19 May 2007 04:13

SOMALIA WATCH

 
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  • Title: [SW Country] London Symposium in Support of Djibouti proposal on Somali Peace Settlement
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  • Date :[March 16, 2000[FrontPage HTML Markup Component][FrontPage Component][FrontPage HTML Markup Component][FrontPage Component][FrontPage HTML Markup Component][FrontPage Component][FrontPage HTML Markup Component][FrontPage Component][FrontPage HTML Markup Component][FrontPage Component][FrontPage HTML Markup Component][FrontPage Component] ]

London Symposium in Support of Djibouti proposal on Somali Peace Settlement

"In support of the Djibouti initiative, towards empowering the Somali people for peace, confidence-building, national reconstruction and democratic governance."


Following a series of warm-up, informal discussions among concerned members of the Somali intellectual community in Britain, a symposium focusing on the peace proposal tabled by H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh president of Djibouti Republic at the UN General Assembly last September was held in London on 13th and 20th November 1999, under the theme highlighted above. The Symposium, which was characterized by free-spirited openness and devotion to the common concern of Somali peace settlement, was organized by an ad hoc team of Somali professionals. A cross section of participants from all around London coming from almost all Somali regional backgrounds and from a wide verity of professional affiliations attended the brainstorming meeting on 13 November and the enlarged session on the 20th. (List of participants is attached).

The participants overwhelmingly welcomed and highly acclaimed the laudable proposal on resolving the Somali crisis put forward by H.E. Ismail Omar Guelleh, president of Djibouti Republic at the UN General Assembly last September. In their interventions, almost all participants stressed their appreciation of the foresight, sincerity and moral courage with which the Djibouti president urged the international community to fulfil their obligations to help the Somali people by empowering its true representatives, the civil society.

The participants also expressed their full support and warm welcome of the responsible decision of the UN security Council on November 12, 1999 in which the Council has reaffirmed its commitment to the restoration of a peace, stability and statehood in Somalia, endorsing the initiative of the President of Djibouti and the current efforts of IGAD aimed at resolving the Somali crisis. In this context, the Symposium highly appreciated the Security Council's encouraging welcome of the tireless efforts of the Somali civil society towards peace and reconstruction in their country.

While expressed their whole-hearted support to the worthy initiatives above, the participants concentrated on the discussion of a body of suggestions aiming to contribute towards the successful implementation of the Djibouti  proposal.  To avoid previous mistakes of failed Somali reconciliation efforts, and to ensure a lasting settlement for the perennial Somali crisis, the participants have resolved to make a set of recommendations in a three-phase process, as detailed below.

RECOMMENDATIONS


Phase One: Preliminary Steps

1. Starting the process with the series of preliminary steps enlisted below which we believe are necessary to lay the required foundation for workable state institutions. It is important to lay such a foundation before the formation of any kind of government or administration that could be in danger of being unable to function properly.

2. Organising a national symposium for Somali civil society which brings together various representatives of Somali civil society including traditional leaders, professionals, retiring political figures, artists, religious leaders, educationalists, writers, women and youth representatives, students, Diaspora communities from around the world, farmers, peace and human rights promoting groups and so forth. Coming from all Somali regions, as well as from the Diaspora, the participants will debate various aspects of the Somali crisis with the aim to shape a common vision towards lasting peace and reconstruction. A clearer common picture of the kind of future Somali State to be reconstructed must be developed.

3. Establishing civil society network led by a national committee to provide a common voice for various sections of the Somali civil society both inside and outside the country. Such a network should have four sub-committees for, professionals & intellectuals, women groups, traditional & religious leaders and the creative community.

4. Setting up a secretariat or co-ordinating office which serves as a central mechanism responsible for co-ordinating the whole process, especially for the effective preparation for a genuine, well-designed national reconciliation conference. Such a mechanism should be mandated or endorsed by the Somali Civil Society Symposium suggested in 1 above.

5. Establishing a Somali Peace-building Co-ordination Body. This should be a body mandated by the UN Security Council, which represents the international Community in co-ordinating all international efforts and activities concerning the Somali issue. This could be a successor of the current Standing Committee with clearer UN mandate, more executive powers and more propounded duties. Once such body is in place, any kind of external parallel initiatives must be outlawed.

Phase Two: Laying the Foundation

1. Commissioning a touring peace-making mission consisting of respected elders, traditional leaders from different regions and other notables. Their task will be to help bring about peace in the country in general and the areas of persistent conflict in particular.

2. Encourage and facilitate the emergence of community-initiated, truly democratic local administrations at various levels throughout the country. Special attention will be given to the areas still lacking such basic structures.

3. Form a 'Pool of Brains' by identifying and recruiting qualified, unbiased Somali professionals from both inside and outside the country forming them into specialised technical teams each of which will undertake the development of a reconstruction programme laying the foundation for the basic institutions necessary for the recreation of a durable Somali state. Important areas of such reconstruction foundation include legislation, education, economic infrastructure, constitutional matters including form of government, cultural reconstruction, public re-education and so forth. A solid reconstruction programme for each of these fields should be thoughtfully designed by Somali-led technical team of experts. The overall co-ordination role will be the responsibility of the above-mentioned central mechanism who should facilitate the project in terms of administration and fund-raising. A major common characteristic to the existing Somali political structures and the previous peace initiatives is the lack of any national programme providing for the reconstruction of the country and the welfare of the people. The above suggestion will reverse this situation. It must be a key strategy to set a clear pragmatic programme for recovery, to articulate a comprehensive political, economic, social and cultural agenda for the reconstruction and development of a future Somali state prior to the final formation of a government.

4. Ensure financial support from the international community forrehabilitation and development projects in such vital areas as health, education (both formal and non-formal), water, sanitation, income generation, agriculture, livestock, fisheries, communication, etc; as well as support to the development of local administrations. Peace-building will not be effective or even possible without twining it with a continued support to these crucial activities touching the lives of the Somali people.

5. Ensure a similar support to projects conveying messages of peace and understanding by public re-education through media, art and literature, writing and publishing etc. Both war and peace begin from the mind, and addressing the minds of the Somali public is the gateway to the success of any peace efforts.

6. Organise a series of community-based work-shops and local conferences simultaneously held in all Somali regions. The aim is to give the Somali people at the grass-root level a chance to express their views of the recreated Somali State and to elect their representatives directly and democratically.

7. Set out strict criteria for selecting and electing those representing the Somali people at all levels. Only those democratically delegated by the people they represent, be their local communities, clans or organisations, should be recognized as representative participants of any reconciliation conference or meeting at any level. Here, our suggestion is to recognize the following three organisational frameworks as a point of departure:

a) Local communities represented by their recognized traditional / clan leaders;

b) Various dynamics of urbanised civil society structures and groupings, including professional associations, business representatives, women and youth groups, religious groups etc.;

c) Political entities, whether factions or local authorities at both regional and provincial levels.

Each of these main sectors must be approached or dealt with independently as representing the interests of their respective section of Somali society, with a common responsibility for the national interest which must be seen as transcending all selfish interests. Clan representation should be accepted as a reality rather than taboo, but it must be restricted to those individuals who genuinely belong to the traditional institution with a true mandate from the people in whose name they speak.

The three sections may co-operate for the benefit of the common interest of the country and the people, but none of them should be allowed to act on behalf of the other. Each of the three sections should be able to independently select its delegates to reconciliation meetings at all levels as well as to any future national representative body (e.g. parliament).

8. Throughout the process, concerned external actors with conflicting interests must be seriously asked to keep the Somali issue outside the confinements of their conflict; in other words, they should not use Somalia or the Somali issue as a battleground for their own conflicting interests.

9. Conduct a well-planned national programme of demobilisation and disarmament. Traditional leaders will play a leading role in carrying out such programme in their respective areas in full co-operation with local authorities.

Phase three: A Period of Transitional Administration & Institutional Rebuilding

1. Holding a major all-inclusive national reconstruction conference upon the completion of the above preparatory steps;

2. Discussing in the conference and adopting the programme of national reconstruction and recovery prepared by the different technical teams of experts;

3. Agreeing on basic constitutional principles, which serve as guidelines for an interim national charter.

4. Forming a national transitional authority with well-defined duties and responsibilities mandated for a limited period of time, preferably two or three years. This will be a period of institution building, developing a draft of a national constitution, pending on referendum, and developing a comprehensive national agenda for political, economic and social recovery and development. The transitional authority will consist of:

a) An interim national council of people's representatives, with members representing all the sections of Somali society enlisted above. The council will have sub-committees for different sectoral areas;

b) An interim executive mechanism consisting of various departments or services matching all sectors of administrative and developmental activities, such as political administration, education, health care, security, information, planning etc. Carefully selected professional teams with adequate training and experience will be responsible for the different departments of the executive mechanism.

5. During the period of transition, the work of the Transitional Authority should be overseen by the world community, represented by the UN Security Council who may extend its mandate to a certain body acting on behalf of the international community. Such a body should facilitate the successful implementation of the above-suggested activities through ensuring and channelling the assistance of the international donor community.

6. By the end of the transitional period, normalcy should have been restored in the country; general elections will be organized which will lead to the establishment of a representative national government based on democratic   
principles. Here, the overseeing role of the international community comes to an end.


LIST OF PARTICIPANTS & SIGNATOTIES.

Zakaria Mohamoud Haji-Abdi
Mohamed Mohamoud Sh. Guleed (Gacmadheere)
Dr. Mohamed Dahir Afrah
Ibrahim Habeeb Nuur
Mohamed Sh. Muse
Omar Abdirahman Herzi
Haji Osman Ahmed Roble
Mohamud Ugas Mohamed
Hirsi Haji Jama
Abdulle Siyad Weheliye
Jama Ali Jama
Omer Adan Qaddi
Hussein H. Ali (ciiro)
Mohamed Adde Mukhtar
Abdulkadir Warsme
Abdullahi Mohamed Sadi
Abdi Salaad Ali
Xaji Ahmed Jama (Xaaji Wilson)
Sayid Ahmed Sh. Dahir
Hussein Salah Muse
Ismail Elmi Hared
Mohamud Isak Abdulle
Buri Sheiba Moallim
Dr. Mohamed Abukar Shekhey
Ali Abdulle Gure
Dr. Adullahi Shirwa
Ali Bebo Faqay
Abdullahi Hussein Abdi
Abdirahman Moalin
Abukar Moallin Mohamed
Muse Sheekh Yusuf
Abdi-Weli Mohamud Sh. Hussein
Dr. Mohamed Mumin Rage
Dahiye Abdi Ahmed
Mohamed Sh. Mohamud
Dr. Abdurahman O. Mohamed
Dr. Ahmed Sharif Abbas
Mohamed Hassan Barre
Hassan Haji Osman Khayrre
Mrs. Asha kiin Duale
Mohamed Khalif Sh. Yusuf
Mohamed A/weli
Abdisalam Momamed I. Salwe
Saeed Jama Hussein
Awes Mohammed Wasughe
Adan Jama
Shekha Mudday
Mrs. Khdra Bulhan
Mrs. Khadija Shire
Mrs. Dahabo Esse Mohamoud
Mrs. Asha Haji Diriye
Mrs. Amina Ahmed Warsame
Ms. Nimo Jama Mohamoud
Mrs. Surere A. Musa
Ahmed Farah Mohamoud
Abdilhakim Ali Hayd
Hashi Muse Karshe
Abdullahi Ali Haji
Mrs. Asha Adan Afrah
Khaliif Ashkir Diini
Abshir Osman
Hassan Sh. Ali
Maxamed Cali

End


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