German delegation tours future centre for disengaged former combatants in Kismaayo
A delegation led by the deputy German Ambassador to Somalia Markus Bollmohr welcomed the progress made to date in the construction of a Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) centre for former al-Shabaab combatants in the Jubbaland state capital.
The German government is funding construction of the centre, which began five months ago.
“It is almost complete, and we hope it can be opened very soon,” said Mr. Bollmohr.
The German delegation was received by senior Jubbaland administration officials, including the Minister of State for Security Mohamed Abdi Kalil, the Youth and Sports Minister Mohamed Mohamud Yusuf, and the Minister of Planning and International Relations Osman Hussein Haji.
“This building is meant to rehabilitate youth who have disengaged from the militants. They will be trained and rehabilitated here and reintegrated into the society,” said Mr. Kalil.
Another member of the visiting German delegation underscored the importance of the backing the project has received to date, from Jubbaland authorities and the local community.
“As Germany, we are supporting this project, and the International Organization for Migration is running it, but it can only work if there is the support of the community, and this we are witness to today,” said Arvid Enders, a senior German Federal Foreign Office official. “At the end, it will be the centre for the community in Kismaayo and it will take care of the youth in Kismaayo. I think that all together we are working on a very promising project”.
A ground-breaking ceremony for construction of the DDR centre was held in June of this year. When complete, the centre will house disengaged al-Shabaab fighters who will be rehabilitated under the DDR programme run by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia.