DDG’s Peace and Community Safety Programme in Somalia and SomalilandOn 16th January 2017, the Danish Demining Group (DDG) with the financial support of DFID marked the successful end of its programme ‘Peace and Community Safety in Somalia and Somaliland’ with a donation of project vehicles to the Puntland Ministry of Security, the courthouse of Dangorayo district, and the courthouse of Harfo district respectively.
In attendance at the donation ceremony in Garowe were Mr. Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar Amey, His Excellency the Vice President of Puntland, Mr. Mohamed Ali Farah, the Director General of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Abdi Ali Yusuf, the acting Director General of the Ministry of Security, Mr. Bashir Moalim Nur, the Mayor of Harfo district, Mr. Saed Hassan Mohamud, the judge of Dangorayo District Court, among others.
The ‘Peace and Community Safety in Somalia and Somaliland’ programme which ended in 2015 has had several successes. In Eyl, Garowe, and Qardho, 29 communities worked with DDG to develop Community and District Safety Plans that were later expanded into district development frameworks. At both community and district level, safety planning committees were formed and began working on security issues with local councils, regional administration offices, and the Ministry of Security, in line with the Community Security and Peace Building Policy of Puntland. Across Karkaar, Mudug, and Nugaal regions, over 83,000 beneficiaries including children attended DDG’s education sessions on mine risk, small arms risk, and conflict management, while DDG’s ‘Young, Empowered and Safe’ initiative implemented in Qardho and Garowe towns delivered youth integration and peace activities through sporting and cultural events.
In addition, the programme also involved the construction of a police sub-station in Garowe and two police posts in rural villages in Eyl district, the purchase and delivery of a vehicle each to Qardho Police Station and to Eyl District Court, and the installation of 95 streetlights in Garowe and 125 in Qardho, targeted in areas with high crime rates.
The project deliverables and impact have been well received by the authorities as well as the beneficiaries in both Somalia and Somaliland. The Vice President of Puntland in his speech acknowledged DDG’s contribution through this project towards the regional state’s priorities for security and justice.
“We thank DDG because they are one of the organisations that has helped the Puntland Government to have infrastructure. I am reminded that the ambulance that DDG donated to the district hospital in Rako in Karkaar region is still functional. The ambulance is still functional because an institution showed responsibility,” said Mr. Abdihakim Abdullahi Haji Omar Amey, Vice President of Puntland.
“Puntland government looks forward to mutual cooperation with DDG in the near future. We also thank the government of the United Kingdom and its people for the continuous humanitarian support to the Somali people in general and to Puntland in particular,” said the Vice President in his concluding remarks.
The three vehicles being donated to the Puntland authorities were being given first to the Ministry of Security (MoS) as DDG’s partner in coordination in Puntland, and second to the courthouses in Dangorayo and Harfo districts as they had been built by those communities with their own funds as part of the project.
“The donation of the vehicles is intended to help extend justice services into rural communities neighbouring the two towns,” explained Mohamed Ahmed Jama, DDG’s Field Officer.
Mr. Abdi Ali Yusuf, acting Director General of the MoS, and Director of Community Security and Armed Violence Reduction, Mr. Ahmed Yasin, thanked DDG for its work in Puntland and its cooperation with the Ministry.
“Through this project, DDG facilitated the partnership of the MoS and the Regional Center on Small Arms (RECSA) for the capacity building of the technical drafting committee for small arms and light weapons (SALW) legislation. RECSA conducted a number of trainings with regard to registration, marking, tracing, and management of arms,” said Mr. Yasin.
He also praised DDG for becoming the bridge that connected the Puntland MoS and the Puntland Parliament National Security Committee with the Global Alliance on Armed Violence and the World Parliamentary Forum respectively.
The Mayor of Harfo district, Mr. Bashir Moalim Nur, recalled DDG’s mine action project in Harfo in 2009 and 2010, in which explosive ordnance disposal teams collected and demolished various abandoned explosive remnants of war.
“DDG did not have an office at that time but teams used to be deployed from Galkayo,” noted the Mayor. “DDG is the first and only international NGO that opened physical office in Harfo in 2015, hired local staff from Harfo community and constructed the modern police station in Harfo town which was fully equipped with furniture, solar power and operating vehicle.”
“On behalf of Harfo community and the administration, I hereby thank DDG for the development interventions carried out in Harfo and assure that we will use the vehicle properly for justice services and without abuse,” concluded the mayor.
Despite this being the end of this project, DDG is confident that the gains made under the project and the partnership with the local communities will continue to ensure sustainability of the project.