SJHR'S Position on Accountability in Somalia

News and Press Release
Originally published

Accountability in Somalia

Somalia has been at war with itself for the last 25 years. Accountability has been downscaling during the civil unrest. The state of being accountable or the willingness to accept responsibility was missing among the people of Somalia.
People have not been accounting for one's actions as law and order were not in place.
Accountability is the opposite of corruption or impunity. The culture of impunity has been widespread during the peak of the civil war. People were killed, people were displaced or evicted from their areas of residence and resources were misappropriated.
During the transition period, there has been a heightened political corruption in the country whereby people bribed their way to positions in the government and to seats in the parliament.
Since when the period of the transitional government ended in 2012, almost all forms of corruption have remained but things have been improving.
Over the last few years, institutions were being built. However, many are lacking, most have gaps and all have room for improvement. Institutions are still weak. The country has gotten a weak economic base and the aid which is provided by the international community lacks leveraging.
The aid by donors and well-wishers in the country does not contribute well to resilience and more of good governance. Local capacities are not empowered well. They are ignored mostly and their efforts are not well appreciated.
Enough time and ample resources are not earmarked solely for resilience building and more is said than done! Direct interventions remain minimal as transfer of initiatives from international to national and sub-national levels are hampered by bureaucratic impediments.

Recommendations for redress

To all stakeholders and all that are concerned

  • All stakeholders should be encouraged to observe accountability. The downscaling kind of accountability should be addressed with immediate effect. Factors contributing to lack of accountability such as insecurity in the country should be addressed.
  • People should strive to hold themselves accountable for their actions.
  • Proper awareness which has also been dwindling on accountability and good governance should be enhanced.
  • Corruption and impunity should cease. Instead law and order should be the order.
  • Killing innocent people should stop. This is against Allah's will. If one thinks that they will get away with murder of all other forms of corruption, there will be judgment day when Allah will bring them to book.
  • People should not be evicted and made destitute. People were evicted from many parts of Mogadishu, Afgoye corridor and other places in the country. Some were taken to Sarakusta area where they suffered over the last couple of years. That kind of mass displacement of people should not happen again in any part of the country be it in Mogadishu, Afgoye corridor or in Bossaso. The victims of evictions should be assisted with basic social protection such as shelter, clothes and other basic needs such as food and all in all constant dignified source of livelihood.
  • Resources should not be mishandled or mismanaged. Food aid should not be misappropriated. SJHR is aware of food aid meant for poor IDPs and Yemeni refugees which was misappropriated, stolen and sold in the markets in Mogadishu.
  • All forms of political corruption including buying parliamentary seats and positions within the government should be avoided.
  • Capacity gaps in institutions should be bridged; the intuitions should be strengthened within the shortest time possible; time loss should be averted.
  • The infrastructure and the economic base of the country should be rehabilitated. There are currently more than 1.1m IDPs in the country according to UN estimates. This is an alarming figure-such a high number of people to be refugees in their own country should not be tolerated. These people would have been indeed the implements of production instead of the burden they are now given the security and empowerment.
  • Aid provided by the international community should be leveraged. Resilience building needs more time and more resources. The international community may kindly earmark ample time and resources for resilience building instead of what happens now which is sprinkling small amounts of funds here and there over short-lived projects' lifespan!
  • Local capacities including local NGOs should be empowered with funds, equipments, volunteers, consultants and vehicles and should not be ignored. Their efforts should be appreciated with merits.  All that is supposed to be practical should be so at the right time. Action plans should not remain idle but there should be actions with proper timelines and achievements. Setbacks should be avoided at all cost.
  • Initiatives and interventions should transfer from international to national and sub-national levels.

To the international community, donors and NGOs

In the same connotation , we congratulate the tireless efforts of the international community of piecing up together the fragmented nation and trying in the utmost to unify the thinking of the Somali community towards creating a stable nation and stable society.

Needless to mention the collateral effort of the International Community, the United Nations, the international NGOs and the embassies of the countries around the world.

Above all, the resolve of the international community in its dockets deserves special commendations for its sequences of commitment in advisory and facilitation of peace and harmony for the Somalis.

As an organization that is in rhythm with the conventional norms, we express our deep appreciation to the international community due to its relentless efforts to root out plights and dislodge lack of governance, chaos and lawlessness in our country.

This special recommendation expressed herein by SJHR, an innovative organization led by Somali personalities who are dedicated to help their country and people as well as the entire humanity in their own capacity therefore urges the International Community to make checks and balances on the culture of impunity that seem to take a foothold in the administrative hierarchy of our country.

Actually, so much has been done, but so much is yet to be done. We therefore deem appropriate for the International Community, donors and well-wishers as well as the international organizations and the local civil society organizations to have an inter-sectoral collaboration that will embed relevantly positive and cotton-clean, committed stake-holders.

Having had a wealth of experience in the field, in terms of transparency, in social-development, political, and economic reform-making and with human-rights , up with needful social requirement, we were engaged in transforming the Somalis towards adapting good governance, human rights, and self help movements besides igniting their social consciousness towards absolute social awakeness in conventionally acceptable values.

It is therefore imperative to be included in the needful inter-sectoral collaboration as aforementioned in order to create holistic social solution to the prevailing social problems.