Transitional Federal Government (TFG) ( ) is the
current internationally recognized government of the Republic of Somalia.
It was established as one of the Transitional Federal
(TFIs) of government as defined in the Transitional Federal Charter
(TFC) adopted in November 2004
(TFP). The government is backed by the United Nations and the African Union, as well as the United States.
The Transitional Federal Government officially comprises the
executive branch of government, with the TFP as the legislative
branch. The government is headed by the President of Somalia
, to whom the
reports through the
it is also used as a general term to refer to all three branches
The various departments of government, such as the Ministry of Defence
under the different cabinet portfolios.
The legal structure in Somalia is divided along three lines:
, religious law
, and traditional clan law
Somalia's formal judicial system was largely destroyed after the
fall of the Siad Barre regime, it has
been rebuilt and is now administered under different regional
governments such as the autonomous Puntland and Somaliland macro-regions.
In the case of the
Transitional Federal Government, a new judicial structure was
formed through various international conferences.
Despite some significant political differences between them, all of
these administrations share similar legal structures, much of which
are predicated on the judicial systems of previous Somali
administrations. These similarities in civil law include:
- A charter which affirms the primacy of
shari'a or Islamic
law, although in practice shari'a is applied mainly to matters such
as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and civil issues.
- The charter guarantees respect for universal standards of
human rights to all subjects of the
law. It also assures the independence of the judiciary, which in turn is protected by a
- The laws of the civilian government which were in effect prior
to the military coup d'état that
saw the Barre regime into power remain in force until the laws are
The Transitional Federal Charter of the Somali Republic serves as
of Somalia. It lays
out the basic way in which the government is to operate.
Council of Ministers
The cabinet, formally known as the Council of Ministers, had at
first comprised 42 offices, but was slimmed down to 31 during a
period of contention in 2006. The Council of Ministers is appointed
by the Prime
A President is elected by Parliament. The President is head of
government, and chooses the Prime Minister, who leads the cabinet.
The current President is Sharif Ahmed
The current Prime Minister is Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke
who took office on February 13 2009
The Transitional Federal
elects the President and Prime Minister, and has the
authority to pass and veto
laws. It is also in charge
of governance and administration of Mogadishu.
Each of the four major clans
hold 61 seats, while an alliance of
minority clans hold 31 seats. After an alliance with the Islamic
Courts Union and other Islamist groups was formed, the Islamists
were awarded 200 seats. Representatives of citizens' groups and
diaspora representatives hold 75 seats. By law, at least 12% of all
representatives must be women. Members of parliament are selected
through traditional clan leaders or shura
councils. General elections are being planned.
Transitional Federal Government, a Supreme
Court based in Mogadishu was established, as well as an Appeals Court.
Smaller local courts
were also established. A Judicial Service Council directs all
judiciary and advises the president. As the Islamic Courts Union
is allied with the
TFG, many shari'a
courts established by the
ICU still operate.
Under the Transitional Federal Government, local state governments
maintain some power over their affairs and maintain their own
police and security forces, but are subject to the authority of the
Transitional Federal Government.
The Ministry of
is officially responsible for education in Somalia,
with about 15% of the government's budget being spent on education.
However, in practice, the education system is now largely private.
the autonomous Puntland region in
the northeast was the second territory in Somalia after the
Somaliland region to introduce free primary schools, with
teachers now receiving their salaries from the Puntland
As of 2007, primary schools
have also seen a 28% increase
in enrollment over the preceding three years. In addition, several
universities in Somalia, including Mogadishu University
, have been scored
among the 100 best universities in Africa in spite of the harsh
environment, which has been hailed as a triumph for grass-roots
The Ministry of Health
heads the country's healthcare system. The current Minister of
Health is Qamar Adan Ali
autonomous Puntland region has
its own Ministry of Health, which is headed by Dr. Mohamed Bashir Ali Bihi, as does the
Somaliland region in northwestern Somalia, with its Ministry
of Health led by Osman Bile
Military and police
The Transitional Federal Government maintains an army of 10,000
soldiers, with the Ministry of Defense
responsible for the Armed Forces. Its weapons arsenal consists
are the only
fighting vehicle in service.
In June 2009, the Somali Navy
re-established. Up to 500 Marines began training in Mogadishu, with
the force expected to reach 5,000 men. The Somali Navy will
be based in Puntland.
current commander is Admiral Farah Omar Ahmed. There are also plans
for the re-establishment of the Somali
. Two combat planes have already been purchased.
In addition, a new police force was re-established to maintain law
and order. The first police academy to be built in
Somalia for several years also opened on December 20, 2005 at Armo,
100 kilometres south of Bosaso.
Somali police also has a criminal investigations department in
autonomous Puntland and Somaliland regions within Somalia have their own security
previous Somali administrations, the Transitional
Federal Charter of the Somali Republic recognizes Mogadishu as the capital of Somalia.
The Parliament of
Somalia meets in the city, which is also the seat of the nation's
. In addition,
Mogadishu is the location of the presidential palace, Villa Somalia, where the President resides.
Minister also lives in the city. As the largest city in Somalia,
Mogadishu has a population of about 3 million people. Prior to the civil
war, it was the country's economic hub, though Hargeisa and Bosaso have since
assumed that role.
The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) of the Republic of
Somalia is the most recent attempt to restore national institutions
to Somalia after the 1991 collapse of the Siad Barre
regime and the ensuing Somali Civil War
. Established in 2004
and internationally recognized, its support in Somalia was waning
until the United
States-backed 2006 intervention by the Ethiopian military,
which helped drive out the rival Islamic Courts Union (ICU) in Mogadishu
and solidify the TFG's rule.
Following this defeat, the ICU
splintered into several different factions. Some of the more
radical elements, including Al-Shabaab
, regrouped to continue their
insurgency against the TFG and oppose the Ethiopian military's
presence in Somalia. Throughout 2007 and 2008, Al-Shabaab scored
military victories, seizing control of key towns and ports in both
central and southern Somalia. At the end of 2008, the group had captured
Baidoa but not Mogadishu.
By January 2009,
Al-Shabaab and other militias had managed to force the Ethiopian
troops to withdraw from the country, leaving behind an
underequipped African Union
Over the next few months, a new President was elected from amongst
the more moderate Islamists, and the Transitional Federal
Government, with the help of a small team of African Union troops,
began a counteroffensive
February 2009 to retake control of the southern half of the
country. To solidify its control of southern Somalia, the TFG
formed an alliance with the Islamic
and other members of the Alliance for the
Re-liberation of Somalia
. Furthermore, Al-Shabaab and Hizbul Islam
, the two main Islamist groups in
opposition, began to fight amongst themselves in mid 2009.
As a truce, in March 2009, Somalia's newly established coalition
government announced that it would implement shari'a
as the nation's official judicial
The Transitional Federal Government is internationally recognized
as the official government of Somalia. It currently occupies
Somalia's seat in the United Nations
The Permanent Representative of Somalia to the United Nations is
Elmi Ahmed Duale
. Somalia is one of
the founding members of the Organization of the
. The TFG also has ambassadors in other
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