Somalia Can Have no 'Political Legitimacy' without Genuine Reconciliation

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A Necessary Foundation

Reconciliation is the foundation that is yet to be built for sustainable peace to materialize. Somalia is a broken nation that is handicapped by a generation long bloodshed and trauma.

Contrary to the conventional wisdom of Somalia’s political elite and power brokers, reconciliation is not made up of powwows, artificial communiques, and photo opportunities in banquet halls. Rather, it is a deliberate and a systematic process driven by a comprehensive strategic plan fully understood and implemented by the Somali people.

Reconciliation is necessary as it deflates the hateful narrative that sustains inter-clan distrust and enmity. It opens a new page for negotiating the terms of a social contract that will allow for co-existence. It enables the center and the peripheries to recognize their interdependence. It plays a significant role in teaching future generations that impunity and the habit of sweeping problems under rugs only makes matters worse. It sets in motion a genuine process of repairing our broken nation.

Finally, reconciliation is a critical post-conflict element necessary for healing and trust-building; it is a noble objective and a process that takes time. Neither its pace nor its broad impact could be rushed for political expedience.

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