Somaliland: Civil Registration Breakthrough for Somaliland


An estimated Warning

Mohamed Abdi Daud

By: Mohamed Abdi Daud

Somalilandsun – Creative Associate evaluated on July 2009 the short comes of previous registration system in Somaliland. They found over 50% of registrations (more than 6500,000 registrants) had no fingerprint. The biometric matching systems, while functioning, were not identifying as many duplicates as expected.

And that was due to negligence of the operators and to some extent failure of the system. 96,096 Registrants were scrubbed for no face and finger recognition. There was evidence of systematic abuse of the system such as over 150 registrations with same fingerprint and different faces. After running the Automated Finger Identification System (AFIS) and Facial Recognition System (FRS) scrub, about 45,548 records were identified as duplicates. Roughly 7,000 registrants had same name & birthdate matches with others. And that made a total of 149,151 records placed on the invalid list, and the remaining registrants were estimated as 1.2 million on the valid list . FRS was introduced later after capturing the photos (rather than integrating into the original system and precisely capturing photos that comply with the Facial Recognition System).

We agree all verified by Creative Associate. But one can’t ignore It was the people that committed fraud and crime not a sound system, and there was no liability measures and punishment for local and international misconducts. Nomad environment was also not friendly with AFIS, FRS and their necessities and appliances. And finally what had ensued yesterday is likely to happen tomorrow.

Genealogical Breakthrough

In late fiftieths, 361 social units were recorded in the Protectorate of Somaliland. These groups, especially their male members paid together and received blood money or the customary tribal payment. That time, the number of males in a Dia Paying Group (DPG) varied from 300 to 3000, while Females were believed approximately equal to the males.

As prevalent in present, those social units were headed by qualified chiefs. Article 7 in Law No 37 of Somaliland imposes: “Any person whose citizenship can’t be confirmed by the Ministry of Interior and the Court shall be informed he should bring his qualified chief before the committee”. Since practiced chiefs collect Dia from their adherent males in daily basis, it is self-evident they can easily list their membership males as well as their daughters .

To a proficient chief it is indifferent to trace the members in his DPG whether they are in rural, urban or diaspora. The ministry of interior can design a spread sheet that shows columns for the name of the citizen (in seven genealogical names instead of four), age, and his address.

A Ministerial Decree is to be issued enforcing; all accredited chiefs take the responsibility of listing the members of their DPG, including daughters of their group. And that is a time limit of less than two months.

The obtained list will be signed by the eligible chief, court, Governor and the Minister respectively. A National data base is to be constructed. A complete and comprehensive ancestral tree or Traditional Identification (TI) is resulted for every Somaliland citizen, with absence of sophisticated alien machinery and expensive technology.

Unaided biometric can’t yield basic data as the TI, but a decorative and international practice, when processing requested National Identity Cards. After the data base of TI is demonstrated, no death or birth claims are accepted in that data base without the approval of associated chief.

At last and finally, Voter Registration, the dilemma of Somaliland will be obtained simply from TI, and on regular basis.

Mohamed Abdi Daud

Ex-Governor & Independent Researcher