Horn of Africa Bulletin, Volume 22, No. 5, May 2010
Since the break out of the Somali civil war in early 1991, various peace agreements that served as 'Charters' or 'Constitutions' have been drafted outside Somalia. The northern regions, 'Somaliland' and 'Puntland,' have also drafted and passed their own constitutions - drafted inside the country. Out of these, the current constitution-making process has been the most recent drawing its mandate from the Transitional Federal Charter (TFC) agreed upon by the Somali participants at Mbagathi1 in September 2003. From 2004, the constitution making process impeded by a political crisis stalled any progress; however, since the formation of a new government, taking over from the same Transitional Federal Government (TFG), in 2009 its progress has quickened.
Undeniably, the process has faced challenges that make it complicated. One of these is the fact that the process has turned into a debate whose argument is that the constitution-making process is the real peace process. The current process also faces the dilemma of the preferred form of government in particular the concept of federalism
and its application in the country. Other issues that pose a challenge include; the role of Sharia law; participation within the drafting process - the actors and their different roles; and the place of 'Somaliland' and 'Puntland' among others. With this background, this article aims at providing an overview of the process. It will try to shed more light on what the key issues and challenges are. Finally, the article will draw some recommendations for those involved in the process.