September 22, 2022 (JUBA, South Sudan): The IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) has successfully conducted a Regional Training Workshop on Security Sector Reform (SSR) and Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) Policy Frameworks. The workshop was intended to enhance the institutional capacities of the IGAD Member States, particularly in those countries emerging from armed conflicts, in formulating and updating their national SSR and DDR-related strategies, leveraging on strengths and opportunities to improve the rule of law.
IGAD Security Sector Program (IGAD SSP) was established pursuant to the regional peace and security strategy to address Transnational Security Threats (TSTs). The overall objective of IGAD SSP is to promote and strengthen regional and national capacities to predict better, prevent and counter TSTs, thereby contributing to regional peace and stability in the IGAD region. The IGAD SSP is also mandated to include SSR and DDR capacity-building measures to address the security threats and challenges and specifically to support its Member States in the post-conflict reconstruction settings.
IGAD SSP aligns its SSR efforts per the UN definition, which describes “SSR as a process of assessment, review, and implementation as well as monitoring and evaluation led by national authorities that have as its goal the enhancement of effective and accountable security for the State and its people without discrimination and with full respect for human rights and the rule of law,” which aims at improving safety through enhancing the effectiveness and accountability of security institutions controlled by civilians and operating without discrimination and with full respect for human rights and the rule of law.
IGAD SSP has been facilitating and conducting a number of workshops on SSR and DDR at both national and regional levels. In technical contexts that included defense, police, justice and corrections, disaster management and border, customs and immigration services, as well as customary and traditional security providers to address strategic security sector governance, management, and oversight aspects, based on the particular needs and conditions of the Member States.
This 3-day Regional Training brought together about 31 senior policy/decision-makers and high-level practitioners, experts, and focal points drawn from national security institutions related to SSR and DDR strategies, good governance, and civilian oversight in IGAD MSs. This comprises parliamentary, security, and justice sectors, including the Police, Interior Affairs Ministry, National Security and Intelligence Service, Military, and Defense. In addition to the National DDR Commissions and National Defector Rehabilitation Programs, which play a direct role in SSR and DDR at both legislative and operational levels.
The workshop has been enriched by resource persons from the region, AU, and from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), who reflects on the continental and global experiences.
On behalf of H.E Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, Executive Secretary of IGAD; Commander Abebe Muluneh Beyene, the Director of IGAD SSP, delivered the Opening Speech and expressed his sincerest gratitude to the Government of South Sudan for hosting the regional training. He congratulated the Government for the significant step in the unified armed forces and thanked the European Union and ADA for their generous support towards this regional event. Furthermore, he expressed his appreciation to the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) for technically supporting this event and the previous engagements.
Commander Abebe reaffirmed the lead role of national authorities in developing an inclusive national vision for security sector reform, which takes into account the full, equal, and meaningful participation of the public, including women and youth. He emphasized an integral part of national ownership and leadership of the SSR process. Also, he concluded by conveying the message that “a successful integrated Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) aims to support the transformation of individuals from combatants to civilians and societies from conflict to peace.
On behalf of the host country, South Sudan, Col. PSC Makur Akec Chong of the South Sudan People’s Defense Force warmly welcomed the participants to the critical regional meeting in Juba and thanked IGAD SSP and other partners for organizing the timely regional training for all IGAD countries generally and for his country, South Sudan in particular.
Furthermore, the opening ceremony of this regional workshop was attended and addressed by H.E. Gamal M. Goraish, Charge D’ Affaires of the Sudan Embassy to South Sudan, who explained the ongoing security threats and serious challenges in the IGAD region and showed appreciation for the significant efforts presented by IGAD to solve and improve the regional situation.
The workshop was conducted with financial support from the European Union Trust Fund (EUTF) through the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) under the IPPSHAR Program.