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EMU, Somaliland University Hope Exchange Program Fosters Peace

Issue 304
Front Page

Puntland Security Forces Defect To Somaliland

Somaliland Government Proposes New ‘Press Law’ To Gag the Free Press & Take its assets.

Town Youths Surrender Deadly Explosives To Somaliland Officials In Las Anod

Interim Qaran Leaders Released After being Held Overnight in Police Custody

Ethiopia Tightening Grip On Somalia — Or Losing It?

Las Anod Local Authority Begins Cleaning The Town

Dubai World Subsidiary Buys Daallo Airlines In Joint Venture With Founders, Djibouti Government

European parliament calls for war crimes probe in Somalia

War without end

President Abdillahi Yusuf Asked To Clarify Government’s Position On Press Freedom

US Africa command will aid security: general

Somalia: an opening towards the end of the impasse

Regional Affairs

Landmine kills 10 in Somaliland

Somaliland: Police Arrest Officials, Supporters Of QARAN Party

Special Report

International News

The 'Great Circle of Crisis': Britain's War Plan Against the American System

Farah Roble Aden & Sean Langan Win The Hard News & Features Awards At The 2007 Rory Peck Awards

Lame Ducks, Lame Hawks?


An Auschwitz For Africa

Rumsfeld Kept Bogey Of Terror Alive To Rally Americans For War

Challenges To The Modern Commonwealth

Africa: New Improved Disaster Response Tool

EMU, Somaliland University Hope Exchange Program Fosters Peace

Food for thought


Open Letter To Somaliland Finance Minister

Freedom Of Press

To save SHURO-Net is to help promote Human Rights in Somaliland

Viva Ali Gulaid

Free Press: An Integral Part Of A Democratic System

The Detention Of QARAN Leaders

Over Seven Ministries And Two Mayors Apologized, But The Minister Of Sports And Youth Still Denies

Somaliland and the press law

By Tom Mitchell

Somaliland flag
Somaliland lies within the physical borders of Somalia, but declared its independence from the nation in 1991 due to broad civil unrest in the rest of the country.

EMU and a university in the African nation of Somaliland are collaborating on an exchange program as part of a plan to boost peace efforts in the troubled nation.

EMU and the University of Hargeysa in Somaliland, have agreed to a cultural exchange of faculty.

Somaliland lies within the physical borders of Somalia, but declared its independence from the nation in 1991 due to broad civil unrest in the rest of the country.

Though it held elections and has a democratically elected government, the international community still considers the region a part of Somalia.

Experience Helped Win Grant

The partnership between the two schools will involve visits by instructors from both universities to each other's campus over the next three years, said Amy Potter, associate director for the Practice Institute, a branch of the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding at EMU. At both sites, staff from each school will teach classes in conflict resolution to faculty and students, said Potter.

The project will use funds from a $400,000 grant from Higher Education for Development (HED), a program sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development, said Potter. EMU received the grant after responding to a notice by HED earlier this year seeking a university willing to participate in the exchange program.

EMU's past involvement in similar projects made the Harrisonburg school an ideal choice for the exchange program with Somaliland.

"We had some good experience in helping other programs get started in other countries," said Potter.

Somaliland 'Quite Peaceful'

Initially, the project will not involve the rest of Somalia, according to Janice M. Jenner, director of the Practice Institute.

Jenner spent a week at Hargeysa in August discussing the feasibility of an alliance between EMU and the Somaliland school, and left impressed with the region's political climate.

" Somaliland is quite peaceful," said Jenner. "The people there are very proud of their elected democratic government. I felt completely safe there."

The vast majority of the 3.5 million people of Somaliland are Sunni Muslims. A little more than half of the population is nomadic or semi-nomadic, with the rest living in urban centers, like the city of Hargeysa, and small towns.

Cultural Bonds

Barry Hart, associate professor of trauma and conflict studies at EMU, and an instructor at EMU in conflict transformation, is one of three instructors from EMU who will go to Hargeysa next spring to teach and work with faculty from the latter university.

Staff from EMU, said Hart, will help officials at Hargeysa create a curriculum that, they hope, eventually will teach Somalians how to resolve their differences.

Hart and others from EMU involved in the exchange program hope that their initiative in Hargeysa will enable the university there to help pave the way for peace throughout the rest of Somalia.

Citizens of Somalia have enough in common culturally to make peace possible, said Hart, adding that he and other EMU officials hope that the people of Somaliland "can, over time, become a catalyst for change."

— article by: by Tom Mitchell, Daily News-Record; posted November 15, 2007

Eastern Mennonite University

Source: Daily News-Record

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