At an event held at the United Nations Conference Centre in Addis Ababa and attended by delegates from Member State and diplomats, the Prime Minister of Somalia, Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, launched today the IGAD Security Sector Program (ISSP).
The ISSP outlines and integrates a wide range of initiatives around four mutually reinforcing result areas of; counter terrorism, organized crime; maritime security and security institutions capacity building.
The Prime Minister of Somalia H.E. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, who launched the IGAD Security Sector Program on behalf of IGAD, spoke about the security challenges in the region.
“Terrorism is not unique to Somalia; is not a Somali problem; is not a regional problem; it is a global phenomenon,” he said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that his country is in the first line of defence against terrorism and underscored the need to develop common strategy to tackle the issue.
The Prime Minister spoke about the biggest suicide bombing in Somali history on October 4, where AlShabab terrorist organization detonated truck laden with explosives into the front gate of a government compound killing more than 100 people and injured many more, mostly students who were there to check results of their scholarships.
“We lost over 82 students who were getting ready to go to scholarship to Turkey and other countries. This was huge loss to Somalia in terms of human capital and human resources,” said H.E. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.
Alshabab terrorist group also claimed the lives of medical graduate students, doctors and government officials in a suicide attack on December 3, 2009. “It is crucial for us to face this challenge and address this issue as much as we can” he said.
The Prime Minister also stressed the need to address the root causes of piracy.
“It is threat to global trade and it affected the livelihoods of many, particularly Somalis,” he said. “The solution of piracy doesn’t lie on the high seas. It lies inlands. The cause of piracy is lawlessness and poverty and as long as we don’t address the root cause it will be with us for the foreseeable future.”
The IGAD Security Sector Program replaces the IGAD Capacity Building Programme Against Terrorism (ICPAT) which achieved important milestones since its existence for six years. The signing of the IGAD Extradition and Mutual Legal Assistance Conventions and the strengthening of cross-border cooperation networks amongst law enforcement officials in IGAD states was an important milestone for ICPAT.
Speaking at the launch, H.E. Eng. Mahboub Maalim the Executive Secretary of IGAD said “ ICPAT has a lot to show for its contribution to peace and security in this region.”
The ambassador of Italy, H.E. Renzo Rosso, who is also the chairman of IGAD Partners Forum, welcomed the transformation ICPAT. “We, as partners, think security in this region is essential element of stability and development.” he said and pledged the support of IPF.
On IGAD Security Sector Program, which expands the scope of the ICPAT project, Eng. Mahboub Maalim said, “This is an indication that IGAD Member States are serious about the security of this region.”