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United Religions Initiative Conference in Mogadishu on Resolving Religiously Motivated Violence

By Ambassador Mussie Hailu

Greetings of peace, light and blessing from URI Africa. Hope this finds you in peace and good health.

This is to inform you that URI Africa organized a conference on how to resolve the religiously motivated violence in Somalia. The conference was held at hotel Nahru-nile in Mogadishu , Somalia on December 26, 2011. The event was facilitated and coordinated by Mr. Daud Abdi Daud, URI Country Coordinator in Somalia and Contact person of Somalia Media for Environment, Science, Health and Agriculture (SOMESHA), a URI CC in Somalia.

United Religions Initiative interfaith meeting in Mogadishu.

United Religions Initiative interfaith meeting in Mogadishu.

Mr. Daud opened the conference by extending the greetings of peace, solidarity and best wishes on behalf of URI and explained to the participants about the purpose of URI, Interfaith harmony and the role of religions to promote a culture of peace and resolve violence and extremism. The saying of the Golden Rule from different religions was also read out loud. The positive impact of Golden Rule to promote interfaith harmony, co-existence and resolve violent conflict was shared and was well received by the participants.

After discussing various issues the participants affecting Somalia peace made a commitment to work actively for peace, harmony and stability in Somalia. The group consisted of: civil society members, religious leaders, elders, youth and Diaspora.

Sheikh Ahmed Sheikh Aden-dhere, who headed an armed religious group in the past called Ahlu-suna Waljamea, said: “Somalia is the most dangerous place of the world where religious violence exists”. He also said he was very glad to take part in this conference, and gave thanks to URI for organizing this timely meeting in Mogadishu.” Sheikh Ahmed is also a signed member of Roadmap.

All the participants supported the United Nations backed Roadmap of Somalia. URI Africa also expresses its full support for the Roadmap backed by the United Nations on ending the transition period which charts the major tasks which need to take place over the next nine months in Somalia. The four pillars of the Roadmap are – security, constitution, outreach and reconciliation, and good governance.

URI Africa joined the civil society in Somalia in their recommendation: to increase financial support, to implement security programs, respect the timeframe set for the Roadmap’s completion, establish a Constituent Assembly to provisionally endorse the Constitution, support the current efforts to reform Parliament, establish Reconciliation Committees, convene reconciliation conferences and enact anti-corruption legislation.