UNBLOCKING SOMALIA’S FEDERAL ARRANGEMENT
Over the past four years, the federal arrangement in Somalia has been dysfunctional, uncooperative and invariably confrontational. Instead of being a magic wand for resolving or mitigating the country’s prolonged political divisions, communal grievances and misrule, federalism has become a new spectrum for political wrestling with limited progress. Consequently, compromise and consensus within a constitutional order has been replaced by antagonistic politics. Inter-governmental relations have worsened. The central government has been accused of undoing the skeletal arrangement of federalism in a bid to usurp power and install its allies as presidents of the federal member states.
Where it failed to unseat regional presidents, Mogadishu has branded opponents as enemies of the state. Meanwhile, federal member states such as Puntland and Jubbaland have presented the federal government as a bogeyman that is determined to snatch political authority from the member states.