The Formation of Federal Member States:
In Accordance to the Provisional Constitution of the Federal Republic of Somalia
The Provisional Constitution of Somalia declares that the country is a Federal Republic and therefore, the structure of the state should be composed of two levels of government (Chapter 5, Article 48 Clause 1 (a and b):
a. The Federal Government Level and
b. The Federal Member States Level (Is-Maamulka Madaxbanaan)
In accordance to the Constitution, any Federal Member State must be formed from the merger of the regions that existed before 1991. An example can be Hiiraan region uniting with Middle Shabelle region. However, post-1991 Somalia has experienced the appearance of clan-based states that do not correspond to the geographical limits of the regions that existed before 1991. An example is Puntland, where Mudug region has been divided into a portion of Puntland and a portion in Galmudug. The North-western boundary of Puntland falls into the heart of Somaliland, if Khaatumo-Maakhir is not considered as a state.
Chapter 5, article 48 (2) states:
No single region can stand alone. Until such time a region merges with another region(s) to form a new Federal Member State, a region shall be directly administered by the Federal Government for a maximum period of two years; and
Chapter 5, article 48 (5) states:
Federal member state boundaries shall be based on the boundaries of the administrative regions as they existed in 1991.
The above two articles do not fall in line what the Somali clan-families want to do as clan-family geographical distribution does not coincide with the boundaries of the regions as it was formed by the Italians and Siyaad Barre regime. For example, if today, Digil and Mirifle want to form a Maay-speaking Member State, obviously the use of Pre-1991 regions is not helpful to carve their state without provoking the anger of other clan-families and their interests. This is exactly what happened when Baidoa proposed 6-regions Member State; while Jubaland want to carve Jubaland as per 30th June 1926 when Britain ceded it to Italian rule and it was incorporated to Italian Somaliland.
Commission for determining the number of Member States and their boundaries:
Moving away from that, the task of determining the number of Member States and their geographic boundaries lies with a Commission nominated by the House of the people. The commission will study the issue and will submit a report of its findings with recommendations to the House of the People of the Federal Parliament.
It is evident from the above that designing any Member State and defining its boundaries will be decided by the Commission appointed by the House of the People (Golaha Shacabka). Then the people in that Member State can come together to form their government, regional and district councils.
At present, the Federal Government sees it a bit early for Jubaland people to convene an assembly forming the government of Jubaland Member State. The reason is that the Commission is not appointed and there is no report and recommendation from the Commission to the House of the People and there is no legislation enacted thereafter, defining the number of Member States composing Federal Somalia and their boundaries.
Abdulkadir Abiikar Hussein