The ultimate objective of the Somali Constitution process is to deliver a new Constitution that is supported, reflects and represents Somali people’s views of governance systems, rights and duties in their nation. Preparation of a new Constitution for Somalia in an inclusive, participatory manner, and its adoption by popular referendum, is critical for deepening long term peace in Somalia.
In order to reach that crucial national objective, it is important that the process activities follow
such goals as:
- The Somali public has an understanding of the importance of constitutional issues;
- The Somali public is engaged in the consultation process.
- Key political entities agree on how to address key contentious issues (such as federalism/ decentralization; human rights; natural resources; Sharia Law; religious freedom).
- The Somali Constitution Review Institutions receives coherent international support.
- A viable Constitution has been submitted and adopted.
ICRIC’S EARLY CHALLENGES AND ACHIEVEMENTS; BEFORE THE NATIONAL CONVENTION (13 –15 May 2018)
In addition to lack of office space, funding and staffing, a persistent conflict between the three Federal Institutions engaged in the constitutional Review paralyzed the constitution review process and led to the long delay in holding the National Convention set to validate the joint Roadmap of the three institutions. Nonetheless, the Convention was eventually held in mid May, 2018. And it has taken the intervention of the President of the Nation to resolve the conflict between the three institutions, after which they even signed amongst themselves a Memorandum of Understanding and drawn a common Work Plan.
Despite the formidable challenges stated above, it was not all doom and gloom. ICRIC has
tirelessly engaged in multiple activities.
The core activity was the actual review of the first five chapters of the provisional constitution after the OC advised us to start the second review with
these chapters. Besides, the Commission, during those difficult days, had embarked on the
exercise of, not only studying and deeply familiarizing itself with the Provisional Constitution, but made a technical review of all Articles, Sections and Chapters of the Provisional
ACHIEVEMENTS AFTER THE THE NATIONAL CONVENTION
The complete lack of the basic operational facilities was recently relieved by two new, positive.
developments. On the one hand, the Federal Government has taken a new initiative to allocate some funds for the three institutions mandated to the Constitutional review.
On the other hand, UNDP has started to provide us with the much needed aspects of operational support.Such support to ICRIC includes office equipment, recruitment of three advisors, and several
staff , and, most significantly, building new office space, which is in progress.
This has created a new momentum for ICRIC’s work, a momentum which we are determined to keep.
The achievements realized as a result of the above mentioned progress include:
The Review of the first five Chapters of the Provisional Constitution and submitting
them back to OC.
Engaging in public consultations in collaboration with OC and MOCA.
Presenting, together with OC, the outcome of this second review of the five chapters to
the FMS’s constitutional committees as well as the leadership of the parliaments of FMS
Collecting and documenting the outcome of the above consultation meetings.
THE WAY FORWARD
The resent Garowe consultation meetings have kick started a series of such
consultations planned to be conducted thorough out the country, in close collaboration
with MoCA and OC.
These consultations, among other activities, are part of the progress we aim to achieve
within the two remaining months of the 2018.
Beyond that, We are seriously committed to finishing the whole review process towards the end of 2019 so that the Constitution is ratified well before the end of the term of the current government and 10 ht Parliament.
As a result, we are kindly requesting the International Community to help Somalia help
itself by standing on its own feet, and the key is finally getting a new Constitution for
Somalia in an inclusive, participatory manner.In order to produce a Constitution that can lead to a Long Term Peace in Somalia, this
Commission needs substantial technical support on the following areas:
1. PUBLICAND POLITICAL CONSULTATIONS: The five chapters we finished reviewing will
go through the following consultation process, which would be repeated twice after
the ICRIC review of each set of five chapters that would be separately sent to us by
the OC in due time, hence the completion of the 15 chapters of the Provisional
a) Consultations with the FMS’s Executive, Legislative and Judiciary that would take
place in FMS, separately or collectively;
b) Consultations with Banadir Region Districts.
c) Consultations with civil society organizations and the General Public, especially
with women organizations, youth, religious groups, the business community,
elders and provisional organizations for lawyers, doctors, journalists, farmers and
d) The process of analyzing the data from all those activities.
e) The process of incorporating the views, after the analysis, in the text of the PC.
f) The process of incorporating the results from the political negotiations in the
Provisional Constitution text.
2. Public Views/Submissions: A crucial area of this process that is often overlooked by
most people is the submission process where the public submits its views
individually or in groups, through preferably toll free telephone lines, the website,
taking written text/audio to specific offices in the country or expressing their views
during town hall meetings, focus group discussions, in other religious or social
The key in this process is to capture and record people’s views
accurately, without making the slightest change or omission. Equally important is
the need to easily retrieve the submitted and recorded views when ever needed for
analysis or otherwise.
The Commission should also device ways of eliciting and
prompting issues and areas where people need to give their views during
consultations, especially when the process is happening simultaneously in different
areas, regions, venues etc. Those submissions result in big data that needs a careful
and scientific expertly analysis in order to make it meaningful and understandable,
and then incorporate it into the PC as the people’s accurate views. This is a complex
process which needs a lot of experts and training for the commission and its staff.3. CAPACITY BUILDING – Our institutional Capacity is limited and we need help on
a) Training of Staff, especially on the issue of public submissions, were there is a need for
an accurate recording of huge data, mainly individual but also organizations views, but
also training and experience on how to invite or elicit issues.
We also require training on issues like public consultation, civic education, legal drafting
and legal research, among others.
b) LEGAL RESEARCH: Legal research is another priority area that is vital for the review
process, and this would necessitate trainings for both the Commission Members as well
as their staff plus some experts who help the commission to do that job well.
4. Travel costs/venues/hotels – We certainly need to go for many, many trips to
different parts of the country every month of the remaining year or so of the Review
Process and the itemized budget from the government can cover only a small part of
those travels, venues for meetings or hotel costs.
1) Security – is always a main challenge for this process and for State-building and almost
every other aspect of life. Frequent alerts and road blocks often disrupt the scheduled
2) Limited Institutional Capacity , even though UNDP recently started to provide ICRIC with
crucial aspects of operational support for which we are grateful to both UNDO and the
donors who kindly provided the funds.
3) Outside interventions in the independence of ICRIC that threaten Commission’s
mandate is a continuous challenge.
4) The Conflict between FMS and SFG is a barrier to a lot of progress that could have been
5) Potential FMS Members of ICRIC nominated by FMG have not yet got the green light
from the side of the Federal Government.
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the International
Community for all the support they already provided us and would likely to, again, kindly
request to support us in keeping the existing momentum and finish the remaining activity to conclude the review process in the coming year.