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  • [SW Country] (PPM/GECPD - Galkayo ) - Open Letters to IGAD MISSION - An attempt to Forestall Civil War in Puntland and GECPD Peace petition. Posted [20 April 2002]

 

PUNTLAND PEACE MISSION.

An attempt to Forestall Civil War in Puntland.

Galkayo, April 14, 2002

 

To: IGAD MISSION

GALKAYO.

FROM: Puntland Peace Mission

Dear Sirs

Puntland Peace Mission was formed in March 2002 as Resource Persons Team, consisting of intellectuals, elders, women and respected community leaders, who came from within Puntland and abroad. They are volunteers who are contacting with the civil society, the political leadership of the opposing camps and Isimada (Traditional Leaders) to engage in peace activities and forestall civil war in Puntland. The international donors, particularly by Diakonia, a Swedish international NGO, which has been operating in Puntland since 1993, support the Puntland Peace Mission.

At the termination of administration’s mandate in July 2001, Puntland split into two opposing political factions. Jama Ali Jama and Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed are heading these two opposing camps, each one claming to be the legitimate President of Puntland. The root cause of the crisis is constitutional and a lack of political compromise of the contending parties. Instead of adopting legal and constitutional mechanism in interpreting the Charter, the two parties resorted to confrontational methods, thus deepening the crisis into a dangerous level.

The Puntland Peace Mission is trying to mediate between the two camps to resolve the political crisis by peaceful means. The Peace mission has also been contacting and encouraging Isimada (traditional clan leaders) to hold a reconciliation conference and come up with a political solution to the crisis. If Puntland’s political crisis is not resolved before the up-coming reconciliation conference in Nairobi, the people may split into various groups on sub-clan lines, which may exacerbate further and further the political division, and make the Puntland’s representation to the conference more critical, leading to deterioration of security and humanitarian crisis.

Somalia

Somalia existed as a political and geographical entity under the former Somali Republic. With the collapse of Somalia’s last government in January 1991, the system has disintegrated; giving way to a chaotic situation, resulting in clan based political and military structures. Besides the political, security and economic collapse of the state, the geographical fragmentation of the country into clan-held enclaves and autonomous areas brought further break up of the Somali People, making the already segmented society more divided than ever and restricting the people’s movements and human transactions in limited geographical zones and areas.

The absence of a national government has produced three phenomena: (1) Assumption of a political or government role of the clan leaders; (2) Factional leaders (War-Lords) who accommodated the new role of the clan leaders as an expedient to enhance their position; (3) Involvement of International Community in the political, security and social affairs of Somalia by direct intervention (UNITAF-UNISOM) or through emergency assistance and rehabilitation programs of the UN Agencies, International Non-Governmental Organizations, Regional Institutions and Governments. These mechanisms (phenomena) have, in the past eleven years forged a fragile modus vivendi (as ad hoc arrangement) to co-exist and cooperate pending the formation of either a national government or failing that, creation of autonomous regional administrations (building blocks theory) which the UN has glaringly promoted as a basis for the reconciliation process.

All the reconciliation conferences that were held (from Djibouti (I) to the Nekuro in Kenya) failed to produce political consensus to form a national government. During this period (1991-2001) the geographical and political fragmentation of the Somalia has further deepened. The former British Protectorate (now called Somaliland) declared its independency and broke away from the rest of the Republic. Disillusioned by political failures in the the many reconciliation conferences, the people of the five North-eastern regions of Harti Clans formed Puntland administration in 1998, an autonomous regional administration as a prelude to a future federal state of Somalia. In another development, the product of the Arta process (TNG) failed to function as a national government, and does not even control Mogadishu.The overwhelming majority of Somalis do not recognize TNG as national government. And now, last month the coalition of political leaders of six regions in South-west Somalia claimed to have formed autonomous regions. Somalia still remains fragmented politically and geographically into clan enclaves with shifting and volatile political coalitions that may make the reconciliation process more difficult.

In spite of the formidable challenges that the program may encounter, the IGAD’s proposed imitative to hold a reconciliation conference for Somalia is a welcome development. However, in our view there are critical issues and crucial problems that should be taken into a serious consideration before holding the conference. These may include, inter alia, the following:

  • If the conference is to succeed, all participating political factions, leaders or groups must be treated as equals, without according any with special status, privileges or recognition, which might create mistrust between IGAD and concerned Somali stakeholders. Failing to adopt a common approach to everyone may force some important factions or leaders to boycott the conference.
  • Selection of leaders who will participate in the conference must be carefully studied; because some, who may seem be prominent leaders in the media or in the ears and eyes of the IGAD members or International Community, may not have influence, respect and delegation of authority from the clans they claim to represent. Some of these pseudo leaders have not even been to their regions and communities for several years. If such leaders are invited to the conference, without the full support of their clan or constituencies, groups or coalition factions, their clans or communities may reject them. In such a scenario, clan infighting may follow; Puntland may be one of the potential case scenarios.
  • Some political factions occupy entire regions by military force, and exploit the economic resource of local population. Juba Valley regions and Lower Shabelle are clear examples. The conquerors should not be allowed to select representatives to the conference. People’s misrepresentation will have the worst effect on the conference. IGAD should be very careful of falling in a political trap.

Suggestions:

  1. We believe that the conference cannot be held within the coming months for political and logistical reasons. We propose the postponement of the conference up to mid September 2002 to give the constituencies and the people the chance to organize themselves and sort out their differences and to have build a unified delegation to the conference
  2. IGAD member states to support the concept of the "building blocks" as a basis for future federal state of Somalia.
  3. IGAD member states to refrain from recognizing the Arta faction as national government. Contrary to this, we believe, will cause unexpected failure of the conference.
  4. IGAD member states should recognize political unity and territorial integrity of the Somali Republic.

 

Signutures:

Mohamed Jama Ismail Vice Chairman

Abdurahman Sh. Mohamed Member

Osman Mohamed Samantar Member

Abdurahman A. Osman Member

 


 

 

Peace Petition

MUDUG WOMEN AND YOUTH PETITION FOR PEACE

GALKAYO EDUCATION CENTER FOR PEACE AND DEVELOPMENT - (GECPD)

Galkayo, Puntland State of Somalia, Tel: 252 543-6457, 252 543-4844

Fax:: 252-543-4501 Attention GECPD, P.O.Box 3885 Nairobi, Kenya

 

Following the Puntland women Peace Initiatives in November, December 2001, and January February 2002 and the Puntland Peace Mission activities that has undertaken during the last four weeks (March/April 2002), We at Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development for Women have collected 10,450 (ten thousand four hundred fifty) peace appeal signatures from women and youth. As a sign of solidarity for peace.

  • We, women and youth of Mudug appeal to all Puntlanders (political leaders, clan leaders, elders and all stakeholders in the political process) to resolve the political, and security problems in peaceful means.
  • We, women and youth particularly appeal to Mudane Abdullahi Yusuf and Mudane Jama Ali Jama to refrain from engaging in Army conflict and military action.
  • We, women and youth appeal political leaders, clan leaders to respect human rights, women’s rights, children’s right and democratic principles in ascending to political power
  • We, women and youth appeal to International community and all peace loving people to exert pressure on both the political leaders to accept in peaceful solution of the conflict.
  • We, women and youth also request the international community to further support the efforts and the peace initiatives started by women, the Puntland Peace Mission and civil society organizations

Galkayo Education Center for Peace and Development have found it necessary to mobilize women and youth in Mudug region under the Motto: No War Anymore!

We women and youth want Peace, Peace and Peace

We want Peaceful resolution of conflicts

We want Dialogue and Peaceful Coexistence of P/L Peoples and Communities

We women and youth want Government and nation building

We hate war

We hate destruction and displacement

We hate civil wars, blood shedding and death

We hate being refugees, hungry and displaced

Please, Please, Please all Puntlanders and all the International Communities we earnestly request you to put pressure on our political leaders into dialogue in order to solve the current conflict and to refrain from military action.

Hawa Aden Mohamed

Executive director GECPD


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