19 May 2007 04:13


  • Title: [SW Country](PUNTIN- Galkaio) Djibouti-sponsored Somali Reconciliation Seems to be Destined to Fail.
  • From:[]
  • Date :[23 March 2000 ]

Djibouti-sponsored Somali Reconciliation Seems to be Destined to Fail.


PUNTIN (Galkaio), March 23 - The Djibouti-sponsored Somali Reconciliation Conference seems to be destined to fail like its predecessors. The much-orchestrated plan of President Ismail Omar Guelleh of Djibouti seems to have fallen from the grace. The support and the prop-up of the so-called building blocks of the Somalia, the local administrations of the peaceful Federal States of that country had been crucial for its success.

Puntland State of Somalia (PSS), which is apparently a key to the success of Djibouti-sponsored Somali reconciliation conference because of it political weight and the law and order prevailing in its state, has expressed its disappointment with Djibouti's handling of this reconciliation Plan.

Other important local leaders have also stated that they are not going to attend mostly for similar reasons. In a statement to AFP, the leader of theRahanwein Resistance Army (RRA), which controls the south-central Bay and Bakol regions, Hassan Mohamed Nur Shatigudud, said, "It would be impossible for my people to attend a conference with
factions that occupy part of our ancestral land." Shatigudud calls the Somali Reconciliation Conference "unrealistic".

Other main faction leaders under the umbrella of SPA are convening in Addis Ababa, deliberating on Djibouti's moves to hold the reconciliation meeting. According to Mogadishu-based newsletter, Xog-Ogaal, Gen Abdullahi Noor Gabyow, chairman of Somali National Movement, Umar Hashi, the leaders of Hiiran region, Col Shaargadud Muhammad Dheere, Mogadishu politician, Ahmad Shaykh Ali Buraleh, chairman of Somalia National Front splinter group and other political leaders are now in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The war-weary Somalis in general have been fed up with the perennial lawlessness, the lack of governance, and the disintegration of Somalis; and were putting their high hopes on the success of President Omar Guelleh's proposal. The outpouring of praises and support of the Somalis was an indication of how ripe the situation was for Somali reconciliation. Much, however, depended on how skillfully the Djibouti government had to handle the situation. The Plan stood the chance to succeed until some key local Somali administrations, withdrew their support.

President Ismail Omar Guelleh's proposal can still been saved if the legitimate concerns of these administrations are accommodated. One common feeling of these "States" is that no faction leader occupying the territory of another clan be invited to and entertained in the Somali reconciliation conference. Another major hurdle, which distanced the local administrations from the whole plan, is Djibouti's unilateral move to handpick the participants of the preliminary agenda-preparation symposium. This move contravenes the Djibouti's earlier stipulation that these local administrations stand as "the building blocks" of the reconciliation initiative, and consequently this has prompted the leaders of the many political groupings to lose faith in Djibouti's reconciliation efforts.

 Much speculation is rife that Libya is conniving with some faction leaders to derail the Djibouti-sponsored Somali Reconciliation move. Colonel Ghadafi of Libya had a meeting in mid March with the president of Puntland, Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed, Mohamed Ibrahim Igal of Somaliland and Hussien Aidid of South Mogadishu. Both Mr. Igal and Hussein Aidid had already stated that they wouldn't be partners in the Djibouti initiative long before they met with Colonel Ghadafi. Hussain Mohamed Aidid of South Mogadishu, however, expressed what might have lent weight to the above speculation that Ghadafi is about to adopt a parallel Somali peace initiative which will undermine Djibouti's one.

Puntland's Minister of Information, however, Mr. Awad Ahmed Asharo in Bossasso denied reports that Puntland is aware of a parallel initiative by Libya to convene a Somali reconciliation conference in Tripoli in the place of the Djibouti-sponsored one. In a statement to the BBC Somali Service, Asharo said, "there has never been an agreement between Hussain Aidid and Abdullahi Yusuf in Tripoli, apart from the Puntland's call upon Hussain Aidid to withdraw his militias from occupied areas in Shabelle and Jubaland.

With this background, it remains to be seen if Djibouti is capable of redressing the situation, learning from its own mistakes and winning back the much-needed trust and the support of the building blocks of Somalia's political arena, without which the Plan is destined to fail. The present situation tests the Djibouti's fairness, decisiveness, commitment, dedication and the political skill to wade through the Somali quagmire. 



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