Youth from Banaadir regional administration in Somali capital Mogadishu embrace peacebuilding and conflict resolution initiatives

Youths drawn from Mogadishu’s seventeen districts on Sunday resolved to embrace non-violent ways in resolving conflicts, at the end of a peacebuilding workshop, in the capital Mogadishu.

 

At least 70 youth participated in the two-day workshop, aimed at enhancing their peacebuilding skills and building their capacity in conflict resolution and problem solving.

 

Mr. Thabit Abdi Mohamed, the Governor of Banaadir Regional Administration, who is also the Mayor of Mogadishu, challenged the youth to promote peaceful coexistence in communities and neighborhoods where they live.

 

“It is necessary to create a network between the youth and the Banaadir administration in order to make peacebuilding an easy process,” Mayor Thabit told the youth.

 

“If we work on peacebuilding and conflict resolution, the youth will be the first beneficiaries,” he reiterated.

 

In her remarks, Ms. Khadija Mohamed Dirie, the Federal Minister of Youth and Sports emphasized the critical role the youth in Somalia play, in shaping the future of their country.

 

“We have many planned programmes in my ministry and our Prime Minister and President have mentioned the need to encourage youth to be the liberators of our country,” Minister Khadija said, while affirming the federal government’s commitment to youth empowerment.

 

The workshop was organized by the Banaadir Regional Administration in-conjunction with Ifrah Foundation, with the support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The AU mission has been in the forefront of promoting non-violent ways in peacebuilding and conflict resolution. The workshop falls under the framework of AMISOM’s Training for Peace (TfP) initiatives, led by its Political Affairs Department.

 

“I encourage them to build partnerships among themselves, rather than stay on the sidelines and wait for the government or elders to give them their place,” Dr. Walters Samah, AMISOM’s Senior Political Affairs Officer said.

 

He challenged the youth, who make the biggest percentage of the population in Somalia, to use their numerical strength to promote democratic practices.

 

“They just have to take it. But to do so, they have to build partnerships amongst themselves.”

 

A participant, Abdikafi Mohamud Makaran, who is the chairperson of the Banaadir Youth within the Banaadir administration, emphasized the need for greater awareness on peacebuilding efforts, to encourage youth to take part in the processes.

 

“The youth have all along been used as tools for destruction. But the awareness that has been imparted today indicates that youth can contribute in many positive ways, by utilizing their energy and creating job opportunities; keep them engaged, in order to stop thinking negatively,” Abdikafi stated.

 

Ms. Ifrah Ahmed, the co-convener of the workshop and founder of the Ifrah Foundation, said the outcome of the workshop would be used to sensitize and educate youth from other parts of Somalia.

 

“The trainees have demonstrated a commitment to keeping peace, in order to play a role in peacebuilding and conflict resolution,” Ifrah said, adding that she expected the beneficiaries of the training workshop, to spearhead similar upcoming youth projects on peacebuilding.

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The author is a senior freelance journalist based Somali capital Mogadishu