Many believe that peace in Somalia comes with the establishment of a fully functioning government. The instrument for change is a roadmap designed to end the rule of warlords and restore much needed national institutions to Somalia.
UN-backed roadmap to ensure peace and stability
In august 2011, a UN-backed roadmap to end transitional rule in Somalia was set in motion. The roadmap sets out a series of tasks to be completed by next August. The goal is the constitution of a central government acceptable to all the Somali people.
Among the tasks set out in the roadmap are improvement of security, drafting a constitution, national reconciliation and good governance. And the people entrusted to implement these tasks are part of the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia (TGF).
The TGF is internationally recognized as the official government of Somalia, but beyond the capital, Mogadishu, the TGF has no control over its territory and few means of delievering basic services to the Somali people.
The roadmap was agreed upon by an alliance of regional transitional administrations:
- The Transitional Federal Government
- The Transitional Federal Parliament
- The self-declared semi-autonomous regions of Puntland and Galmudug
- The group known as Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama’a
The participation of these parties in the peace process offers great opportunity for stabilizing the country. The roadmap, along with the withdrawal of the Islamist armed group Al Shabaab from Mogadishu in August may be the best chance for peace in years.
The TFG has made many attempts to end its transitional rule. Since 1991, 17 attempts at constituting a central government have failed – mainly because of lack of popular support.
Support from the international community
A number of international partners have commited themselves to the peace process by facilitating cooperation and collaboration among the Somali parties. These partners include:
- The UN
- The EU
- The Arab League
- The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)
But ultimately, it is the Somalia people who must step up and play their part in bringing about change and lasting peace.
“The peace process will only work when the Somali people own it and push it forward,” stated Augustine Mahiga, the UN Special Representative of Secretary-General for Somalia in a statement.