- [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
Galkayo, April 14, 2002
To: IGAD MISSION
FROM: Puntland Peace Mission
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 administrations 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 Puntlands 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 Puntlands representation to the conference more
critical, leading to deterioration of security and humanitarian crisis.
Somalia existed as a political and geographical entity under the former
Somali Republic. With the collapse of Somalias 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 peoples 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 IGADs 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
- 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. Peoples misrepresentation will have the worst effect on the conference.
IGAD should be very careful of falling in a political trap.
- 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
- IGAD member states to support the concept of the "building blocks" as a basis
for future federal state of Somalia.
- 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.
- IGAD member states should recognize political unity and territorial integrity of the
Mohamed Jama Ismail Vice Chairman
Abdurahman Sh. Mohamed Member
Osman Mohamed Samantar Member
Abdurahman A. Osman Member
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,
womens rights, childrens right and democratic principles in ascending to
- 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
- 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
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