Federalism as an instrument for peace and reconstruction: the case of Somalia
Somalia has been exceptionally prone to disputes over representation, making it difficult to identify representatives at the negotiating table who are both legitimate and authoritative. Somalia’s susceptibility to political dynamics, exacerbated by the fractured nature of clanism, has made it especially difficult to maintain coalitions. Somalia is indeed constitutionally a federal state. However, a lack of clear understanding of how to apply and manage federalism to work in Somalia’s context is pitting different political factions against one another. A major source of political factionalism is the absence of consensus on the division of power and responsibilities between the federal central authority and regional entities as well as lack of coherent guidelines for implementing the principles of the provisional federal constitution. Both issues are contributing to a stalemate in not achieving a speedy recovery, and the “rebirth of sound public institutions in Somalia. The main objective of this research was to critically examine federalism in Somalia and recommend and on the finding. This is key in enriching the relevant field of policy analysis and academia on these complex issues. Greater understanding of the current debate and the options for an effective federal system in Somalia could support the current attempts for reconciliation and transformation of the conflict situation. The research therefore explored federalism as the most appropriate governance model, while also discussing the other three governance models. The research also examined the challenges: political, constitutional, security and social challenges that challenge the effective functioning of the federal model of governance. The study also discussed the domestic and external drivers of decentralization in Somalia and prop up the ‘federalism and conflict management nexus’. This examines the connection and relationship between governance and conflict, in this case federalism and reconciliation and conflict prevention, thus demonstrating the importance of federalism as a system of governance in preventing and managing the persistent conflict in Somalia. In a bid to study these aspects, the study reviews existing data in academia, policy making and other relevant fields to explain and answer the research questions and objectives to the study. The emerging issues were also highlighted and recommendations made that will assist future policy making and research in relevant studies. In order to explore these key concepts, the study’s objectives were to examine the federal system of governance as a solution to the reconstruction of the state of Somalia; analyze the challenges in the implementation of the federal system of governance as a solution to the Somali conflict; and to determine how effective federalism can be achieved for attaining peace and reconstruction outcome in Somalia To achieve these objectives the study employed both analyze the theories of federalism and the critiques testing and applying it to the African context of Somalia. Secondary and primary data was used to analyze past present and predictably future situations as emerging issues of the role of international and regional actors in the full realization of federalism arose.