Somali Government commits to reconcile and unifyJun 13, 2017
The Federal Government of Somalia has reiterated its commitment to unify the country to achieve lasting peace and stability. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the National Reconciliation Conference in Mogadishu on Tuesday, Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Ahmed Guled said Somalia needs political and religious reconciliation, which has remained elusive because of conflict.
“With regard to religious reconciliation we are counting on you, the religious leaders, to engage in dialogue and give us a positive interpretation of what religion provides for," Mr. Guled said in addressing the religious leaders at the conference. He added: "This will save us from the dangers of imported ideology, which have been behind all this bloodshed.”
The five-day conference will chart out the development of a reconciliation strategy. The delegates will map conflict zones, identify types, causes, and levels of conflict in the country, and will also hear the views of key stakeholders on conflict and dispute resolution mechanisms that will aid the formulation of a strategic reconciliation policy.
The conference is organized by the federal Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation. The United Nations and UN Development Programme’s State Formation/SteFS project and the UN International Organization for Migration’s Somalia Stabilization Initiative made it possible with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development.
Representatives from the Federal Government, regional states, minority groups, civil society, academia, and traditional and religious leaders are also attending the five-day reconciliation conference.
At the London Conference in May, Somalia’s Federal President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo promised that his administration would work to reconcile and unify communities to realize peace and security in the country.
Mr. Guled appealed to the delegates to engage in open and honest discussions to avoid a repeat of mistakes that led to the collapse of numerous reconciliation efforts in the past.
The conference covers topics such as conflict and peace, Somalia culture and reconciliation, Islam and reconciliation and traditional justice and reconciliation.
Somali women have a crucial role
The Chairperson of the Somali National Women’s Association, Batulo Sheikh Ahmed Gaballe, noted that Somali women have a crucial role to play in uniting the people of Somalia and fostering peace.
“The reconciliation process in Somalia lies in the hands of women in terms of funding, making peace among warring factions and healing the wounds caused by conflict so as to restore the dignity and integrity of the Somali people. All this will be done by women, and we are ready to take the lead,” Ms. Batulo stated.