AU high Rep Rawlings Calls For Concerted Effort For Peace In Somalia
Ghana (Alshahid)-Ghana’s former President and African Union (AU) High Representative for Somalia, Flt Lt Jerry John Rawlings says peace in Somalia can only come about only if the people of Somalia and all stakeholders would reconsider their approach and strategy to the peace process.
To this end, Mr Rawlings is calling for “a more inclusive and reconciliatory stance towards absolute peace” in Somalia.
“The various factions in Somalia fighting to take control of a divided country must recognize the fact that Somalia is a well-endowed country resource-wise and the time has come to take a more inclusive and reconciliatory stance towards absolute peace. It is time these factions responded to the process of dialogue, reconciliation and nationalism,” the AU High Representative to Somalia said this at the opening of a two-day conference on the African Union Support to the implementation of the Djibouti Peace Process for Somalia in Accra today.
The conference which would see participants deliberate on the Djibouti Peace Process in the fight for peace in Somalia, is being held under the theme; “The role of the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in support of the implementation of the Djibouti Peace Process for Somalia”.
Flt Lt Jerry Rawlings also opined that lasting peace in Somalia can be achieved on the heels of concerted efforts of the international community and the Somali factions, who he says must show enough commitments to elicit such support.
He partly blamed the problem in Somalia to the leadership vacuum created by the inability of some of the elected politicians and members of parliament to stay within influential distance of those who elected them, saying, “the dominant reality in Somalia has for long been the seeming uncontrollable situation on the ground. That situation is not impervious to reason, dialogue and influence. Our absence from them has therefore made it difficult to build trust”.
He says the Somali peace process will require more commitment in the coming weeks and months, especially at a time when the quest of political freedom has become more apparent now.
“There are too many political developments in the world presently, and we should not allow Somalia to be forgotten in the wind of change that is sweeping across the world. We have to take advantage of the quest for freedom and justice blowing elsewhere to influence the process of freedom and reconciliation in Somalia too,” he added.
Mr Rawlings says the onus lies on all to ensure a peaceful Somalia.
“Somalia is in need of internal structures if the rebuilding process is to succeed. Ministries operate on inadequate budgets and the Transitional Federal Government can barely operate meaningfully. Corporate institutions and investors should not wait until peace is achieved before rushing in. We have a responsibility politically, morally and ethically to contribute towards the peace objective as well”.
“Let us fashion out some more innovative approaches that would enable us complement ongoing efforts in Somalia and the sooner we move into Somalia the sooner will we be able to speed up the cry of our Somali brothers and sisters”.
President John Mills who formally opened the conference called on participants to ensure that peace prevailed in Somalia despite the fact that several efforts have failed to yield the desired results, stressing that “past failures should not dampen our resolve. This is the opportunity that we have to ensure that the numerous initiatives are strengthened on the diplomatic and political level”.
He expressed the hope that with Mr Rawlings as the African Union (AU) High Representative for Somalia, “with the right mix of cooperation and support, we should be able to see some signs of noticeable progress in Somalia”. (peacefmonline)