Somalia’s Constitutional Revision Is Deepening Political Divisions

Somalia’s Constitutional Revision Is Deepening Political Divisions
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud addresses members of parliament in Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb. 21, 2024 (AP photo by Farah Abdi Warsameh).

When Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office again in 2022, having previously held the position from 2012 to 2017, he not only vowed to defeat the Al-Shabaab insurgency that dominates international coverage of the country. He was also determined to finalize Somalia’s provisional constitution, which dates back to 2012.

But while most stakeholders agree on the importance of completing the constitution, Mohamud’s effort to do so is encountering familiar hurdles. The process has exposed deep and familiar fault lines and mistrust between Somalia’s political actors, who remain at odds over the nature of governance in the country. As a result, the current debate is essentially serving as a preview of what is already shaping up to be a hotly contested presidential election in 2026.

The adoption of the provisional constitution in 2012 was a significant milestone in itself, as Somalia had gone without a governing framework since the collapse of central government rule in 1991. Its adoption formally ended Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government, which gave way to the Federal Government of Somalia. Only then did international governments, including the U.S., formally recognize Somalia’s government as the country’s ruling entity and increase support to it.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.