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Somalia - 2002 - Transitional Federal Government (TFG)

In early 2002, Kenya organized a reconciliation effort under IGAD auspices known as the Somalia National Reconciliation Conference, which concluded in October 2004. A transitional government, the components of which were known as the Transitional Federal Institutions (TFIs), was formed in accordance with the Transitional Federal Charter. The TFIs include a transitional parliament, known as the Transitional Federal Parliament (TFP), as well as a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) that includes a transitional president, prime minister, and a cabinet known as the “Council of Ministers.” For administrative purposes, Somalia is divided into 18 regions; the nature, authority, and structure of regional governments vary, where they exist.

The TFG was established with a 5-year mandate leading to the establishment of a permanent government following national elections in 2009. In January 2009, the TFP extended this mandate an additional two years to 2011 and expanded to include 200 members of Parliament (MPs) from the opposition Alliance for the Reliberation of Somalia and 75 MPs from civil society and other groups, doubling the size of the TFP to 550 MPs.

Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed was elected president of the TFG of Somalia on October 10, 2004. Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur “Madobe” was elected speaker of the Parliament on January 31, 2007. President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed resigned on December 29, 2008, and Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed was elected by the Parliament as TFG President on January 30, 2009. On February 13, 2009, President Sharif appointed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke as the new prime minister of the TFG, and Sharmarke was confirmed by the TFP on February 14. On March 15, 2010, the TFG signed an agreement with the militia group Ahlu Sunna Waal Jama’a (ASWJ), designed to bring the ASWJ into the TFG. After growing conflict with the President, Sharmarke resigned as prime minister on September 21, 2010, following disagreement over the draft constitution and other issues. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (“Farmajo”), a Somali American, was confirmed as the new prime minister on November 8, 2010 by the TFP.

In February 2011, the TFG unilaterally extended its mandate by 3 years, from August 2011 to August 2014, without consultation with the international community. The international community almost unanimously opposed this. To resolve the political impasse surrounding the unilateral extension of its mandate, the TFG agreed in June 2011 to limit its mandate extension to 12 months as part of the Kampala Accord. In connection with the accord, Farmajo was replaced as prime minister by another Somali-American, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali. This accord consigned the TFG to finish its transitional tasks and set up a permanent government by August 2012.

On September 6, 2011, the TFG and representatives from Puntland, Galmudug, and the ASWJ signed the “Roadmap to End the Transition” toward political reform in anticipation of the end of the TFG’s extended mandate in 2012. This Roadmap set forward goals like working toward a permanent constitution, holding elections, and reforming Somalia’s 550-member parliament. To provide high level political guidance for the Roadmap’s implementation, the Roadmap signatories met again at the December 21-23, 2011 Garoowe Conference where they agreed upon the “Garoowe Principles,” which include plans for constitutional and parliamentary reform, and elections for speaker and president by August 2012. These principals were later refined in a second constitutional conference in Garoowe from February 15-17, 2012.

The United Kingdom convened a high-level conference on Somalia in London on February 23, 2012, attended by over 50 countries and international organizations. The conference’s achievements included a firm commitment on pursuing the Roadmap process and on ending the transition in August. Beyond that, the conference welcomed the UN Security Council vote to expand AMISOM’s troop cap to 17,731 and to extend its mandate and logistical support package. The conference also emphasized international support for increased stabilization projects in Somalia, announced a joint financial management board, and explored ways to degrade al-Shabaab’s finances, including a UN ban on Somali charcoal importation.

06 August 2012 marked the first anniversary of the expulsion of Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu by the forces of AMISOM and the Somali National Army of the TFG, and the date that Al-Shabaab retreated from the last of its fixed positions in the city. The effect of the removal of Al-Shabaab a year ago was almost immediate. It rapidly inspired a flow of massive investment from diaspora communities, and it was not long before Mogadishu could genuinely claim to have lost its description as the “world’s most dangerous city.” Al-Shabaab claimed unconvincingly that it was making a tactical withdrawal, but, if nothing else, the event marked the beginning of what has become a successful year-long campaign by AMISOM, the Somali National Army and TFG allied militias, with help from Kenyan forces before they were re-hatted as AMISOM and Ethiopian troops. Al-Shabaab has been driven out of almost all its towns and bases. The last major Al-Shabaab stronghold in Kismayo was the target of an advance by the Kenyan troops of AMISOM and Somali National Army units and allied militias.

The meeting of the Somali National Constituent Assembly started on 25 July 2012 at the meeting hall of the former police academy in Mogadishu. It was expected to last for nine days. The opening session was delayed as some of the 825 members of the Assembly had difficulties in reaching Mogadishu. Ambassador Mahiga, the UN Special Envoy to Somalia and Head of the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS), hailed the completion of the selection process. “It is encouraging to see that progress is being made,” he said, adding that “[This] marks significant progress towards ending the transition and providing the new political institutions for a stable and functional state in Somalia, after 21 years of political and civil strife." The National Constituent Assembly considered the draft of the provisional constitution which will later be ratified in a national referendum. After the Assembly concluded its deliberation, the new Parliament chosen by the Traditional Elders carried out elections for the Speaker and his deputies.

Welcoming the members of the Assembly, TFG President Sheikh Sharif described the gathering as a historic moment in the history of Somalia. "I would like to congratulate all Somalis on this success at this crucial time," he said. "We are here today to approve the constitution, which means the foundation of our country’s governance is being laid down”. Present at the opening in addition to President Sheikh Sharif were Prime Minister Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Speaker Sharif Hassan, Ambassador Mahiga and representatives from IGAD, the African Union, the Arab League and all diplomatic missions in Mogadishu.

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Page last modified: 20-11-2016 17:03:38 ZULU