- [SW Column] (Omar Sharif ) PUNLANDERS: NO PEACE, NO PROGRESS &
:Posted on [9 April 2002]
Opinions expressed in this column
are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of SW.
PUNLANDERS: NO PEACE NO PROGRESS & NO LIFE
By; Omar Sharif - firstname.lastname@example.org
For the first time, to my surprise, I have had the chance to meet with
members of Puntland Peace Mission (PPM) in a remarkable civil society
gathering in Galkaio, Somalia couple of days ago. A group of
Puntlanders have been touring throughout the major cities of the regions
with the slogan of promoting peace, preventing further conflict and
proposing a new reconciliation initiative in a region that has long been
assumed a model for all Somalia. Indeed, all Puntlanders should
fact that without peace communal progress can not be achieved and no
continuity of normal life will exist.
Keeping this in mind, it is appropriate that the peace mission
envisioned by a well to do individuals from Puntland, is right in-
principle and it is propitious moment for the Puntlanders to search a
as the fear of deepening split is great. It is high time for
peace and every one should support it, for the sake of the future and
reviving the prospect of rekindling the hope that Puntland had before
political split and the peace it enjoyed.
In this regard, it is also appropriate to know that peace should not be
considered as a privilege, it is rather a Godly prescribed human-right
is a just for every human being who should live in peace without fear.
Therefore, it is a right for the all the citizens of Somalia in general
in Puntland as well to get the peace they deserve, the peace they want,
which is their right in absolute terms.
We can all get reasons and rhymes of supporting and rallying behind one
leader or the other and at the same time, flay his opponents and depict
the worst evil. But, that is not the solution and will only
exacerbate the existing phenomena of factionalism, which is unwarranted
will doom our people.
Thus, I ask in this historical moment, would it not be wise to promote
peace mission in the process? Would it not be wise as well, to
the efforts made by respected Puntlanders? Would it not be wise to
appreciate the efforts of the international community specially those
have been actively engaged in capacity building programs in Puntland.
peace mission is probably the first of its kind in which intellectuals
raising the torch for peace. I read that their first trip of
the Puntland districts was warmly received and welcomed by all the
communities and the existing leaders of both traditional and political
From what I could also realize, this peace mission encourages a
approach among the community, it unites the traditional leaders or
their effort of searching for peace and engages them to play a better
positive role in the peace building process in their unity.
The interests of the business community are not vested in factionalism,
rather in more stable society and a bigger market as factionalism
marginelizes their market potential in territory wise and population.
Therefore, this mission seems to sending a message to the business
as well and educating them in abstaining from supporting factionalism.
The civil society and the NGO groups are also important groups. They
can not be left out as they have a direct relationship to the
communities and have tremendous influence in every level of the
society. Their pivotal role in peace bridging seems well engaged
the peace process in a positive sense.
To this end, the Diaspora Puntlanders are probably the missing
ingredients of the peace wagon though some are taking a leading role.
groups are mainly ill informed, as they seem to be, about the realities
the ground. In many cases, they unnecessarily perpetuate the
in their unfettered campaigns of supporting one leader or the other. You
folks this is not what Puntland needs today. Today Puntland needs to
only unifying words and support for peace and you should mature to
in promoting any thing that divides our people.
Combining all these efforts and realizing what is at stake, the
envisioned peace is reachable and I believe that the mission of peace is
predestined to succeed with the blessings of God. Let us pray that
beacons of hope that was shining once in Puntland to be rekindled once
and our people to enjoy peace and tranquility and progress to a better
future. Let us learn from our neighbors of Somaliland and how they
living in peace and progressing towards better future. We should strive
abreast them, so we are not left in a never-ending saga of chaos. Let us
unite our efforts and support this noble mission and God's willing,
together, we shall succeed.
God blesses you all.
By Omar Sharif