Saturday, Jun 06, 2020

March 7, 2020 (Bishoftu, Ethiopia) The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Security Sector Program (SSP) successfully conducted a five days national training workshop in Ethiopia’s city of Bishoftu, with high level officials of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to contribute to the enhancement of institutional capacities in formulating and updating the national Security Sector Reform (SSR) Policy Framework. The training is conducted with the financial support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) through the IPPSHAR Programme that is being implemented by IGAD SSP and the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

The training was officiated by H.E. Tesfahun Gobezay Kinfie, State Minister and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia; Ms. Jocelyne Nahimana, the Senior SSR Officer of African Union (AU) and Mr. Daoud Alwan the Head of Counter Terrorism Pillar of IGAD SSP.  

In his opening remarks, H.E. Tesfahun stressed the need to assess and review the existing related national security policies (NSP) and Strategies; as well as respectively evaluating the implementation and key possible gaps.

The training was a follow up to the first IGAD SSR meeting held in September 2017 in Khartoum, Sudan. Accordingly, in this training workshop, the progress was reported on the development of the national policies to support initiatives to develop SSR strategies and plans for implementation at national level.  In additional, it leverages on their strengths and opportunities in improving the rule of law and security in relation to the implementation of the National Security Architecture (NSA) and to identify possible gaps.

The training also provided a platform for national and regional technical experts to jointly reflect on their priority areas identified in their National Security Policies and to further compare with the African Union and IGAD Peace and Security Policy Frameworks that have been formulated.  Hence, it explored ways through which IGAD, AU and UN can exercise their complementary roles and responsibilities to assist Ethiopia in the implementation of SSR strategies and initiatives.

The training was believed to be an opportunity to forge constructive dialogue, interaction, networking, and partnership between Ethiopian’s relevant institutions, IGAD, AU, African Security Sector Network (ASSN), DCAF’s International Security Sector Advisory Team (ISSAT) and Sub-Saharan Africa Division, in order to stimulate their collective thinking and perspectives besides widen their ability to the ongoing promising transition after the recently peaceful political changes in the IGAD region.

The participants were from the Parliament, Ministries of Justice, Peace and Defense, the Attorney General Office, Federal Police Force, NISS, INSA, Prison Administration and offices of the Prime Minister and National Security.

The training was officially closed by Commander Abebe Muluneh, Director of IGAD-SSP, where he thanked the Ethiopian Government for hosting this important training and appreciated the active participation by the delegates. Furthermore he uploaded the suggestions and recommendations by the participants on the on-going steps in formulating and updating the national SSR policy framework.  The participants received certificates acknowledging the successful participation of this timely training.

 Background

  • The IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) is a comprehensive regional program of IGAD, with a mandate that focuses on supporting Member States both operationally and in capacity building to combat regional and international terrorism activities; to enhance the capacity of states to deal with maritime security threats; to contain the intensity and impact of transnational organized crime; and to strengthen the capacity of security institutions.
  • The concept of SSR is a crosscutting issue across the areas of operation of IGAD SSP, which is intended to ultimately enhance the capacity of states in their provision of security with respect to the rule of law principles to empower regional coordination.
  • IGAD follows the UN Approach to the Rule of Law and SSR Assistance “...the rule of law is a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the State itself, are accountable to laws.
  • As part of IGAD SSP mandate support Member States in line with United Nations Security Council Resolution 2151 of 2014 on SSR which reiterates the “importance of coordination/collaboration between the different actors involved in supporting security sector reforms”, while recognizing the primacy of national ownership.

March 2, 2020 (NAIROBI, Kenya): The Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Dr Workneh Gebeyehu, today inaugurated the third IGAD-United Nations Conference along with the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa, Mr. Parfait Onanga-Anyanga, in Nairobi.

The two-day conference allows the stakeholders brought together including government, civil society, private sector, academia, media, and the academia to discuss challenges facing the region.

These stakeholders for peace are discussing strategic issues, the inputs will help national and regional efforts for peace and stability in the region, as the outcome of the deliberations will be owned by all stakeholders involved in peace building.

In his opening remarks, the Executive Secretary recalled that IGAD and its partners at the United Nations ‘have been working together to forge a strong partnership that delivers peace and security for our region’. ‘In 2015, IGAD Member States and the United Nations entered into a partnership agreement to coordinate peace and security initiatives in this region’, he said.

He appreciated the excellent progress that has been made so far ‘through the efforts of the Office of the Special envoy and the IGAD focal point’.

The joint tasks by the IGAD Peace and Security Division and the Office of the Special Envoy for the Horn of Africa are to:

  • Identify current issues in the region, which will contribute to ensuring sustainable peace;
  • Engage peace and security experts and practitioners to discuss current trends in peace building in Africa with special focus on the IGAD region; and
  • Ensure that government, CSOs, private sector, academia, and media are represented.

The overarching purpose of this initiative is to contribute to the on-going discussion and debate on peace and security developments in the Horn of Africa.

 

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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