What is the Future
of the Djibouti Peace Initiative?
Now, that the state government
of Puntland, Somaliland, the
Bay Region Authority and the faction leader Hussen Aideed
have all denounced and officially declined to participate in the on-going Djibouti Peace
Initiative, the question is ' what is the future of this peace process'?
In his Report of 16 Sept
1999 on the situation in Somalia the Secretary-General of the United
Nations Mr. Kofi Anan mapped his vision of how to resurrect the Somali State
and described in paragraph 8 - Peace Dividend Approach, danger of
Parallel Initiatives, in paragraph 17 ..with Puntland joining hands with
Somaliland the first step could be taken towards the resuscitation of Somalia, in paragraph 39
- supportive of the IGAD "building Block" approach as the way forward
in Somalia, in paragraph 40 - ...days of the Warlords were over
and in paragraph 67 - ..approximately half of the Somali territory is
peaceful, practical approach to resolve the Somali crises.
H.E.the President of the
Republic of Djibouti Mr. Ismail Omar Guelle himself, in his speech at the
54th session of UN General Assembly on 22nd Sept 99. made reference to the
"building block" approach and the new reality on the ground in Somalia when he
"....INDEED IT IS EVOLVING INTO A
COUNTRY OF STARK CONTRASTS BETWEEN THE TROUBLED CENTRAL AND SOUTHERN REGIONS AND THE
RALATIVELY STABLE AND PEACEFUL NORTH, NAMELY THE SELF-DECLARED "SOMALILAND" AND
THE PUNTLAND REGION. THESE TWO REGIONS WERE FORTUNATE ENOUGH TO ESCAPE MOST OF THE
CONFLICT THAT RAVAGED OTHER PARTS OF THE COUNTRY....."
".....THE REALITY IS THAT IN THE CONTEXT OF
SOMALIA, CITIES, REGIONS AND COMMUNITIES ARE DEFINING THEIR OWN FUTURE. THIS MOVE TOWARD
DECENTRALIZATION OR SELF-ADMINISTRATION BY MANY PARTS AND COMMUNITIES OF THE COUNTRY IS
FUELED BY THE NEED TO SURVIVE. THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, THREFORE, NEED TO SUPPORT
ECONOMOCALLY THESE REGIONS OR COMMUNITIES THAT HAVE ACHIEVED RELATIVE PEACE, SECURITY AND
DEVOLOPMENT. WE MUST REWARD THOSE WHO HAVE MADE SERIOUS EFFORTS TO RESTORE SECURITY AND
PEACE TO PROTECT HUMAN RIGHTS AND TO PROVIDE BASIC SERVICES TO THEIR PEOPLE...."
There are large areas that have
established local administrations that are functioning. Puntland and Somaliland - the
so-called Northern Recovery Zones - together make up more than half of the Somali
territories, and both have established small scale administrative capacities. The Bay
Region and Hiran have been making steady progress to create peaceful environment for
local administrative structures to take hold.
The premises of any peace initiative,
as one can conclude from the statements of their excellencies, is supposed to make use of
the remarkable achievements of the Recovery Zones as a model to lead others by
example, by reinforcing their fledgling capacities - the so-called "peace
Somalia Watch Organization believes
that Djibouti Peace Initiative should focus on the basic theme of the "building
blocks" approach to the resuscitation of Somalia, as the General Secretary rightly
put it ," .. with Puntland joining hands with Somaliland the first step could be
taken towards the resuscitation of Somalia". The remarkable
achievements of the Recovery Zones cannot be sidelined. The Djibouti Peace Initiative
should build on it, otherwise it may turn out to be another unfortunate attempt.