On 3rd December 2014, newly elected Interim President, Sharif Hassan Shiekh Adan, was inaugurated in the Bay regional capital of Baidoa in the presence of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud. The ceremony marked the formation of the Interim South-West Administration (ISWA), a process overseen by the Federal Government under its mandate to establish a federal state before 2016, as stipulated in the constitution.
The process began with the launch of two conferences of community elders from the regions. These produced conflicting demands regarding the number of regions that should form the emerging state. Negotiations with the two parties steered by the Federal Government led to the signing of a peace agreement and, on 22nd June 2014, the two sides signed an agreement to form the ISWA comprising three regions.
The Federal Government hosted an Iftar ceremony on 5th July nominating an 18-member Technical Committee (TC) tasked with organizing a conference leading to the formation of the interim administration. The formation of the TC was an important first step towards the implementation of the agreement reached by the opposing sides in the region.
The TC arrived in Baidoa on 8th August and its work began with electing the chairperson, secretary, coordinator and sub-committees. In addition to drafting the constitution for the ISWA, the committee was tasked with ensuring that the draft was debated and approved by all delegates.
In order to facilitate attendance of the conference by the TC, traditional elders and some 320 delegates, the Stability Fund provided logistical and accommodation support. ‘With the support, we are able to achieve our goals of having a fully-fledged regional administration that our forefathers have been dreaming of for more than 65 years’ said Malak Malabow, a traditional elder participating in the conference. On 28th October President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud officially opened the conference, in the presence of ambassadors from Sweden, Denmark and the EU, as well as the United Nations SRSG and IGAD.
On 31st October the delegates elected a Steering Committee, including a chairman and two vice chairmen, to facilitate the process of forming the administration and adopting a constitution. The delegates successfully adopted the constitution and elected Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan as President in November 2014. ‘Today we have a system in place and hope it will cater for the needs of our community who had been suffering lawlessness, anarchy and terrorism’ said Malak Deroow, a traditional elder.
The Stability Fund is proud to have had the opportunity to work with the various people and organisations that made all this possible. The commitment shown by those involved in the process was inspiring and the Fund will continue to support the region through various new investments.