Friday, Jun 05, 2020

17 January 2020, Entebbe-Uganda - The IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP), with support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) administered by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IPPSHAR program conducted a three days regional Training of Trainers (ToT) on “Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) Safety and Security for IGAD Member States” held on 15-17 January 2020 in Entebbe, Uganda.

The threat posed by the proliferation of CBRN as weapons of mass destruction (WMD) emerged as a very real and serious danger to global peace and security. There is ample evidence that non-state actors, in particular terrorist organizations, actively seek out these deadly weapons. Certainty, wherever terrorist organizations try to acquire or use WMD, the consequences of such an attack would be horrific and global. As a must, it is of the utmost importance to keep these deadly weapons and their precursor materials beyond the reach of non-state actors. The ongoing technology development has accelerated manufacturing of conventional weapons and on the other hand might make easy access to nuclear, chemical and biological weapons; particularly with the existing terrorist groups in IGAD region; which constitutes a real security threat to the globe, continent and IGAD region as well.  The development, production, stockpiling, acquisition, transfer and use of chemical and biological weapons have long been prohibited under international law. Though, a recent growing danger could be an easy know-how manufacturing of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, and their means of delivery, which might pose another emerging threat to regional security.  

This event is the first level training from the general structural three-level process (first-level, middle-level, and advanced- level) on how to teach Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Safety and Security with main goal of enhancing institutional capacities of IGAD Member States to address CBRN, specifically through potential trainers on chemical and biological safety & security. The specific objectives of this training of trainers’ workshop was to give new trainers the background knowledge, skills and practical experience to provide training and technical assistance, to build and strengthen the capacity of the potential Trainers/instructors on the best ways to deliver training materials, and to discuss some possible security threats of CBRN Weapons, with providing general guidelines that IGAD MSs may draw upon on a technical basis in order to enhance their preparedness to protect their populations against CBRN risks.

The training brought together 25 technical security experts with CBRN scientists, security, and medical personnel that have the essential knowledge and skills for trainers who would be able to deliver this respective training to other relevant trainees at the national and regional level.

Regional experts with vast experience on the subject matter facilitated the sessions through interactive powerpoint presentations, group works, reflection on experience, small group discussion, brainstorming session and demonstrations with four stages approach.  The participants were divided into 4 groups: C, B, R dealing with Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear, respectively for a more focused discussion.

Participants at the end appreciated the content, methodology and approach of the training and expressed their readiness to be able trainers in their respective fields.   The Training of Trainers was concluded whereby participants were awarded with certificates recognizing their participation.

The next phases of this project will continue with the mid-level and advanced-level training on CBRN Safety and Security will be conducted in the near future subsequently.

 

17.12.2019 – Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - The fourth IGAD Partners have today toured IGAD Offices in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia with an aim of enhancing partnership relations with more clarity on the works of IGAD and the supports provided by the partners.

Hon. Siraj Fegessa, the Director of the Peace and Security Division (PSD) briefed the partners on the overall peace and security strategic intervention areas along with interventions by the Heads of Programs.

The discussions were focused on IGAD’s role in the peace processes in South Sudan and Somalia as well as the potential changes anticipated due to the new leadership at IGAD.

In attendance were partners representing the European Union, Germany, USA, Switzerland, Netherlands, Sweden Australia, South Korea, Russia, Luxemburg, Norway, Finland and Italy.

12 December 2019, Djibouti: The IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) has successfully concluded a three-days regional training for Port (air, water, and land) Authorities in ‘Detecting, Identifying and Intercepting suspected terrorists and Foreign Terrorist Fighters on border crossing points’ with the objective to enhance institutional capacities of the IGAD Member States. The training was intended particularly to enhance the capabilities of port authorities in the IGAD region in effective mechanisms using biometric data and other traveler identification systems on how to detect, identify and intercept suspected terrorists and FTFs when such individuals attempt to enter into/exit from, or transit through borders of IGAD Member States.

 The topics covered included:

  • Basic technical frameworks of biometrics and biometric data
  • Good practices in border security management (BSM) in countering terrorism
  • UN Compendium of recommended practices for the responsible use and sharing of biometrics in counter-terrorism
  • Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) Phenomenon
  • Traveler Identifications systems, travel documents, and identifying fraudulent travel documents
  • International legal instruments and member state obligations in preventing and disrupting travels of foreign terrorist fighters, and the use and sharing of biometric data
  • INTERPOL’s perspectives (tools and capabilities, . . .) in detecting, identifying and disrupting travels of suspected terrorists and FTFs

The training was conducted by senior officials and experts represented by, and in collaboration with, the United Nations Center for Counter Terrorism (UNCCT), the INTERPOL - East Africa Regional Bureau, and Austability.

In this training, all member states were represented with the total of 30 delegates (of which four were women) - officials and frontline officers from immigration, port authorities, border security law enforcement/border police, and national intelligence.

One of the objectives of the IGAD Security Sector Program is enhancing institutional and human capacities of Member States and IGAD to effectively address emerging, evolving, and existing transnational security threats (EEE-TSTs) in order to contribute to regional peace and stability, and foster enabling environment for regional integration and development of the sub-region, under which this training was conducted.

The training was conducted with the financial support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IPPSHAR Programme. 

 

 

Dec. 11, 2019 (ENTEBBE, Uganda): The Ministers of Gender and women Affairs together with responsible for Peace/Security/Defence from Member States of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) convened today in Entebbe in order to follow up the outcomes from their 7th Ministerial meeting held in Khartoum, Sudan on 6th December 2018 and to discuss issues of Women in Peace and Security.

The Ministerial meeting held in Entebbe focused on gauging progress towards implementation of commitments to the UN Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) 1325 and 1820 and subsequent relevant resolutions. IGAD adopted a Regional Action Plan on UNSCRs 1325 & 1820 in 2013 and four IGAD Member States have National Action Plans in this regard (Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti, and South Sudan). Issues related to the IGAD Women in Peace and Security Forum (IWPSF) were also discussed.

The Ministerial meeting was preceded by a two-day technical meeting during which Experts from Member States Ministries responsible for women/gender affairs deliberated on women, peace and security issues in the region and prepared recommendations which were presented to the Ministers for endorsement.

Other participants at the ministerial meeting included IGAD focal points from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, the United Nations, RJMEC and IWPSF.

The Minister of State for Gender and Culture Affairs of Uganda, Hon. Peace Regis Mutuuzo, opened the meeting. She called upon all participants and partners ‘to reflect and pick lessons, and recommendations from the implementation [of UNSCRs UNSCRs 1325 and 1820] so that we consolidate on the successes and address the bottlenecks registered’.

‘When women are taken on board in negotiating peace and in deciding peace agreements, the peace lasts longer’ Senior Program Coordinator at the Peace and Security Division of IGAD, Mrs. Legawork Assefa, recalled as one of the outcomes of a review of the 15 years of implementation that was done five years ago.

The overall objective of the Ministerial meeting was to draw attention to the topic of women and peace and security and secure informed commitments of the Member States to the agenda. This meeting also informed the Member States on the essential tools that are already in place to accelerate implementation processes in regards to their commitments on a regional basis.

The major areas that were discussed during the one-day meeting were:

  • The overall Peace and Security trends in the Horn of Africa;
  • Results of the assessment of the UNSCR 1325 and 1820 implementation in the IGAD region; and
  • The IGAD Women, Peace and Security Forum (IWPSF).

The Ministers issued a resolution at the closing of the meeting.

This meeting was conducted with the financial support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) administered by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IGAD Promoting Peace and Stability in the Horn of Africa Region (IPPSHAR) Programme.

 

 

 

7 December 2019, Entebbe-Uganda - The IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP), with support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) administered by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IPPSHAR program conducted a five days regional training on “Cyber/Digital Evidence/Forensics on Counter Terrorism Investigation and Prosecution” held on 3-7 December 2019 in Entebbe, Uganda.

Terrorism with its ever changing and evolving nature is one of the serious Transnationl Security Threats (TSTs) that affects the region.  Terrorists and their networks are becoming transnational with cells and members scattered across borders who use various forms of technology to coordinate and communicate their activities.  The Internet, various technology and Social Media are used to facilitate terrorist activities, such as recruitment, communications, radicalization, training, financing, incitement, preparation, planning, and collection information through secret chat rooms, encrypted Internet messages boards, fake email accounts, mobile applications, among others.  These has called for more comprehensive approach to counterterrorism by understanding the role Information, Communication, and Technology (ICT) plays and utilized by terrorists.  Cyber Terrorism is a real threat that may use the available infrastructure through cyber space, in which terrorist could apply directly or indirectly.  In this regard, digital forensics is one of the tools to identify the source of these attacks requiring knowledge, expertise, and experience in investigation and prosecution of terrorism cases.  Evidence in terrorism cases can sometimes be huge in volume, encrypted or in a foreign language, classified or located in a conflict zone, or technically so complex that it requires forensic or technological experts.  Due to the complex and sophisticated nature of terrorism cases, it is important to have dedicated response from relevant officials who are involved in tracking terrorists and bringing them to justice. 

It is with this background in mind and as part of its effort to enhance the capacity of IGAD Member States that this training was undertaken.  The overall objective of the training was to equip trainees with an advanced knowledge and practical skills on handling and managing digital evidence/forensics through the investigation processes and prosecution of terrorism cases.  In addition, it aimed at strengthening the cooperation and coordination among the relevant agencies at various levels.

The guest of honor, Commander Abebe Muluneh - Director of IGAD SSP, in his opening and closing remarks emphasized the importance of having the capability in dealing with digital evidence and the overall cybercrime dynamism.  He said that “due to the increasing complexity of terrorism cases, successful prosecution in terrorism cases requires intense coordination during the investigation phase related to the gathering of evidence and on the use of general or specific investigative tools available”.  He continued “...considering the transnational and trans regional threat of terrorism, strengthening law enforcement and judicial cooperation between States is crucial”. He further urged IGAD Member States “...to streamline law enforcement and judicial cooperation on the principle of aut derere aut judicare…”.  He indicated that “...IGAD Member States have to engage in enabling the use of procedural protective measures, adopting a tailored, flexible, and comprehensive approach to questioning, assisting and protecting witnesses, assisting persons processing sensitive or classified information to testify, establishing witness protection programs, and strengthening the use of expert witness in court”.

A total of 28 practitioners from the relevant institutions of Member States participated in the training bringing together vast experience from their respective expertise, which were believed to highly contribute to the training contents.  The participants were drawn from the Police, Ministry of Justice, Judiciary, Information Security Agency, Counter Terrorism Center, Ministry of ICT, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Defense, Intelligence Units, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Cyber Crime Unit, Criminal Investigation, among others. 

Subject matter experts from and out of the region with extensive work experience shared their experiences and facilitated the sessions through presentations, interactive discussions, group exercise (table top, scenarios, case studies).  The experts were Dr. Mehari G. Msgna and Mr. Dessalegn H. Kinane of the Information Network Security Agency of Ethiopia, Dr. Kinfe Yilma- an assistant professor of Law at the Addis Ababa University, Chief Inspector Julius Cheruiyot from Kenya Department of Criminal Investigations.  Mr. Fernando P. Mendoza from the United Nations Counter Terrorism Center (UNCCT) Cybersecurity unit has also facilitated and presented on the training.  In addition, experts from the US, namely Ms. Jessica Milla Schutzman (Bureau Chief-Financial Crimes for District Attorney’s Office in New York State), and Mr. John Bridge (Director of Financial Crimes Technology at Trust Stamp) who are facilitators through the Attorney General Alliance African Alliance Partnership (AGA-AAP) have contributed to the training.

 The topics covered during the five days were the following.  These topics have been extensively discussed and it was believed to have contributed to the overall objective.

  • Cybercrime and Cyberterrorism - concepts, definitions, terminology, types, threats
  • Cyber/digital evidence/forensics - identification, preservation, collection, analysis, classification, comparison/examination, interpretation)
  • Information security and current hacking trends
  • Protection of key infrastructure from terrorist cyber attacks
  • The insider threat - radicalization of cyber security personnel
  • Terrorist investigation using the Internet and Social Media, open source intelligence (OSINT)
  • Legal instruments at various levels on handling cybercrime, digital evidence, mutual legal assistance
  • Investigation of digital evidence - collection and examination - tools, processes, techniques, phases and processes
  • Identification, interpretation of digital evidence - authorization, access, understanding, preserving, etc
  • Analysis of digital evidence - tools, classification/categorization, examination/evaluation
  • Presentation and documentation of digital evidence - converting to understandable versions with explanations without tampering the value and meaning of the evidence
  • Digital evidence in effective prosecution - understand, defend and proof.

Participants at the end appreciated the content, methodology and approach of the training whereby they requested IGAD to continue to provide such kind of on-hand training that will help them build their and their institutional capacity.  They came up with a way forward with clear recommendations of the training. 

At the end of the training program, the Director of IGAD SSP - Commander Abebe, thanked the Government of Uganda for hosting, the EU and ADA for their financial support, the staff of IGAD SSP, and the participants for their respective role in the successful completion of this timely training.  Participants received a certificate of completion meant to serve as a recognition of their participation of the training.

 

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