A successful strategy in Somaliland peacebuilding

Research Paper (undergraduate), 2014

13 Pages, Grade: A Grade



Somaliland is a leading state that is championing adoption and practicing democracy in the Greater Horn. Free and fair elections, privatization, constitutionally changed governments and the free press are unique to Somaliland. All these are not something inject to Somaliland or exported from outside and there are no external supports helped Somaliland to come here. This paper examines how this triumph was achieved – a background to Somaliland peacebuilding – stakeholders’ contribution to peacebuilding – and factors sustained stability and peace in Somaliland. It finds that a bottom-up-approach is successful strategy in peacebuilding and institution process.


Human history is dynamic and changing with different conflicts and foes. As we all know, peace and conflict are like man’s two arms. In one hand, war, confrontations and hostilities and on the other hand peacebuildings, mediations and conflict resolutions both existed side by side as long as human interactions started. Although there are different scholars and practitioners those contributed differently the notions of peace, peacebuildings and conflicts, but they agreed that there are diverse subjects those have direct relations to peacebuilding and its sustainance. Peace, justice and violence are underpinned the existence of peacebuilding in anywhere in the globe at anytime. Therefore, getting full understanding about peacebuilding necessitates uncovering to its surrounding issues like Peace, Justice and Violence.

British first colonized the territory known as Somaliland, and its name at that time was the “British protectorate of Somaliland”, until its independence of 1960. During colonial period, the type of colony that British used to administer was indirect type of rule that allowed them to manage and solve their problems by using their traditions and customs. Somaliland got its independence in 26 June 1960 from British colony. Four days later, they began to join their brothers in the south unconditionally. As the result, they formed one government that has one President, one Prime Minister and one national flag and Mogadishu as capital city. The reason forced the Somaliland people to join with the south was their honesty and their ambition of hopping to see one Great Somali State that all the Somali speaking people are under it. After a short period of time, the Somaliland people started to regret the action they did. Although there were some complains in the north (Somaliland) about lack of clear formula of sharing the power between the two regions, the north and the south, but the worst of all started in 1969. It was when Mohamed Siyad Barre came to the power through coup de’ta. He started to intimidate and mistreat the north region or the Somaliland.

Prior to the colonial era, Somaliland had a history of both peace and conflict circumstances. Starting from 1969, when General Mohamed Siyad Barre come to power through coup de tate’ up to his defeat by rebel militias in 1991, Somaliland experienced 20 years of dictatorship and peacelessness atmosphere.

As a result, the majority people in Somaliland tried to establish a rebel organization against the Barre’s regime. The product of this became the Somali National Movement (SNM). In 1981, SNM was formed in London by a group of Isaaq Diaspora with the aim of ending the authoritarian rule of Mohamed Siyad Barre (APD & Interpeace 2008)[1]. A year after the SNM established a base in Ethiopia, and started guerrilla operations with Ethiopian support. In 1988, SNM waged a war on Barre’s strategic military basis in Burao and Hargeisa. Fortunately, SNM gained the control of the main towns in Somaliland in 1991, when the central government of Somalia collapsed, and Barre run away and disappeared the capital of Mugadishu (Ibid: 20)[2].

In the early of the 1991, when SNM took over the control of the main Somaliland towns, new hopes arose up and dreams of many decades come true as people were waiting one day that they will become free from Barre’s oppression, maltreatments and any illegal acts from Barre’s military. Although there were some immediately resolved inter-clan clashed but from this time (1991) up to present there are gradual developments about peace, reconstruction and democratization those can indicate us the development and the prevalence of peace atmosphere in Somaliland and People still ranked the development of peace, stability and reconstruction of social infrastructures as a first priority. As (APD and WSP: 2005)[3] pointed

For Somaliland, however, in 1991 was a year of rebirth. Government was restored and statehood reclaimed, ushering in a period of healing, reconciliation, and growth. A decade of bloodshed, choes and suffering come to an end. Hundreds of thousands of refugees returned home. Somaliland entered the 21st century with growing confidence and hope (APD and WSP: 2005)

Finally, the former British protectorate in the Horn of Africa, Somaliland, declared its independence from the rest of Somali Republic in 18 May 1991, after SNM contributed to armed struggle that led to the collapse of Siyad Barre. Although still unrecognized by the international community, but, the people in Somaliland have cultivated a unique and relative successful breed of “home grown” political and social developments, which has created generally better social and economic conditions than those prevailing in other parts of Somalia (APD & Interpeace, 2006)[4].

Background to Somaliland peacebuilding

In the interests of keeping this paper a reasonable length, this paper will mainly focus on the narrower use of the term “peace and peacebuilding”. In familiarizing them let us discuss them one by one. On one hand, Peace is a relationship that is operating harmoniously and without violence conflict. Above all, antagonistic history thought us that Peace is an important element of human life, however, lack of peace can endanger the wellbeing of the person both physically and morally. Peace is priceless factor. According to (Ho-Wow Jeong 2002:19)[5] “some may identify peace as a lack of conflict of any serious kind”. Traditional definition of peace is the absence of war. The word peace in a minimal, is a condition to sustain basic activities of life (perpetuation, continuation of life, and the ability that someone can feed his self), it is a condition in which life is led at luxurious conditions. The term peace also has connected with other social organizations such as culture, religion and common understanding of the society. Peace can also mean coexistence of different cultures and societies to be obtained by improved communication with others, common understanding and the ability to tolerate one another (Ibid, 200:19)[6].


[1] Mack Wall, 2008

[2] Abid, 2008

[3] APD & WSP Rebuilding

[4] Ralph Johnatone, 2006

[5] Ho- wow Juong, Peace and Conflict studies: An introduction 2000

[6] Abid

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A successful strategy in Somaliland peacebuilding
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Mustafe Osman (Author), 2014, A successful strategy in Somaliland peacebuilding, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/275629


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