A new Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Centre for former Al Shabaab militants will be built in Kismaayo to disengage them while also serve as a platform from where they can launch their reintegration back into the communities.
The construction of the centre will be funded by the German government with the help of the Federal Government of Somalia and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM).
On January 28th, a team comprising top officials from the German Embassy,UNSOM, the Federal Government of Somalia and the International Organization for Migration visited the site where the centre will be constructed.The German deputy ambassador, Christian Resch, said their government is eager to partner with the UN and the Federal Government of Somalia to construct a rehabilitation centre for disengaged combatants.
“First of all, we had to view the site where the centre is going to be located, to see whether this can be done, whether it is feasible and practical and also talk about the actual implementation of the program with the Minister of Interior, who is responsible for the programme from the side of Jubbaland government”, said Mr. Resch.
The Minister of Interior of the Interim Juba Administration, Mohamed Warsame Darwish, welcomed the visit to the site. He added that the regional government is looking forward to the construction of the facility, which will be used to rehabilitate young people who have defected from Al Shabaab terrorist group.
“We have been expecting this team for a long time. Today we have received it and we have given out the land and next week we will start the program,” explained the minister.
Mr. Malik Abdalla, Director of the Disengaged Combatants Programme, said it is important for the Somali people to win the hearts and minds of youngsters being misled by Al Shabaab militants, adding that it is the only way terror can effectively be defeated.
Mr. Patrick Loots, Chief of UNSOM Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration Section, said once completed the centre will give former Al Shabaab combatants a chance to restart their lives.