Voicing Somaliland’s Priorities Official Position of Somaliland’s Civil Society Regarding
UNSOM’s Approach to Somaliland
Somalilandsun – Preamble: This paper reflects the official position of the Somaliland Civil Society regarding the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) which has come into effect on June 3rd 2013. The new mission’s objective is to integrate and coordinate all the UN’s humanitarian and political operations in Somalia which includes Somaliland. According to the UN Security Council resolution
2102 (2013) , the new mission, to be headed by a special representative of the Secretary- General would include, “the provision of policy advice to the Federal Government and AMISOM on peace-building and state-building in the areas of governance, security sector reform and rule of law (including the disengagement of combatants); development of a federal system (including preparations for elections in 2016); and coordination of international donor support.”
It adds that; “All the UN country teams, both political and humanitarian in Somalia, would be expected, with immediate effect, to coordinate all their activities with the head of the newly established mission. And UN agencies working in Somalia are expected to move there – Mogadishu.”
Furthermore, The New Deal for engagement in fragile states declares that; “We will develop and support one national vision and one plan to transition out of fragility”, though it adds that; “This vision and plan will be country-owned and -led, developed in consultation with civil society and based on inputs from the fragility assessment.”
It was against this backdrop, that members of the Somaliland civil society have convened several consultation meetings from the May 25, 2013 to June 13, 2013 in Hargeisa in order to hold discussions and consultations on these new developments and at the end produced and agreed on this position paper.
The participants agreed that this new UN Assistance Mission in Somalia is designed in response to humanitarian and political conditions prevailing in Somalia as compared to Somaliland, which we believe has a different set of historical background and realities in the ground that include the following:
Since restoring its independence from Somalia in 1991, the Republic of Somaliland has charted a different path from Somalia away from violent conflict towards constitutional politics. Thus Somaliland has been on a development trajectory of its own with its unique features and challenges.
Somaliland’s model of development in the last two decades is both unique and successful. For the first decade this has comprised a system of government that fuses traditional forms of social and political organization with multi-party democratic system institutions of government; while in the second decade Somaliland adopted Constitutional democracy and managed to hold five successful and peaceful multi-party elections. All of these elections were deemed free and fair according to international observers from around 25 countries worldwide.
Throughout the years, Somaliland has managed to develop a good working relationship and engage in an effective aid and development modality with the international donors and aid
agencies. This relationship has been characterized by cooperation, mutual respect and accountability; principles which are often hard to come by in the volatile Horn region.
Since 2010 Somaliland has managed, through its national development plan (NDP), to define explicitly what external assistance it requires from the international community and other key stakeholders both domestic and international. This plan reflects the realities in Somaliland and aligns its objective with those of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Deepening stabilization and state-building requires boosting visibility of, and confidence in government institutions through creation of effective relationships between citizens and in government: a collective — government and community– driven development modality is paramount to its development. The USAID funded Transition Initiative for Stabilization translated national priorities into development action plans and demonstrated this theory of change.
The recently approved Somaliland Development Fund (main contributors include DFID and DANIDA) which is aligned with the National Development Plan is another aid modality, which reflects the relatively advanced development stage and special needs of Somaliland.
Somaliland has a very vibrant civil society that includes local NGOs which have over the years achieved tremendous success in the humanitarian and development arena. Our civil society is capable of forging effective working relationships with international aid agencies and donors. We are well placed to understand the needs of our own people and voice this clearly to our development partners.
Recommendations for the way forward:
We urge the international community to support the Republic of Somaliland to maintain the national ownership of its development and humanitarian agenda and respect the distinct development trajectory it has taken over 2 decades to achieve. There is no one size/ package/support that fits all contexts and brings about solutions that can work for Somaliland and Somalia.
We call on the international community, particularly’ the new UN Mission in Somalia to respect existing frameworks, protocols and provide support that strengthens our existing development structures. There is a need for “Do No Harm” Principle here.
The UNSOM Office should develop a specific plan and approach separately tailored for Somaliland as it is impractical and does not reflect the interest of Somaliland people as it stands currently.
We call on the UN Development Agencies to expand their presence and offices to the peaceful regions in Somaliland beyond the Hargeisa good Offices.
The international community should focus on helping the Somaliland people to build their resilience to future shocks, by committing to long term support which is separate for Somaliland based on pillars of Somaliland National Development Plan.
Therefore, the Somaliland civil society urges the UN and the International community to support and build on the 22 years effort of tailoring and crafting working aid modalities between the international community and Somaliland.
Endorsed by the following Somaliland Local Organizations:
1. Nagaad Network (A Network of local organizations) Executive Director: Nafisa Yusuf Mohamed
2. Somaliland National Youth Organization (SONYO) A Network of Youth Organizations
Executive Director: Saeed
3. Somaliland Non State Actors Forum (SONSAF) Executive Director: Mohamed Ahmed Mohamoud
4. Candlelight for Health, Education and Environment (CLHE)
Executive Director: Fardus Awil Jama
5. Horn Youth Voluntary organization (HAVAYOCO) Executive Director: Omer Sheikh
6. Agriculture Development Organization (ADO)
Executive Director: Hussein
7. Somaliland Pastoralist Forum (SOLPAF) Executive Director:
8. Social Research and development Institute (SORADI) Executive Director: Kadar Osman Fadal
9. Women in Journalism Association (WIJA) Executive Director Fahma Yusuf Esse.