International Day of Peace
Theme: “Education for Peace”
Saturday, 21st September 2013
On Saturday, 21 September 2013, the Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies joined with the rest of the world institutions to celebrate the International Day of Peace. Every year since 1982, that day has provided a gathering meeting for the United Nations and its member states, but also for civil society, private sector and individuals to join forces to advance global peace.
This day is an opportunity to engage every one of us in doing something to MAKE PEACE HAPPEN. We need the commitment of peace from elders, intellectuals, traditional leaders, religious leaders, youth and politicians to inspire the work of peace and to spread the message of peace through door to door approach. Our peace day will be practical step towards total mobilization of our people for peace.
This year, International Day of Peace will have a special meaning to Somaliland people, because there are risking points to peace in Somaliland, such as the widening gap between poor and rich in our country, Fighting over the limited resource, like Oil company operations , Recurring elections which the country cannot avoid , Economic immigrants from neighboring countries who dominated in our labor market and marginalized Somaliland citizens, Unemployment rate ( the graduate dilemma), Terrorist and piracy , environmental problems, Social habits particularly QAAT which causes family crisis and augmented rate of rape and gang crimes.
See the below brief explanation of the above mentioned points:
I. Amplifying Gap Between Poor and Rich
The newly established classes of life has centered the widening gap between poor and rich, this gap has generated that the wealth families send their children to private schools for better education rather than public schools. This weakens the quality of public school which brought students from poor families to drop out schools and became threat to the peace in Somaliland. Those dropout youth ultimately join the organized groups who commit a group rapes and young group fighting’s in villages.
II. Land Ownership and lack of Energy law, Policy and Strategy
Lack of clear comprehensive land policy, energy and laws are the main challenge of plummeting social cohesion between Somaliland people. Ownership of the land is in the hands of few people not in the hands of the state as our constitution mentioned and it is going to result social and economic classes and landlordism which did not exist in our country before and it will have a calamitous consequences in the generation to come. On the other side, the absence of the existing policies has shaped the disputes which recurring again and again over limited resources as well as challenges faced by Genel Energy’s oil exploration in some regions in Somaliland
III. Recurring Elections Which Country Cannot Afford
Somaliland elections become a real threat to our peace as the system of democracy is a novel to the people and their way of life. In every election, there is a real fear in every corner of the country because of the trend which our election has recently taken which can escalate a conflict in any moment and generate a direct violence. On the other hand, the country cannot afford economically, socially, and politically to hold election in every twice years time.
IV. Economic Immigrants from Neighboring Countries:
The bulk of foreign immigrants moved from neighboring countries fueled the unemployment rate in the country. They are menace to peace as they can easily join gang and terrorist groups for economic benefit. On the same token, they also a danger in our stability because no one knows their exact number, identity, location, what they are doing in the country and to whom they are held responsible.
V. Unemployment: The Graduate Dilemma
The problem of youth unemployment is reached at the climax than ever before. Young people have limited opportunities when it comes to job markets. In the absence of proper infrastructure and public commitment, increasing number of young graduates in the high schools and university adds to the pool of job seekers every year, worsening the situation. Slow growing economies are unable to generate enough job opportunities to absorb the young people qualifying from institutions of learning every year and lack of sound national youth employment policy brought chronic unemployment which could turn into a dreadful momentum in present and the future ahead. Another problem is the moving rural young people to the major towns in the country. With little access to education, health, economic and job opportunity resulted that young rural consciously decide to move to the big towns in the hope of greater chances for employment, as well as more exciting life, causing urban drift and also fuel unemployment rate in the country.
Social Habits: Family crises
Domestic violence, separation and destruction of families have spawned the increase of neglected young children in the streets in Hargeisa. Many end up to joining gangs; some get involved in huge criminals. These street kids can be a burden to the peace in Somaliland in older age either through drugs or violence.
The above mentioned factors are exceptional to our list of moment threats to peace but if they are not given a high consideration to deal with them, they can bring a ruinous effect in our future, peace and stability.
Peace cannot be achieved in a day, and this peace day recalls us the current issues that peril in our peace in order to put peace in practice through a collective, cooperative movement of unity. More importantly, successful solutions will create hope for a better future where the respect for basic human rights, social justice, peace, freedom and prosperity will sustain peaceful coexistence in our communities and in our Nation.
International Day of Peace is an opportunity for Somaliland’s government and other state agencies, civil society organizations, intellectuals, academicians and peace-makers to mend the pledge of renewing social ties and strengthening social cohesion through dialogue and consultation among Somaliland communities for ensuring the stability of the state.
Somaliland governments should establish corporate job creation plans in to their development frame work and that is the only way to tackle unemployment in our country. A plan of action must be placed to absorb the young people qualifying from educational institutions in every year. On the other hand, we have to mobilize, train, guide, and raise the awareness of our labor force towards jobs to connect between the employers and employees.
Address the fluid of foreign immigrant by promoting migration laws which can reduce the bulk of illegal immigrants and may also make better job creation.
Finally, we have to a plan to fight against this new enemies and menaces to our peace in addition to the traditional enemies otherwise we cannot continue our stability with the changing trends of life. Ever new era has its challenges and we have to equip our self a protection towards the new challenges.
Adam Haji-Ali Ahmed
Director, the Institute of Peace & Conflict Studies (IPCS),
University of Hargeisa,
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com