Official Statement on the Newly Appointed Technical Committee for Hiiraan & Middle Shabelle State Formation:
04 November 2015
We, members of Hiiraan Diaspora Forum, hereby expresses dismay and grave concern over the appointment of the technical committee for Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle state formation by the ministry of Interior and Federalism of Somalia. Since 8th August, 2015, when Hiiraan philosophically agreed, and officially signed, to form a new state with our neighboring Middle Shabelle region, our forum worked hard to encourage and convince our people In Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle to be part of the state formation process so that both the input and output of the process become owned by the people. As an integral part of the wider Hiiraan community, our forum also worked closely with both the MoI and Middle Shabelle Administration so that the process is not only expedited by also delicately handled. Instead of blessing and complementing that effort, as well that of both Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle administations, MPs representing both regios, elders, and civil society leaders, the Minister of Interior went on to unilaterally appoint a technical committee in the absence of any consultations made with the rest of stakeholders. Furthermore:
-The Minister of Interior stated in the appointment decree that consultations were made with the governors of the regions of interest; while no such consultations were made with the governor of Hiiraan.
– The number of the committee members is reduced to 14 individuals; while this clearly violates the initial agreement that made the number of committee members 31 individuals.
– The formula by which the committee was divided among the various clans is gravely characterized by injustice, ignores the traditional methodologies of power sharing accepted by the different local clans, and could lead to new, but dangerous waves of clan confrontations; while creating new impediments for the process.
– Selection criteria of members was apparently based on sectarian favoritism as prominent members of a religious group dominate the list of the technical committee, albeit many of them hail from other different regions of Somalia as well as Northeastern Kenya and have no adequate knowledge of the sociopolitical dynamics of our region nor those of Middle Shabelle. Importing sectarian and religious politicking to our region will never benefit the ambition of our people and administration to realize political progress based on democratic values and principles of equality and social harmony. Moreover, our people and administration will not permit shady individuals with known intentions of solely advancing sectarian interests to deprive them from their own, rightful political voice.
– The appointment of the committee could create tensions between the brotherly people of the two regions.
As the people of Hiiraan, whose will to stand against any sort of political repression we represent, have expressed their position towards the issue at hand through peaceful demonstrations in B/weyne, Halgan, B/burte, and Jalalaqsi, and with reference to the public statement by H.E Abdifatah Hassan Afrah, the Governor of Hiiraan, on 2nd November, 2015 in front of a peacefully demonstrating crowd in B/weyne, Hiiraan Regional Administration would hereby bring to the attention of all whom it may concern, that such reckless political motion will only hinder the process of state formation much more than it could help.
Hiiraan Forum would also hereby inform the president of Somalia, the Prime Minister, the Speaker of the Parliament, the International Community, and the people of Somalia that we, and the general populace of Hiiraan and Middle Shabelle regions, remain committed to a transparent and democratic process of state formation. We are also committed to working with the people and administration of Middle Shabelle region, members of parliament from the two regions, elders, civil society leaders, and all stakeholders to promote a more inclusive, engaging, and transparent political process that paves the way for the election of a legitimate leadership, representative of the interests of the people of the two regions, for the new member state of federal Somalia.
President Of Hiiraan Diaspora Forum
Abdiaziz Said Geedoow