who perpetrate human rights abuses.
13. Similarly, action should be taken against those who divert public funds for private use, or support or fund terrorist activity. Interested countries should agree actions that they will pursue against such individuals, including UN listing, and travel bans.
14. The UN should continue to facilitate progress towards peace and stable government in Somalia, but with increased focus and drive. Consideration should be given to joint leadership of this process with the AU.
15. The international community should support the establishment of the institutions of local government through the separate discussion on local stability, and support the holding of elections e.g. in Puntland.
16. The Istanbul Conference could assess whether the constitution-building process in Somalia is making progress, and is representative of the Somali people. In case the answer is negative, partners should work on a fallback option for August 2012 to ensure that such an inclusive and representative process is launched.