Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Over 50 people from the entire Benadir council of elders met with women groups as well as youth and religious leaders in Mogadishu on Monday. In the meeting the elders and other civil society groups discussed the current security problems in Benadir region and what can be done to improve it. They also spoke of the role that traditional elders play in the stabilization of Benadir region.
During the discussion, the participants identified serious security problems including illegal checkpoints for clan militia, extortion, rape, theft of private property, murder, and the closure of public service centers by armed men.
To tackle these security problems they suggested the following points:
• Better collaboration between the public and government police forces should be established; especially district administrations.
• The traditional elders should constantly pass on community concerns to district administrators, police, regional administration and top political leaders.
• Neighbourhood system should be established in districts.
• Illegal checkpoints by clan militias should be removed through negotiations or other means.
• Peace committees consisting of elders, women groups, youth and religious leaders should be established in the districts.
• The neighbouring district should collaborate on security issues.
• Public awareness of the government system should be enhanced.
The participants agreed that traditional elders have a central role in the stabilization of the Benadir region including coordinating the community and civic organizations with the government, providing advice, raising public awareness on security, resolving conflicts, peace advocacy and building inter-clan relations.
Finally the participants thanked Somali Peace Line and Life and Peace Institute for the facilitation of this meeting and their regular support in Somali peace building process.