Acts of Everyday Peace

Roger Mac Ginty, (2021) who authored “Everyday Peace: How So-called Ordinary People Can Disrupt Violent Conflict”, described everyday acts of peace as those acts conducted by local ordinary people to promote and preserve peace. These ordinary people like - individuals, families and small groups of friends and colleagues – can have a big impact in the local peacebuilding. In Somaliland these everyday acts of peace are expressed in different ways.

Somalis are born talkers. Every elder is expected to be able to hold an audience for hours on end with a speech richly laced by judicious proverbs and quotations from famous poems and sayings


Somali people are an oral society. They value and love poetry. Local poets often promote peace through poetry and the impact of their poetry is very effective. In a book edited by Rashiid Sheekh Cabdillaahi ‘Gadhweyne’, and published in 2009, which was titled “War and Peace: An anthology of Somali literature”, presents a number of historic Somali poems that preach peace. Here is an excerpt from the book;

War was waging between two communities, the Reer Daahir and Ahmed Faarah, who both belonged to the Nuuh clan (of the Habar Je’lo, Isaaq). Their war had gone on for a long time, and every person who tried to stop it did not succeed…. Then Salaan went among them going at one time to one and then to the other, making them hear the poem which has become famous called Oh Clansmen, Stop the War. (p.170)

In recent years, many young Somali adults both men and women, were authoring influential poems promoting peace. One of them is Yahye Yebash, a young Somali poet based in Hargeisa Somaliland.

Music & Drama:

In a 2010 report by ACCORD, the Somali novelist, playwright, journalist and scholar Mohamed Dahir Afrah contributed a section where he described the role of Music and Drama in Somali peacebuilding. Mohamed Dahir Afrah wrote;

Poetry has been the basis on which other forms of oral cultural expression have developed, such as Somali theatre which emerged in post-independence Somalia as an important art form in Somali urban life. Somali theatre, which incorporates drama, music, dance, visual arts and short-lined modern poetry, became the main medium of expression for artists prior to the civil war and played an important political role.

A play called Gaaraabidhaan (Glow Worm), staged in 1968 by the late playwright Xasan Sheikh Muumin, is believed to have inspired the military coup led by Siyaad Barre in 1969. Similarly, Landcruiser, a play by the late poet-playwright Cabdi Muxumed Amiin, staged at the National Theatre in Mogadishu in 1989, attacked the deeds of the Barre regime and is popularly believed to have hastened its downfall. After the playwright was arrested, a song of the same name articulating the play’s central idea became an instant hit, catching the growing mood of popular opposition to the government.” (Bradbury, & Healy, 2010, p.73)

Religious Preaching:

  • Local Imams usually preach the importance of peace in local mosques especially during the Friday Public Prayers. For example in Hargeisa, most Imams of the mosques coordinate with the government to strengthen the security and peace. These imams cite verses from the Quran and prophets sayings from the Hadith well-respected books of Hadith to encourage people to protect the peace, security, love each other and their neighbors and cooperate towards the common interest of the society. Also, the imams tell people to forgive and to not resort to violence when they feel being treated unfairly, but instead to seek justice through peaceful means.

    • Allah Does Not Forbid You From Those Who Do Not Fight You Because Of Religion And Do Not Expel You From Your Homes – From Being Righteous Toward Them And Acting Justly Toward Them. Indeed, Allah Loves Those Who Act Justly.” (Surah Al-Mumtahanah Chapter 60 Verse 8)

    • “And Spend In The Way Of Allah And Do Not Throw [Yourselves] With Your [Own] Hands Into Destruction [By Refraining]. And Do Good; Indeed, Allah Loves The Doers Of Good.” (Surah Al-Baqarah Chapter 02 Verse 195)

    • “Whoever Kills A Soul Unless For A Soul Or For Corruption [Done] In The Land – It Is As If He Had Slain Mankind Entirely. And Whoever Saves One – It Is As If He Had Saved Mankind Entirely.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah Chapter 05 Verse 32)


  • Every year a nation-wide football championship is conducted by the Somaliland Ministry of Youth and Sports. Football teams from all the regions and villages, from different clans and communities come together, interact, play and enjoy the experience. This creates bonds of friendship and tolerance and contributes to the peacebuilding process.

  • Other football clubs from different sections and neighborhoods of the same city also participate in a bi-annual football competitions.

  • Also some other youth play chess, video games and other games and interact and make friendships that heal clan reviliaries.


  • The Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies contributes to this as it provides affordable Masters and diplomas in peace and conflict studies. In their website the IPCS Institute describes its history in the following way;

  • "The Institute for Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) is a teaching and research center at the University of Hargeisa, Somaliland. It was established in 2008 by the University of Hargeisa and Eastern Mennonite University in the United States of America to provide a multidisciplinary approach to understand and address conflict and violence in the Horn of Africa. The Institute, was the first Institute of its kind to engage in teaching and research in the areas of peace and conflict studies, and remains the only one in the Somali-speaking region in the Horn of Africa. The IPCS provides interested scholars, institute members, and students with the opportunity to engage in intensive interdisciplinary study and research on Somaliland and Somali-inhabited regions in the Horn of Africa.

  • Within the context of this broad mission, the Institute envisages three interrelated divisions of its work: academic teaching, research, and outreach and development. Outreach activities take place both at a local and a community level in order to enhance the IPCS impact on stability at home and at the regional and international level. This engagement also acts to support the creation of extensive collaboration and mutual learning networks for peace and conflict research with the world’s leading universities."

  • The Somaliland Academy for Peace and Development is a think-tank which engages everyday peace. In their website, the APD describes itself in the following;

    • "The Academy for Peace and Development (APD) was established in 1998 as a research Institute in collaboration with Interpeace. APD is legally registered as an organization under the Ministry of National Planning and Development.

    • APD’s core activities have mainly focused on peace-building using Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodology. The organization has brought together representatives from different sectors of society to identify priorities in the process of rebuilding Somaliland. The Academy has been instrumental in facilitating dialogue on issues such as peace-building, and good governance.

    • APD is committed to promoting democracy and consensus decision-making at the policy level by encouraging and supporting the participation of citizens in the affairs of their lives. In this regard, the goal of the Academy is to empower Somali and communities to adopt peaceful changes by providing a neutral venue to identify their issues and set priorities for response.

      • To provide a neutral forum for dialogue and to create the opportunities to discuss and address development and reconstruction issues of common concern to Somaliland and society

      • To facilitate the process to collectively identify, set priorities, and formulate policy options for the challenges of development and rehabilitation of the country

      • To assist key stakeholders including—Somaliland and government, donor agencies, and local actors—to better respond to the challenges of rebuilding the nation by providing them with relevant information on critical issues, seeking consensus on their interventions, and facilitating their responses and effects

      • To stimulate action-driven change and achieve actionable change"