The federal state formation conference in Jowhar for the Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions By Yusuf Hussein Hassan
August 31, 2016
For the last couple of months, there have been many news reports saying that there is a federal state formation conference for the Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions in Jowhar. The reports claim that all the genuine Hiran traditional leaders are taking part in the state formation conference spearheaded by the federal government of Somalia and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Eastern Africa.
This is not true. Many Hiran traditional leaders led by Ugaas Hassan Ugaas Khaliif Ugaas Rooble so far refused to take part in this conference in Jowhar. The Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the prime minister of Somalia Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke, the special envoy to Somalia from the IGAD Mohamed Abdi Affey and other high-level delegates recently visited Beledweyne to tell the Hiran traditional leaders, led by Ugaas Hassan, to take part in the federal state formation conference for the Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions in Jowhar, but these traditional leaders refused and demanded from the president, the prime minister, the envoy and other delegates confirmation that Hiran must be divided into two regions to be eligible to form a federal state of Somalia, and for equal power sharing, and there must be a comprehensive and real reconciliation in the Hiran clans and transfer of the Jowhar conference to Beledweyne town. The current incomplete Somali constitution states that a federal state must be comprised of two or more regions.
Hiran was one of the eight administrative regions when Somalia gained independence in 1960. The first Somali president was from Hiran. Hiran was never split and the rest of the seven regions were split into eighteen regions. The Middle Shabelle region was separated from the Benadir region. The vast majority of the people of Hiran want Hiran to be one of the federal states as Hiran was one of the eight administrative regions in 1960. There were 18 regions in Somalia when the civil war broke out in 1991 in Somalia and the country was destroyed.
Hiran is one of the densely populated regions of Somalia with people from diverse clans and it is located in the centre of Somalia. Beledweyne city is the capital of Hiran, about 350 km north of Mogadishu, and there is a very popular song about Beledweyne called “Beledweyn”. Hiran has the Shabelle River which zigzags through the region and fertile farming and grazing land encourage agriculture.
Now, the Federal Government of Somalia and the IGAD are being extremely misleading about this conference and are using some people from Hiran to pretend that they are the leaders of many Hiran clans who are absent from the conference, but, as I mentioned before, the genuine Hiran traditional leader of these clans have, so far, refused to take part in the conference.
The Federal government of Somalia and the IGAD are trying to form a federal state of Hiran and Middle Shabelle, using these people. They are deliberately misleading many people in Hiran and the sponsor of this conference.
Wouldn’t it be a huge step for the current federal government of Somalia and the IGAD to form a Hiran state like they did with the other Somali federal states? Many people of Hiran would be delighted to see Hiran become one of the federal states of Somalia. Many people in Hiran agree that forming their own federal state – Hiran state – is a good idea. Many people of Hiran would like to report this misleading behaviour and mistreatment to the sponsor of this conference and the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, the IGAD and others.
The people of the Hiran region have genuine traditional leaders and many of these traditional leaders refused to take part in the state formation conference in Jowhar for Hiran and Middle Shabelle. For example, the Hawadle clan has only one traditional leader, Ugaas Hassan Ugaas Khaliif Ugaas Rooble, and he is the genuine traditional leader of the Hawadle clan. Ugaas Hassan Ugaas Khaliif Ugaas Rooble is the one who led many Hiran traditional leaders in refusing to take part in the state formation conference for Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions in Johwar.
Currently, the Somali parliament members (clan-based parliament) are selected by traditional leaders. The president is elected by these parliament members. The president appoints the prime minister, who is approved by the parliament, and the prime minister appoints his/her cabinet, the ministers in the cabinet, and the government institutions that are then approved by the parliament. As a result, the traditional leaders led by Ugaas Hassan Ugaas Khaliif Ugaas Rooble must be included among the elders who will select the Member of Parliament in 2016, as they are Somali traditional leaders.
Yusuf Hussein Hassan majored in sociology (four year program) with a minor in communication studies at the university of Windsor, Canada and Postgraduate certificate in African studies at Ohio University, USA.
Yusuf Hussein Hassan
Windsor, ON. Canada