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Mudug-Peace Empowerment i Galkayo

Hassan Mohamud writes about his latest trip to Somalia, to support the Mudug-Peace Empowerment conference in Galkayo.

Since Ahmed Egal and I forgave each other and reconciled, we have committed ourselves to work for peace and forgiveness in Africa. The focus is mainly on the Horn of Africa and especially the town of Galkayo from which we both originate.

Ahmed and I sought guidance together and decided to work for spiritual transformation, that is, to focus on forgiveness. We have experienced that this can lead to healing and reconciliation where there are conflicts, threats, hatred and injustice. I continue to work for justice and self-awareness for change.

During May-June 2022, I was traveling in Somalia to establish contacts with members of Somalia's new government.

After 6 years of relative calm in the City of Galkayo, which is the capital of Mudug Region, it was time to continue to strengthen peace by supporting the peaceful forces that have been fighting for peace and reconciliation in Galkayo, but also to prevent a new wave of violence and conflicts which may arise in different ways in the future.

I have planned together with diaspora friends, who like me originate from the Mudug/Galkayo region, to prepare practical details of the conference. I went 3 weeks before the conference, which was from the 17th to the 30th of December 2022.

Unfortunately, the conference was postponed indefinitely, but it will take place early this year. There is now a war going on against the terrorist group Al-Shabab, which is linked to IS and Al-Qaeda. The newly elected President has ordered all civil servants, parliamentarians and ministers and civil society at large to join the war against Al-Shabab.

A few from the diaspora managed and still dared to come to the Mudug Region.

We were able to organize about 20 larger or smaller workshops, seminars and meetings during the period 23rd Nov to 17th Jan 2023, both in the countryside and inside the city of Galkayo.


It was a few days of leadership training through personal change with a focus on ethical leadership, reflection, and developing a culture of peace. We practised IofC's values with practical exercises where everyone had to take a look at their own life.

Here are some points/tools that I particularly emphasized:

  • I was able to share my forgiveness and reconciliation journey.
  • When do you feel that peace reigns in your heart?
  • To be committed to truth and justice for the sake of peace.
  • Willing to be patient at all times and in all situations.
  • Strive for openness, reason and moral purity.
  • You get peace of mind through impartiality and sincerity
  • The key to peace is listening more than talking and having regular quiet time.
  • To collaborate with others and to do things together with others instead of like now where everyone does things individually.

Members of the YPIF (Youth Peace Integration Forum) organized women's groups, men's groups and youth groups, including the clan leaders/religious leaders and militia groups. We organized more than 20 workshops to discuss what peace-based structures would look like to perpetuate peace and continue to deepen the peace process.
I reached around 600 people through various meetings and workshops: 30% men, 25% women and 45% young people.
I was very overwhelmed by these young people who have such inspiration to continue with this work. The situation remains fragile as the country faces new challenges, but there are also new opportunities and new hope.

An immediate result is that the leaders of YPIF asked for peace training and accepted my proposal to invite Peter Riddell to deliver some of the modules of the course "Qualities and Strategies of Peacemakers" based on IofC's films and tools. These will take place on Friday evenings for 8-12 weeks.

Future plans:
Al-Shabab is likely to be defeated this year. I will go down on several occasions to visit the liberated regions and areas, to help with the reconstruction by holding several dialogues and workshops.

I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to the Sylvia Zuber Fund and Iofc Sweden for supporting me in this work which I believe is very important for my home country

Workshop for mixed group. December 2022. Photo: Hassan
Hassan Mohamud