Prof Faisal Roble : -Weaponizing Banadir and Mogadishu “Status”: The Farmajo Factor

Bad leaders can destroy nations for their selfish needs. Just look at the USA and how Trump is destroying it. Farmajo is Somalia’s Trump. Ignorant hard core groups support him in his mission to take Somalia back to an uncertain period.

As a long time Urban and Regional Development professional, who recently accepted a higher position with the City of Los Angeles to oversee the drafting and implementation of an equity and development Plan in the aftermath of George Floyd, a Black man killed by the police in Minneapolis, the issue of fair representation is close to my heart. It is in that spirit I have always advocated for an equitable representation for the residents of Banadir and Mogadishu.

Having said that, we need to unpack the two issues. Is Banadir and its people represented in the current Upper House, which came to life after the 1990 bitter civil war? What about Mogadishu? The two issues are not identical.

In a 142 vs 72 politically manipulated vote, the lower house of the Federal Somali parliament has approved 13 additional seats to be added to the Upper House for the sole representation of Banadir region.

Is this action consistent with the constitution that is yet to be ratified? To answer this question, let us look at the existing architecture of the Upper House.

According to Article 72 of the Draft constitution, “The Number of Members of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall be no more than fifty-four (54) members based on the eighteen (18) regions that existed in Somalia before 1991, and on the following: (a) The number of Federal Member States of the Federal Republic of Somalia(b) That all Federal Member States shall have an equal number of representatives in the Upper House of the Federal Parliament and (c) That the members of the Upper House of the Federal Parliament shall be representative of all communities of the Federal Republic of Somalia.”

Of the 54 Upper House seats stipulated in the constitution, each region is given 3 seats, thus 18×3 = 54. Banadir, as a pre-1990 region, is given, and it already received 3 seats.

Article 72 in no uncertain terms has given a legitimate share to Banadir commensurate with its state status as a region prior to 1990. Therefore, no share is missing from the residents of Banadir.

In a succinct review of the Somali constitution in 2013, Antonios Kouroutakis wrote that “The Upper House represents the interest of the Member States and safeguards the federal system (Article 61(3).” following the apportionment of seats for the pre-1990 regions and the promulgation of 6 Federal Member States, the 18 regions have become null and void.

The Federal system, therefore, consists of 6 regions born out of the pre-1990 regions. That federal system is under a serious and naked assault by Villa Somalia and its supporters in the parliament.

Therefore, those member states outside the orbit of Villa Somalia must challenge this move. The first step is to put a halt on the upcoming consultation with Villa Somalia until this issue and the postponement of the long-awaited elections are settled and resolved.

But what about the status of Mogadishu? I will tackle that issue soon. Stay tuned.