Mogadishu, 12, August 2012 – Press Release – The Federal Government of Somalia and AMISOM have published a new National Disengagement Framework for former Al-Shabaab fighters, which was presented to the donor community at the Joint Security Committee on August 6, 2012.
The National Disengagement Framework engages the African Union security forces, the Federal Government, United Nations agencies and civil society which will collaborate in the multi-step process of outreach to Al-Shabaab and other militias, reception of those who defect or disengage, processing and transition, and community reintegration.
The timing of this initiative coincides with Somalia’s twin milestones of approving a new constitution leading to a move to a new Federal Government, and the Presidential Decree establishing the National Stabilization and Security Plan (NSSP)
The disengagement framework establishes security and protection measures for the reception and community-led re-insertion of disengaged fighters, who formally renounce armed violence. Built in to the framework are respect for and compliance with international human rights norms and humanitarian law standards.
The disengagement program is built on structures and capabilities already in place in Somalia, and is not typical of other conventional Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR) programs. It relies upon a combination of international, federal, district and community levels, each playing their role. A series of technical working groups and consultations started in July 2012 among Somali institutions reinforced the recognition that a lasting peace can only be achieved by creating pathways to peaceful civilian alternatives for armed combatants. A set of Standard Operating Procedures which ties together this system was reviewed by a multi-stakeholder meeting August 2, 2012, in Mogadishu, and led by an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Disengagement, chaired by the Office of the Prime Minister.
As currently budgeted at approximately $(US) 19 million, the disengagement program will cost dramatically less than the recurring of AMISOM and related security and counter-terrorist expenses.
“The required costs under for this program are far less than the cost of inaction, taking into account recurring violent conflict.” (need someone to say this quote”
Key to the future success of this framework is the trust that it must create, by ensuring the protection of each ex-combatant by monitoring of the observance of the rule of law and international human rights norms. Various donors already fund pieces of this national program, but this consolidated appeal provides a basis for scaling up and creating coherence that will reach all sectors of the country. Immediate efforts were called for at the Joint Security Committee to urgently establish new Reception Units to safely accept disengaged militia around the cities of Merca and Kismayo.