Part of the foundation of Somaliland’s stability over the last three decades has been its localized customary, clan-based peacebuilding mechanism. This may now be at risk. The ongoing institutionalization of Somaliland's peacebuilding structures through the National Peacebuilding Policy (NPP) reflects many features of a liberal peacebuilding milieu and legitimizes state-building models shaped by international development partners rather than local conflict resolution actors. This article posits that the key policy objective of institutionalizing the peace building in Somaliland threatens to undermine an existing and dynamic tradition with proven efficacy. Rather than promoting peace, the NPP's layering of government peacebuilding capacities at district, regional, and national levels could endanger peacemaking efforts by truncating local capabilities and hitching these to governmental structures reliant on external funding. Rather than retaining proven localized practices, this institutionalization undermines volunteerism, creates unnecessary costs for the state along with new opportunities for political clannism, extraversion, and rent seeking, which threatens to undermine what Somaliland has achieved thus far.
Key words: Somaliland, peace building, liberal peace building, conflict transformation.
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