The reconciliation process in the GWC, on the other hand, is primarily a social conflict between the four communities of Ayr/HG, Marihan of Darod, Dir, and Saleebaan/HG; this conflict impacts the districts of Dhusamareeb (GM’s capital), Abudwaq, Guriel, Balanballe, Heraale, Hanabuure, and Qalanqalle. These communities lived side by side and cooperated socially in their efforts to manage and utilize the local resources in all of these districts/cities and the surrounding villages.
Overall, the reconciliation process in WC of GM and the dialogues that the communities had in their respective areas was practical and positive, though the needed conclusions were not reached as planned earlier in the process. The Elders Peace Committee (EPC) was formed earlier in the process and were introduced to each other at their first meeting in Dhuusamreeb so that they could work together and explore the solutions needed to stop clan conflicts in Galgaduud Western Galmudug, where each area was discussed separately. The elders have accepted responsibility for reconciliation, the reconciliation process leading, and are positively engaging with their areas of work and respective communities. As a result, elders must be empowered, and their capacities must be strengthened, so that they face the delicate work of community reconciliation.
Based on this final narrative report the following works was completed: setting up the Project Steering Committee (PSC); brief assessment of local communities; Launching of the Dhuusamareeb Reconciliation Conference; the formation of Elders Peace Committee (EPC); extending the dialogue to the local communities in Abudwaq, Heraale, Balanballe, and Guriel; and the linking the dialogue to the district formation process, at which HC hosted 150 people, including people with special needs, youth leaders, women’s groups, academicians, politicians, elders, religious leaders, and women activists. The discussions’ main goal was to provide community members a chance to talk about the issues of forming an inclusive district council for Dhuusamareeb in particular, and Galmudug in general. As a final activity, MoIFAR and HC organized a conference in Dhuusamareeb on the process of reconciliation and social integration, which served as the GWC reconciliation process’s concluding event.
The plan was to extend the dialogue to local communities in the districts/localities of Balanballe, Guriel, Abudwaq, Heraale, Hananbuure, and Qalanqalle after the Dhuusamreeb Reconciliation Conference in April 2021, under the leadership of the Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs & Reconciliation (MoIFAR), in collaboration with HC, and IOM. The project’s final phase was to link the discourse to the District Formation Process, as well as community development programs aimed at empowering the community to address the difficulties of the environment in which they live. Peace and stability are emphasized so that the community can live in peace and harmony, followed by issues of peace sustainability and peace dividends.
To have these reconciliations launchings be successfully implemented, the HC team and the MoIFAR traveled to the identified districts. Here, Marihan and Dir Elders agreed that it is the most convenient place to intervene during the elder’s peace meeting but requested a week to organize community members and prepare them for a dialogue. The first reconciliation ceremony between the two communities was supposed to be held at Ceelasha-Biyaha, a strategic location between Heraale and Abudwaq known for its private water wells.
As part of their preparations for the Marihan and Dir discussions, the elders have visited the Abudwaq and Heraale districts, where they have been warmly welcomed. The elder’s mobilization has raised the issue that there are conflicts and disagreements between Marihan sub-clans in Abudwaq and the surrounding areas, which has dealt a major setback to the reconciliation conference that was set to begin in these areas. It has become clear that the two communities’ dialogue cannot continue.
As a result, after consultations with MoIFAR, we have decided to hold an awareness-raising and peace education workshop for the Marihan clan in the Abduwaq district to focus on Marihan issues and concerns first. In the Abudwaq district, this approach was successful in reaching its goals and took five days to complete. The same thing happened at Ceelasha Biyaha, where we held the workshop for one day. Therefore, before Marihan can start reconciling with Dir in Heraale, we needed to focus more on the Marihan sub-clans’ reconciliation, so that the internal issue may be resolved first. On the other hand, Heraale district which is more united and has fewer conflicts than Abudwaq district, community dialogue was organized efficiently, and we spent another five days holding such workshops on peace education and awareness-raising.
The reconciliation discussions have continued to the Balanballe and Guriel communities, where the same sessions of workshops were also organized in Balanballe and Guriel for five days for Marihan (Bah Hawiye) and Ayr (Ayaanle). Remarkably, the two Ugases of the two communities mobilized themselves as agreed and declared a ceasefire. These attempts were portrayed as a positive step towards achieving long-lasting peace in these areas, and nowadays the elders and Horcenter are in contact on a daily basis.
In Hananbuure and Qalanqalle, there is no active conflict, and little has been achieved in these areas. The businesspeople were identified as the dispute’s primary important peacemakers during the elders’ peace committee meetings in Dhuusamreeb, and elders from both sides emphasized that they would work as a pressure group on the businesspeople to accelerate the previously agreed-upon Diya payment (blood compensations) to make space for peaceful coexistence. Elders from both clans stressed that no progress will be made unless the Diya payment (blood compensations) agreement is reached. As a result, the elders in these areas continue to work on the Diya issue.
The GWC reconciliation process included linking the dialogue to the District Council Formation (DCF) process, with the main topic of discussion being “how to construct an inclusive and representative district council in Galmudug districts, with a focus on Dhuusamareeb.” The major purpose of the discussions was to give community members an opportunity to discuss the issues surrounding the formation of an inclusive district council for Dhuusamareeb in particular, and Galmudug in general. The importance of a working council for Dhuusamareeb’s stability and growth was emphasized.
The Galmudug, on the other hand, faces numerous political and social challenges, some of these issues may be resolved quickly, while others will take longer. Despite these potential reconciliation initiatives, the state remains unstable and faces profound challenges. Among other things, addressing the root causes of clan conflicts, handling the DCF election in Galmudug, and security sector reform will define Galmudug’s destiny and will be regarded as one of the most significant successes for any state or institution.
Part of the challenges that Galmudug face might include: first, Al-Shabaab is the first obstacle to the reconciliation effort in the GWC, secondly, reconciliation processes are often impacted by changes to the local circumstances, it is, therefore, important to be flexible and adjust existing plans and timelines to meet the new challenges. Likewise, the limited experience of the EPC members to lead the Dialogue effort within their respective clan was also a challenge to the current GWC reconciliation process, coupled with lack of enforcement mechanisms for clan agreements remains a critical obstacle to the process of reconciliation, as well as political confrontations and competition due to the election, undermine the reconciliation effort among the local clans tied with the lack of full community participation and inadequate peace awareness-raising, including engagement of women, elders, civil society networks, and religious leaders, and finally, the failure to fully understand and address the root causes of the conflict is another big challenge for the WC of GM reconciliation process.
HC, thus, is recommending that improving the capacity and skills of EPC members, as well as improving local peace resources and networks, are critical to the success of the Galmudug reconciliation process, secondly, the reconciliation process for communities dealing with long-term disputes necessitates patience, flexibility, and an awareness of the local context, as well as the development of rapport and trust among all parties involved, this necessitates consistency and dedication to the process. For the past decade, earlier efforts that attempted quick fix activities and answers have failed to achieve genuine and sustainable peace. Therefore, close coordination of community development programs is needed to serve as an incentive for local leaders to advance reconciliation and peace in their localities.
We are also recommending that these community dialogues that have been undertaken in GWC should be considered as the first phase of these communities reconciliation process and that dialogues need to be continued, so that the accomplishments that have already been achieved be preserved, finally, all the communities that have participated in the dialogue process in all areas that we have visited have all requested the developmental programs especially the peace dividends that come along the reconciliation process. It is also important to involve women and youth in the peace process. Programs and activities that bring together women and youth representatives from warring clans to interact and create cohesion, strengthen, and deepen the peace in local communities. Capacity building – for the government institution to promote – inclusive politics, coexistence from the state level to sub-district level. And, finally, training – TOR – development of Mayor/governors district commissioners, for them to do their work concerning the peace and reconciliation activities is recommended.
Generally, there is a peace movement in the whole region of the Galmuudg state, which is a positive sign for peace lovers in all Galmudug State. Starting from the Dhuusamareeb Reconciliation Conference launching, the formation of the elder’s peace committee (EPC), the community dialogues in Abudwaq, Heraale, Balanballe, and Guriel districts, up to the closing meeting that took place in Dhuusamareeb in January 2022, the areas which we have visited, have all welcomed the peace process that is going on in the GWC and requested for the continuation of these dialogues in the region.