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On February 15, 2011 representatives from Galmudug administration took part of a preliminary peace-making meeting with their counterparts at Garowe City, the seat of Punt land Administration. At the conclusion of two days of deliberations, a half-baked agreement has been signed that did not address some critical issues in the hearts of Galmudug communities. The agreement did not prioritize the dominant, contended issues that create ongoing friction between the two administrations. The current agreement was supposed to be contingent to the main, outstanding problems and not the vice versa.
The overriding, sidetracked issues include:
A - The aggression of Punt land forces against pastoral community under the jurisdiction of Galmudug Administration that took place in December, 2010 is a case in point. Such armed assault was spearheaded by gun mounted technicals of Puntland and their loyal clan militia, which resulted in the death and injury of 78 victims, as well a score of camels dead in the cross-fire.
It was a provocative, political calculation waged by a neighboring administration against peaceful pastorals following after their herds. The political vision of Puntland Administration is masked and far-reaching. Galmudug community knows that the incident is a strategic move of Puntland land’s territorial expansion intended to carve a swath of prospective lands believed to contain oil reserve.
Every peace initiative short of addressing such critical issues is a pure window dressing tool intended to hoodwink the world community as peace-makers, while sidetracking outstanding problems that Puntland Administration is not willing to discuss and solve the roots of the conflict for good. Other overdue issues include:
B - Joint management for Galkaio civilian airport. The airport is a federal asset under the territorial jurisdiction of South Galkaio administration, yet run by Puntland Administration. The management of the facility became a point of contention vied and contested by respective administrations since Galkaio became a divided City in 1991.
In retrospect, Mohamed Farah Aidiid and Abdullahi Yufuf Ahmed- heavy weight personalities of respective bordering communities- signed a peace agreement in 1992 that put the airport a shared facility in terms of co-management, collection of airport fees, maintenance and improvement works jointly run by the bordering communities. Since 1992, Puntland administration broke the binding agreement four times and unilaterally manages the airport.
Galmudug administration raises the airport issues with Puntland authorities at least four times a month over the past 20 years, but with no avail short of going to an open war and then losing the facility in the squabble, while sparking a new regional conflict that undermines the gains of stability in both regional administrations. Galmudug administration refrains from any act of violence and disharmony in Puntland, or any other emerging regional authority in Central Regions.
C - Remedying of hundreds of uprooted pastoral families from their grazing lands, who are now exposed to the mercy of prolonged droughts and forced to live barren lands devoid of pasture water resources.
D - The rights of grazing lands between regional demarcation lines. As usual, rain may fall anywhere in the land, and the conventional wisdom of pastoral leaders dictates that rain, water ponds and pasture lands are the grace of God and the pastoral communities have the undeniable rights to share such blessing, regardless of clan affiliations or territorial boundaries. Currently, Puntland administration restricts the free grazing norms upheld by pastoral tradition since immemorial days, and this is an act of no brains.
E - Galmudug community knows that the substance of any peace treaty with Puntland authority is ephemeral. Galmudug administration takes peace agreement by heart and binding, while Puntland see it as inconsequential, temporary convenience.
F - Galmudug community in Diaspora takes such superficial agreement as a shadowy blueprint designed to win the hearts and minds of donor institutions, while hiding its militaristic campaigns from the international communities.
(a)-Puntland and Galmudug Administrations should start a new round of peace talks conveyed within 60 days from 1st March 2011 that hopefully addresses issues (a-e) mentioned above.
(b)-Puntland should refrain from any act of provocative wars and conflict of interest with Galmudug and Somaliland administrations, and settling any contending issue(s) in peaceful ways. Galmudug community believes that the donor’s financial support and the possession of military hardware give Puntland the edge of bullying Galmudug and Somaliland.
(c)-UNDP Political Office has to take a step forward as an observer during Galmudug-Puntland peace process, and mediate, if need be so, to any regional peace agreement taking place between Galmudug and Puntland and Somaliland and Puntland in any future date.
UNDP should put in use the legendary policy of stick and carrot in order to check up any intransigent attitude of regional authority(s) in respect to the stability of bordering regions. We support this policy and we believe it will work.
Galmudug Diaspora Community
Somalia is on the move. It is pushing for foreign investment, and large infrastructure projects are changing the face of its scarred capital city, Mogadishu. These developments could promise better fortunes for Somalis as the country emerges from the Covid-19 pandemic