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Discouraging Signals from The Djibouti sponsored-peace Conference

Published by A.B. Warsame.
Chairman of SPR

(Somali Peace Rally) - The Somali Peace Rally (SPR) welcomed and wholeheartedly supported the Djibouti government's sponsored peace initiative for Somalia as the majority of Somali people did. We truly believed and hoped that the conference would come up with fresh ideas and above all with fresh faces.

We were expecting from the Djibouti's peace plan that new Somali political leaders with a deep understanding of current conditions by Somali people, a clear vision of the future and with the ability to consider long- term consequences of particular courses of action would rise to lead the reconstruction and reconciliation of war-torn-Somalia; leaders who are not tainted by crimes of war and corruption; leaders who are equipped with great knowledge of changes taking place regionally and internationally.

In short, we were expecting from peace process that our new Somali political leaders of transitional government would be leaders with courage to stimulate public participation in policy discussions, give much efforts to promoting a culture of peace and reconciliation throughout the country, and effectively manage Somalia's post-conflict development programmes under the auspices of federal government aid scheme.

Unfortunately, the signals coming from Djibouti are very disappointing and discouraging. The top candidates for the executive office of the transitional government are warlords, collaborators of warlords and former ministers and generals of the dictatorial regime of Siad Barre.

The candidates for the position of executive are the same people who committed gross human rights violations against the people of Somalia; the same people who presided over the collapse of the Somali economy; the same people who siphoned off the country's reserves into their private bank accounts in Europe and North America; the same people who plunged the country into an economic and financial crisis of unprecedented proportions; the same people under whose management the poverty, malnutrition, illiteracy and disease reached shocking levels; the same people who led the best and brightest members of Somali social capital to leave the country; the same people who caused the civil war in the first place.

We feel dismayed and betrayed that the very people who were the cause of the Somali tragedy be called upon to lead the transitional government.

We strongly believe that any nomination of or electing such corrupt, negligent and incompetent individuals to the Executive Office of the transitional government will only enforce the impact of crisis on the country and will not provide a vehicle for eventual recovery for the nation.

Therefore, the SPR firmly urges the Djibouti government and the international community to discourage the nomination of any corrupt leaders and warlords to the highest decision-making offices (such as the executive office) in the transitional government.

We urge the international community to carefully scrutinise the background of these candidates whose intention is to milk once again the international donor community in order to amass personal wealth at the expense of the Somali people.

We also appeal to the international community to encourage the peace participants to consider a federal system above an excessive power of central government.



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