Wednesday, January 28, 2004


SONYO conducted an education discussion about the role of youth in peace building and development. The key topics discussed during the session were:

1. How politicians and community leaders use the youth in times of campaigns and situations involving the nation's security.
2. How youth are used in times of conflict and clan-based wars.

The debate-discussion is a part of a weekly session of youth leaders from various parts of the region to sharpen SONYO's position on issues affecting the youth and Somaliland.

Objectives of these debates are:
(1) To promote the role of youth in peace building and development
(2) To increase the youth's understanding about their responsibilties in keeping peace and security
(3) To enhance the youth's participation in development issues, decision-making and peace building

As part of the discussion, participants were made to recollect the role of the youth in Somaliland's history. This was made by discussing the role and experience of UFFO, a group of young professionals and students who were arrested and imprisoned by the Siad Barre dictatorship while advocating for change.

The arrest, imprisonment and torture of the members of UFFO galvanized support from the massive population of youth and students who went out to demonstrate against the Siad Barre dictatorship. As a result, hundreds of students were arrested, physically harassed resulting to deaths of some student demonstrators.

To remember the sacrifice and vigilance of the youth and students during that time and to recognize the role of UFFO members in the fight against the dictatorship SONYO will:

(1) Work to make February 22, the day of the demonstration and arrests the Somaliland Youth Day.
(2) Work to further increase the awareness of the young generation today on their role as catalysts for change and to increase their understanding about their role in development and preserving peace.

posted at 10:05 AM by SONYO

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SONYO youth umbrella is a membership-based coalition of 32 organizations from Hargeisa, Awdal, Togdheer, Sahil, Sool and Sanaag regions of Somaliland. It takes its identity as an umbrella with members coming from youth local non-governmental organizations, associations, community based organizations, student committees in universities, educational institutes, colleges and secondary schools.

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