Somali intelligence agency officials set up harmonized screening criteria for former al-Shabaab combatants

Officers of the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) and UN officials, attend the opening of a workshop organised by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), to build the capacity of NISA as part of the Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programme for ex-combatants of Al-Shabaab in Mogadishu, on 6 December 2016. UN Photo

6 Dec 2016

Somali intelligence agency officials set up harmonized screening criteria for former al-Shabaab combatants

A two-day workshop on the harmonisation of screening processes for low- and high-risk ex-Al Shabaab combatants opened in the Somali capital today.

The workshop aims to harmonise screening criteria among  agents of the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) in the states of  Puntland, Galmudug, HirShabelle, Jubbaland and South West as well as Banaadir region

“We as NISA are always improving the safety of the country. We might have hiccups like every other agency has, but at the end of the day, the main thing is the defector programme and how we can best utilise it,” said Amin Haji, the Deputy Director General of NISA, during the official opening of the  workshop.

Participants will also share best practices to employ in the national disengagement programme for defectors and share experiences and opportunities in the screening of ex-combatants.

Mr. Haji said NISA is putting emphasis on the defector programme in order to support the reintegration of former Al-Shabaab fighters.

“How we screen and how we offer a different livelihood for those who have been misled is key,” Mr. Haji noted.

The workshop was organized by the Federal Ministry of Internal Security (MoIS) with support from the Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) Section of the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the Bonn International Centre for Conversion, an international research institute specializing in the processing of ex-combatants from extremist groups. Also taking part in the event are the International Organisation for Migration, Adam Smith International and representatives of four regional administrations.  

The workshop was also attended by the Head of the Defector Rehabilitation Program in the MoIS , Malik Abdallah, and Patrick Loots, the Chief of the DDR section of UNSOM.