DDG’s conflict resolution and mediation activities have resulted in several peace agreements and a ceasefire among rival sub-clans in the Belet Xawa district in Somalia.
The violence witnessed in the district was a consequence of a power struggle among the borders of Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. This conflict has caused mass displacement, closure of businesses and public services and the division among two Somali sub-clans. “In order to facilitate these discussions and agreements, DDG consulted with prominent members of the communities and conducted a thorough conflict analysis. From this analysis, DDG decided to build the capacity of the elders in order to resolve and mediate among the conflicting parties. The elders hold a significant leadership role within the communities. Therefore, they could play an independent facilitating role,” says Ahmed Abdulkadir Abdi, Deputy Armed Violence Reduction (AVR) Manager for DDG.
Some of the significant agreements include the reinforcement of the ceasefire, to return the weapons taken from the armed conflict, to reunite the forces that have been divided and to establish an agreed upon council to appoint an interim administration for the Belet Xawa District. All of the agreements made and signed by the conflicting parties were readout to the media, elders and delegation from the Somali Federal Government, Representative from the African Union and all surrounding District Administrations. “This support contributed to the ceasefire reached in Belet Xawa during the conflict. And now you can’t imagine how I felt when I saw the conflict parties smiling and shaking hands. Continue to work DDG, you have my trust!” said Yusuf Kanti, former member of parliament of the Belet Xawa District.
DDG hosted a workshop where 220 community members took part in conflict resolution training that was especially designed to address the Belet Xawa District conflict. The trainings included conflict analysis, negotiation and dialogue and communication techniques. In addition to these trainings, DDG facilitated open discussions between the conflicting parties while encouraging them to talk during breaks and lunch in order to ease tensions. The sessions have brought the groups much closer together through understanding and relating to each other’s personal experiences.
DDG’s successful work in Somalia was recognized and awarded a special nomination by the LIVIA Foundation in November, 2014. The LIVIA Foundation publicizes examples of non-violent initiatives to conflict resolution around the world.