Interregional Conference on Federalism Issues in the Somali Constitutional Review Process

Max Planck Foundation organises conference for representatives from the Federal Government and the Federal Member States in Somalia

The Interregional Conference was the first of its kind and brought together ten representatives from the Office of the Prime Minister and the Federal Ministries of Interior and Federal Affairs and Constitutional Affairs, as well as ten representatives each from the Offices of the State Presidents and the State Ministries in charge of federal affairs and constitutional affairs from Galmudug, Hirshabelle, Jubbaland, Puntland and South West State. The Max Planck Foundation organised this conference which took place from 10 to 13 December 2016.

The Interregional Conference dealt with crucial issues that needed to be addressed in the process of establishing a sound and coherent federal system in Somalia. First, the Max Planck Foundation facilitators provided the participants with essential background information on the Somali constitutional review process, the notion of separation of powers and political decentralisation, as well as the structures of the executive, legislature and judiciary in a federal system from a comparative perspective. In the ensuing discussions, the participants were allowed to exchange their respective views on the current situation of the Somali constitutional review process and the options available for the establishment of the different branches of government in a Somali federal system.

With the state formation being complete, and the contours of a federal state emerging, the finalisation of the Somali constitutional review process is pertinent. Thereby, a number of constitutional regulations relating to the federal system as such require urgent clarification and improvement. Hence, the conference was not only timely but also beneficial in that it sought to build the knowledge of the technical staff working within the relevant line Ministries at the Federal Government and Federal Member State levels of government. Participants were particularly grateful for the background information provided and the facilitation of the conference, allowing for the peaceful and substantiated exchange of different opinions and views from both, the Federal and the Federal Member State perspective.

The Interregional Conference took place under the Max Planck Foundation’s project ‘Support to the Somali Federalisation Process’, which is financed by the German Foreign Office.