UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and the new UK ambassador to Somalia Matt Baugh yesterday met with six representatives of Saferworld’s Somali partner the Somali South-Central Non State Actors (SOSCENSA) in Mogadishu. They explored civil society views on the current situation in Somalia and arrangements after August 2012 – when the current transitional period ends.
Hague’s visit comes in advance of a London conference organised by the UK government which will bring together key international actors to discuss new approaches to Somalia.
In the meeting with Hague, Abdirahman Maolim Chairman of SOSCENSA talked about the aspirations of Somalis after the current transitional arrangements end in August 2012. Abdirahman emphasised the importance of a coordinated international approach that is based on the genuine inclusion of Somalis, not a continuation of current processes between political elites in Somalia and the international community. The group also highlighted the importance of reconciliation in promoting local stability – a process that needs to start at the village level, he said, and work its way up.
SOSCENSA carried out a consultation meeting on post-August 2012 arrangements at the end of 2011, drawing in representatives from civil society across South Central Somalia. This consultation resulted in a number of recommendations for the London conference including meaningful participation of Somali stakeholders, promoting local stability, and making sure there is downward accountability of donors, international organisations and the Somali government to the Somali people.
Saferworld have been working with civil society in Puntland, Somaliland and South Central Somalia since 2008.