SOMALILAND: The National Dialogue Symposium


By: UCID and Wadani

Somalilandsun – Somaliland state building and democratization is an ongoing process at which the national stakeholders, including the state organs, the civil society and the public at large are tirelessly engaged in collaboration with their international partners.

It is a process which has no end and hence is incumbent upon any of the above stakeholders to contribute to improve and enrich it continuously. Central to the Somaliland model of development is the principle of “dialogue” – a principle which has now become the trademark of Somaliland state building and democratization process and through which its people overcame countless challenges. With that approach and model of development Somaliland is able to harness the profound power of its customary institutions, to nurture peace, to build harmony among its citizens and communities and with of those of the neighbouring states, to continuously enrich its hybrid state building process and to engage and collaborate with its international partners.

Furthermore, Somaliland combines that with accepted modern democratic political practice where the ruling party forms the government and the legal opposition parties continuously hold it accountable in all its actions and activities to meet the expectations of its election pledges, to uphold the laws of the nations and to ensure equitable and sustainable development to improve the lives of the citizens. In the present climate of Kulmiye rule, there is a national outcry from the public that the opposition parties have forsaken their role as an effective opposition, especially since Kulmiye is behaving as a one-party rule.

In that backdrop, the national opposition parties, UCID and WADDANI, have set aside their differences, to fulfill their national mandate as opposition parties and also have embraced the recent call from the Forum for National Dialogue (Madasha) and have taken action to uphold the principle of “dialogue” to address the challenges facing Somaliland in its internal governance situation as well as its international quest for recognition. Therefore the opposition parties decided to jointly hold a national symposium to address the above challenges. The Symposium will have four key objectives areas:

Objectives of the symposium

1. Advancing the democratization process by addressing the challenges of recent and upcoming elections including a) Reflect on the shortcomings of November 2012 Local Council election; b) Holding of June 2015 election on time; c) preparation of a sound and sustainable voter registration system d) Filling the gaps in the laws, especially that of the House of Representatives election e) determining the modality of holding Presidential and Parliamentary elections at the same time; and developing actionable recommendations for the way forward.

2. Appraising the Kulmiye Government’s performance and addressing the challenges facing the national governance institutions including the Executive, the Legislature, the judiciary as well as national the political parties. To also address other key issues of public concern as the freedom of speech and the utilization of the national natural resources. Actionable recommendations for the way forward will draw from the Symposium.

3. Appraising the state of Somaliland quest for international recognition and reviewing the trajectory of dialogue with Somalia; and developing actionable recommendations for the way forward.

4. Organizing consultations on the governance backlog issues including reform of the constitution; the election/selection of the Guurti; equitable power-sharing arrangements of all Somaliland communities and balanced regional development; and developing actionable recommendations for the way forward.

The national opposition parties WDDANI and UCID have established a joint preparatory committee for the symposium comprising of twelve members. This Committee is mandated to prepare the agenda of the Symposium, to seek resources for it and to organize its logistics to hold it in the appropriate time. The Committee will appreciate input from all stakeholders, the Somaliland public, the diaspora included to enrich the dialogue process and make it relevant to address the challenges of Somaliland democratization and state-building processes. The Preparatory Committee will engage all stakeholders including the ruling party Kulmiye as well as the international partners of Somaliland development.

The Committee will announce the date and venue of the Symposium at a later date.

The Contact persons for the Symposium are:

1. The Chairman: Dr. Mohamed Osman Fadal -Tel: +252-63-4475649

2. Vice-Chair : Fadumo Said -Tel: +252-63-4427793

3. Secretary: Abdinasir Yusuf Osman -Tel: +252-63-4420330

4. Spokesperson: MP- Baar Said Farah -Tel: +252-63-4475015

5. Legal Advisor: MP- Ibrahim Jam Ali (Reite) -Tel: +252-63-4056119

Committee Official Email:

The Chairman of the Preparatory Committee

Dr. Mohamed Fadal

Hargeisa, 10th Nov, 2013