Transitional federal government of Somalia
Legal structrue of Somalia
The residents of Mogadishu
were reportedly happy with the authority of the Islamic Courts Union's. There were fewer guns on the streets and people were able to move more freely around the city without fear of attack after they took control.
By the end of 2006, the Islamic Courts Union
(ICU), gained control of much of the southern part of the country.
Traditional clan law
is the traditional legal system
, and one of the three systems from which formal Somali law
draws its inspiration, the others being civil law
and Islamic law
It is believed to pre-date Islam
, although it was influenced by Islam and retains the faith elements, the proceeding under rule pre-date Islam. Under this system, elders
, known as the xeer begti
serve as mediator judges
and help settle court cases
, taking precedent
Xeer is polycentric
in that different groups within Somali society have different interpretations of xeer.
In the case of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), a new judicial structure was formed through various international conferences.
Despite some significant political differences between them, all of these administrations shared similar legal structures, much of which were predicated on the judicial systems of previous Somali administrations. These similarities in civil law included:
- A charter which affirmed the primacy of shari'a or Islamic law, although in practice shari'a was applied mainly to matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance and civil issues.
- The charter guaranteed respect for universal standards of human rights to all subjects of the law. It also assured the independence of the judiciary, which in turn was protected by a judicial committee.
- There was a three-tier judicial system including a supreme court, a court of appeals, and courts of first instance (either divided between district and regional courts, or a single court per region).
- The laws of the civilian government which were in effect prior to the military coup d'état that saw the Barre regime into power were to remain in force unless the laws were amended.
Structure of TFG
As with previous Somali administrations, the Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic
as the capital of Somalia. The Transitional Federal Parliament of Somalia met in the city, which was also the seat of the nation's Supreme court
. In addition, Mogadishu was the location of the presidential palace, Villa Somalia
, where the President resided. The Prime Minister also lived in the city. Mogadishu is the largest city in Somalia and had a population of over 2 million people.
Prior to the civil war, it was known as the "White Pearl of the Indian Ocean".
Under the Transitional Federal Government, local state governments maintained some power over their affairs and maintained their own police and security forces, but were subject to the authority of the Transitional Federal Government.
The Transitional Federal Parliament
elected the President and Prime Minister, and had the authority to pass and veto laws. It was also in charge of governance and administration of Mogadishu
. Each of the four major clans
held 61 seats, while an alliance of minority clans held 31 seats.
After an alliance with the Islamic Courts Union
and other Islamist groups, the Islamists were awarded 200 seats. Representatives of citizens' groups and representatives of the Somali diaspora
held 75 seats. By law, at least 12% of all representatives had to be women. Members of parliament are selected through traditional clan leaders or shura
A President was elected by Parliament. The President was head of government, and chose the Prime Minister, who would lead the cabinet.
Council of Ministers
The government posts and ministerial positions were as follows:
Under the Transitional Federal Government, a Supreme court
based in Mogadishu
was established, as well as an Appeals Court
. Smaller local courts were also established. A Judicial Service Council directed all judiciary and advised the president. All Sharia
courts established by the ICU were discontinued, but Islamic principles were to be upheld in TFG courts.
The Ministry of Education
was officially responsible for education in Somalia, with about 15% of the government's budget
being spent on education. However, in practice, the education system was largely private.
In 2006, the autonomous Puntland
region in the northeast was the second territory in Somalia after the Somaliland
region to introduce free primary schools, with teachers receiving their salaries from the Puntland administration.
As of 2007, primary schools have also seen a 28% increase in enrollment over the preceding three years.
Military and police
In August 2011, a TFG-Puntland cooperative agreement called for the creation of a Somali Marine Force unit, of which the already established Puntland Maritime Police Force
(PMPF) would form a part.
In addition, a new police force
was re-established to maintain law and order. The first police academy to be built in Somalia for several years opened on 20 December 2005 at Armo, 100 kilometres south of Bosaso
The Somali police also had a criminal investigations department in Mogadishu
The autonomous Puntland
regions within Somalia had their own security forces.
Former President of Somalia Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed
, one of the founders of the Transitional Federal Government.
A 2008 Human Rights Watch
report called 'So Much to Fear' accused the Transitional Federal Government, while under the leadership of President Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed
, of human rights abuses and war crimes including murder, rape, assault, and looting. The report also states that the TFG police force were implicated in arbitrary arrests of ordinary civilians in order to extort ransoms from their families.
The Transitional Federal Government officially comprised the executive
branch of government, with the TFP serving as the legislative
branch. The government was headed by the President of Somalia
, to whom the cabinet
reported through the Prime Minister
. However, it was also used as a general term to refer to all three branches collectively.
Following this defeat, the Islamic Courts Union splintered into several different factions. Some of the more radical elements, including Al-Shabaab
, regrouped to continue their insurgency against the TFG and oppose the Ethiopian military's presence in Somalia. Throughout 2007 and 2008, Al-Shabaab scored military victories, seizing control of key towns and ports in both central and southern Somalia. At the end of 2008, the group had captured Baidoa but not Mogadishu. By January 2009, Al-Shabaab and other militias had managed to force the Ethiopian troops to retreat, leaving behind an under-equipped African Union peacekeeping force to assist the Transitional Federal Government's troops.
To shore up his rule in Mogadishu, Yusuf deployed thousands of his own troops from Puntland to Mogadishu. Financial support for this effort was provided by the autonomous region's government. This left little revenue for Puntland's own security forces and civil service employees, leaving the territory vulnerable to piracy and terrorist attacks.
On 29 December 2008, Yusuf announced before a united parliament in Baidoa his resignation as President of Somalia
. In his speech, which was broadcast on national radio, Yusuf expressed regret at failing to end the country's seventeen-year conflict as his government had mandated to do.
He also blamed the international community for its failure to support the government, and said that the speaker of parliament would succeed him in office per the Charter
of the Transitional Federal Government.
President Yusuf deployed thousands of his own troops from Puntland to Mogadishu to sustain the battle against insurgent elements in the southern part of the country. Financial support for this effort was provided by the autonomous region's government. This left little revenue for Puntland's own security forces and civil service employees.
Embassy of Somalia in Paris, France.
Between 31 May and 9 June 2008, representatives of Somalia's federal government and the moderate Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia
(ARS) group of Islamist rebels participated in peace talks in Djibouti
brokered by the former United Nations Special Envoy to Somalia, Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah
. The conference ended with a signed agreement calling for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops in exchange for the cessation of armed confrontation. Parliament was subsequently expanded to 550 seats to accommodate ARS members, which then elected Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed
, the former ARS chairman, to office. President Sharif shortly afterwards appointed Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke
, the son of slain former President Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke
, as the nation's new Prime Minister.
With the help of a small team of African Union troops, the coalition government also began a counteroffensive
in February 2009 to retake control of the southern half of the country. To solidify its control of southern Somalia, the TFG formed an alliance with the Islamic Courts Union, other members of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia
, and Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a
, a moderate Sufi
Furthermore, Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam
, the two main Islamist groups in opposition, began to fight amongst themselves in mid-2009.
As a truce, in March 2009, Somalia's coalition government announced that it would re-implement Shari'a as the nation's official judicial system.
However, conflict continued in the southern and central parts of the country. Within months, the coalition government had gone from holding about 70% of south-central Somalia's conflict zones, territory which it had inherited from the previous Yusuf administration, to losing control of over 80% of the disputed territory to the Islamist insurgents.
During the coalition government's brief tenure, Somalia topped the Fund For Peace
's Failed States Index
for three consecutive years. In 2009, Transparency International
ranked the nation in last place on its annual Corruption Perceptions Index
(CPI), a metric that purports to show the prevalence of corruption in a country's public sector.
A World Bank report also alleged that about $130 million that the coalition government had received over this 2009 and 2010 period was unaccounted for.
In July 2012, a report by the UN Monitoring Group on Somalia and Eritrea (SEMG) submitted to the UN Security Council alleged that between 2009 and 2010, around 70 percent of funds that had been earmarked for development and reconstruction in Somalia were unaccounted for.
President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed rebuked the claims, indicating in particular that a $3 million payment from the Government of Oman
had gone toward legitimate government expenses, including loans, security forces and parliament. Ahmed also asserted that the SEMG paper had been "timed to coincide with the end of [the] transition period in order to discredit the TFG," and that the Monitoring Group was the "wrong approach for Somalia's peace and development."
On 14 October 2010, diplomat Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
was appointed the new Prime Minister of Somalia after the resignation of Premier Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke.
Per the Transitional Federal Government's (TFG) Charter
Prime Minister Mohamed named a new Cabinet on 12 November 2010,
which has been lauded by the international community.
The allotted ministerial positions were reduced from 39 to 18.
Only two Ministers from the previous Cabinet were reappointed: Hussein Abdi Halane, the former Minister of Finance and a well-regarded figure in the international community,
was put in charge of a consolidated Ministry of Finance and Treasury; and Dr. Mohamud Abdi Ibrahim remained the minister of Commerce and Industry. Ahlu Sunna Waljama'a
, a moderate Sufi
group and an important military ally of the TFG, was also accorded the key Interior and Labour ministries.
The remaining ministerial positions were largely assigned to technocrats new to the Somali political arena.
In its first 50 days in office, Prime Minister Mohamed's new administration completed its first monthly payment of stipends to government soldiers, and initiated the implementation of a full biometric register for the security forces within a window of four months. Additional members of the Independent Constitutional Commission were also appointed to engage Somali constitutional lawyers, religious scholars and experts in Somali culture over the nation's upcoming new constitution, a key part of the government's Transitional Federal Tasks. In addition, high level federal delegations were dispatched to defuse clan-related tensions in several regions. According to the prime minister of Somalia, to improve transparency, Cabinet ministers fully disclosed their assets and signed a code of ethics
An Anti-Corruption Commission with the power to carry out formal investigations and to review government decisions and protocols was also established so as to more closely monitor all activities by public officials. Furthermore, unnecessary trips abroad by members of government were prohibited, and all travel by ministers now require the Premier's consent.
A budget outlining 2011's federal expenditures was also put before and approved by members of parliament, with the payment of civil service employees prioritized. In addition, a full audit of government property and vehicles is being put into place.
On the war front, the new government and its AMISOM allies also managed to secure control of Mogadishu by August 2011.
According to the African Union
and Prime Minister Mohamed, with increasing troop strength the pace of territorial gains is expected to greatly accelerate.
Political map of Somalia (as of 25 May 2012).
In June 2011, following the Kampala Accord
, the mandates of the President, the Parliament Speaker, and Deputies were extended until August 2012.
On 19 June 2011, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed resigned from his position as Prime Minister of Somalia as part of the controversial Kampala Accord's conditions. The agreement would also see the mandates of the President, the Parliament Speaker and Deputies extended until August 2012, after which point new elections are to be organized, including a parliamentary vote-based presidential election
. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali
, Mohamed's former Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, was later named permanent Prime Minister.
Backed by the United Nations, the African Union
, as well as the United States, the TFG battled Al Shabaab
insurgents to assume full control of the southern part of the country. By August 2011, the government, under President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed
and its AMISOM
(African Union Mission in Somalia) allies managed to secure control over all of Mogadishu
In February 2012, Somali government officials met in the northeastern town of Garowe
to discuss post-transition arrangements. After extensive deliberations attended by regional actors and international observers, the conference ended in a signed agreement between TFG President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, Speaker of Parliament Sharif Adan Sharif Hassan, Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole
, Galmudug President Mohamed Ahmed Alim and Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama'a representative Khalif Abdulkadir Noor stipulating that: a) a new 225 member bicameral
parliament would be formed, consisting of an upper house seating 54 Senators as well as a lower house; b) 30% of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) is earmarked for women; c) the President is to be appointed via a constitutional election; and d) the Prime Minister is selected by the President and he/she then names his/her Cabinet.
On 23 June 2012, the Somali federal and regional leaders met again and approved a draft constitution after several days of deliberation.
The National Constituent Assembly overwhelmingly passed the new constitution on 1 August, with 96% voting for it, 2% against it, and 2% abstaining.
Current diplomatic missions of Somalia
The Transitional Federal Government is internationally recognized as the official government of Somalia. It occupies Somalia's seat in the United Nations, the African Union
, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
(OIC). The Permanent Representative of Somalia to the United Nations is Elmi Ahmed Duale
. The Deputy Permanent Representative is Idd Beddel Mohamed
. Somalia is one of the founding members of the OIC. The TFG also has ambassadors in other countries.
The Transitional Federal Government currently maintains embassies
in 34 countries. Ethiopia
maintains an embassy in Mogadishu
in Somaliland and in Garowe
re-opened its embassy in Mogadishu in December 2010.
The following year, India
also re-opened its embassy in the capital after a twenty-year absence,
as did Turkey
Italy maintains a special diplomatic delegation and a Technical Mission to Mogadishu, and is scheduled to re-open its embassy in the city.
In 2011, the United Kingdom likewise announced plans to re-open its embassy in Mogadishu,
following suit in 2012.
For travel, Somali citizens can obtain a Somali passport from government-designated locations or from Somali embassies abroad.
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Last edited on 20 April 2021, at 17:53
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