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Internally Driven Post-War Reconstruction and Development: The Case of Somaliland

S Heleta


Since the end of the Cold War, the remedy offered to war-torn countries by the international community has consisted of approaches and processes that focus exclusively on external actors and experts creating stability and institutions, building peace and working on economic reconstruction and development.  However, to this day, external actors have not been able to build ‘positive peace’ in any post-war country despite the extensive financial and technical help and support from donors and international organisations. Through the case of Somaliland, this paper will show that when given a chance, local actors and their  initiatives can lead to peace, stability, reconstruction, the establishment of functioning institutions and the consolidation of a multi-party democracy. In post-war settings, local actors, voices and ideas need to be allowed to come to the fore and meaningfully contribute to the rebuilding and reconstruction of their societies. Locals need to take the lead when it comes to designing and driving post-war recovery processes and interventions and deciding what kinds of socio-economic and political systems are built in their  countries. Instead of imposing their visions, ideas and blueprints, external actors need to work with local actors and complement their efforts.

Keywords: war, conflict, peace, post-war reconstruction, development, liberal peace, Somaliland, Somalia, Africa