An Urgent Call for Peace and Reconciliation
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To: The Leadership of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG)

To: The Leadership of the Alliance of the Re-liberation of Somalia

To: The Somali People Everywhere

Cc: The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General

Cc: The Members of the UN Security Council

Cc: The European Union, League of Arab States, AU, IGAD, OIC

Cc: The Somalia Contact Group

 

May 14, 2008

 

An Urgent Call for Peace and Reconciliation

 

We, the undersigned Somali citizens, academics, and intellectuals in Somalia and throughout the Diaspora hereby express our grave concern about:

a) the worsening atmosphere of violence and counter violence in our homeland caused by the incessant armed rivalry between the Transitional Government and the Ethiopian military on the one hand, and the fighters of the Alliance for the Re-liberation of Somalia on the other; worse yet, the war is being waged in the midst of cities and towns and populated areas, causing massive civilian casualties consisting mainly of women, children and the elderly, loss of property and a perpetual state of mayhem;

b) the serious economic crisis prevailing in Somalia characterized by the skyrocketing food prices, food shortages and the deteriorating value of the Somali currency;

c) the infusion of new counterfeit bank notes into the economy and the subsequent refusal of traders and business owners to accept the old currency, thus helping push inflation to record levels;

d) rampant unemployment and lack of productive economic activities such as agriculture, livestock raising, and trading;

e) a protracted period of little or no precipitation particularly during the much anticipated gu’ rainy season in many parts of Somalia;

f) the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians scattered throughout the country with little or no access to humanitarian assistance in the form of food, water, and medicine;

g) the destruction of life and property in the capital and other parts of the country, plus the insidious transformation of Somalia into a leading theatre for the global war on terror.

 

We are convinced that prolonging the conflict serves no useful purpose in the restoration of peace among Somalis and it is clearly detrimental to the very existence of the Somali nation.

 

We strongly deplore and denounce the use of violence, by all sides of the conflict against civilian populations. We find it a vicious act of cowardice on all sides to incite violence or engage in retaliatory acts of terror carried out in the midst of civilian inhabited areas and the use of excessive force against non-combatants caught in the crossfire. It is the responsibility of the transitional government, the Ethiopian intervention forces, the United States, which occasionally launches attacks against presumed terrorist targets, and the opposition groups to safeguard the lives of civilian non-combatants and to allow the flow of humanitarian assistance to the victims.

While we appreciate the humanitarian assistance the United States and the International Community are providing to Somalia and their political support for the peace process, we urge them not to be fixated on war-on-terror strategies targeting a few individuals, but to be more proactive in assisting the Somali people rebuild their state institutions and establish order and stability.

 

After more than 18 years of statelessness, and after having destroyed Somalia’s human and natural resources and a once valuable national infrastructure, it is high time Somalis understood that it is primarily their responsibility to put their house in order. Parties to the conflict must sit around the negotiating table; talk to and not past each other, and search for a comprehensive resolution to the conflict. They must adopt a roadmap that leads to peace and that contains a blueprint for rebuilding key national institutions. The international community can help Somalia only when Somalis muster the unity to forge a comprehensive national reconciliation program with a sincere commitment to implement and sustain it. We are convinced that the restoration of law and order, peace and stability cannot be achieved through military might, but can only be achieved through peace, dialogue and reconciliation among Somalis.

 

For this reason, we commend and support the peace initiative envisaged by the UN secretary general's representative Ambassador Ahmadou Ould Abdalla. At the same time we are encouraged by the efforts of all parties to the conflict in promoting peaceful resolution of the Somali conflict and accepting the UN proposal. We believe that the Djibouti meeting is a golden opportunity for the Somali nation to solve its national crisis once and for all and we encourage the government and the opposition not to miss this important occasion.

 

We think that it is essential the following points be included in the Djibouti agreement:

1) An immediate cessation of all acts of war by all sides;

2) Establish a fact finding mission by the International community on war crimes against civilians by all sides in the conflict since the start of the Somali civil conflict and constitute a Truth Commission capable of healing the hearts of all Somalis;

3) An agreement on an immediate and viable exit strategy for Ethiopian forces monitored by the U.N. and regional bodies, with contemporaneous deployment of a robust international stabilization force under United Nations authority;

4) An agreement on a detailed road map for a transitional period with a lean government of national unity composed of experienced politicians from both camps as well as technocrats from the Somali civil society and the Diaspora and a plan to reestablish an effective the national police force.

 

An agreement along these lines can become operational and functional only if it has the support of Somalia’s neighbors, especially Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, the Arab countries, the member countries of AU, The European Union, the United States and in particular the members of the Security Council of the United Nations. Ambassador Ould Abdalla and the Secretary General whose courageous efforts in spearheading new peace initiatives are commendable, should seek to secure the support of the Security Council for this initiative. On the Somali side, a unified purpose for peace and a commitment to honor agreements is required from all sides if they want to save their country and their people from protracted human suffering and further loss of life.

 

May Peace Prevail in Somalia!

 

Signatories:

1. Eng. Abdulkadir Aden Abdulle, Virginia, USA

2. Dr. Mohamed Ali Nur, Atlanta, GA USA

3. Dr. Abdinur Sheikh Mohamed, Columbus, OH USA

4. Abukar Dahir Osman (Balle), Chair ISRAACA, Columbus, OH USA

5. Prof. Ali N. Mohamed, Louisiana, USA

6. Prof. Abdi M. Kusow, Michigan, USA

7. Mohamud Ali Gaildoon, Atlanta, GA USA

8 Abdirashid Khalif Hashi, Toronto, Canada

9. Dr. Abukar Adan Abdulle, Virginia, USA

10. Eng. Abdirahman Omar Osman (Yariisow) (Somali Concern Group), UK

11. Dr. Rashid Hassan Ahmed (Gasle) Maryland, USA

12. Harbi Ali Kullane, UK

13. Awale Ali Kullane, UK

14. Abdirahman M. Abdullahi, Chairman, Mogadishu University

15. Zainab M. Hassan, Minnesota, USA

16. Liban Abdullahi Farah (Holif), Virginia, USA

17. Dr. Omar M Mohamud, Ann Arbor, USA

18. Abdirisak Abdulle Siyaad (jiqley) Toronto, Canada

19. Ibrahim Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed, Virginia, USA

20. Mohamed Aden Booseey, Virginia, USA

21. Abdulkadir S. Hussein, Melbourne, Aus

22. Hassan Salad Huseein, UK

23. Prof. Hussein A. Warsame, Alberta, Canada

24. Prof. Khadar B. Ali, Abu Dhabi, UAE

25. Dr. Abdi Greek, UK

26. Ibrahim Abikar Nur, Minnesota, USA

27. Dr. Abdusalam Omer, Washington DC, USA

28. Prof. Hassan O. Mahadallah, Louisiana, USA

29. Mohamud A. Mohamud, Melbourne, Aus

30. Dr. Hassan Mohamed Sabriye, North Carolina

31. Mudane Abdi Ali Moallim, Minnesota, USA

32. Hassan Ali Ahmed, Atlanta, GA USA

33. Judge Mohamed Isse Turunji, London, UK

34. Prof. Mohamed Hassan Muday, Atlanta, GA

35. Osman Ahmed Dhegacadde, Salt Lake City, USA

36. Dr. Hassan Mohamud Baseey, London, UK

37. Khalif Y Ahmed, USA

38. Gargaar Bile, Columbus, OH USA

39. Mohamed Huseein Hassan, Minnesota, USA

40. Ahmed Elmi Muhumad, Columbus, Ohio

41. Abdulkadir Dahir Osman, Columbus, USA

42. Abdirahman Ali Garaare, North Carolina, USA

43. Ahmed Isse Awad, Canada

44. Hussein Khalif Jama, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia


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