This article explores the role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in furthering bilateral attempts by Somali regimes and the international community in restoring peace and functional social institutions in Somalia. It highlights how an inclusive reconciliation process that covers social actors and stakeholders can repair the eroded trust and fosters peaceful coexistence. The core discourse focuses on the roles played by CSOs in the negotiation and bridging gaps between communities and the government through a fair and equitable non-partisan framework for restoring peace in Somalia. The emphasis will be placed on the sociocultural dynamics CSOs can bring within the context of the process to bridge social and political gaps created by decades of civil strife. The article concluded that a quest for sustainable peace, institutional development, and effective governance requires equitable contributions and representation of the CSOs and local communities’ stakeholders. Most efforts put forth by political elites in the government and the international community have faced lot of resistance because of competing interests. Therefore, it is of vital importance that political elites, community leaders, and regional bodies encourage the participation of Somali CSOs and stakeholders in all aspects of the post-conflict socio-economic and political reconstruction. The article suggests a new approach to redefine CSO roles in the reconciliation process and rehabilitation of sociopolitical and economic challenges posed by decades of the ongoing political and civil unrest in the country.
Farhia A. Abdi (1), Kon K Madut* (2)
1. Taos Institute, USA
2. University of Ottawa, Canada
* Corresponding author.
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