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Call For Peace And Justice In Somalia
Hargeysa, April 14, 2007 (SL Times) – The Somaliland Times obtained a copy of the “Call for Peace and Justice in Somalia” signed by over two hundred Somaliland citizens including traditional leaders, religious leaders, politicians, intellectuals, and civil society leaders. The appeal has been in circulation since March 30, 2007 two days after violence broke out in Mogadishu between the supporters and opponents of the TFG. The content of the appeal is as follows:
WE—the traditional elders, the religious leaders, the politicians, the intellectuals, the civil society leaders, and the businessmen of Somaliland whose names are listed below—want to respectfully inform IGAD, the AU, the Arab League, the EU, the UN, the United States, and the African Governments deploying peacekeeping forces to Somalia that:
1. The continued and indiscriminate bombardment of Mogadishu reminds us of the genocide our people suffered in 1988 under the dictatorial military regime;
2. It therefore pains us to learn that once again innocent civilians are dying, more are wounded, and thousands suffer trauma and homelessness because of the shelling;
3. The TFG wants to impose on the Hawiye “victor’s pacification” of the colonial type, including martial law, repression of peaceful dissent, arrest or deportation of journalists, and forced disarmament;
4. Such cruel measures will only aggravate the conflict, intensify human suffering, postpone durable peace, and ultimately destabilize the region; and
5. The TFG, unable to win acceptance peacefully, is trying to exploit the foreign forces for goals contradicting their stated mission.
We therefore appeal to the above listed organizations and governments to:
1. Help immediately end the shelling of population centers and restore peace by avoiding civilian deaths and collateral damage;
2. Investigate war-crimes that may have been committed by the forces engaged on both sides of the conflict;
3. Urge the peacekeeping forces to keep strict neutrality in the deep-seated clan conflicts whose histories and nuances are seldom known by outsiders;
4. Empower the residents of Mogadishu and generally the Hawiye to restore peace and self-governance in their territories, as other clans have done so in theirs;
5. Impress on the TFG that it must win acceptance and legitimacy through genuine dialogue and reconciliation, not by use of violence or misuse of foreign troops;
6. Since the TFG accepted dialogue and reconciliation only after pressure from the international community, ensure that its planned conference is not a make-believe exercise of futility involving only its “friends” and those amenable to its influences.
7. Affirm that genuine dialogue and reconciliation includes those the TFG deems “enemies” and that reconciliation take place only in a safe and free venue for all parties, moderated and monitored by neutral bodies and persons.
8. Warn the TFG that its claim of sovereignty on Somaliland is indefensible and provocative, that also foreign troops or funds will not be used to undermine Somaliland’s peace, democracy, and right of self-determination.
Source: Somaliland Times