Saturday, Mar 28, 2020

13 June 2019, (Bishoftu, Ethiopia):  IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP), with support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IPPSHAR program, conducted a three days training on “Implementing Human Rights Standards in Preventing, Investigating, and Prosecuting Terrorism Cases” for all IGAD Member States on 10-12 June 2019 in Bishoftu, Ethiopia.

The IGAD region is a source, transit, and final destination of wide range of Transnational Security Threats (TSTs).  One of these threats is terrorism, which threaten all IGAD Member States. Faced with these threats and its consequences, States have a duty to protect individuals under their jurisdiction.  They are under the obligation to prevent terrorist acts and bring those responsible for them to justice.  In doing so, however, they must respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, as identified in the United Nations Global Counter Terrorism Strategy under Pillar IV.  Indeed respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are an essential element of any counter terrorism strategies. It is with this background in mind that this training was organized and undertaken.  The training made an in-depth discussion on the link between human rights and prevention, investigation, and prosecution while handling terrorism cases.  In addition, it explored and shared good practices among the Member States with their experiences and the roles they play on prevention, investigation, and prosecution of terrorism in line with international human rights standards.

The training was officially opened by Commander Abebe Muluneh, Director of IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP). Commander Abebe welcomed all the participants and expressed his appreciation to the Government of Ethiopia for hosting.  In his welcoming remark, he highlighted on the threat that terrorism poses on peace, human security, social and economic development, among others.  He further stressed the importance of human rights and the available international consensus through the United Nations Security Council Resolutions in relation to upholding human rights standards.  He reiterated the recent call of the Council underscoring that “effective Counter Terrorism measures and respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law are complementary and mutually reinforcing, and constitute an essential part of successful Counter Terrorism efforts”.

The overall objective of the training was to strengthen Member States’ capacity to effectively utilize and implement the international human rights standards in handling terrorism cases of prevention, investigation, and prosecution.  Specifically, the training aimed to contribute to:

  • familiarize practioners with fundamental human rights standards they are obliged to adhere to
  • explore the challenges that Member States face in balancing Counter Terrorism measures and respect to human rights and fundamental freedoms
  • make an in-depth analysis of international frameworks and compare it with the national and regional legal regimes
  • identify how acts of terrorism can be countered in ways that uphold human rights standards
  • explore how the international human rights framework is applicable in dealing with the terrorist threat, from addressing its causes, to dealing with its perpetrators, to protecting its victims, to limiting its consequences

About 35 representatives from all IGAD Member States drawn from relevant institutions such as the Police, Judiciary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Human Rights Commission and National Counter Terrorism Centers participated in this training.  Regional experts, namely; Dr. Dereje Zeleke, Assistant Professor at the Addis Ababa University, and Dr. Florence J. Simbiri, Professor at the University of Nairobi shared their experiences and facilitated the training through interactive discussions, case studies, and group work exercises that were believed to achieve the required result of the training. 

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29 May 2019 (Addis Ababa) Ethiopia: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s Peace and Security Division in collaboration with the IGAD Gender Unit kick-started a validation workshop on Developing and Implementing National Action Plans on United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR) 1325 and 1820 this morning at Best Western Hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The objective of the two-day workshop is to present the results of the study on the implementation of the UNSCRs 1325 and 1820 which are focused on women, peace and security to increase the visibility of gender in situations of armed conflict for the Member States’ inputs to be considered in the report.

The participants of this workshop are from institutions within IGAD Member States that have direct connection to the implementation of National Action Plans on UNSCR 1325 and 1820 as identified by the member states.

This workshop is conducted through the financial support of the IPPSHAR programme of the European Union.

The workshop is expected to be concluded on May 2019.

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27 May 2019 (Kampala) Uganda: The IGAD’s Mediation Support Unit (MSU) in its efforts to enhance the role and participation of women in the IGAD region and particularly from the Republic of South Sudan has organized a 3-day Training of Trainers workshop on Conflict Prevention and Mediation Processes in Kampala, Uganda.

 The Director of the Mediation Support Unit, Dr. Aleu Garang in his opening remarks gave an overview of the assessments that were undertaken in the Republic of South Sudan, Somalia and the Sudan in order to enhance the existing capacities and role of women in Conflict Prevention Management and Resolution (CPMR) under the framework of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325, and the resolutions thereafter to their inclusion in peace processes.

 Dr. Garang emphasized that the ToT is to enhance capacities of women in conflict prevention and mediation in order to increase their representation and participation on peace and security agenda linking to protection and participation concerns.

 “The training is to create a network of trained women in peace building and mediation as a way through which key women from different fields represented can reach other women at all levels including at the community level hence strengthening the multiplier effect” Dr. Garang went on to mention.

 Some of the topics to be covered during the training are; Understanding of Conflict in the Region and South Sudan; Conflict Analysis and Its Relevance in Dialogue, Negotiation and Mediation Processes; Conflict Response Spectrum; Approaches to Conflict, Conflict Resolution; Effective Negotiation and Mediation Strategies and Challenges to mention but a few.

 The MSU in partnership with the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) will also conduct trainings for women from Republic of Sudan and Federal Government of Somalia in order to address the gaps, findings and recommendations identified in the joint assessments.

 Background

 Some IGAD Member States in the Greater Horn of Africa such as Djibouti, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda have welcomed, developed and adopted National Action Plans for (NAPs) the implementation of UNSCR 1325 and 1820 and related decisions on empowering women's role and participation in peace processes.

 IGAD has continued to engage in initiatives for women to be included in discussions and sensitize women to promote their participation in peace processes, especially in the implementation of the resolutions and other peace-building frameworks to attain reduced risks, vulnerability and impacts on women in conflict even though addressing issues of women has continued to face significant barriers such as lack of funding and coordination mechanisms.

 The workshop is financially supported under the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) facilitated through the IPPSHAR Programme and technically supported by ACCORD.

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24 May 2019 (Nairobi), Kenya: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Committee of Ambassadors (COA) this morning reviewed and later endorsed the final provisions of the Protocol to the Agreement establishing IGAD on Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation in Nairobi, Kenya.

The Protocol to the Agreement establishing IGAD on Preventive Diplomacy and Mediation will serve as a main guide for member states to effectively, efficiently and transparently design interventions, deploy envoys or mediators and largely engage in conflict prevention, management and resolution in the region.

It is recalled that the Protocol was developed through a consultancy intervention which was provided for under the consideration of legal experts from the Member States.

A number of consultations with legal and technical experts from key institutions of the Member States preceded the endorsement of Protocol. A final review and discussion by the technical legal experts was held from May 22-23, 2019 where extensive views, suggestions and recommendations were incorporated leading to the endorsement by the Committee.

Consultations were used as mechanism for interface between legal experts, foreign affairs representation and now Committee of Ambassadors for member state ownership.

In the same meeting, the committee released resolutions on the bi-annual report of the Mediation Support Unit among them approving the IGAD Mediation Support Unit to establish mechanisms to strengthen and enhance mediation capacity of the IGAD member states and appreciated the valuable support of the IGAD Partners for providing continued support towards promoting peace, security and stability in the IGAD Region. 

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Attachments:
Download this file (Resolution of IGAD committee.PDF)Resolution of IGAD committee.PDF[ ]1137 kB2019-05-27 09:07

21 May 2019 (Nairobi) Kenya: The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Committee Ambassadors (COA) the last two days in Nairobi, Kenya were briefed by the Peace and Security Division (PSD) on various peace and security related matters as well as the implementation status of the IGAD Peace and Security Strategy of 2016-2020 as well as the processes and status of the EUTF with complimentary support of Austria, Sweden, and Netherlands funded program – IGAD Promoting Peace and Security in the Horn of Africa Region (IPPSHAR) and role of the Austrian Development Agency in implementing the program.

The Committee also got to review the draft Guidelines and Principles of the IGAD Governance Forum and the ambassadors requested for more time to review after which will be endorsed.

The Director of Peace and Security Division, Hon. Siraj Fegessa, in his opening remarks highlighted the challenges that are facing the region mainly the internal conflicts instigated by various reasons, the common transnational security threats and the external influences that are affecting the region.

Hon Fegessa also mentioned the positive changes that are happening in the region following the normalization of the relations between Ethiopia and Eritrea and the agreements in the region for more cooperation and collaboration. The Director stressed on the need to be guided by the policy organ to implement the peace and security strategy and also to build upon the on-going positive changes and contribute to the efforts of the member states.

The Chair of the IGAD Committee of Ambassadors, H.E Ambassador Abdulaziz Mohammed in his remarks also pointed out the key challenges that are affecting the agenda of economic integration of the IGAD countries.

He also stressed on the need to acknowledge the positive contribution of the bi-lateral relations in the region such as the relation between Ethiopia and Djibouti and also the existing relations between other IGAD countries as these bi-lateral relations contribute to broader agenda of the regional integration.  The Chair also emphasized on the need to work on the agenda of governance as lack of governance and democracy create basis for conflicts in the region. 

The Committee also recommended that internal synergy and harmonization of programs need to be enhanced by the different units under PSD through sharing information with the ambassadors for Member State engagement and involvement and where necessary regularize briefings on IPPSHAR and PSD to make efforts to mobilize resources for the post-war recovery as countries slide back to conflicts if they are not assisted during the period of transition to peace.

The Committee was also briefed on the challenges faced by the organization regarding the sustainability of human resources due the huge dependency on funding from partners under which it tasked the GAD Secretariat to handle by liaising with the Member States fto make regular and timely contributions to IGAD.

The Committee was also briefed on recommendations of the IGAD Member States’ focal persons from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs that were presented at the Peace and Security Division (PSD) annual review meeting and briefing about IPPSHAR in March 2019.

It was recommended by the Committee that more awareness of the processes of IPPSHAR needs to be done at both technical and policy level in the Member States with a clear strategy for sustainability through activity linkages with similar institutions of the member states. 

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