Compiled by the editors from an original paper by
Zeynab Mohammed Hassan with additional information
provided through interviews with Noreen Michael Mariano,
Shukri Hariir Ismail and Amina Yusuf


War affected the north west of Somalia from the early 1980s. The armed struggle against the Siad Barre regime ended in 1991 when the dictator was forced from power and the Somali state collapsed. As civil war expanded in the south, in May 1991 the SNM called a conference of clans in the north west. Held in Burao and attended by the clan elders this conference ended hostilities, established a framework for peaceful co-existence and resulted in the declaration of independence of Somaliland from the south.

This chapter presents first-hand accounts by women peace activists of their attempts to end the intra-clan conflicts that subsequently broke out in Somaliland within the major clan group, the Isaq. This was a period of great insecurity: the outbreak of wars between members of the same clan family came as a huge shock to many who had imagined that the fighting was over.