February 8, 2022 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti): IGAD Mediation Support Unit (MSU) held a workshop on the 6th -7th of February 2022, to review the report on the Somalia peace process.
The workshop was officially opened by the Head of Mission to South Sudan and MSU Director with the following remarks; “On behalf of His Excellency the Executive Secretary Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu and on my own behalf, I welcome you to this review of the research carried out on the Lessons Learned in the Somali Peace Process by IGAD. We have convened this technical meeting with experts, mediators, advisors, and scholars engaged in the Somali Peace Process all in a bid to draw out key posterity issues such as lessons learned and also for knowledge management. IGAD-MSU contracted AXIOM-ME to conduct this assessment for us and we believe under the circumstances, faced with the challenges of COVID-19, they have done a splendid job. All this so that we may improve IGAD’s interventions in future, be it in Somalia or any other member state.”
The two-day Peer review workshop entailed: the presentation of the Report by AXIOM-ME representatives, review of the report with comments and inputs by Axiom representatives, discussions, a Q&A session with Axiom and MSU, and finally a presentation of the Final Report.
This report focused on the IGAD led Mediation Peace Process aimed to review and take stock of the lessons learned from the peace process by applying experiences gained for future mediation efforts. This is expected to contribute to the overall objective of contributing to peace and security efforts in Somalia and the Greater Horn of Africa region. It reviewed, analysed, and drew lessons from the critical IGAD-led mediation efforts in Somalia through a holistic approach to the contextual situation. A host of stakeholders were engaged, including mediators, negotiators, other external actors, and IGAD as a regional bloc. The review also assessed the root causes of the war in Somalia, the achievements and gaps in the current reconciliation process, and national peacebuilding efforts in Somalia.
The lessons learned from this exercise are expected to inform members of the IGAD roster, IGAD Special Envoys leading specialized preventive diplomacy offices, members of national institutions working on conflict transformation, representatives of member states, global partners, and other relevant stakeholders. Various key lessons learned were highlighted by stakeholders that could help future processes, particularly regarding: collaboration of actors to ensure capacity building of mediators is paramount and, the need to establish monitoring and verification body to oversee the actualization of agreements amongst others.
The report had a number of recommendations including but not limited to, enhancing MSU capacity and mechanisms for mediation to ensure more locals lead peace processes, increasing forums for information sharing and capacity building for different actors, and ensuring clear roles and mandates for the stakeholders involved in the peacebuilding.
The workshop was conducted with financial support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IPPSHAR Program