Pat Johnson and Abdirahman Raghe explain how locally-managed Somali peace processes have proved more effective than their internationally-sponsored ‘national’ counterparts. In Somaliland and Puntland they have led to the creation of government structures that enjoy more public consent and are less predatory than highly contested, internationally-backed ‘national’ authorities.
It is not uncommon for Somali peace processes to spread over many months or even years. The process leading to the conference and implementation of the accords produces the peace, not the conference itself.
Pat Johnson and Abdirahman Raghe
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Security in the absence of a state
How do Somali communities deal with their need for security and governance in the absence of a state? The reality is that since 1991 numerous Somali-led reconciliation processes have taken place at local and regional levels. Often these have proven more sustainable than the better resourced and better publicised national reconciliation processes sponsored by the international community.
Thorough preparation is an essential feature of Somali-led peace processes. Typically this involves making initial contacts to establish a cessation of hostilities (colaad joojin) and the formation of a preparatory committee to mobilise people and resources and to ensure security. The committee will usually set guidelines on the number, selection and approval of delegates and the procedures for conducting the negotiations.
The aim of Somali peace meetings is to restore social relations between communities and reinstitute a system of law and order. Reconciliation is considered central to success and is achieved through restitution and restorative justice rather than retribution.