Peace Day debate in Somaliland: How to make peace sustainable?
October 4, 2012
The International Day of Peace, on 21 September 2012, was celebrated around the world by Interpeace and its partner organizations with numerous events and activities involving thousands of people. In Somaliland, Interpeace’s local partner, the Academy for Peace and Development (APD), organized a one-hour televised debate around the challenges and opportunities for achieving sustainable peace. APD also released the video clip of a ‘Peace Song’ specially written for Peace Day.
The ‘Peace Song’ was produced to help remind people of the countless benefits of peace and the necessity to contribute to maintaining it.It was released as a video clip and shared globally, with English subtitles, through the Internet and social media. “Let all creatures live peacefully,” concludes the song, “and only then your peace is guaranteed.”
Recommendations on key issues
The aim of the panel debate was to evaluate the sustainability of peace in Somaliland and produce recommendations in key areas. It was broadcast on Somaliland National Television and on Horn Cable Television, and gained the attention of a broad audience, both inside and outside the country. The panel was made up of academics, representatives of local NGOs and a former Minister.
Several valuable recommendations emerged from the debate and the participants highlighted a number of areas which ought to receive particular attention:
- Fair distribution and management of resources and of the benefits of development is required in order to prevent future dissentions;
- The increasing unemployment needs to be tackled; and
- Urban insecurity should be addressed. As one of the participants noted, peace will mean nothing to most peopleas long as they fear for their personal safety in urban areas.
Role models for the young generations
Finally, all participants agreed that peace can hardly be sustained in the long-run without the involvement of youth. After a prolonged period of conflict, it is essential to provide positive role models for the younger generations, in order to inspire them to contribute to building a peaceful society, rather than to perpetuate past divisions. The panellists affirmed that this must be kept in mind, particularly by political leaders and public figures of Somaliland.