The Impact of the Role of Traditional leaders on Politico-governance in Somalia: Present realities and Past Reflections

Overviewing the types and the roles of the of governance institutions of pre-colonial Somalia, this study explored the current situation of the elders’ office with comparing it to the former. The findings include that today’s elders’ office does not functionally represent its corresponding pre-colonial office; the former consisted of clan-oriented decentralized chieftains and statehood-oriented authoritative sultanates; there are thus historical and functional diversities in the background of the various components of today’s office; the office lacks the ability of having primary relevance for reforming the Somali statehood; and with the alliance of incumbent politicians, it may become an obstacle to developments of effective judiciary system and public power or democracy in the country which primarily determine the requirements for the demanded change. However, the role of the traditional leadership is still a national heritage and it has some relevance in what is good today for survival.