Benefiting from his five-year term as Puntland President, Farole is very familiar with security sector challenges in Somalia. He believes we should prioritise reforming, reorganising and strengthening command-and-control mechanisms for National Security Forces. In addition, we should strengthen law enforcement capacity for Federal Police and Intelligence Agencies, while guaranteeing salaries and operational costs to security personnel (Army, Police and Intelligence) and judiciary personnel (Judges, Prosecutors, Prison Guards).
We need to conduct a thorough review of existing national security legislation, enact new legislation as needed, and to nominate the National Security Commission – in accordance with the Provisional Federal Constitution and in candid consultations with Federal Member States.
Finally, we need to increase cooperation and coordination between Federal and State security institutions, especially in the fight against Al Shabaab terrorists and other forms of organised crime.
Somalia has not had proper national reconciliation since the 1991 civil war – it is time for instituting a genuine national reconciliation process. We can organise community gatherings (“people touch people” campaigns) whereby local communities come together and openly discuss past grievances, hostilities and injustices, with the aim of overcoming the past and building new bridges for future cooperation and brotherhood. This process – the Reconciliation Tack – could run parallel to all other Government programs – including security, judiciary, economic, and institutional reforms.
Firstly we need recognise that “political reconciliation” is not enough, and that Somalia needs community reconciliation, which can foster a peaceful environment conducive for social development and economic productivity. Secondly, community reconciliation that engages the public – not only politicians with potentially ulterior motives. Finally, as part of the Reconciliation Tack, We should introduce effective and constructive dialogue with Somaliland.
Its time we put together a National Reconstruction Plan, that will be developed in broad consultations with Federal Member State governments and leaders. Primarily, the plan should focus on Public Finance Management – if we do not get our revenue management correct, the rest of the plan is a potential failure.
Financial accountability and integrity is a cornerstone on our journey to national reconstruction. Secondly, the plan should aim to focus on vocational training and job creation opportunities for youth, in addition to renovating or building public and economic infrastructure across Somalia, including ports, airports and roads, while aiming to increase public services and access to education, healthcare, water and electricity.
The Government shall also formulate laws and regulations for managing and responsibly benefiting from Somalia’s wealth natural resources, including livestock, fisheries & energy sectors. The Government shall focus on trade and investment, and aiming for increased cooperation with foreign investors whilst endeavouring to guarantee investment security and services at home.
Finally, the Government’s National Reconstruction Plan should aim to benefit from the vast Somali Diaspora as human capital to drive the nation’s economic recovery.
Social development is the key to long-term stability and progress. Farole believes we need to focus on increasing access to education, healthcare, water and electricity for all Somali households. Naturally, this ambitious plan needs funding sources, technical knowledge, and requires unprecedented cooperation between Federal and State Governments, the humanitarian community, and the private sector.
Focus should also be made on the protection for human rights, justice for women and minority groups, and support for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and the voluntary repatriation of Somali refugees. The Government shall lead a productive and constructive engagement with neighbouring countries hosting Somali refugees, to work out a reasonable Action Plan to managing Somali refugees.