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Galkayo Peace Week: A reflection on strengthening social cohesion

December 13, 2023
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The Galkayo Peace Week is a significant effort to promote peace and stability in the city of Galkayo, which has been plagued by conflict and violence between the clans of Puntland and Galmudug since 1991. The peace week was initiated by the Mudug Joint Youth Peace Platform in 2021 following the Galkayo Peace Agreements, which aimed to end the ongoing conflict between the warring regions. The initiative was supported by Interpeace and its partner, the Puntland Development and Research Center (PDRC).

The most recent Peace Week took place in November 2023 and demonstrated the city's resilience and determination to move away from its troubled past. The event focused on sustaining and strengthening the peace agreements and promoting social cohesion. The thematic area for the conference was "Bridging Divides: A Discourse on Strengthening Social Cohesion, addressing clan revenge, and countering illicit drugs."

The Peace Week brought together various groups, including peace committees, joint police forces, traditional elders, the business community, youth, and women from both Galmudug and Puntland. The aim was to create a platform for constructive talks and discussions about past conflicts, with a vision of a joint administration and a more harmonious and prosperous future for Galkayo.

One of the key outcomes of the Peace Week was the creation of a four-point communiqué, which served as a roadmap for guiding discussions and reflections. The communiqué called on the international community, the Federal Government and the Federal Member States of Galmudug and Puntland to respond effectively to the ongoing challenges in the region. It also highlighted the significance of amalgamating the efforts of both administrative leaderships towards a joint administration.

The Peace Week included various activities such as dialogue sessions to address the clan conflict, fostering intergenerational dialogue, reflecting on past peace-building efforts with a focus on the role of women, and outreach activities aimed at promoting unity among communities. These events aimed to promote peace, reconciliation, and shared goals among the participants and build resilient communities capable of withstanding future challenges.

“To ensure lasting peace, it is essential to extend peace building initiatives and resources to rural areas, addressing their unique challenges and needs,” Asha Ali Bagag – Chair of Mudug Women Peace Committee.

The goals for the future include fostering continued dialogue and conflict resolution, evaluating and improving existing reconciliation mechanisms, empowering women in social reconciliation, raising awareness about peace, and strengthening collaborative networks. These objectives aim to solidify the gains made during the Peace Week and ensure a resilient and united Galkayo that can face future challenges effectively.

The Galkayo Peace Week is a significant initiative to promote peace, reconciliation, and social cohesion in a region plagued by conflict. By bringing together diverse stakeholders and addressing key issues, the Peace Week aims to lay the groundwork for a more peaceful and prosperous future for Galkayo.

“A lasting peace is possible when people can come together and be part in its process.” Abdullahi Abdirahman Minister of Livestock, Galmudug.