Alternative options: Recommendations for peace-building in Somalia.

Wednesday May 04, 2016 - 19:23:41 in Latest News by Super Admin
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    Alternative options: Recommendations for peace-building in Somalia.

    Hope and optimism accompanied the election in 2016, but the administration today appears to be drifting toward failure once again. Al-Shabaab is far from defeated, social fragmentation within Somalia is on the rise, and political infighting continues

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Hope and optimism accompanied the election in 2016, but the administration today appears to be drifting toward failure once again. Al-Shabaab is far from defeated, social fragmentation within Somalia is on the rise, and political infighting continues unabated. Despite considerable international support and the promise of a "New Deal" for donor engagement,the joint efforts of the government and its international partners have been unable to translate burgeoning progress into a more sustainable trajectory away from perpetual conflict and fragility.

 Opinion; Nationalism, State Formation and Peacebuilding in Somalia by @Garaadsomali

 Since the early 1990s, there have been fourteen Somali reconciliation or peace Conferences In his discussion of peace accords, John Paul Lederach writes that sustaining peaceful transformation in settings of deep-rooted violence must involve a long-term, human-centered vision that focuses as much on "building durable and flexible processes” as it does on specific solutions (like peace accords) "transformative platform” that engages "ongoing social and relational spaces” and is "capable of generating adaptive change processes that address both the episodic expression of the conflict and the epicenter of the conflictive relational context” is fundamental to supporting constructive social change over time Lederach defines horizontal capacity as "the ability to build and sustain relationship spaces of constructive interaction across the lines of division in systems and societies divided by historic patterns of identity conflicts”. Vertical capacity refers to "relationship building across levels of leadership, authority, and responsibility within a society or system, from grassroots to the highest, most visible leaders.

 Finally, integration "is the space where vertical and horizontal linkages come together Integration requires strategic connections, "a web process” that intentionally links not-like-minded and not-like-situated people, that watches for and builds spaces for where these relationships can intersect, and that creates adaptive and flexible platforms that can respond to changing environments and ongoing issues Key questions for Somali peacebuilding include who builds horizontal and vertical capacity? Who integrates these capacities? How are the links, spaces, and platforms necessary for change created? Some experts advocate a process of grassroots based clan reconciliation organized by Somalis in Somalia, as part of a comprehensive peace process, rather than viewing the conflict through the narrow lens of terrorism, or as between Islamist extremists and moderate Islam.

 Recommendation: Somalia should utilize its resources and influence to support international and Somali efforts to build vertical and horizontal capacity and relationships.

 Recommendation: A Somali led reconciliation process could help integrate linkages by creating the space for "hybrid partnerships” among professionals, women’s groups, clan elders, business people, and clergy, watch for opportunities to intersect with al- Shabaab, and build a platform from which to respond to current manifestations of conflict as well as to address the root causes of the conflict over time.

 Effective peace-building requires knowledge of how parties to a conflict understand their roles in the conflict and how they envision peace. Lack of understanding can lead to a misguided focus on where to direct resources or what method of engagement to pursue

 Recommendation: International Community should adopt a more transparent, inclusive approach and demilitarize its policy toward Somalia in favor of civilian led diplomacy, development, and peace-building initiatives in partnership with Somali civil society organizations.

 When the practices of well resourced governments and international institutions are informed by local experience and perspective, it can help lead to greater participation in the development of economic opportunities, emerging justice systems, and governance institutions, thereby engendering more ownership in the shape of sustainable peace.

 Recommendation: Ideally, Somalia should adopt a human security framework, underscoring the critical role of nonstate actors in identifying security needs and creating the linkages needed to sustain effective peace-building processes in Somalia.

 A human security framework could help facilitate appropriate resource allocation and a shift in tactics away from military responses to violence.


Peace-builders must approach conflict in Somalia with both short-term and long-term strategies. In the short-term, priority must be given to the establishment of a viable stateThis should be done through inclusive mechanisms and peace processes that involve local actors and civil society. In the long-term, peace-builders must encourage inclusive state institutions that foster the growth of a national Somali identitycivic peace-building has been most successful when pursued as the result of hybrid partnerships among different civic actors, bringing togetherprofessionals, women’s groups, clan elders, businesspeople, and clergy.  END

Garad Yusuf Mohamud is Researcher and Author of Politics & Socio-economics and member of Parliament ofGalmudug State of Somalia and can be reached at:Tell: Skype: GaraadsomaliTwitter: @ GaraadsomaliFacebook: Garad Yusuf Mohamud

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horn Observer’s editorial policy.


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