PUNLANDERS: NO PEACE NO PROGRESS & NO LIFE
For the first time, to my surprise, I
have had the chance to meet with members of Puntland Peace Mission (PPM)
in a remarkable civil society gathering in Galkaio, Somalia couple of days
A group of Puntlanders have been touring
throughout the major cities of the region with the slogan of promoting
peace, preventing further conflict and proposing a new reconciliation
initiative in a region that has long been assumed a model for all Somalia.
Indeed, all Puntlanders should realize the fact that without peace
communal progress can not be achieved and no continuity of normal life
Keeping this in mind, it is appropriate
that the peace mission envisioned by a well to do individuals from
Puntland, is right in- principle and it is propitious moment for the
Puntlanders to search a peace as the fear of deepening split is great.
It is high time for peace and every one
should support it, for the sake of the future and reviving the prospect of
rekindling the hope that Puntland had before the political split and the
peace it enjoyed. In this regard, it is also appropriate to know that
peace should not be considered as a privilege, it is rather a Godly
prescribed human-right that is a just for every human being who should
live in peace without fear.
Therefore, it is a right for the all the
citizens of Somalia in general and in Puntland as well to get the peace
they deserve, the peace they want, which is their right in absolute
We can all get reasons and rhymes of
supporting and rallying behind one leader or the other and at the same
time, flay his opponents and depict as the worst evil.
But, that is not the solution and will
only exacerbate the existing phenomena of factionalism, which is
unwarranted and will doom our people. Thus, I ask in this historical
moment, would it not be wise to promotethe peace mission in the process?
Would it not be wise as well, to appreciate the efforts made by respected
Would it not be wise to appreciate the
efforts of the international community specially those who have been
actively engaged in capacity building programs in Puntland.
This peace mission is probably the first
of its kind in which intellectuals are raising the torch for peace. I read
that their first trip of visiting all the Puntland districts was warmly
received and welcomed by all the communities and the existing leaders of
both traditional and political spectra.
From what I could also realize, this
peace mission encourages a grass-root approach among the community, it
unites the traditional leaders or Isimos in their effort of searching for
peace and engages them to play a better and a positive role in the peace
building process in their unity.
The interests of the business community
are not vested in factionalism, but rather in more stable society and a
bigger market as factionalism marginelizes their market potential in
territory wise and population. Therefore, this mission seems to sending a
message to the business community as well and educating them in abstaining
from supporting factionalism.
The civil society and the NGO groups are
also important groups.
They can not be left out as they have a
direct relationship to the communities and have tremendous influence in
every level of the society. Their pivotal role in peace bridging seems
well engaged in the peace process in a positive sense.
To this end, the Diaspora Puntlanders are
probably the missing ingredients of the peace wagon though some are taking
a leading role.
These groups are mainly ill informed, as
they seem to be, about the realities on the ground. In many cases, they
unnecessarily perpetuate the factionalism in their unfettered campaigns of
supporting one leader or the other.
You folks this is not what Puntland needs
today. Today Puntland needs to hear only unifying words and support for
peace and you should mature to avoiding in promoting any thing that
divides ourpeople. Combining all these efforts and realizing what is at
stake, the envisioned peace is reachable and I believe that the mission of
peace is predestined to succeed with the blessings of God. Let us pray
that the beacons of hope that was shining once in Puntland to be rekindled
once again and our people to enjoy peace and tranquility and progress to a
Let us learn from our neighbors of
Somaliland and how they are living in peace and progressing towards better
future. We should strive to abreast them, so we are not left in a
never-ending saga of chaos. Let us unite our efforts and support this
noble mission and God's willing, together, we shall succeed. God blesses
By Omar Sharif