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The president: Respect for Somalia’s right to self determination is critical

Storyline:National News

As President of the Federal Republic of Somalia, I acknowledge all those who have expended considerable energy and resources in supporting Somalia to achieve the substantial progress we have made against ambitious goals.

Over the past two years, with the support of the Somali public, Federal institutions, the Parliament and the international community, Somalia has made a remarkable transformation. Focusing on building a foundation and laying down the groundwork for stabilization and ensuing reform, we have achieved much. With the support of AMISOM, the Somali National Army has returned 80% of Somalia to government control.

The Federal Government has developed legal frameworks, governance structures, public financial management processes, formalized Somalia’s presence in the international community, strengthened relations with neighboring countries, re-structured key institutions, established reconciliation forums for dialogue, developed the path for political reform and put in place the architecture for linking international support to our priorities through the Somali Compact.

Expectations of continued progress are high. So too, are expectations that Somalia must be allowed to lead its own transformation. When Somalia agreed to participate in the New Deal Compact mechanism, we did so based on the Partnership Principles detailed in the Somali Compact, which was witnessed and endorsed by Somali and international participants at the Brussels Conference in September 2013. The Partnership Principles are explicit about the need and expectation for nationally led and nationally owned development- be it political, developmental, economic or civic.

I call now for respect of these principles. I call for respect of Somalia’s sovereign right, protected by and explained in our Provisional Federal Constitution, to determine its own future, a future that will be determined by the people of Somalia, our Federal institutions, and our legislation.

I reaffirm- to the Somali people- the Federal Government’s commitment to Vision 2016, to ensuring that the Constitution is reviewed, revised and adopted by referendum; that federalism is completed and that preparations for national elections in 2016 continue apace. I do not deny that we have much to do, and little time to achieve these things. However difficult our circumstances are, lack of performance, at any level, will not be accepted.

While I appreciate the concerns of the International Community, the best way to support Somali leaders and institutions is to respect and allow them to resolve their differences through legitimate means and within the existing and maturing institutions.