EU monitors constitutional process in Somalia, Puntland reaffirms its position

                                                                                                    PRESS RELEASE

13 May 2011  

GAROWE – A team of European Union monitors sent out to collect an independent assessment of progress for EU-funded programs in Somalia visited stakeholders in Puntland, a stable state in the northern part of the country. 

Hon. Abdi Hassan Jimale, PhD, the State Minister of the Puntland Presidency for Democratization Process and Federal Affairs, received EU monitor Mr. Douglas McLure and Mr. Phillip Cooper, the UNDP Deputy Manager for the Somalia Governance Program, at his office. 

Mr. Mclure visited Puntland to look at support provided by UNDP to the federal constitution making process, the position of Puntland on the constitution making process, and strategies for the way forward in the future.  

Responding to the EU monitor’s inquiry, Dr. Jimale presented issues that adversely affected Puntland’s participation in the constitution making process. The State Minister pointed out key issues as the “categorical exclusion” of Puntland from the federal constitution making process and the IFCC, the TFG’s boycott of the federal constitution launching in Somalia, and the TFG’s practice of a unitary system of governance facilitated by the incorrect assumption held by the international community that the TFG represented the entire Somalia. 

“No representative from Puntland participated in this process.” Dr. Jimale reiterated. 

“The TFG is responsible for the mistakes and the UN did not correct the mistakes,” Dr. Jimale said. “Since the international community funds this process, it is responsible for its management and outcome.” 

Puntland’s position 

“Personally, I think the process is Utopian and a waste of resources,” Dr. Jimale said. “We refuse to be part of a clan-based process; a process that has illicitly replaced Puntland’s learned delegation in the constitution making process with immature candidates of their personal choice.” 

Continuing, he added: “The position of the Puntland Government remains the same; we have pulled out of the process and opened a window of opportunity for corrections in the future.” 

The State Minister said that Puntland would seek inclusion in the constitution making process and embark on the harmonization of the federal and the state constitutions in the future. 

Recommendations put forward to address challenges facing the 14th constitution making attempt in Somalia included a call for stakeholders to hold serious discussions with the TFG, a tripartite arrangement was recommended for the future and the inclusion of all stakeholders as a key step in accelerating progress and sustainability in the process  

The recommendations presented by the Puntland Government are in line with resolutions adopted by the EU Council’s 3076th FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting conclusions on Somalia, in 2011. 

Office of the State Minister for Democratization Process and Federal Affairs        — END —