Partnerships for progress in Somalia/Somaliland

Saferworld's partners in Somalia/Somaliland are making democratisation and constitution-making key priorities for their policy dialogue work.

Over recent years Saferworld's partners SONSAF (Somaliland Non-State Actors Forum)SOSCENSA (Somalia South-Central Non-State Actors forum) and PUNSAA (Puntland Non-State Actors’ Association) have developed a deep awareness of democratisation processes and relevant laws and constitutional provisions and have each positioned themselves as engaged and important local actors in their regions on these issues.

Following the signing of the Kampala Accord, SOSCENSA emerged as a leading voice, co-ordinating other civil society actors to speak out against the process by which it was enacted. SOSCENSA and PUNSAA were among the very few civil society representatives present at the National Constitutional Conferences in Garowe in December 2011, and SOSCENSA was invited to attend the Constitutional Expert Forum workshop in Djibouti.

SONSAF has also significantly raised its profile on issues of electoral democracy and is now one of the leading voices outside the Somaliland government on issues of electoral reform, political party registration and election security. In South Central Somalia, SOSCENSA became a leading voice on issues relating to consultations on the draft constitution. The platform advocated for an extension of the consultation timeline, believing it to be the first real opportunity in many years for Somali people to engage in genuine debate about the direction and future of their country. PUNSAA has taken important steps to raise its profile with key members of government and to raise awareness amongst its membership, and has met repeatedly with the Transitional Puntland Electoral Commission which was established by Parliamentary decree in July 2011.

Saferworld worked closely with partners to get their voices heard in the lead up to the influential London conference on Somalia held on 23 February 2012. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and the new UK ambassador to Somalia Matt Baugh met with six representatives of SOSCENSA in Mogadishu in early February. They explored civil society views on the current situation in Somalia and arrangements after August 2012 – when the transitional government ended. Saferworld also gained significant exposure for local Somali views on the transition process in the UK media at the time of the conference.

Read more about our work in Somalia/Somaliand