Salvaging Somalia's Chance For Peace
On 27 October 2002, Somali political leaders gathered in the Kenyan town of Eldoret signed a new declaration that envisages an end to the protracted crisis in their country. After more than a decade as the only country in the world totally devoid of a functioning central government and no less than twenty unsuccessful national-level peace initiatives since 1991, the Eldoret Declaration has raised hopes that resolution of the Somali crisis may now be within reach. The ongoing process ? under the mandate of the East African regional organisation the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) ? represents a unique opportunity to restore governing institutions and move Somalia towards peace. The framework for the dialogue that is still needed is sound and comprehensive, most major political movements (with the exception of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland in the Northwest of the country) are represented, and key members of the international community have been closely engaged at every step.