Federalism could be key to Somalia’s future

Swiss-style federalism could play a key role in helping Somalia overcome the effects of 20 years of civil war, says Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter.

This content was published on February 24, 2012 - 08:51 and agencies

Burkhalter told an international conference in London on Thursday that the next six months would be crucial “to bring governance and a functioning state back to the country and emerge from over 20 years of state collapse”.

The foreign minister pointed out that Switzerland had given its support to peace building in Somalia and contributed to the drafting of new constitution.

The different Somali factions have shown an interest in federalism, according to Burkhalter, and it could help overcome tensions in a country where regional identities often play an important role.

“A system with federalist elements would give democracy a better chance of taking root,” added Burkhalter.

Switzerland spent SFr19 million ($21.08 million) on projects in Somalia last year. 

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