Pillars of Peace
The Pillars of Peace (POP) is a program funded by Interpeace and implemented by the Academy for Peace and Development. As part of the POP, the Academy conducts an extensive process of public consultation on issues essential to peace building and state reconstruction. This involves meetings across Somaliland that bring local communities, civil society representatives and political leaders together to identify and agree on key issues and methods of addressing them in order to build a sustainable and peaceful society.
Objectives of Pillars of Peace
The vision of the Pillars of Peace is to build upon more the a decade's experience of peace building and support for institution building in order to continue to advance and underpin the consolidation of peace throughout the Somali region, through consensus-oriented, integrated approaches to state building and peace-building. The specific objectives of the Pillars of Peace build upon the sustained efforts of the partners through the Dialogue for Peace programme, in order to translate the peace building approach into state building in specific areas.
" Concrete contribution to peace building and state building;
" Transfer of peace building capacity (institutions);
" Transfer of peace building capacity (civic leadership);
" Transfer of peace building capacity (women, youth, Diaspora).
- Social Reconciliation
N.b Gender is mainstreamed through the three pillars
The democratization process in Somaliland continues to move forward showing signs of strength and stability. The people of Somaliland have, in the span of four months managed to successfully implement two back-to-back free and fair elections (the Local Council Elections in December 2002 and the Presidential elections in April 2003). The National Electoral Commission (NEC) of Somaliland, in conjunction with roles played by the civil society, the media, security, the political parties, the international community, and especially the people of Somaliland), has gained vital experience during these two elections and is now in a strategic position to solidly ground the democratization process in Somaliland through the upcoming presidential election.
The success of this upcoming election will be an important milestone in Somaliland's march towards the creation of a democratic society. It will also demonstrate the deep commitment to change. While these elections are very important to the people of Somaliland, the elections will also demonstrate to the larger Somali region, the path that can be taken to democracy.
The transition from acute conflict to peace in the wider Somali region and the recovery process through political and social reconciliation will require further efforts from all those who are involved. Patience and sustained commitment is needed to build on the cross-cutting achievements of the process through trust building, dialogue on the substantive issues and constitutional and institution building by all the local stakeholders and the international/regional community, respectively. Somaliland has achieved a political, institutional and constitutional framework that sets a precedent for the wider Somali region.
The objectives of the pillar are:
- Working with key actors in order to make sure that the electoral process stays on its path
- Capturing the process in a report
- To understand the obstacles and challenges of the process
- To provide a neutral space for the key stakeholders to discuss and debate contested issues
- To provide technical assistance to the National Electoral Commission;
- To monitor the three phases of the electoral process.
In December 2002, the people of Somaliland went to the polls for the first time in more than 30 years to elect local councils, of which 332 were elected. The local council elections offered the populace a chance to exercise their right to choose their own local leadership, however, development of functional local government still remains questionable. The Academy of Peace and Development (APD) has been conducting various activities and research since the December 2002 elections, which are aimed at moving the process of decentralisation forward.
In November 2006 the National Project Group asked the Academy to continue their practical involvement with the local government institutions, particularly those dealing with land and local revenues. APD is also looking at the broader picture, such as the policies, principles and laws guiding decentralization to establish any gaps, contradictions etc.
The objectives of the pillar are:
- Promoting legal reform to increase citizens' involvement in the development planning and local decision making, specifically in the management of local revenue and urban land through dialogue.
- Improving accessibility of information regarding the management of land, local revenue and related issues, including information related to laws and procedures.
- Establishment of co-ordination and a collaborative mechanism for citizens' involvement in policy making, and oversight of local government at the municipal level.
- Encouraging public participation in local government affairs. The program facilitated the opening of dialogue between the local authorities, the NSA and other stakeholders to understand the role and the importance of public participation in local government affairs
Social Reconciliation Pillar
The many upheavals the people of Somaliland have traversed to attain relative peace and stability has mainly been accomplished through a process of painstaking dialogue and social reconciliation. That process included national clan conferences at the central as well as the regional levels. The Sheikh Conference (Oct.-Nov.92), the Borama Conference (Jan.-May93), the Sanag Conference (92-93) and the 1997 conference in Hargeisa where Mohamed Ibrahim Egal was re-elected have been the most prominent ones. It ushered in a system of governance in which all clan groupings were given some representation.
As a result of these clan reconciliation conferences, the House of Representatives (HoR) as well as the House of Guurti (HoG) comprised of members from almost all clan identifiable groups. The government appointed ministers gave a kaleidoscopic refection of the clans as well. However, the onset of the 2005 elections to the local councils and HoR paved the way for multiparty elections where seats were won on the basis of majority votes, and party cumulative votes in the case of the local council elections. Some major clans gained seats while less numerous clans got a reduced number of seats or ended up with no seats at all.
With the advent of democratic elections, significant renewed clan rivalry also surfaced. The elections were on the surface a competition between parties but can be characterised as having been essentially clans jockeying for positions of power. Parties used no political agendas but aggressively pursued accommodating clan political wish lists. The outcome became an atmosphere of mistrust and narrow clan chauvinistic agendas. This atmosphere of competition, albeit harsh and cut-throat, has been able to maintain and establish institutions of governance that keep the peace and allow the government to function.
The objectives of the pillar are:
- To contribute towards the establishment of an environment that encourages communal ownership of existing institutions.
- To promote the formation of inclusive/democratic non-governmental institutions.
- To encourage the development and/or harmonization of existing conflict management mechanisms.
Civic Education & Mass Media Campaign Project (CEMMCP)
Under the UN's reconstruction strategy for Somaliland, the Joint Programme for Local Governance and Decentralized Service Delivery (JPLG) has since 2008 been providing strategic, technical and financial support to the Ministry of Interior in its efforts to establish a more effective and decentralised system of district administration. Pooling a wealth of expertise and resources from a number of UN agencies (i.e. UNICEF, UN-Habitat, UNDP, UNCDF, and ILO) as well as that of independent local experts and Somaliland authorities, the overall objective of the initiative is to ensure that local governance contributes to peace and equitable priority service delivery in target districts of Somaliland.
The Civic Education & Mass Media Campaign Project (CEMMCP), which is being implemented by the Academy for Peace & Development, is a major component of the JPLG process and aims to reach a total of 50,000 beneficiaries across 6 districts, whose awareness level on their rights and civic responsibilities concerning their respective district councils will be improved. As such, the project encourages citizens in target districts to participate in the decision-making processes at the district level in order to ensure greater accountability and transparency in the way services are delivered in Somaliland various districts. The aim is to improve the relationship and trust between target communities and their respective district councils in the delivery of basic services as well as in meeting other local development needs.
The project operates through and makes effective use of a diverse range of engaging outlets such as the production and dissemination of audiovisual, audio, multimedia and print materials that are appropriate and relevant to the country's social, cultural and religious context in relation to content development and methods of delivery. Parallel to the production and dissemination of mass media products, the project also focuses on training and provision of other equally engaging outreach services such as community theatre and travelling video screenings for greater geographical coverage.
The project collaborates closely with Somaliland Ministry of Interior as well as other important JPLG partners in drawing on and adding value to relevant parallel initiatives in ensuring the overall effective implementation of the JPLG framewor