19 May 2007 04:27

SOMALIA WATCH

 
SW News
  • Title: [SW News]( PUNTLAND FORUM) [PUNTLAND FORUM POSITION ON ARTA]
  • Posted by/on:[AMJ] [Sunday, August 6, 2000]

 
PUNTLAND FORUM POSITION ON ARTA
 
 To:

U.N Secretary General, New York

Security Council Members

OAU, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

IGAD Heads of States

Organization of Islamic Conference

 

Subject:        Somali Reconciliation Conference                August 1, 2000     

Excellencies:

                We, Puntland Communities in the Diaspora, would like to express our sorrow in watching again another stumbling Somali peace conference and missed opportunity.

            In principal we, the Puntland Diaspora communities, strongly support the end goal of the Arta peace conference, not as a state reconstitution medium, but as a forum for an inter-communal political dialogue aimed to foster inter-communal trust and develop a shared understanding of the future - crucial missing ingredients for political progress in Somalia.  We view the Arta medium not yet politically ripe and inclusive enough as a platform for state formation; it is too haste to aspire such goal at this stage of Somali political development. 

            The core principle behind our disapproval is based on grievances related to, the intention of Arta conference in forming a government imposed from the top without the well-informed consent and support of the masses. A formation of a government, imposed from the top will be predestined to fail; this type of government will be by design undemocratic since it conveniently ignores the wishes of the masses. The ringleaders of any such forum will be made-up of self-serving, self-invited demagogues and/or ruthless warlords.  And perhaps most evil of them all, by instituting a highly centralized government, the top-down approach will severely hinder social learning and will certainly reverse any distributed economic development gains made to date by the periphery.  Finally, this approach will destabilize the zones that already achieved relative peace and social learning without bringing a substitute lasting settlement to the current crisis. Another issue of our dissent views lies on what ground should the right of political representation be based on. Elected authorities in Puntland and Northwest are absent from the conference. Self-nominated individuals sponsored by the Djibouti government were seated on behalf of Puntland and Northwest authorities. It appears that this action was intended to manipulate the outcome of the conference. It also has the potential to destabilize the peaceful central and northern areas of the country.

            The Djibouti process assured the marginalization of the regionalist view points in the political deliberation, equally it failed to balance the need to sustain the political momentum of the emerging regional administrative organs, the only proven viable political institutions in Somalia at this stage. While at the same time to explore a political formula for the reconstruction of political and administrative institutions at the national level.

            The Djibouti formula guaranteed an unwarranted political eminence at the conference to constituency-less political aspirants, war criminals, architects of the civil war, Siyad Barre’s lieutenants and their viewpoints at the expense of the legitimate emerging regional political authorities with strong social ties with their regional grass root groups. We view the regional political frameworks as the promising path for national political reconstruction. We again under stress that any effort that by-passes the will of the legitimate emerging regional authorities will definitely do a great dis-service to Somali peace efforts and will inadvertently prolong the sad stateless situation of the country.

             The use of a sterile and ritualistic categorization, such as warlords and civil society, tends to obscure rather than clarify the complexity and dynamics of the fractious Somali politics. The use of such polemical convenience by the conference organizers is not an effective way of resolving conflict or creating consensus. We strongly object the portrayal of the Puntland political leadership by the conference organizers as warlords. The Puntland leadership, through hard work and responsiveness, earned the support and trust of its constituencies. 

            In conclusion, commitment to genuine reconciliation, insuring accountability, achievement of fair resolution for the humanitarian crimes committed in Somalia and recognizing the building-block approach to governance are the critical issues that must be addressed and resolved in order to facilitate the nation building process.

              Thank you very much.

(Signed by Abdulfatah M. Abdulle ( abdulfatah@yahoo.com), Chairman of the Forum, and by the Forum Council on behalf of the members world-wide)  


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