A United Nations-backed meeting of former high-ranking officials from Somalia`s military, police, prison system and intelligence services kicked off today in the latest bid at bolstering the war-wracked country`s security institutions.
In keeping with the spirit of the Djibouti process, this is an opportunity for the former Somali military leaders to contribute to the rebuilding of their nation, " said Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, UN Special Representative for Somalia, referring to internationally backed reconciliation efforts that started last year in neighbouring Djibouti.
The former senior officers of the Somali security forces are expected to share its knowledge of and know-how with the current leadership during the five-day workshop, convened by the UN Political Office for Somalia (UNPOS) and led by the Somali Ministry of Defence, in Washington DC.
In-depth discussions are slated to focus on both the historical background of the Somali security forces, and the re-establishment and strengthening of the security sector, with the intention of producing a document outlining strategies to address short-term security challenges and long-term capacity building measures.
History has a lot to teach us if we`re willing to learn from past experiences " failures and successes, " said Mr. Ould-Abdallah. These former senior military officials will have an opportunity to serve their country in another capacity. "
Despite the signing of peace agreements, the formation of a new Government and election of a new president, the Horn of Africa nation has seen a resurgence of violence in recent months.
Fighting between Government forces and the Al-Shabaab and Hisb-ul-Islam militant groups in Mogadishu since early May have forced over 200,000 people from their homes, many of them for the second time over the course of the past year.