Kigali, 20 August 2014–The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS) have today concluded a three-day conference intended to sensitize Somalia civil society on the role they can play in the implementation of Vision 2016.
In Somalia, there has not been a functional civil society since the collapse of the central government. In recent past, due to improved security attributed to the Somali National Army (SNA) supported by AMISOM, there are functioning institutions. In light of these new and positive developments, there is a need for Somalia’s civil society to mobilize, sensitize, and work together with the government to garner local support for the implementation of Vision 2016.
The objective of the conference was to identify the role of Civil society in supporting inclusive political dialogue and initiation of processes of social reconciliation to restore trust between communities through review, to identify the role of civil society towards the finalization and adaptation of federal Constitution by December 2015 and to identify how civil society can participate in the preparation of democratic processes leading to holding of credible elections by 2016.
The conference gave the civil society opportunity to create awareness among themselves on recent political developments in Somalia. It was presided over by Honorable Eng. Luqman Mohamed, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs and was attended by 58 participants including, six members FGS parliament, several Director Generals, ministers from GalmudugPuntland and partners. During his remarks, Hon. Luqman Mohamed emphasized the importance of civil society in political and socio-economic development of any country. For this reason, he urged Somalia’s civil society to work with the FGS to achieve the objectives laid out in Vision 2016.
“I can assure you that the Federal Government of Somalia is willing to work with all civil society groupsto move the country forward. The efforts of the government should be complemented by those of the civil society,” he said.
Ambassador Rodney Kirwa, representing the African Union Commission’s Peace and Security Department, called on the participants to take advantage of the recent positive developments and work together for a better Somalia. “This process should be owned by each and every Somali. It should not be we versus them. Your combined efforts will significantly improve all your initiatives for a peaceful and prosperous Somalia,” he said.
The conference formulated key recommendations which will inform both the government and civil society’s decisions when working together.
“This conference has given us the opportunity as African people to solve our own problems,’” said the Somalia Ambassador to Rwanda,Amb. Cabdullahi Sheikh Maxamed, in his closing remarks.