Somalia: When the Elephants Fight, the Grass gets Trampled

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Somalia: When the elephants fight, the grass gets trampled

“Aqal marka la dhisayo, dusha sare lagama bilaabo” – “When you build a house you don’t start at the top”: Somali views on rethinking international strategy

Somalilandsun: Building on past Saferworld research, this series of illustrated long-reads shares the perspectives of Somalis that have lived through three decades of conflict. They chronicle their own experiences and their perspectives of international interventions in the country. The suffering they have endured and witnessed highlights the ways that current strategies have distorted rather than addressed the causes of violent conflict in Somalia, emphasising the urgent need for a new approach.

Chapter 1: When the elephants fight, the grass gets trampled

In the destructive war in Somalia, regular people are often the ones who suffer the most. For the first of our series on Somalia, those living on the front lines of the ‘war on terror’ spoke to us about their experiences.

Chapter 2: Thinking beyond ‘countering violent extremism’ in Somalia: local views on an international ‘project’

The ‘countering or preventing violent extremism’ (C/PVE) agenda is taking hold in Somalia, but is it benefiting people? In the second of our series on Somalia, we hear the concerns of Somalis on C/PVE and ask whether it is time to think beyond this international ‘project’.

Chapter 3: “Aqal marka la dhisayo, dusha sare lagama bilaabo” – “When you build a house you don’t start at the top”: Somali views on rethinking international strategy

Somalis share their perspectives on how a Somali-led approach to reconciliation could open up a whole host of opportunities for peacebuilding, justice provision and institution building that prioritise keeping people safe, rather than merely defeating Al Shabaab.

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