Bari, an arid region of north-east Somalia, declared itself an autonomous state in today
After more than two decades of civil war and inter-clan conflict, Somalia is undertaking an ambitious programme of national reconciliation and development, with federalism is a pillar of its plan.The region involved is Bari, which is a largest region in Somalia, and it was one of Puntlnad’s regions and resource region.It cover a combined area of 87,000sqkm and have a total population of around 2.3 million.
The people of Bari region have always supported a united Somalia. The Bari region of Somalia have been relatively save, before and after the collapse of the Somalia Government led by Siad Barre in 1991. The civil society of the Bari region intervened in the fighting and managed to broker peace with tribal militias.
The Puntland goverment brought malicious in Bosaso. The civil war had finally reached the Bari region; death, displacement, arbitrary arrests and sexual violence became the norm rather then the exception. Spontaneous unorganized groups appeared around Armo to defend the local population against the predatory roaming militias of Puntland, mainly recruited from the Mohamoud Saleebaan clan. These tribal militias received the nickname “the forces of hate” from the local population; for their senseless killing. Although the weakened civil society had fled Armo, they kept trying to pursue the one-clan state of Puntland to stop the war against the local population and to vacate the Bari region.
Writer and Political Figure Ahmed Ibrahim Artan
“In the last several weeks, Golis committee members have been travelling through the region to brief audiences and elicit public opinions from a broad cross-section of communities–including women’s organizations, clan elders, youth groups and religious scholars.Committees also have reached out to refugee camps in Bosaso, the Diaspora, and other areas outside Somalia.”
The diaspora of the Bari region have been observing the situation in the Bari region, and came to the conclusion that there was a need to strengthen the weakened civil society. To strengthen and enlarge the civil society, preparatory meeting were held by the Bari community around the world, this eventually led to the first conference, called Bari I, in London, the United Kingdom. Attended by 200 attendees, representing the diaspora. The purpose of this conference; was to discuss the security, political and economic situation in the Bari region. At the end of the conference it was decided that a larger and more inclusive conference should be held in Somalia, and teen diaspora members were chosen to visit the Bari region from July 2015, to lay down the foundations, select the location, and fix the date of the Bari conference.
“Overall responses are mixed but many support the process to officially from the state–which under the constitution must unite 2 or more formally existing regions.”
“Role of Federalism in Somalia: Golis represents the latest example of what Somalia’s version of federalism looks like. It will be interesting to see how political and social forces react. Even though the constitution lays out the basic grounds of federalism, there are many questions to be answered.”
Member team covered all the districts and towns of Bari meeting with the local population in each district. Having received the views of the different social groups, the team and the community leaders decided that the Armo should be the appropriate venue for the Bari conference. In today, the cornerstone Bari conference, started in Armo (Carmo)Town. The conference held in Armo was attended by approximately 1500 attendees of the Civil Society including: traditional leaders, women associations, prominent politicians, professionals, religious leaders and Diaspora associations from the Bari region of Somalia. The civil society engaged in open debate on the issue of the political future of the Bari region, and agreed that an independent administration would be better capable to bring security and development to the region. On the 1st of August 2015, the State of Golis State was established, the officials of the new administration were voted in by the attendees of the conference.
“Though it will be a perfect process, Golis is the latest effort to find an approach to governance that fits Somalia’s unique social, political, and economic landscape. Hopefully, it succeeds.”
According to documents from Golis organization, there is a belief that regional governments are better positioned to meet the needs of local communities. For this reason, Somalia has adopted a federal constitution that allows the decentralization of powers.
The final conference to formalize Golis is slated to take place in late August 2015 in Armo. Arrangements are currently being made to bring 3000 delegates to the city for the event. The election of Golis’s “president”–a common title among regional heads in Somalia–is due at the end of August.
Polishit – Sirqarsoon.com