Matt Baugh

Ambassador to Somalia

24th February 2012 Nairobi, Kenya

After the London Conference on Somalia: Share Your Views

In my opinion the London Conference on Somalia yesterday was a great success. In case you missed any of it then you can find full reports and links here. It was the biggest conference on Somalia, involving the greatest number of senior leaders, from as wide a range of countries and international organisations, as seen in many decades, possibly ever.

The overriding feeling in the room yesterday was that we were at a moment in time in which circumstances had presented Somalis with their best opportunity for many years to make progress and lasting change for the better. As Prime Minister David Cameron said yesterday, “let’s make this conference the turning point in helping the Somali people to reclaim their country and with that achieve greater stability and prosperity for Somalia, the region and the world”.

Hopefully the conference demonstrated to Somalis that they had the full support of the international community to continue on what David Cameron called, “the next stage of a long journey for Somalia”. The Conference Communique and its annexes that came out at the end of the day was an expression of the support, agreement and commitment given yesterday and in the weeks leading up to the conference.

The communique focused on seven main areas: political, security and justice, piracy, terrorism, stability and recovery, humanitarian, and international coordination. In all of these areas there is much to do. And in all of these areas it will be important to keep hearing the views of Somalis both inside Somalia and in the diaspora, as well as of other friends of Somalia, just as we have in the run up to this conference.

So I would like to invite you to continue using this blog as a forum to express your constructive views about how the aspirations of this conference and especially of the Somali people can be achieved, building on progress to date. Please leave a comment below, or on our Facebook or Twitter pages.

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144 comments on “After the London Conference on Somalia: Share Your Views

  1. Amid so much constructive and positive discussion, there was disappointment that there was no mention of the plight of 194 innocent seafarers held hostage by pirates in appalling misery.

    Someone at the table was in a position to allude to and recognise their terrible misfortune and maybe even influence it.

    The threat of obstructing ransom payments, which offer hostages their only line of hope, was greeted with extreme disquiet in maritime circles.

  2. Dear Amb. Baugh

    Minister for Africa offered the Somaliland President to give speech at the conference. May we be able to see what he had to say. Unfortunateley only an audio version has been uploaded thus far.

    Please get back to me.

      1. Shocking! The only mandated representative whom was dully elected by a genuine Somali Community and the FCO didn’t even bother to tape it. Somaliland has taken an enourmous risk with the offer to imprison convicted pirates on its shores.

        The Somaliland president had assured the public that he would be given a platform to help explain how peace can be built from a bottom up approach and not from a top down. I am so dissapointed and to top it off the President of Somalia whom we have got video footage of didn’t even speak in Somali, instead it was Arabic.

        I know Matt it isn’t neccesarily your fault but in a world of pereceptions this is very bad news.

      2. Dear Matt,

        Thanks for uploading the speech of President Silanyo and from his speech we have learned the following:

        1. His willing to support bottom up approach and share lessons learned from Somaliland relative peace
        2. His willing to support peace process in Somalia
        3. His eagerness for a recognitions of Somaliland State

        First 1, 2 we welcome with open arms. All Somalis all over the world welcome the support of their brothers and sisters from Somaliland and welcome their learned lessons to be implemented in any future Somali Government to be formed after August 2012.

        However point 3, recognition of Somaliland. I understand the British Government invited Somaliland to the negotiating table merely to give President Silanyo an opportunity to mingle with International leaders rather negotiate a political process that would make sense for both Somali and Somaliland. This way of thinking was evident in the debate for Somalia in the House of Commons as many MP’s openly endorsed the recognition of Somaliland as a STATE!

        Great Britain can not ignore the reality and if this is ignored we are in danger of creating another Kashmir in Horn of Africa. There is a huge area which is disputed between the people of Somaliland and Somalia. Also Somaliland claim on the borders is not something recognised by the Somali people. The claim that in 1888, after signing successive treaties with the then ruling Italian-Somaliland and Somali Sultans such as Mohamoud Ali Shire of the Warsangali Sultanate, the British established a protectorate in the region referred to as British Somaliland is true however that can not be the basis of border division between Somali and Somaliland today in the 21st century. Because once Somalia and Somaliland United all agreements that were done during colonial times became nullified. Somalia started a new era and new state was born on July 20, 1961.

        Now to be dragged on treaties that were signed in the 18th century as the bases for borders not only flay argument but it will bring dangerous precedence and serious political instabilities between Somaliland and Somalia. We don’t want another British created problem. Great Britain needs to fix their mistakes from the past not create a new BIG mistake. One that Somali people will never forgive nor forget. It is dangerous initiative to invite people on the precedence of reconciliation but at the same time secretly working on diminution of that same country on the bases of supporting a group who want secession.

        How can Britain be honest brokers if they have other agenda in Somalia such as recognition of Somaliland as State, as it was evident in the debate for Somalia in the House of Commons on Thursday 09 Feb 2012 and it is the largest donor to Somaliland any where in the world which by the way we applude and welcome this support to our brothers and sisters.
        The only statement that was welcoming and encouraging for Somalis on Somali debate at the House of Commons on 09th of Feb 2012, was the statement by right honourable Foreign Secretary of state, William Hague, when he replied to MP Alun Michael’s on his long speech on Somaliland secession, said: “We give it [Somaliland] a lot of assistance in many ways and welcome the fact that it has become a more stable area within Somalia, and we will welcome its participation at the London conference. The emphasis here is “we give it a lot of assistance ………….within Somalia”. Emphasis here is within Somalia. It was eloquently and beautifully said by right honourable Foreign Secretary of state, William Hague a real states man and diplomat.

        Therefore the International Community including Great Britain must be firm and acknowledge Somalia has recognised borders and territories by AU, IGAD, Arab League and the whole world. Great Britain need to be frank and honest with their partners in Somaliland ie President Silanyo and tell him, the only way for recognition is an agreement from within Somalia political sphere. It has to be ground up approach not Great Britain & Somaliland cosying up to International leaders and giving unrecognised state a platform to further its cause.

        The solution for Somalia is only Somalis to accept the willing of their brother Somaliland to break-up from Somalia Republic. This will of course constitute an honest fair referendum to be done as the previous one was corrupt and not genuine, therefore not recognised by the Somali people as well as the International Community.

        The fact also today Somaliland CLANS are all divided except with ISAAQ CLAN on the issue of secessionism has been covered up and dashed a side. We the people will not allow such false paradigms. The fact that we are one people, we speak the same language, we share the same culture, we believe in the same religion there is nothing that divides us except CLAN mindset and CLAN politics is not fully evaluated. I urge all Somalilanders to please rise above this mentality of supporting your clan wishes and look at the bigger picture.

        The fact also the former British Somaliland is home to five major clans and other numerically smaller ones: Dhubahante and Warsengeli on the east, Gadaboursi and Issa on the west and Isaaq in the middle. Of all these clans, only hardliners among the Isaaq clan are pushing for a complete separation from motherland Somalia at the expense of other clans. This can not continue unnoticed by the International Community including Great Britain and therefore must acknowledge the political realities on the ground have changed for Somaliland.

        This includes the formation of Khaatumo state of Somalia and the earlier declaration of Awdal State. Somaliland can not quell the voice of these people through military action and force them to join their endeavour of secession and creation of Somaliland State.

        Consequently since so much has changed when Somaliland declared itself independence since 1991, it is not as easy as International Community recognising Somaliland and the matter is resolved.

        The best way forward for both Somaliland and Somalia, is for Somaliland to join Somalia peace and reconciliation process. Abandon “temporary”[this is the key word here temporary means until viable solution is found for all Somalis] their ambition for secession. To form one Somali government which is based on a Federal State which, even President Silanyo in his speech in London Conference also acknowledged Somalia solution can not be another central government but on the basis of Federal states which have the right to govern their own regions/territories. Therefore Somaliland can “temporary” join this initiative and agreement whilst retaining all their political systems including Parliament and President, but the President will be recognised by the Federal Government as Senator/Governor/even as Vice President/PM as Somaliland leaders traditionally were Vice President or Somalia PM. That level of power-sharing is for sure on the table to be negotiated with current TFG or future Somali Government.

        Once Somalia has the infrastructure and institutions where we can host United Nations including the whole world to witness a referendum by the Somali people then that would be the day where we can seriously look at a two state solution including the border solution. One that works best for interest of all Somalia rather than on bases the border is based on Colonial agreement which Somali people disregard and was nullified after Somali and Somaliland unification on July 20, 1961 and through a popular referendum.

        I am sure Somali people can come to a genuine agreement that would please their brother from Somaliland. However this has to be a bottom up approach not an approach at the International level. International Community and Great Britain need to tread carefully and can not and will not dictate if Somali affairs specially the break-up of Somalia, it isn’t their call frankly. It is the call of Somali people. Therefore this needs to be clearly addressed and understood.

        1. Mr.Awais seem to be missing the point that Somaliland had defined borders recognised by the British Government followed by over 35 sovereign states still existing today and despite the emotional desire of Somalilanders for Pan-Somalis(which had no Act of Union and Judicial bases), none of those governments withdrew the recognition of Difined borders,population and government at anytime.
          I don’t think your lengthy writing to Matt can never cover prevailing facts of Somaliland and history and surely will be able to help Somalia settlement.
          Furhermore, don’t you realise your views to ask people of Somalia about Somaliland recognition is similar by suggesting people of Yugoslavia about the recognition of Bosnia.
          Their are 82 democratically elected parliamentarians representing over 12 clans in the Somaliland Parliament enacting legislature, along with independent excecutive, Judiciary and multi-party elected system of government.Therefore, you may look for other reasons of opposing Somaliland – perhaps a shorter one carrying sense.

          1. Thank you brother Meigag, I assume you are African from you name so you are my brother. Thank you also for your fair comments but false one too. Fair because you have right to share you views with us and false because your claims are unfounded and with no backing what so ever.

            Let’s begin and understand why they are false:

            Point 1:

            “Mr.Awais seem to be missing the point that Somaliland had defined borders recognised by the British Government followed by over 35 sovereign states still existing today and despite the emotional desire of Somalilanders for Pan-Somalis(which had no Act of Union and Judicial bases), none of those governments withdrew the recognition of Difined borders, population and government at anytime.”

            1. You point here implies the British Somaliland protectorate is reconginsed by Great Britian and International Community including some 35 countries. Wow, please inlighten us and tell us exactly where you got this information from? Where it is documented? Who wrote this document and which countries of this 35 countries you referring too claim recognition of Somaliland borders as British Protectorate. Please I challenge you to come to this forum and bring your evidence.

            I on the other hand will not make some false claims without basis and will give you why this is false with historical backgrounds that we can all learn from.

            Reference from Wikipedia:
            From 1899, the British were forced to expend considerable human and military capital in a bloody struggle to contain a decades-long resistance movement led by the Somali religious leader Sayyid Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, leader of the Dervish State. Referred to colloquially by the British as the Mad Mullah, repeated expeditions were unsuccessfully launched against Hassan and his men before World War I.
            At the end of the 19th century, the Berlin conference gathered together Europe’s most powerful countries who decided amongst themselves the fate of the African continent. The British, Italians and Ethiopians partitioned Greater Somalia into spheres of influence, cutting into the previous nomadic grazing system and Somali civilizational network that connected port cities with those of the interior.

            War with Dervish State:
            The Dervish State was an early 20th century Somali Sunni Muslim state that was established by Muhammad Abdullah Hassan, a religious leader who gathered Somali soldiers from across the Horn of Africa and united them into a loyal army known as the Dervishes. This Dervish army enabled Hassan to carve out a powerful state through conquest of lands claimed by the Somali Sultans, the Ethiopians and the European powers [Uniting a Greater pan-Somalia]. The Dervish State acquired renown in the Islamic and Western worlds due to its resistance against the European empires of Britain and Italy. The Dervish forces successfully repulsed the British Empire in four military expeditions, and forced it to retreat to the coastal region. As a result of its fame in the Middle East and Europe, the Dervish State was recognized as an ally by the Ottoman Empire and the German Empire. It also succeeded at outliving the Scramble for Africa, and remained throughout World War I the only independent Muslim power on the continent. After a quarter of a century of holding the British at bay, the Dervishes were finally defeated in 1920, when Britain used aeroplanes to bomb the Dervish capital of Taleex.

            When Britain conquered all of pan-Somalia, During World War I, Britain secretly reached an agreement with Italy to transfer 94,050 square kilometers of its Somali-inhabited Jubaland protectorate (in present-day southwestern Somalia) to Italian Somaliland. This was Italy’s reward for allying itself with Britain in its war against Germany. The treaty was honored and in 1924, Britain ceded Jubaland. In 1926, Jubaland was incorporated into Italian Somaliland, and was later re-dubbed Oltre Giuba by the Italians. After its conquest of Ethiopia in 1936, Italy also annexed the Ogaden region. In early World War II, Italian troops invaded British Somaliland and ejected the British. However, Britain retained control of British East Africa, which included the almost exclusively Somali-inhabited Northern Frontier District that is today part of Kenya.

            Britain regained control of British Somaliland in spring 1941, and conquered Italian Somaliland and the Ogaden. In 1945, the Potsdam conference was held, where it was decided not to return Italian Somaliland to Italy. The UN opted instead in 1949 to grant Italy trusteeship of Italian Somaliland for a period of ten years, after which time the region would be independent.
            Meanwhile, in 1948, under pressure from their World War II allies and to the dismay of Somalis, the British “returned” the Hawd (an important Somali grazing area that was presumably ‘protected’ by British treaties with the Somalis in 1884 and 1886) and the Ogaden to Ethiopia, based on a treaty they signed in 1897 in which the British ceded Somali territory to the Ethiopian Emperor Menelik in exchange for his help against plundering by Somali clans. Britain included the proviso that the Somali nomads would retain their autonomy, but Ethiopia immediately claimed sovereignty over them. This prompted an unsuccessful bid by Britain in 1956 to buy back the Somali lands it had turned over.

            In conclusion:

            In May 1960, the British Government stated that it would be prepared to grant independence to the then protectorate of British Somaliland, with the intention that the territory would unite with the Italian-administered Trust Territory of Somalia (the former Italian Somaliland). The Legislative Council of British Somaliland passed a resolution in April 1960 requesting independence and union with the Trust Territory of Somalia, which was scheduled to gain independence on 1 July that year. The legislative councils of both territories agreed to this proposal following a joint conference in Mogadishu.
            On June 26, 1960, the former British Somaliland protectorate briefly obtained independence as the State of Somaliland, with the Trust Territory of Somalia following suit five days later. Later the same week, on July 1, 1960, the two territories united as planned to form the Somali Republic. This state that was formed in 1st of July 1960 is what the whole world knows as both Somalia and Somaliland. This is Somali Republic state which has defined borders respected by its neighbours and recognised by the United Nation as one nation not Somalia and British protectorate Somaliland. The key point I wanted to emphasis there is no British Somaliland Protectorate and therefore any borders defined by British Somaliland Protectorate is not recognised by the UN nor Somali People. If you think otherwise please bring you facts and proof me wrong.

            Point 2:

            Furthermore, don’t you realise your views to ask people of Somalia about Somaliland recognition is similar by suggesting people of Yugoslavia about the recognition of Bosnia.

            Ok my response to your question is you are forgetting Somaliland and Somalia are one people, speak the same language, share the same culture, believe in the same religion there is nothing that divides us except CLAN mindset and CLAN politics. Can this be said for Yugoslavia [who are Serb] and Bosnia [who are Bosniaks]? Please read your history and discover why Somaliland and Somalia situation is so unique and different than any other people in the world. So it is wise not to mix situations and problems and look at the Somali problem in unique manner as it is a unique problem. This type of interference by outside foreigners who don’t really understand the Somali issue increase the suffering of the Somali people as whole.

            Point 3:

            Their are 82 democratically elected parliamentarians representing over 12 clans in the Somaliland Parliament enacting legislature, along with independent excecutive, Judiciary and multi-party elected system of government.

            My response to this point is I acknowledge and applude them and welcome their sense or leadership and organistation. Something the rest of Somalia can emilate and learn from. We Somali people are truly proude of this fact. However how is this constitute their independence? It means they organised their house but just because they had a head start and organised their house before us because Somalia was in Civil war while they put their house in order. We can for sure work together and come to an agreement that would not repeat past mistakes. We are humans we make mistakes and the mistakes were not made by Somali people but a repressive regime who wanted to control the people with iron fist. That is the difference between old Somalia and new Somalia based on Federalism.

            So please understand the Somali problem before you speak!
            Thank you

          2. Do people like Mr Meigag have any sense of truth, honest and credibility? I for one do not realy think so after having just read what he wrote in his comments about ‘Somaliland’ which can only be described as: white little lies! Pure and simple.

            So, my advise to him if he would consider it would only be one: bro get real and get over it! there is no such thing as somaliland.

            Does any one really think, the Brits in their right mind would recognize ‘somaliland’, a one clan enclave in NW somalia as a sovereign state? What would they benefit in doing so? Create another begging bowl at the UN? I don’t think so!.

            Listen guys, let us stop playing lies, and the blame game and for once get real! Because the truth of the matter is that we failed collectively as people as nation to govern ourselves and to respect and live peacefully with one another and with rest of world community.

            We destroyed our country in the name of short sighted and backward thinking clanish interest and the best we can now do is to be bussy posting these silly, childish (tit for tat) cyper messages to each other and for the entertainment of HM Amb. to Upper Hill, Nairobi (no disrespect to the Amb here i wish he was in Mog flying the union jack!)

            Finally, in a nutshell, I would say tthis to bro Maigag and others in the same mindset as him to stop crying this somaliland thing and think big coz surely we are better united than divided!!!!

            After all, what’s there to divide: all of us (somalis) put together are insignificant in the eyes of the real world – in terms of economy, trade, military and political.

      3. Dear Amb Matt Baugh,

        We heard Somali Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed gave a nearly hour-long speech to international delegates at the Conference. Can you please send us a voice recording or video either one it doesn’t matter really.

        Many thanks for kindly uploading other recordings.

        Best Regards,

  3. I thought the conference shed the important point that Somalia is now everyones problem not just somalis.People need to understand that, and address it. I think that came across very well.

    With regards to the President of Somaliland, I didnt get to see his speech and was very much looking forward it.Where can I get to see it now? Please let me know.


  4. it’s not my own business cos i believe my Allah. Allah could do everything that you are trying and England is our biggest enemy that we have got ever, they divided my country into 3 parts. i hate England for many reasons. look if they want to help us why they don’t to give their support Somali youth rather than they call conference people without nothing.

  5. The conference was a success in terms of the turn out from head of states and foreign ministers. It has given somali a new hope and we just hope that they follow up with their agreements.

    I wanted to know what the contingency plan is if the TFG do not achieved its targets by the August 2012 deadline?

  6. Hi, Matt so far so good!. At the press conference, PM of Somalia mentioned their are 2 types of priates, where the international community focuses on 1.And these are Our bros, where all Somalis viewed them as “National heros” for protecting our “EEZ”. Unless the other pirate is not mentioned & dealt with forcefully for dumping toxic, it is another day of international fanfare meeting.
    Problem, is land based and needs to be address with development for the coastal community & build its security. Moreover, can you please upload what Somalialand president said i.e Video!.

    Many thanks.

  7. Dear Ambassador Matt Baugh
    Please can i get the speech of president of Puntland H.E Farole if he get opportunity thanks Matt

  8. It was good, constructive and lot of ideas. It was more similar to the number ICG meetings held twice annually for Somalia. However I pray it is not of the same consequence. Both the British PM and the Foreign Minister clearly stated that they were not coming up with radically defined solution prior to the conference – and it was so. However present in the communique and in the rhetoric of the conference was the harsh and severe reiteration that the Road Map should be followed to the letter , and that the Transition ends in August 2012. Yet if that fails there is a plan B which is not yet clear. There is where the ambiguity lies.

  9. hi,ambassador matt,we are happy and we are wel come a political solution for somalia,but we need re-form and good government,and we are waithing august,new government,new parlement,agian thank you and all the best,—ali jamac jirac-somali pro re-form group,london,uk.

  10. Does it end at round-table meeting and much speeches? Let it not be like other conferences held so far! Helpless people are dieing everyday. Let’s save this land!

  11. It was great to see the work of fellow British to sort out the issue of Somalia, still not sure what is in it for the UK.
    I believe the president of Somaliland should have been given a chance to express his involvement in this conference in the first session of the meeting, after all Somaliland is being asked to deal with alshabaab and pirates, having said that the diplomatic relations of Somalia and Somaliland should be interesting aspect of all Somalis.

  12. Dear Ambassador Matt Baugh
    we are very happy with the meeting result outcome , but one thing is very important is that the most power full somali leader DR faroole who has a good and power relation ship with his people who have elected was attended the meeting as we are from puntland intellectual group may we have to heard aboout the speech of the president of puntland , the outcome was really in need thanks ambassador Matt baugh

  13. Great Job Mr. Ambasador for preparing this conference, It is true to mention the effects of pirates in the region was addressed on the conference, however what causes Pirates to increase should have been on the agenda. On politics, as diaspora somali living back home my suggesting to the international communinty is to start dialague between somali leaders specially between somaliland and puntland regions who have relatively enjoyed piece and stability for quite sometime unlike there southern counterpart, it’s easier to finish building a house when it’s have way build.” Mr. ambassador somalis living in somalia are now completely attentive of the international community follow up after the conference.

  14. Greetings to HE.ambassador Matt, we are the ppl in Sool , dhulbahante clan why you excellency don’t condemn the acts of ethnic cleansing and genocides against our ppl commited on the hands of the Isaaq Tribe Cheif Mr. silanyo. and to shed the light Silanyo is elected by his tripe only, we from sool and sanaag we dont have any thing to do with Isaaq’s elections. and if this aggression continue then it will be a civil war all over again.

  15. And at last the TALK ended ….. now will wait what will be the outcome on the ground…
    Somalis I believe are a race that at the moment are so divided in every aspect of life… agreeing is so difficult at the moment … the world even saw that the only way to solve the current situation in Somalia is to rule them ….
    What I also know through History is that there is mostly always an interest involved whenever a stronger side wants to do anything for a weaker side… So The world wont help Somalia because they feel for their misery life no but they are doing it because the Somalis are also hurting the international community as well .. whether it is through piracy or terrorist … let us be clear here the PM said it clearly at the meeting but the way to do it is actually very difficult…
    I just wonder if the day will come that Somalis themselves realize the need to be nationals and feel for their own … I bit the Somalis they still live in last century with their tribal difference and stupid internal wars..

  16. This is a concerning comment in the communiqué:
    Point 5: “We agreed that the Transitional Federal Institutions’ mandate ends in August 2012. There must be no further extensions. We welcomed the agreements that chart the way towards more representative government: the Transitional Federal Charter, the Djibouti Agreement, the Kampala Accord, and the Roadmap. We welcomed the progress represented by the Garowe Principles, endorsed the priority of convening a Constituent Assembly, and emphasised that the Assembly must be representative of the views of the Somali people of all regions and constituencies, and that women must be part of the political process. In line with Garowe II, we agreed to incentivise progress and act against spoilers to the peace process, and that we would consider proposals in this regard before the Istanbul Conference in June.”

    Although I understand why this has found it self in the communiqué, I guess it seems Britain had no other options but to adopt Somali initiative agreed upon weeks ago before the London Conference in Garowe, Puntland Somalia or NOT?

    The Garowe II agreement outlined power-sharing to be based on 4.5 failed political formula. Of course everybody knows this, including Great Britain and International Community and we Somalis were hoping this wouldn’t be adapted. However it looks like it has been, my only question is Great Britain and International Community willing to take another political gamble on Somalia by adapting a failed political formula known as 4.5 CLAN-POLITICAL formula. I am sure people know we have tried this formula for power-sharing for the last 14 peace initiatives and every time it has failed. It is as if we are doomed to always make the same mistakes over and over again, specially now a heightened time for Somalia when so much is at stake including the stability and formation of credible Somalia State. I would have hoped common sense would have prevailed and Great Britain questioned on the view of this political process.

    This of course now raises the possibility of another failed Somali Political process? Which is not What Somalis want, neither what Great Britain nor International Community wants based on what we have witnesses from London Conference today.

    I am normally not a pessimistic but reading the Communiqué again I realised the devastating consequences of adopting these corrupt initiative drawn up by the corrupt TFG government. I guess I can expect that from TFG but to agree upon this as way forward after London Conference is not something I expected from International Community, with all due respect fully understand why though.

    Although I would have liked to not close the door on this matter even though the Communiqué says at the end of this point: “We agreed to incentivise progress and act against spoilers to the peace process” I initially thought on new political process but if the process agreed on Garowe is the mandate process then we are in trouble to say the least.

    However I do understand why Great Britain adapted this process and had to be seen taking Somali initiative rather than bringing their own because then the solution would be foreign driven rather Somali driven. However please keep the door open for any future government to change these initiatives to make the political power-sharing something other than 4.5 formula ie more broader and respected by all Somalis, such as political parties or regional elections. However if this precious process for Somalis fails, people should not ask how or why it failed but should know who was responsible for its failures.

    1. Dear Mohamed,

      We the Somalis are always the once who should come up with the approach and the solutions for our problems. I think the interntional community including Great Britians role/s will be to support the grassroot initiatives and therefore the failed 4.5 should be eliminated by us not Great Britian. For the time been it seems the Garowe conference had no any other option/s but to use the 4.5 formula. Today, if you were tasked to come up with another formula that is agreed-able to the somali clans what would have been your options?. Lets work with what we have as we tend to correct our mistakes and ask the international community to support our process towards peace and stability and avoid if if questions.

      1. Brother Mowliid Ali

        As you know at the core of much of the past, including recent political crisis is a system of selecting leaders that is intrinsically anti-democratic, anti-meritocratic and unfair. Hailed as ensuring greater clan balance and representation, it has in practice locked many competent people out of office, perpetuated clan chauvinism and prevented the emergence of issue-based politics.55 As long as this rigid system is in place, democratization and political pluralism will remain a pipe dream. Defenders argue that 4.5 is a stop-gap measure designed only for the transitional phase, but this does not explain why a system that is demonstrably flawed and produces crop after crop of inept leaders should be considered even a temporary remedy. Clan representation is a legitimate and emotional issue, and debate over a fair system is necessary. However, the sooner Somalia abandons this retrogressive formula for policy-based politics in which leaders are freely chosen on merit rather than clan affiliation, the sooner that is done the sooner progress can be expected on all fronts and ofcourse there are many avenues we can take to achieve such goal if we are serious about alternative political system that is fair for all and conclusive.

        For example and this is just one of many examples, as you know we have 18 province in Somalia we can certainly pick men and women of outstanding civic credentials who have consistently demonstrated their commitment to justice, competence, and the collective wellbeing of the Somali people. Of course to be sure, selecting such people will not be simple, but it is quite feasible if enough commitment and wise energy is forthcoming from the Somali Community both at home and Diaspora.

        We can put a system in place through which Somalis from various regions could be nominated and later be through election. Only considering individuals whose CVs are public records. However, always considering the competence of individuals and ofcourse competence would trump representation whenever the two criteria collide. It would be up to a committee of intellectuals/Somalia leaders (well respected group) who are solely responsible to select outstanding individuals through rigorously scrutinised process.

        This would be fare more effective and fruitful than the dogma of 4.5 political formula, it shows lack of imagination, no time or effort was spent to seriously resolve the political problem by the current TFG government.

  17. Dear ambassador
    I agree with you 100% the conference was a success and it gives every reason to be optimistic.However,those agreed steps which are all important need to be followed through.watching prime minister David Cameron’s Passionate speech I think he means what he said.he can count on my vote come the next election!.

  18. For the first time in my life I can sympathise with the plight of Afghanistan and Irag. Now I know what it feels like to be a citizen of a country in which the true representatives are ignored, different occupying forces all eyeing up their own intrests, and where every so often these occupying countries hold a conference for the well being of the occupied.

    The prime minister of Somalia has said he welcomes air strikes in Somalia – For whom does this man speak for? For which community of Somali’s have given him the right to advocate such unspeakable acts of terror.

    This conference has helped e to understand that Somalis in the ground need to come together to forge peace (North & South, East & West). Above all they must unite this monsterous creation of a so called Somali Government which welcomes ‘air strikes’ on its own people. That is a Somali I dont know what he is!

    1. For the first time in my life I can sympathise with the plight of Afghanistan and Irag. Now I know what it feels like to be a citizen of a country in which the true representatives are ignored, different occupying forces all eyeing up their own intrests, and where every so often these occupying countries hold a conference for the well being of the occupied.

      The prime minister of Somalia has said he welcomes air strikes in Somalia – For whom does this man speak for? For which community of Somali’s have given him the right to advocate such unspeakable acts of terror.

      This conference has helped me to understand that Somalis in the ground need to come together to forge peace (North & South, East & West). Above all, they must unite against this monsterous creation of a so called Somali Government which welcomes ‘air strikes’ on its own people. That is not a Somali, I dont know what he is!

  19. Actually somali has not had active government since last somali government ware ousted 1991,since then country remain lawless and chaos, thousand somali lost their live also more ware wounded,and thousand somali people felled the country to the region
    Public and Private property ware destroyed what is hapen is total loss.
    What is happen yesterday in london was history.
    Iam leaving london when i hear months ago that British goverment is organizing to be held meeting with international community and some 50 president from all ova the world that news make me my hope to see somali will stand its legs and appear as good image in front of the world.
    Iam very very support all the effort from the British goverment.
    Iam know all somali in side and out side they supporting what is doing british government.
    I can say if this British goverment support containing somali again come back and i hope to be succeed.
    i am somali british i wish to thank my government to all that effort to bring somali to the word.

  20. Dear ambassador
    I agree with you 100% the conference was a success and it gives every reason to be optimistic.However, those agreed points which are extremely important need to be followed through.watching prime minister David Cameron’s passionate speech at the conference I think he meant what he said.i am very grateful to him. He can count on my vote come the next election!.thanks

  21. At the onset I wish to thank the UK govt specifically (the PM – Mr Cameroon, FS – Mr, Hague, Mr-Bellingham and all those involved in the conference) for their endless effort to make the conference success; and simultaneously, putting all presumed heinous doubts and smears aside reflecting clearly the good conference’s intention and I will say loudly ” Congratulations – Welldone job”. Secondly, after the clearing the doubts what is remaining is to continue the explicitly and transparency of the process by sharing and keeping it as crystal white as possible. From my side, I have already prepared website and other tools to support the well-intended mission and I promise to share and do my level best to support achieve the targets. Finally, I wish to share with you all, the below proverbial abstract which I hope will remain our motto from now and even after crossing the bridge.
    •(Old proverb)”Me and my clan against the world; (after LC – London Conference it became); me and my World against time to meet goals.
    •(Old proverb) “Me and my family against the clan,: (after LC) ; Me and my compatriots against accepting anything less than “Somalia”
    •(OP) Me and my brother against my family; (LC); Me as “Somali” and my brothers (Universal friends) against a new failed “Somali State”
    •(old Proverb) Me against my brother. (after LC ) “Me and my brother (the Universe) against Somali plight, Piracy and Terrorism.

  22. I believe President Siilaanyo’s speech — no matter whether presented in an audio or a video format — clearly explained Somaliland’s case: Somalilanders have chosen their future through a ‘bottom up’ approach, which has consequently enabled them develop a unique political sytem based on cultural democracy; and the Somaliland government is eagerly looking forward to working with the international community (as an equal partner with a recognised mandate) find solutions not only to the problems of Somalia, but also dealing with relevant problems that of concern to human development, both regionally and globally.

    More importantly, the president unequivocally stated that the idea of reuniting with Somalia is not an option for Somaliland and its people. As a result, according to my intgerpretation, the Conference acknowledged that the international community can no longer ignore the Somaliland’s case for re-recognition. The official communique, not the widely leaked (13 February 2012), of the Conference supports this point. Article 6 of the Communique states:

    “The Conference recognised the need for the international community to support any dialogue that Somaliland and the TFG or its replacement may agree to establish in order to clarify their future relations.”

    1. Your take on the outcome of the London Conference is flawed and if you believe that for the Isaaq clan to reunite with Somalia is not an option, then you should believe that for the Khaatumo State of Somalia to be part of what you call Somaliland is not an option.

      As far as article 6 of the Communique is concerned which states:

      “The Conference recognised the need for the international community to support any dialogue that Somaliland and the TFG or its replacement may agree to establish in order to clarify their future relations.”

      You need not to be fooled and understand that this means the Isaaq clan and the TFG will be talking so that this clan is appropriately accommodated within the Somalia mainstream political process. Khaatumo and Awdal States of Somalia are already talking and supporting the TFG

      1. Mr Keenadeed, I believe you are entitled to express your opinion. But you should make sure to understand and respect other people’s thoughts before you respond to them. Somaliland does not belong to one tribe, but it belongs to all the clans that live its defined boundaries. In fact, the clan that you have mentioned is a prominent member of Somaliland’s clans; they participated every stage and had a leading role of the main traditional clan meetings (Shir Beeloodyo) that recognised and laid the foundation of the rebirth of Somaliland — as a sovereign state. Thereby, all the clan leaders (whether from a minority or majority) had endorsed the agreements of these meetings, including Burco (1991) and Boorame (1993), and subsequent clan and tribal meetings in Sanaag, Sool and Cayn.

        However, I would earnestly urge you to make constructive suggestions. The fact is that Somalilanders are committed to solve any internal issues peacefully through available institutional justice and traditional tools. But all those concerned must be willing to come to the table as equal partners, not as aggressive and arrogant warlords.

  23. We the Somalis must thank whole heartly the UK government for putting the Somalia agenda in focus. This was the biggest gathering of this level of International Community on Somalia ever. Thank you UK.

    We have to thank Turkey and the Turkish FM by bringing the timetable to June 2012 when Turkey will host another conference on Somalia and giving the TFG timeline to make progress until then.

    Finaly the press conference of PM Cameroon and PM Gaas,made things clear for many critics and hopefully the TFG will cary on with all inclusive reconcilitiation and come with clear constitution before its term ends.
    Hopefuly, the many thousands of young fighters that are with Al/shabaab will be given a chioce to make and window of opportunity will be there open for them,. In the meantime the foriegn forces that are advancing deep in to Somalia will be made accountible of respecting civilians as the Somalis are still 100% muslims and are very sensitive to humiliation by occupyers.
    That will be the only way that one could see violence easing in Somalia in the future.
    People still need someone to trust so that one can put down his arms or to distance himself from Al shabaab commanders.
    Thank you

  24. Was most successful conference which Somalis had, and first time Somali-land included in terms of includeness.

    Next step needed is how what had been agreed will be implemented and this will give UK international leadership.

    As British citizen in my opinion if Somalis agreed to separate Somali-land to become 55 member state of commonwealth countries as they already applied for sharing history, vision, development, collective and profound belief in the power sharing which comes from bottom to top.

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About Matt Baugh

Matt is married to Caroline, a GP from South London
specialising in pre-hospital care and tropical medicine. They have 3
small children. Matt has been working on Somalia since May 2010, when he was appointed the UK’s Senior Representative and Head of the UK’s
Somalia Office. On 2 February 2012 he was accredited as the first
British Ambassador to Somalia for 21 years. Since taking up his Somalia
appointment, he has been able to travel to Mogadishu, Hargeisa and
Garowe, and has been deeply touched by the warmth of the welcome he has received, but also the scale of the challenges that Somali people face
every day.
Matt is a career civil servant and is currently on secondment to the
Foreign Office from the UK Department for International Development. Now 37, he has spent much of his career to date dealing with conflict,
security and humanitarian issues. Since 1999 he has worked in Iraq,
Sudan, Afghanistan and the Balkans, as well as a number of major relief
operations and protracted emergencies. He also helped to set up and lead
the UK’s Post Conflict Reconstruction Unit, now the UK Stabilisation
Unit. Matt is a graduate of the UK Joint Services Command and Staff
College’s Higher Command and Staff Course (2010) and was previously
Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for International
Development (2008-9).
Away from work, Matt is an avid England rugby fan (although he
refuses to admit his own playing days are long over). He is also a keen
mountaineer and skier and, together with Caroline, was part of a team
that raced to the Magnetic North Pole in 2005. These days he is more
likely to be found teaching his children how to swim and build

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