For almost 20 years, Interpeace has worked in the Somali Region to support and advance statebuilding and peacebuilding processes. It works with and through its Somali partners, the Academy for Peace and Development (APD) in Somaliland and the (PDRC) in Puntland. It also supports a decentralized Peacebuilding Team in southern Somalia, currently present in Mogadishu, Kismayo, Baidoa, Galkacyo, Ceel Afweyn and Burtinle, with more key locations soon to be added.
Interpeace’s partners are experts at building and maintaining neutral spaces for dialogue and drawing together a broad range of stakeholders in participatory processes that promote social reconciliation, improve local governance, and strengthen democratization. The Interpeace Somali Programme consists of two main and fundamentally interlinked programmes, the “Pillars of Peace” programme and the “Democratization” programme.
The Pillars of Peace programme was established in 2009 to build social cohesion in the communities of Somaliland, Puntland and southern and central Somalia. It also aims to strengthen the ability of grassroots communities to connect and provide input to their evolving governance structures. The Democratization programme builds on the work of the Pillars of Peace programme. It approaches state reconstruction and governance processes in the region from a peacebuilding perspective that seeks the broadest possible engagement of stakeholders. Together, these programmes have played a major role in bridging the gap between and among local communities and their leaders at all levels.
With an established presence in the Somali region, Interpeace and its Somali partners have demonstrated continued relevance, resilience, and ability to translate dialogue into action in the interest of communities across the region. The following are some key achievements and activities to date.
- Interpeace supported the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission in the process leading up to the ratification of a revised Puntland constitution in 2012. Building on this basis, it worked with the Commission to lay a strong foundation from which to pursue local council elections. At the same time, PDRC made important contributions to voter education, media preparedness and managing political sensitivities.
- The three-year Democratization IV programme in Somaliland culminated in the successful completion of the biometric voter registration process, with the production of a trusted, credible Final Voter List, and ultimately, a successful presidential election on 13 November 2017. While there were some tensions following the results, the increased credibility and trust in the process due to the safeguards put in place by the registration made an important contribution to decreasing the tension and limiting post-election demonstrations.
- In 2017, Interpeace launched a peacebuilding process in the historically divided city of Galkacyo. The Galkacyo conflict is a long-running conflict, widely viewed as representative of the wider Somali conflict, issues of clan contention, and competition for resources. Interpeace’s engagement in the Galkacyo conflict has therefore created a very strategic position for future peacebuilding efforts.
From 2017-2021, Interpeace is implementing the Somali Peacebuilding and Democratization Programme, “Talo Wadaag”. The overall objective of the Talo Wadaag Programme is to contribute to sustainable peacebuilding and democratization in the Somali region by strengthening citizen and stakeholder engagement in governance and conflict prevention through inclusive, participatory, and citizen-centred processes and mechanisms.