15 June 2017

Somalia: Govt Convenes Conference to Reconcile People

A five-day conference is underway in Mogadishu on Wednesday aimed at charting out the development of a reconciliation strategy to help unify the country.

A statement from the UN mission in Somalia said 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.

In his opening remarks, Deputy Prime Minister Mahdi Ahmed Guled reiterated the government's commitment to unify the country to achieve lasting peace and stability.

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. This will save us from the dangers of imported ideology which have been behind all this bloodshed," he added.

The meeting brought together representatives from the government, regional states, minority groups, civil society, academia, and traditional and religious leaders.

Somalia's Federal President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo has promised that his administration would work to reconcile and unify communities to realize peace and security in the country.

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.

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," Batulo said.


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