Options for allocating powers in Somalia’s federal system

Policy Papers

The absence of agreement on the distribution of powers has contributed to conflict and tension between different levels of government, especially the FGS and FMS. In October 2017, for example, disputes over Somalia’s foreign relations – on which the PFC is ambiguous – fed into emerging conflict when five FMS established the Council of Inter-State Cooperation, before going on to suspend relations with the FGS the following year. Other areas of tension related to power allocation center around the distribution of international aid and the role of the FGS and FMS in education. Such tensions have contributed to wider struggles between the FGS and FMS. Reaching clarity on the allocation of powers in Somalia’s federal model is, therefore, a critical priority when it comes to advancing the country’s post-conflict trajectory.

To achieve this, meaningful and inclusive political dialogue on the allocation of powers is essential. As such, this paper outlines a framework for analyzing the issue, as well as the available options for starting a dialogue on relevant political processes.

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