Friday, Jun 05, 2020

10.02.2020 – Entebbe (Uganda) – The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Mediation Support Unit (MSU) is convening a 5-day training for over 35 Roster Experts from the IGAD region to enhance their capacity on effective mediation processes, process design, and effective negotiation and mediation skills in Entebbe, Uganda.

The Roster of technical Experts is one of the key structures developed by MSU to enhance the Normative capacity of IGAD and that of its Member States.

The training is expected to explore terminologies, concepts, context and work of mediation structures discussing at length the relevant international and continental legal instruments, guidelines, and good practices on preventive diplomacy and mediation as well as peace and security.

During the opening session the A.g. Director of MSU Dr. Aleu Garang highlighted that the maiden training with the roster experts is to equip them as regional experts on mediation should they be called upon.

“Our being here is to get you ready and be “on the go’ should the region require of your skills, experience and expertise. The IGAD region and Africa as a whole need mediation for regional peace at regional and local levels” Dr. Garang went on to say.

The participants will through the training be able to identify and employ mediation tools in the different phases of a mediation process to deal with spoilers and deadlocks and also be able to identify and employ tools to get to successful peace agreements, including the design of an inclusive peace process and gender specific elements.

The workshop aims to provide an opportunity for the technical experts to share their experiences, best practices and lessons learned in mediation, peace building and mediation support structures.

Preventive diplomacy and mediation remain and continue to be key components of the MSU in order to support activities for capacity development, development and dissemination of mediation guidelines, guidance, exchange of lessons learned and best practices in conflict prevention, peace-building, democracy, good governance, human rights and elections.

The training is being funded by the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) through the IPPSHAR Programme and being facilitated Ms Florence Mpaayei, a consultant with Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations.

 

On the 5th of February 2020 (DJIBOUTI, Djibouti):, IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) concluded the National training for Somalia Imams’ on disengagement, deradicalization, rehabilitation, and reintegration (DDRR) approaches to counter terrorism in Djibouti at IGAD Head Quarter. The training was held between 26 January and 05 February 2020. The overall objectives of Imams’ training are building the capacity of Islamic leaders (Imams’) on Disengagement, Deradicalization, Reintegration, and Rehabilitation (DDRR) approaches to counter terrorism, Al Shabaab and other terrorist fighters, and youth at risk of recruitment to terrorist and extremist forces. The training is financed by the government Japan as a continuous support for a series of training for Somalia, which were held in Jig Jiga, Djibouti, Dire Dawa and Kismayo for Somali nationals that consists of youths, religious leaders, clan leaders, public officials, civil society organizations and other related stakeholders. The training officially closed by Commander Abebe Muluneh, Director of IGAD SSP and officially H.E Omar Farouk Abdelaziz Osman Director General Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs.

H.E. Omar Farouk Abdelaziz Osman Director General at the Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs (MERA) has appreciated the role of IGAD in combating terrorism and violent extremism in Somalia and thanked the Government of Japan for generous funding to the effort of counter terrorism in Somalia and in the IGAD region. He also stressed the brotherly hospitality of the people and the government of Djibouti especially excellent leadership of H.E. Ismail Omar Gulleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti. He also appreciated the role of the four experts those who have nourished the thinking capacity and the ability of the Imams’ during the course of the training. He further stressed that it is necessary to revise and review all existing strategies and to produce Somali owned strategies under the MERA since terrorists almost took advantage of misinterpreted religious principles.

Mr. Omar reported that the MERA has already implemented orientations in Somalia through using different types of media and urge IGAD to support implementing of more community mobilization to correct the misinterpreted Islamic Principles. The Director General finally thanked the IGAD Security Sector Program effort, the role of the facilitators, and the dedication of participants for using their time in very organized and disciplined manner that added value to prevent and counter terrorism effort of the Federal Government of Somalia.  

In his Closing Speech, Commander Abebe Muluneh thanks the government of Japan for their continuous generous financial support to the disengagement, deradicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR) approach of counter terrorism in Somalia. He also acknowledges the government of the republic of Djibouti for the unlimited and unreserved hospitality to the training participants. He further appreciated the contribution of IGAD Secretariat to the success of the training, which is immensely incalculable. In his Closing Speech Commander Abebe emphasized that Islam is submission and adherence to the commands of Allah without objection. This is the true essence of Islam. By obeying Allah and observing His Commands, Muslims would be in harmony with the universe in which they live, for everything in this universe abides by the commands of Allah. It is an established fact that everything in the Universe follows certain rule, and an unalterable law to which it submits; the sun, the moon, the stars, the night, the day, the land, the trees, and the beasts; all submit to a rule which Allah, the Creator has designated for all these things. 

He further stressed that the six articles of faith in Islam (1) belief in one God, (2) belief in the Prophets of God, (3) belief in Divine Books, (4) belief in the day of judgement, (5) belief in Angels and (6) belief in destiny and fate (qadr). In Islam, worship is part of daily life and is not limited to mere rituals. Islamic practices center around (1) Daily prayers, (2) Giving to the poor (Zakat), (3) Fasting during the month of Ramadan, and (4) Participating in the Hajj at least once during one’s lifetime. These practices could influence health by helping people to relax and by decreasing materialistic thinking. Finally, the real and true teachings of Islam need to be understood and Counter those who provide the wrong and misinterpretation of the religion. Since the role of Imams are strongly significant, he strongly urges the Imams’ for their unlimited and unreserved engagement and involvement on DDRR approaches to counter terrorism. Finally, the training participants came up with detail statement on the way forward on how to implement the agreed points.

 

 

3.02.2020 – Juba (South Sudan): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Mediation Support Unit (MSU) is conducting Training of Trainers Workshop for women from Sudan’s Nuba Mountains and Blue Nile regions –with the aim of equipping this group with skills and knowledge on preventive diplomacy and mediation.

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Jan.27,2020 (DJIBOUTI-VILLE,DJIBOUTI):IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) is commencing the National training for Somalia Imams’ on disengagement, deradicalization, rehabilitation, and reintegration (DDRR) approaches to counter terrorism in Djibouti at IGAD Head Quarter. It will be conducting between 26 January and 05 February 2020. The training is financed by the government Japan as a continuous support for a series of training for Somalia, which were held in Jig Jiga, Djibouti, Dire Dawa and Kismayo for Somali nationals that consists of youths, religious leaders, clan leaders, public officials, civil society organizations and other related stakeholders. The training is welcomed by Commander Abebe Muluneh, Director of IGAD SSP and officially opened by H.E Sheikh Nur Mohamed Hassan Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs.

In his welcoming remark, Commander Abebe Muluneh emphasized that Islamic values are closer to human nature, and are complimentary to his/her moral and spiritual evolution. The fundamental Islamic norms and values provide effectiveness and solidarity among the community, establishment and development; the values and philosophy stipulate a particular social constitution and interpersonal associations; taking temperance, restraint, harmony, serenity, forgiveness, and calmness as its fundamental principle as against hostility, antagonism and vengeance. He underscored that Islam makes firm love and brotherhood in the structure of society and puts forward the necessity of union and unity. It rejects decisive movements, which destroy the common values and sincerity between members of society, like tribalism, racialism, and negative nationalism.  The real and true teachings of Islam need to be understood and Counter those who provide the wrong and misinterpretation of the religion. Since the role of Imams are strongly significant, he strongly urges the Imams’ unlimited and unreserved engagement and involvement on DDRR approaches to counter terrorism.

E. Sheikh Nur Mohamed Hassan thanked to IGAD for conducting this crucial training for the Imams’, which will contribute the efforts of the peacekeeping mission of AMISOM & national military operations in the ground. The Minister mentioned that terrorists use youth in Somalia to foster perverted ideology in order to achieve their evil interests based on vandalism and violence. He further mentioned that It’s crucial to mention the sacrifice & tireless effort of our military & AMISOM forces those have spent their blood in fighting against Al Shabaab & Da’esh; but these efforts will succeed if Imams’ take their role to raise the religious awareness of mislead youngsters used by the terrorist groups. He hoped that this training will add value in the future national strategies for preventing & countering terrorism. H.E told to training participants that after completion of this training you are supposed to contribute significant contribution to the: 

  1. Correcting terrorist ideology,
  2. Youth education, and
  3. Implement community mobilization in mosques, He has also mentioned the efforts of religious teachings done by the ministry for the past 3 years.

The political crisis in Somalia has become an opportunity for breeding of terrorist groups to establish a base, recruit terrorists and mobilize resources. The Somali Al-Qaida affiliate called Harakaat Al-Shabaab Al-Mujaahidiin) has been arguably the deadliest terrorist group in the greater Horn of Africa. Al Shabaab has lost important urban territories pushed by AMISOM and Somali Security Forces reducing its capability to mobilize resource including recruits. However, it  still control considerable territories in rural areas and has managed to stage successful serious attacks in Somalia and across borders and disseminating its extreme radical narratives that attracted supporters and sympathizers among vulnerable youth groups – less educated, unemployed and those who have grievances. IGAD’s ongoing interventions in building capacity of Somali state and non-state actors on counter radicalization, violent extremism lead to terrorism have proved that the role of community leaders, religious scholars, civil society organizations, local communities and families in collaboration with relevant government bodies is detrimental in the disengagement, deradicalization, rehabilitation and reintegration (DDRR) of AS fighters and its leaders, vulnerable groups and returnees.

The overall objectives of Imams’ training are building the capacity of Islamic leaders (Imams’) on DDRR approaches to counter terrorism, Al Shabaab and other terrorist fighters, and youth at risk of recruitment to terrorist and extremist forces.

The two weeks training will focus on topics like: role of IGAD to CT, IGAD PCVE Strategy, conceptualization of DDRR, Understanding terrorist ideologies, the role of Islamic concepts and fundamental principles, community based engagement initiatives, polices affecting the disengagement and reintegration, programs aimed at counter radicalization, targeting radical ideology, understanding the character and course of social movements, religious ideology mechanically causes terrorism, deradicalization as the social and psychological process, effective method of countering the threat of extremism and terrorism, ideologically reformed through deradicalization, deradicalization programs, how to challenge terrorists’, ideologies, narratives and messaging through religious dialogue and proper Islamic teachings, softening views and objectives using terrorism are illegitimate; immoral; and unjustifiable, alternative solutions on youth populations to be addressed in economics; education; and religion, short and long term rehabilitation programs, and possible recommendation for future engagement and the way forward.

23.01.2020 (NAIROBI, KENYA): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) staff of the Peace and Security Division and all other program offices are meeting in Kenya’s capital Nairobi to review the implementation of the Peace and Security Strategy of 2019 and to chart ways forward through internal and external coordination, synergies and enhanced partnerships in 2020.

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