Saturday, July 1, 2017

Somali diaspora returnees, locals resolve to rebuild country

MOGADISHU, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Somali diaspora returnees and local communities ended their two-day conference in Mogadishu by resolving to forge unity and help rebuild the Horn of Africa nation.

Participants at the conference, which ended on Friday called for regular dialogue to enhance relations between the two groups to understand each other and iron out the false perceptions that exist among them.
"The outcome of the workshop exceeded our expectations and we intend to hold more discussions as requested by the delegates so that we accomplish the tasks ahead. This will be an ongoing program," said Naima Aden Elmi, the Chairperson of Save Somali Youth Organization (SASOYO).
According to recommendations issued by the Africa Union mission in Somalia, the meeting also agreed to embark on awareness campaigns to highlight the importance of peaceful coexistence and the need for stronger partnerships in rebuilding the country after decades of conflict.
"We have agreed to set up committees in our subsequent sessions. Both sides will be represented in these committees which will be tasked with taking forward the process so that we deepen collaboration and we arrive at a common objective," said Elmi.
The symposium was attended by government officials, members of the civil society, businesspersons, women and youth among others.

During the discussions it was revealed that individuals born and raised in the country view themselves as having more rights than their counterparts returning home from the diaspora, while the latter believe they are better placed to contribute to the peace and stability of the country, owing to their superior education, experience and exposure.
The locals have also accused the diaspora returnees of taking up the plum jobs in government leaving them marginalized but all agreed that such differences can be resolved through dialogue and appreciating the role each group plays in rebuilding Somalia.
AMISOM Political Officer, Dr. Walters Samah, said the mission will continue supporting initiatives aimed at stabilizing and unifying Somalia.

"One of the reasons AMISOM is supporting this great initiative is because cooperation and partnership between Somali diaspora returnees and homeland community is critical for the stability and long-term development of Somalia," Walters said.
A scholar, Professor Abdilatif Egeh urged the participants who were mainly youth to find solutions to the challenges facing Somalia.
"The majority of people here are youth and you will benefit from this country especially if solutions to the challenges facing Somalia come from you. There's a famous saying that when we pull together we can achieve more (united we stand). I urge you to maintain that position," Egeh told the participants.