Prolonged conflict in South Central Somalia has prevented Somalis in many regions from living together peacefully. Often violence has been used to gain power and resources. Continued conflict in the region has prevented the development of strong, unbiased and accountable state institutions. Formal security services, such as the police, lack legitimacy and impartiality, and regularly abuse their power.
In the absence of fair and unbiased security provision, there are high levels of mistrust and conflict among communities and between society and the state. The clans themselves often resort to providing their own informal security, and armed actors frequently use violence to resolve disputes and assert their power. Due to the lack of a coherent and inclusive approach to human security, extremist groups such as al-Shabaab are thriving.
Saferworld is working with partners in three regions of Somalia – Banadir, Jubaland State and South West State – to tackle mistrust among communities that leads to violence and conflict. We do this through supporting partners to create community groups to identify safety concerns affecting their communities. We then support groups to work with local security providers to find solutions to these concerns.
We are also working with local partners to establish state-level advisory committees for the police service. These committees – made up of civil society representatives, former police officers, lawyers and government officials – will regularly visit police stations to assess their work and to feedback ideas for improvement. Finally, we will use the evidence gathered from this process to make recommendations to improve policy – to create more accountable and inclusive institutions where people have a role and voice in addressing their concerns and grievances.
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