Given the multiple reconciliation efforts in Somalia in the past 30 years with little impact, SGEM convened this forum to be an in-depth discussion on substantive reconciliation. The forum titled Substantive Reconciliation in Somalia was held on April 10, 2021, and it was one of the timely topics for SGEM’s Forum for Solutions. The panelists for this forum included Abukar Arman, Somali Writer and Former Diplomat, Dr. Habon Abdulle, Executive Director of Ayada Leads, Suldan Abdisalam Ahmed, Peace and Conflict Studies Scholar & Traditional Elder, and Moderator and Discussant, Fowsia Abdulkadir, Chairwoman & Founding Member, Somali Gender Equity Movement (SGEM).
The Panelists discussed the impediments to a substantive reconciliation in Somalia given there are multiple dimensions to reconciliation whether political or social, what kind is needed in Somalia, and which one should be tackled first. The Panelists also explored the barriers to substantive reconciliation and the missing link to reconciliation in Somalia. The discussions also focused on the required sequencing of reconciliation efforts, and the actors that should lead these reconciliation efforts that Somalia needs.
The role religious leaders, women, and young people can play in substantive reconciliation, and ways in which we can get Somali-owned substantive reconciliation were highlighted. The Panelists made their concluding remarks on the way forward in realizing comprehensive, and inclusive reconciliation in Somalia. The forum closed with participants asking relevant questions to the panelists to address, and adding their own reflections on the topic.