HARGEISA, 20 September 2009 (Somalilandpress) – Conflict and dispute are part of life. There is no society, community or country which does not experience conflict at some time or another as part of daily interactions. Therefore it is not surprise that conflict arises when people are engaged in competition to meet goals which are perceived to be, or are in fact, incompatible. Whether a conflict becomes physically and emotionally damaging or leads to growth and productivity depends on how it is managed and resolved.
Having said that Somaliland is not an exception and it is part of our growing democracy and development that a dispute arises at any given period of time, but the one million question is: Do we need a conflict at this time which leads to destruction and instability or we need to learn conflict resolution measures? It is clear that our political deadlock and disputes must be resolved and agreement must be found or a compromise worked out. Somaliland is built on these two things-compromise and agreement-which are surely what all somalilanders are proud of and what distinguishes our country from many parts of Africa.
We know that conflicts do not simply erupt, rather they develop through various stages and in each of these stages certain factors contribute to the possiblity of conflict. It was the delay of the elections which is and was the real root of our dispute, this lead to the bigger dispute between the government and the election commission aside and the political parties which led to the expulsion of Interpeace from the country. The situation deteroriated when the memebers of our parlaiment unfortunately,took guns and pointed pistols on each others face. This barbaric and evil act of educated Mps in an elected house is something shameful to our country and to our people and it surely put things in another face. My point is not to tell what was right and what was wrong because now it is forgone conclusion and only a fool looks back and cries over spilt milk, while a wise man thinks for the future and what lies beyond it.
[ad#Google Adsense (336×280)]
Honourable president, leaders of opposition parties, the election commission and the two houses-elders and the parlaiment- you are a sample and the young generation surely will take the path you took. If you take a very dark path the young generation and those who will born will curse you and say bad things about you. On the other hand if you lead us towards understanding, compromise and forgiveness you will be thanked not only by the people but by the dignity of humanity and by the loved land-Somaliland. Should you therefore understand each other’s position accurately, and become willing to discuss your disputes, resolve the conflict regardless of your disagreements the nation will be saved otherwise it is clear that we are taking the wrong path. You must come to the negotiating table and try to reach mutually satisfying solutions which of course you can, but it is if your become Real Men, not Male but Men. This country doesn’t need another bloodshed war, evacaution and refugees. We are tired of wars, poverty, ignorance, Diseases and Backwardness. We have enough experience of fighting and disturbances, instability and disagreement. If you remember back 20 years ago, you could have stamped yourselves “GUILTY” for fighting against what you fought for, but I know that it is difficult for you to look back and read the history, because simply you don’t care what is happening.
We are a population of three and half million, therefore killing one innocent person means killing of those numbers, because I am sure that all of us will suffer from the pain of the mistakes of one person or many and we will be the victims. The somali proverb says ” Inta nabadi joogtaa ninba laba nin leegyahay” when there is peace, everyman is just as proud and as strong as two men, but when conflict and war happen-Allah may not bring it Insha Allah- each man becomes tinier than an ant, so weak and ill.
Let us understand each other for we are muslims and brothers and please let us Fear Allah because he told us that Killing and Conflict are the actions of shaytan-the devil.
Let me underline the techniques of conflict resolution which may be applicable to our situation, and mind you this is not from my bocket but it is internationally observed techniques which helped settle many problems worldwide.
1. The conflict must be clearly defined.
2. All concerned or affected must understand it.
3. Mediators must look for “win-win” where all parties to the conflict feel that they have gained something.
4.Mediators and the politicians must act at the right time before things get worse.
5.Finally, the results must be checked out and the agreement must be fully introduced and applied.
Last but not the least, We as civilians are so worried about our wrong actions and disputes and we are requesting that all politicians focus on shared needs and goals and let their differences and interests aside and reach a joint decision. Any one who have seen the drought and lack of water in the country,will not argue this time but he/she would begin saving the nation. Somaliland needs positive thinkers who can fulfill their mission and not selfish leaders who only see their interest and care nothing. To save our nation, medatiors must strive for a win-win negotiating strategy so that all parties can be satisfied with the outcome. My last words goes to politicians who are misleading the innocent civilians: Please respect our people, land and territory. We shall not accept from you any wrong doings rather we shall act jointly and tell who is wrong, and remember that Allah is watching you and you will be judged of your own doings and killing innocent people. Fear Allah and for his sake save the nation and let us not go back to the dark ages.
Ahmed Mohamoud Elmi (shawqi)