Photo credit: Tobin Jones/UN
Photo credit: Tobin Jones/UN

Community security

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 hindered 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.

Consequently, 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, violent groups such as al-Shabaab are thriving in many parts of the country.  

Saferworld is working with partners in three regions of Somalia – Banadir, Jubaland State and South West State – to tackle mistrust that leads to violence and conflict within and between communities. We do this by supporting partners to create community groups that identify safety concerns affecting their communities. We then support these groups to work with security providers to find solutions to these concerns.

We are also working with partners to establish state-level advisory committees for the police services. 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. We 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.