First Consultative Conference on Conducting a Security Sector Assessment in Somaliland

11 Jan 2012

First Consultative Conference on Conducting a Security Sector Assessment in Somaliland

Hargeisa, 3 and 4 December 2011 – The First Consultative Conference on Conducting a Security Sector Assessment in Somaliland was held in Hargeisa on 3 and 4 December 2011. The meeting was designed to stimulate a consultative dialogue among key Somaliland stakeholders in the security and justice sectors on the importance of a comprehensive security sector review process in Somaliland. The Conference was facilitated by the United Nations Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) and the United Nations Country Team in cooperation with the Office of the President of Somaliland, with support from international and bilateral partners. The Minister of Foreign Affairs presided over the event, on behalf of the President of Somaliland.

The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mohamed A Omar, officially opened the conference. Other opening remarks included those of Dr. Augustine Mahiga, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Somalia, and of Honourable Kipruto Arap Kirwa, Facilitator for Somalia Peace and Reconciliation, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). The technical sessions started with the keynote address by the Honourable Vice-Minister of Interior, Osman Garad Sofe, about the state of security in Somaliland, together with panelists representing the main security and justice organs of Somaliland. A series of sessions followed focusing on legislature and parliament, on justice delivery, on civil society involvement, and on the UN and international approach to security sector reform.

Over the two days, the participants discussed a wide range of issues related to the Somaliland security sector, including security situation, needs of the security and justice sectors, roles of the parliament and civil society, and lessons from the Somaliland experience in contributing to peace and stability in the region.

To that end, the participants of the workshop:
  1. Commended Somaliland's contribution to peace and stability in the region;
  2. Acknowledged the support from the international community in the development of security and justice sectors in Somaliland and considerable work being undertaken by various actors;
  3. Underlined the importance of building upon those efforts to consolidate and improve peace and security for Somaliland and its people;
  4. Exchanged views about risks and concerns over instability posed by threats, including terrorism and piracy;
  5. Underlined the importance of the a comprehensive Security Sector Assessment (SSA) to be undertaken as soon as possible to analyze the current context, identify institutional capacity and gaps, and make recommendations for a concrete and more coherent action and strengthen support;
  6. Welcomed the Somaliland authority's recognition of the pivotal role played by civil society, including traditional elders, religious leaders and women's representatives, in contributing to sustainable security in Somaliland;
  7. Noted that good governance, active participation of civil society, respect to human rights and democracy are indispensible principles in effective and accountable delivery of security and justice to citizens; and
  8. Acknowledged the importance of developing the Security sector in a sustainable, coherent, coordinated, transparent and accountable manner, in term of strategic planning, operational implementation and coordination among security sector actors, as well as the importance of sound and realistic financial and fiscal management.
As the outcome of the workshop, the participants recommended:

a. Somaliland Ownership: to ensure the Somaliland's leadership throughout the security sector development process, acknowledging the supporting role of the international community through key roles taken by UNPOS and the SRSG;

b. Maintenance of Political Will: stakeholders to ensure their ongoing political commitment in the implementation of Somaliland Security Sector Development (SSD);

c. Enhanced Coordination: to establish a coordinative framework for security sector review and development in Somaliland in the form of a three layer coordination mechanism consisting of i) Security Sector Development (SSD) Steering Committee, comprised of the Somaliland authority, UN and IGAD, ii) The Somaliland Authority Inter-Ministerial Task Force on SSD, and iii) technical working groups;

d. Forward Actions: to carry out following timely activities to promote holistic and comprehensive security sector development in Somaliland.

  1. Organizing the preparatory effort, including coordination of the Consultative Conference (Dec. 2011);
  2. Conducting a comprehensive Security Sector Assessment in Somaliland (Jan.-Apr. 2012); *The assessment will include i) context analysis, including provision of a draft policy framework and assessment of risks and threats, ii) determination of institutional capacity and gaps, and iii) recommendations. Methodology will include desk review, interviews, public perception surveys (incl. on radicalization), focus groups, etc.
  3. Developing and validating draft action plan (May-Jun. 2012)
  4. Implementation of the action plan (Jul. 2012-Aug. 2017)
  5. Monitoring and evaluation (throughout)
The conference was attended by a wide range of national and international participants and representatives, including cabinet ministers, security and justice sectors institutions, senior government officials, legislators, business community, NGOs, civil society representatives, including religious and traditional leaders, women and youths from across Somaliland, and international partners, such as the United Nations and its Agencies, IOM, European Union, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, as well as bilateral partners, such as the United Kingdom. The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Dr. Augustine Mahiga delivered closing remarks, highlighting the importance of this critical issue, thanking the participants for their direct engagement and encouraging them to continue their important work in a comprehensive and coordinative manner.