Diminishing Influence of Traditional Elders on Peace and Reconciliation in Somaliland

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Somaliland tried to combine democracy and traditional governance and this formed the basis of the traditional elders’ confusion to adjust their role in order to maintain their significant leadership position within the community.

Similar to many other African countries, Somaliland enjoyed traditional mechanisms of conflict resolution and peace-building processes led by Somali traditional elders in the past centuries. The elders had exercised comprehensive informal systems and regulations to address the community conflicts including clan conflicts, land disputes and livestock fights. Traditional elders practiced the Xeer-Law to govern the social issues, harmonize the conflicting interests of the community and building consensus to their differences. Sultans and Aqils particularly have been the main source of upholding reconciliation processes, bringing stabilization initiatives, maintaining peace and building safer lives to Somali community. They served as a connection bridge between the government and the communities and built sustainable relationships to collaborate their respective roles.

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