Horn of Africa Bulletin, Volume 22, No. 4, APRIL 2010
Peacebuilding in Somalia - continued role of the grassroots communities
Beneath the apparent homogeneity at the national level, the Somali society remains divided, not only by social and occupational stratifications, differences between urban and rural sectors, but also by clan forms of social organization to which Somalis belong. Without getting into details of the conflict, the current situation is that the country is still going through a deep crisis with a socio-political and economic fabric completely destroyed by almost two decades of armed conflict. The internationaliza¬tion of the conflict (e.g. piracy and perceived threats of terrorism) together with the multiple stakeholders interests are reasons behind the endless search for peace in this country.
John Paul Lederach describes conversation which took ''place between two Somali friends over how the house of peace should be built in their war-torn home¬land''. One argued that ''the head needed to be established in order for the body to function. The other suggested that the foundation of the house had to be laid if the roof was to be held up'' (Lederach, 37, 1999). He continues to argue that two opposite theories are derived from this conversation about how to ''understand and approach the peace building within a population. Using a mixed metaphor from the same conversation, one argued that peace is built from the top down; the second sug¬gested that it is constructed from the bottom up''
"Constructing a peace process in deeply divided societies and situations of inter¬nal armed conflict requires an operative frame of reference that takes into considera¬tion the legitimacy, uniqueness, and interdependency of the needs and resources of the grassroots, middle range, and top level"( Edwards, 8, 2008). The same is true when dealing with specific issues and broader systemic concerns in a conflict. More specifically, an integrative, comprehensive approach points towards the functional need for recognition, inclusion, and coordination across all levels and activities. This confirms what Spreitzer says when he argues that, ''stakeholder theory moves managerial action toward a more external focus beyond stockholders to key strategic stakeholders - that is, anyone who can affect or is affected by the achievement or the activities of an organization" (Spreitzer, 1079, 2007)