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Published On: Sat, Jan 17th, 2015

Did IGAD 53rd ministerial meeting Read the Article Seven in the FSG Constitution?

IGADBefore I go into the main intent of the article, which will be implied rather than stated, please allow me to present some brief redundant information which could be an amusing narrative of our ancestral times which we can share with our sons and daughters who may raise some inquisitive queries at odd times about their roots and past events though I believe `our guests (answers) are as good as theirs (query)!
Land of Punt, Berbers, Land of Somal, Colonizer, and Somali Republic … International Community here we are …The Federal Somali Government!
Did you know…?
ü  in the 16th century, the Somali sultanates along the coastal ports had alliance with the Ottoman Empire against the Portuguese armada threats in the Indian Ocean.
ü  in 1885  Mogadishu  was ruled by Ottomans for four years.
ü  between 1870 and 1884 the Red Sea coastal towns  were ruled by an  Egyptians with an Ottoman empire royal mandate.
ü  in 1888 with an agreement, the British took over Zeila and Berbera from the Ottomans.
ü  Dubur wells at Berbera (main water source) and other dilapidated historic buildings in Zeila, Berbera and in other townships along the coastline were constructed by the Ottoman Empire and their Egyptians.
ü  The Ottoman Empire also formed a system of tribal chiefs to bridge between their administrative stations and the hinterland Somali tribes.
ü  The IGAD council ministers in Mogadishu 53rd ministerial meeting  Reaffirmed the council’s respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence, and unity of Somalia.
ü  The FSG territory in the FSG’s constitution is a reflection of the Greater Somalia vision in Somali Republic’s constitution in 1960.
We know
The term ”Somali” implies our ethnicity or ethnic group as a socially-defined class of specific race, wherever we may be,
But do you know that?
The limits of the term ”Somalia” which denotes a specific geographical area as a territory evokes a political debate and it is confusing whether it means the whole Somali territory (the Greater Somalia) or the Somali Republic or most like some parts only.
One example of the ambiguity in the term ‘Somalia’ is how it was expressed in Article One of the current Communiqué of the 53rd extraordinary session of IGAD held in Mogadishu on 10th January 2015. The article emphasizes Somalia’s territorial integrity and unity respect and this really begs the question- Where were the limits of Somalia territory? Was Somaliland included within the limits of Somalia? Is Somalia confused with the Somali Republic?
 In the constitution of FSG the article no.7 is as same article 4 of the 1960 original constitution of the Somali Republic which has no defined limits of the territory in the land as purposely drafted to give a room for the missing Territories (Djibouti, Ogaden and NFD) due to the Somali irredentism at time or the Greater Somalia vision.
However, over the years that Spirited ‘Greater Somalia’ ambition by the irredentist Somalis has gradually diminished due to:
      I.        The immediate melancholy effect on the first union by two states of Somalia and Somaliland in 1960 that as a result of the inequality in the terms of the union, the people from the north felt marginalized – the proponents of the union who unconditionally pressed the unification in a bid to achieve the dream of ” Greater Somalia” in the future.
    II.        The failed attempt to liberate Ogaden and Haud in 1977 that the Somali national force (SNF) invaded to Ethiopia: The USSR and USA pressured Somalia to withdraw from Ethiopia and the allied USSR, Cubans and Ethiopian Forces on the ground regained the liberated areas and inflicted the SNF a heavy defeat which in turn melt out the epic of the liberation fever by Somalis at large.
   III.        The Djibouti’s disinclination to join the core Somali Republic after its independence in June 27, 1977 that they have formed their own government: witnessed the frustration and unhappy unity of 1960 (Somaliland v Somalia) and calculated the imminent conflict between Ethiopia and the Somali republic for the Ogaden and Haud issue.
  IV.        As time passed the Somali territories’ under Ethiopia and Kenya relatively got better and accepted now to remain in their current geographical and political sphere and be part of their respective systems:  reasonably integrated with both Ethiopia and Kenya Governments after the collapse of Somali Government in 1991.
   V.        The seceding of Somaliland in 1991 from the imploded Somali Republic in which the state of ” Somaliland Republic” was formed despite not being internationally recognized.
  VI.        The ensuing conflicts and amorphous political situation in Somalia and the regional disintegration into ethnic entities.
 VII.        And above all neither Ethiopia nor Kenya is willing to part with an inch of those territories to any Somali government easily.
Back to the point and article one of IGAD statement in relation to the FSG’s stressed territorial integrity and unity; In fact the stated respect for the Somalia’s unity could also mean ‘Greater Somalia’ as per the constitution’s dubious drafting of the article and its clauses related to territory.
 Interestingly, the three Somali ethnic foreign ministers who were representing the three different countries (Somalia, Kenya and Djibouti) in the IGAD conference would mean also an inverted form of Somali unity, an opportunity that was denied to Somaliland, interpretably as Somalia the ”Greater” so applies the respect for unity, therefore as long as the ambiguous the term ”Somalia” remains undefined so the situation will remain messy too.
In fact what the Ministers respecting is analogous with the case of the grave between the two farmers that  wittingly one moved  away into the other ones property to expand his as  the definition of the territory of the FGS either gives away land to Kenya and Ethiopia  or cleverly paving the way an initial footing for ”Greater Somalia”. Surely, one of the sides is not vigilant enough. But Somaliland is watchful! Boundaries’ should balance and agree with each other with numbers (Latitudes and longitudes) to locate point of references (see Somaliland Constitution below).
A Political map is not as simple as a village municipality sketch map it should be detailed enough and must have one objective interpretation but if constitution’s territory definition mimics an elementary class teacher’s geography note it naturally results conflict of authority over boundary which eventually leads to a physical assault. In this aspect of FSG’s territory has unsound interpretation which the IGAD ministers simply gave their blind honour unduly.
 However, in this case, one can sing the song  ”Somaaliyaay toosoo” or s/he can sing it as ” Somaaliyeey toosoo” which the first be translates ‘Wake up Somalia’, while the second reads ‘Wake up Somalis’. Some people know the difference while others may not but we all sing the song.
I would like to ask which one is politically relevant now as the melody was the Motto for the ‘Greater Somalia’ in its time.   I reckon the first will upset some neighbouring countries if they know the meaning of this melody that may provoke conflict to their territorial integrity, as Somaliland smells a rat  about the term ”Somalia’.
However, the issue qualifies everyone of us to do some research on the origin of the term ‘Somalia’ and I think Somaliland, by doing her bit, has a point to defend its territorial integrity and sovereignty too which is a fait accompli.
Before the colonial era, the Somali people had no demarcation lines between their tribal settlements and had no geopolitical term that was known to cover the vast geographical area in East Africa. They lived as a homogeneous society discernible from other natives in the continent.
However, the currently used name of Somalia was coined, for first time, by the Italian explorer Robecchi Bricchetti in 1892 referring to the areas between Benadir and Shebelle (Mogadishu – Barawe) to the interior controlled by the Somali Geledi Sultanate and the Omani Sultan of Zanzibar and it was not an analogous term for all Somali territory or at least the South – North convergence.
On April 5, 1908 the Italian Government passed a law uniting all its outposts extended from Majertenia to Benadir and Shebelle into a single colony of “Somalia Italiana.” This has transformed into Somalia when the Italian occupied Somali territory was given a 10-year internal government under the trustee of the United Nations from 1 April 1950 to 30 June 1960.
As the short-lived state of Somaliland (5 days independent from the British), united with the Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland) in July 1, 1960 and out of that the Somali Republic formed with an objective of seeking and obtaining the ‘Greater Somalia’ thus its constitutional territory as apparent in article No. 4 was merely vague statement without border limits (it gave a room to occupied territories without going into detail). It then changed to Somali Democratic Republic in 1969 coup by the Military regime (1969 -1991).
in principle the Somali Federal Government is only representing the people in the South only as the North represented by Somaliland Republic as the engagement of talks between the two is at high point it worth not to agitate the proceed most importantly regional entities like IGAD. We blame this issue to certain individuals among the IGAD ministers who had unhealthy intention to bring that sensitive point on the light.
To reiterate to point, the Somali Federal Government (FSG) has adapted the constitution of the Somali Republic (SR) in terms of the Territorial integrity and unity.  By adopting this article 4 of the constitution is revised as article 7 with an addition of border direction without boundary-limits towards Ethiopia and Kenya and Djibouti. In here the limits could be up to anywhere in Ethiopia or Kenya or up to the city of Djibouti as there is no reference of Longitudes and latitude stated in the Constitution.
The Constitution of Somaliland clearly sets out the territorial limits of the country’s border pursuant to all requirement of political map of a country.  The constitution of Somaliland Republic is based as it was comprised in Her Britannic Majesty’s Protectorate of Somaliland.
The constitution of the FSG has a territorial issue which they have inherited from the undefined territorial limits between the Southern Somalia and neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya in 1960 while the borders in North were well defined. So I wonder what territorial integrity of FSG that the IGAD ministries are respecting.  I think they are not knowledge about the multiple deficiencies in the constitution of the FSG.
 Furthermore, using the term Somalia by the FSG to claim authority over the territorial integrity of Somaliland is unjustifiable. Based on the fact that the state formed out of the two was called Somali Republic by constitution not Somalia but Somaliland state has united with Somalia which had no influence over the territory of Somaliland.
On the other hand, Somaliland has declared its withdrawal from the union of 1960 at Burao in 1991 and announced its statehood, so the FSG is representing the Southern Somalia only what is formerly called Italian Somalia.
 Therefore, we urge that IGAD Ministers to rewrite their communiqué at 53th extraordinary session held in Mogadishu on 10th January 2015 for the interest of their countries and the respect of the defined territorial area of Somaliland and its sovereignty.
 Mohamoud Arrale
Enclosed: The Territory limits as in the constitutions of:
1. Somaliland constitution as of 1960
2. Somaliland constitution after 1991
3. Somali Republic as of 1960
4. Federal Somali Government after 1991
The Somaliland constitution (1960) reads:
Territory of Somaliland
2.      (1) the territory of Somaliland shall be all that territory which on the commencement of this Constitution, is comprised in Her Britannic Majesty’s Protectorate of Somaliland.
Also the Somaliland current constitution reads:
Article 2: The Territory of the Republic of Somaliland (1991)
 1.   The territory of the Republic of Somaliland covers the same area as that of the former Somaliland Protectorate [8] and is located between Latitude 8’ to 11’ 30’ north of the equator and Longitude 42’ 45 to 49’ East; and consists of the land, islands, and territorial waters [9], above and below the surface, the airspace and the continental shelf.
Article 4
Territory of the State
1. The national territory is sacred and inviolable.
2. The territorial sovereignty shall extend to the continental territory, the islands, the territorial sea, the subsoil, the air space above and the continental shelf.
3. Any modification of the national territory must be authorized by a law approved by a four-fifth majority of the members of the National Assembly.
4. The law shall determine the parts of the territory and the property which belong to the State and to public bodies, and establish the legal status thereof
Article 7. The Territory of the Federal Republic of Somalia (2012)
(1) The sovereignty of the Federal Republic of Somalia extends over all the territory of the
Federal Republic of Somalia, which includes the land, territorial sea, the islands, the subsoil,
The air space, and the continental shelf, and any land and waters that join the Federal
Republic of Somalia in accordance with a law that shall be passed by the Federal Parliament.
(2) The territory of the Federal Republic of Somalia is inviolable and indivisible.
(3) Any international boundary dispute over the territory of the Federal Republic of Somalia
Shall be resolved in a peaceful and cooperative manner that is in accordance with the laws of the land and international law.
 (4) The boundaries of the Federal Republic of Somalia shall be those described in the 1960 Constitution of the Republic of Somalia.
(5) The boundaries of the Federal Republic of Somalia are:
(a) To the north: The Gulf of Aden;
(b) To the north west: Djibouti;
(c) To the west: Ethiopia;
(d) To the south west: Kenya;
(e) To the east: the Indian Ocean
         The End

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