Conflict Dynamics International Believes reunion between Somaliland, Somalia Possible

  • Conflict Dynamics defines itself as: Conflict Dynamics International is an independent, not-for-profit organization founded to prevent and resolve violent conflict between and within states, and to alleviate human suffering resulting from conflicts and other crises around the world.
  • Read below a project proposal that suggests that there is a possibility of unifying Somaliland with Somalia if their project comes through as envisaged. See the ‘conclusion’ to CDI view on the subject.  Interesting!


Project overview

Conflict Dynamics is undertaking an initiative to explore, generate, and ‘feed in’ technical options to accommodate political interests and perspectives in Somalia. The purpose of this initiative is to enhance the political stability throughout Somalia and Somaliland and prevent future conflict.

This initiative aims to convey technical options in an impartial manner to the people of Somalia and Somaliland, their political representatives, and international supporters, with a particular focus on relations between Somalia and Somaliland, as well as political accommodation within Somalia and within Somaliland. 
These technical options provide opportunities for the conciliation of political interests and can assist in achieving broader consensus and participation in ongoing political processes in Somalia and Somaliland.


The successful implementation of the transitional road map, with the transparent election of Speaker Mohammad Jawari and President Hassan Sheikh and endorsement of a new cabinet, the positively-changing security situation in southern Somalia, and the increasingly serious and sustained level of international engagement on Somalia are all contributing to a ripening of the environment to explore new approaches and options which may better reconcile the political interests and perspectives of all the people and communities in Somali and Somaliland.

This progress notwithstanding, significant challenges remain: political consensus within Somalia remains fragile; military operations are ongoing; security gains need to be solidified through separate political dialogue and reconciliation efforts; and the recent displacement of Al-Shabaab could lead to power vacuums in certain areas.
This acute need for technical options to accommodate political interests and perspectives arises from the following:

  1. There is currently an absence of substantive dialogue and thinking on the details of options that can accommodate political interests and perspectives beyond the arrangements identified in the Provisional Constitution (June 2012);
  2. The tentative dialogue on future relations between Somaliland and Federal Government will be better facilitated through discussion on a range of options that span the spectrum of arrangements from separate sovereign entities to a unified (federal or other) State.

  3. The highly asymmetric nature of the status and competencies of newly accessible regions within Somalia and Somaliland will require consideration of flexible and innovative governance arrangements to link these entities (at the “subnational” level) with the national level. A “one size fits all” approach will be insufficient.
  4. To genuinely engage Somalis in broad, internally-led consultations on the arrangements they desire to govern themselves in the future will require provision of frameworks and options to enable Somalis to generate these arrangements themselves, rather than being presented with an externally-generated arrangements.


The primary objective of this initiative is to enhance the prospects for peace and stability in the Somalia through exploration and provision of technical options for political accommodation.

In pursuit of this overarching purpose the specific project objectives are:

  1. To conduct policy-oriented research and solicit perspectives from all relevant Somali political actors and constituencies on prospects and potential options for political accommodation.
  2. To promote a new vocabulary, centered on political accommodation, within the political discourse in Somalia and Somaliland.

  3. To continue to generate and refine options for political accommodation between Somalia and Somaliland as well aswithin Somalia and Somaliland.

  4. To “feed in” frameworks, tools and preliminary options for political accommodation to a broad range of political representatives and constituencies.
  5. To contribute to a targeted dialogue among key Somali constituencies on prospects for political accommodation.

Political accommodation

The term political accommodation “encompasses the objectives, process or outcome of mutual conciliation around competing political views and interests.”
Conflict Dynamics has developed a typology of six focal areas for political accommodation which is being used to explore technical options for Somalia:

  • Political Structure
  • Electoral System
  • Executive
  • Legislative Assembly
  • Public Participation
  • Traditional and Customary Arrangements

The program of work will be undertaken with a view to contributing constructively to peacemaking and peacebuilding processes, including constitutional processes. It seeks to encourage a focus on matters of conciliation and accommodation.

Project architecture and methodology

The program of work will include a substantive research and option generation component as well as a process-related dimension.

The methodology to implement the substantive part of the program of work consists of several components: (A) extensive literature and case study review; (B) interviews and consultations; (C) development of technical options for political accommodation; (D) targeted presentation of technical options to political actors; and (E) consultations, outreach and dissemination.

The architecture for developing technical options focuses on options at two levels: at the level of the whole of Somalia; and at the level within the constituent entities.

The methodology for supporting and/or developing options for ongoing processes begins with systematic analysis using Conflict Dynamics’ typology for political accommodation, and then combines cycles of consultations and dissemination to inform the refinement of options.

Project outputs

The primary deliverables developed under this project are technical inputs and options pertaining to political accommodation. The substantive component will include analysis of the existing frameworks that lays out the modalities, institutions and arrangements for political interaction and accommodation. This will also include analysis of relevant case study contexts that may provide examples of technical attributes to formulate customized options for the situation in Somalia.

Options developed will be presented in targeted briefing papers which will be available in Somali and English.


 Conclusion (Whole document attached below in pdf)

Somalia and Somaliland face the critical task of establishing viable governance arrangements that will foster long-term peace, growth, and build upon a shared Somali culture. The recent history of Somalia and Somaliland has set clan against clan and institutionalized mistrust and conflict. To move away from this destructive past to a more peaceful and prosperous future can only be achieved within systems and processes that take account of the varied interests and objectives of all Somali people. The political accommodation approach offers a means to help design governance systems and processes that can help mutual conciliation. Taking a whole system approach and looking for opportunities for political accommodation across the six strands increases the chance of a successful outcome. Processes and systems that focus only on one aspect of governance, or which fail to take account of the multiple interests of Somali people and communities, have a much more limited chance of bringing sustainable peace. As this Briefing Paper has found, many of the existing legal frameworks across Somaliland and Somalia, while not yet fully accommodating of different interests, do have the potential to be refined to reflect agreements reached – be they between Somalia and Somaliland or within Somalia.

The constitutional frameworks of the Provisional Federal Constitution, the Somaliland Constitution, and the Puntland Constitution allow for adaptation to increase the opportunities for political accommodation within those frameworks, and between the different entities. Whatever arrangements the Somali people decide to adopt, they need to reflect the history, culture, and traditions of the Somali people. Other contexts offer ideas but to be successful the solutions adopted by the Somali people must be rooted in Somali experience. A necessary next stage of this process is focused dialogue, informed by the reality of the Somali situation and by ideas from other parts of the world, to find ways to accommodate political interests between Somaliland and Somalia and within and between Somalia’s constituent entities, including Puntland and communities in southern and central regions. Regions and central authorities need to agree among themselves a process for the establishment of new entities, and means to resolve territorial disputes between emerging and existing authorities.

The six possible option categories that Somali people and leaders may find useful to consider range from a decentralized unitary State at one end, to separate States interacting through treaties and international organizations at the other. When examining the opportunities for political accommodation within these option categories it is important to remember that accommodation needs to happen not only between Somalia and Somaliland but also within all political units.

The option categories demonstrate that there are many ways to accommodate varied, and even competing, interests and that openness to different approaches has helped other societies form strong and responsive political units and arrangements. Long-term stability requires the continuation of dialogue and reconciliation within and between Somalia and Somaliland. The spectrum of option categories presented in this Briefing Paper are designed to offer additional substantive content for this dialogue process, in the expectation that interlocutors from across Somalia and Somaliland can begin to find common ground within those technical components.

As Somali people and leaders consider the future, it is important to remember that governance arrangements gain legitimacy through the support of the people and the reliability of rule of law. In considering a process to refine existing governance frameworks, and to create new ones, Somali leaders will need an approach that is inclusive and iterative. Existing processes between the Federal Government of Somalia and the Government of Somaliland, between Hargeisa and Garowe, or Garowe and Mogadishu, and processes to establish federal member states south of Puntland are all interconnected and will impact on one another. The best means to ensure that this does not result in conflict is to ensure that all processes are accommodating. This Briefing Paper offers ideas to inform ongoing processes within and between Somalia and Somaliland, it does not offer recommendations but suggests approaches that could lead to a more sustainable peace.




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